At Monday’s “Scary Fast” event, Apple rolled out a simple update to the iMac, the perennial all-in-one desktop computer, with the new M3 chip. This comes alongside the new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro.
“The world’s best all-in-one gets even more powerful and even more capable,” said CEO Tim Cook. “We’re giving the iMac a giant leap in performance while keeping the same, impossibly thin design,” said SVP of hardware engineering John Ternus.
iMac starts at the same price of $1,299. You can order it today and it will be available next week.
The first revision to the Apple silicon iMac
In the three-plus years since Apple began its transition away from Intel to its own chip design, there has only been one iMac released. What was once the beating heart embodying the Mac itself is now only updated whenever Apple feels like it — today, people clamor for the MacBook and iPad instead.
The previous iMac, designed with an M1 chip, is nonetheless an excellent computer. It has a dramatically thin design with a 24-inch display and more than enough power for the average consumer.
“Millions of users around the world, from families to business owners, absolutely love the 24-inch iMac,” said Ternus. The product has indeed found a home among swanky, stylish offices.
The first M3 Mac
M3 is made using the same three-nanometer process used in the A17 Pro chip, available in the iPhone 15 Pro. “With M3, iMac is up to two times faster than iMac with M1.” And compared to the prior Intel model, “iMac with M3 is up to two and a half times faster,” continued Ternus.
Apple says this performance translates to the following real-world improvements:
- Safari, and other productivity apps like Microsoft Excel, perform “up to 30 percent faster.”
- Games load and perform faster, with “up to 50% faster frame rates.”
- Image processing in Photoshop, video editing in Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro is “up to 2× faster.”
The base model comes with an 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 8GB unified memory, 256GB of storage and only comes in green, pink, blue and silver; starting at $1,299 for consumers or $1,249 for education. The iMac can be configured up to a 10-core GPU, 24GB of unified memory and 2TB of storage.
All models have been updated to Wi-Fi 6E, the latest in wireless technology; and Bluetooth 5.3.
Like the A17 Pro, the M3 enables hardware-accelerated ray tracing for faster graphics. Apple touted some new games coming to the Mac: Baldur’s Gate 3, Lies of P, and the director’s cut of Death Stranding.
From the outside, many specs are the same. It features the same 24-inch display with 4.5K Retina resolution, the same color-matched Lightning accessories and the same 1080p FaceTime HD camera.
The iMac is taking steps in Apple’s journey to a net-zero climate impact by 2030. While it isn’t totally carbon neutral a la Apple Watch Series 9, it is built with “100 percent recycled aluminum in the stand, recycled rare earth magnets, recycled tin soldering in multiple printed circuit boards, and, in a first for iMac, 100 percent recycled gold in the plating of multiple printed circuit boards,” according to the press release.