Apple recently released new iPads and iMacs got update too. iMacs weren’t updated since June 2017 and update was really needed. Apple marketed 5K iMac from 2017 with Radeon Pro 580 as VR-ready, but some users reported it’s still not enough powerful for Oculus Rift, but SteamVR, which is officially supported by Apple, is fine. Also, CPUs got big update too. Refreshed models are 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac. Let’s look what’s new.
Basic 21.5-inch iMacs now feature quad-core and 6-core 8th-generation Intel CPUs. As Apple says, it provides up to 60 percent faster performance. But entry-level budget 21.5-inch iMac still features a 2.3 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor 7th generation. New entry-level 21.5-inch iMac came with a 3.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i3, upgradeable to a 3.2 GHz 6-core Intel Core i7 and the highest model got a 3.0 GHz 6-core Intel Core i5 that can be updated to a 3.2 GHz 6-core Intel Core i7 processor. Except the i3 model, all new 21.5-inch iMacs feature Turbo Boost technology.
As for GPU, entry-level budget 21.5-inch iMac, which was not updated, still offers Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640. New, updated mid-tier model got a Radeon Pro 555X with 2 GB of GDDR5 memory. If you choose the highest model of a 21.5-inch iMac, you will get a Radeon Pro 560X with 4 GB of GDDR5 memory upgradeable to Radeon Pro Vega 20 with 4 GB of HBM2 memory.
The budget entry-level 2.3GHz i5 model of 21.5-inch iMac can be upgraded with a 1 TB Fusion Drive or a 256 GB SSD. The mid-tier model has the same option along with a 512 GB or 1 TB SSD and the highest-tier option has 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB SSD options.
Newly released 21.5-inch iMac starts at 1299 USD and if you max-out parameters (CPU, GPU, RAM and storage), price can reach 3349 USD. Old buget model starts at 1099 USD and ends up at 1499 USD with maxed-out specs.
New 27-inch model is a real powerhouse. All quad-core CPUs are gone and whole lineup starts at six-core CPUs, while the 3.1 GHz and 3.7 GHz models can be upgraded to a 3.6 GHz 8-core i9 CPU. i9 models also support Turbo Boost technology.
GPU is a huge boost for you if you need a Vega graphics from iMac Pro lineup. Available for the highest tier of 27-inch iMac, the new GPU is Radeon Pro Vega 48 with 8 GB of HBM2 memory. Other options are the same as in 2017 model – a Radeon Pro 570 graphics card with 4 GB of VRAM, a Radeon Pro 575 with 4 GB of VRAM, or a Radeon Pro 580 with 8 GB of VRAM.
RAM modules are user accessible, so you don’t have to buy overpriced RAM from Apple. All three models can be upgraded to 16 or 32 GB of memory (from 8 GB), while with the 3.1 GHz and 3.7 GHz models, the option for 64 GB of RAM is available.
Basic 27-inch iMac comes with 1 TB Fusion Drive, which can be upgraded to 2 TB Fusion Drive or with SSD starting at 256 GB and ending at 1 TB. Mid-tier model comes with the same options + option for 3 TB Fusion Drive. If you choose highest model, another 2 TB SSD option is available.
The cheapest 27-inch iMac costs 1799 USD and can be maxed-out (CPU, GPU, RAM and storage) to 5249 USD. RAM upgrade from 8 GB to 64 GB directly from Apple costs 1000 USD (!), so it’s really cool and interesting that Apple allows to upgrade RAM by user.