Architecture within the Mac domain deals with different aspects of the Mac, the network, the internal workings of the Mac and several other key areas.
Within this series of articles, we will explore a number of these and then combine them all into a single picture to show how Mac’s can be incorporated, integrated, used, (abused) and leveraged within business or corporate environments.
At Aquafruit, we spend a lot of time designing, deploying and maintaining networks and IT environments. Within these environments, we see more and more Mac’s being used as a prominent replacement or compliment to the windows environment. (Actually, depending on a specific clients needs, sometimes it’s more the other way around. Windows complementing the Mac environment).
Either way, both Mac and Windows co-exist together peacefully, gracefully and with minimal issues.
On the last Apple keynote, a preview of the new iMac – to be released in November 2012 was demonstrated. It’s sleek, just 5 millimetres at the edge, packs a powerhouse of computing goodies inside and is just damn sexy. The iMac brings to the desktop a single footprint of core computing architecture that is – simply – awesome and, according to Apple, the iMac is the number 1 desktop within the USA.
So, what makes the iMac a great desktop computer. How about the below :
Design: With 40% less volume and just 5 millimetres at the edge (thicker at the back) – it brings to the desktop an experience that is hard to beat. Wireless keyboard, mouse and networking compliment the beautiful look and feel of a powerhouse. The look of the new iMac is stunning to say the least, but there is more than just good looks.
Features: The display – is a backlit LED display. It’s crisp, clear, and easy to look at. With IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology at it’s best, the view is uniformly bright, has excellent, vivid, true to life colour (with individual machine calibration) that is rich and vibrant and it makes every image come to life.
One of the biggest issues with the current generation of iMac screen is glare or reflection from the screen. The new iMac has a 75% reduction in reflection due to the new screen which contains an antireflective coating applied using a method called “plasma deposition”.
Plasma disposition involves coating the glass of the iMac with layers of silicon dioxide and niobium pentoxide. It’s applied in measurements of atoms and is used in camera lenses and fighter pilot helmets. The result. Stunning. ( http://www.apple.com/imac/design/ )
The CPU: Using Intel’s 3rd generation Core processors, the new iMac is a powerhouse. With the choice of either an i5 or i7 quad core processor – built on the ivy bridge architecture – with turbo boost 2.0 up to 3.9GHZ, the amount of processing power within the iMac is formidable. On the Core i7 – Mac OS X can also leverage Hyper Threading allowing two threads to run on each core – simultaneously.
Memory: Coupled with a standard offering of 8GB of Ram, the end result, – blistering speed, eight virtual cores of processing power, large amounts of memory and a better overall experience.
Speed: The IO (input, output) on the new iMac’s are up to date as well. With USB3, Thunderbolt, GB ethernet and more the iMac is a powerhouse of connectivity in one simple sexy machine. Thunderbolt brings to the average user – transfer speeds that are normally reserved for large businesses, data centres and high end server infrastructure. With transfer speed of up to 10GB Thunderbolt adds to the Mac architecture – server rated speed – for a faction of the cost.
As quoted by Intel ” Transforming device interconnectivity, Thunderbolt™ technology is a dual protocol I/O innovation that dramatically increases transfer performance with bi-directional 10Gbps speed and offers daisy chaining to multiple devices, providing flexibility and simplicity for innovative, thin system designs like laptops and Ultrabooks™.”
Because Thunderbolt is also built on display port technology, Thunderbolt also allows for daisy chained connectivity for monitors and displays to the latest Apple iMac. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but what this now means is that you can connect two or more external monitors up to an iMac using Thunderbolt.
Graphics: Historically, Mac’s have been used within the design and photography industries for their good looks as much as their performance. Using the latest technology from NVIDIA and AMD, the iMac now uses NVIDIA’s new Keplar graphics architecture to deliver up to 60% more performance than the previous generation.
Hard Drives: Solid State Drives (SSD) and the new Apple Fusion drives bring the architecture of the iMac well into the mainstream computing needs of anyone – whether individual, corporate, power user or other. With speeds of up to 500MB per second using SSD and close to that using Apples new Fusion Drive, the new iMac packs a punch worthy of the fastest desktops.
The Environment: As important as always, the architecture of the new iMac not only makes it more energy and desktop space efficient, but it is also made up of components that are highly recyclable, toxin free and friendly to the environment. In Apple’s words “More energy efficient, Friendly to the environment and Highly Rated (ePeat GOLD 5.2 rating) designs“. (http://www.apple.com/imac/design/)
How does this help me?
An iMac is a great machine and with the latest OS X operating system on board it bring to the corporate and home environments everything you need from a desktop computer. A robust computer that is intuitive, easy to use, fast, efficient and best of all, a fantastic user experience.
From here we will examine how the Mac sits within a series of different corporate, small and large business environments and the average home. This will include several real world examples, best practice, solution driven (where needed) and technical information (for the support people out there.) In addition to this we will look at how the iMac bring a return on investment to the corporate/enterprise environments and how it fit’s into the IT lifecycle.