Thunderbolt iMac: The Perfect Compromise

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As for aftermarket expansion, only the RAM sockets are user-accessible. The 21.5-inch model has two sockets for 1,333MHz DDR3 SO-DIMM modules, while the 27-inch iMac has four. Beyond that, it's best to consider the iMac's chassis sealed. Make sure you configure iMac with the SATA hard disk and SSD options you prefer at purchase time. To add storage you'll have to resort to USB or NAS, or wait a few months for Thunderbolt peripherals to appear. When Thunderbolt does show, if it lives up to specs, external storage will perform as well as, if not better than, internal drives.

For the majority of desktop users, iMac renders the black-box PC obsolete. Prior objections to iMac on performance grounds have been answered by Apple's engineers, who have created a machine that's not only convenient and loaded with extras, but easily rivals the performance of any single-processor, component-based desktop system you could build with a similar budget. Apple's re-engineered iMac could become a desktop staple among professionals and consumers alike.

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