Written by Gijs

Compare the Apple iMac (2017) to the iMac (2019)

Without any announcement, Apple has released iMac 21.5-inch and iMac 27-inch upgrades. I have been waiting for that for a while, because the last upgrades are already 2 years old. In this article, I explain which upgrades the iMac has had and what has remained the same.

Apple iMac 21.5 inches (2019) MRT32N/A 3.6GHz 4K

  • With 1 TB, you have more than enough space to save your files and open them again quickly.
  • This iMac has a 4K Retina display with a resolution of 4096x2304 pixels.
  • With this all-in-one iMac, the entire computer is processed in the screen.
  • The 1TB hard drive works less quickly than the SSD variant of comparable iMacs.
  • This iMac has 2 ThunderBolt 3 connectors, so to connect other peripherals, you need a separate adapter.

Apple iMac 21.5 inches (2017) MMQA2N/A 2.3GHz

  • Intel Core i5 2.3GHz Dual (2) Core
  • 8GB RAM - 1TB HDD
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
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  • With 1TB HDD, you have more than enough space to save your files and open them again quickly.
  • With the Thunderbolt 3 ports, you can transfer large files at lightning speed, with a speed of up to 40Gbps.
  • With this all-in-one iMac, the entire computer is processed in the screen.
  • This iMac doesn't have a 4 or 5K Retina display and has a lower resolution than comparable models.
  • The 1TB hard drive works less quickly than the SSD variant of comparable iMacs.

In short

iMac 21.5 inches (2017) iMac 21.5 inches (2019) iMac 27 inches (2017) iMac 27 inches (2019)
Screen 21.5 inches, 4096x2304 pixels 21.5 inches, 4096x2304 pixels 27 inches, 5120x2880 pixels 27 inches, 5120x2880 pixels
Processor options 7th generation Intel Core i5 Dual-Core, i7 Quad-Core 8th generation Intel Core i3 Quad-Core; i5 or i7 Hexa Core 7th generation Intel Core i5 Dual-Core, i5 Quad-Core, i7 Quad-Core 8th generation Intel Core i5 Hexa Core; 9th gen i9 Hexa Core, i9 Octo Core
Video card 2GB AMD Radeon Pro 555 or 4GB Radeon Pro 560 2GB Radeon Pro 555X, 4GB Radeon Pro 560X, 4GB Radeon Pro Vega 20 4GB AMD Radeon Pro 570, 575; 8GB Radeon Pro 580 4GB DDR4 AMD Radeon Pro 570X, 575X; 8GB HBM2 580X, Radeon Pro Vega 48
Storage 1TB 5400 RPM HDD, 1TB Fusion drive, 256GB to 1TB SSD 1TB 5400 RPM HDD, 1TB Fusion drive, 256GB to 1TB SSD Up to and including 3TB Fusion drive or up to and including 2TB SSD Up to and including 3TB Fusion drive or up to and including 2TB SSD
RAM Up to 32GB 2400MHz Up to and including 32GB 2666 MHz DDR4 Up to and including 64GB 2400MHz Up to and including 64GB 2666MHz

Biggest differences

iMac (2017)

Apple iMac (2017)

The 21.5 and 27-inch iMac from 2017 are both equipped with processors of the 7th generation. With these 7th generation processors, I can edit photos effortlessly, but I do notice that it no longer feels as fast as 2 years ago. The 'older' AMD video cards also provide excellent performance, but to keep up with that, an improvement is also welcome here.

iMac (2019)

Apple iMac (2019)

The new iMac (2019) models are equipped with processors of the 8th or even 9th generation. These new processors are a lot faster than those of the 7th generation. This makes me multitask even smoother and I can hardly see the spinning beach ball. The improved 2666MHz DDR4 main memory and the new AMD video cards ensure that the new iMac models are a worthy upgrade in my opinion.

Conclusion

The Apple iMac has been improved in 2 areas: the processor and the video card. For me, these are also the most important parts of a computer. I edit a lot of videos and photos on my iMac, so the Apple iMac (2019) is a welcome upgrade for me. If you only use the iMac for internet, email, and text processing, this upgrade isn't really necessary.


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