If you're wondering which Mac to buy, you've come to the right place. In our 2020 buying guide you'll find everything you need to know about the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, iMac, iMac Pro and Mac Pro, with expert buying advice to help you choose the machine (and configuration) that's right for you.

Apple makes six different types of Mac, and within each of those categories there are variations in the specs and features, so things can get pretty complicated. That's where this complete guide comes in, helping you make the right decision. If you're simply looking for a great offer, visit our MacBook Pro deals, MacBook Air deals, iMac deals and Mac mini deals pages.

Before we begin, Apple has made a big announcement. It will be transitioning all its Macs from Intel processors to its own Apple Silicon processors (which use ARM) over the next two years.

So by June 2022 there will be no more Intel Macs sold by Apple. If you want to know more about what this means, read our guide to Apple Silicon, as well as how Apple Silicon will compare to Intel, and if you want to know if this means that buying a new Intel Mac now is a bad idea, read Should I buy an Intel Mac?

The current Mac range, in brief

Let us first take you through each Mac that is currently available from Apple, to give you an overview of what's on offer and what you've got to choose from.

Apple makes two types of laptop and four types of desktop Mac.


Mac laptops


MacBook Air
13in screen
From £999/$999
Pros: Cheapest and lightest Apple laptop; Touch ID fingerprint sensor; Retina display with True Tone; great storage options; great value for money
Cons: Only two ports (both USB-C/Thunderbolt)
Latest review: MacBook Air 2020 review
Best for: Students; home users
Last updated: March 2020
When to buy: Now
Where to buy: Apple (UK store or US store), KRCS, Amazon, AO.com, Ebuyer, John Lewis, and Currys PC World.
Jump to the MacBook Air section below


13in MacBook Pro
13in screen
From £1,299/$1,299
Pros: Touch Bar, mid-range (2.0GHz) models have 10th generation processors
Cons: More expensive than the Air, entry-level models have same processors as 2019/2018 models
Latest review: 2020 MacBook Pro review
Best for: Office and home workers
Last updated: May 2020
When to buy: Now
Where to buy: Apple (UK store or US store), KRCS, Amazon, AO.com, Ebuyer, John Lewis, and Currys PC World.
Jump to the MacBook Pro section below


16in MacBook Pro
16in screen
From £2,399/$2,399
Pros: Discrete graphics; bigger screen; 16GB RAM as standard
Cons: Heaviest MacBook available; 9th generation processors should soon be replaced with 10th generation equivalents
Latest review: MacBook Pro 16in (2019) review
Best for: Anyone who needs power on the go
Last updated: November 2019
When to buy: We'd wait until later in 2020 as we anticipate a processor update soon
Where to buy: Apple (UK store or US store), KRCS, Amazon, AO.com, Ebuyer, John Lewis, and Currys PC World.
Jump to the MacBook Pro section below


Mac desktop computers


Mac mini
No screen
From £799/$799
Pros: Cheapest Mac; small desktop option
Cons: No screen; no keyboard or mouse; no option for discrete graphics (other than plugging in a eGPU)
Best for: Those who simply need a Mac on a budget; developers
Latest review: 2018 Mac mini review.
Last updated: March 2020 (but other than the increased storage this is the same as the 2018 model)
When to buy: We think a processor update is due later in 2020, this could be one of the first Macs to switch to Apple Silion! (There is already a developer version)
Where to buy: Apple (UK store or US store), KRCS, Amazon, AO.com, Ebuyer, John Lewis, and Currys PC World
Jump to the Mac mini section below


iMac
21.5in or 27in screen
From £1,099/$1,099
Pros: Powerful; big screen; all-in-one
Cons: Not portable; can get very expensive if you choose to upgrade
Best for: Offices; designers; video editors
Latest review: iMac 27in (2019) & iMac 21.5in (2019) - we'll post reviews of the 2020 models when Apple releases samples
Last updated: August 2020
When to buy: Now
Where to buy: Apple (UK store or US store), Currys, KRCS, Amazon, AO.com, Ebuyer and John Lewis.
Jump to the iMac section below


iMac Pro
27in screen
From £4,999/$4,999
Pros: Stunning Space Grey design; incredible power; 5K display (same as on 27in iMac)
Cons: Very expensive
Best for: Professional designers; video editors; others requiring huge amounts of rendering/processing power from their Mac; those who need the ultimate in power, but the Mac Pro would be overkill
Latest review: iMac Pro review
Last updated: Launched on 14 December 2017, updated August 2020
When to buy: Now
Where to buy: Apple (UK store or US store), KRCS
Jump to the iMac Pro section below


Mac Pro
No screen
From From $5,999
Pros: Extremely powerful; expandable
Cons: Astronomically expensive
Best for: Professional video editors and animators; studios; others requiring huge amounts of power from their Mac
Latest review: Mac Pro (2019)
Last updated: December 2019
When to buy: Now
Where to buy: Apple (UK store or US store), Currys, KRCS
Jump to the Mac Pro section below


MacBook Air

Best Mac buying guide: MacBook Air

Available from: Apple (UK store or US store), Currys, John Lewis, KRCS
Last updated: March 2020
Price: From £999/$999
Latest review: MacBook Air 2019 review (2020 review will be available here)

The MacBook Air is the thinnest and lightest Mac laptop as well as the cheapest of Apple's laptops. It is a popular choice and rightly so.

The Air was updated in March 2020. Apple doubled the storage options, added a quad-core processor option and 10th generation Intel chips, and improved the keyboard. This was the first major change to the line up since October 2018 when Apple introduced colour options (gold, silver and Space Grey), smaller bezels and a slimmer body, and more powerful components.

The MacBook Air represents great value for money.

Who is the MacBook Air best for?

The MacBook Air is perfect for anyone who frequently needs to carry their laptop with them, especially students, commuters, and hotdeskers.

Because it's so slim it's also a great option if you want a Mac to use at home or at work that doesn't take up a whole lot of space. You can always plug it into a monitor on your desk, or even plug it into a TV screen (via an adapter) if you feel you would benefit from a bigger display.

MacBook Air specs

There are two standard MacBook Air models available. The specs are as follows:

£999/$999 MacBook Air:
1.1GHz Dual-core i3 10th gen processor
Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz
256GB Storage
8GB 3733MHz LPDDR4X memory
Intel Iris Plus Graphics

£999/$999 MacBook Air:
1.1GHz Quad-core i5 10th gen processor
Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz
512GB Storage
8GB 3733MHz LPDDR4X memory
Intel Iris Plus Graphics

There are also various build-to-order options (a faster processor, 16GB RAM, 1TB of 2TB SSD), if you want more speed or storage and your budget can stretch.

You get a Retina display with a 2K resolution, an improved keyboard and a Force Touch trackpad. You'll also find Touch ID incorporated into the keyboard, so you can use your fingerprint to sign in and verify purchases.

The MacBook Air is not the fastest Mac laptop you can buy, but whether that matters depends a lot on what you will be doing with it, and what your priorities are when looking for a new Mac.

If the majority of what you do on your Mac is everyday tasks, such as sending and receiving email, browsing the web, and using office applications, the MacBook Air is quite capable of meeting your needs. Even beyond that kind of use, you can happily use the Air for editing short videos, or for working with photos from your iPhone or point-and-shoot camera.

The MacBook Air offers 12 hours of battery life, which should be enough to last the length of a long haul flight, or a day's work.

The MacBook Air does not have an Ethernet port: in fact it's limited to two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports (one of which will need to be used for power, if you want to charge) and a headphone jack. And like all Macs, the MacBook Air lacks an optical drive. We don't have much use for an optical drive these days, but if you really think you need one there is always the option of purchasing Apple's USB SuperDrive for £65.

Should you buy a MacBook Air now or wait?

Apple updated the MacBook Air in March 2020. It was a significant update, including better processors, improved RAM and increased storage. Perhaps the best news is that Apple also changed the keyboard design to address issues with the previous keyboard design. It's a good time to buy.

If you like the MacBook Air but think it's a bit above budget, read our article about how to get a cheap Mac and take a look on the Apple refurbished store to see if Apple has any cut-price Macs. We have an article dedicated to Why you should buy a refurbished Mac. Check out the latest deals below; alternatively we have even more MacBook Air deals.

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MacBook Pro

Best Mac buying guide: MacBook Pro 16in

Available from: Apple (UK store or US store)
Last updated: 13in - May 2020; 16in - November 2019
Price: From £1,299/$1,299 to £2,799/$2,799
Latest reviews: MacBook Pro 13in (2020) and MacBook Pro 16in (2019) review

Apple updated the 13in MacBook Pro in May 2020 when Apple improved the two mid-range models with new 10th generation processors, 16GB RAM as standard and improved graphics.

The entry-level MacBook Pro only saw a minor update in May 2020 - storage was doubled, but no other components were changed apart from the keyboard. Now all 13in MacBook Pro models have the new Magic Keyboard, which replaces the problematic keyboard design of the older models. Here's why you shouldn't buy the entry-level MacBook Pro.

Apple updated the larger MacBook Pro model in November 2019, replacing the 15in model with a slightly larger 16in MacBook Pro.

As the Pro part of the name suggests, this is generally a more powerful machine than the MacBook Air. However, there is quite a small gap between the MacBook Air and the entry-level MacBook Pro - and this is clear when the two models priced at £1,299/$1,299 are compared: here the Air looks like a much better option with its 10th generation processor, rather than the Pro's 8th generation processor.

The MacBook Pro is also heavier than the MacBook Air, although still reasonably svelte - the Pro series benefited from a slimming-down redesign in 2016.

The MacBook Pro features two or four USB-C ports depending on the model (the Air only has two USB-C ports). Only the MacBook Pro features the Touch Bar. This feature, a unique selling point of the Pro line, provides users with contextual controls depending on the app they're using at the time - for example, using Final Cut Pro X will offer shortcuts for different functions, while in Safari it'll offer shortcuts to your favourite websites. We tend to think the Touch Bar is more of a fun gimmick than a useful addition (it's not even particularly intuitive to use - we often find ourselves reaching to touch the screen instead) but it's worth trying it out in an Apple Store to see if you like it.

Both the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro incorporate a Touch ID fingerprint scanner into the power button.

Who is the MacBook Pro best for?

The MacBook Pro is a great choice for creative pros and Mac users looking for more power from a laptop.

The main selling points are the high-res screen and powerful processors, and the fact that you get all that in a relatively compact and light body.

Battery life should suffice for daily use. We think the MacBook Pro is perfect for anyone who needs a powerful laptop that they can carry around without damaging their back, with a special focus on creatives.

As to whether you should buy the 13- or 16in model, this depends foremost on what you will be using it for, and secondly on how often you will be carrying the laptop around. If what matters most to you is having a laptop that is light enough to carry with you on your commute, but powerful enough to use for processor-intensive applications, then the 13in will suit you. Although we'd suggest that you look to the MacBook Air range.

If your needs are a little more advanced, the 16in Pro will serve you well. With some of the best Speedmark scores of any Mac, and significantly higher than the 13in models, the 16in models are capable of pretty much anything. Not that the 13in models are a slouch, mind you.

And if you're wondering whether an iMac might suit you better because it has a bigger screen, remember you can always plug the MacBook Pro into a large monitor and use that when you're at your desk.

If you've already got a Mac and are looking to sell, read Which Mac do I have? and How to check your Mac's tech specs.

MacBook Pro specs

There are actually six MacBook Pro starting configurations available in two different sizes: four 13in versions and two 16in versions. You can then add further build-to-order (BTO) options and upgrades if you're willing to spend more.

The two entry-level 13in models have Intel 1.4GHz 8th-gen quad-core processors, while the mid-range models now have 2.0GHz 10th-gen quad-core processors. The 16in models offer 9th-gen 2.6GHz 6-core and 2.3GHz 8-core processors. The 2.0GHz 13in models offer 16GB of RAM as do the 16in models. The entry-level 13in MacBook Pro still only offers 8GB RAM.

Here's how the specs line up:

13in MacBook Pro

  • 1.4GHz Quad-Core Processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz, 256GB Storage, 8GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645. £1,299/$1,299
  • 1.4GHz Quad-Core Processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz, 512GB Storage, 8GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645. £1,499/$1,499
  • 2.0GHz Quad-Core Processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz, 512GB Storage, 16GB 3733MHz LPDDR4X, Intel Iris Plus Graphics. £1,799/$1,799
  • 2.0GHz Quad-Core Processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz, 1TB Storage, 16GB 3733MHz LPDDR4X, Intel Iris Plus Graphics. £1,999/$1,999

16in MacBook Pro

  • 2.6GHz 6-core 9th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz, AMD Radeon Pro 5300M with 4GB of GDDR6 memory, 16GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory, 512GB SSD storage. £2,399/$2,399
  • 2.3GHz 8-core 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz, AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 4GB of GDDR6 memory, 16GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory, 1TB SSD storage. £2,799/$2,799

All six models come with Apple's True Tone technology and the T2 processor found in the iMac Pro, a sub-processor that makes various things run smoothly.

If you're interested in the build-to-order options: there's up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM, Radeon Pro 5300M or 5500M discrete graphics with 4GB of video memory (upgradable to 8GB) and up to 8TB of SSD storage available.

The MacBook Pro doesn't offer USB-A or an SD card slot. The two entry-level models have two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports while the other models offer four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports; thus, a single port can handle charging, data transfer, A/V and more but requires an adapter to use legacy accessories.

Like the MacBook Air, the MacBook Pro doesn't feature a Ethernet port, but it does have built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi and if you need to plug into a wired network you will be able to purchase an adaptor separately.

Should you buy a MacBook Pro now or wait?

The 16in models were introduced in November 2019 so we'd suggest waiting until June as we think Apple might boost the processors soon. As for whether to buy the 13in MacBook Pro: it was updated in May 2020 but some models are a better buy than others. We'd suggest waiting for Apple to update the processors in the entry-level models before you buy them. Check out the latest deals below, alternatively we have even more MacBook Pro deals here.

Here are the latest 2020 13in 1.4GHz MacBook Pro Deals:

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Here are the latest 2020 13in 2.0GHz MacBook Pro Deals:

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And the 16in MacBook Pro Deals:

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Mac mini

Best Mac buying guide: Mac mini

Available from: Apple (UK store or US store)
Last updated March 2020
Price: From £799/$799
Latest review: Mac mini 2018 review (2020 model only increased storage)

The Mac mini is Apple's compact desktop computer first introduced in 2005. It's also Apple's cheapest Mac, starting at just £799 or $799 (although it did used to be cheaper than that - when the 2014 model launched it cost just £399/$499). The mini used to be Apple's least powerful Mac, but the latest iteration (now in Space Grey) has a lot more oomph than previously, and can be upgraded to some fairly meaty specs.

It was updated in March 2020 but Apple only increased storage. We hope that the company will see fit to improve the processors later in 2020.

Who is the Mac mini best for?

For anyone who uses their Mac for browsing the web and writing emails, and doing general office work the Mac mini could suffice. It's powerful enough to do a good job with photo and home video editing. If you are looking for a Mac that will just sit on your desk, or in the study, the Mac mini is a cheap option.

The Mac mini is also a popular choice for a living room Mac. A lot of people plug it into their TV screen via an HDMI cable (the Mac mini retains its HDMI port). And, apparently one reason why Apple, after waiting four years, finally updated the Mac mini was its popularity with developers and server farms.

When the Mac mini stopped featuring a optical drive back in 2011 there was a bit of an outcry from those who though it was an ideal home entertainment centre, but DVDs are far less popular than they were back then thanks to the rise of streaming services.

The Mac mini is a popular choice for developers - probably because it's cheap and they can just plug it into an existing monitor and keyboard. It's likely to become more popular for that now, and may even begin to appeal to creatives with more demanding needs, thanks to higher spec build-to-order options - though the lack of a discrete GPU is still a serious limitation. Read about the best Mac for developers here.

Mac mini specifications

There are two Mac minis available. The cheapest Mac mini has a 3.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i3 processor and Intel UHD Graphics 630, along with 8GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB SSD storage (up from 128GB prior to March 2020). The other model has a 3.0GHz 6-core Intel Core i5 (with Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz) and 512GB SSD (up from 256GB SSD prior to March 2020). The graphics and RAM remain the same.

The top of the range Mac mini has various build-to-order options, including a 3.2GHz 6-core Intel i7 processor, 2TB SSD, 64GB RAM, and a 10 Gigabit ethernet port. Opting for the top-of-the-line options across the board jumps the price up to a very meaty £3,859/$4,099 though, so watch out.

The Mac mini weighs 1.3kg and the dimensions are 19.7cm by 19.7cm. It's just 3.6cm tall, so it really is mini as the name suggests. The shape and weight haven't changed from the previous model.

All the Mac mini models feature the following ports and standards

  • 4 Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports
  • 2 USB-A 3 ports
  • HDMI 2.0 port
  • Gigabit Ethernet (upgradeable to 10Gb)
  • Audio in/out
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.0

Should you buy a Mac mini now or wait?

The Mac mini was updated in March 2020 and gained increased storage options, however we'd still like to see a new processor as the current processors are 8th generation Intel while other Macs now offer 9th generation and 10th generation processors. We don't anticipate an update before October though. Check out the latest deals below; alternatively we have even more Mac mini deals.

Mac mini, 3.6GHz Quad-Core, 256GB (2020)

This model usually starts at £799/$799. Here are the best deals right now:

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Mac mini, 3.0GHz 6-Core, 512GB (2020)

This model usually starts at £1,099/$1,099. Here are the best deals right now:

Retailer Price Delivery  

Price comparison from over 24,000 stores worldwide

iMac

Best Mac buying guide: iMac (2020)

Available from: Apple (UK store or US store), Currys, KRCS
Last updated: August 2020
Price: From £1,099/$1,099
Latest review: 27in iMac 2019 review & 21.5in iMac 2019 review (we'll review the 2020 models when samples become available)

Apple's iMac is probably its most famous Mac. First introduced in 1998 and causing shockwaves in personal computing, over the years the iMac has lost its old bulky CRT monitor, and slimmed down. Now it is incredibly thin, but the whole computer is still concealed behind that gorgeous display (there is no tower to hide away under your desk).

Despite the fact that the iMac turned 20 in 2018 Apple didn't update it that year, instead waiting until March 2019. Another update followed in August 2020, featuring new processors, bigger RAM options, a higher-quality camera, better speakers and microphones and SSDs as standard - but not the hoped-for redesign.

Who is the iMac best for?

It's a desktop Mac, so the iMac is obviously best for someone who doesn't mind being tied to their desk. Or perhaps you already own a laptop and need a decent work machine. The great thing about buying an Apple computer is that because everything is tied to your iCloud account all your Safari bookmarks, iCloud documents and applications will be available to you on all of your Macs.

Think about screen sizes. The type of person for whom the 21.5in iMac is ideal will be different to the type who would require a 27in iMac.

The 21.5in iMacs are great options for most general use. We would steer you away from the entry-level model, though, as it's not been updated since 2017 (other than the inclusion of an SSD as standard these days) and lacks the Retina display as well as only offering Intel graphics rather than the discrete Radeon Pro graphics card offered by the rest of the range.

For professionals who need a powerful Mac, the choice will probably be between the 27in iMac models, the 15in Retina MacBook Pro, and the August 2020 update puts the iMac right back in the mix. It's an excellent option.

Overall, the iMac is ideal for graphic design, or those who work with video and images. It's also great for gaming.

The iMac Pro is even faster but it's also a lot more expensive. For more information on that comparison, read iMac Pro vs iMac.

iMac specifications

There are two different sizes of iMac available: the 21.5in iMac and the 27in iMac. The iMac range was last updated in August 2020 with new processors from Intel's 10th generations for the 27in models; the newest 21.5in iMacs are still on the 8th generation and haven't been significantly updated in 2020 other than the default inclusion of SSDs.

The old entry-level 21.5in iMac (which doesn't have a Retina display) is also still available. This costs £1,099/$1,099, and features a (7th-gen) 2.3GHz dual-core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 and a 256GB SSD. It's the lowest-spec machine Apple sells.

But then we move up to the new models. For another £200/$200 you can plump for a faster 8th-gen 3.6GHz quad-core i5, 8GB RAM, Radeon Pro 555X graphics with 2GB video memory, a 256GB SSD and even the 4K Retina display. Well worth £1,299/$1,299, in our opinion.

For a further £200/$200 you can go up to six cores. The top-of-the-range 21in iMac offers an 8th-gen 3.0GHz 6-core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, Radeon Pro 560X graphics with 4GB video memory, a 256GB SSD and the 4K display. That's £1,499/$1,499. Browse the 21.5in iMacs on Apple's store.

The 27in iMacs also offer i5 processors, but this is bumped to an i7 in the most expensive of the base configurations (you can select an i9 as a further customisation). The processors in the 27in iMacs are all at least 6-core, so you can expect plenty of power; the top model offers 8, and you can customise up to 10 if you've got the cash to spare.

The entry-level 27in iMac features a 10th-gen 3.1GHz 6-core i5, 8GB RAM, Radeon Pro 5300 graphics with 4GB video memory and a 256GB SSD. And like all the bigger models it comes with a 5K display with a resolution of 5120 x 2880. This entry-level 27in iMac is £1,799/$1,799.

For £200/$200 more we move up to the mid-range option, with a 10th-gen 3.3GHz 6-core i5, 8GB RAM, the same Radeon Pro 5300 graphics and a larger 512GB SSD. Total price: £1,999/$1,999.

The top-of-the-range iMac, which costs £2,299/$2,299, goes all the way up to Intel's 10th-gen i7, clocked at 3.8GHz and equipped with 8 cores. You also get 8GB RAM as standard, Radeon Pro 5500 XT graphics with 8GB video memory, and a 512GB SSD. Browse the 27in iMacs on Apple's store.

The iMac offers an SDXC slot, USB slots, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Ethernet. All the models feature Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports; there are also four USB 3 ports, which will work with the older USB-A standard if you have old peripherals.

The iMac lacks an optical drive; Apple traded in the built-in SuperDrive when it slimmed down the monitor to a super-thin 5mm. We don't find we have much use for an optical drive these days, but if you really think you need one there's always the option of purchasing Apple's USB SuperDrive for £79/$79. You can buy a SuperDrive here.

The iMac models feature the following ports and standards:

  • 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports (USB-C)
  • 4 USB 3 ports (USB-A)
  • SDXC card slot (UHS‑II on 27in model)
  • Gigabit Ethernet (option to upgrade to 10Gb Ethernet on 27in models)
  • 3.5mm headphone jack (with support for iPhone headset with microphone)
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.2 (21.5in models) or 5.0 (27in models)

Should you buy an iMac now or wait?

The iMac range was updated in August 2020 so now is the time to buy - particularly if you're looking at one of the 27in models, which got a substantial specs upgrade. The 21.5in models were barely touched in the August announcement, but Apple did give them SSDs as standard; ironically, that's probably bad news for those who were hoping the company would give them some love in the near future. That may be your lot for a while.

iMac Pro

Best Mac buying guide: iMac Pro

Available from: Apple (UK store or US store), KRCS
Launched on: 14 Dec 2017
Price: From £4,999/$4,999
Latest review: iMac Pro review

Apple issued a big mea culpa to creative professionals in 2017, acknowledging that the 2013 Mac Pro didn't cut the mustard: problems with the thermal design, apparently, meant it was very difficult to upgrade. The company assured these users that a new Mac Pro was on the way and it announced a new product called the iMac Pro in the meantime.

The iMac Pro features a thoroughly redesigned thermal system, and ran without slowdowns or significant fan noise when we stressed the GPU to 91 degrees Celsius. This should allow Apple to upgrade the system in future without hitting the same problems it saw with the now discontinued trashcan Mac Pro; but we'll have to wait and see how things pan out.

It's also immensely powerful - the most powerful Mac so far, and one that smashed every speed and graphics benchmark we put it through - and rather beautiful to look at: it's the same elegant design as the 27in iMac, but (for the first time on a Mac desktop) it's Space Grey. The new Space Grey peripherals look great too.

Who is the iMac Pro best for?

The iMac Pro is for creatives and other people who need a super-powerful Mac: video and photo editors, 3D modellers, VR devs, music producers.

For the past few years those users have been migrating to the iMac instead of the Mac Pro, so Apple felt it should just go with it, and give the iMac a pro-targeted revamp.

If your requirements are even higher than could be satisfied by this beast, you'll might want to plump for the new Mac Pro, but that machine is so extremely powerful and astronomically priced that a souped-up iMac Pro may well be the best fit for you.

iMac Pro specifications

This is the starting configuration, which costs £4,899/$4,999:

  • 3.0GHz 10-core Intel Xeon W processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz
  • 32GB 2666MHz DDR4 ECC memory
  • 1TB SSD
  • Radeon Pro Vega 56 with 8GB of HBM2 memory
  • Built-in 27in 'Retina' 5K display, 5120 x 2880 resolution, 500 nits brightness, Wide colour (P3)
  • 1080p FaceTime HD camera
  • Stereo speakers, four microphones
  • Ports: 4x USB 3, 4 x Thunderbolt 3/USB-C, SDXC, ethernet, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
  • 65cm x 51.6cm x 20.3cm (depth includes stand); 9.7kg

You can customise this extensively, however. Processors up to 18 cores are available, and you can get up to 256GB of RAM and up to 4TB of flash storage. You can upgrade the Vega 56 graphics card to a Vega 64 or Vega 64X, too. If you go all-in with every upgrade and extra it's possible to spend almost £14,500/$14,500.

Should you buy an iMac Pro now or wait?

Buy now.

It's been more than two years since the iMac Pro arrived, but Apple has made two small updates since then; in March 2019 it added new configuration options for RAM and graphics, and in August 2020 it got a bump from 8- to 10-core in the base configuration. There won't be any further updates for a while.

Mac Pro

Best Mac buying guide: Mac Pro

Available from: Apple (UK store or US store)
Launched on: December 2019
Price: From $5,999/£5,499
Latest review: Mac Pro (2019) first look review

The Mac Pro is Apple's professional Mac with a price tag to match, starting at $5,999. It's a fully fledged workstation aimed at those who need the ultimate in power and have a huge budget.

Who is the Mac Pro best for?

Professionals who need extreme processing capability.

Mac Pro specifications

You can configure the 2019 Mac Pro anywhere from an 8- to a 28-core processor, with up to 1.5TB of RAM - yes, 1.5TB of RAM, not storage - and up to 4TB of SSD storage. It's an astoundingly powerful machine.

Should you buy a Mac Pro now or wait?

The Mac Pro went on sale in December 2019. It's unlikely that Apple will make a big change to the specs for a while so it should be safe to buy one now and if you do it's likely to last you a long time.