Apple’s matchless iMac with Retina 5K display is its most expensive ever

“Apple yesterday launched its most expensive-ever iMac, the $2,499 iMac with Retina 5K display, a desktop that will appeal to not only professional creative customers but also well-heeled consumers who want the very best money can buy, analysts said,” Gregg Keizer reports for Computerworld. “‘Clearly, it’s a good machine for creative professionals,’ said Ezra Gottheil of Technology Business Research, in an interview yesterday. ‘But it’s also for those where money is no object, who want a very good PC.'”

“‘It’s both a niche product and a premium mass-market product,’ said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. ‘It’s for professionals who don’t need the absolute best, like a Mac Pro, but also for prosumers who just want the best,'” Keizer reports. “Not surprisingly, Apple spent much of the iMac’s time in the spotlight yesterday touting the display, which offers 5120-by-2880-pixel resolution. ‘This is the world’s highest-resolution display,’ boasted Philip Schiller, Apple’s top marketing executive, who presented the 5K Retina iMac at Thursday’s event.”

“Apple has never sold an iMac at a higher price point [starts at US$2499] — at least not one with a higher entry-level price or one not customized by the customer — although it’s launched several at $1,999,” Keizer reports. “‘This looks like a first step into the living room,’ Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, said of the iMac, which can double as a display for content pushed by Netflix, Amazon, HBO and others.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This is a gorgeous personal computer. If you don’t deserve the best, what do you deserve?

38 Comments

  1. My only issue with the newest iMacs is that Apple decided to go with ATI rather than Nvidia for GPUs. The GTX970s and GTX980s are far more efficient in power consumption and heat than the ATI offerings. I fear that over time, the extremely limited space of the iMacs combined with the extreme heat produced by the ATI GPUs will cause problems.

      1. Yes! Same here. My son has a paperweight due to faulty parts and design of early 2011 MBP. He even paid out of his own pocket for new logic board and it failed less than a year later. Apple needs to step up and replace the 2011 lemons. College kids can’t afford to replace expensive MBP every year.

        Really stingy on Apple’s part.

        1. Yep Same here. I have the late 2011 MBP 17″, the last line that Apple made of the type. Unfortunately I’m on my second install of a Logic board and I’m expecting this one to fail as well. I’m still under warranty of another couple months though.
          I paid almost $3500 and I expected this machine to be my work horse for another 2yrs so yeah I’m not happy.
          The Apple genius said maybe I should by another computer…

            1. Windows fundamentally has too many issues for me. Overhead and registry blah blah blah. After living through Win ME when I HAD to have a PC… I’ll never go back.

    1. Dell’s monitor is not shipping yet. It is expected to “ship before Christmas”. Everyone is guessing at the price. To my knowledge Dell has not officially announced ever a firm shipping date or a firm price.

        1. The current Dell 4K displays need two graphic cards to paint the screen. Does the new one need that too? The new iMac has some serious controller mojo working to power it’s screen. The most obvious reason why it can’t be used as a stand alone display.

  2. Does anyone know what the purpose of the aluminum chin at the bottom of the iMac screen is? I just watched the iFixit teardown and it doesn’t appear that there is anything in the chin.

      1. If you notice on the teardown Apple doesn’t really utilize the outer edge around the entire back, it’s just too thin, other than to attach the screen.

        The chin gives it more rigidity and also a base for the glass to rest on and keep it from ‘sliding’ down. The chin also gives ample room for airflow to enter and circulate.

        On mine, the ‘highs’ of music come though the bottom, but it seems the lower freqs come out of the back and are deflected by the stand. The overall audio sound is the best I have ever heard for a stand-alone computer. I don’t have any external speakers since my Mini-Peachtree Audio-Pioneer-Wharfedale system is in the same room.

        1. You could do that behind the glass. Anyhow, the speakers have always been ported down there through a waveguide but that doesn’t explain the need for metal (or plastic).

            1. What? I think the question was why doesn’t it have edge to edge glass instead of a chin, which is the metal strip under the glass used to support the glass and give the iMac’s back metal plate more rigidity.

  3. So I have a question for people in the know:
    I need a new machine to replace my Mac Mini which is operating as a media server. I want something that is fast at ripping DVDs (RipIT and HandBrake), recording and processing audio, doing a little Photo manipulation, and software development.

    Bottom line: which machine is going to be faster? iMac Retina ( or the 4-core Mac Pro (with low-end video card)? I can configure them as follows for around $4,000:

    iMac Retina: 4.0 GHz i7, 32GB Ram, 512GB Flash, AMD Radeon R9 M295X 4GB, Superdrive.

    Mac Pro: 3.7GHz quad-core with 10MB of L3 cache, 32 GB RAM, 512 GB Flash, Dual AMD FirePro D300 GPUs, Superdrive

    I have a Thunderbolt display already, which is sufficient for my needs. Although the retina display could be really nice, I don’t really need it for this application (in fact, it’s a bit of a negative considering the amount of desk space it takes up — Remember, I’m replacing a Mini).

    Performance is the key driver here; especially on DVD rips (Handbrake can take hours on a single file on my old Core-2 Duo Mini).

    $4,000 is just about the limit I will pay for this system, so there’s no upgrading to a better-performing Mac Pro. Would love to do that, but it’s not an option for this server.

    1. How much better would the new MacMini work for your application? Configuring the top model with the 3.0 GHz i7 processor and 16 GB of RAM would run $1,400. Is that still viable option?

      1. “How much better would the new MacMini work for your application? Configuring the top model with the 3.0 GHz i7 processor and 16 GB of RAM would run $1,400. Is that still viable option?”

        Obviously it would work much better than my existing Mac Mini but nowhere near the performance of a 4-core i7 or Xeon. Figure I’m going to have this machine doing this task for 4-6 more years. Best to spend twice as much now (on better hardware, too) than to have to upgrade again in 2-3 years. In audio, there is a saying: “Buy once, cry once.” It applies here, too.

    2. Both of the machines do seem like overkill for your needs. The MacPro should be the faster machine by far plus it will look good and you can reuse the display.
      I have the same venerable MacMini as you have and it is definitely beginning to lag. As Q noted a full loaded new Mac Mini with i7, flash drive and 16GB will provide great performance at less than half the price. i7 will give you a faster processor, flash drive will reduce the write delay when ripping and 16GB ram will reduce limits in memory. My rMBP has i7, 250 flash, 8GB and flies. I love it.
      For me it would be the Mini vs the Pro and really how much money I want to speed. The Pro will be more upgradable so that is something to consider if you aim to keep the machine for more than 5 years.

    3. Am I missing something? Correct me if I’m wrong, but time for ripping CDs & DVDs is dependent primarily on speed capability of the superdrive, then ripping software.

      1. First of all, that’s *far* from true on my existing system. Even on my rMBP encoding takes far longer than reading the data from the DVD. Perhaps with a Mac Pro (running Handbrake on the GPUs, which I understand is *very* fast) this would be the case. Nevertheless…

        I tend to collect my DVDs in a batch and do them together (typically 8-10 at a time). Multiple Superdrives solve this problem.

        Also, ripping DVDs is hardly the only thing this machine will do (just one of the currently more painful processes on my Mac Mini). I also do some occasional video editing and other CPU-intensive work.

        1. Dude both of those rigs are gonna make you giggle with giddiness the first time you do a rip or whatever. It’s a tough call and comes down to what suits your needs better.
          I vote for Mac Pro. Pretty sure there will be a 5K Cinema Display which you can use on the pro if ya really want it.

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