Apple has introduced a new, lower-priced option for its 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K Display — at $1,999, the new iMac is just a tiny bit slower than the previous entry point of $2,499, which now, by the way, comes in at $2,299.
So what’s the difference?
The new $1,999 version of iMac with 5K Retina display now comes with a very slightly slower processor: 3.3 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost Speeds up to 3.7 GHz and AMD Radeon R9 M290 graphics. The previous generation (with the $200 price drop) uses a 3.5 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost Speeds up to 3.9 GHz and AMD Radeon R9 M290 graphics.
So yeah, barely any change at all.
Biggest iMac with Retina Display Difference?
On the downside, the $1,999 version comes with a 1TB (7200-rpm) hard drive while the $2,299 version comes with a 1TB Fusion Drive. What’s the difference? The Fusion Drive has a small amount of fast flash-based storage that your iMac uses to store frequently used files, giving you a faster startup and snappier performance for common tasks. Is it a big deal? Not for most people — the cost savings will likely be more useful. Buy a set of high-end headphones, a new Apple TV, or an Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station (for a better, more consistent WiFi experience) instead.
In addition, Amazon and B&H often prices Apple Macs lower than the recommended retail pricing — as of this writing, the version with the 1TB Fusion Drive was available at a price significantly less than Apple’s new price (about $150 less while the 3.3 GHz option is about $100 less).
Of course, the overall iMac with 5K Retina display package remains tantalizing — the luscious 5K Retina display (packed with an excellent Mac) is still priced lower than most decent 4K displays.
The 5K resolution is 5120 x 2880, which boasts 67 percent more pixels than a 4K display.
The new iMac also includes 8GB of memory. As for ports, there are no new USB-C ports, but you do get four USB 3.0 ports and two Thunderbolt 2 ports that deliver up to 20Gbps each, which is twice the bandwidth of the previous generation. And these ports will power all the devices you’ll likely need for the next several years.