Apple’s New 27-inch iMac Is a Massive Refresh and Likely Intel’s Last

Photo: Apple
Photo: Apple

Surprise! Apple just announced it’s refreshing the 27-inch iMac. On top of adding a new 10-core Intel processor, the newest Mac desktop will also offer beefed-up memory, a Retina 5K display, next-gen graphics, and updated cameras, speakers, and mics.

Last year, Apple’s iMac update left us feeling a bit bummed, because it simply stuffed new chips into an old design. From the photos Apple released today, it still looks like not much has changed design-wise. That said, this looks to be a major refresh in terms of the desktop’s guts.

For starters, the new 27-inch iMac will support up to 10-core 10th generation Intel processors with Turbo Boost speeds of up to 5.0GHz. (You can also get models with 6- and 8-core Intel chips, if that seems like overkill.) Apple said that ought to translate to 65% faster CPU performance. It’s also doubling memory capacity to 128GB. As for graphics, the new iMac will be powered by AMD’s Radeon Pro 5000 Series, and for the first time, Apple said you’ll have the option for 16GB of memory. All this, Apple said, will translate to up to 55 per cent faster graphics performance than the previous generation, which had Radeon Pro Vega 48 graphics.

And because it looks like the theme of the new iMac is “gotta go fast,” Apple also said the SSDs will now come standard across the line. This time around, Apple is offering an 8TB SSD configuration, which is four times the capacity of the last iMac.

The updates don’t stop there either. On top of beefier graphics, Apple is adding a Retina 5K display that features its True Tone colour technology. For the display, you’ll also have the option of selecting “nano-texture glass.” It supposedly offers better viewing in bright rooms and reduces glare for what Apple dubs an “innovative matte finish.”

For security, the new iMac will also feature the Apple T2 Security Chip, its second-generation custom chip that supports encrypted storage and secure boot features. The new iMac will also have a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, higher fidelity speakers, and a more “studio-quality” microphone array. The T2 chip will also support the camera by bringing “tone mapping, exposure control, and face detection.”

Photo: Apple

The 21.5-inch iMac and iMac Pro are also getting updates. Both desktops will now come standard with SSDs, and the 21.5-inch iMac can also be configured with a Fusion drive. The iMac Pro will come standard with a 10-core Intel Xeon chip.

What about macOS Big Sur? While the new iMacs won’t come preloaded with the yet-to-be-released operating system, Apple said they can be updated this fall at no cost.

But upgrading to one of these iMacs will definitely cost you. The base configuration of the new 27-inch iMac starts at $2,799, while the refreshed 21.5-inch iMac and iMac Pro will start at $1,699 and $7,299, respectively. All three are available for order online today and are expected to hit Apple Stores and other authorised retail locations later this week.