Review: Apple’s iMac 27-inch offers colossal power and a gorgeous display

In early August, Apple announced a major update to its 27-inch iMac. By far the most powerful and capable iMac ever, it features faster Intel processors up to 10 cores, double the memory capacity, next-generation AMD graphics, superfast SSDs across the line with four times the storage capacity, a new nano-texture glass option for an even more stunning Retina 5K display, a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, higher fidelity speakers, and studio-quality mics. For the consumer using their iMac all day, every day, to the aspiring creative looking for inspiration, to the serious pro pushing the limits of their creativity, the new 27-inch iMac delivers the ultimate desktop experience that is now better in every way.

The new 27-inch iMac is the most powerful and capable iMac ever.
The new 27-inch iMac is the most powerful and capable iMac ever.

Daniel Howley for Yahoo Finance:

Apple’s new iMac 27-inch is a beast. Starting at $1,799, with the option to price it up to a bank account-draining $8,799, it’s designed for both everyday users in need of a big-screen desktop that will last and professionals seeking a powerlifter of a computer without having to step up to either the outrageous iMac Pro or Mac Pro.

I’ve been using a decked-out version of Apple’s (AAPL) iMac 27-inch as my work computer for the better part of a month, and it’s proven capable of handling everything I’ve thrown at it. From games to photo editing, it’s never so much as broken a sweat.

That display, with its 5K resolution, is perfect for users who want to retouch photos with exacting detail. And because it uses Apple’s nano-texture glass, a $500 add-on, it offers the benefits of a matte display — reducing glare in well-lit environments without dulling or washing out the actual on-screen image…

It’s got a fantastic display, wonderful design, and power to spare. For everyone else, the iMac 27-inch will certainly meet their needs and is worth the cash.

For professionals looking to get a system that they can use for video and photo editing, this is a fantastic solution.

MacDailyNews Take:

28 Comments

  1. You know these speeds are not fast enough. We need the base machine to be 5 times this speed and the top machine to be 15 times faster. Those time differences make for a compelling purchase.

    1. I don’t agree. Very few iMac users actually need a Xeon processor. And nobody needs to pay desktop prices for thermally constrained nonupgradable laptop components glued together. All these years Apple has been too stupid to make any monitor that matches the iMacs. Apple should get a clue and leave the all in one thing for proper laptops. Make real desktop towers.

      I would rather see desktop Macs be:

      a- all new Mac Mini, with 2 drive bays
      b- all new Mac tower, with 4 drive bays and upgradeable GPU
      c- Mac Pro, with a sizeable discount

      Apple can kill off the entire iMac range and sell proper 4k resolution OLED monitors at affordable prices in 21, 27, and 32 inch sizes. Then, WHAT A CONCEPT, the end user could buy as much screen as he wants matched to how much horsepower he wants. The AIO is just a horrible idea.

      1. “the end user could buy as much screen as he wants matched to how much horsepower he wants.”

        Love it! Fabulous smart idea all three ranges covered and screen sizes as well. Bravo.👏🏻

        I would keep just two iMacs around, iMac Classic and iMac Pro for prosperity and historical value — iMac was the first computer returning prodigal son iCEO Steve Jobs sold in 1998…

        1. Back in the day, Apple sold its old iMac depreciated designs as inexpensive eMacs. But now Apple has abandoned the education market. Too bad, they could have been a contendah.

  2. The first CON in the article, “High starting price.” My pet peeve with Apple for decades — high prices and underpowered.

    Award winning industrial design while a beautiful wrapper on the outside does not get my work done faster on the inside. Windows machines look close to as good, certainly not Apple, but you get 1.5X – 2X power for the same money.

    No wonder they are No. 4 in 2020 Global PC unit sales and about a third of sales behind the leader Lenovo. They just don’t get it as most consumers do refusing to pay the elite fashion brand Apple tax…

    1. As I asked the last time you made this claim, who makes a Windows machine with 2x the specs (including a comparable keyboard and better monitor) for the same money? Which one can run MacOS or offer synergies with other Apple products?

      1. Obviously, you have not done your pricing homework and your not my boss certainly not going to do it for you. The Director of IT at the International company I work for with a household name produced examples. As the supreme Apple apologist, I don’t expect you to believe it and could not care less…

          1. And which of those factors would produce a machine with all of the features of an iMac (or a Dell XPS plus monitor) with twice the performance for the same price? Remember, the XPS in the Duke comparison was tricked out for maximum performance and was recommended by Adobe as the most cost-effective Windows alternative to a Mac for using their software. It was still almost 10% more expensive than the iMac with a comparable monitor.

            Finding your mythical beast is unlikely, and probably impossible if the comparison is to total cost of ownership. Certainly impossible if the user needs access to MacOS and synergism with other Apple devices.

            1. I agree, TxUser, that when build quality, monitor resolution and TCO is factored in, the Mac generally represents the better value.

              Unfortunately, the price of entry into the world of Mac is very steep. Most users do not need some of the features that Apple pushes into its systems that dramatically raise the price. Monitors are a prime example. Therefore, the entry level machines cut costs through very small SSD’s and limited RAM that can’t be upgraded later.

              Personally, I just bought a HP 2 in 1 with 1TB ssd for CAD $1350. The cheapest MacBook Air with 1TB is CAD $1799. I certainly do not expect my new HP to last as long as an Air, but there is always sticker shock when it comes to Apple.

              I really am looking forward to replacing my iMac though! It is a mid 2011 21.5″ with a 256GB ssd and 2 TB HD. Even 9 years later, it is still faster than almost any computer I use at work. But it is no longer supported in OS updates.

            2. Well said roundup of many angles and agreed, Doug.

              The ROI for Apple machines is understood and second to none. But unfortunately that reality does not translate to the majority of buyer’s initial “Sticker shock” concerns has always been Apple’s Achilles heel going back to the 1980s. Apple’s smug failure to promote understanding and market ROI to the average person has not changed the perception much.

              You brought up another issue near and dear to my heart. Unfortunately, Apple obsoletes older devices and software much faster than most tech companies. The Gold Standard example is Microsoft support for XP lasted 14 years. Your iMac is thrown under the bus after nine years, and most likely less than that, is just wrong.

              Even though you cannot upgrade the OS and most likely the browser, everything works. I have an older MacPro running my favorite Mac OS of all time Snow Leopard and same reality, cannot upgrade anything, but everything works perfectly the browsers being the lone exception.

              Unplug from the grid and I am a happy camper with older software I spent thousands on still humming along beautifully. Many SAVE AS and EXPORT formats to choose from that are useful on the latest versions of software…

  3. Need a machine now, but trying to hold out for Apple Silicone. Don’t want to buy into a dead end. No way Apple can keep up energy and innovation with Intel machines that are being phased out. Seems DOA.

  4. I have been using iMac’s exclusively since 1999 & it was time for a new one. Looked long and hard at the various iMacs with upgrades. Could not justify the prices & did what was unthinkable a few years ago; I purchased a Dell all in one. So far no regrets.

      1. Ritchie: they often don’t come back. Apple’s lack of effort wooing Mac users with superior value machines has left it with a stagnated market share, less than 10%. For every net gain of one new Mac user, Microsoft gets 9 new Windows users.

        Face reality and stop pretending that Apple will be able to prosper in the future as an elite fashion brand. Apple needs to deliver a better lifetime value than other PCs AND APPLE DOES NOT DO THIS CONSISTENTLY ANYMORE.

        In fact, Apple’s poor Mac product selection of antique thermally constrained unergonomic iMacs shows how lazy Apple has become.

    1. My brother was a diehard Mac fan since his first computer purchase the Blueberry iMac and all iMac for years thereafter, the half basketball stand and then several more.

      When his iMac blew up (Apple quality build) he was not happy and went shopping for a Pro computer to run Maya animation and video during the 6-year MacPro upgrade drought.

      Comparing computers he said found Pro PCs for about half less money and almost twice the firepower and never looked back. To this day he can’t believe the high Mac prices for underpowered, although beautiful works of art machines.

      I could not agree more….

  5. The usability of AutoCad, Navis, and Revit, isn’t getting better with their subscription plan, imagine running 3 to 5 different versions installed on your work machine at the same time combined with password request every 3 to 5 day’s. A Windows ribbons SYSTEM IS HELL, I bet he runs Maya and gets off as fast as he can.

  6. I guess the question I have is that since the iMac is 90% closed, what configuration options make sense from a “futureproofing” standpoint?

    For example, I can see getting the 2TB SSD instead of 1TB (512GB? HA!), as well as 10gbE, but what of the graphics card, particularly for a use case that’s predominantly not video?

    Likewise, i7 vs i9? Seems like its mostly 8 vs 10 cores and again, when the workflow isn’t heavy on video or 3D processing, to what degree is it really needed?

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