Apple today made a surprise update to its line of iMacs — in more ways than one. While we were expected an upgraded iMac sometime this year, rumors had pointed to an all-new design that would be more akin to an iPad Pro than the iMacs of yore.
Instead, these new iMacs look the same as the old iMacs, but with some substantial improvements to the internals. The key upgrades for the popular 27-inch model include:
- 10th Gen Intel Comet Lake processors, up to a 5.0GHz 10-core i9
- Double the memory throughout the range of SKUs, and up to 128GB total
- A 1080p webcam (up from 720p)
- Graphics up to AMD‘s 5700XT with 16GB VRAM
- 10 Gigabit ethernet option
- T2 security chip for on-the-fly encryption and secure booting
- ‘Nano-texture’ matte display (as seen on the Pro Display XDR) option as a $500 upgrade
In all, Apple says the new 27-inch iMac‘s should be able to use ‘up to 65% more plug-ins in Logic Pro X’ and ‘40% faster 8K ProRes transcode in Final Cut Pro X.’ Meanwhile the improved GPU should yield ‘up to 55% faster rendering in Maxon Cinema 4D ProRender’ and ‘up to 45% faster performance in Total War: Three Kingdoms.’
Raw power aside, Apple also says the T2 chip enhances some of the iMac‘s capabilities, including the aforementioned security features, but also improvements to audio performance (more bass!), and webcam quality (better lighting!).
The upgrades for the rest of the line are less substantial. The 21.5-inch iMac now comes with SSDs standard, though you still have the option to use a Fusion Drive. Meanwhile, the iMac Pro’s standard configuration now includes a 10-core Xeon processor, up from the 8-cores of the prior model.