Apple barely changed the 24-inch iMac

There's a new M3 chip and... that's it?

Apple hosted a spooky, half-hour-long event where it unveiled the new M3-powered MacBook Pros. While there wasn’t anything new beyond that, a tweak to the display brightness, and a new color, it was still reason enough to tune in. But if you tuned in to see what they’d do with the iMac, I’m sorry that you were so severely disappointed.

It didn’t feel like more than five minutes that Apple talked about the new 24-inch iMac, if you can even call it that. The machine looks exactly the way it did when it originally came out in May of 2021. The colors are the same, there’s still a 24-inch 4.5K Retina display, it’s still super thin, and there’s still no black option. The only notable difference (beyond a jump to Wi-Fi 6E) is the inclusion of the 3-nanometer M3 processor.

Apple’s new M3 chips, which were the focus of the new MacBook Pros, are some of the most powerful on the market and by far the most powerful to come from Apple. But buyers of the 24-inch iMac will only gain access to the baseline M3 model; many were hoping we’d get some sort of iMac Pro with a 27-inch screen, M3 Pro and M3 Max chips, and a few other “pro” features (maybe some type of card reader or extra ports). Instead, we got the same 24-inch form factor with a slightly newer chip.

Luckily, you’ll enjoy a number of performance gains with the M3. The 8-core CPU is up to 35 percent faster than the M1 (the chip that originally came with the 24-inch iMac), while the 10-core GPU gets you 65 percent better performance. Speaking of which, Apple has a new GPU structure that includes Dynamic Caching, a technology that lets the graphics portion of the M3 dynamically adjust the amount of memory certain tasks need in order to perform. That way, there isn’t a single task hogging up all your memory, which should let you do more things at once at higher speeds.

I’m not sure how many people will be taking advantage of a graphical upgrade like that on the 24-inch iMac, but if you’re one of those folks, you’ll also be happy to know the M3 includes hardware-accelerated ray tracing, which will make everything from rendering graphics projects to playing games look better and perform smoother.

You can pair the M3 with up to 24GB of unified RAM, as well as 2TB of storage.

Besides all that, this is the same iMac we’ve come to know and love. If you’ve been holding off on buying one because you needed better performance than what the M1 could afford you, this is your lucky day. If you’ve been waiting for a resurrected iMac Pro, you’ll have to wait even longer.

The 24-inch iMac is available to order starting today, with orders shipping on November 7th. It still starts at $1,299 and goes up to $2,699 for the best specs. Colors include Blue, Green, Pink, Silver, Yellow, Orange, and Purple, with each model’s accessories (including the Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse) also adopting the color way.