Apple’s new iMacs have better screens, USB-C, and VR support

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Apple has announced updates to its iMac line at WWDC, giving its all-in-one desktop more powerful specifications and the latest Intel chips.

Apple is bringing Intel’s seventh-generation Kaby Lake processors to the new iMac, along with what Apple calls “the best Mac display ever,” offering 500 nits of brightness, or 43 percent brighter than the previous generation. The 21.5-inch model now can be configured up to 32GB of RAM, while the 27-inch goes up to 64GB, twice what had previously been offered. The new iMacs also are getting two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, making it Apple’s first desktop computer to embrace the port standard.

Graphics cards are getting a spec boost in the updated iMacs, too. The entry-level 21.5-inch model will have an Intel Iris Plus 640 GPU, while the 4K 21.5-inch models will get Radeon Pro 555 and 560 graphics cards. Meanwhile, the 27-inch 5K model will have a choice of Radeon Pro 570, 575, and 580 graphics cards, topping out at 8GB of VRAM. (The top model Radeon Pro 580 is roughly equivalent to an Nvidia 1060.) Those new GPUs, along with updates in macOS High Sierra, also means that the new iMacs will support VR.

While the design of the iMac is mostly unchanged from the outside, it’s still a significant update, given that it’s been almost almost two years since Apple last updated the desktop line in October 2015. And it’s especially important, given that these new iMacs are pulling double duty as Apple’s primary desktop computer until it sorts out the situation with the Mac Pro sometime next year, although the newly announced iMac Pro slated for later this year should help with that.

The 21.5-inch iMac will start at $1,099 and the 4K 21.5-inch model at $1,299. The updated iMacs will be available later today.

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