Apple refreshes the 27-inch iMac with 10th-gen Intel processors, a 1080p camera, and much more

If you are in the market for a new 27-inch desktop computer, then Apple is coming in hot with a brand new refresh for its own iMac lineup.

On Tuesday, Apple announced a major refresh for the 27-inch iMac lineup. The company says it’s adding a slate of new elements to the “most powerful and capable iMac ever”, bringing in faster processors to the lineup, better cameras, SSDs across the line, and more. Apple is even improving the 5K display thanks to the nano-texture glass option it is now including with the 27-inch model.

That’s not all, though. The new 27-inch iMac lineup also features better speakers with higher fidelity, a 1080p FaceTime HD camera on the front for better video calls, and the microphones are now what Apple describes as “studio-quality”. Apple says in its official press release today that the new, upgraded 27-inch iMac is the best desktop computer for both the “aspiring creative” to the “serious pro” looking to get things done.

Now more than ever, our customers are relying on the Mac. And many of them need the most powerful and capable iMac we’ve ever made,” said Tom Boger, Apple’s senior director of Mac and iPad Product Marketing. “With blazing performance, double the memory, SSDs across the line with quadruple the storage, an even more stunning Retina 5K display, a better camera, higher fidelity speakers, and studio-quality mics, the 27-inch iMac is loaded with new features at the same price. It’s the ultimate desktop, to work, create, and communicate.

The need for speed

The new 27-inch iMac features 10th-generation Intel processors under the hood, with options from either 6, 8, or 10 cores. Speeds are increased basically across the board for the new 27-inch iMac when compared to the previous model. And Apple says its new iMac doubles the memory capacity up to 128GB.

Apple went ahead and broke down what new 27-inch iMac owners can experience as far as speeds are concerned when the new machine is compared to the previous 8-core 27-inch iMac:

  • Up to 65 percent more plug-ins in Logic Pro X.
  • Up to 40 percent faster 8K ProRes transcode in Final Cut Pro X.
  • Up to 35 percent faster rendering with Arnold in Autodesk Maya.
  • Up to 25 percent faster build time in Xcode.

When graphics performance matters

The new 27-inch iMac also features improved AMD graphics as well. Apple says it is utilizing AMD’s latest RDNA architecture in the company’s Radeon Pro 5000 GPU. This means the new 27-inch iMac is more capable in this regard, with faster, more power-efficient compute units. Apple says the new GPU is 55 percent faster when it comes to graphics performance.

Here’s how that breaks down when compared to the previous generation 27-inch iMac outfitted with an AMD Radeon Pro Vega 48 GPU:

  • Up to 55 percent faster rendering in Maxon Cinema 4D ProRender.
  • Up to 50 percent faster demo fly-through in Unity Editor.
  • Up to 45 percent faster performance in “Total War: Three Kingdoms.”
  • Up to 30 percent faster timeline rendering in Final Cut Pro X.

SSDs and security

Apple is including the T2 Security Chip in the new 27-inch iMac as well. This can handle on-the-fly data encryption for what’s stored on the built-in SSD. The Security Chip, which is the second-generation of its kind, will also check software loading during the boot process has not been tampered with. But the real focus is on the new SSD options:

The 27-inch iMac now comes standard with SSDs across the line, delivering blazing-fast performance up to 3.4GB/s for launching applications and opening large files. For users who need massive amounts of storage, iMac also features an 8TB SSD option for the first time — four times the SSD capacity of the previous-generation 27-inch iMac.

That 27-inch display

Apple is offering improvements to the 27-inch display itself, which is good news since that’s what owners will be looking at all day. The new 27-inch iMac display now supports True Tone, while also supporting up to 1 billion colors, up to 500 nits of brightness, and 14.7 million pixels. This means owners can also edit 4K videos at full resolution.

Apple introduced the nano-texture option for the Pro Display XDR, and now it’s bringing it over to the 27-inch iMac as well:

The new iMac offers a nano-texture glass option — first introduced on Pro Display XDR — for even better viewing under various lighting conditions, such as a bright room or indirect sunlight. Unlike typical matte finishes that have a coating added to the surface to scatter light, this industry-leading option is produced through an innovative process that etches the glass itself at the nanometer level. The result is extremely low reflectivity and less glare while maintaining stellar image quality and contrast, and a Retina 5K display that is more gorgeous than ever.

Speakers, Mics, and Cameras

The built-in camera for the 27-inch iMac has been improved quite a bit, bringing it up to a 1080p FaceTime HD option. Apple says the T2 Security Chip also adds “tone mapping, exposure control, and face detection for a much higher quality camera experience”. And that T2 Security Chip is also working in tandem with the built-in speakers, which have been improved for the new 27-inch iMac.

o complement the improved camera, the T2 Security Chip also works with the speakers to enable variable EQ for better balance, higher fidelity, and deeper bass. In addition, a new studio-quality microphone array enables users to capture high-quality audio for improved FaceTime calls, podcast recordings, Voice Memos, and more, right on their iMac.

Can’t leave out the 21.5-inch iMac or iMac Pro

Apple also made some smaller announcements, but welcomed changes, for the 21.5-inch iMac and the iMac Pro as well:

Apple today also announced that its 21.5-inch iMac will come standard with SSDs across the line for the first time. Customers can also choose to configure their 21.5-inch iMac with a Fusion Drive.
iMac Pro now comes standard with a 10-core Intel Xeon processor. Designed for pro users who require workstation-class performance, iMac Pro features Xeon processors up to 18 cores, graphics performance up to 22 teraflops, up to 256GB quad-channel ECC memory, and a brilliant 27-inch Retina 5K display.

Pricing & availability

The new 27-inch iMac is available to order beginning today from Apple’s online storefront. It’s priced starting at $1,799 in the United States. You can also order it from the official Apple Store iOS app as well. Apple’s changes for the 21.5-inch iMac and the iMac Pro are also going live today as well, with prices starting at $1,099 and $4,999, respectively.

So, who’s buying themselves a new 27-inch iMac and getting the nano-texture coating on the display?