Apple gives the iMac a performance boost

Apple updates the iMac lineup with faster processors and updated graphics.

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It's been a while, but Apple has finally updated the 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac models with updated processors and GPUs. This hardware unveiling comes ahead of Apple's upcoming event, scheduled for March 25, which is expected to focus on services.

See it now: 21.5- and 27-inch iMac models at Apple

The smaller 21.5-inch iMac is now equipped with 8th-generation quad-core and 6-core processors (the bump to 6-cores is new), giving it a performance bump of up to 60 percent compared to the previous generation hardware. The GPU is a Radeon Pro Vega graphics, delivering up to 80 percent faster graphics performance.

On the price front, the 21.5-inch iMac starts at $1,099 for the 2.3GHz dual‑core Intel Core i5 model with 8GB of RAM, 1TB HDD, and Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, and it goes up to $1,499 for the 3.0GHz 6-core Intel Core i5 with 8GB of RAM, 1TB combined SSD/HDD Fusion Drive, and Radeon Pro 560X with 4GB of VRAM.

Bump that top-end 21.5-inch iMac to a 3.2GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 32GB of RAM, Radeon Pro Vega 20 with 4GB of HBM2 memory, and a 1TB SSD, and the price ends up at $3,349.

The larger 27-inch iMac is equipped with all-new 9th-generation 6-core and 8-core processors, allowing it to deliver a performance boost of up to 2.4 times. The Radeon Pro Vega GPU update gives this setup a graphics performance boost of up to 50 percent.

The 27-inch iMac starts at $1,799 for 3.0GHz 6‑core Intel Core i5 with 8GB of RAM, 1TB combined SSD/HDD Fusion Drive, and Radeon Pro 570X with 4GB of VRAM, and it goes up to $2,299 for the 3.7GHz 6‑core Intel Core i5 with 8GB of RAM, 2TB combined SSD/HDD Fusion Drive, and Radeon Pro 580X with 8GB of VRAM.

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That top-end 27-inch iMac can be optionally bumped to a 3.6GHz 8-core 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor with 64GB of RAM, Radeon Pro Vega 48 with 8GB of HBM2 memory, and a 2TB SSD, which takes the price to $5,249.

As far as ports go, the new iMac models come with:

  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • SDXC card slot
  • Four USB 3 ports (compatible with USB 2)
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports
  • 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet

Both iMac models are immediately available from Apple.

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