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iMac finally catches up to MacBooks with HD webcam and SSDs as standard

While the iMac line has been decent enough, it has had its shortcomings, particularly when it comes to standard/base models. Some much needed improvements are arriving today, with Apple refreshing its desktop iMac line-up with new hardware. 

The 27-inch iMac is getting the biggest upgrade, featuring faster Intel Comet Lake CPUs with up to 10 cores, double the memory capacity, Radeon RX 5000 series graphics, a much needed upgrade to SSDs across the board and finally, a 1080p FaceTime HD camera. Believe it or not, the iMac has been stuck with 720p webcams for a long time now, so this is a welcome change.

According to Apple, the new 27-inch iMac performs 40 percent faster in 8K ProRes transcode in Final Cut Pro X, 25 percent better in Xcode, 65 percent better in Logic Pro X and that’s just based on CPU improvements between this generation and last generation. In terms of GPU improvements, the new Radeon GPUs bring up to 55 percent faster rendering in Maxon Cinema 4D ProRender, up to 45 percent better performance in Total War: Three Kingdoms and 30 percent faster timeline rendering in Final Cut Pro X.

The 21.5-inch iMac has also been upgraded with SSDs as the new standard option, although a ‘fusion drive’ will still be an optional upgrade. The iMac Pro is also now shipping with an Intel 10-core Xeon processor as standard. This is of course all in preparation for macOS Big Sur, which starts shipping in the next few months.

The 21.5-inch iMac starts at $1099 and the 27-inch iMac starts at $1799.

KitGuru Says: Some very welcome upgrades for the iMac are now available, which is always nice to see. Although I am surprised standardising SSDs and Full HD webcams didn’t happen years ago. 

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