21″ iMac (Mid 2010)

Apple has now moved the entire iMac line to Intel’s Core “i” family of CPUs, including the dual-core i3 and i5 as well as the quad-core i7. All CPUs used in the 2010 iMac support Hyper-Threading (on last year’s model, only the i7 versions supported Hyper-Threading). CPU speeds start at 3.06 GHz for dual-core models and 2.8 GHz for quad-core ones, and all but the i3 CPUs support Intel’s Turbo Boost technology, which allows them to run at even higher speeds (making allowance for heat issues).

Mid 2010 iMacs

Apple has also adopted 1333 MHz memory, a step up from 1066 MHz RAM in the previous generation. Except for the base 21.5″ model, Apple offers a faster CPU option at $200 more.

The 21.5″ iMac has the same 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution as 1080i high-def television, and the display is LED backlit.

The SD Card slot, which is on the right side below the SuperDrive, supports SDXC.

Apple’s wireless keyboard is now standard, as is the Magic Mouse. The new iMac can also be ordered with Apple’s new Magic Trackpad.

4 GB of RAM remains standard across the line, and maximum RAM stands at 16 GB using four 4 GB modules.

The base 21.5″ model has ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics with 256 MB of dedicated memory. The 3.2 GHz 21.5″ model uses Radeon 5670 graphics with 512 MB of video memory.

The Mid 2010 iMacs have 4 USB 2.0 ports, FireWire 800 (but not 400), gigabit ethernet, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, an SDXC Card slot, and an 8x SuperDrive.

The entry-level 21.5″ iMac has 4 GB of RAM, a 500 GB hard drive, an 8x SuperDrive, and Apple’s aluminum keyboard and Magic Mouse. The faster 2.15″ iMac ships with a 1 TB hard drive.

The 2010 iMac shipped with OS X 10.6.4 Snow Leopard and is compatible with OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

Intel-based Macs use a partitioning scheme known as GPT. Only Macintel models can boot from GPT hard drives. Both PowerPC and Intel Macs can boot from APM (Apple’s old partitioning scheme) hard drives, which is the format you must use to create a universal boot drive in Leopard. PowerPC Macs running any version of the Mac OS prior to 10.4.2 cannot mount GPT volumes. PowerPC Macs won’t let you install OS X to a USB drive or choose it as your startup volume, although there is a work around for that.


  • introduced 2010.07.27 at US$1,199 (3.06 GHz i3, Radeon 4670) and US$1,499 (3.2 GHz, Radeon 5670); replaced by Mid 2011 iMac on 2011.05.03.
  • Part no.: MC508 (3.06 GHz), MC509 (3.2 GHz)
  • Model identifier: iMac11,2

Mac OS

  • Requires Mac OS X 10.6.4 or later. macOS 10.4 Mojave and later are not supported.
  • Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard compatibility
    • Grand Central Dispatch is supported.
    • 64-bit operation is supported.
    • OpenCL is supported.
  • OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion compatibility
    • AirPlay Mirroring is not supported.
    • AirDrop is supported.
    • Power Nap is not supported.

Core System

  • CPU: 3.06 or 3.2 GHz Intel Core i3, 3.6 GHz i5 option ($200 additional)
  • L2 cache: 4 MB shared cache on CPU (8 MB on quad-core models)
  • Bus: 1333 MHz
  • RAM: 4 GB, expandable to 16 GB using four 1333 MHz DDR3 SDRAM
  • Performance:
    • Speedmark 6.5: 174 (3.06 GHz i3), 179 (3.2 GHz i3)
    • Geekbench 2, 32-bit: 5585 (3.06 GHz 2-core i3), 5804 (3.2 GHz 2-core i3), 6726 (3.6 GHz 2-core i5)
    • Geekbench 2, 64-bit: 6264 (3.06 GHz 2-core i3), 6439 (3.2 GHz 2-core i3), 7689 (3.6 GHz 2-core i5)


  • GPU, 3.06 GHz: ATI Radeon HD 4670 with 256 MB dedicated VRAM
  • GPU, 3.2 GHz: ATI Radeon HD 5670 with 512 MB dedicated VRAM
  • Display: 21.5″ 1920 x 1080 LED backlit flat panel display
  • Video out: Mini DisplayPort, DVI and VGA with optional adapters


  • drive bus: 3 Gbps SATA Rev. 2
  • Hard drive: 500 GB/1 TB 7200 rpm SATA drive, 2 TB option
  • SuperDrive: writes DVD±R, DVD+R, and DVD+RW discs at up to 8x speed, DVD-RW at up to 6x; dual layer at up to 4x; reads DVDs at up to 8x, writes CD-R discs at up to 24x, writes CD-RW discs at up to 16x, reads CDs at up to 24x


  • USB: 4 USB 2.0 ports
  • FireWire 400: none
  • FireWire 800: 1 port, 7 Watts
  • Ethernet: 10/100/gigabit
  • WiFi: 802.11n AirPort Extreme built in
  • Bluetooth 2.1: included
  • IR receiver: supports Apple Remote (not included)
  • SD Card: 1 slot, supports SDXC
  • Microphone: internal
  • Modem: No longer offered by Apple


  • Power supply: 241W
  • H x W x D: 17.75 x 20.8 x 7.42 in/45.1 x 52.8 x 18.85 cm
  • Weight: 20.5 lb/9.3 kg
  • Model identifier: iMac11,2

CPU Upgrades

  • none

Online Resources