This week (13 October 2015) Apple released their new iMac with retina display. The new iMac boasts an increase in speed of up to 20% (according to the Geekbench testing) over its predecessor. The new iMac comes in 21-inch and 27-inch models, which will cost you from $1499 to $2299. What the old and new iMacs have in common is that they demonstrate that Apple knows how to develop well designed and sleek products. No one can accuse Apple of making clunking devices that double as weights for your gym workout.
Let’s take a look at what makes a new iMac different from its older brother, and what extras can make your life a bit easier.
The new 21.5-inch iMac has a fifth-generation Intel Core processor powering it, with speeds of 1.6 GHz to 3.8 GHz (depending on the configured option selected). The new 27-inch iMac has a sixth-generation Intel Core processor pouring it – allowing it to offer between 3.1 GHz and 4.2 GHz of processor speed (depending on the configured option selected). However, Turbo Boost 2.0 allows us to utilize processor power more effectively, adding to the new iMac’s speed. This causes a noticeable difference in processor speed from the 2.8 GHz and 3.4 GHz of the older 21-inch and 27-inch iMacs respectively.
With the new retina display 21-inch and 27-inch iMac, the difference in resolution can be seen. The new iMac 21-inch has 4K resolution (4096 x 2304), this is four and a half times greater than that of its non-retina display brother. Meanwhile, the new iMac 27-inch version has 5K resolution (5120 x 2880), resulting in 14.7 million pixel display – four times greater than that of its predecessors. This makes Apple users working in advertising, graphic design, photography, and video editing industries very happy. And it is enough to tempt non-Apple users to join us in greener pastures.
In my opinion, Apple has taken two steps forward and one step back regarding their new wireless Magic Keyboard. The decision to go with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery is a smart and environmentally friendly one. No more AA batteries to replace or remove and then recharge. With the longer battery life and speedy recharge time (two hours for a month worth of use) is a real plus in my book. But it is a laptop keyboard that is packaged with a desktop computer. Yes, it is lighter. However, there is no need to use a portable keyboard for a desktop – you don’t carry your iMac everywhere you go! If you want a keyboard for the new iMac, go with the Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad.
The Magic Mouse has undergone a small number of upgrades. Don’t worry, it still makes you feel like a wizard creating wonders with your magic wand. The biggest change is that the Magic Mouse uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery as well. The downside is that you can’t use the mouse while it is charging because the Lighting port is on the underside of the mouse. This would be a big deal if it had to charge every three hours. However, two hours of charging results in a month worth of use. So, no panic is needed. Apple’s Magic Mouse is definitely worth a try.
To make your life easier and user experience less stressful, consider installing the full 16 GB of RAM when purchasing the new iMac. Not so that you will have the fastest PC on the block. Rather, it will extend the longevity of your iMac. It removes the worry of your iMac suddenly becoming laboured and “outdated” when an OS update (similar to Yosemite) comes within the next four years. This was my experience with my 2012 (mid) MacBook, which needed a RAM upgrade to help it out.
The same goes regarding storage. The issue is not only about hard drive (HDD) size, but it is about HDD speed. When purchasing any model of the new iMac, be sure to note whether you are opting for a solid-state drive (SSD) or a Fusion Drive HDD. The average startup speed of an SDD is just under a minute, whereas a Fusion Drive HDD takes under ten seconds.
The new iMac is definitely a well put-together machine that elevates the personal computer. Purchasing the new iMac is a logical step for those existing iMac owners looking to upgrade. However, for those who are deciding between purchasing a MacBook and an iMac. They might want to opt for purchasing either the MacBook or MacBook Pro first – both have retina displays, they are cheaper, and are portable. And then purchase an iMac at a later date.