Apple unveils 24-inch iMac with M3 chip at 'Scary Fast' event

Apple has introduced a fresh 24-inch iMac featuring the latest Apple Silicon M3 Chip at its Halloween-themed 'Scary Fast' event.

A refresh has been eagerly awaited since the launch of the 2021 iMac. Here's a comprehensive look at the new all-in-one desktop computer.

New 24-Inch iMac with M3 Chip by Apple

The new iMac boasts a 24-inch 4.5K Retina Display with 11.3 million pixels and over a billion colors. The LED-backlit screen supports a resolution of 4480 x 2520 pixels and offers 500 nits of brightness.

It features a wide color gamut (P3) and True Tone technology, closely resembling the previous-generation model.

The highlight of the show is undoubtedly the new Apple Silicon M3 chip. Powering the 2023 iMac, this 3nm chip is equipped with 8 cores, divided into 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores.

Additionally, it includes a 16-core Neural Engine for on-device machine learning, AI tasks, and enhanced video performance.

Apple claims that the iMac M3 is approximately 2 times faster than Intel-based iMac models, though it's important to note that it's not the most direct comparison.

The new Mac is also 2.5 times faster than the 27-inch models and 4 times faster than the 21.5-inch model.

According to Apple, apps such as Safari and Microsoft Excel run up to 30 percent faster on the M3, with faster game load times and up to 50 percent higher frame rates.

Notably, the iMac M3 offers remarkable performance upgrades for tasks like video editing, capable of handling up to 12 streams of 4K video, a significant improvement over the previous generation's capacity of only 5 streams.

Video editing software such as Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro run up to 2 times faster on the M3 iMac, while photo editing in Adobe Photoshop is also up to 2 times faster.

Apple's documentation highlights that the new performance cores in the CPU are 30 percent faster compared to the M1, and the efficiency cores are 50 percent faster.

The Neural Engine also delivers 60 percent faster performance compared to the one in the M1 chip.

The M3 iMacs GPU comes with 8 cores (10 on the four-port model) and supports Dynamic Caching, enabling features like Mesh Shading, Hardware-accelerated Ray Tracing, and a range of media formats.

It supports H.264, HEVC, ProRes, ProRes RAW encoding, and decoding to AV1 decoding. The iMac comes with 8 GB of Unified Memory (RAM) with 100GB/s memory bandwidth but can be configured to support 16 GB or 24 GB.

It will run on macOS 14 Sonoma out of the box and supports features like Apple Pay, Siri, and Continuity with the iPhone.

Regarding storage, the iMac starts with a 256 GB SSD but offers customization options for 512 GB, 1TB, or 2TB for the higher-end model.

The iMac is equipped with a 1080p FaceTime HD camera for video calls and supports an Advanced image signal processor (ISP) with computational video capabilities.

The M3 iMac features a high-fidelity six-speaker system with force-canceling woofers, delivering wide stereo sound.

It can provide Spatial Audio playback when Dolby Atmos is active for music or video. The desktop includes a 3.5 mm headphone jack and a studio-quality three-mic array with high signal-to-noise ratio and directional beamforming.

Apple iMac M3 Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse, color-matched

In terms of connectivity, the iMac supports Wi-Fi 6E 802.11ax and Bluetooth 5.3. The desktop computer is equipped with two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports and can be configured with an optional Gigabit Ethernet port.

The pricier model features two additional USB ports, USB 3, and a Gigabit Ethernet port.

The base model comes with a color-matched Magic Keyboard and a Magic Mouse, while the higher-end version includes a Magic Keyboard with Touch ID and a Magic Mouse.

Both versions can be configured to include a keyboard with a numeric keypad and a Magic Trackpad.

Specifications for the Apple 24-inch iMac M3:
- Display: 24 inches, 4.5K Retina Display, LED-backlit, 4480 x 2520 pixels, 500 nits brightness, Wide color (P3), True Tone technology
- Operating System: macOS 14 Sonoma
- Chip: Apple M3, 16-core Neural Engine
- CPU: 8-core with 4 performance cores + 4 efficiency cores
- GPU: 8-core / 10-core (Four-port model), Hardware-accelerated Ray Tracing, H.264, HEVC, ProRes, ProRes RAW, AV1
- Unified Memory: Up to 24 GB (8/16/24), 100GB/s memory bandwidth
- Storage: Up to 1 TB / 2 TB SSD (256 GB / 512 GB / 1TB / 2TB)
- Camera: 1080p FaceTime HD Camera
- Audio: 3.5 mm headphone jack, 6-speaker system, Stereo sound, Spatial Audio, Dolby Atmos, Three-mic array
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.3
- Ports: Base model - Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports, Configurable with Gigabit Ethernet; 10-Core GPU model - Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports, Two USB 3 ports, Gigabit Ethernet
- Keyboard: Magic Keyboard / Magic Keyboard with Touch ID / Magic Keyboard with Touch ID and Numeric Keypad
- Trackpad: Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad
- Dimensions: 18.1 x 21.5 x 5.8 inches (46.1 x 54.7 x 14.7 cm)
- Weight: 9.75 pounds (4.43 kg)
- In the box: iMac, Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse, 143W Power Adapter, 2M Power Cord, USB-C to Lightning Cable
- Additional features: Apple Pay, Siri

24-inch iMac M3 pricing and availability

The starting price for the 24-inch iMac M3 is $1,299 for the 8-core GPU model, which includes 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, and 2 Thunderbolt ports.

It comes with a Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse and is available in four colors: green, pink, blue, and silver.

The iMac M3 with a 10-core GPU is priced at $1,499. In addition to the features of the base model, the higher-end iMac M3 includes two additional USB 3 ports, a Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, and Gigabit Ethernet.

This model is available in seven color options: green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver. For customized models, please refer to Apple's website for pricing details.

The pricing of the 2023 iMac is in line with the 2021 model, a surprising but welcome development. 

However, it's worth noting that the base model still comes with 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD, which may leave some users desiring more.

On a side note, Apple includes a USB-C to Lightning Cable in the box for the Magic Keyboard.

The new iMac M3 is available for order today on Apple's website and in the Apple Store app in 27 countries and regions.

Shipping to buyers is scheduled to commence on November 7, and the computers will also be available in Apple Store locations and Apple Authorized Resellers from the same date.

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