I’ve now had my new 27” iMac for a couple months, so I think it’s time to give a short review. The screen is absolutely gorgeous. It is, bar none, the best computer display I’ve eve seen. It’s bright, sharp, and the colors are brilliant. It makes the two older Apple LCDs that straddle it seem dim and muddy, and I’ve always considered them to be good displays. Of course, it’s huge, which is fantastic for both Photoshop and World of Warcraft.
The iMac is fast. I beefed up the RAM and the graphics card, and I got the top-of-the-line processor, so I would expect it to be, but I think the Fusion Drive is making a big difference. That’s the hybrid drive that intelligently combines solid state storage with a standard mechanical drive, automatically moving the most often used files and applications onto the solid state portion for optimized performance. System startup and application launching is noticeably speedy.
There is no DVD drive. So far, this has not been a problem. I still have an iMac in the house with a DVD drive, and it’s set up to share it, so the one or two times that I’ve had to mount removable media have been a very minor annoyance.
The biggest issue was the removal of the Firewire ports. My Drobo was connected to the Mac Pro via Firewire, but it is now connected to one of the iMac’s USB ports. I’ve definitely observed a decrease in its performance, especially when starting iPhoto or when the screensaver kicks in and accesses my photo library on it. I also had an external Firewire hard drive that I’m currently not able to use.
Eventually, I hope to make more use of Thunderbolt, but it only has two of those ports, which are currently occupied by two 20” Apple Cinema Displays. So far, I haven’t seen any good options for a Thunderbolt hub. I’m sure there will be such a thing eventually, but they’ll likely be expensive.
In conclusion, I’m very happy with my purchase. I consider it to be a professional-grade machine, and I expect it to serve me well for the next four years or so.