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iMac Gets Major Performance Bump With New M3 Chip

Following the introduction of its new family of M-Series chips Monday night, Apple announced that it is updating the hugely popular 24-inch iMac with the M3 chip.

With an 8-core GPU and a GPU with up to 10 cores, Apple says that the new iMac with M3 is up to 2x faster than the M1 model it replaces.

The M3 chip’s new GPU is up to 65% faster than M1 when it comes to graphics performance, while the improved CPU is up to 35% faster. The M3 iMac will support up to 24GB of unified memory.

Aimed at Intel upgraders

All in all, the bump to M3 likely makes this the most powerful iMac yet. For that reason, Apple spent a lot of time during the Monday night event positioning the M3 iMac not toward those who have an M1 iMac, but to those who still have Intel models.

To drive that point home, Apple said the new M3 iMac is 2.5x faster than the most popular 27-inch Intel model—equipped with a 3.3GHz, 6-core Intel i5 with a Radeon Pro 5300 GPU, and 8GB of RAM—and 4x faster than the most powerful 21.5-inch Intel model—equipped with a 3.0GHz, 6-core Intel i5 with Radeon Pro 560X GPU and 8GB of RAM.

Apple also says that the 24-inch display will make those upgrading from both the 21.5-inch and 27-inch displays of those Intel models very happy. The 24-inch iMac has a 4.5K Retina display with 11.3 million pixels, a P3 wide color gamut, more than 1 billion colors, and can reach 500 nits of brightness.

Work and play

The M3 iMac is certainly a capable beast of an all-in-one, offering enough performance for everything from web browsing all the way up to professional applications such as video and photo editing. Apple says the M3 24-inch iMac can:

  • Edit and play back up to 12 streams of 4K video, which is 3x more than before.
  • Produce video projects in Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro up to 2x faster.
  • Process photos in apps like Adobe Photoshop up to 2x faster.

The new M3 model is also well-equipped for video calls, including a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, six-speaker sound, and “studio quality” built-in mics.

And thanks to all that new M3 graphics power, you’ll be able to game like never before on iMac. The new M3 GPU features hardware accelerated mesh shading and ray tracing, allowing game developers to create the most detailed an immersive environments yet for Mac games.

Pricing and availability

The 24-inch iMac with M3, 8-core GPU, 8GB of unified memory, a 256GB SSD, Magic Keyboard, and Magic Mouse will start at the same $1,299 price point as the previous M1 model, and will be available in green, pink, blue, and silver.

iMac with the 10-core GPU starts at $1,499 and is available in green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver. This model adds two additional USB 3 ports, a Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, Magic Mouse, and Gigabit Ethernet.

iMac with M3 is available to order today and all begin arriving to customers and Apple Store locations Tuesday, November 7.

OWC Wayne G
the authorOWC Wayne G
Tech lover, multimedia creator, and marketing manager for OWC's Rocket Yard and Mission Control blogs.
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