Apple has offered new graphics chips and processors for the 27-inch and 21.5-inch models of its regular iMac desktops, handing the computers 2x performance boost.
By Default, the 21.5-inch iMac now has an 8th Gen quad-core i3 or a six-core i5 processor. It also features either a Radeon Pro 555X GPU or a Radeon Pro 560X. Customers who desire more power has the option to configure the model with 32GB of RAM, 4GB of memory, a six-core i7 processor, and AMD’s Radeon Pro Vega 20 GPU. This is similar to the spec options Apple also has in the refreshed Mac Mini, with a built-in 4K display.
For a start, the 27-inch iMac model gets Intel’s six-core i5 processor across the board, and an 8th Gen on the two lower configurations, 9th Gen on the highest coming at the prebuilt option of $2,299. However, Apple is also offering upgrades to the Intel’s latest 9th Gen, eight-core i9 processor processors for a specific price. On the 27-inch models, available graphics are Radeon Pro 570X, 575X, and 580X GPUs for prebuilt models. There is an option, however, to custom AMD’s Radeon Pro Vega 48 GPU with 8GB of memory for the highest configuration.
According to Apple, the 27-inch iMac delivers up to 50% faster graphics performance while featuring Radeon Pro Vega. That’s more ideal for a graphics-intensive workload. The 21.5-inch iMac is also on the same page, now delivering up to 80% faster graphics performance running the same graphics chips.
Every 27-inch model will come with 8GB of RAM and Apple’s fusion drive, although the memory can be upgraded to 64GB. They also come with more storage options of up to 1TB of SSD or a 3TB fusion drive, available only for individuals willing to pay more.
Certainly, it’s cool seeing these iMac updates, but it also highlights Apple’s sluggish cadence in offering the latest chips in its Macs. The regular iMac models have been almost two years since its last update, released at WWDC 2017 with Intel’s 7th Gen chips.
Even with all the time, coupled with the fact that Intel has released a full slate of 9th Gen chips, Apple has by default settled with Intel’s 8th Gen processors in its update. Customers will get the latest and greatest chips on the preconfigured version of the 27-inch model, which is also the priciest. Aside from that, a custom-configured computer is also where customers can get Intel’s newest chips. Apple is lagging behind when it comes to offering the latest components and that’s a disappointment for anyone waiting for an iMac spec boost.
The updates today are specifically for Apple’s regular iMac models. There is no spec boost currently for the more powerful iMac Pro released in December 2017. The reason is partly that Intel hasn’t released the next-generation Xeon W-series processors which the iMac Pro uses.