Apple has finally renovated its regular iMac desktops, offering new processors and graphics chips for the 21.5 and 27-inch models.
The 21.5-inch iMac now features an eight-core eight-core quad-core i3 processor or a six-core i5 processor and a Radeon Pro 555X GPU or a Radeon Pro 560X by default. But customers who want more power can set up a custom model with an i7 processor of up to six cores, 32 GB of RAM and the AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20 GPU (with 4 GB of memory). They are options similar to those that Apple already has in the updated Mac Mini: only with a built-in 4K screen.
The 27-inch iMac gets the Intel i5 six-core processor started in all areas: 8th generation in the lowest two configurations, and 9th generation in the highest precompiled option of $ 2,299, although Apple also offers updates to Intel's latest 9-core i9 i9 processors (for a price). The graphics on the 27-inch models are Radeon Pro 570X, 575X GPUs and 580X for precompiled models, although AMD's Radeon Pro Vega 48 GPU (with 8GB of memory) is available as a custom option for the highest configuration.
Although the updates are nice to watch, it also highlights Apple's frustratingly slow cadence when it comes to offering the latest chips on their Macs. It's been almost two years (652 days, to be exact) since Apple last updated the regular iMac models, which were released with Intel's 7th generation chips at WWDC 2017.
But despite having all that time, and the fact that Intel has already released a full list of 9th generation chips: the Apple update largely follows Intel's 8th generation processors by default. The latest and best chips are available in the most expensive preconfigured version of the 27-inch model, but otherwise, customers will only get Intel's newest chips if they buy a custom-configured computer. If you've been waiting for an increase in iMac specification, it's probably disappointing to see that Apple is still lagging behind when it comes to offering the latest components.
Today's updates are only for standard iMac models; the most powerful iMac Pro (released in December 2017) is not receiving an increase in specifications at present. This is in part because Intel has not yet released the next-generation W-series Xeon processors using the iMac Pro, aside from the 28-core Intel Xeon W-3175X processor that was launched in December.
The new 21.5-inch iMac starts at $ 1,299, while the 27-inch model starts at $ 1,799.
Update March 19, 8:41 a.m.: Additional details on the configurations for the new iMacs were added.