19 Mar 2019

Significant update for iMacs - up to twice the performance

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New iMac on a desktop New iMac on a desktop Apple

A big refresh for iMacs is good news for creators who need a top-end all-in-one from the Cuppertino computer company

 iMacs are a bit like the Cambrian period in geology, about 540 million years ago. At first there was a great outpouring of new, and, frankly, utterly weird life forms: "Hopeful Monsters", they were dubbed. Strange but optimistic species that turbo-charged evolution for a few million years, with the successful ones having a huge influence on future life even today. But most of them didn't survive: brave attempts at living but ultimately too strange; too ill-adapted for the mainstream. 

Remember the first iMac in 1998? It was turquoise and transparent. And it didn't have a floppy disk. Pretty shocking at the time. But just about every gadget from the Far East cheerfully copied the design ethos: see-through consumer products became the norm. And then, five years later, there was what I think was the strangest of all: the love child between a desk lamp and a laptop. A clever design that vanished as quickly as it arrived. 

But what came next has stuck around for a decade and a half: first in the form of a white poly-carbonate "screen" containing the actual computer, and then the familiar aluminium (aluminum) iMac. 

The current version of this contains a powerful computer housed in an impossibly thin-looking case. Unless you're an out-and-out power user, this is the tabletop Mac you're likely to buy if you're a creative (although the new Mac Mini is looking like a contender in this market if you already have screens, keyboards, etc). 

The updates

Specifically, the 21.5 inch iMac moves to an 8th-generation quad-core. These are 6-core processors, with a claimed 60% faster performance. 

The 27-inch iMac now has a 9th-generation 6-core or 8-core processor with a claimed 2.4 times speed boost.

iMac with squirly graphics.jpg

Graphics have been improved as well, with the arrival of AMD Radeon Pro graphics. The 21.5 inch iMac receives a claimed 80% graphics boost, and the 27 inch is 50% faster. 


 The iMac now starts at £1,249 and the with a 5K display is £1,749. They're avaialble now. 

Two new iMacs.jpg

I can't help feeling that the 27 inch iMac is a really good machine: a great screen, pretty powerful for everything except "power computing", and it looks great (which matters to professionals). 

David Shapton

David is the Editor In Chief of RedShark Publications. He's been a professional columnist and author since 1998, when he started writing for the European Music Technology magazine Sound on Sound. David has worked with professional digital audio and video for the last 25 years.

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