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Apple iMac 27 inch 2012 preview: Core i7, GTX 680MX and Fusion Drive

The front looks about the same as the previous version. When you look at the 27-inch iMac (MD096B/A) from the side, it's a lot sleeker. The sides are thin, but the middle part where the base enters the chassis, the iMac is considerably thicker. From the front it looks the same as previous versions, except that the new one is less shiny.

Compared to the 21.5-inch iMac, it's easier to upgrade or replace the RAM. What's different here is that between where you plug in the power cord and the cooler grill, there's a small hatch. You open it with a button, and behind it are the four SO-DIMM memory slots so you can add more RAM. The iMac does not have a DVD burner.

The connectors consist of four USB 3.0 ports, two Thunderbolt connectors, a gigabit network port, a headphone jack and an SDXC card reader on the back. A webcame is built into the edge of the monitor. The high resolution of 2560x1440 pixels remains one of the unique qualities of the 27-inch iMac. In our previous review we looked at the display in-depth (opens in new tab).

There are quite a few different configurations of the 27-inch Apple iMac. The version we are looking at today is not a standard configuration, but one that you can put together yourself in the Apple Store.

The combination of an Intel Core i7 3770 (3.4 GHz quad-core, turbo to 3.9 GHz), 1TB Fusion Drive and Nvidia GeForce GTX 680MX increases the cost to £2,179 (opens in new tab) with the "crème de la creme" components adding another £1,000. That's a significant chunk of change, but it does give you a pretty impressive all-in-one computer.

The GTX 680MX is a GPU with 1536 CUDA cores, just like the standard GTX 680, but it runs at 719 MHz instead of the 1006 MHz that's standard for this chip. The card has 2GB of GDDR5 video memory that runs at 1.25 GHz (5 GHz), lower than the 1.5 GHz of the standard version. This is still a very fast GPU for an all-in-one PC.

We performed a number of gaming tests in Windows, and the results were a pleasant surprise. For example, Crysis 2 with Ultra settings and Full HD ran at 56.2 fps, while Skyrim achieved 83 fps with Ultra settings in Full HD. Battlefield 3 with settings on high and Full HD resolution scored 50.9 fps.

Here you really notice the power of the GTX 680MX. The rest of the benchmark scores you will find on the page with specifications. Check the rest of the review of the Apple 27in iMac all in one computer on (opens in new tab).