The New iMac Could Be Your Next Gaming PC
It didn’t get the same fanfare as the recent iPhone refresh, but Apple has new, Haswell-packing iMac models for sale, starting today.
The form factors are the same, sleek 21.5- and 27-inch all-in-one models you’re used to seeing, but the insides are all brand new. For starters, all the new iMac models use some sort of fourth-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 CPU, which is coupled with a new 700M series Nvidia GPU. Due to the small frame, all the components are mobile parts, as has been the case with most previous iMac models.
The minimum available specs have all been raised as well, with 8 GB of DDR3 now the minimum amount of RAM you can select. Hard drive options are robust, but pricey; each iMac model comes with a 1 TB hard drive standard (5,400 rpm in the 21.5-inch model, 7,200 rpm in its big brother), and there are “fusion drive” and SSD upgrades available. The fusion drives combine 128 GB of solid state storage with a traditional platter hard drive, similar to the hybrid hard drives made by Seagate. Per usual, the hardware upgrades are very pricey — jumping from a 1 TB 5,400 rpm drive to a 1 TB fusion drive, or 256 GB SSD, will run you $200.
Last but not least: Every iMac now has 802.11ac wireless on-board, so they’re all ready for the AC router you’ll be buying in the near future. Other I/O is the same as before — USB 3.0, Thunderbolt, Ethernet, and an SDXC card slot. HDMI and other video I/O can be done via Thunderbolt adapters.
That all aside, let’s talk gaming performance. A top-tier 27-inch iMac, priced at $2,549, has a quad-core 3.5 GHz Intel Core i7 CPU, an Nvidia GTX 780M GPU with 4 GB of RAM, one 1 TB fusion drive, and 8 GB of DDR3-1600 RAM — all paired with a 27-inch, 2560 x 1440 display. Is it practical? Is it cheap? Is it reasonable for John Q. Gamer? Of course not, but if you’re a multimedia professional who needs a high-spec Mac, who also loves playing PC games on a Windows partition, this could be the perfect work-play machine for you.
The new iMac models start at $1,299 (21.5-inch, 1080p) and $1,799 (27-inch, 1440p).