Slimmer than ever, the Late 2012 iMac is the first iMac ever not to include a built-in optical drive. Apple has also managed to make the iMac’s glossy screen 75% less reflective than before.
Another iMac first: You can’t upgrade memory. If you order your iMac with the base 8 GB of RAM, that’s all you’ll ever have. You can order both the 21.5″ and 27″ models from Apple with 16 GB installed, and there’s even a 32 GB option for the 27″ iMac. The 21.5″ iMac ships with a 1 TB 5400 rpm hard drive, and the 27″ model bumps that to a faster 7200 rpm drive.
Another step forward is the use of two microphones to improve noise reduction.
Introducing Fusion Drive
If you want way more performance, look to the $300 256 GB SSD (768 GB option for 27″ model) or the new $250 1 TB Fusion Drive, which combines a 1 TB hard drive (3 TB option for 27″ iMac) with 128 GB SSD. Fusion Drive treats the hard drive and SSD as a single 1.125 (or 3.125) TB volume, storing the operating system and all included software on the SSD and initially putting everything else on the hard drive. It also reserves 4 GB of space on the SSD for use as a hard drive cache. The brilliance of Fusion Drive is that the operating system keeps track of your work patterns and will move files, data, and applications to the SSD or back to the hard drive based on that information. Best of all, this is totally transparent to the end user. To revive a phrase Apple has used for a long, long time, it just works. Maybe because this is brand new, unproven technology for Apple, there is no Fusion Drive option for the Server version.
CPU speeds start at 2.7 GHz, and all Late 2012 iMacs have quad-core processors. That’s a quad-core i5 on the standard configurations, and both sizes offer a faster i7 option for those demanding ultimate performance. All models now include USB 3 (4 ports), and the 21.5″ 2012 iMac now has two Thunderbolt ports, just like it’s larger sibling. The SD Card slot, which supports SDXC, has unfortunately moved to the back (vs. the side in previous models). The 2012 models no longer have FireWire. The smaller iMac has the same 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution as HD TV, and the 27″ beastie provides an impressive 2560 x 1440 pixels. The base 21.5″ model has Nvidia GeForce GT 640M graphics with 512 MB of dedicated memory, and the faster 21.5″ model has GT 650M graphics. The base 27″ model includes GeForce GTX 660M graphics with 512 MB of video memory, and the top-end 27″ iMac has GTX 660M graphics with 1 GB of video memory (expandable to 2 GB). The Late 2012 iMacs also have gigabit ethernet, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and ship with Apple’s wireless keyboard, Magic Mouse, and Magic Trackpad.
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- introduced 2012.10.23 at US$1,299 (21.5″ 2.7 GHz i5, GeForce GT 640M), US$1,499 (21.5″ 2.9 GHz, GeForce GT 650M), US$1,799 (27″ 2.9 GHz, GeForce GTX 660M), and US$1,999 (27″ 3.2 GHz, GeForce GTX 675M). 21.5″ iMac ships in November, 27″ in December. Replace by Late 2013 iMac 2013.09.24.
- Part no.:
- requires OS X 10.8.2 Mountain Lion or later
- Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion compatibility
- AirPlay Mirroring is supported.
- AirDrop is supported.
- Power Nap is not supported.
- CPU, 21.5″: 2.7 or 2.9 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, 3.1 GHz i7 build-to-order option for 2.9 GHz model ($200 additional)
- CPU, 27″: 2.9 or 3.2 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, 3.4 GHz i7 build-to-order option for 3.2 GHz model ($200 additional)
- L2 cache: 6 MB shared cache on CPU
- Bus: 1600 MHz
- RAM: 8 GB, 21.5″ expandable to 16 GB, 27″ to 32 GB at time of purchase
- Speedmark 6.5:
- Geekbench 2:
- GPU, 21.5″ 2.5 GHz: Nvidia GeForce GT 640M with 512 MB dedicated VRAM
- GPU, 21.5″ 2.7 GHz: Nvidia GeForce GT 650M with 512 MB dedicated VRAM
- GPU, 27″ 2.7 GHz: Nvidia GeForce GTX 660M with 512 MB dedicated VRAM
- GPU, 27″ 3.1 GHz: Nvidia GeForce GTX 660M with 1 GB dedicated VRAM (2 GB build-to-order option)
- 21.5″ 1920 x 1080 LED backlit flat panel display
- 27″ 2560 x 1440 LED backlit flat panel display
- Video out: Mini DisplayPort, DVI and VGA with optional adapters
- drive bus: 3 Gbps SATA Rev. 2 (6 Gbps with EFI update)
- SSD: 256 GB build-to-order option, can be installed in addition to hard drive
- Hard drive: 1 TB 5400 rpm SATA drive (21.5″), 1 TB 7200 rpm (27″), 3 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
- Thunderbolt: 2 ports
- USB: 4 USB 3 ports
- FireWire 400: none
- FireWire 800: none
- Ethernet: 10/100/gigabit
- WiFi: 802.11n AirPort Extreme built in, three antennas support up to 450 Mbps bandwidth
- Bluetooth 4.0: included
- IR receiver: none
- SD Card: 1 slot, supports SDXC
- Microphone: internal
- Modem: No longer offered by Apple
- H x W x D (21.5″): 17.7 x 20.8 x 6.9 in/45 x 52.8 x 17.5 cm
- H x W x D (27″): 20.3 x 25.6 x 8.0 in/51.6 x 65.0 x 20.3 cm
- weight (21.5″): 12.5 lb/5.68 kg
- weight (27″): 21 lb/9.54 kg
- Power supply: 241W (21.5″), 365W (27″)
- Thunderstrike Malware: Could It Still Be a Threat to Your Mac?, Low End Mac Tech Journal 2018.02.01. Malware secretly infects EFI. Which versions of macOS are safest?
- Know Your Mac’s Upgrade Options, Phil Herlihy, The Usefulness Equation, 2008.08.26. Any Mac can be upgraded, but it’s a question of what can be upgraded – RAM, hard drive, video, CPU – and how far it can be upgraded.
- Why the 20″ iMac is perfect for home or school, John Hatchett, Recycled Computing, 2009.09.29. The aluminum iMac has plenty of power and screen space, yet it’s small enough and light enough to tote from place to place.
- The perfect Mac: MacBook Pro or iMac?, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2009.08.11. The 15″ MacBook Pro with antiglare could be the perfect Mac, but the iMac also has much to commend it.
- Computer disaster ends happily, Alan Zisman, Zis Mac, 2009.08.05. The iMac was getting slower and slower, and Disk Utility kept trying to fix the same problems. With a new hard drive, the iMac is running as well as ever.
- SSD in Mac Pro, Mac cloner opens store, Ubuntu vs. OS X, new Nvidia drivers, and more, Mac News Review, 2009.07.17. Also Classilla brings Firefox to OS 9, slow networking in OS X, iMac vs. Mac Pro, URL shortening software, Quicken update finally coming in 2011, and more.
- Optimized Software Builds Bring Out the Best in Your Mac, Dan Knight, Low End Mac’s Online Tech Journal, 2009.06.30. Applications compiled for your Mac’s CPU can load more quickly and run faster than ones compiled for universal use.
- Intel’s promise fulfilled: More processing power per processor cycle, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2009.06.30. Apple promised improved CPU efficiencies when it announced the move to Intel in 2005. Three years of MacBooks show the progress.
- Snow Leopard Up-to-Date, 13 Mac browsers, run Windows 7 on your Intel Mac for free, and more, Mac News Review, 2009.06.19. Also Mac sales steady in May, Apple vs. low-bandwidth users, Opera Unite turns browser into a personal server, and more.
- Macs tracking swine flu, 6 quick Mac OS fixes, iMac EFI Firmware Update 1.4, and more, Mac News Review, 2009.05.08. Also Right Zoom maximizes windows, GeForce GTX 285 coming to Mac, APC backup batteries incompatible with Intel Macs running OS X 10.5.4 and later, vertical mice, and more
- Fix for sluggish Leopard dialup, iMac a 3D gaming contender, Easter Mail stationery, and more, Mac News Review, 2009.04.09. Also new HP hardware design superior to Mac Pro, 2 GB of free online backup with IDriveforMac, fast and easy ZoHo Writer online word processing, and more.
- US Mac sales down 16% in February, Opera Turbo available for testing, new iMac benchmarks, and more, Mac News Review, 2009.03.20. Also farewell to FireWire, Mac mini ‘deliberately neglected’ to protect iMac sales, Mini DisplayPort to VGA firmware update released, and more.
- New Mac mini and iMac benchmarked, FireWire 400-to-800 solutions, dual-band AirPort Extreme, and more, Mac News Review, 2009.03.06. Also new iMac and Mac mini dissected, OS X share still above 10%, fastest SATA boot drives for the Mac Pro, iMac keyboard loses numeric keypad, and more.
- Ubuntu Linux and Boot camp make it easy to create a triple boot Mac, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2008.12.24. Boot Camp makes it easy to install Windows on Intel Macs, and Ubuntu now makes it easy to install Linux to a virtual Windows drive.
- Why DisplayPort is the video connector for the future, Frank Fox, Stop the Noiz, 2008.12.23. DisplayPort supports multiple displays, combines audio and video on one cable, and costs nothing to use.
- The ‘Better Safe Than Sorry’ Guide to Installing Mac OS X Updates, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.12.16. Most users encounter no problems using Software Update, but some preflight work and using the Combo updater means far less chance of trouble.
- Why You Should Partition Your Mac’s Hard Drive, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.12.11. “At the very least, it makes sense to have a second partition with a bootable version of the Mac OS, so if you have problems with your work partition, you can boot from the ’emergency’ partition to run Disk Utility and other diagnostics.”
- 15 reasons Macs are better, quad-core iMac in January?, USB 3.0 spec finalized, and more, Mac News Review, 2008.11.21. Also 25 years of Macs, ‘Snow Leopard’ in Q1?, SimpleTech’s faster and greener hard drive, Hyperspaces, StarOffice for OS X, and more.
- Virtualization shootout: VMWare Fusion 2 vs. Parallels Desktop 4, Kev Kitchens, Kitchens Sync, 2008.11.20. Both programs do the same thing, but one runs Windows XP smoothly alongside Mac apps, while the other bogs down everything but Windows.
- Anticipating Macworld: Nehalem, Snow Leopard, and updated desktops, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.11.18. Intel’s Core i7 CPU has to make it way into the next Mac Pro, Nvidia GeForce graphics will drive the iMac and Mac mini, and ‘Snow Leopard’ will unleash the animal within.
- Debunking the Apple Tax, Frank Fox, Stop the Noiz, 2008.10.31. “…no one else is offering the quality of computer construction that Apple offers in the same price range.”
- One OS to rule them all, Frank Fox, Stop the Noiz, 2008.10.29. With Fusion or Parallels letting you run Windows at full speed, Mac OS X gives you the best of both worlds.
- Nvidia may power new Mac mini and iMac, FireWire firestorm, OS X on PCs, and more, Mac News Review, 2008.10.27. Also turning your Mac into a WiFi access point, iKey keyboard with Bluetooth and trackpad, MacSpeech Dictate updated, and more.
- Economic crunch may slow Mac sales, a recycled Cube, ToCA Race Driver 3 for Mac, and more, Mac News Review, 2008.10.10. Also don’t buy RAM from Apple, customize your Mac’s appearance, MacTribe expanding into print, My Apple Space social networking, and more.
- How to clone Mac OS X to a new hard drive, Simon Royal, Tech Spectrum, 2008.10.07. Whether you want to put a bigger, faster drive in your Mac or clone OS X for use in another Mac, here’s the simple process.
- CodeWeavers brings Google’s Chrome browser to Intel Macs, Alan Zisman, Zis Mac, 2008.10.02. Google’s new Chrome browser uses separate processes for each tab and brings other changes to Windows users. Now Mac fans can try it as well.
- Apple Trumps Microsoft in Making the 64-bit Transition Transparent to Users, Frank Fox, Stop the Noiz, 2008.09.18. To use more than 4 GB of RAM under Windows, you need a 64-bit PC and the 64-bit version of Windows. On the Mac, OS X 10.4 and later already support it.
- SATA, SATA II, SATA 600, and Product Confusion Fatigue, Frank Fox, Stop the Noiz, 2008.09.08. In addition to the original SATA specification and the current 3 Gb/s specification, SATA revision 3.0 is just around the corner.
- Does running OS X system maintenance routines really do any good?, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.08.26. Mac OS X is designed to run certain maintenance routines daily, weekly, and monthly – but can’t if your Mac is off or asleep.
- Mac prices in context, Macs best for Microsoft Office, Macs surge in education, and more, Mac News Review, 2008.08.15. Also Macs becoming standard in the enterprise, Linux on old Macs, Gmail feels your pain, BurnAgain FS software for rewritable discs, and more.
- Simple Mac security in the age of malware, Kev Kitchens, Kitchens Sync, 2008.08.13. Unlike Windows PCs, at this point Macs can’t become infected simply from being on the Internet, but you still need to be careful about your downloads.
- iMac beats Dell XPS One on price and features, Kev Kitchens, Kitchens Sync, 2008.08.06. The Dell costs $100 more with a slower CPU, a worse graphics processor, and no alternative to Vista Home Edition.
- Free VirtualBox for Mac now a virtual contender, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2008.07.21. A year ago, the Mac version of VirtualBox lacked some essential features. Over the past year, it’s grown into a very useful tool.
- Win the depreciation game by buying on the low end, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.06.24. The worst depreciation afflicts high-end models. By buying a less powerful version, choosing certified refurbished, or picking up a used computer, you’ll come out ahead.
- No widescreen display for me, accessing MacWrite files, Fedora Linux for G3 Macs, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.06.19. Why monitors need more height, not more width; using MacWrite files, unleashing old Macs with Linux, and using badram to work around bad RAM in LInux.
- 16:9 computer displays: Let’s not go there, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.06.17. “…there’s no reason our computer displays should match the proportions of our television displays.”
- 5 business essentials for ‘The Switch’, Jason Packer, Macs in the Enterprise, 2008.06.06. If you’re planning a migration from Windows to Macs, these five steps will help you succeed in making the switch.
- 5 reasons Macs are right for business, 10.5.3 improves GeForce 8800 performance, and more, Mac News Review, 2008.06.06. Also 3.06 GHz iMac ‘packs a wallop’, convertible keyboard for Macs, free open source virtualization software, hard drive rescue software, and more.
- Virtual PC works with Leopard, Intel vs. PowerPC performance, beyond the Mac mini, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.05.20. Also upgrading Intel iMacs, Compact Flash in a PowerBook 2400, and thoughts on low-end Macs.
- SheepShaver brings Classic Mac OS to Intel Macs and Leopard, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2008.05.20. Mac OS X 10.5 doesn’t support Classic Mode. Neither does Leopard. But SheepShaver lets you emulate a PowerPC Mac and run the Classic Mac OS.
- Open source virtualization for Macs, iMac shutdowns, Psystar reviews, and more, Mac News Review, 2008.05.16. Also aluminum iMac USB power concerns, Penryn iMac twice as powerful as fastest G5 iMac, Radeon vs. GeForce in top-end iMac, Odysseus email client in beta, and more.
- Windows on Macs: Three paths for integration, Jason Packer, Macs in the Enterprise, 2008.05.14. Mac users have three routes for running Windows apps: Run Windows using Boot Camp or virtualization, or use a compatibility layer such as WINE.
- Value of old Power Macs, old computers in school, Panther or Tiger on Pismo, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.05.12. Also new 20″ Penry iMac vs. 24″ Santa Rosa and great results with a low-cost external SuperDrive.
- Apple tops in tech support, Penryn iMacs and Psystar Open Computer reviewed, and more, Mac News Review, 2008.05.09. Also the iMac philosophy, OpenOffice 3.0 going Mac, MozyHome backup comes to Macs, weather in the Dock, and more.
- Prosumer Mac suggestions, bring back the 12″ ‘Book, Pismo displays, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.05.06. Readers offer more thoughts on a midrange Mac, the need for a new 12″ ‘Book, using F-keys as F-keys in OS X, and lid closed video mode for Pismo.
- Mac growth 4x PC rate, USB power famine, Montevina chips not in new iMacs, and more, Mac News Review, 2008.05.02. Also reducing energy waste from peripherals, fixing the Mac’s shortcomings, Open Computer shipping and reviewed, why Apple bought PA Semi, 5x the range for Time Capsule, Mac gaming mouse, and more.
- 50% Mac sales growth is only the beginning, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.05.02. Apple has a great line of computers and an awesome operating system, but a prosumer model could make last quarter’s growth seem normal.
- What’s the Best Version of OS X for My Mac?, Ian R Campbell, The Sensible Mac, 2008.02.28. Which version of Mac OS X is best for your hardware depends on several factors.
- Using the aluminum iMac: Color me impressed, Frank Fox, Stop the Noiz, 2008.04.22. A MacBook is a wonderful thing, but an iMac with a 20″ display can really spoil you.
- 18 bits can’t display millions of colors, today’s magic is different from yesterday’s, and more, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.04.16. Also more feedback on Mac browsers, slow dialup Internet, and a SCSI-to-USB 2.0 solution.
- Add a second display, overlooked Leopard features, Nehalem chips hits 3.2 GHz, and more, Mac News Review, 2008.04.11. Also Apple and Canada, firware updates, Kensington keyboard with 3 USB ports, Magic Mail Folder, Newton Connection software, and more.
- 18-bit video inadequate, restoring AppleWorks speed, Macintosh display info, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.04.09. Also problems importing AppleWorks drawings and a damaged, unfixable mail database in Outlook Express 5.
- Millions vs. thousands of colors: What’s the difference?, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.04.07. Once again Apple is being sued over a Mac that can display ‘only’ 262,144 colors per pixel, not the millions it claims. Does it realy matter?
- Too few USB ports in too many Macs, developer Leopard ran on Yikes, Mac IIfx RAM heaven, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.01.16. Also Macworld Expo disappoints, Pismo a great field computer, using flash memory in vintage Macs, and Word vs. Pages for academic writing.
- Restore stability to a troubled Mac with a clean system install, Keith Winston, Linux to Mac, 2008.01.15. If your Mac is misbehaving, the best fix just might be a fresh reinstallation of Mac OS X – don’t forget to backup first.
- The best alternatives to Apple’s USB keyboards, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2007.12.10. There are a lot of USB keyboards out there, even for the Mac, but these two have great keyboard action, are solidly built, and have features Apple’s keyboard don’t include.
- Cross-platform computing: Better than it’s ever been, Andrew J Fishkin, Best Tools for the Job, 2007.11.13. Macs can read PC media, both Macs and Windows PCs play nice with each other on networks, and emulation makes it easy for Intel Macs to run Windows apps.
- Beyond Google, 10 years on the G3, the Cube is not a Road Apple, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2007.11.13. Also the 64-bit advantage of Core 2, OS 9 on a USB flash drive, sound problems since switching to Leopard, and 7200 rpm in an eMac.
- Proof Macs cost less, Leopard spanks Vista, Mac pride pins, Arabic OS X 10.4.10, and more, Mac News Review, 2007.11.09. Also the pitfalls of Macintel recovery, waiting for the 10.5.1 update, QuickTime 7.3 released, new Leopard books, and more.
- External $100 Sony DVD burner likes Macs, Brian Gray, Fruitful Editing, 2007.10.10. The box and manual say nothing about Mac compatibility, but this 18x USB 2.0 DVD burner is plug-and-play (at least with Tiger).
- FastMac 8x SuperDrive and BurnAgain DVD: Fast and easy multisession disc burning, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2007.10.08. FastMac’s 8x SuperDrive upgrade is remarkably fast compared with older PowerBook burners, and BurnAgain DVD makes it easy to append files to a previously burned CD or DVD.
- 3.2 Gbps FireWire, 4.8 Gbps USB coming, Macs cost less to use, a Core Image-based image editor, and more, Mac News Review, 2007.09.28. Also wireless USB to hit 1 Gbps, Mac sales are surging, aluminum iMacs have great image quality, 802.11n WiFi for most modern Macs, and more.
- Importing video into iMovie, jumping the gun on G3s and Leopard, interference robustness, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2007.09.18. Also, Intel Macs support 802.11a WiFi alongside b, g, and n, and USB card options for beige G3 Power Macs.
- Does a college freshman need to run Windows on a MacBook?, Al Poulin, My Turn, 2007.07.24. While you can run Windows on today’s Intel-based Macs, is there any reason most college students would want to or need to?
- Software to darken iMac display, columnist returns iPhone, Logitech introduces air mouse, and more, Mac News Review, 2007.07.20. Also a USB turntable for turning your record albums into MP3s, a retractable flash drive, iPhone: The Missing Manual, Parallels Desktop 3 a major update, and more.
- VMware Fusion beta 3 adds new features, takes a giant step toward release, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2007.04.11. Looking for a virtualization solution for your Intel Mac? The latest beta of VMWare Fusion makes several improvements and includes some unique features.
- 1 core, 2 cores, 4 cores, 8: How Much Difference Does It Make?, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2007.04.10. Geekbench scores make it possible to compare the newest 3 GHz 8-core Mac Pro with the 1.5 GHz Core Solo Mac mini – and all the models in between.
- CrossOver: Run Windows Apps on Intel Macs Without Windows, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2007.02.28. If you need to run Windows apps on your Intel Mac once in a while, CrossOver may be the least expensive way to do so since it eliminates the need to buy a copy of Windows.
- Parallels Revisited: Release Version Far More Polished than Beta, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2006.11.21. Parallels lets you run Windows or Linux without rebooting your Intel-based Mac, and it’s made great strides since the beta came out earlier this year.
- To AppleCare or not to AppleCare?, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2006.11.20. Consumer Reports, which generally recommends against extended warranties, says AppleCare makes sense. But does it?
- Region Free DVD Viewing Options for Intel and PowerPC Macs, Andrew J Fishkin, The Mobile Mac, 2006.09.12. Several hardware and software options that will let your view ‘wrong region’ DVDs on your PowerPC or Intel Mac.
- iMac (21.5″ iMac, Late 2012) Technical Specifications
- iMac (27″ iMac, Late 2012) Technical Specifications
Short link: http://goo.gl/B3vRGS
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