After leaving its iMac line-up untouched for two years, Apple has introduced a hardware refresh to its desktop computers. Both the 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMacs now have 8th/9th-generation Coffee Lake Intel processors and Radeon Pro Vega graphics.
The 21.5-inch can be configured with up to a 6-core 8th-gen CPU, while the 27-inch can be had with up to an 8-core 9th-gen processor. With the new silicon on-board, the 21.5-inch iMac is said to be 60% faster than the last generation, while the 27-incher is as much as 2.4 times faster. The older iMacs were pretty nimble already, so I can imagine the new ones are absolutely leet.
Furthermore, the new Radeon Pro Vega cards have an 80% graphics performance improvement in the 4K-resolution 21.5 inch iMac, and 50% in the 5K-resolution 27-inch iMac.
In terms of storage, all 27-inch models and the upper-end 21.5-incher come with Fusion Drives (SSD for operating systems, apps, and frequently accessed files + HDD for the rest), while the entry-level 21.5-inch iMac comes with standard HDD storage. I find this to be quite a mishap in 2019, especially that solid state drives’ prices have dropped considerably. Memory-wise, the 4K iMac carries up to 32GB RAM, and the 5K iMac goes up to 64GB.
Everything else remains the same, including the port configuration which is quite reasonable – 2x USB C/TB3 ports, 4x USB-A ports, headphone jack, SD card slot, and Gigabit ethernet. These are creators’ machines and very capable for music production. Prices start at USD 1300 for the 21.5-inch 4K iMac and USD 1800 for the 27-inch 5K iMac.
All in all, a significant refresh that’s already sent some of our crew down to the Apple store. Personally, I prefer a laptop workflow for the time being, so I’m sticking with my 2018 MBP until it makes sense for me to buy a desktop computer. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments section below.