New Apple iMac has improved 5K display and more power, but no Apple Silicon

Apple has revamped the 27-inch iMac with a wide-ranging update that brings performance increases, a better display, improved cameras, and more. The refreshed model is available to order starting today.

The update is a big one, with changes to a huge number of areas. For the first time, the 27-inch iMac will have a 10-core Intel processor option, offering Turbo Boost speeds of up to 5.0GHz. Apple says this results in up to 65% faster CPU performance compared to the previous-generation 8-core iMac.

The iMac’s graphics cards have also had a boost, with AMD Radeon Pro 5000-series GPUs packing up to 16GB of video RAM for the first time in an iMac. According to Apple, that means 55% faster rendering in Maxon Cinema 4D ProRender, and up to 50% faster demo flythroughs in Unity Editor.

Until this update, Apple offered 27-inch iMacs without SSDs, instead relying on Apple’s “fusion drives” at the base configurations. It was rather anachronous in 2020. That’s now changed, and every 27-inch iMac now comes with a blazin- fast SSD that Apple says can hit speeds of up to 3.4GBps. You can now also buy an 8TB SSD for the first time.

The nano-texture from the Mac Pro’s Pro Display XDR has now made it across to the iMac, offering better viewing in various lighting conditions. Apple’s True Tone technology — which automatically adjusts the white balance based on the ambient light — has also been introduced.

Elsewhere, the T2 Security Chip has come to the iMac, and its webcam has been upgraded from a measly 720p to 1080p. That makes it the first Mac to have a 1080p webcam. The speakers and microphones have also been improved, borrowing the same audio technology from the MacBook Pro 16-inch.

The smaller 21.5-inch iMac and the iMac Pro did not completely miss out in terms of upgrades. Every model of the former now comes with an SSD as standard, while the latter now has a 10-core Intel Xeon processor as standard.

Rumors have long persisted that Apple was about to update its iMac range. In May 2020. renowned leaker Jon Prosser claimed that Apple had a new iMac “ready to ship,” while in early June Sonny Dickson claimed a completely reimagined iMac would launch at the Worldwide Developers Conference. Both proved incorrect, although we still expect a redesigned iMac launching with Apple Silicon processors some time in 2021.

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