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New iMac with PCIe Flash Storage

Apple today quietly announced an updated iMac featuring hyper-fast PCIe flash based storage.

Hits

The upgrades are welcome, particularly the PCIe flash storage.

  • The iMac now has PCIe-based flash memory instead of the prior SATA-based flash. Which means 2X to 4X the drive performance, assuming Apple configures a high speed module that can deliver.
  • Faster graphics (which means of zero significance for most uses and users).

Misses

  • Same intransigence as before in not offering a separate PCIe SSD flash module and hard drive combination (the Fusion option is a measly 128GB flash and still has no 4TB drive option, so neither performance nor capacity can be optimized, fine for everday use, unappealing for serious use).
  • Same inadequate number of Thunderbolt ports (2) and USB 3 ports (4). These fill up fast, especially USB 3 ports.

Recommendations

Note: For high performance users, opt for the faster Intel Core i7 CPU along with the 1TB PCIe flash storage so that you can optimize your Photoshop or Lightroom or similar workflow.

OWC has big savings over the Apple memory options for the 2013 iMac (memory is super easy to install in the iMac).

MPG recommends the OWC 32GB upgrade kit for iMac, but there are also 16GB, 24GB and 32GB memory kits for the late 2013 iMac.

Press release

Useful portions.

September 24, 2013 08:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time

CUPERTINO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apple® today updated iMac® with fourth generation Intel quad-core processors, new graphics, next generation Wi-Fi and faster PCIe flash storage options.

The updated iMac brings the latest technology to the stunningly thin design and gorgeous display of the world’s leading all-in-one desktop.

...

The high-end 21.5-inch model and both 27-inch models feature quad-core Intel Core i5 processors up to 3.4 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce 700 series graphics with twice the video memory and up to 40 percent faster performance than the previous generation.* Customers looking for the ultimate in performance can upgrade to quad-core Intel Core i7 processors up to 3.5 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M series graphics with up to 4GB of video memory.

iMac now supports next generation 802.11ac Wi-Fi. When connected to an 802.11ac base station, iMac delivers wireless performance that is up to three times faster than the previous generation.

The updated iMac now features support for PCIe-based flash storage that makes Fusion Drive and all-flash storage options up to 50 percent faster than the previous generation.* The popular Fusion Drive option combines the large storage capacity of a hard drive with the high performance of flash to deliver shorter boot times and faster access to apps and files. Customers can configure their iMac with a 1TB or 3TB Fusion Drive, and all-flash storage options are now available in configurations up to 1TB.

iMac comes standard with 8GB of memory and a 1TB hard drive, and customers can choose to configure their iMac with up to 32GB of memory and up to a 3TB hard drive. iMac also comes with two Thunderbolt and four USB 3.0 ports for connecting to external storage and other high performance peripherals.

 

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