Apple updated the iMac range with new processors, including up to 8-core Intel processors and new Vega graphics on 19 March 2019.

It had been well over a year since the iMac was updated: there were no announcements at all in 2018, even though new Coffee Lake processors were available. But now the wait is over, read on to find out what's on offer from the new 2019 iMacs.

New iMacs 2019

21.5in iMacs

  • 2.3GHz dual-core iMac, standard display, £1,049/$1099 (2017 model)
  • 3.6GHz quad-core iMac, 4K Retina display, £1,249/$1,299
  • 3.0GHz 6-core iMac, 4K Retina display, £1,449/$1,499

Read our 2019 21.5in iMac review here.

27in iMacs

  • 3.0GHz 6-core iMac, 5K Retina display, £1,749/$1,799
  • 3.1GHz 6-core iMac, 5K Retina display, £1,949/$1,999
  • 3.7GHz 6-core iMac, 5K Retina display, £2,249/$2,299
  • 3.6GHz 8-core iMac, 5K Retina display, £2,609/$2,699 (Build to order)

Read our review of the 27in iMac here.

In this article we answer all your questions about the new iMacs including how to buy one, how much it will cost, details of the specs it will get, and more.

For more information about how it compares with the rest of Apple's range of Macs, read our Mac buying guide.

Release date

The new iMac arrived on 19 March 2019.

Apple last updated the iMac on 5 June 2017 during WWDC, so the iMac range went about 21 months without an update.

Note: the entry-level iMac which lacks a Retina display is still using the 7th generation Intel processor from 2017. This model hasn't been updated.

Price

Here are the current iMac prices:

  • Entry-level 21.5in iMac, £1,049/$1099
  • Mid-level 21.5in iMac,  £1,249/$1,299
  • Top-level 21.5in, £1,449/$1,499
  • Entry-level 27in iMac, £1,749/$1,799
  • Mid-level 27in iMac, £1,949/$1,999
  • Top-level 27in iMac, £2,249/$2,299

The prices are exactly the same as the previous generation models. You can order a new iMac from Apple here. Delivery dates are listed as 26 March - 28 March as of the launch day. 

If you want to save money on a new Mac read our Best iMac deals.

Design

The iMac has had the same design since 2012 when the sides of the iMac were slimmed down. However, the aluminium look is now over 10 years old - the first aluminium iMac launched in 2007. Some people have been calling for a facelift, or at least some internal changes that could allow Apple to slim the unit down even further, and perhaps reduce the chin.

If you were one of those people you'll be disappointed. The iMac design hasn't changed for 2019.

iMac from side

Screen

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had said that a new iMac with "significant display-performance upgrades," would launch soon. However, it seems his predictions were off because there is no change to the display resolution on the 2019 iMacs.

  • The 4K Retina display still offers 4,096 x 2,304 resolution with support for 1 billion colours, 500 nits brightness and wide colour (P3).
  • The 5K Retina display still offers 5,120 x 2,880 resolution with support for 1 billion colours, 500 nits brightness and wide colour (P3). 

Nor is there a touchscreen iMac. Apple's been quite vocal in the past about how it believes that touching the display just gives you arm ache. The closest the company has got to a touch display is the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro. Of course Apple could change its mind in the future - Steve Jobs was also anti-styluses, but now you can buy an Apple Pencil.

There is still the non-Retina model at the entry-level but this unit hasn't been updated.

iMac retina display

Specs

Let's take a look inside the new iMac for 2019. Here's what you can expect...

Processor

The 2019 iMac includes some impressive sounding processor options. In addition to the quad-core options at the 21.5in iMac there is a new 6-core option (hexa-core, like the MacBook Pro) and if you move to a 27in display you can choose an 8-core build-to-order option.

This 8-core 3.6GHz i9 processor will cost an additional £360 if you are buying the top-of-the-range model, or an additional £450 on the mid-range 27in model. It's not available as an addition to the other iMacs.

It narrows the performance gap between the iMac and iMac Pro (which can be configured with 8-, 10-, 14- or 18-core Xeon W processors).

The new 8th generation processors are from Intel's Coffee Lake range. There's also the option to go for Intel's 9th generation processors, which arrived in October 2018.

Here's how the new processor options compare:

21.5in iMacs

  • 3.6GHz quad-core, 8th generation, Core i3
  • 3.0GHz 6-core, 8th generation, Core i5

27in iMacs

  • 3.0GHz 6-core, 8th generation, Core i5
  • 3.1GHz 6-core, 8th generation, Core i5 
  • 3.7GHz 6-core, 9th generation, Core i5
  • 3.6GHz 8-core, 9th generation, Core i9 (Build to order)

Storage

Prior to the update we were hoping that Apple was working on a redesign for the iMac in 2019 that would spell the end of the hard drive and Fusion drive offerings.

Removing the hard drive bay would allow Apple to better utilise the space inside the iMac.

However, Apple is continuing to offer the hard drive option as it is the best way to get more storage at the entry level.

The entry-level and mid-range iMac models both offer 1TB hard drives as standard, although you can update these to either Fusion drives (which are a combination of flash and hard drives) or standard SSDs up to 1TB.

We're inclined to recommend that customers purchase a model with an SSD because you can expect a huge speed boost from an SSD compared to an old-fashioned hard drive. Do yourself a favour and keep clear of hard drives even if you are sure you really need all that space.

iMac 2019

RAM

Faster memory is also made possible by the Coffee Lake generation processors, which supports DDR4 at 2666MHz in dual-channel mode. Previously, the iMac maxed out at 2400MHz (the iMac Pro offers 2666MHz RAM).

  • The new 21.5in iMacs offer 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory configurable to 32GB
  • The entry-level 27in model also offers 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory configurable to 32GB.
  • The mid-range and top-of-the-range 27in iMacs offer 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory configurable to 64GB.

The iMac Pro can be configured to 128GB RAM, but don't expect to see such an option on the 27in iMac.

The older 21.5in iMac without 4K display still only offers 8GB 2133MHz memory, configurable to 16GB.

Graphics

The new iMacs should gain new discrete graphics card options. Radeon Pro upgrades are standard across the line up, with the addition of Radeon Pro Vega options if you choose to build-to-order.

Here's are details of the graphics line up:

21.5in iMacs

  • 3.6GHz quad-core iMac - Radeon Pro 555X with 2GB of GDDR5 memory
  • 3.0GHz 6-core iMac - Radeon Pro 560X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory

27in iMacs

  • 3.0GHz 6-core iMac - Radeon Pro 570X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory
  • 3.1GHz 6-core iMac - Radeon Pro 575X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory
  • 3.7GHz 6-core iMac - Radeon Pro 580X with 8GB of GDDR5 memory
  • 3.6GHz Build-to-order iMac - Radeon Pro Vega 48 with 8GB of HBM2 memory

iMac video editing