Best iMac iMore 2020
There's nothing like an Apple iMac to bring excitement and productivity into your home. A popular choice for families and professionals alike who are looking for an all-in-one computer solution, the iMac comes in two sizes, 21.5-inches, and 27-inches. Our favorite for 2020 is the 21.5-inch iMac 4K (2019), which is packed full of terrific features at a reasonable price. There are other models worth considering depending on your needs.
- Best Overall: 21.5-inch iMac 4K (2019)
- Best Value: 21.5-inch iMac 4K (entry-level)
- Runner Up: 27-inch iMac 5K (2019) (entry-level)
- Premium: 27-inch iMac 5K (2019)
- Best Pure Splurge: iMac Pro
Best Overall: 21.5-inch iMac 4K (2019)
Featuring an aluminum and glass enclosure with a five millimeter-thin profile, the iMac 4K ships with a matching Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2. The iMac 4K (2019) that we're recommending comes with a 3.0GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz, 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory, Radeon Pro 560X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory, and 1TB Fusion Drive for storage. You can upgrade any of these for more money. Our tip: splurge on the memory, if you can, which is available up to 32GB.
The iMac 4K (2019) ships with the latest version of macOS, which includes a system-wide dark mode for the first time and new privacy controls. The current version of macOS also includes three iOS apps jumping to Mac for the first time: Home, News, and Stocks. There's also a new desktop Stacks feature and improvements to Finder.
There's nothing negative to note about this desktop, except knowing it's the most expensive 21.5-inch iMac currently on the market. Additionally, if you've been counting on a 27-inch model, you'll no doubt be disappointed with this one.
- 4K Retina
- Fusion drive
- Only con would be the display size
- Most expensive 21.5-inch model
Best for most users
Your home will love this computer, which can remain a prominent fixture for many years to come.
Best Value: 21.5-inch iMac 4K (entry-level)
For $200 less, you can purchase this entry-level iMac 4K Retina model, which offers a 3.6GHz quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB DDR4 memory, Radeon Pro 555X with 2GB of GDDR5 memory, and 1TB Serial ATA Drive. This iMac model is the one you should buy in a pinch if you can't wait to purchase our overall winner.
Don't start upgrading the internals, however. By doing so, you'll start adding more costs that could make it more expensive than our recommended model.
- Less money
- Still a 4K monitor
- i3 vs i5 processor
- No Fusion drive
You'll still get Apple's impressive 4K Retina display on this iMac model. Inside you'll find less expensive parts.
Runner Up: 27-inch iMac 5K (2019) (entry-level)
The entry-level 27-inch iMac 5K offers fantastic features, including a 3.0GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz, 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory, Radeon Pro 570X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory, and 1TB Fusion Drive storage. Like with our overall pick, if you can only upgrade one component, considering increasing the memory size.
For those looking for a 27-inch iMac 4K, this model is ideal. However, if you plan on using your computer for photography, illustrating, or video-editing, you should consider our premium model on this list.
- Beautiful Retina 5K 5120-by-2880 P3 display
- Just $300 more than our overall pick
- Price can rise quickly with add-ons
- 8GB of memory might not be enough
- Difficult to move
Look at that display!
Forget 4K, when you can have 5K. Great internals and a robust display in one package.
Premium: 27-inch iMac 5K (2019)
This 27-inch iMac model looks exactly like the one above. Inside, however, you'll find significant upgrades, starting with a 3.7GHz 6-core 9th-generation Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz. You also find 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory, configurable up to 64GB, 2TB Fusion Drive, and Radeon Pro 580X with 8GB of GDDR5 memory.
Short of the iMac Pro (which starts at $4,999), this is the best 27-inch iMac you can buy and is the one ideally suited for the creatives among us. If you can, max out your memory; you'll be happy you did.
- Plenty to love
- Memory up to 64GB
- Don't buy unless you need the extra power
Your friends will be jealous of this impressive beast. Just make sure you really need to extras before spending the money.
Best Pure Splurge: iMac Pro
First introduced in late 2017, the iMac Pro includes an 8-, 10-, 14-, or 18-core Intel Xeon processor, 27-inch (diagonal) Retina 5K display, AMD Vega graphics, up to 256GB ECC memory, and 10 Gigabit Ethernet. In other words, this is one powerful machine! Still, with the 2019 Mac Pro now on sale, this model could fast become obsolete unless it gets a refresh.
Geared towards professional creatives, the iMac Pro can easily cost you five figures, depending on your configuration. Only buy this model if you need the expanded resources, like the color black, and a no-brainer, have a budget to support the purchase.
- Lots of customization
- Memory up to 256GB
- Only iMac that comes in black
- Extremely pricey
- Not for most buyers
- Hasn't been updated in nearly two years
Best Pure Splurge
The one for massive projects
Get your boss to buy you this one -- or get it yourself if you're the boss!
For 2020, we recommend the 21.5-inch iMac 4K (2019), which includes lots of great features for everyone in your household, and most professional buyers.
The model includes a 3.0GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz, 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory, Radeon Pro 560X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory, and 1TB Fusion Drive for storage. If you can, upgrade the memory to the maximum of 32GB and enjoy!
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Bryan M. Wolfe is a dad who loves technology, especially anything new from Apple. Penn State (go Nittany Lions) graduate here, also a huge fan of the New England Patriots. Thanks for reading. @bryanmwolfe
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