Tag: 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

Mid-2017 iMac: A Review

The original Mac was unveiled in 1984, which makes it 33 years old. One of the most iconic Macs has been the iMac. The iMac debuted 19 years ago, in 1998. While there have been a number of form factors throughout the ages, the iMacs overall design has remained unchanged. The iMac has become more svelte as it has aged. The internals have improved significantly over the time. The latest iteration of the iMac if the Mid-2017 iMac.

Given the maturity and longevity of the iMac it is difficult to review the latest hardware, but I shall give it my best shot.

My Mac History

The Mid-2017 iMac is not my first iMac. It is actually my third. My first iMac was a 20-inch 2007 iMac with a 250GB hard drive, running an Intel Core 2 Duo at 2.16GHz, and 3GB of memory. My second iMac was a Mid-2011 iMac with a 1TB hard drive, running an Intel Sandy Bridge at 2.7GHz, and has 12GB of memory. Each of these purchases were done at an Apple Store. This means that they were stock models. The memory was added afterwards. The models that Apple has at the store are the stock models. These are not customized in anyway. The Apple stores generally have different tiers, and these are available at the stores, however there are no customizations at the store. For these purchases, the reason I ended up going with these comes down to price.

Each of the iMacs I bought had a larger version, the 24-inch and 27-inch models respectively. In the case of the 2007 iMac, it was my first Mac, so I did not want to spend too much on my first Mac, just in case. For the 2011 iMac, I would have liked to have purchased the 27-inch model, but I could not justify the cost.

When looking to purchase a new iMac, I did some calculations about the length of time that I have kept my Macs. This came to 6.03 years. I knew it was time to look at getting a new iMac. This information played into my consideration of which model to purchase.

The Screen

The Mid-2017 iMac that I purchased is the top of the line 27-inch model. The iMac maintains the same form-factor as the 2014 and 2015 Models. It sports a 5K Retina Monitor. The difference with this year’s iMac is that it has a 500 nit display. This display is 43% brighter than the previous models. For me, the difference is easily noticeable when compared to my 2011 iMac.

One of the biggest features of this display is also available in the 2015 model and that is Display P3 color gamut. The Display P3 color gamut allows more colors to be shown. The 2017 model is slightly better in that it can do just a few more colors than the old model.

When a color is displayed on a computer, it is made up of three primary colors, Red, Green, and Blue. On most screens, each of these is capable of having one of 256 values, or 8 bits.. This results in the ability to display 16.7 Million colors.

The 2017 iMac is capable of 10-bit color, or 1024 different values for each color, Red, Green, and Blue. This means that it is capable of 1.07 Billion colors. So just a few more colors than before.

Ports

One of the biggest changes for the Mid-2017 iMac is the the ports that are on the machine. The 2017 iMac has traditional USB-A ports. These are USB 3 ports. The old Thunderbolt 2 ports have been removed in favor of the new Thunderbolt 3 ports. Thunderbolt 3 ports are compatible with USB 3.1 ports, or more commonly known as USB-C. The USB-C connector is the new standard for many computers, not just Macs. You can still use Thunderbolt 2 accessories with an adapter.

There is a standard ethernet adapter. The beloved SD Card slot and headphone jack are still present as well.

Keyboard

One of the more recent changes to the iMac line is the inclusion of the Magic Keyboard. The Magic Keyboard differs greatly from the old-style keyboard. There are a couple of major differences. The biggest is that it no longer requires batteries and instead uses a rechargeable battery. The method in which it connects is still bluetooth, but you pair via an included lightning cable.

The keyboard switches in the Magic Keyboard have less distance to travel, compared to the older style keyboards. These switches make the keyboard a little bit noisier than before. I purchased a Magic Keyboard for use with my old iPad Pro but I don’t use my keyboard with my iPad as much as my iMac. I have become accustom to typing on the Magic Keyboard and now typing on an old keyboard, like that on my MacBook Pro is definitely a bit of an adjustment to go back to the old keyboard.

Remote Disc

One of the trends with modern computers is the removal of optical drives. This trend is completely understandable given the tendency to lean towards digital media purchases and streaming. Yet, there may be times when you need to use an optical drive. Apple has covered with a feature called “Remote Disc”. Remote Disc will allow you to share the optical drive of another Mac with any computer that you would like. I never really had a need to use the feature, but I was working on my iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra e-books and wanted to watch a DVD while adding images. The 5K iMac does not have an optical drive, so I used Remote Disc. I put the DVD into my 2011 iMac and connected to the computer. The playback was just as if the disc was being played on the 27-inch iMac. I was only trying to play a DVD, so it was not super data intensive.

5K Screen Comparison

On the topic of DVDs, the maximum resolution possible on a 5K iMac is 5120 pixels wide by 2880 pixels tall. The 5K iMac was not my first Retina device, that was the 3rd Generation iPad in 2012. It was not my Retina Mac either, that is my 2015 MacBook Pro. But it is my first desktop Mac with Retina. The number of pixels is not easy to comprehend if you are coming from a non-retina screen. My 13-inch MacBook Pro is capable of 2560 pixels by 1600 pixels. This means that there are 3.6 times as many pixels on the 5K Retina iMac Screen as compared to the 13-inch MacBook Pro. To really get a good comparison, here is an image of 27-inch iMac at its full resolution with a DVD in the corner, which is 480 pixels.

Here is a picture of the maximum resolution of the 5K iMac with the maximum resolution of the 2011 iMac, which was 1920 pixels by 1080 pixels.

And just for good measure, here is a screenshot comparing all three sizes.

I have settled on using a resolution of 3200 pixels by 1800 pixels. While this may degrade some performance, as the note in display preferences states, it is a trade off I am willing to make. This is because most of the time I need more screen real estate than performance. Yet, if there is a reason why I need performance, I will have that option as well.

Geekbench Comparisons

I thought I would run some Geekbench comparisons across all of my devices. These were run with the latest version of Geekbench 4. For those who really want to know, below is what I got when I ran the tests.

  27-inch iMac 21.5-inch iMac 13.3-inch MBP 12.9-inch iPad Pro iPhone 7 Plus iPhone 5
32-bit Single Core 4844 3152 3148 769
32-bit Multi-Core 17372 7776 6021 1252
64-bit Single Core 5732 3542 3686 3882 3341
64-bit Multi-Core 19661 8772 6865 9222 5591
Metal 65613 17177 29726 12602
Open-CL 127096 5762 17350

Closing Thoughts

If you are in the market for a new Mac and want to get a desktop, which is not the most common type of computer purchased these days, then the Mid-2017 27-inch 5K Retina iMac may be right for you. If you know that you need a significantly, and even more, powerful workhorse of a Mac, then wait for the iMac Pro that is coming later this year. While the 2017 27-inch 5k Retina iMac may be iterative over its previous brethren, it is a speedy and powerful machine that is worth an upgrade. If you are in the market to create Virtual Reality content, but the starting price of the iMac Pro, $4,999, is a bit out of reach, then the 2017 27-inch iMac may be a good option.

Daily Run Down 05/07/2013: Morning Edition

Here is this morning’s Daily Run Down.

Social

General News

International

Politics

Obits

Health

Science/Space

Financial

Historical

Gaming

Gadgets

Law

Technology

Mobile

Software/Apps

Security

Developer

London/Britain/UK

Personal

Funny

WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT CHARLIE

Chicagoland

Total Number of stories: 78

Look for more news stories this evening.

Daily Run Down 05/02/2013: Evening Edition

Here is this evening’s Daily Run Down.

General News

International

Politics

Health

Science/Space

Financial

Historical

Tips and Tricks

Gaming

Gadgets

Law

Patents

Technology

Internet

Social

Mobile

Rumors

Software/Apps

Security

London/Britain/UK

Odd

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Funny

Chicagoland

Total Number of stories: 136

Look for more stories tomorrow.

Daily Run Down 03/16/2013: Evening Edition

Here is this evening’s Daily Run Down.

General News

International

Politics

Obits

Science/Space

Financial

Historical

Tips and Tricks

Gaming

Gadgets

Reviews

Law

Technology

Internet

Software/Apps

Developer

London/Britain/UK

Odd

Funny

Chicagoland

Total Number of stories: 43

Look for more stories tomorrow.