Apple has just dropped new iMacs on the Apple Store: the same design with new internals. The 21.5-inch iMac features 8th-generation Intel CPUs in quad-core and six-core SKUs. The 27-inch iMac houses 9th-generation Intel CPUs, with 6-core and 8-core configurations. Apple says these new processors deliver up to 2x the performance of the previous generation iMac.
In terms of GPU, Apple now offers Radeon Pro Vega graphics upgrades on both 21.5-inch and 27-inch form factors. The new iMacs are available today in the Apple Store, starting at $1299 and $1799 for the 21.5- and 27-inch models respectively.
The 21.5-inch iMac starts at $1299. For your money, you get a 3.6GHz 8th-generation Intel i3 processor, 8 GB RAM, a 1 TB hard drive, and Radeon Pro 555X graphics.
For $1799, the base model 27-inch iMac offers a 3GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel i5 processor, 8 GB RAM, 1 TB Fusion Drive, and a Radeon Pro 570X GPU.
The Radeon Pro Vega 48 GPU upgrade costs $450 build-to-order, and is not offered on any base iMac configuration.
The iMacs continue to feature spinning hard drives in the Fusion Drive enclosure, so the death of the HDD hasn’t arrived yet. You can of course configure the iMacs with SSDs, up to 2 TB capacity.
The fact that the Fusion Drive lives on is probably the reason why the iMacs have not adopted the T2 security chip seen in the iMac Pro, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro. The T2 can only interface with solid storage, meaning the Fusion Drive is incompatible unless Apple dedicated a team to develop driver support for the legacy platters — something the company has shown no sign of doing.
Speaking of legacy, Apple still sells a non-Retina 21.5-inch iMac for $1099.
The latest episode of the Upgrade podcast this week includes an interview with Colleen Novielli, Apple’s iMac Product Manager. Interestingly, Apple did not do its usual ceremony of taking the Apple Store down for this announcement, presumably because it was relatively minor. The store did go down yesterday, to signal the launch of the new iPad mini and iPad Air.
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