The iMac line was updated on August 4, 2020. This page remains to show the rumors prior to the official release.
● New internal component layout
● All models will have SSD, no more HDD or Fusion drives
● August 2020 release window
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- The 27-inch iMac gained nano-texture glass option, 10th-generation Intel processors, a 1080p FaceTime camera, and moved to SSD for all configurations
- The 21.5-inch iMac only gained the SSD options, with the Fusion Drive still available for some configurations
- The iMac Pro is now configured with a 10-core Xenon processor by default, but lacks the option for nano-texture glass
Everything below this point reflects rumors prior to the official release.
The external design of the iMac has not changed much in 13 years, with minor alterations to screen size or aspect ratio being the most noticeable alterations. A 24-inch iMac with Apple Silicon is expected to finally gain a redesigned chassis, but the 2020 iMac with Intel will not.
Not much is known about this potential all-in-one desktop, but the updates it may receive can be inferred from other product rumors and recent releases.
Jon Prosser expects the new iMac to launch in August 2020.
2020 iMac Rumored Features
The next iMac may be a rather boring, but welcome update as we await the ARM version of Apple's desktop. The age old design with Intel Inside and big-chin faceplate will make at least one more return with some improvements.
The iMac is an all-in-one desktop PC with all of its computing components tucked away behind the screen. This means that Apple has had to work with an increasingly high thermal load in the same hump-back casing. As Intel chips improve, their cooling needs grow too, and the same goes for discrete graphics.
The iMac Pro changed the internals entirely to allow better airflow and quieter fans, but the thermal limitations still exist. The redesign is expected to take on elements of the iPad Pro or the Pro Display XDR, both of which reflect Apple's modern design philosophy.
The iPad Pro saw a major redesign in 2018 that removed the home button and chin in favor of a near bezel-less display, Face ID, and flat sides. If the iMac does shift to a similar design, it will mean pushing the 21.5-inch display out to 23-inches by removing the large bezels and chin.
A Twitter user with the handle "iFinder" posted the icons found in leaked iOS 14 code which indicate some change to the iMac form factor. The bezels indicated by the icon do seem more uniform, but not as thin as rumors suggest.
The Pro Display XDR has a design similar to the Mac Pro tower, with an all-screen display, "cheese grater" holes in the back, and a stand that can pivot and rotate the display. The controversial stand is $999 and fits in with a sleek aluminum design.
A new iMac with similar design aesthetics could make for a good looking machine, but still faces the same issues with cooling. The iPad Pro doesn't have the same cooling needs since it is using ARM at a much lower power threshold. The Pro Display XDR also has natural cooling, since the computational power comes from the Mac Pro.
The closer to a new release, the more rumors point to no redesign for the chassis. The 2020 iMac with Intel will likely retain its old design in order to get one more update out before the major architecture change.
The most obvious update for refreshed iMacs is upgrading to the 10th-generation Intel processors. Combine that with a new AMD Navi GPU as rumored, and Apple will have a very capable desktop offering.
The recently released Comet Lake series used in the 13-inch MacBook Pro are likely to be used again. Due to the Intel Iris Plus Graphics, they feature 80% more graphics performance over the previous year.
The AMD Radeon Navi 2X cards were announced in March 2020 and could bring powerful new graphics operations to the Mac. It is unknown if the chips are ready yet, but once released, they will improve everything from gaming to rendering on the iMac.
One rumor places the first-generation Navi graphics in the 2020 iMac, which is far more likely than the announced second-generation.
The same rumor also says that Fusion Drives will be abandoned in this model. Apple has moved to SSD only configurations in every other computer they sell, with the iMac being the last holdout. An SSD will improve speeds across nearly every process on the machine as loading apps and documents from storage will be much more responsive.
2020 iMac Price
The 4K iMac has acted as a good entry point for first time Mac buyers. For just $1,299 you got a decent processor, 1TB HDD, and discrete Radeon Pro graphics.
The 2020 iMac will likely have the same starting price and have similar upgrade paths across the line.