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Apple iMac gets more powerful with new Intel CPUs, Radeon Pro graphics

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Apple on Tuesday, March 19 refreshed its iMac lineup with new models featuring slightly more powerful Intel processors and new AMD graphics cards. Though the new iMacs keep the same design, a refreshed 21.5-inch 4K model now features eighth-generation Intel CPUs in either the quad-core or six-core configuration. The new 27-inch 5K models, meanwhile, come with options for Intel’s six-core or eight core ninth-generation processors.

According to Apple, the switch to eighth-generation processors on the 21.5-inch 4K iMac can deliver up to a 60-percent performance increase over the last-generation model. As for the 27-inch 5K version, the new ninth-generation Intel processor can deliver up to “2.4 times faster performance.” Additionally, with the updated AMD Radeon Pro Vega graphics, Apple promises an 80-percent graphical performance increase on the 21.5-inch 4K iMac and a 50-percent graphical performance jump with a custom option for Radeon Pro Vega 48 GPUs now found on the 27-inch iMac.

Pricing on the base 21.5-inch iMac with a 4K display starts at $1,300. It comes configured with the quad-core Intel Core i3 processor clocked at 2.3 GHz, 8GB RAM, Radeon Pro 555X graphics with 2GB of video memory, and a 1TB hard drive. An upgrade to a model with a six-core Intel Core i7 processor clocked at 3.6 GHz, 32GB of RAM, and AMD Radeon Pro 560X graphics is also available for an extra $200 — bringing the final price to $1,500.

The bigger 27-inch model with a 5K display starts at $1,800. It comes with options for the six-core Intel Core i5 processor clocked at 3.0 GHz, Radeon Pro 570X with 4GB of video memory, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB fusion drive. To get the ninth-generation six-core Intel Core processors, an upgrade to a $2,300 is required. This version comes with 8GB RAM, a 2TB Fusion drive, and Radeon Pro 580X graphics with 8GB of video memory.

“Customers are going to love the huge boost in iMac performance. With up to 8-core processors and powerful Vega graphics, the iMac lineup is stronger than ever. With its stunning Retina display, amazing design, twice the performance, and MacOS Mojave that our customers love, iMac is by far the best desktop in the world,” said Tom Boger, Apple’s senior director of Mac Product Marketing.

Today’s refresh comes two years since Apple last updated the standard iMac models. The last refresh happened during WWDC in 2017. These still are available through the Apple Store and come with Intel’s slower dual-core seventh-generation processors.

Updated on March 19 to clarify the Vega Pro GPUs on 27-inch iMac

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Arif Bacchus
Arif Bacchus is a native New Yorker and a fan of all things technology. Arif works as a freelance writer at Digital Trends…
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