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Apple iMac

Apple Updates the iMac Line

Today Apple unveiled a new 27-inch iMac as well as updating the 21.5-inch iMac and iMac Pro with a couple of minor changes. Let us start with the 21.5-inch iMac.

21.5-inch iMac

The 21.5-inch iMac has received a minor change, all of the models will now come with an SSD standard. Previously the 21.5-inch iMac would come with a 1TB 5400-RPM spinning hard drive. That is now a thing of the past and the default storage is 256GB SSD. The base 21.5-inch iMac is configurable with a 1TB Fusion drive. The price does not change.

The two Retina 4K models of the 21.5-inch iMac also come with 256GB standard, but you can configure them with the same 1TB Fusion drive, again with a price change. You can also choose a 512GB or 1TB SSD, which was available previously.

This is the only change for the 21.5-inch iMac, but it is good to see Apple finally change the default storage to be SSD on the 21.5-inch iMacs. Next, let us look at the changes for the iMac Pro

iMac Pro

The iMac Pro is Apple’s professional iMac and is designed for those who need to have workstation-class hardware, including error-checking and correcting (ECC) RAM. The iMac Pro now comes with a 3.0GHZ 10-Core processor as the default. This is still the Intel W line of processors. This is the only change for the iMac Pro, but one that is welcome by those who can utilize the power of the iMac Pro. Finally, let us look at the 27-inch iMac.

27-inch iMac

The 27-inch iMac has had the same general design since its introduction in 2012. These are great machines and they can last for a while, but there have been some changes that will be welcomed by users.

Processor Changes

The 27-inch iMac has seen a much bigger change. It now comes with the 10th Generation Intel processors. The available options are a 3.1GHz 6-core, 3.3GHz 6-core, 3.8GHz 8-core, and a brand new 3.6GHz 10-core processor. The 10-core option is entirely new and it is the first time a 10-core option has been available on the iMac. Along with the processor that has been a change to some other aspects of the 27-inch iMac.

Audio/Video Changes

The first of this changes is the new 1080p FaceTime camera. This is a vast improvement over the 720p version that has been present in the iMacs for a while. This is a great upgrade, particularly since we are spending more and more time communicating over the internet instead of face to face. While you are on that conference call, you can use the upgraded speakers. These are now a higher fidelity than before. This includes EQ balancing and deeper bass sounds. Better speakers are great for you to hear others, but now others should be able to hear you a bit better with the improved microphones. These are similar to the “Studio Quality” microphones that are on the 16-inch MacBook Pro. All of this is powered by the new T2 chips that is inside the iMac.

Security Changes

The T2 is Apple’s security chip that is designed to provide not only the features above, but also provide security for Apple’s operating systems, particularly for macOS Big Sur, which will be available this fall. When using your iMac you will be getting an SSD. The base model starts at 256GB, but there are models that support 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, and a new 8TB option. The biggest change though is to the glass.

New Display Option

The 27-inch iMac started off as a 1080p display when it was introduced. In 2014 Apple introduced a retina version of the iMac. The 27-Inch model included a 5K Retina screen. The 5K screen changed the game for desktop Macs, because you were able to have significant amount of screen real-estate to really be able to organize your computer and be productive. The 27-inch iMac now comes with True Tone technology, which will automatically adjust the color of the screen depending on lighting conditions. This is not new technology as it is available on iPhones and iPads, but this is the first time it is available on the iMac.

True Tone is not the only change to the display, today Apple is introducing a new display option for the 27-inch iMac, the Nano-Texture display.

Nano-Texture Display

The Nano-Texture display is a display that is based on Apple’s Pro Display XDR technology. The Nano-Texture display should be able to reduce glare and will work well in environments where you cannot control the lighting. From Apple’s 27-inch iMac Purchase page:

While both the standard glass and nano-texture glass options of iMac are engineered for extremely low reflectivity, it helps to consider your work environment when deciding which one is right for you.

If you’re in an especially uncontrolled lighting environment, there’s an innovative matte option with nano-texture glass. Typical matte displays have a coating added to their surface that scatters light. However, these coatings lower contrast while producing unwanted haze and sparkle. The nano-texture on iMac is actually etched into the glass at the nanometer level. The result is a screen with beautiful image quality that maintains contrast while scattering light to reduce glare to the barest minimum.

The Nano-Texture screen will cost an additional $500, however if you know you need this type of display it may be well worth the price. Additionally, since this is similar to

Closing Thoughts

The updates to the 21.5-inch iMac as well as the iMac Pro are minor updates, but they are ones that will be welcome, most particularly SSDs now being standard across the line. The 27-inch iMac is the machine that got the most upgrades, including a new 10-core processor option, as well as the the new FaceTime 1080p camera, improved microphones and better speakers are all great improvements. The biggest change is the new Nano-Texture display available on the 27-inch iMac. While it is not for everyone, for those who need it, it is likely to be a great upgrade. All of the updates are available in orders today, however the Nano-Texture screen will take a bit longer to ship.

Source: Apple.com

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Apple iMac

Apple releases updated iMacs

Following yesterday’s announcement of a new iPad Air and a new iPad mini, Apple has released some updated iMacs. Apple has three different iMacs in their line of All-in-one desktops and all of them got updated, or some new configuration options.

Following yesterday’s announcement of a new iPad Air and a new iPad mini, Apple has released some updated iMacs. Apple has three different iMacs in their line of All-in-one desktops and all of them got updated, or some new configuration options. Let us start with the 21.5-inch iMac.

21.5-inch iMac

The 21.5-inch iMac has received some new 8th generation Intel processors. The iMac 4K, has a quad-core 3.6GHz Core i3 or a 3.0GHz 6-core Intel Core i5. Either model is configurable to a 3.2GHz 6-core Intel Core i7. This is the first time that a 6-core processors have been available on the 21.5-inch iMac.

The 4K iMac still comes with 8GB of memory, but this is a bit faster at 2666MHz. There is one additional change to the memory. It can still be configured with 16GB, but now you can also continue it with 32GB of memory.

The graphics have been slightly improved form the Radeon Pro 555 to the Radeon Pro 555X. The higher end 4K model comes with a Radeon Pro 560X with 4GB of VRAM, but can be configured with a Radeon Pro Vega 20, if you choose.

The storage options for the 21.5-inch iMac remains the same, with the lower-end model coming with a 1TB 5400RPM hard drive. The higher-end model comes with a 1TB Fusion drive. You can configure either model with a 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB SSD. This is a slight change to the previous models were not able to get anything more than a 512GB SSD.

The prices for the 21.5-inch iMac have not changed, so it still starts at $1299, and the higher end-model starts $1499. Let us look at the 27-inch iMac.

27-inch iMac

The 27-inch iMac also got some nice upgrades as well. There are three different base configurations for the 27-inch iMac. The 27-inch iMac has received 9th generation Intel Processors for the iMac.

All three models have 6-core Intel Core i5. processors. The speeds start are 3.0GHz, 3.1GHz, and 3.7GHz, respectively. The two higher-end models can be configured for a 3.6GHz 8-Core i9 processor, if desired.

All three 27-inch iMac Models come with 8GB of 2666MHz of RAM. The configuration options remain the same, at 16GB or 32GB for all models, and the two higher-end models can be configured with 64GB of memory.

The 27-inch iMacs still come with the same storage options, meaning they come with 1TB or 2TB fusion drives. All of them can be configured with a 2TB Fusion drive, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB SSD. The two higher-end models can also be configured with a 3TB Fusion drive, and the highest model can be configured with a 2TB SSD.

The graphics on the models have been improved to the Radeon Pro 579X, 575X, and 580X respectively. The highest-end model can be configured with a Radeon Pro Vega 48, which includes 8GB of Video Memory.

Just as with the 21.5-inch iMac, the base price of the 27-inch iMac models have not changed. They still start at $1799, $1999, and $2299 respectively.

There have been some last configuration options, and those are with the iMac Pro.

iMac Pro

The iMac Pro is the best all-in-one desktop Mac that you can buy. It is designed for users who know that they need the amount of power is provided by the iMac Pro. There have been a couple of additional configuration options made available for the iMac Pro.

The iMac Pro can now come configured with a Radeon Pro Vega 64X. The 64X comes with 16GB OF HBM2 memory. The 64X can handle 12 teraflops of single precision and 24 teraflops of half-precision. This is a slight improvement over the Radeon Pro 64.

There is one last configuration option available for the iMac Pro. You can now configure an iMac Pro with 256GB of memory. Doing so will cost you $5200, which is more than the base price of the iMac Pro. If you know that you need 256GB of memory, it is now an option available for you.

Other Thoughts

I normally do not have many thoughts regarding a spec bump on a product. However, I do have some thoughts regarding the 21.5-inch iMac. My thoughts are specifically about the storage options.

The base model of 21.5-inch 4K iMac comes with a 1TB spinning hard drive. To me, this is no longer acceptable as an option. I get that there needs to be some differentiation for pricing, and there is some with the quad-core Core i3, and the 3.0GHz 6-core Core i5, which is between the two models.

The biggest problem with this 1TB hard drive is that it is 5400 RPM. Apple charges $100 for a 1TB fusion drive upgrade. To me, the 21.5-inch 4K iMac should come with 1TB Fusion drive. I completely understand not having 2TB be the base, but the 5400RPM hard drive is really slow, particularly if you need to do anything that is disk intensive, like running a virtual machine, or transferring a number of files all at once.

I get that having an all SSD model is not feasible, with the current design, but there is no reason that a Fusion drive could not be used. Having a Fusion drive would got a long way to providing the best experience possible.

Final Thoughts

The specification bumps to the iMac line are solid upgrades. The inclusion of the 8th Generation Intel Processors in the 21.5-inch 4K iMac, and the 9th Generation Intel Processors in the 27-inch iMac will result in even better performance.

If you are in the market of an iMac, now is a great time to buy that new iMac. IF you are in the market for an iMac Pro and can use either the Radeon Pro Vega 64X, or 256GB of memory, you can now configure a model with even more options.

All of the iMac models, and iMac Pro configuration options, are available now.

Source: Apple