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iMac with M1 silicon: What’s inside Apple’s jazzy new all-in-one?

By Nadeem Sarwar April 20, 2021, 8:13 pm
apple blue and pink imac

Apple has finally lifted the covers from the new and updated iMac. And boy this is some upgrade. Apple has changed things inside out, drastically changing the design language of its beloved all-in-one machine, and has also equipped it with in-house silicon, just like the new Macs that were launched a few months ago. But these are just some of the most notable upgrades, as a lot of other things have changed too. Here’s a detailed look at the specifications of Apple’s new 24-inch iMac:

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Let’s start with the display first. Apple has equipped its latest iMac with a 24-inch 4.5K Retina display that offers a resolution of 4480 x 2520 pixels, translating to a pixel-density of 218PPI. The brightness output is capped at 500 nits, which is quite impressive for a product in its class. It covers the P3 color gamut and is capable of reproducing over a billion colors.


The new iMac is Ben Affleck of all-in-one PCs, thanks to that huge chin!

Apple is employing the in-house True Tone technology for making automatic color temperature adjustments for the best viewing experience. Apple says it has also applied a layer of anti-reflective coating on top of the panel. Inside, the new 24-inch iMac draws power from the M1 silicon, the same processor that you will find at the heart of the late 2020 MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mini. Here are a few figures Apple touts regarding the performance gains of its beastly new iMac:

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  • Up to 85 percent faster CPU performance
  • Up to 2x faster GPU performance
  • Up to 50 percent faster than the most powerful discrete GPU inside the fastest 21.5-inch iMac model
  • Up to 3x faster machine learning using the new 16-core NPU
  • Ability to edit up to five streams of 4K footage

And just like its laptop counterparts. Apple is offering the iMac refresh in two configurations – a base model with a 7-core GPU and a higher-end version that comes equipped with a more powerful 8-core graphics engine. Apple offers 8 gigs of RAM as a standard, but you can add another 8GB while configuring it. The storage option starts at 256GB and goes all the way up to 2TB of SSD.

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Coming to the port selection, you get two Type-C Thunderbolt ports that support DisplayPort, Thunderbolt 3 (up to 40Gb/s), USB 4.0 (up to 40Gb/s), and USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10Gb/s) standards. You can separately purchase an adapter to add more ports such as HDMI, DVI, and VGA. The company notes that the Thunderbolt port can drive a screen with a peak 6K resolution at a 60Hz refresh rate.

The cheaper model also has a 3.5mm headphone jack on the side. However, the pricier 8-core GPU variant adds two more USB 3.0 Type-C (up to 10Gb/s) ports and a Gigabit Ethernet port as well. Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.0 handle the wireless connectivity side of things.

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Apple has also upgraded the camera hardware of its new iMac, which now comes armed with a 1080p Face Time camera that is backed by the M1 image signal processor. Borrowing some tricks from the onboard Neural Engine, Apple says the new front camera offers much better output in low-light scenarios, better dynamic range, exposure, and white balance. In simple terms, the quality of your video calls will be much better.

And to assist in achieving that goal, the iMac has been fitted with three beam-forming mics for better noise suppression and audio clarity. Plus, the speaker system has also been overhauled. Apple has equipped the machine with a high-fidelity six-speaker system.

imac logic board

The audio hardware includes two pairs of force-canceling woofers that handle the bass output, while a pair of tweeters ensure that the soundstage is wide, and mids and highs are not muddled. More importantly, Apple says that the new iMac offers support for Spatial Audio when watching Dolby Atmos content, essentially offering a theatrical surround sound experience.

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As far as the retail package goes, the 24-inch iMac comes bundled with a Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse, 143W power adapter, a braided color-matched power cord, and USB-C to Lightning Cable. Do keep in mind that we are talking about the new Magic Keyboard and Mouse here, both of which come with a dash of colors.

If you go with the more expensive 8-core model, you get the Magic Keyboard with a Touch ID button. Of course, you can pick up the bigger model that also adds a numpad alongside the fingerprint sensor as well as the new and colorful Magic Trackpad, but you’ll have to spend extra for them.

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Pricing & availability of Apple’s new 24-inch iMac

Now, let’s talk about the pricing. The base configuration with a 7-core GPU and 256GB of onboard storage starts at $1,299. You can choose between Blue, Pink, Green, and Silver trims for this one. If you go for the more powerful model with an 8-core GPU, you will have to shell out $1,499 for the base 256GB variant, while the 512GB version will cost you $1,699. For this one, color options on the table are Blue. Green, Pink, Silver, Purple, Orange, and Yellow.

If you plan to grab one, the 24-inch iMac will be available to order starting this Friday on April 30 via the official Apple Store. Retail availability from authorized partners begins in the second week of May in the US alongside a host of other markets.


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