Yesterday Apple introduced its first Sandy Bridge based iMacs. Thanks to @siromega I was pointed at iFixit's teardown of the new 21.5-inch iMac, which pointed out that the new system is actually first to use Intel's Z68 chipset - ahead of Intel's official launch of the chipset.


mage courtesy iFixit

It's a unique choice for Apple given that Z68 incorporates features that Apple doesn't seem to use in the new iMac (SSD caching, overclocking). But perhaps we will eventually see Apple embrace SSD caching in future models?

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  • pubjoe - Friday, May 6, 2011 - link

    I thought the whole point of quicksync was that you did not need a monitor connected to both GPUs - that it can make use of IGP features without having to physically switch cables etc. Otherwise, what would be the point of the technology?
  • Kristian Vättö - Friday, May 6, 2011 - link

    Unfortunately, it does not work that way.

    From Sandy Bridge review:

    "There’s just one hangup to all of this Quick Sync greatness: it only works if the processor’s GPU is enabled. In other words, on a desktop with a single monitor connected to a discrete GPU, you can’t use Quick Sync."

    You need switchable graphics such as Virtu or Synergy to take advantage of QS with dGPU and one monitor.
  • pubjoe - Friday, May 6, 2011 - link

    Ah. Thanks for explaining. That is a shame.
  • Breit - Thursday, May 5, 2011 - link

    i thought apple users never know what their hardware actually does or how it works, they'll just use it and are creative with it... ;)
  • ltcommanderdata - Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - link

    I thought Z68's other big feature was QuickSync support even when using a discrete GPU as the primary output. Hardware accelerated encoding would definitely be something that would appeal to Apple. Hopefully support will be incorporated into QuickTime X and iTunes in Lion if not sooner.
  • KDN - Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - link

    There is a new process running in the latest Lion that might have something to do with caching, don't remember the exact name as it pops up every now and then.(I have the latest 11" MBA). The process takes up a lot of resources when new discs are connected to the system and accessing the subfolders of that external drive feels a lot snappier on Lion than on my iMac with SL. When the disc is disconnected it looks like this on my desktop.
  • Ammaross - Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - link

    They're likely just caching the folder hierarchy in RAM. Accessing subfolders on EXT2/3/4 in Linux (especially using a GUI) is/was a fairly slow ordeal. Perhaps they're just trying to speed up the process?
  • tipoo - Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - link

    So OSX is getting Superfetch?
  • Will Robinson - Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - link

  • michael2k - Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - link

    It's there if you try to customize an iMac. It's not available at the lowest price point, but all the other models have it.

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