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Apple prototyped at least three larger iMac models with Apple silicon chips last year, according to information shared by MacRumors forum member Amethyst back in March. The forum member said they obtained the details from an acquaintance.

iMac-Pro-2022-27-and-24-iMac.jpg

We've elected to share this iMac information given that Amethyst accurately revealed details about the Mac Studio before anyone else, including the name of the computer and that it would be available with a doubled-up version of the M1 Max chip with a 20-core GPU and 48-core GPU. Amethyst also shared accurate details about the Studio Display.

The three iMacs that Apple prototyped were as follows, according to Amethyst:
  • The first one prior to August 2021 used the same design as the discontinued Intel-based 27-inch iMac from 2020 with an M1 chip
  • The second one around August 2021 used the same design as the 24-inch iMac, but with a 27-inch display and an M1 chip
  • The third one around November 2021 used the same design as the 24-inch iMac, but with a 27-inch XDR display, black finish, and M1 Max chip
As of March, Amethyst's source said they were not aware of any other larger iMac models having been prototyped by Apple since the aforementioned three.

The most interesting prototype described was a 27-inch iMac with the same design as the colorful 24-inch iMac, but in a sleeker black finish and with an XDR display, which likely would have meant a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and high brightness.

While the forum member has a proven track record given the accurate Mac Studio information, there is no guarantee that this iMac-related information is accurate or that Apple plans to release any of the larger iMac models that it allegedly prototyped, especially given that the prototyping is said to have occurred last year.

Apple discontinued its Intel-based iMac Pro and 27-inch iMac models over the last year and a bit, leaving the 24-inch iMac with the M1 chip as Apple's sole all-in-one desktop computer right now. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo have both claimed that a larger iMac powered by Apple silicon could make a comeback as early as 2023, but details about the computer's design and chip options are not entirely clear.

Mac Pro

Earlier this month, citing the same source, Amethyst also shared details about an alleged pre-production Mac Pro logic board that includes an Apple silicon chip with a 40-core CPU (32 performance cores, eight efficiency cores) and a 128-core GPU. This prototype Mac Pro board is also said to include at least one PCIe x16 slot.

Mac-Pro-tower-inside.jpg

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported on the exact same core counts for a future Apple silicon version of the Mac Pro back in May 2021, so it possible that the logic board is for an older Mac Pro prototype based on the M1 series of chips, and it may never be released. In his newsletter last month, Gurman said the new Mac Pro will be available with M2 Ultra and "M2 Extreme" chips, but he did not reveal the core counts for those chips.

Amethyst's forum post about the Mac Pro was recently surfaced by YouTube channel Max Tech.

Article Link: Apple Allegedly Prototyped a Redesigned 27-Inch iMac With M1 Max Chip and Black Finish Last Year
 
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Realityck

macrumors G3
Nov 9, 2015
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The three iMacs that Apple prototyped were as follows, according to Amethyst:
  • The first one prior to August 2021 used the same design as the discontinued Intel-based 27-inch iMac from 2020 with an M1 chip
  • The second one around August 2021 used the same design as the 24-inch iMac, but with a 27-inch display and an M1 chip
  • The third one around November 2021 used the same design as the 24-inch iMac, but with a 27-inch XDR display, black finish, and M1 Max chip
All these lovely prototypes of larger iMacs that never saw the light of day. Just sad.
 

icanhazmac

Contributor
Apr 11, 2018
1,979
6,978
Not really sure what Apple is waiting for in regards to the 27".

One can hope that it signals a move away from the AIO form factor for non-entry level machines. AIOs are environmental nightmares as the useful life of the monitor is far greater than the cpu but there is no (good) way to use them (iMacs) as an external monitor. Would be really nice if Apple developed a way to do this for old iMacs.
 

temende

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2021
299
1,094
Thanks MR. i'm really happy to share info with your guys.
Awesome scoop. Do you happen to know what the PCIe slot will be used for? (I'm assuming not for external GPUs since Apple is going all-in on their own GPUs)
 

zorinlynx

macrumors 604
May 31, 2007
7,749
15,804
Florida, USA
Not really sure what Apple is waiting for in regards to the 27".

One can hope that it signals a move away from the AIO form factor for non-entry level machines. AIOs are environmental nightmares as the monitor outlives the cpu by a long shot but there is no way to use them (iMacs) as an external monitor.
Yeah. To be honest I really wanted an Apple Silicon 27" iMac. But now that I've bought a Studio Display and used it with my Macbook Pro, I noticed the experience is actually better (I can use the laptop display as well) and that I'll be able to keep using this great display with any future Mac I buy down the line.

My 2015 5K iMac developed a weird pink discoloration near the edges of the screen, so the display basically "went bad" on me. It was due for an upgrade anyway, but at least I'm not feeling bad about getting rid of a "perfectly good display". Hopefully Apple resolved the issue causing the pink discoloration (I haven't seen it on newer machines) so this Studio Display will give me at least a decade of use, maybe more.
 

macsplusmacs

macrumors 68030
Nov 23, 2014
2,534
11,902
The problem with the 27" iMac is that apple seems hell-bent on adding as many features to their new displays like XDR in this case, instead of keeping the price low by shipping "just a 27" 5K"

I know it's more complicated than that. But cheaper displays should be an option for apple. Leave the fancy display stuff for your standalone dsiplays.
 

Michael Scrip

macrumors 604
Mar 4, 2011
7,735
11,962
NC
There's definitely a hole in the desktop Mac lineup.

The previous 27" Retina iMac started at $1,800

But now to get a desktop Mac with an Apple Retina screen that size it starts at $700 for the Mac Mini and $1,600 for the Studio Display for a total of $2,300

Or $2,000 for the Mac Studio plus $1,600 for the Studio Display for a total of $3,600... (!)

Yikes!
 

ricardo.dawson

macrumors newbie
Mar 12, 2021
4
12
Imagine that at WWDC 2022 Apple reveals the Mac Pro and then the "One more thing..." appears on screen and they also reveal a new iMac Pro. Wishful thinking, I guess?
 

krspkbl

macrumors 65816
Jul 20, 2012
1,269
2,677
but instead decided to release Mac Studio starting from just £1,999. with an Apple display, keyboard, and mouse....from just £3,796!

the 24" iMac starts from £1,249. even with an M1 Max and an extra 3" display it shouldn't be anymore than £1,800-2,000 (going by apple's current pricing of MBP's)

they are selling us a Mac Studio for the price of an entire 27" iMac and basically saying get your own ****ing display/keyboard/mouse or pay us an extra £1,797 for ours!
 
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