Apple had a special Halloween treat in store for devoted Mac desktop enthusiasts during its “Scary Fast” event. As anticipated, the 24-inch iMac is receiving a significant performance boost courtesy of Apple’s new M3 chipset. According to the presentation at tonight’s Apple Event, the latest model is expected to be twice as fast as the previous iMac, which was equipped with an M1 chipset. For those transitioning from an Intel-based iMac, the new model offers a remarkable 2.5 times speed improvement compared to some of the most popular 27-inch models.
The M3 chip boasts an eight-core CPU and a GPU that can go up to 10 cores. The GPU’s cores are capable of hardware-accelerated mesh shading and ray tracing. Additionally, the chipset incorporates a 16-core Neural Engine and supports up to 24GB of unified memory.
In comparison to the 2021 M1 iMac, the M3-powered iteration is projected to deliver a 30 percent speed boost in applications like Safari and productivity tools such as Microsoft Excel, according to Apple. The company also asserts that games will achieve up to a 50 percent improvement in frame rates. Creatives will find themselves able to edit and playback up to 12 4K video streams, three times more than previously possible. Apple further claims that tasks involving image processing in applications like Adobe Photoshop and handling video projects in Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro will be up to twice as fast.
The latest Mac doesn’t introduce many upgrades in other areas. Apple continues to feature a 4.5K Retina display, for example. However, there are some convenient improvements in connectivity. The new iMac now supports Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3, a step up from the M1 iMac, which had Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0. Nevertheless, the M3 iMac may be an enticing option for those still holding onto an older model.
Orders for the M3 iMac are open starting today, with shipping set to commence on November 7. The base model includes an eight-core GPU, two Thunderbolt ports, a Magic Keyboard, and a Magic Mouse. It’s worth noting that it retains a modest 256GB of SSD storage and 8GB of unified memory. The price for this variant is $1,299 (or $1,249 for education), and it’s available in green, pink, blue, and silver.
For those interested in an M3 iMac with a 10-core GPU, the starting price is $1,499 ($1,399 for education). This version offers two additional USB 3 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and a Magic Keyboard with Touch ID. However, the base storage and RAM remain the same at 256GB and 8GB, respectively. You can choose this model in green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, or silver.
If you’re more inclined toward laptops, Apple has also introduced 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models equipped with the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chipsets. You can find all the details about those in the related announcement.