Best overall: 27-inch 5K Retina Display iMac

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The 27-inch 5K Retina Display iMac starts with a 3.4GHz quad-core Kaby Lake processor, 8GB of RAM, Radeon Pro 570 graphics (with 4GB video memory), and 1TB of Fusion Drive storage. It's the perfect iMac for the average user — powerful enough to get the job done, but not so powerful that you're wasting its features. At the same time, it's so versatile that you can power-up the 27-inch 5K Retina Display iMac to a 3.8GHz quad-core Kaby Lake processor with Turbo Boost up to 4.2GHz, 64GB of RAM, Radeon Pro 580 graphics (with 8GB video memory, and a 2TB solid state drive (SSD). All variations come with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, an SDXC card reader, 4 USB-A ports, and an Ethernet port. Plus, included in the package is a Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Keyboard with the option to upgrade to the Magic Trackpad 2 for $50.

Starts at $1799.

Bottom line: Because of its wide-ranging versatility, the 27-inch 5K Retina Display iMac is the perfect desktop for practically everyone on the hunt for the latest and greatest. You can start small if you're an average user, or go all-in if you're a power-user looking for a maxed out iMac at a reasonable price.

One more thing: That fancy 5K Retina Display supports DCI-P3, is 43% brighter than its predecessor at 500 nits, and uses 10-bit dithering to display a billion colors. Imagine watching your favorite high-def movie on that screen.

Why the 27-inch 5K Retina Display iMac is the best

Great for the average user with the ability to be a powerhouse iMac.

You might be thinking that a 27-inch screen is a little too much for your needs. As someone that switched from a 21-inch to a 27-inch iMac, I can tell you that, yes, it seems a little overkill at first, but within weeks, you'll be in love with the extra screen real-estate. It's big enough to have multiple windows open, spread out across your screen, while still giving you enough wiggle room to keep your workflow smooth. If that's the main issue standing between you and your decision to go big, let me assure you, it's worth it.

Aside from the screen size, you're getting an all-around better iMac when you jump on board with the 27-inch model. First of all, you'll get a faster processor, which with today's technological advancements is more important than ever, more RAM options, a better graphics card (even the base model 27-inch iMac has more powerful graphics than the top-of-the-line 21-inch iMac), and that oh-so-beautiful 5K Retina display. If you still haven't upgraded to a Retina Display iMac, 4k or 5k, your eyes are going to be in for a real treat.

Check out Rene Ritchie's full review of the 2017 iMac

The thing that makes the iMac the best overall buy for most people is just how versatile your purchase can be. If you're an average user with basic computing needs, for example: using multiple productivity programs — word processing, spreadsheet creating, and the like — plus standard media editing tools like touching up photos, editing podcasts and videos, and engineering multi-track recordings, you can start with the base model and configure up as needed. If you're a power-user, you can max out the 27-inch iMac with a pro-grade model (and I'm saying that even though there is literally a pro model of iMac). It's a serious piece of equipment for serious computer users that maxes out at a reasonable price of under $5500.

The 27-inch 5K Retina Display iMac is truly the best in the lineup for the widest variety of people. Toss in the low-cost $169 AppleCare+ with three years of phone, online, and in-person tech support with accident coverage and you're looking at the best value in desktop computers around.

Best on a budget: 21-inch iMac

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Though I fully recommend the 5K upgrade, not everyone can afford a nearly (or much more than) $2000 computer. The 21-inch iMac may not have any Ks or Retina Display, but its' got a solid foundation under the hood. It's the prefect starter iMac for students (speaking from experience; I bought my first 21-inch iMac while in college and it was the best purchase I ever made) and still provides a lot of power. The base model comes with a 2.3GHz Kaby Lake processor, 8GB of RAM, Iris Plus 640 graphics card, and 1TB Serial ATA hard drive. We're not talking small potatoes here.

Plus, it comes with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, an SDXC card reader, 4 USB-A ports, and an Ethernet port. Included in the package is a Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Keyboard with the option to upgrade to the Magic Trackpad 2 for $50.

If you totally max out the 21-inch iMac with 16GB of RAM and a 256GB solid state drive, you're still spending less than $1500 for the upgraded beast. It's only barely a compromise and still beats out a lot of desktop PCs in the same price range.

You're not getting into the Ks with the display, but the 21-inch base model still sports 1080p sRGB, which is pretty darn fancy.

Bottom-line: By going with the base model 12-inch iMac (without Retina Display), you're saving a lot of dough, but not compromising too much on power and quality. Even if you max out the RAM and storage, you're still paying a few hundred less than the 5K base iMac.

One more thing: If you can afford to drop about $300 more into the purchase, you can upgrade to the 4K Retina Display model, which is about as advanced as most websites and programs work in anyway. #worthit.

Best for the pros: iMac Pro

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At this time, the iMac Pro is the most pro model on the market. Things may change next year if Apple gets around to launching the new Mac Pro, cause that puppy is going to be a true beast ... a dragon, even. For now, though the iMac Pro is better than the Mac Pro because it's got all the latest and greatest technology stuffed inside, while the Mac Pro still is still working with technology from 2013 (yes, it got a slight speed bump earlier this year, but only in the CPU and GPU department).

The iMac Pro is designed for the pro. It's replaced all of the consumer-grade guts with everything the tech and media professional needs. It's got a Xeon W processor, which is super fast without being too expensive. It's not the top-of-the line processor, but its the best at the price scale. You can start your iMac Pro off with an 8-core Xeon W processor and upgrade to as much as 18 cores. No, that's not a mistype.

It's also stocked with 1MB of L2 cache, 1.375MB of shared L3 cache, and support for AVX-512 vector instructions, which is basically Turbo Boost to the extreme.

The AMD Radeon Pro Vega graphics chipset shoots out as much as 64 computer units with 4096 stream processors, which can deliver up to 11 teraflops of single precision or 22 teraflops at half-precision. You can upgrade the graphics chipset to the Vega 64 with 16GB of HBM2.

All of this power needs some memory to keep it in line. That's why the iMac Pro starts with 32GB of DDR4 ECC memory and can be upgraded to 128GB. That's a lot of RAM. You can also upgrade from 1TB solid state drive (which is incredible in-and-of-itself) to as much as 4TB SSD.

Bottom-line: The iMac Pro is the pro model iMac you've always wanted. It's not nearly as pro as the Mac Pro promises to be when it launches circa 2018. If you're a true professional working in the tech industry or the media industry, this is the Mac desktop you want. If you're part of a massive tech workforce or create full featured 3D and VR movies for a living, you might think about waiting a little longer for the Mac Pro — coming soon.

One more thing: Did I mention it comes in Space Gray? So sleek. So pretty.

Best overall: 27-inch 5K Retina Display iMac

See at Apple

The 27-inch 5K Retina Display iMac starts with a 3.4GHz quad-core Kaby Lake processor, 8GB of RAM, Radeon Pro 570 graphics (with 4GB video memory), and 1TB of Fusion Drive storage. It's the perfect iMac for the average user — powerful enough to get the job done, but not so powerful that you're wasting its features. At the same time, it's so versatile that you can power-up the 27-inch 5K Retina Display iMac to a 3.8GHz quad-core Kaby Lake processor with Turbo Boost up to 4.2GHz, 64GB of RAM, Radeon Pro 580 graphics (with 8GB video memory, and a 2TB solid state drive (SSD). All variations come with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, an SDXC card reader, 4 USB-A ports, and an Ethernet port. Plus, included in the package is a Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Keyboard with the option to upgrade to the Magic Trackpad 2 for $50.

Starts at $1799.

Bottom line: Because of its wide-ranging versatility, the 27-inch 5K Retina Display iMac is the perfect desktop for practically everyone on the hunt for the latest and greatest. You can start small if you're an average user, or go all-in if you're a power-user looking for a maxed out iMac at a reasonable price.

One more thing: That fancy 5K Retina Display supports DCI-P3, is 43% brighter than its predecessor at 500 nits, and uses 10-bit dithering to display a billion colors. Imagine watching your favorite high-def movie on that screen.