Previously, I said I’d probably pass on the latest iMac upgrade. However, I changed my mind because — despite my disappointment that there was no screen update, no T2 security chip, etc. — I still think it’s the best Mac for the money.
The new version is mainly a speed bump with faster processors and (much) better graphics cards. There’s no change in the design. Check out this Bare Feats report for some speed tests.
Use it and you may never be able to use any other computer again thanks to the gorgeous screen. And the 27-incher which I have is upgradeable, something most Macs aren’t any more. Plus, the iMac with Retina 5K's performance is beefy enough for all but the most demanding users.
I have the model that comes with a 3.7GHz Intel Core i5 , Radeon Pro 580X 8GB graphics card, and a 500GB solid state drive. However, I replaced the standard amount of RAM (a paltry 8GB) with 64GB from OWC. You can save yourself oodles of money by going this route instead of paying Apple’s outrageous upgrade prices.
Performance on the 2019 iMac 5K is quiet and smooth with nary a hiccup even when I have eight apps up and running (which is most of the time).
Of course, the big feature (pun intended) is the screen. As with the previous model, the Retina iMac 5K comes with a 5,120-by-2,880-pixel display. With 14.7 million pixels, text appears super sharp, videos are unbelievably lifelike, and you can see incredible levels of detail in photos. For example, video editors can view a 4K (Ultra HD) video (3,840 by 2,160) at 100% while still having a boatload of pixels left over surrounding the video for media libraries, toolbars, and video timelines.
For those of us who love movies, they look great on this desktop, especially 4K films. However, you’ll need MCE's Super-BluDrive or MCE's Mac Complement if you want to watch DVDs or Blu-ray disks since there’s no built-in disc drive on the iMac.
The all-in-one’s speakers are, as before, good, but I'd like more — such as the ones in the iMac Pro. I was also hoping that the already impressive screen would add TrueTone technology.
I also thought that we’d see some iMac Pro features such as an enhanced FaceTime camera. The iMac Pro also has the first ever 1080p FaceTime camera to come on a Mac, compared to the 720p camera on the 5K iMac. It also has four microphones, compared to only one on the 5K iMac.
Finally, I’m nonplussed that the 2019 model doesn’t sport the T2 security chip. The new MacBook Air and Mac mini released late last year added it.
Despite some complaints, the 2019 iMac is the still the best Mac around. Note that there is a rumor we’ll see a 31.6-inch all-in-one later this year.
Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★