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Apple IMAC 2020 experience: the curtain call of Intel Core IMAC?

via:博客园     time:2020/8/17 19:22:01     readed:991

Without looking at the official website, you may not know where the new IMAC will change in 2020.

At least in appearance, it's basically the same as the design of previous years, with the familiar thick frame, big chin and half curved back cover.


At the end of 2012, IMAC launched a new ultra-thin fuselage, which is still in use today

If we start from 2012, the IMAC has not changed its design style for nearly seven or eight years. During this period, the iPhone has evolved from 5 to 11, the iPad has moved from big black edge to full screen, and even the Mac Pro has changed from "garbage can" to "shredder".

Many people who hold coins and wait-and-see don't understand. Even if it's a long-lasting design, it's time to change it?


In early August 2020, apple updated the 27 inch IMAC

However, as a device that I keep at home, in my study, or in my office, I'm a little more tolerant of the look of the IMAC. Those who really need to buy it will probably not focus on design, but will pay more attention to the time efficiency improvement it brings.

Considering that Apple's self-developed chip will be launched by the end of the year, this new IMAC may also be the last wave of products designed by the old Intel era.

Just say, watch and cherish.

The appearance has not changed, but the new nano texture glass is really easy to use

Since it is the reuse of the old mold, the appearance of the new IMAC will not be introduced in detail. Although the old design is not ugly, the thick border is not interesting after a long time.

The same is true for the back interface, which is still four standard usb-a interfaces, two usb-c based on thunderbolt 3, one Gigabit Ethernet port (optional with 10GB), one uhs-ii SDXC card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.


The IMAC Pro has two more thunderbolt 3 interfaces than the 27 inch IMAC

Of course, there are still changes in the details. The IMAC screen supports the original color display technology, which can automatically match the ambient color temperature, providing a more comfortable browsing experience. Its main function is to protect the eyes, but as far as I know, some people don't like the "warmer" color of the original color.


Another upgrade I prefer is nano texture nano texture glass panel (non-standard, it needs to be charged 3750 yuan), which can greatly reduce the reflection of IMAC screen without affecting image quality and contrast.


Compared with ordinary sub light screen, the reflection phenomenon of nano texture glass is greatly reduced. Image from:Logkazu

It's also the first time Apple has introduced nano textured glass on the IMAC product line. Before that, you could only enjoy similar technology on Apple's top display screen Pro display XDR.


▲$3,000 for glass isn't cheap, but Pro Display XDR have to add $8,000

In terms of touch, the screen of nano texture glass is a bit similar to a mobile phone screen with atomized film. However, it is not a coating, but a nano scale etching process, which can realize the divergence of light.


The nano texture glass is an etching process, which will not affect the color and visual angle of the screen

To be honest, as long as you put the IMAC near the window, or in the environment with complex light sources, it is easy to leave white light spots and the reflection of light tubes on the screen. Sometimes, you have to adjust the screen angle back and forth to avoid the light source.


The two machines are facing the floor to ceiling windows with the highest brightness. You can feel the anti glare effect of nano texture glass

However, with the addition of nano textured glass, no matter whether you look at it squarely or squint at other angles, you will no longer see mirror reflection. It is not only easy to work, but also greatly improves the immersion feeling of the whole screen, which can be said to be a very intimate design.


It should be noted that Apple does not recommend using a third-party cleaning cloth to wipe the nano texture glass. Only the attached polishing cloth is recommended

In the future, if the cost of nano textured glass falls further, Apple may introduce similar technology to other computers such as MacBook.

Integration of T2 chip, the whole series of standard configuration of solid state disk

The configuration of the new IMAC is basically a conventional upgrade, including a 5K resolution P3 display screen, the 10th generation intel core processor, and the new generation of radon Pro 5000 Series graphics card. It is divided into three configuration files, i.e. high, medium and low, and also retains the DIY upgrade part of the memory module.


The new IMAC still allows users to replace and upgrade their own memory. Image from:9to5mac

This time, our 27 inch IMAC is equipped with a 10 core i9-10910 processor, a 16 GB video memory of the radon Pro 5700 XT, 32 GB of DDR4 memory, and a 1TB solid-state drive.

Here or take a few commonly used software run test data. Compared with last year's i9 top configuration version, the CPU part of the new IMAC has not changed significantly. The gap is mainly in the multi-core part. After all, it is 8-core to 10-core, or it brings about about 20% multi-threaded improvement.


The GPU of the GPU is specially designed for Mac, and the graphics card with IMAC is radon Pro 5700 XT, which has 16 GB of memory, and the RX 5700 XT on the market is only 8 GB

The GPU upgrade is quite impressive. The new iMac, in the default mode of unigine heaven, has a score increase of about 55%, and the average frame rate has also increased from 68fps to 107fps.

According to the official data provided by apple, this year's new IMAC has a speed improvement of about 50-55% in Maxon Cinema 4D rendering and unity editor scene demonstration, which is mainly due to the new GPU of the radon Pro 5000 series.

Faster, more time-saving to run professional software, and basically the main axis of the new IMAC every year.


The read-write speed of IMAC has been significantly improved after switching to SSD

What's more friendly is that IMAC has finally caught up with the times, abandoning the outdated fusion hybrid hard disk, and the whole series is equipped with solid-state as standard, which greatly improves the read-write performance of the system, and users can also purchase less tangles.

From the test of blackmagic disk, it can be seen that the average write speed of the new IMAC will be about three times higher than that of the 1TB hybrid hard disk, and the reading speed of the new IMAC will be about twice as fast as that of the 1TB hybrid hard disk.


The entry model only comes with 256gb solid state as standard

The only problem is the capacity. This time, the entry-level IMAC is only equipped with 256gb solid-state disk, which is faster, but the space is much lower than the previous 1TB hybrid hard disk. If you don't want to add money, you can only rely on an external hard disk.

There is also WiFi. The new IMAC is still 802.11ac, which does not support WiFi 6. Unfortunately, the Bluetooth specification is upgraded from 4.2 to 5.0.

In addition, the new IMAC also supports a studio level three microphone array similar to the 16 inch MacBook Pro, which mainly improves the quality of video calls, audio content recording and playback.


The T2 chip is more than a security chip

Another important change is the introduction of T2 chip, which also means that the security chip developed by Apple has completed the coverage of all Macs.

Many people think that the T-series chip on MAC is only related to security. For example, its built-in AES encryption engine can protect SSD hard disk data from being stolen, and the design of isolation zone can prevent rogue software from stealing cameras and microphones.


The T2 chip can provide hevc video acceleration function

However, from the perspective of privilege management, the status of T2 chip in MAC is no lower than that of CPU / GPU,As for the integrated ISP controllerFor IMAC audio and video experience, even hevc video transcoding work will bring many benefits.


The IMAC's camera will light up once it is called, so there is no need to cover it

First of all, the camera part. This time, the new IMAC upgraded the front FaceTime camera to 1080p level (the previous generation was still 720p), which greatly improved the definition. At the same time, it also supports the optimization of exposure and white balance in video chat, mainly due to the T2 chip.

If you often have to hold video conferences, IMAC's own camera is certainly enough. Of course, I would prefer to have a face recognition verification system similar to face ID, rather than typing the password every time.


The new IMAC supports "Hey, Siri" calls

Secondly, the built-in audio controller of T2 chip can make IMAC's speakers get better balance and fidelity, and "Hey, Siri" voice wake-up function.


The T2 chip has basically realized the coverage of the entire MAC product line

To some extent, the T2 chip is Apple's early "training" by abandoning the Intel camp and switching to a custom processor. It has already developed from the initial security protection to a "coprocessor" positioning similar to the M-series, gradually taking many key permissions into Apple's own hands.

It can be predicted that after the MAC is equipped with its own processor in the future, T-series chips will definitely have a deeper linkage with CPU and GPU. Many functions we see on iPhone and iPad should also be implemented at that time.

Now? Or continue to be a wait party?

Overall, this year's new 27 inch IMAC is more like a technology devolution of the pro product line. After all, T2 chips, 1080p cameras, or nano textured glass that only existed on the IMAC pro, are now being transplanted to IMAC.

Let alone microphone array, original color display and other technologies, even IMAC Pro itself is greedy.


However, for users who want to start any new Mac this year, there is a problem that can't be avoided in any case

"I'm a Mac waiting for apple to customize the chip? Buy an Intel MAC now? "

But in my opinion, at least for the 27 inch iMac, friends who need to change this year can still start with confidence and boldness.

There are two reasons.


First, considering that ARM architecture pays more attention to the balance of performance and power consumption, it will be more suitable for 13 inch macbook pro or MacBook Air, rather than high-performance devices like IMAC.

This is not only a low-risk water test, but also responsible for professional users.

Second, the generation cycle of an iMac is about 1-2 years. As apple has said, it will take two years to transition the architecture. This means that if you want to buy an "Apple chip IMAC" that is mature enough and has good software and hardware adaptability, you have to wait at least after 2022.


The concept map of "full screen IMAC" produced by designer Daniel Bautista supports face ID, and the base can be charged wirelessly. Image from:Daniel Bautista

In the process of architecture transfer, maybe we can see the next generation IMAC with apple core, ultra narrow frame and new mold. But you can't guarantee that the arm version IMAC can do better than the Intel version in terms of software compatibility and stability.


I actually agree with the tubing bloggerDave LeeComments on the new IMAC:

"For creators, don't wait for a device that might get better, just start with the tools you can buy now, and then create the current content. "

In short, if your workflow is relatively fixed, and you usually need to use a large number of professional software such as video rendering and 3D modeling, the IMAC based on Intel chip is still the most secure choice at this stage, and there is no pressure to persist for two or three years.

However, if you are a pure home user and only need to surf the Internet and work lightly, it is more rational and appropriate to wait for the 21.5 inch model that may be updated in the future (maybe the first arm version of IMAC), or to buy a Mac Mini with external display.

I hope we can see the arrival of full screen IMAC as soon as possible.

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