New iMac to target Microsoft Surface Studio with server-grade Xeon chips, discreet graphics & more

We know Apple is working on pro-level iMacs slated for release this year and one source has already described some of the features allegedly found on higher-end models, including faster Intel Xeon chips, ECC RAM and more. Citing sources from supply chain makers, Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes said Tuesday that Apple is testing a new server-grade iMac model aimed at high-end users that will take on Microsoft’s recently released Surface Studio.

The new “server-grade” iMac model is expected to feature Intel’s unreleased Xeon E3-1285 v6 processor, with 16 gigabytes of ECC RAM expandable to 64 gigabytes, up to 2TB NVM Express PCI-e flash storage and “a latest discrete graphics card.” This is presumably going to be Apple’s flagship iMac, but it’s unlikely to become available in the market “until the end of 2017.”

Here’s Microsoft’s promotional video for the Surface Studio all-in-one.

The two new iMacs are expected to be manufactured by Quanta Computer, which is expected to remain the largest all-in-one PC maker in 2017. All models are expected to ship with USB-C ports and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity.

As you know, Apple currently has 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac models available in the market. The report positions the next-generation iMacs as the upgrades of the existing two models. This might imply that the new iMac lineup could include models with a 21.5-inch 4K screen and a 27-inch screen with 5K Retina display.

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For the sake of completeness, the Pike’s Universum blog said that Apple is also working on a standalone keyboard with a Touch Bar and Touch ID and an 8K external display which will be “much more like a PC with the next generation EFI BIOS.”

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Apple is expected to begin production of two new iMacs in May 2017 for an official launch in the second half of the year. The all-in-ones should hit store shelves in the third quarter to catch up with the holiday season.

Source: DigiTimes