Apple's new iMac: M1 chip, 4.5K display, impressively thin design

Apple's new 24-inch iMac is so thin that the company had to tweak the design, putting the 3.5mm headphone jack on the side of it.

2 minutes & 33 seconds read time

Apple has announced its new 24-inch iMac powered by its impressive custom M1 chip, with the new iMac being so thin the company had to tweak the design and move the 3.5mm headphone jack from the back of the PC to the side of it. Check it out:

YouTuber MKBHD tweeted that Apple's new iMac was so thin -- at just 11.5m thick -- that the company had to move the 3.5mm headphone (which is typically 14nm deep) to the back of the iMac. It's so thin, Apple literally couldn't put the 3.5mm headphone jack on the back, now that's impressive.

The 3.5mm headphone jack being placed on the side of the iMac seems like a good decision, just from a useful perspective. It's far easier to look to the side or feel with your fingers on the side of the iMac and find the 3.5mm headphone jack, versus looking behind it or moving the entire iMac to get to the back of it.

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But from a pure design perspective, the new iMac being so thin Apple had to move the 3.5mm headphone jack because at 14mm deep the design of the entire iMac was too thin. One of those driving reasons is that Apple's custom M1 system-on-chip architecture is the star of the show, allowing the new iMac to be so thin.

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Apple says: "Enabled by the system-on-chip architecture and amazing power efficiency of M1, the logic board and thermals are dramatically consolidated and reduced in size compared to the previous generation's, allowing the side profile of iMac to practically disappear. The much more compact design reduces the volume of iMac by 50 percent, allowing it to take up less space and fit easily in even more places".

As for the Apple M1, it packs an 8-core CPU with the latest CPU cores in low-power silicon, an 8-core GPU which Apple says is the "fastest integrated graphics in a personal computer" (I think I have to investigate this). Apple adds that when combined with its high efficiency, unified memory architecture and the 16-core Apple Neural Engine "the new iMac delivers powerful performance when compared to standard models of the 21.5-inch iMac".

This includes:

  • Up to 85 percent faster CPU performance, so users can export their favorite video project in iMovie faster than ever, easily work with massive 100-megapixel photos in Lightroom, and compile new apps in Xcode in a fraction of the time.
  • Up to 2x faster GPU performance for certain apps like Affinity Photo and Photoshop, and up to 50 percent faster than the most powerful discrete graphics in the fastest 21.5-inch iMac, allowing users to render edits in real-time or add complex filters to their photos in a snap.
  • The ability to edit up to five streams of 4K footage, or one stream of 8K footage, without dropping a frame in Final Cut Pro.
  • Up to 3x faster machine learning in apps that leverage the 16-core Neural Engine in M1.
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The 24-inch 4.5K Retina Display has 11.3 million pixels, thin bezels, and up to 500 nits of brightness. There's also an anti-reflective coating that improves comfort levels and readability. There's Touch ID here that lets you use your fingerprint for security, purchases and other tasks -- as well as color-matched accessories for the new iMac (of course).

Apple's new iMac starts at $1299 and is available starting April 30 on Apple's website.

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering and has recently taken a keen interest in artificial intelligence (AI) hardware.

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