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Quad-Core iMacs with Thunderbolt, FaceTime Arrive

Apple's new desktops also feature the integration of the 'Sandy Bridge' processors from Intel

The new iMacs have arrived. The Apple store is back online after being down this morning in anticipation of the updated desktop systems sporting the first Thunderbolt port on a desktop, AMD Radeon HD graphics and an HD FaceTime camera.

The refresh also features the integration of the much-anticipated "Sandy Bridge" processors from Intel. The new iMacs come with quad-core Intel Core i5 processors with an option for customers to choose Core i7 processors up to 3.4 GHz.

"Our customers love the iMac's aluminum enclosure, gorgeous display and all-in-one design," Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, said in a statement filled with the company's typical bravado. "With next-generation quad-core processors, powerful new graphics, Thunderbolt technology and a FaceTime HD camera, we've made the world's best desktop even better."

It's widely suspected that the new iMacs will be the first line of "Lion-ready" desktops. But until OS X Lion debuts, Apple will only confirm that new iMacs are shipping with OS X Snow Leopard.

The new systems start from $1,199 for the 21.5-inch iMac to $1,999 for a 27-inch, 3.1 GHz machine with a one terabyte hard drive. Additional upgrades to the 3.4 GHz processor and two terabytes are also available through Apple's "configure-to-order" option.


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