Computers

iMac 2017 Released In The Wild: Is It Worth The Upgrade?

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iMac 2017 released

Apple has once again unleashed a whole new collection of products during the opening ceremony of the WWDC 2017 event. Among the products released is the new iMac 2017 that now features the latest Kaby Lake processor from Intel.

While these have been notoriously lacking in some aspects, Apple assured its consumer base that the new iMac 2017 has been improved from the ground up.

New Intel processor

Of course, an upgrade will not be complete without the proper processor from Intel. The previous iteration of the iMac used the Skylake processors. Now, iMac 2017s are equipped with the seventh generation Intel processor based on the Kaby Lake architecture. These new processors boasts a15-percent performance boost across the board. Furthermore, the new chip has native support for 4K video processing.

Faster storage

As with every iteration of iMacs, Apple tries to make the best of it in terms of storage. Although the basic model still features the spinning platter storage, users can still take advantage of faster solid state drive. This time around, Apple speed up the SSD technology by 50 percent and increased maximum storage size of 3TB.

iMac 2017 released

New iMac 2017 (via apple.com)

Better and more powerful display

For photographers and content creators, the iMac 2017’s new display is a welcomed treat. The new 4K and 5K displays are now 43 percent brighter than the previous model. And with Apple including 10-bit dithering into the mix, be ready to glimpse 1 billion colors from the impressive display.

For media creators, such as 3D graphics, the new Radeon Pro 500 graphics cards will surely whet one’s appetite. The new on-board graphics is capable of handling just about anything that is thrown at it including five streams of 4K video on Final Cur Pro X.

Virtual reality, finally

The new iMac 2017 will be the first iMac to ever support virtual reality or VR. This is quite a good news especially for people who consume VR contents on a regular basis. As VR is getting more and more popular these days, it is just right that Apple includes this feature on the new iMac.

In addition to a huge number of possible contents, the iMac 2017, along with Final Cut Pro X, will enable users to create 360-degree videos and cutting-edge VR contents easily.

iMac 2017 released

VR support on the new iMac (via apple.com)

Upgradability

For enthusiasts and people who want to save a few bucks, the iMac 2017, especially the 21.5-inch model, is once again upgradable. According to a recent teardown from iFixit, the small iMac 2017 sports a modular CPU and slots for SODIMM memory modules. Unfortunately, unlike the 27-inch model, upgrading the 21.5-inch version is not for the faint-hearted. Upgrading anything on the smaller iMac will still need a good amount of disassembly. Furthermore, doing it yourself will effectively void the device’s warranty. Nevertheless, for experienced iMac enthusiasts, this is surely a great news.

As for the maximum size of memory, Apple still limits the RAM size for the 27-inch model to 32GB. However, as confirmed by OWC, the bigger iMac is indeed capable of supporting a maximum of 64GB of RAM.

Thunderbolt 3.0

Thunderbolt 3.0 is finally supported on the iMac 2017. The good news is, Apple kept with the tradition of putting two high-speed ports on the new iMac. Consumers can connect as many as two 4K external display to both Thunderbolt 3.0 ports or one 5K display.

In addition to external 4K and 5K display, Apple is also allowing users to attach third-party eGPU hardware to the iMac. Now that it features a faster Thunderbolt port, using an eGPU on a Mac is more exciting than ever. Gone are the days of bottle-necking and inefficient eGPU support for the iMac.

Price

Finally, there is the question of the price. For anyone using the older 21.5-inch 4K iMac, upgrading to the new version is a bit less painful on your pockets. Apple has given the said iMac a $200 price cut. Now, the smaller iMac 2017 is priced at only $1,299. Furthermore, its bigger brother can now be fetched for only $1,499.

iMac 2017 released

Data ports on the new iMac (via apple.com)

Final verdict

There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to upgrading to a new iMac. For one, the 2015 models are already Retina-ready and used quite impressive hardware inside. However, for those who want to experience VR on the iMac would need to upgrade to the new system.

In addition to this, enthusiasts who like using eGPUs to improve their graphics handling performance will surely benefit from the iMac 2017’s Thunderbolt 3.0 ports. For those who feel that the AMD Radeon Pro 500 GPUs are still lacking, sticking in another GPU is as easy as inserting a cable to a port.

A fast storage, especially for video editors, is very important. Upgrading to the new iMac will surely shorten your wait time when it comes to transferring videos for editing on your Mac.

Again, for professional photographers, the new display will help make sure your images are true to their colors. The display’s increased brightness and wider colour gamut will ensure quality images every single time.

As Apple has introduced some nice price reductions to both the 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac 2017s, getting one is a bit less painful on your wallets. Selling your older unit and then toping it up for the new one is much easier than it will ever be.

As an end note, if you are looking for an absolute beast of a machine, perhaps waiting until December for the iMac Pro is worth considering. For consumers who are price insensitive and is looking for the best iMac experience, the iMac Pro is the machine you are looking for.

For more updates on the iMac 2017, be sure to check us out at TheBitbag.

Also read: Analyst Weighs in on Project Scorpio Price: Much Cheaper Than You Think

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