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This is one of 3 articles dedicated to Apple’s iMacs:

1. How you can choose the best Apple iMac 21.5″
2. How to choose the best Apple iMac 27″ (this article)
3. How to choose the best Apple iMac Pro

Who is the Apple iMac ideal for?

1. Do you want one of the most reliable computers available on the market?
2. Do you want a relatively powerful all in one computer available from Apple?
3. Do you want a computer that’s excellent all around?

That’s the Apple iMac 27″ for you.

It’s a computer that’s solid, reliable, powerful, with an outstanding 27″ 5K Retina display, surprisingly powerful and accurate speakers and that has a small footprint.

What can the Apple iMac 27″ do for you?

– Web browsing
– Office work (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.)
– Emails
– Listen to and record music
– Watching TV/movies from local files or streaming.
– Audio/photo/video/3D editing: While the highest-end models are capable of handling such tasks, consider the more powerful iMac Pro if you want more processing power
– Connecting multiple external monitors.

Why choose the iMac 27″?

– It’s an all-in-one computer, so there’s no bulky tower.
– The power supply is integrated in the iMac, so there’s no bulky power brick.
– Great CPU performance: High frequency Six or Eight core Intel Core CPUs offer snappy performance
Dedicated video card, boosting performance in apps with GPU acceleration.
– Displays come with an IPS panel and high maximum brightness, with excellent color accuracy and viewing angles.
– It’s an Apple PC: mac OS, Siri, iCloud, many built-in apps, highly reliable, excellent customer service
– Quiet: The fan is hardly audible, unless you push the CPU to 100% for a long time.
– Speakers can go surprisingly loud and actually offers a decent dynamic range, considering their size.
– Solid and great looking aluminum chassis
– Bluetooth
– 802.11ac WiFi
– 2x Thunderbolt 3/USB Type-C ports: Integrates data transfer, charging, and video output in a single reversible connector, delivering up to 40 Gbps of throughput.
– 4x USB Type-A ports
– 90 Days of Free Telephone Support from Apple
– Although Apple makes some odd choices sometimes, their customer service is excellent in the vast majority of cases.
– UHS-II SDXC Card Reader
– Upgrading the RAM is easy on the 27″ iMac

Why you might not want the Apple iMac 27″: Cons

– Upgrading the CPU and storage is possible, but highly complicated
– It might not be powerful enough if you work with highly demanding photo/video/3D apps and heavy files: Consider the iMac Pro instead.
– No optical drive. You can get an external USB powered optical drive, if you want to.
– 1 year warranty is surprisingly short for such a premium product. You can extend it with AppleCare though.
– Getting used to macOS if you’ve never used it before.

How to Choose your Apple iMac 27″

What you need to know:

The 7 choices to make when you buy your iMac 27″:

1. Choose between four levels of CPU performance:

From the lowest to highest performance:
– Intel Core i5-10500: Six-Core / 12 threads 3.1-4.5GHz
– Intel Core i5-10600: Six-Core / 12 threads 3.3-4.8GHz
Intel Core i7-10700K: Eight-Core / 16 threads 3.8-5.1GHz
– Intel Core i9-10910: Ten Cores / 20 threads 3.6-5.0GHz

Higher Base/Turbo frequencies (GHz) mean higher performance.

From the Core i5-10500 to the Core i5-10600, there’s hardly any difference. The i7-10700K offers a good boost in performance, with 33% more cores and higher frequencies.

The Core i9-10910 is the highest-end model, offering for the first time a ten cores CPU in the iMac 27″, which is 25% more cores than the Core i7 model and 66% more cores than the Core i5 models.

2. Choose between four levels of graphic card performance

In total, there are four options available to you, in order of performance, from slowest to fastest:
1. AMD Radeon Pro 5300 4GB: 1280 SPs, 20 compute units, 4GB of memory
2. AMD Radeon Pro 5500XT 8GB: 1536 SPs, 24 compute units, 8GB of memory
3. AMD Radeon Pro 5700 8GB: 2304 SPs, 36 compute units, 8GB of memory
4. AMD Radeon Pro 5700XT 16GB: 2560 SPs, 40 compute units, 16GB of memory

If you only use your iMac to run basic programs, such as Office and Web browsing, the base-level Radeon Pro 5300 4GB graphics are fine.

For image editing, the Radeon Pro 5500XT or 5700 8GB graphic card are fine options.

On the other hand, if you do a lot of video editing, render 3D or play video games, the Radeon Pro 5700 8GB or even better, the 5700XT 16GB will give you better performance. Keep in mind that you work with 4K and especially 8K content, the extra memory on the Radeon Pro 5700XT 16GB will help prevent bottlenecks.

3. Choose between 8, 16, 32, 64GB or 128GB of memory (RAM)

4GB_RAM_macbook_airYou have the choice between 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB or 128GB of memory.

So how much RAM do I want?

It depends on what you intend to do with your iMac.

If you only use your iMac to run a few basic programs at once, like email, some Excel, Word, a web browser and iTunes, 8GB is plenty of memory.

Do you want to run heavier applications (Photoshop, Lightroom, etc.), have multiple applications open and lots of web browser tabs? 16GB would be my minimal recommendation then. 32GB isn’t a bad idea.

Are you a power user, wanting to run multiple heavier programs (audio/photo/video/3D) at once, work with virtual machines, very large data files, like to multitask and have no time to lose? 32 GB would be my minimum recommendation and I’d consider 64GB or even 128GB. You may want to consider the more powerful iMac Pro, in order to get a more powerful CPU.

If you intend on keeping your iMac for many years, going with more RAM is a good idea, seeing as memory usage keeps increasing, with newer versions of programs using more and more memory.

That said, the iMac 27″ has the advantage of having easy to upgrade RAM, so you can always add more in the future, or pick a model with less RAM and upgrade it yourself to save money.

5. 1Gb or 10Gb Ethernet Port

The iMac 27″ is available with a standard 1Gb Ethernet port or a newer, higher speed 10Gb Ethernet port for $100 more.

Most people will be fine with the 1GB port. That said, if you have a 10Gb network and can use the additional transfer rates, you now have the option to have an iMac with a 10Gb port.

6. Glossy or Matte Nano-Texture display

You have the choice between the standard glossy display or the newer Nano-Texture matte display.

What is the Nano-Texture matte display?
Nano-texture glass is a newer matte display option that helps further reduce reflectivity in environments with a lot of uncontrolled lighting.

Unlike traditional matte display coatings, which reduce reflectivity but also lower contrast while producing an undesirable haze and sparkle effect, the nano-texture is actually etched into the glass at the nanometer level. Simply put, you get a display with much lower reflectivity that maintains contrast that’s usually missing from regular matte coatings.

The downside? It costs $500.
That said, if you find yourself fighting reflections all the time, you may find it to be a worthy upgrade.

7. Get Applecare for peace of mind and extended support for your iMac?

From B&H website:

The AppleCare+ Protection Plan Extension for iMac from Apple gives you peace of mind by extending your hardware, software, and telephone support coverage to 3-years total. AppleCare+ provides you with expert assistance, global repair coverage for your iMac, and web-based resources and diagnostic tools. In addition to technical support, AppleCare+ also offers accidental coverage for up to 2 incidents throughout the warranty period. Each accidental damage incident is subject to a service fee, which varies on the type of damage reported; please visit the manufacturer’s website for pricing details. With 24/7 access to product experts via phone or chat, you can get the support you need, day or night.

AppleCare+ can be purchased with your new Mac or within 60 from the original date of purchase.

Get AppleCare+ for your iMac from B&H for $169.00.

Considering the price of an iMac, it is a small price to pay to have the peace of mind if something goes wrong.

Have any questions?

Leave a comment at the end of this article if you have any questions and I’ll get back to you.

Apple iMac 27″

From the least powerful CPU to the most powerful model:

Prices for B&H as of September 22nd. Note that I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Prices and availability are subject to change.

1. Core i5-10500 Six-Core / 12 threads 3.1-4.5GHz CPU

Configure Graphics, RAM, storage, Ethernet and display finish:
– Starting from $1,729.00 at B&H

Is it safe to buy an iMac from B&H Photo Video instead of the Apple Store? 

B&H Photo Video is an Authorized Apple Reseller. That means B&H has received authorization from Apple to sell Macs, iPhones, iPads, etc. This is great for you because B&H prices are generally much lower than the Apple Store. Items ship promptly and you receive the same warranty as if you had made the purchase at the Apple Store. In fact, you still receive all the benefits of the Apple Store (classes, Genius Bar access, etc.) when you buy from B&H Photo Video. So really, the only difference between buying from B&H and the Apple Store is that with B&H you will probably save a lot of money!

2. Core i5-10600: Six-Core / 12 threads 3.3-4.8GHz

Configure Graphics, RAM, storage, Ethernet and display finish:
– Starting from $1,999.00 at B&H

3. Core i7-10700K: Eight-Core / 16 threads 3.8-5.1GHz

Configure Graphics, RAM, storage, Ethernet and display finish:
– Starting from $2,299.00 at B&H

4. Core i9-10910: Ten Cores / 20 threads 3.6-5.0GHz

Configure Graphics, RAM, storage, Ethernet and display finish:
– Starting from $2,499.00 at B&H

Conclusion

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this article on how you can choose the best Apple iMac 27″ for your needs.

Do you have any feedback or any questions? Are you unsure which model is the best one for you?

Please leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.