Apple iMac compared

10th March 2020

The iMac is an iconic all-in-one design from Apple that is synonymous with the brand. Great for both light and demanding users, the iMac range is designed to handle everything from general everyday use, to heavy-duty work and gaming. Coming as a full computer setup including a display, keyboard, mouse or trackpad, the iMac is ideal for anyone who needs a fixed, quality desktop that is efficient and reliable.  

When it comes to choosing an iMac, there are three versions to choose from – the standard, the retina and the pro. If you’re considering which option is the best for you, stick with us, as we’re going to compare the different models to help you choose a configuration that is best suited to your requirements.  

An iMac should last a good few years before you feel the need to upgrade, but it’s important to really consider which iMac you should choose. After the point of purchase, you can’t upgrade internal components, apart from the RAM in the 27-inch models. You need to know what you’re going to use your machine for before you purchase, as you have the option to customise the specs of your iMac when you buy it.

Standard iMac

The standard 21.5” iMac has a 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, Intel Iris Plus 640 integrated Graphics, 8GB RAM and a capacity of 1TB. Once you buy this iMac it can’t be upgraded, so it pays to think before you buy. Consider upgrading the memory to 16GB, for example.  

Offering a 21.5” sRGB display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, the standard iMac can display millions of colours to a high standard. However, the retina version of the 21.5” iMac can display billions of colours and provides a higher quality image using P3 colour space.  

The standard iMac is a good upgrade from the Mac mini and comes equipped with Apple’s Magic Keyboard and the Magic Mouse 2. Providing four USB 3.0 ports, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, an SDXC card slot and a gigabit ethernet port, most devices can be connected up. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are built in.  

Although this is the slowest of the iMacs, it is still a quality machine that can provide enough power for games, photo and video editing as well as day-to-day tasks.  

Here at Hardsoft, the standard 21.5” iMac starts from just £7.24 per week.

Retina display iMac  

There are two iMacs that offer retina display with a 21.5” display, and three 27” models. Each have a different specification and price.  

21.5” iMac with Retina 4K display

Using the P3 colour space that is often used in the film industry, the 21.5” iMac with Retina display offers a high-quality display with a 4096 x 2304 resolution. With the new iMacs, you can also add more RAM at a later date via the Apple store.

iMac 21.5” Retina 4K: i3-3.6GHz and 1TB HDD 

This iMac offers a 3.6GHz quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD and Radeon Pro 555X graphics with 2GB of GDDR5 memory.  

Starts from £8.64 per week at Hardsoft.

iMac 21.5” Retina 4K: i5-3.0GHz and 1TB Fusion Drive

This iMac offers a 3.0GHz six-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 1TB Fusion Drive and Radeon Pro 569X graphics with 4GB of GDDR5 memory.  

Starts from £10.00 per week at Hardsoft.

27” iMac with Retina 5K display

With a 5120 x 2880 resolution screen, the 27” iMac uses P3 colour space like the 21.5” models and offers 500 nits of brightness. You can also add more RAM using the four RAM slots at the back of the machine. The Retina iMacs are some of the fastest computers for single-core performance and offer a noticeable difference in the way the screen quality looks.

iMac 27” i5-3.0GHz and 1TB Fusion 

This iMac offers a 3.0GHz six-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 16GB RAM, 1TB Fusion Drive and Radeon Pro 570X graphics with 4GB of GDDR5 memory.  

Starts from £12.08 per week at Hardsoft.

iMac 27” i5-3.1GHz and 1TB Fusion Drive

This iMac offers a 3.1GHz six-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 16GB RAM, 1TB Fusion Drive and Radeon Pro 575X graphics with 4GB of GDDR5 memory.

Starts from £13.44 per week at Hardsoft.

iMac 27” i5-3.7GHz and 2TB Fusion Drive

This iMac offers a 3.7GHz six-core 9th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 16GB RAM, 2TB Fusion Drive and Radeon Pro 580X graphics with 8GB of GDDR5 memory.

Starts from £15.52 per week at Hardsoft.

iMac Pro

The iMac Pro was designed for creative professionals, software developers and scientists who work on demanding tasks that need power. The 27-inch Retina 5K P3 display comes in an exclusive and premium-looking space grey aluminium case with a space grey Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2 to match.  

Created to work at pro levels, the iMac Pro can be upgraded to meet your needs, but as standard comes with an 8-core 3.2GHz Xeon W Processor Turbo Boost to 4.2GHz, 32GB DDR4 ECC RAM, 1TB SSD Storage and Radeon Pro Vega 56 – 8GB graphics.  

At Hardsoft, the iMac Pro starts from £32.76 per week.  

If you would like more information on choosing the right iMac for you, get in touch today to speak to an expert member of the Hardsoft team.