Apple iMac 27 inch (2020) – An impressive goodbye?

The Apple iMac is still the best-known all-in-one PC. Traditionally, Apple has renewed the iMac again this year. What's new about the 2020 edition of the 27-inch iMac and what's stayed the same?

Apple iMac 27 inch (2019)

Price € 2599 (Basic version from € 2099)

Operating system macOS Catalina

Display 27 inch Retina 5K display (5120 x 2880 pixels)

Processor Intel Core i7-10700K (8 cores, 3.6GHz)

Memory 8GB RAM

Graphic AMD Radeon Pro 5500XT (8GB)

Storage 512GB SSD

webcam 1080p FaceTime HD Camera

Connections 4x USB 3.0, 2x Thunderbolt 3 (also DisplayPort), 10/100/1000 network connection (optional multi-gigabit), 3.5mm headphone jack, SD(XC) card reader

wireless 802.11.a/b/g/n/ac, bluetooth 5.0

Dimensions 51.6 x 65 x 20.3 cm

Website 8.5 Score 85

  • Pros
  • Good build quality
  • Smooth hardware
  • Fantastic screen
  • Ram expandable
  • good camera
  • Negatives
  • No Wi-Fi 6
  • little ram
  • No biometrics

It's getting a bit boring, but I can be quite brief about the case, just like last year: Apple (except for the optional matte screen) has not changed the appearance of the iMac. You can therefore not distinguish a version with the standard glossy screen appearance from a 2019 version (or you have to look very closely at the virtually invisible microphone hole on the back). That is not a bad thing, because in 2020 the iMac will continue to have a beautiful design. The screen edges do look very old-fashioned in 2020, especially if you compare this with the design of Apple's own Pro Display XDR.

The build quality of the aluminum iMac is excellent. All connections are placed at the back, something that is sometimes quite inconvenient if you want to use headphones, SD card or USB stick. Perhaps Apple will come up with a new design if the iMac is equipped with an ARM processor designed by Apple. Apple has announced that all Macs in the next two years will be equipped with a proprietary ARM processor. There's a very good chance that this will be the last iMac with an Intel processor, and it's not inconceivable that a new architecture is also a great time for a new design.

The connections on the back do not appear to have changed. The iMac still features a 3.5mm headphone jack, card reader, four USB-A ports, two Thunderbolt3 ports (USB-C) and a network connection. The Thunderbolt connections are also suitable for video output. Yet there is an innovation, because this year it is possible to provide the iMac with a multi-gigabit network connection with support for 2.5, 5 and 10 Gbit at an additional cost. The wireless technology with Wifi 5 is the same as last year, unfortunately there are no Macs with Wifi 6. The iMac now officially supports Bluetooth 5.0, but for most users that makes no difference with Bluetooth 4.2.

clumsy mouse

The iMac comes standard with the Magic Keyboard without a numeric keypad and the Magic Mouse 2. For an additional cost, you can also opt for the Magic TrackPad 2 and the Magic Keyboard with a numeric keypad. I am not very enthusiastic about the supplied set of input devices. Although the gestures on Apple's mouse are quite useful, the mouse is not very comfortable in the hand and I miss scroll buttons. It also remains inconvenient that you have to charge the mouse from the bottom so that you cannot use the mouse while charging. The keyboard is simple, but it ticks well and I personally find a keyboard that is as flat as possible pleasant to work with.

Modern specifications

The iMac is available in various configurations, the cheapest of which is equipped with a Core i5-10500, a processor with 6 cores. We received the most expensive standard configuration from Apple, which is equipped with an Intel Core i7-10700K (8 cores), a 512 GB SSD and an AMD Radeon Pro 5500 XT. It is a nice configuration on paper, only the 8 gigabytes of ram in 2020 is very scanty for a computer of this caliber. You can configure the iMac with more RAM, but Apple charges high prices for this. Doubling to 16 GB of RAM already costs 250 euros. Fortunately, you can still expand the 27-inch version of the iMac with more memory via a flap on the back. I wouldn't pay for Apple's upgrade prices for ram, you can just plug more memory into the iMac yourself.

A nice change compared to last year is that all variants now come standard with an SSD with at least 256 GB storage. In addition to 512 GB as in the tested model, you can also configure the iMac with 1, 2, 4 and even 8 TB SSD storage for (significant) additional costs. Incidentally, the 21.5-inch model may still be available with a Fusion Drive (hard drive plus small cache SSD) if you want a lot of storage, but that version also has an SSD as standard this year.

Competitor for the iMac Pro

The iMac has become an even stronger competitor to Apple's own iMac Pro than last year, especially the cheapest version of the iMac Pro is under pressure. The iMac can now contain a 10-core processor and, like the iMac Pro, can also be equipped with 10 gigabit Ethernet. Even if you configure the iMac like the iMac Pro with a 10core processor, 32 GB ram, a 1 TB SSD, a Radeon Pro 5700 XT and a 10 GBit network connection, the iMac is certainly not cheap, but still 645 euros cheaper than the iMac Pro and probably even a bit faster. And for that 645 euros you can choose a matt finished screen, an option that iMac Pro does not have. It therefore seems to me no coincidence that the introduction of the redesigned iMac marked the end of the 8core version of the iMac Pro.

Home work-proof webcam

In 2020, the webcam turns out to be more important than ever and it is therefore nice that the iMac comes with a 1080p camera this year. The quality of the camera is excellent and the sound has also been improved. The iMac now comes with three microphones: two are used to pick up the desired sound, while a third microphone is used to filter out disturbing ambient noise. According to Apple, the better image and sound quality is also due to the fact that the T2 chip is now responsible for handling this. This chip also serves as an SSD controller and encrypts the data. The T2 chip also serves as a biometric login control with a fingerprint scanner on other Macs. Unfortunately, the addition of the T2 in the iMac has brought nothing new in that regard. The new webcam powered by the T2, therefore, does not offer facial recognition for login as iPads, iPhones and more and more Windows PCs do offer. The supplied keyboard does not offer a Touch ID fingerprint scanner that a MacBook Air and Pro do have. Maybe an update for next year?

Excellent screen

The screen is the same as last year and is a 5K display with a resolution of 5120 x 2880 pixels. The screen has high brightness, good viewing angles and excellent color reproduction. New is the support for True Tone, where the color temperature changes based on the light in your room. Every now and then I saw the color temperature jump too often when, for example, clouds passed in front of the sun. If you are bothered by this function, you can switch off True Tone via the settings, the same applies to the automatic brightness control.

Another innovation is that the screen can be provided with a matte finish for the first time this year. The glass with nano texture has an additional cost of 625 euros. Pricey, but the way Apple makes the screen matte is special. It's not a matte layer stuck on the screen, but microscopic scratches in the glass that scatter the light in such a way that the image becomes matte. Nano-textured glass is otherwise only available on Apple's Pro Display XDR, so the iMac Pro is not available with this option. Unfortunately, the test model I received from Apple had a display with the normal glossy finish, so I can't comment further on this.


The Core i7-10700K is a powerful processor, as can be seen in the benchmark Geekbench 4. The iMac tested scores 6256 points in the single-core test and 32459 points in the multi-core test. This means that the 2020 model in the Core i7 version is roughly as fast as the 2019 model with a Core i9 processor. For the sake of completeness, the newer benchmark Geekbench 5 has a single-core score of 1260 and a multicore score of 7565. The single-core score is faster than any iMac Pro on the market, the multi-core score is close to the 8-core iMac Pro that logically hasn't since the introduction of the 2020 iMac. more for sale. The 10-core version of the iMac Pro is a bit faster in the multi-core test.

Apple is known for its excellent SSDs and the iMac is no exception this year. The SSD has a read speed of 2347.4 MB/s and a write speed of 2341.6 MB/s. This means that the read speed is 445 MB/s lower than last year, but the write speed is 442 MB/s higher. Not a bad compromise in my opinion.

The iMac is equipped with a fan. You can't hear it during normal work. However, if you put the iMac to work intensively for a longer period of time, the fan will be clearly audible. Pleasant in itself, a lengthy test in Cinebench R20 shows that the iMac doesn't slow down much if you put it to work for a long time. In the first run, the iMac scores 4907 multicore points while after 20 runs it still scores 4825 points.

Graphically, Apple has given the iMac a significant upgrade. The tested version is equipped with a Radeon Pro 5500 XT. This is a card that should theoretically be somewhat faster than the more famous Radeon RX 5500 XT, but it is not optimized for games. We installed Windows to run the 3DMark benchmark and iMac scores a graphics score of 4612 points in 3DMark Time Spy. The overall score in Time Spy is 4864 points and the CPU score is 7055 points. Due to the driver not optimized for gaming, the graphics score is probably lower than the score that a normal RX 5500 XT achieves, which you expect at about 5400 points. The score is comparable to what an AMD Radeon RX 570 achieves. You can play fairly recent games with this in Full HD with somewhat lower graphics settings. A lighter game like the recently released Command & Conquer Remastered even ran excellent in full 5K resolution, an impressive experience. The Radeon Pro 5700 XT, which you can configure at an additional cost, is theoretically slightly faster than the Vega 56 that you will find in the entry-level version of the iMac Pro.


Although Apple has again not redesigned the iMac in 2020, that does not mean that nothing has changed on the iMac. For example, the webcam has made a big leap and you can now also opt for multi-gigabit Ethernet. Together with the powerful hardware such as an 8- or even 10-core processor, the iMac has once again crept closer to the iMac Pro. The iMac is simply a great machine for most users who need a Mac and we would normally recommend it without hesitation.

Still, the latter is difficult now, because there is one important but: is now the best time to buy a new Apple computer? Apple has now announced that it will equip all models with their own processor based on the ARM architecture in the next two years, so it is very likely that this will be the last iMac with an Intel processor. Although Apple will undoubtedly support the x86 computers for years to come in terms of OS updates, it is very likely that the models with their own processor will receive (software) functions that the Intel-based Macs are not possible. For example, apps for the iPad can easily be made suitable for a Mac with an Apple processor, something that is not so obvious for the Intel architecture. On the other hand, on this iMac you are guaranteed to be able to run all current (x86) software excellently and you can also use Windows 10 via Boot Camp. Especially the latter seems to be no longer possible on ARM-based Macs.

However, if you now need a computer and especially a Mac, then the iMac is without a doubt a fantastic device.

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