Today, Apple announced changes to the iMac product line, with significant upgrades to the 27-inch model, a transition to 21.5-inch SSDs, and more performance at lower prices for the iMac Pro.
The 27-inch iMac still has a 5K screen, and the chassis is the same. Those who hope for a smaller framework will be disappointed. That said, Apple brings TrueTone to this screen, and it offers the same NanoTexture technology we’ve seen in the company’s Pro Display XDR as a $ 500 upgrade.
It’s also getting tenth-generation Comet Lake CPUs across all configurations, with 6- and 8-core CPUs standard. The top available CPU configuration is a 10-core Intel Core i9 with Turbo Boost up to 5GHz. 8 GB DDR4 at 2666MHz is still standard, but the maximum capacity you can configure when purchasing is doubled to 128 GB.
The new 27-inch iMac is equipped with AMD’s new Radeon Pro 5000 series graphics. Entry-level configurations have the Radeon Pro 5300, while the top standard configuration has the Radeon Pro 5500XT. There are also non-standard upgrade options for 5700 and 5700XT GPUs. The top GPU has 16 GB of video memory.
Apple claims up to 55% performance gains with these GPUs, which are based on AMD’s RDNA architecture and 7nm. Apple says GPUs have faster and more energy-efficient computers than their predecessors, and the 55% figure is based on Final Cut video editing, Cinema4D playback and Unity game development use.
Also, Fusion Drive’s time in the sun is over. The entire iMac line (including the 21.5-inch iMac, which otherwise has not seen any changes today) has only gone SSD storage. Standard configurations offer 256 GB or 512 GB SSDs, and upgrades are available up to 8 TB. Apple says that these drives have 3.4 GB / s read / write speeds.
When it comes to ports, we look at the same line in general. There are two differences: the card slot has moved UHS-II, and there is a 10 GB Ethernet option.
In a change we’d like to see on the 16-inch MacBook Pro, Apple has upgraded the front-facing FaceTime HD camera to 1080p, and some changes have been made to facilitate better low-light performance. As many people spend a lot of time on Zoom calls today, this was a clear focus – and related to this focus, Apple has also brought the same improved microphone system from the 16-inch MacBook Pro to the 27-inch iMac.
Like the MacBook Pro (and just about every other Mac today), the 27-inch iMac now has the T2 security chip, which is used for Secure Enclave and encrypted storage. Here there is also a camera ISP and audio controller.
Price points for the standard configurations are unchanged. Apple also made a change to the iMac Pro: 10-core CPU is now standard. Before, the 10-core was an optional upgrade, and the 8-core was the baseline.
The new iMac configurations are all available for online ordering from today, and Apple expects to start selling them in its stores by the end of this week.
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