March 19, 2019

Apple Unveils New iMacs with Faster Graphics and Processing Performance

New 2019 iMacs
The new 21 and 27 inch iMacs might appear the same, but look to pack much more of a punch for video editors.

From the outside, the new iMacs look pretty much the same as they’ve looked since 2012, yet this newest generation looks to focus on improved processing speeds and performance, which is always welcome news to video editors and filmmakers.

Apple has announced their new 21.5-inch iMac and 27-inch iMac which are available now. Let’s take a look at the updated stats, specs and performance to see how they could help your workflow.

Introducing the 2019 iMacs

New iMacs

Let’s start with the biggest news, the updated processors for both iMacs. The 21.5-inch iMac can include up to a 3.2GHz six-core 8th-gen Core i7 processor (and Turbo Boost up to 4.6Ghz), while the more powerful 27-incher can push up to a 3.6GHz eight-core 9th-gen Core i9 processor (with Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz).

According to Apple, these represent up to 60% faster CPU performance and up to 80% faster graphics for the 21.5-inch model and up to  2.4x faster CPU performance and 50% faster graphics for the 27-inch model.

Improved Graphics

iMac1

Perhaps just as big of a concern for video editors is the updates to the graphics cards for the new iMacs. Both now offer some impressive workstation-class Vega-graphics options. The iMacs feature a new Radeon Pro 500X series graphic card (which Apple reports up to a 50% performance over the previous Radeon Pro 580s).

The 21.5-inch 4K Retina display can be loaded with up to 4GBs of dedicated VRAM while the 27-inch 5K Retina display can be loaded with up to 8GBs.

Increased Storage and Memory

iMac2

As with most computer updates, both storage and memory are getting an increase. And while storage isn’t often the biggest concern for video editors who often work with an army of externals, the Fusion or SSD options which come standard with both iMacs is solid but mute.

SSD upgrades are available though at up to 1TB for the 12.5-inch iMac and up to 2TBs for the 27-inch option.

Memory options are offered with up to 32GB for faster 2,666MHz DDR4 for the 21.5-inch and up to 64GB for the 27-inch.

Full Specs and Prices

While the cosmetics stay the same, these are definitely some updated machines which could spark interest for the right editors or video professionals. And, unlike their Pro counterparts, the prices remain reasonable (or at least on-brand) for iMacs. Here are the full specs and pricing.

21.5 Inch Retina 4K iMac

  • 3.6GHz quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core i3 processor

  • 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory, configurable to 32GB

  • 1TB hard drive1

  • Radeon Pro 555X with 2GB of GDDR5 memory

  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports

  • Retina 4K 4096-by-2304 P3 display

Price: $1,299.00

27 Inch Retina 5K

  • 3.0GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor

  • Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz

  • 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory, configurable up to 32GB

  • 1TB Fusion Drive1

  • Radeon Pro 570X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory

  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports

  • Retina 4K 4096-by-2304 P3 display

Price: $1,799.00     

Your Comment

14 Comments

And yet again they fail at price.... seriously I dont get why people still fall on their ass over this bs.

And I say this having been groomed by the business through work.

March 19, 2019 at 12:30PM

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Torben Greve
Cinematographer
891

ha ha ha $1,299.00 for an i3 ... GTFO

March 19, 2019 at 12:56PM, Edited March 19, 12:56PM

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urban revolution
Creative Director
96

And a 2 GB graphics card to boot!

Those prices are bonkers. Even the i5 rig is way overpriced.

March 19, 2019 at 4:25PM

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Alex Everingham
Video Editor
631

If I were to get a maxed out 27‑inch iMac with Retina 5K display, the following would be the specs:

3.6GHz 8-core 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz
64GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory
Radeon Pro Vega 48 with 8GB of HBM2 memory
2TB SSD storage
Magic Mouse 2
Magic Keyboard

You get all that power -- well, ah -- for the low, low price of $5,249.00.

If you were to buy a 4K editing PC from Puget Systems (https://www.pugetsystems.com/recommended/Recommended-Systems-for-Adobe-P...), it would only cost you $3744.30. And, it would be expandable.

March 19, 2019 at 5:49PM

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Glenn Bossik
Videographer
623

But then what would it cost to have a retina display that would work properly with that setup? My friend and I have run into a lot of problems trying to transition from mac to pc. It seems that even after building a super beast computer we had to run proxies while editing and the cost of the computer and monitor were well over $6k.

March 19, 2019 at 7:04PM

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If you can live with 32GB Ram (and maybe upgrade later) and 1TB SSD, an i9 costs 3.799$ so almost the same as the one you mentioned. Plus a very good 27 inch display for free, OSX and Windows if you prefer. I had huge problems transitioning to PC Dell XPS9570, yes it was powerful but full of glitches and bugs.

March 20, 2019 at 7:06AM

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Video editors grading RAW files and editing UHD beyond 4K are being spec'd out of the iMac and are now pushed toward the iMac Pro line, which makes sense.

March 22, 2019 at 12:38PM, Edited March 22, 12:49PM

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Marc B
Shooter & Editor
402

That PC doesn't include the iMac's 5K P3 monitor, and has 2x512GB (slow) SSDs instead of 1x2TB (very fast) SSD. Also, you don't have to buy RAM from Apple, as you can easily install your own third-party RAM in the 27" iMac. The price difference is really not as huge as stated.

March 20, 2019 at 11:35PM

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Would you build your own car? Your own refrigerator? How about a camera?

Why is everyone trying to save money on the one thing they need to get their work done? Apple builds the whole thing and programs the OS; if something goes wrong it's not them, it's the software we put on there. Adobe Premiere is prone to crash on everything. When was the last time Photoshop crashed?

March 23, 2019 at 10:24AM, Edited March 23, 10:24AM

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Sathya Vijayendran
Writer/Director/Editor
412

APPLES ARE FOR SUCKERS...

March 20, 2019 at 6:17AM

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Jerry Roe
Indie filmmaker
1142

Edited because I'm an idiot who can't read.

March 20, 2019 at 9:58AM, Edited March 20, 10:01AM

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The 5k IMac with the high end Vega card claims to be able to edit 16 streams of 4k DCI pro res raw without dropping frames - that's an impressive feat! People complain about Macs being underpowered or a bad investment but my experience has not been that at all. They seem to just work and rarely do you have issues with them and when you do Apple fixes any hardware issues that may arise. They last for years and years and I'm able to get my work done and get paid. My experience with built PCs is that there is often a lot more IT support needed since the OS is not optimized for all the hardware components like the Macs are. Age old argument, optimization vs customization.

March 20, 2019 at 12:42PM

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Brad Jones
Director/Producer/Writer/Editor
692

I've owned a few macs and I've owned a few PCs I put together. The macs always underperformed, slowed down, dropped video, crashed regularly etc. The PC I built for 1200$ in total, has 64gb rams, i7 processor, 1080 TI Geforce video card and 2 SSD harddrives. Hasn't crashed yet.

March 21, 2019 at 9:23AM

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ryan
1

Can’t wait to buy the 27” iMac. I recently went with a $4k Ryzen-based machine with a 1080ti and 64GB of ram, after years on the MacBook Pro. Not a great decision for me. The computer is awesome, but the Windows OS isn’t transparent like on a Mac. That’s why people prefer iPhone over Android. This can be debated forever but sometimes it’s a trick-I thought I could have Thunderbolt 3, but no, not on an AMD system. Apple gets the good stuff and sticks it in a box and people like me who make money with video, don’t want to hassle with building a system that might be awesome some of the time.

March 21, 2019 at 6:42PM

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Sathya Vijayendran
Writer/Director/Editor
412

Note to NFS, must be careful when copy/pasting from 2015 'new iMacs' article to update specs at the end.

March 23, 2019 at 10:25AM

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Graham HAY
Managing Director, Helicam International Ltd.
177