Wish list: What I’d like to see in a new iMac – Macworld

When Apple met with select members of the media to talk about the Mac Pro, Apple VPs also mentioned that the company plans to update the iMac this year.

The gap between updates for the iMac isn’t as long as the Mac Pro, but it’s been a while. The current iMac was released in October of 2015, well past the yearly updates Apple used to issue. So the iMac is due.

Pike’s Universum, which has an eagle eye for finding references to future Apple products in Apple’s operating system code, reported on some specs that could be used for the new iMac—though the site says that the information should be “handled with care/skepticism.” I’ll point out Pike’s findings in each section below, along with my commentary.

The latest CPUs

Pike’s Universum says that the high-end iMac could have an Intel E3-1285 v6 processor. This is a Xeon processor that’s not on Intel’s E3 v6 Family list, so you can either dismiss it as not true, or it could be a processor not yet developed. Intel does have older Xeon processors with the E3-1285 part number, so it does seem feasible.

Intel released the E3-1200 v6 processor family in late March, so if there’s any credence to Pike’s report, it checks a box on my iMac wish list: that Apple use current CPUs, not ones that are a generation behind.

It’ll be interesting if Apple decides to go with a quad-core Xeon processor, which is used in professional workstations. During the Mac Pro briefing, the iMac was mentioned as being used by professionals, and since a ship date for the future Mac Pro has not been announced, Apple could want to fill the professional demand in the meantime by offering a super fast iMac.

Apple offers multiple models of the iMac, with 21.5- and 27-inch display. You’ll probably see Core i5 or Core i7 processors in the 21.5-inch iMacs, and then a Xeon processor in the 27-inch model. Let’s hope those Core processors are from Intel’s 7th generation.

16GB of memory

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Besides the fast performance, another reason for using a Xeon processor in the high-end iMac is its support for Error Correction Code (ECC) RAM. ECC RAM has a chip that’s dedicated to finding and fixing memory errors. Standard RAM doesn’t have this capability, but it’s also less expensive. So you should experience fewer memory errors when using EEC RAM.

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