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Apple 24-Inch iMac with M1 CPU —  Home Run for Mainstream Usage, Iffy for Photographers

Pre-order Apple 24" iMac at B&H Photo (and save the sales tax). Thanks for using that link! See also new Apple TV 4K, Apple iPad Pro M1.

The new Apple 24" iMac with the M1 CPU should be a home run for Apple—physically not too small and not too large, a lighting fast CPU and GPU, 4.5K display, and color options*.

  • Apple M1 8-Core CPU
  • 8GB or 16GB Unified RAM
  • 256GB or 512GB or 1TB or 2TB SSD
  • 24" 4480 x 2520 Retina Display
  • 7-Core GPU, 16-Core Neural Engine
  • P3 Color Gamut, True Tone Technology
  • Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.0
  • 2 x Thunderbolt ports
  • 2 X USB-C ports
  • High quality sound system.
  • Gigabit ethernet optional.
  • Color options available.

Perhaps most important in this age of telework, the high quality stereo and triple microphones and 1080p camera can help you reach Zoom fatigue better than ever.

Performance should be stunningly fast compared to the current iMac. Like a sports car that does 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds, but with top speed governed to 62mph. So it will be a terrific computer for the mainstream market, for basic “commuting”. Enough with analogies.

When it comes to real-world performance that I and many other photographers need, it’s dead on arrival because of the 16GB memory limit. Photoshop as I use it hits 32GB memory usage (for Photoshop alone) with even my lightest usage, and ramps up to 100GB and beyond at times. However, some photographers doing light-duty work may find 16GB adequate so long as attention is paid to not too many applications and/or images all at once.

Just having 32GB would have expanded the envelope firmly into low-end professional use. It looks like Apple is still working on the M1 chip that can support more memory than laptops had 7 years ago (eons in the computer industry).

Recommended : OWC Thunderbolt Hub, or OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock.

* The last time Apple offered color options on a Mac it was hideous plastic schlock. But metallic might work.

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