21″ iMac (Mid 2014)

In what appears to be a step backward, Apple has added a new, lower cost, entry-level 21″ iMac as the least expensive model added to the Late 2013 line.

21-inch iMacThe new model uses an ultra-low-power 1.4 GHz dual-core Intel i5 CPU with Turbo Boost to 2.7 GHz – the rated clock speed of the previous entry-level 21″ iMac.

The big question is Why? Why would Apple use a low powered CPU in a desktop Mac, where that isn’t really a factor? Why would Apple choose such a low clock speed CPU when the next model up runs at 2.7 GHz (with 3.2 GHz Turbo Boost) and has twice as many cores? Why do they think people will buy it instead of the US$200 more expensive model with twice as large a hard drive, expandable memory, and better graphics?

The mystery isn’t the hardware as much as its price it. The Mid 2014 iMac offers a very decent level of performance, 8 GB of RAM (its only configuration) is very reasonable with OS X 10.9 Mavericks and 10.10 Yosemite. Intel HD 5000 graphics is more than adequate for anyone but avid gamers – and they’ll want more power, so they are not the audience for this machine.

For those wanting an SSD ($250 additional) or Fusion Drive (also $250), these are available options that connect via a PCI Express interface, which outperforms the SATA Revision 3 used for the hard drive.

Like the Late 2013 iMac, it includes 802.11ac WiFi and uses two microphones, as in the Late 2013 MacBook Air, to improve noise reduction.

If you want way more performance, look to the $250 256 GB SSD or the $250 1 TB Fusion Drive, which combines a 1 TB hard drive with a 128 GB SSD. Fusion Drive treats the hard drive and SSD as a single 1.125 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.

That said, this is pretty new technology, and failure of either the hard drive or SSD would be catastrophic.

All iMacs now include USB 3 (4 ports) and two Thunderbolt ports. The SD Card slot, which supports SDXC, is on the back (vs. the side in previous models), and starting with 2012 models, iMacs no longer have FireWire.

The 21″ iMac has the same 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution as HD TV. It also has gigabit ethernet, Bluetooth 4.0, and ships with Apple’s wireless keyboard, Magic Mouse, and Magic Trackpad.


  • introduced 2014.06.17 at US$1,099
  • Part no.:

Mac OS

  • Requires Mac OS X 10.9.3 or later
  • Mac OS X 10.9 compatibility
    • AirPlay Mirroring is supported.
    • AirDrop is supported.
    • Power Nap is not supported.

Core System

  • CPU: 1.4 GHz (2.7 GHz Turbo Boost) dual-core Intel Core i5
  • L2 cache: 3 MB shared cache
  • Bus: 1600 MHz
  • RAM: 8 GB, not expandable
  • Performance:
    • Speedmark 9: 116 (143 with Fusion Drive)
    • Geekbench 3, 32-bit single-core: 2561
    • Geekbench 3, 32-bit multicore: 4797
    • Geekbench 3, 64-bit single core: 2744
    • Geekbench 3, 64-bit multicore: 5365


  • GPU: Intel HD 5000 graphics
  • 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
  • SSD: 256 GB build-to-order option, can be installed in addition to hard drive
  • Hard drive: 500 GB 5400 rpm SATA drive, optional 1 TB 5400 rpm SATA drive
  • SuperDrive: external


  • Thunderbolt: 2 ports
  • USB: 4 USB 3 ports
  • FireWire 400: none
  • FireWire 800: none
  • Ethernet: 10/100/gigabit
  • WiFi: 802.11ac AirPort Extreme built in, three antennas support up to 1.3 Gbps 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: 17.7 x 20.8 x 6.9 in/45 x 52.8 x 17.5 cm
  • Weight: 12.5 lb/5.68 kg
  • Power supply: 241W

CPU Upgrades

  • none


Online Resources

Keywords: #imac

Short link: http://goo.gl/Ou3A58

searchwords: imacmid2014, imac2014, mid2014imac, 2014imac