Apple has introduced its new breed of iMac, decked-out with Intel Core 2 Duo processors running at up to 3.06GHz that are equipped with 6MB L2 cache and offer a significant speed hike in the front side bus, which reaches 1,066MHz across the range.

The new models have faster CPUs across the board and now peak out at 3.06GHz on the top-end 24in model; which also features NVIDIA's new GeForce 8800 GS graphics card. As with the latest range of MacBooks, the new iMacs can support up to 4GB of memory, although 2GB of RAM comes as standard. Other models in the range feature faster CPUs but retain the ATI Radeon graphics cards.

“The iMac’s gorgeous aluminium and glass all-in-one design has been an incredible hit with our customers and is just one of the reasons Mac sales are growing three and a half times faster than PC sales,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing. “With the latest Intel processors, a faster new graphics option and more memory, customers now have even more reasons to love the iMac.”

These iMacs support up to 4GB of 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM memory (shipping with 2GB pre-installed in most models). AirPort Extreme, iLife 08, Leopard, Bluetooth, Gigabit Ethernet; built-in iSight video cameras; a total of five USB 2.0 ports (including two on the Apple Keyboard); and one FireWire 400 and one FireWire 800 port also feature in this edition.

Addressing environmental concerns, Apple said: “The iMac furthers Apple’s commitment to environmental progress with highly recyclable and durable materials including scratch-resistant glass and professional grade aluminium. Every model in the iMac line is rated EPEAT Silver and the power-efficient iMac also meets the stringent Energy Star 4.0 requirements for power consumption. Customers who purchase any qualifying Apple computer can recycle their old PC or Mac for free via the Apple Recycling Program.”

Model Specifications

20-inch 2.4 GHz iMac

£799, includes:
• 20-inch widescreen LCD display;
• 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with a 1,066 MHz front-side bus;
• 1GB of 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM expandable to 4GB;
• 250GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
• a slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
• ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT with 128MB GDDR3 memory;
• mini-DVI out (adapters for DVI, VGA and Composite/S-Video sold separately);

20-inch 2.4 GHz iMac

£949, includes:
• 20-inch widescreen LCD display;
• 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with a 1,066 MHz front-side bus;
• 2GB of 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM expandable to 4GB;
• 320GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
• a slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
• ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB GDDR3 memory;
• mini-DVI out (adapters for DVI, VGA and Composite/S-Video sold separately);

24-inch 2.8 GHz iMac

£1,149, includes:
• 24-inch widescreen LCD display;
• 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with a 1,066 MHz front-side bus;
• 2GB of 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM expandable to 4GB;
• 320GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
• a slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
• ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB GDDR3 memory;
• mini-DVI out (adapters for DVI, VGA and Composite/S-Video sold separately);

Build-to-order options and accessories include: a 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, up to 4GB DDR2 SDRAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS with 512MB of video memory and up to a 1TB Serial ATA hard drive on the 24-inch iMac; up to 4GB DDR2 SDRAM and up to 750GB Serial ATA hard drive on the 2.66 GHz 20-inch iMac; and up to 4GB of DDR2 SDRAM and up to 500GB Serial ATA hard drive on the 2.4 GHz 20-inch iMac.

The UK Apple Store also lists a 24-inch iMac configured with a 3.06GHz processor, 2GB memory, 500GB hard drive and an Nvidia GeForce 8800 GS with 512MB of dedicated video memory. This costs £1,389.