The iMac “Core i7” 2.8 21.5-Inch Aluminum (Mid-2011) technically is a “configure-to-order” configuration of the iMac “Core i5” 2.7 21.5-Inch Aluminum (Mid-2011), but also is documented as a separate model for reader convenience. Other than processor (and the corresponding level 3 cache), these two models are identical.
The iMac “Core i7” 2.8 21.5-Inch Aluminum (Mid-2011) is powered by a Quad Core 2.8 GHz Intel “Core i7” I7-2600S (Sandy Bridge) processor with a dedicated 256k level 2 cache for each core and a 8 MB shared level 3 cache. In lieu of a system bus, it has a “Direct Media Interface” (DMI) that “connects between the processor and chipset” at 5 GT/s.
If only the processor is customized, it is configured with 4 GB of RAM (1333 MHz PC3-10600 DDR3 SDRAM), a 1 TB (7200 RPM) hard drive, a vertically-mounted slot-loading DVD�R DL “SuperDrive”, and AMD Radeon HD 6770M graphics with 512 MB of dedicated GDDR5 memory.
It also has a built-in “FaceTime HD” video camera and built-in stereo speakers underneath the 21.5″ glossy 16:9 LED-backlit TFT Active Matrix LCD (1920×1080 native) display “with IPS technology”.
Connectivity includes four USB 2.0 ports, a Firewire “800” port, built-in AirPort Extreme, Gigabit Ethernet, and an SDXC card slot as well as a single “Thunderbolt” port that is backwards compatible with Mini DisplayPort and, likewise, supports an external display up to 30″ (2560×1600). Thunderbolt also supports other peripherals that use the Thunderbolt standard which provides up to 10 Gbps of bandwidth in both directions.
Externally, the “Mid-2011” iMac line uses the same “edge-to-edge” glass design and “seamless all aluminum enclosure” as the “Mid-2010” models that came before them. Internally, however, the “Mid-2011” line is equipped with faster processors and faster graphics processors, as well as the aforementioned external improvements of a higher resolution (and wider angle) webcam and Thunderbolt port.