At WWDC today, Apple has finally unveiled its new iMac. All models receive upgrades to Intel’s 7th Generation Kaby Lake processors. They also get two Thunderbolt 3 controllers, brighter displays, much faster graphics, and USB-C ports for the first time.
The new iMac displays feature 500 nits, are 43 percent brighter, and include 10-bit dithering and support for one billion colors. All 27-inch iMacs come with Fusion drives standard, and SSDs are of course optional; we would have preferred to see SSDs standard across the board, though we can see why some not-as-demanding customers would want more internal storage (up to 2TB) over sheer speed. Apple also said its SSDs are now 50 percent faster than before.
Apple is framing its 27-inch iMacs with discrete graphics as a way to power the company’s first-ever push into VR experience. Also: not an Nvidia chip in sight. It’s AMD all the way. You can now get up to 32GB RAM on 21.5-inch models and 64GB on 27-inch models, though be prepared to pay through the nose for the experience.
Pricing has come down a bit. The 21.5-inch model starts at $ 1,099, but you can get a 4K Retina model for $ 1,299 for the first time. The 5K Retina 27-inch iMac starts at $ 1,799.
In a surprise move, Apple also took the wraps off what it’s calling the iMac Pro, the first-ever iMac to bear that moniker. The monster machine will have an eight-core Xeon processor, an AMD Radeon Vega GPU with 16GB RAM, 10-gigabit Ethernet, and a 5K Retina Display, with options for 10- and 18-core (!) Xeon processors as well. Apple is pitching this machine for real-time 3D rendering and 4K video effects, immersive VR at high frame rates, machine learning development, and faster code compiling. The iMac Pro will be available this coming December starting at a whopping $ 4,999.
In introducing the iMac Pro and with a straight face, Apple said the 27-inch iMac is currently its most popular desktop for its pro customers. It’s obvious by this point that few people have opted for the expensive, severely outdated Mac Pro when they could get a fully equipped, quad-core 27-inch iMac with a built-in 5K display for the same price. I’d say Apple announcing the iMac Pro is pretty much the nail in the coffin for the little black can design.
On the developer front, Apple also unveiled a new Developer Kit that’s a Thunderbolt 3 enclosure with an AMD Radeon RX 580 and a USB-Hub, designed for use with the company’s MacBook Pros. The MacBook Pros all get minor speed bumps as well, with the base 13-inch MacBook Pro model falling to $ 1,299 (from $ 1,499).
The company also announced macOS High Sierra and iOS 11; we’ll have more on those shortly.
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