Apple has unveiled an update to the 27-inch iMac for back-to-school, with 10th generation Intel processors, SSD storage across the board, improved graphics, and Apple’s T2 chip.
Unveiled on Tuesday, the 27-inch iMac update now eschews the “iMac 5K” branding, and is a specifications bump, and not the long-rumored redesign. The update includes 10th generation processors, starting with a 3.1 GHz six-core i5 processor with boosts up to 4.5 GHz, ranging to a 3.8 GHz, 8-core i7 processor with boosts up to 5.0 GHz. A 10-core 3.6 GHz i9 upgrade is possible, also with boosts up to 5.0 GHz.
Apple claims that when compared to the previous-generation 8-core 27-inch iMac, the new iMac delivers:
- Up to 65 percent more plug-ins in Logic Pro X.
- Up to 40 percent faster 8K ProRes transcode in Final Cut Pro X.
- Up to 35 percent faster rendering with Arnold in Autodesk Maya.
- Up to 25 percent faster build time in Xcode.
The i5 models are limited to the Radeon Pro 5300 chipset, with 4GB of GDDR6 RAM. The upgraded i7 and i9 models come standard with the Radeon Pro 5500 XT chipset with 8GB of GDDR6 memory. Furthermore, the upgraded models can be upgraded to the Radeon Pro 5700 with 8GB of GDDR6 memory for an additional $300, or the Radeon 5700 XT with 16GB of GDDR6 memory for $500.
Hard drive-based Fusion drives have been removed from the 27-inch iMac. Storage is 256GB of SSD storage on the low-end, with 512GB available on the mid-range and high-end models. Upgrades up to 8TB are available.
The Nano Texture glass is a $500 upgrade from the base cost of the iMac. A 10-gig Ethernet upgrade is also available for $100.
While the 27-inch iMac retains the same resolution, the display now features Apple’s True Tone technology. Additionally, there is a Nano Texture glass option, that was first introduced on the Pro Display XDR. Apple says that the coating results in “extremely low reflectivity and less glare while maintaining stellar image quality and contrast.”
Furthermore, the new 27-inch iMac has a 1080p FaceTime camera, versus the 720p on the previous model. As with the MacBook Pro, the T2 processor handles not just security on the 27-inch iMac, but also audio processing.
The ports on the rear of the machine remain the same, with four Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB 3.2 type A ports, a SD card reader, the Ethernet port, and a headphone jack. Wireless connectivity is also unchanged, with 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 5.0.
The 27-inch iMac refresh is available for order now. Prices range from $1799 for the i5 iMac 5K on the low end, and $2299 for the iMac 5K with i7 processor without upgrades. A completely maxed-out i9 model with the Nano Texture glass, 8TB of SSD storage, and 128GB of RAM retails for $8799 with the vast majority of that cost in RAM and SSD.