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Apple iMac 27-Inch With 5K Retina Display (2019) Review: Huge Performance Boost With A Familiar Design

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Will the love story of the United States with mobile applications and Apple’s iPhone leave room for the iMac, the all-in-one computer that has made Apple one of the world’s most famous brands? The latest update from iMac suggests that Apple knows that iMac is still in a good place. The new model comes with a new performance boost, but
nothing more. The reviewed 27-inch version ($ 1,799; $3,449 reviewed) introduces high-tech components to a fine but familiar PC design that has just changed since 2015. This modern classic is your only option for a macOS-based large-screen all-in-one. Fortunately, it still remains an excellent PC.

Pros:

  • Superb Retina display.
  • Sleek styling and the utmost attention to detail.
  • Top-notch pc performance.
  • Great sound quality.
  • Premium software package.

Cons:

  • Expensive as configured.
  • Inadequate storage capacity.
  • No HDMI or dedicated DisplayPort output.
  • Needs height adjustment.
  • No touch screen.

What’s New?

You can’t see the new features of the 27-inch iMac, at least not without opening it and without voiding the associated one-year warranty. This is because they are all about updated processors, GPUs, and memory settings.

The CPU accessories now include the Intel Core i5 core with 3 GHz or the Intel Core i9 core with 2.6 GHz (our review unit). The latter is the latest and greatest “Coffee Lake” series from Intel’s ninth-generation CPUs.

New graphics options include the Radeon Pro 500 series GPU with 4 GB or 8 GB video memory or Radeon Pro Vega 48 like our reviewed device. The Vega 48 is an important upgrade as it brings the 27-inch iMac directly under the entry-level iMac Pro with the Radeon Pro Vega 56. For people who need a lot of graphics but aren’t interested in the Xeon processor or other elite accessories that make up the iMac Pro’s high starting
price of $5,000, the 27-inch iMac is now a more profitable option.

The iMac is available in 21 and 27-inch screen sizes, but I think the latter looks better on your desktop, provided you have enough space. This is because their dimensions seem to be the most appropriate. The large black edges (beveled) around the screen are thick and visible and correspond to the reflective black Apple logo on the underside.
With these 21-inch iMacs, these edges look too big and blurry compared to the screen size in a world where ever thinner screens are big and competitive all-in-one PC monitors.

Apple iMac 27-Inch With 5K Retina Display (2019) Review: Huge Performance Boost With A Familiar Design 1

On a much larger screen, however, the 27-inch iMac takes these constraints calmly and makes them look elegant and modern. The rest of the iMac reflects the sleek, minimalist look compared to the same brushed silver aluminum case that’s been around since 2015. Apple describes a simple, uncluttered and neat, and I am inclined to it. I also think the Space Gray iMac Pro and MacBooks look even better, but the iMac is still only available in silver.

The system measures 20.3×25.6×8 inches (HWD) and weighs 20.8 pounds with the stand. With the stand, you can tilt your iMac forward or backward, but as always, no height adjustment is possible. This makes it less flexible than the iMac’s two main competitors.
Both the Dell XPS 27 and the Microsoft Surface Studio 2 for $3,499.00 are much more flexible and can even be placed on the desktop thanks to the stands.

Instead of a stand, you can also attach your iMac to the wall with a pre-installed VESA bracket or a bracket from a third-party provider. In any case, the dimensions are cheap compared to one of iMac’s Windows-based competitors, the Dell XPS 27, at $ 1,399.99 at
Dell. The fact that the all-in-one is about the same size (17x25x3 inches without the stand), but an abundance of built-in speakers make it an astonishing 38 pounds, which is too difficult to handle if you do need to connect peripheral devices to the backport.

The iMac, on the other hand, can easily be turned on your desk with one hand, which is good because of all the connections on the back of the right edge. This includes four USB 3.0 Type-A ports, two oval USB C ports with Thunderbolt 3 support, a Gigabit Ethernet
port, a full-size SD card slot, a headphone jack, and a power supply port.

The use of Type-A USB ports is particularly important as they are required to charge Apple mobile devices with the included power supplies, but not for all Apple’s MacBook notebook models. The iMac also has a Kensington-style locking slot that is located behind the bracket and at the bottom left of the power switch. https://gadgetcenter.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Apple-iMac-27-Inch-With-5K-Retina-Display-2.jpg

Especially when there is no connection selection, it has its own video output. The 27-inch iMac supports up to two external 4K monitors with a refresh rate of 60 Hz. However, you may need to purchase USB-C to DisplayPort or USB-C to HDMI adapters to connect them.

Display

Compared to the iMac 2019, the Retina 5K screen is as impressive as ever. “Retina” means different things on different Apple devices, but it has an original resolution of 5,120×2,880 pixels and supports one billion colors. This screen is the best in the family
and one of the best you can find for all-inclusive computers. The text is clear and the macOS Finder windows look good.

The screen was one of the main improvements during the iMac 2017 refresh since Apple increased the brightness to its current maximum of 500nit. It covers 100 percent of the sRGB spectrum, 87 percent of the NTSC spectrum and 92 percent of the Adobe RGB according to the PC Labs color meter tests in 2017. It’s now the same screen, which means Apple has decided not to enable TrueTone’s automatic white balance control,
which is now available for some other products.

The iMac also has no touch screen. All-in-one PCs for end-users are one of the most important benefits of touch compatibility in Windows 10 for family members to search for calendars or cook recipes. However, Apple is still working to avoid full-screen touch support from macOS. Fortunately, numerous third-party accessories, such as the Logitech Craft keyboard, provide alternative input methods for creative professionals
who might otherwise be interested in Surface Studio and its many input options.

Apple provides a wireless Magic Keyboard and a Magic Mouse 2 that can be upgraded to a Magic Keyboard with a numeric keypad and a Magic Trackpad 2 for an additional fee. I find the peripherals as exquisitely devised—as desk candy—like the rest of the iMac, and glad that they come already charged and paired with the computer.

But they are not very convenient. The keyboard is narrow and offers a very short keyboard, although not as short as the beleaguered butterfly-switch board of the MacBook Pro, which has generated recalls and complaints. The mouse is also too flat in my opinion and cannot be charged and used at the same time as the Lightning charging port is on the back.

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You can use the on-screen webcam to make FaceTime calls. It offers a decent video quality, although it is a shame that Apple has not updated its resolution with the Full HD resolution (1080p) provided by the iMac Pro camera. Nor can you log in with facial recognition, an important feature on your iPhone, iPad and Many laptops and Windows desktop.

The sound quality is excellent because the iMac’s stereo speakers produce surprisingly solid sound and bass while listening to a bass-heavy track “The Knife” by Silent Shout. They are not yet comparable to the amazing sound quality of the Dell XPS 27, which is made possible by six advanced speakers and four downstream speakers.

Wireless connections include Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2. Storage options include SSD/HDD fusion drives or single solid-state drives (SSDs). The latter is more expensive but guarantees faster storage performance. Our test unit is equipped with a 512 GB SSD, which is a relatively small capacity for such expensive machines. With the drop in SSD prices, I hope Apple will drop the merger units and switch only to better SSDs. However, the company is not alone in combined units: they are also offered on the Dell XPS 27.

Apple iMac 27-Inch With 5K Retina Display (2019) Review: Huge Performance Boost With A Familiar Design 2

The new iMac has updated DDR4 to 2666 MHz, which also uses Mac Mini. It comes in 8GB, 16GB, 32GB or 64GB capacity. While faster storage is a good additional benefit, the storage capacity you choose is much more important than speed if you frequently browse dozens of open tabs on the Internet. 16 GB or 32 GB capacity are good points. Our test unit has 16 GB.

The iMac comes with macOS Mojave, a largely non-aggressive operating system designed as well as the iMac itself. You can get more information about Mojave’s new features in our detailed review of the operating system.

Performance

Apple’s main goal with the iMac 2019 update is to improve performance. According to our tests, this seems to have been achieved with the fast Core i9. Although Apple doesn’t share certain CPUs it uses, the iMac uses the Intel Core i9-9900K according to the specifications it released. This is a valid, but expensive, CPU that sells for $499 if bought separately. The performance of this multi-threaded chip is also perfect. Its eight cores and 16 threads can analyze threaded workflows like video rendering, while its maximum clock rate of 5 GHz can attack “explosive” workflows like creating economic or meteorological models.

It is therefore not surprising that the 27-inch iMac outperforms its 21-inch little sibling, which is equipped with the Core i5 processor, in our benchmarks. I compared these two devices into the XPS 27 and Surface Studio 2 for the configurations listed below.

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One of the most important suitability measurements for challenging workflows is the Cinebench test, in which all available processor cores and threads are fully utilized. It underlines the complexity of the processor and leads to a proprietary result…

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The iMac’s score of 1,734 in this test is significant, not necessarily because it is almost twice as high as that of the cheapest 21-inch iMac, but because it matches the score of the iMac Pro and the light-year ahead of the Surface Studio 2’s score. In the tested configuration, the Surface Studio 2 costs $4,199, almost $ 800 more than the 27-inch iMac.

The Cinebench score is theoretical, but our Adobe Photoshop CC test is an example of a real-world situation an iMac owner is likely to experience frequently. When we started using Photoshop in the Creative Cloud in early 2018, we applied 10 sets of complex filters and effects to a standard JPEG test image. We count each operation and add up the
total execution time. The Photoshop test highlights the processor, memory subsystem, and RAM, but can also use most GPUs to speed up the filter application process so that systems with powerful graphics cards or chips can recognize a boost.

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In fact, that’s the case with the 27-inch iMac, which ran this test in less than two and a half minutes. Surface Studio 2 with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 didn’t come close to that. We tested the XPS 27 and iMac Pro with a previous version using different methods, so they are not listed in the table.

Since the Photoshop test consumes more computing resources than Cinebench, much of the benefit of the 27-inch iMac is probably due to the excellent SSD and the improved Radeon Pro GPU of our test unit. An SSD can write data at an average of 1,915 Mbit/s and read an average of 2,548 Mbit/s, measured according to the Blackmagic benchmark test. Compare this to the 700Mbps write speed and 1110Mbps read speed on a 21-inch iMac using a slower Fusion drive.

The Radeon Pro Vega 48 also has twice as much video memory and more than twice as many graphics cores as the Vega 20 of the 21-inch iMac PC Labs tested in 2019. In the Cinebench OpenGL test, in which the graphics performance measured by simulating a short video from a racing game, the 27-inches achieved 151 fps, while 21-inches only achieved 118 fps.

Final Verdict

While iMac 2017 delivered faster components, newer connectivity and a brighter screen than its predecessor in 2015, the 2019 version offers only the first improvement. With the Core i9 and the Radeon Pro Vega 48, it is significant but at $3,000, it is also expensive.

Competitors like Surface Studio 2 can be even more expensive and offer less computing power, at least in the configurations we tested. Based on the performance per dollar, the iMac is secured in a way that Apple computers have often not done before. https://gadgetcenter.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Apple-iMac-27-Inch-With-5K-Retina-Display-6.jpg

Apple has decided to update only the processors, memory and memory of the iMac,
but these components are obviously not the only criteria for choosing a computer. The iMac is fortunate enough to excel in many other areas, which include: But without touch support and some support flexibility, it hardly becomes. The basic design also has four years, an eternity in the years of personal technology.

Ultimately, these defects are not so serious that refrain us from recommending the 27-inch iMac as one of the best all-in-one computers you can buy. If you are lucky enough to be in the market with a $3,000 all-in-one computer, some other systems are good enough to seek your attention. 

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