Hands-on with Apple’s new Core i9 iMac 5K with Radeon Pro Vega 48 graphics

“Now that we have a new line of iMacs, we’ve upgraded the 27-inch iMac 5K with the 8-core i9 Intel processor and the Radeon Pro Vega 48 graphics for ultimate performance,” Andrew O’Hara writes for AppleInsider.

“The design still looks good, but with large bezels and a significant ‘chin,’ it seems near enough time for a refresh and is catching some heat for not having a new look,” O’Hara writes. “We understand — it just looks a bit dated at this point after it debuted four years ago in 2015.”

Along with 16GB RAM onboard, “also on this machine is a 2TB Fusion drive and 2GB of VRAM,” O’Hara writes. “To start, we ran Geekbench 4. Our machine garnered a single thread score of 6313 and a multi-core score of 32954. These are pretty solid numbers, especially compared to the base iMac Pro. This model beats the base iMac Pro in single-core, and barely loses out on the multi-core test. This bump in performance is due to more cores and higher frequencies rather than any change in the actual chip architecture compared to years past.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Even without any exterior design changes, the 27-inch iMac remains an absolutely gorgeous machine (and we know, as we stare at them all day long when we’re at our desks)!


  1. The iMac is a gorgeous machine, beautiful industrial design, rather, art. Still far ahead of the competition in design. I would hate to see Apple change the design just for the sake of change.

    1. Certainly not change it just to get thinner bezels. Although I wouldn’t mind if they changed it somewhat to allow customers to do easier upgrading of internals. (I know that’s not going to happen).

    2. Is it too much to ask to have a a nonglossy screen, height adjustment, thin bexels, and ports located in the front?

      Yes, the i9 brings the iMac to the top of the heap for performance in all-in-one desktops again. Finally. Thank you Apple.

      However it does have to be said that the competition is making Apple’s old designs look quaint.

      1. Personally I far prefer the look of the iMac over the HP pictured above.

        Pundits who need something to write about are the ones calling for a new look.

        New functionality, great!

        New look just for looks sake, forget it.

        1. I agree, Grumpy. Statements like the one in this article (below) bother me a lot. The aesthetics of the iMac are fine. If Apple wants to update the design to improve user accessibility/upgradeability or thermal performance or some other good reason, then fine. Otherwise, don’t complain about a functional and attractive design. As we have all observed in many industries over the years, the pursuit of “change” just to be different can lead to worse results, not better. Seek improvement, not just change.

          “The design still looks good, but with large bezels and a significant ‘chin,’ it seems near enough time for a refresh and is catching some heat for not having a new look,” O’Hara writes. “We understand — it just looks a bit dated at this point after it debuted four years ago in 2015.”

  2. I had heard the i9 had pretty decent thermal behavior and that’s great. They said the fans didn’t even ramp up. However, they didn’t say anything about what the ambient temperature was at the time of testing. On summer days, it could be a problem if the ambient temperature gets in the 80s or 90sF. I’d make sure I could ramp up the fans with software. The i9 iMac would be a good choice for me as I don’t do much video work, so I’m not complaining.

    I still think Apple should really offer a more powerful fan with the i9 but I suppose something like that will never happen. Other companies do use beefier fans on computers with more powerful CPUs and GPUs, but not Apple.

    I can’t decide on whether I should get the low-end iMac Pro or the high-end iMac as they’re pretty close in price. It’s going to be a tough decision but my gut says to go with the iMac Pro for longevity and ports.

  3. For light work, the 9900K (i9) behaves very well, but this chip is powerful and power hungry at full load. Much more than the last i7 on the 27 iMac. It also gets way hotter. So, I would like to see how this new iMac handles the i9 processor at full power for a long period of time. Remember the iMac Pro has 2 fans for thermal reasons. Now my question is if this new iMac will have to live with a way less optimized thermal capacity or if this model also includes 2 fans.

    My point is, even if the desktop i9 offers top performance, for heavy jobs the iMac Pro is still the way to go. Anyway, it is great to have the options the new iMac includes.

  4. I have not experienced any issues so far. And I can attest to it being very fast!!
    For everyone who wants to change the core chassis, I don’t see what more you could ask for. The black area is for cabling, camera, microphone etc. The whole package has been trimmed down to a point where they have to utilize the space they have. And making this thing any bigger doesn’t seem prudent to me.

  5. My first Apple product was the Mac Plus. Sure I’ve had Window machines for servers and testing purposes, but I’ve been a Mac house professionally and personally since 1985. Now building a high end Windows workstation for work. Can no longer ignore the Apple premium for professional gear, the fact that Apple is often years behind the tech curve. An unreliable partner to rely on. I will still use and buy and use Apple products, but when I can build a workstation in less than a day for ⅓ the price of a similar performing Mac, I will force myself to live with Windows. What scares me the most for Apple is that I’ll get used to it. I’ve been supportive of Tim, stepping into a tough position as CEO following Steve, but Apple’s choice of priorities no longer align with mine.

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