While the new iPad Air and last year'sgot big physical makeovers in their latest incarnations, the 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMacs are unchanged on the outside. Inside, however, it's a different story.
Graphics go from Radeon Pro 555 and 560 GPUs to the newer Radeon Pro Vega 20. These changes only affect the $1,299 (£1,249, AU$1,999) and $1,499 base model 21.5-inch iMacs. The entry level $1,099 model, with a dual-core seventh-gen Intel Core i5, remains unchanged.
More interesting is what's happening to the 27-inch iMac. That model still starts at $1,799 (£1,749, AU$2,799) and comes with a standard 5K display, but the Intel CPUs start at eighth-gen six-core chips, and can go all the way up to the eight-core Intel Core i9, something usually only seen in high-end gaming systems or creative workstations. This could double performance speed in some applications, according to Apple.
Graphics here go up to Radeon Pro Vega 48 from the older Radeon Pro 560/570/580, which Apple says is 50-percent faster.
Reordering the Mac lineup
With these updates, nearly every Mac computer has been recently updated or redesigned. Fall 2018 brought us a new MacBook Air and even a new(a system many had assumed was on its way out), while earlier in 2018 saw a notable processor jump in the MacBook Pro. Apple may be feeling the pressure to keep up to date with CPUs in systems, or risk losing creatives to Windows PCs with the latest and greatest components.
These new iMacs, especially the 27-inch 6-core and 8-core versions, finally offer a pro-level alternative to the very expensive, which is a highly specialized product out of reach for most. Of course, none of this answers our burning questions about the future of the , which Apple has promised to unveil sometime this year.
The new 21.5 and 27-inch iMacs are available to order now, and should be in stores next week. See the buying link below, and note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of products featured on this page.