Apple had a bit of a Halloween treat for Mac desktop aficionados at its “Scary Fast” event. As expected, the 24-inch iMac is getting more oomph thanks to Apple’s new M3 chipset. According to the presentation in tonight’s Apple Event, the latest model will be up to twice as fast as the last iMac, which has an M1 chipset. Those making the switch from an Intel-based iMac will find that the new model is up to 2.5 times faster than some of the most popular 27-inch models.
The M3 has an eight-core CPU and up to a 10-core GPU. The graphics cores support hardware-accelerated mesh shading and ray-tracing. The chipset has a 16-core Neural Engine and support for up to 24GB of unified memory too.
Compared with the M1 iMac from 2021, the M3-powered version will deliver up to a 30 percent speed boost in Safari and productivity apps such as Microsoft Excel, Apple says. The company notes that games will run at up to 50 percent improved frame rates too. Creatives will be able to edit and play back up to 12 4K video streams, three times as many as before. Apple also says that processing images in apps such as Adobe Photoshop and tackling video projects in Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro will be up to twice as fast.
There aren’t too many upgrades elsewhere in the latest Mac. Apple is sticking with a 4.5K Retina display, for instance. There are some handy changes on the connectivity front. The latest iMac supports Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 — the M1 iMac had Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0. Still, the M3 iMac might be worth the upgrade for those who have been clinging onto an older model.
Orders for the M3 iMac open today and it will ship on November 7. The base model comes with an eight-core GPU, two Thunderbolt ports, Magic Keyboard, and Magic Mouse. However, it once again has a paltry 256GB of SSD storage and 8GB of unified memory. This variant will run you $1,299 (or $1,249 for education). It’s available in green, pink, blue and silver.
If you’d like an M3 iMac that has a 10-core GPU, that starts at $1,499 ($1,399 for education). Other upgrades include two additional USB 3 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port and Magic Keyboard with Touch ID. However, the base storage and RAM remain the same at 256GB and 8GB, respectively. This model is available in green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue and silver.
If you’re more of a laptop fan, Apple also announced 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with the M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max chipsets — you can get all the details on those here.
Follow all of the news from Apple’s “Scary Fast” October event right here.