Apple just announced a new version for the iMac line of computers, Apple's line of desktop-based computers. The new 24-inch iMac with the Apple M1 chip and a new look will be released in mid-May 2021.
Apple is still selling the 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMacs, which were last updated in August 2020 and offer them solid-state drives and new Intel chips. The 27-inch had the most processing power and the better display.
How does the new 24-inch iMac compare to the 27-inch iMac, which used to be the front runner?
IMac computing power comparison
The 27-inch iMacs currently available have 10-core Intel Core i9 processors and can install 8 to 129 GB of RAM. That's a lot of computing power.
The new 24-inch iMacs work with the new Apple M1 chips. These chips have 8-core CPUs, 16-core neural engines, and 7- or 8-core GPUs, depending on which 24-inch iMac you get.
This might make it seem like the 24-inch iMac isn't processing as fast as the 27-inch iMac. According to Apple, the M1 chip should use 25 to 33 percent less power for most tasks and perform up to four times faster. The M1 chip offers at least more with fewer cores.
However, the 27-inch iMac has even more space for RAM. The 24-inch iMacs can only be 8 GB or 16 GB.
However, this RAM is a unified memory. The 27-inch iMac's RAM has certain pools of RAM reserved for specific tasks. The 24-inch iMac's RAM is linked so that the processor can access more RAM when needed.
Depending on how much RAM you really need, the latest iMacs might be perfect or second only to the 27-inch model. It depends on you and your computer needs.
Compare iMac storage
All storage on the 24-inch and 27-inch iMacs is located on an SSD (Solid State Drive). You can increase the storage space on an iMac to certain levels, whichever you choose. But you obviously pay more the more memory you add.
The 27-inch has the largest storage potential of the current iMac models.
The 24-inch, two-port iMac has storage options of 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB. While the more expensive four-port model (which also has an 8-core GPU) offers up to 2TB.
In contrast, the 27-inch iMac has up to 8 TB of storage space.
The 27-inch model offers a lot more storage space. This can only come at a high cost. The same goes for the 24-inch iMacs, but the chance of getting more storage space could get your money moving further. It certainly never hurts to have extra space on your computer!
Compare iMac displays
The 24-inch iMac has a 4.5K retina display. The screen size is 4480 x 2520 pixels and, like the 27-inch iMac, can reach up to 500 nits of brightness while also having P3 Wide Color and True Tone technology.
The 27-inch iMac has a screen size of 5120 x 2880 pixels thanks to its larger screen, among other things. It has a 5K retina display, a small step above the 24-inch display. It may not be enough to give the 27-inch an edge for you. The 27-inch can also be supplied with nano-textured glass.
Nano-textured glass has greatly reduced glare and reflections. If you don't like shiny screens, the 27-inch iMac might be the winner.
Nano-textured glass is $ 300 on top of the cost of the iMac. Maybe the 24-inch iMac is more economical for you. We think the screens are pretty much comparable, except for the option for nanoglass.
As we recently described, the iMac has received an impressive redesign with the 24-inch version. It's slimmer than any previous iMac and comes in seven colors.
The 27-inch iMac is only available in silver.
The 24-inch iMac is 5.8 inches thick and weighs 9.83 pounds. In contrast, the 27-inch is 8 inches thick and weighs 19.7 pounds.
The 24-inch iMac's bezel is also much slimmer. So it looks slimmer compared to the 27-inch model. But the 27-inch still has the bigger screen.
The 27-inch iMac also has a wider choice of ports. The 27-inch has two USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 ports, four USB-A ports and an SDXC card slot.
It also has a Gigabit Ethernet port and a 3.5mm headphone jack, which the 24-inch iMac also has. The 24-inch iMac with two ports otherwise only has two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports. The 24-inch four-port model has two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports and two USB 3 ports.
Chances are, you have computer accessories that are more compatible with the 27-inch iMac. However, if you don't mind investing in adapters, the 24-inch iMac might still be a good fit for you. Especially if you don't have a lot of connections to your computer.
Compare iMac keyboards
The 27-inch iMac can use all types of wired or wireless keyboards, including most models of the Magic keyboard. The only Magic keyboards that don't work with it are the new models with Touch ID.
The Magic Keyboard with Touch ID allows you to unlock your iMac using the Touch ID button in the upper right corner of the keyboard. You can also use Touch ID to quickly lock or unlock your iMac if you need to.
Touch ID can also enter passwords that you've saved on your iMac, and you can quickly pay for items once you've set up Apple Pay.
The Magic Keyboard with Touch ID only works with computers with the M1 chip. This includes the 24-inch iMac, but also the latest MacBooks and the latest M1 iPad Pro.
The 24-inch iMac can also be used with other wired or wireless keyboards that are also compatible with the Mac. So there are a few more options available to him in the keyboard market.
Comparison of iMac cameras and microphones
The 24-inch and 27-inch iMacs have built-in 1080p FaceTime HD cameras for video calls and photo booth sessions. However, the iMac's 24-inch camera is a bit better as it includes the new M1 image signal processor.
This new image signal processor has an improved white balance and an improved automatic exposure which, in combination with a better reduction of the image noise, produces better images from the camera.
The situation is similar with the built-in microphones of the iMacs. The 27-inch iMac has a studio-quality three-microphone array.
The 24-inch has the same, but with a high signal-to-noise ratio and directional beamforming. The sound picked up by this microphone is sharper and cleaner than the 27-inch iMac.
If you already have an external webcam and microphone, you might not need the advanced ones on the 24-inch iMac. However, if you don't, or prefer to build it all in, the 24-inch iMac is the clear winner here.
The 24-inch, dual-port, 7-core GPU iMac will go on sale in mid-May for a starting price of $ 1,299. The four-port model, which also has an 8-core GPU, starts at $ 1,499.
You pay about $ 200 for each additional 256GB of storage you add to these computers and you pay more to upgrade your memory and other features.
The 27-inch iMac starts at $ 1,799. Additional storage and RAM are priced similar to the 24-inch device, but the 27-inch device also lets you pay more for faster processors and the nano-textured glass.
None of these computers are cheap. If you have the budget, the 27-inch iMac gives you more customization options for more money. It's just a lot more expensive than the new 24-inch model. To get a great computer for less money, the 24-inch iMac is your best bet.
Which iMac is Better?
The 27-inch iMac still seems to have a place in the market. It's bigger, can have more storage space, has more ports, and its display is slightly superior.
However, the 24-inch iMac still offers more processing power, a better camera and microphone, and a sleeker design, and costs less.
Ultimately, the winner of this face-off depends on you and your preferences. But we believe that any computer could make a person happy for a while. At least until Apple releases its next line of iMacs and the debate starts all over again!
In the meantime, do a better study of the 24-inch iMac so you are prepared for the next debate about Apple computers.
An overview of Apple's new 24-inch M1 iMac (2021)
Find out all about the new M1 iMac Apple that has just been released. There is more to it than the fancy colors.
About the author
(11 articles published)
Jessica has been writing technical articles since 2018 and loves to knit, crochet and embroider little things in her free time.
By Jessica Lanman
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