Apple updates 27-inch iMac with new CPUs, makes SSDs standard equipment

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,131   +154
Staff member
Editor's take: With new Arm-based Apple silicon on the horizon, an Intel-based iMac at this stage of the game could be a tough sell. Then again, it's not outside the realm of possibility to think that there could be some 'growing pains' that'll accompany the transition from Intel to Apple silicon so perhaps the stability that an x86 Mac can deliver right now will be attractive enough for some to pull the trigger?

Apple on Tuesday took the wraps off an updated version of its 27-inch iMac. It doesn’t feature Apple’s new custom silicon from Arm and visually, it looks no different than its predecessor, but there still may be enough here to entice some buyers.

New off-the-shelf 27-inch iMacs come with the latest six- and eight-core 10th gen Intel processors although for a bit more scratch, you can swap in a 10-core CPU for even more processing power. Similarly, base configurations pack just 8GB of RAM but that, too, is expandable, up to 128GB, should you require such vast amounts of memory.

Apple’s latest also offers varying graphical tiers courtesy of AMD’s Radeon Pro 5000 series. On the storage front, you’ll be happy to learn that all 27-inch iMacs now come with SSD storage by default, ranging from a modest 256GB all the way up to 8TB.

The 27-inch Retina 5K display, meanwhile, now features True Tone technology, which adjusts the on-screen color temperature to better blend with your ambient lighting. And again, for a bit more money, you can spring for an upgrade – a nano-texture glass option that reduces glare without seriously impacting contrast and sharpness.

The new 27-inch iMac starts at $1,799, which includes a six-core 10th-gen Intel Core i5, 8GB of DDR4, a 256GB SSD and a Radeon Pro 5300 GPU. Tack on some of the higher-end options, however, and you can push a build close to the $10,000 mark in a hurry.

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Posts: 6,308   +7,247
And this is the reason why I am waiting for the iPhone 12 1 TB.

I can edit videos on my phone with absolutely no hassle and still have a fast SSD and processor without having to go the route of juggling options for Mac computers and then store all of my finalize videos on YouTube and my NAS.

I absolutely hate having to export things to iMovie


Posts: 128   +170
I can't imagine many people are going to wait for the ARM iMac. You'll give up some application support in exchange for power efficiency in a device that plugs into the wall.

The ARM transition will have tangible benefits for laptops.


Posts: 2,891   +3,699
TechSpot Elite
If this quality is anything like in their Intel laptops, best to buy an older one or not at all. Their engineers aren't even trying to optimize it for Intel silicon anymore...

Verne Arase

Posts: 29   +8
Anyone who's interested in buying a Mac should read up on the original transition from PowerPC to Intel to help decide which product you should buy:
I don't think this transition will the the same - I expect Apple to support Intel much longer, because they're a much more prosperous company now and can afford the engineering staff.

Besides, they have a bunch of enterprise customers they want to keep happy who need to run Windows apps either with Boot Camp or an x86 hypervisor.

I ordered a iMac 5K, core-i9, Radeon Pro 5700 XT 16 GB, 10 gb ethernet, and 4 TB SSD.

My last primary was an iMac 5K purchased in desperation in late 2018 when my 2014 was going into the shop, and the core-i9 model was tardy. The year old 2017 I was forced to buy was top-of-the-line at the time, but it really wasn't much faster than the 2014. The model I really wanted was released a few months later with a core-i9 and better graphics. (Thanks Intel.)

The 2017 has a core-i7 4 core 8 thread with a 3 TB fusion drive - they only offered a 2 TB SSD which wasn't big enough (as I had a 3 TB fusion in the 2014) and was ludicrously expensive.

The 2020 iMac with a core-i9 has 10 cores 20 threads which should tear through my 7-10 hour transcodes much more quickly, and this will be the last and most powerful consumer level Intel Mac produced. The Radeon Pro 5700 XT 16 GB should have 40 compute units which should be tons faster than my current Radeon Pro 580 8GB, and the new machine is capable of boot camp, so I will have the ability to boot into Windows and play most AAA games as fast as any Mac ever has.

The Mac has had a relatively small number of AAA games, and of that number many were culled by Catalina going 64 bit only. Boot camp will open up a whole host of titles and will allow 32 bit Windows games as well.

This Mac should tide me over for the transition, and all Mac software which runs under Catalina should continue to work fine while early Apple silicon adopters find and iron out all the painful bumps in the road for me ?.

When I'm ready to move on to an Apple silicon iMac maybe AAA game developers may find interest in the performance of that machine, or there may be x86 hypervisors that can run Windows games at native speed. Failing that, I can get a Apple silicon Mac and a cheap Windows gaming machine. I'm retired now, so if AAA titles do start to appear on the Mac, I can just move on and forget Windows ever existed ?.