Apple refreshes its iMac line

Apple's consumer desktops have received faster processors and better graphics cards, which may only add momentum to a product line analysts are saying may finally be stealing market share from Vista.

In fact, Apple credits the iMac as contributing to the ability for the company to grow its overall computer business at a rate of almost three times the industry average: Apple reported a 51 percent increase in computer sales last quarter.

This fast growth has also equaled increasing market share as NPD says that the Mac is now accounting for about 17 percent of all US PC sales.

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A 6MB L2 cache and 1066 MHz front side bus is now standard across the line. On the 24-inch model, customers are able to select a 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and a NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS graphics card as a build-to-order option.

Built-in 802.11n networking, Bluetooth, Firewire, USB 2.0, and Ethernet port are also standard on all iMacs, as well as iLife '08, which includes the company's suite of digital lifestyle applications, including iPhoto, iMovie, and iTunes.

As usual, Apple is offering three different models for customers to choose from. The base model retails for $1,199 and includes a 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 1 GB of RAM, 250 GB hard drive, and ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT with 128 MB GDDR3 memory.

The mid-range model at $1,499 includes a 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo chip, 2 GB of RAM, 320 GB hard drive, and a ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256 MB GDDR3 memory.

Finally, the top-of-the-line model has the same feature set as the mid-range, except for the addition of a 2.8 GHz Core 2 Duo processor. That model retails for $1,799.

In addition to the build-to-order options listed above, consumers can select up to a 1 TB hard drive, 4 GB of RAM, as well as pre-installed software and wireless mouse and keyboard.

All models are available immediately, the company said.

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