Apple in October 2023 unveiled a refreshed 24-inch M3 iMac, an overhaul of the colorful desktop machine that first came out in 2021. The iMac now features an Apple-designed M3 Arm-based chip that replaces the M1 chip and brings significant speed and efficiency improvements.
The M3 chip is Apple’s first 3-nanometer chip, built on a more advanced node. The M3 has an 8-core CPU with four high-efficiency cores and four high-performance cores along with an integrated GPU that has up to 10 cores. The M3 is also used in the 14-inch MacBook Pro.
The iMac with M3 chip is up to 2x faster than the M1 iMac, with support for up to 24GB of unified memory. Apple added hardware-accelerated ray tracing and mesh shading to provide more accurate lighting and shadows in video games, and to make 3D design faster. There’s also a media engine and a 16-core Neural Engine.
Compared to the M1 iMac, Safari performs up to 30 percent faster, games have up to 50 percent faster frame rates, and apps like Microsoft Excel are up to 30 percent faster. Up to 12 streams of 4K video can be edited at once, and video editing in apps like Final Cut Pro is up to 2x faster.
There are no major external design changes to the M3 iMac. The machine continues to feature a body that is just 11.5 millimeters thick, and there is a slim stand that allows the angle of the display to be adjusted. Apple is selling the iMac in a range of bright colors, including green, blue, pink, silver, orange, yellow, and purple. At the front of the iMac, there are softer, pastel colors, but the back of the iMac features much brighter and bolder colors. Powering the iMac is a magnetic power connector with a color-matched woven cable.
The 24-inch 4.5K display features a resolution of 4480-by-2520, with 11.3 million pixels, 500 nits brightness, P3 wide color, more than a billion colors, and True Tone to match the color temperature of the display to the ambient lighting for a more natural viewing experience.
Apple’s M3 iMac includes a 1080p FaceTime HD camera with an updated image signal processor for improved performance in low light, and the Neural Engine in the M3 chip allows for better noise reduction, greater dynamic range, and improved auto exposure and white balance.
The iMac also offers studio-quality microphones and a six-speaker sound system with strong bass and clear mids and highs, along with support for Dolby Atmos and spatial audio.
There are two Thunderbolt 3/USB 4 ports at the back of the iMac, along with two additional USB-C ports for some models. The iMac supports up to a single 6K external display, and offers a headphone jack on its side. A 1Gb/s Ethernet port is available in the power adapter for the higher-end model, allowing for a less cluttered cable setup.
The iMac has Wi-Fi 6E for fast Wi-Fi performance and can be customized with up to 2TB of SSD storage.
The iMac comes alongside color-matched accessories with custom colors for the Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad, power cord, and Lightning to USB-C cable for charging the accessories. Apple sells the iMac with a matching Magic Keyboard, with or without a number pad, and some models feature Touch ID built directly into the keyboard.
The Magic Keyboard features the first wireless Touch ID implementation, using a dedicated security component on the keyboard that communicates directly with the Secure Enclave in the M3 for seamless unlocking or making Apple Pay purchases.
The entry-level M3 iMac is available for $1,299, while an upgraded model is priced starting at $1,499.
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