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New iMac Specs in 2011: No USB 3.0, Does it matter?

Yesterday we confirmed that Apple had finally refreshed their new iMac models for 2011, with these new models came Apple / Intel Thunderbolt connectivity, however like the new MacBook Pros there was np USB 3.0 connectivity, what do you think about this?

Obviously Apple are going to push Thunderbolt technology now, however we expect compliant devices to be pretty expensive, whilst PC users will be able to buy more affordable USB 3.0 compatible devices.

A lot of USB 3.0 peripherals will probably be USB 2.0 compliant, but it will be much slower and there will undoubtedly be some devices which will require a USB 3.0 connection to work well. We think that there would have been no harm in Apple giving the new iMacs on or two less USB 2.0 ports and putting a single USB 3.0 port there instead.

To us it looks like Apple have no plans to ever support USB 3.0 on any of their devices, obviously Thunderbolt is a faster and more advanced technology, however for consumer ease it would have made sense not to snub the new USB tech.

Imagine you are working on video project in a few years time and you for some reason need to move large video files from your PC to your Mac at a different location, if you own a USB 3.0 external HDD you will have to endure USB 2.0 speeds when plugged into your Mac . Also if you buy yourself an external HDD which uses Thunderbolt there will be no way to plug it into your PC.

Obviously most Mac users don’t care about PC compatibility and vice versa PC users don’t care about Mac users, but by adding a USB 3.0 port they could have catered for everyone’s needs.

Does the lack of USB 3.0 connectivity put you off the new iMac?

Written by Jamie Pert

Jamie has a background in computer repairs and maintenance along with network administration, he now enjoys utilizing the benefits of new technologies and enjoys writing about anything that brings new technology to the world.

He began writing for Product Reviews in mid 2009 and has since expanded his knowledge across a wide-base of devices, he is looking to get more hands-on experience with new devices to gain a better understanding of the latest and greatest technologies.

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Ty K.TimothyRockyMiguelKeS Recent comment authors

It's stupid. In my office we use all macs but we have to always purchase mac pros as desktops to install third party usb 3 cards. USB 3 hard drives are cheap and fast (faster than firewire 800). We use them a lot and plan to buy more to support our growing backup needs. Whenever they get around to producing thunderbolt devices they will be heavily marked up because of the small market they will serve and will be much harder to find. Steve Jobs need to get over trying to control what technology I use. If I want to… Read more »


I agree with KeS, it’s a pity as I was going to go the iMac but there is no way I am going to purchase hardware that does not support common technologies like usb 3. Consumers want USB 3 wether its technically worse than Thunderbolt or not.
Wake up apple and stop dictating hardware based on what Steve thinks…
Please also please stop playing with Bluetooth in iPhones and iPad's, enable full support for A2DP etc so anyone's devices work. We don't always want your accessories and we must be allowed to choose.


In my household we have multiple Mac and Windows computers. We will be stuck using the old technology because it wouldn't make sense having things plug into one machine but not the other. I'm glad I have one of the old Macbook Pro with the Express Card slot. When I bought the Macbook Pro I bought it with the highest specs possible so at this time it works ok. I wouldn't buy another Mac computer unless they make it friendly to other devices.


Yes. This was the same issue when the first 17" MacBook Pro came out, it supported the new FW800 but not USB 2.0, dooming owners to incredibly slow USB 1.1 transfer speeds for the lifetime of the machine.

This isn't as bad, because I'm sure there will be a Thunderbolt- USB 3.0 adapter available (but can you boot from it?), but it is an annoyance and does affect my purchase plans.


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