Apple has updated its entire iMac line with new Intel Core 2 Duo processors in every model and also launched a new 24-inch iMac.

The company claims its new processor offers up to 50 per cent faster performance than before. iMac prices now start at £679.

Apple also applied a minor upgrade across its Mac mini range.

24" iMac offers pro-sumer video power

The new 24-inch iMac features a 24-inch widescreen LCD display with a 1,920-x-1,200 pixel resolution that offers 30 per cent more screen real estate than the 20-inch model and a brighter display to make reading text and viewing images even easier.

The machine also offers the best graphics card of the bunch, an nVidia GeForce 7300 GT graphics with 128MB of GDDR3 memory. The 24-inch iMac could also be a video production powerhouse, with its huge screen. As such, Apple has added a FireWire 800 port to the machine. It is the only current iMac to offer that connectivity, there is also one Firewire 400 port (two FireWire ports exist across the rest of the range).

It includes a 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 4MB of shared L2 cache, 1GB of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM memory, a 250GB Serial ATA hard drive, and a SuperDrive. A 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor is available as a build-to-order option.

Faster, bigger, brighter

"Every iMac-from the £679 model up through the new dazzling 24-inch widescreen model now features blazing Core 2 Duo performance," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing. "And the new 24-inch widescreen iMac is the fastest, biggest and brightest iMac we've ever made."

The new iMac range includes four models: a 1.83GHz and a 2.0GHz 17-inch (£679 and £799) , a 2.16GHz 20-inch (£999) and the all-new 2.16GHz 24-inch iMac (£1,349).

The new 20-inch 2.16GHz iMac's features remain the same, except the model now includes a 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. The 17-inch iMac now features either a 1.83GHz or a 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor.

Additional features

The 24-inch model costs £1,349. Its features include:

- 1GB of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM expandable to 3GB;

- 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD+R DL/DVD+/-RW/CD-RW);

- PCI Express-based nVidia GeForce 7300 GT with 128MB GDDR3 memory;

- Built-in iSight video camera;

- AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR;

- 250GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7,200rpm;

- Mini-DVI out (adaptors for DVI, VGA and Composite/S-Video sold separately);

- Built-in stereo speakers and microphone;

- Infrared Apple Remote, Mighty Mouse and Apple Keyboard.