The best Comparison: iMac 2020 vs iMac 2019
(iMac 2020 vs iMac 2019)The 2020 iMac update was long overdue and those who wanted a new iMac were feeling abandoned. Considering that the traditional iMac user (or at least the 27 ”iMac) usually works in the creative industry, the fact that iMacs continued to use 8th generation processors and were less powerful than MacBook Pros (and some PCs ) showed that Apple did not care as much about the creative community as it said.
That neglect could be explained by the popularity of laptops, but creatives who need a decent desktop for work were waiting for Apple to update the iMac soon. Especially those who do not want to spend 2,699 € / $ 55.999 p ara have a Mac graphics card discrete , the price of the MacBook Pro 16 ” (the only other Mac offering this option ) .
Has Apple done enough with these new iMacs to please this bunch? In this article we will review the news of the 2020 iMac, the new features offered by the 27 ”models and what has not changed … for now.
In this case we will focus mainly on the changes introduced by the 27 “iMac, but there are also notable differences in the 21.5” iMac to which we will refer. You may also be interested in reading our review of the 27 ”iMac .
Some keep asking Apple for a complete redesign of the iMac. IMac fans want a larger screen thanks to the reduced bezel size and also a more ergonomic design.
Those who are after a powerful machine, the 27 ”iMac offers good value for money compared to the 16” MacBook Pro. The 27 ”iMac is priced between € 2,099 / MXN $ 49,999 and € 2,599 / MXN $ 62,499 , while the 16” MacBook Pro costs between € 2,699 / MXN $ 55,999 and € 3,199 / MXN $ 65,999.
You may think that the screen has not changed much, and you would be almost correct. It is still a 27 ”Retina 5K display with a 5120 x 2880 resolution with support for 1 billion colors.
Still offering 500 nit brightness and a P3 color gamut. However, for the first time it includes True Tone technology , something we have seen in all other Macs with a screen, as well as iPads and iPhones for a long time .
True Tone adjusts the color and brightness of the screen based on the ambient light around you. This has a positive impact on your eyesight and achieves a much more natural result than what you are seeing on the screen.
If you are one of those Mac users who tend to work in a dark room, this could go well for you. However, designers may not want to enable True Tone as the colors they work with may not display as they really are.
Our advice is to make any color adjustment with True Tone disabled, but use it when you have to spend many hours in front of the computer to avoid having vision problems. This may be why Apple has taken so long to bring it to the iMac.
There is another prominent change to the screen, but it comes at an extra cost. The iMac screen can now be configured with nanotextured glass for € 625 / MXN $ 13,750 more. This kind of glass has a matte finish and should avoid so much glare. We also have this option for the Pro Display XDR monitor ( € 1,000 / MXN $ 20,000 extra in this case).
The processor has changed. The 27 ”iMac now has Intel 10th generation processors with 6 cores, 8 cores or 10 cores (to be configured). We see the big changes in the higher models , with an 8-core Intel Core i7 at 3.8 GHz, whereas before we had an 8-core i5 processor.
Here is a comparison between the old and the new processors:
|8th Gen 3.0GHz 6-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz )||10th Gen 3.1GHz 6-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz)|
|8th Gen 3.1GHz 6-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 4.3GHz)||10th Gen 3.3GHz 6-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz)|
|9th Generation 3.7GHz 6-Core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz)||Intel Core i7 8 core 3, 8 GHz tenth generation (Turbo Boost up to 5.0 GHz)|
|To configure: 9th Gen 3.6GHz 8-core Intel Core i9 (Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz)||To configure: 10-core 3.6GHz 10-core Intel Core i9 (Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz)|
The processor in the 21.5 iMac has not changed: even the entry model has a 7th generation chip. That suggests we’ll have an update to the smaller iMac with new processors soon. We think it will be during the first half of 2021 with the arrival of the 21.5 ”iMac with Apple Silicon processors.
The big question is when the Apple Silicon will arrive on the 27 ”iMac. Some creative professionals will be concerned that Apple does not have the same industry expertise as Intel. We have analyzed this issue in OU a comparison between Intel and Apple Silicon . It may not be as bad as it may sound.
However, another question that arises in this context is: “Best guide for purchase Mac:which Mac: iMac or MacBook you should buy? ”.
We were surprised that Apple decided to keep 8GB of RAM as the standard for its iMacs . The mid -range 13 ”and 16” MacBooks Pro now come with 16GB of RAM ( 16GB of LP DDR4X 3733MHz on the 13 ”, and 16GB of 2666MHz DDR4 memory on the 16” more exact ) .
Nothing has changed when it comes to RAM. The new iMacs still pack 8GB (two 4GB) of 2666MHz DDR4 memory on four SO-DIMMs. The good thing about all e sto is that they remain accessible to the user.
You can configure the memory with 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB as before (with the exception of the entry model, which previously could only be purchased with 16 GB and 32 GB) . Now, the entire range has the option of 128 GB ( for € 3,250 / MXN $ 71,500 more ), something that has been possible thanks to the 10th generation processors.
How come Apple hasn’t made the standard RAM 16GB? That’s a € 250 / MXN $ 5,500 difference to the 8GB models, so Apple may have preferred to keep the price low. Or the company may be saving an improvement in RAM with the arrival of the iMac with Apple Silicon in 2021.
Needless to say, we would recommend using a RAM of 16GB or more.
The Fusion Drive models that were standard across the range are now a thing of the past (good!). Where before we found a 27 ”iMac with a 1TB, or 2TB Fusion Drive, we now have an entry-level 256GB SD, a 512GB SSD (configurable with 1TB or 2TB) and a premium model with 512 GB (configurable with 1 TB, 2 TB, 4 TB or 8 TB).
You may think that replacing a 1TB option with one that is only 256GB or even 512GB is a bad idea, but you should think more about the advantages than the disadvantages. You should notice performance improvements, as flash memory can be accessed faster. If you think you will need more space, you don’t have to spend a fortune and bet on an external memory or storage in iCloud .
Along these lines, the only major change from the 21.5 ”iMac is that standard SSDs are used. There are no longer any options with hard drives or Fusion Drives, and they have been replaced by 256GB SSDs . This is good news from what we mentioned earlier . This change will bring improvements in the speed of the Mac despite using the same processors.
The graphics cards have also been updated, but surprisingly two of the new models come with the same Radeon Pro 5300 and with 4 GB of GDDR6 memory. The graphics cards serv í an earlier point of comparison between the model 27 “input and midrange, but now 200 € / MZN $ 5,000 over only get twice the storage and faster processor.
Premium models include the Radeon Pro 5500 XT with 8GB of GDDR6 memory. It can also be configured with a Radeon Pro 5700 with 8GB of GDDR6 memory. If you choose to do so, you can use two 6K monitors at the same time.
These new GPUs have an RDNA architecture, are compatible with GDDR6 memory, and are manufactured using the 7nm process.
Previously, the options were the Radeon Pro 570X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory, the Radeon Pro 575X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory, and the Radeon Pro 580X with 8GB of GDDR5 memory. The top model could also be purchased with the Radeon Pro Vega 48 with 8GB of HBM2 memory.
FaceTime, Audio and Hey Siri
The FaceTime camera is worth mentioning because it’s something we’ve missed from Macs during the coronavirus pandemic. The quality of the FaceTime camera is very poor and it becomes apparent (or even embarrassed) now that we often use it for video calls.
So we are pleased that the 27 ”models now have a 1080p FaceTime HD camera (previously they only had a FaceTime HD camera). Hopefully, you will notice a difference when making calls, although you may prefer to have a grainy image.
The new 27 ” iMacs offer a studio-quality three-microphone setup, high signal-to-noise ratio, and directional beamforming technology (Apple’s words). This is supposed to improve the audio quality.
Another novelty in the iMac is “Hey Siri”, now supported thanks to the inclusion of the T2 chip. This means that we already have an Apple-made processor inside the iMac.
The T2 chip Apple is already used in the iMac Pro, Mac mini, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, and is responsible for the management controller system, the proces Ador images, the contro Staller audio and controller of SSD, as well as making Touch ID information secure and offering encryption and secure boot capabilities . It was a surprise not to see it on the 2019 iMac.
Ports, wireless connections and Bluetooth
The back of the iMac, where the ports are located, doesn’t look much different, but it does. The big change is that the USB A ports are now USB 3.0 (which is obviously still backward compatible with the old standard, but faster).
The SDXC card slot now supports the new UHS-II standard for higher speeds (good news to continue here!). There are still two Thunderbolt 3 ports , and the Ethernet can now be configured with 1GB, 2.5GB, 5GB, and 10GB.
The Wi- Fi is still 802.11ac (compatible with 802.11a / b / g / n), but there is no sign of the upcoming 802.11ax. Bluetooth is still 5.0, an improvement from the previous 4.2.
Design and dimensions
Physically, the iMac has not changed, or at least not on the outside. The design is the same as that of the last decade. The dimensions haven’t changed either, but the new iMac is lighter (understandable after the hard drive has been removed).
It now weighs 8.92 kg, and not 9.42 kg, although we think that you are not going to carry it up and down. The only change is that Apple now includes a cleaning cloth in the box. So your iMac may shine for longer.
We are facing an update to the iMac that is worth it, although it should be that way after so long. However, Apple will need to do much more to convince creative professionals to transition to Apple Silico n (or it could lose this market).