Apple 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMacs (Mid 2010) full review - Page 2

Some customers who bought a late 2009 iMac complained of yellow-tinted displays. To see if the new iMacs had similar problems, we used a yellow-tint test created by a reader at MacRumors. We weren’t able to notice a tint or colour shift with the week-old iMacs in our lab, nor did we notice anything wrong when we tested our older 27-inch 2.66GHz Core i5 iMac from late 2009. We also looked for light leakage on the iMac display, and in our testing, it was more noticeable on our 27-inch 2.8GHz Core i5 - though it was only noticeable with a solid black desktop and not enough to affect everyday use for general users. We could barely notice any light leakage with the other new iMacs.

If you’re still holding out hope for an iMac with a non-glossy screen, I hate to tell you this, but it’s time to move on. The new iMacs all have a glass front, which creates a glossy effect with the screen. Apple seems to like this particular iMac design, and an anti-glare screen isn’t in the company’s plans. I’ve had different iMac models on my desk for quite some time now and I’ve adapted, but if you can’t figure out how to cope with the glare and reflections, you’ll have to consider another Mac model.

Customisation options

As usual, when you buy from the Apple Store, you can customise your order. There are a few customization options available that are very interesting and ones you’ll want to consider. 

For £160, the top-of-the-line iMac can be upgraded to a quad-core 2.93GHz Core i7 processor, which supports Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost. Macworld has yet to see the new Core i7-equipped iMac, but we are working on getting one and testing it to see how much of a performance boost it provides. If it’s anything like the boost provided in the previous Core i7 iMac, the extra £160 will be well worth it.

With the two 3.2GHz Core i3 (Hyper-Threading only) iMac models, you can upgrade the processor to a 3.6GHz Core i5 for £160. This dual-core Core i5 has both Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost support.

Apple iMac

The 27-inch iMacs now have the option for solid-state drives (SSD). You can opt to use a 256GB SSD instead of a hard drive for £480. What’s more interesting is that the 27-inch iMac has a second storage bay, and Apple now lets you install a 1TB hard drive and a 256GB SSD for £600, or a 2TB hard drive and a 256GB SSD for £720.

SSDs offer a significant performance boost over hard drives, but over the long haul, SSDs can have problems with deleted files that cause performance degradation. Mac OS X lacks the TRIM support that can help fix this problem, so some SSDs have over-provisioning, which sets aside some of the SSD’s capacity to replace bad blocks and for general maintenance and housekeeping tasks. We’re not sure if the SSDs Apple uses have over-provisioning. If you do decide to go with a hard drive and SSD, consider installing the OS and applications on the SSD and storing your files to the hard drive.

Since Apple leaves two memory slots open, you might think about filling those slots with more memory. As for this writing, Crucial sells a pair of 2GB SO-DIMMs for $100, not including shipping. OWC sells a similar upgrade for $118 before shipping. However, if you upgrade to 8GB (four 2GB SO-DIMMs) from the 4GB standard when you buy an iMac from the Apple Store, you’ll pay an additional $200 (£160). Adding memory to an iMac is an upgrade the user can easily perform, so you’ll save a few dollars if you shop for third-party memory. Adding your own memory may affect the warranty, so check with the third-party if the warranty is of concern.

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