Apple announces 24-inch iMac with M3 chip

Oct 31, 2023

Apple has announced a new 24-inch iMac powered by the latest Apple Silicon M3 Chip, at its Halloween-themed Scary Fast event. A refresh has been due since the 2021 iMac launched. Here's everything you need to know about the new all-in-one desktop computer.

Apple launches new 24-inch iMac with M3 chip

The new iMac sports a 24-inches 4.5K Retina Display with 11.3 million pixels and over a billion colors. The LED screen is backlit, and supports a resolution of 4480 x 2520 pixels, 500 nits brightness. It has a wide color gamut (P3), and supports True Tone technology. It is very similar to the previous gen model.

The star of the show is, of course, the new Apple Silicon M3 that the company announced. The 3nm chip that powers the 2023 iMac has 8-cores, with 4 of those being performance cores and the other 4 are efficiency cores. It also has a 16-core Neural Engine for on-device machine learning, AI tasks and video performance. Apple says that the iMac M3 is about 2x faster than Intel-based iMac models, which is not exactly the best comparison to go with. The new Mac is also 2.5x faster than the 27-inch models, and 4x faster than the 21.5-inch model.

Apple says that apps such as its Safari browser and Microsoft Excel perform up to 30 percent faster on the M3, and that games load faster. The new chip is capable of delivering up to 50 percent faster frame rates. The Cupertino company's announcement mentions noteworthy performance upgrades for studio work such as editing and playing up to 12 streams of 4K video. The previous gen model could only handle 5 streams at once. Performance in video editing tools like Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro is up to 2x faster on the M3 iMac, while photo editing on Adobe Photoshop is up to 2 times faster than before. In its article regarding the M3 chip, Apple noted that the new performance cores in the CPU is 30% faster compared to those in the M1, and that the efficiency cores are 50 percent faster. Even the Neural Engine offers 60 percent faster performance than the one in the M1 chip.

The GPU on the M3 iMac has 8-cores (10 on the four port model), and thanks to Dynamic Caching, the new GPU supports Mesh Shading, Hardware-accelerated Ray Tracing, and a variety of media formats from H.264, HEVC, ProRes, ProRes RAW encoding and encoding, to AV1 decoding. The new iMac comes with 8 GB of Unified Memory (RAM) with 100GB/s memory bandwidth, but can be configured to support 16 GB or 24 GB. It will run on macOS 14 Sonoma out of the box, and supports Apple Pay, Siri, Continuity with iPhone, etc.

In terms of storage, the iMac has a 256 GB SSD, but you can customize it to come with 512 GB / 1TB, or even 2 TB if you opt for the higher-end model. The iMac has a 1080p FaceTime HD camera for video calls, and it supports an Advanced image signal processor (ISP) with computational video.

The M3 iMac has a high?fidelity six?speaker system with force?cancelling woofers, supports wide stereo sound. It is capable of Spatial Audio playback when Dolby Atmos is active (music or video). The desktop has a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and a studio-quality three-mic array with high signal-to-noise ratio and directional beamforming.

Apple iMac M3 magic keyboard and magic mouse color matched

Connectivity-wise, the iMac supports Wi-Fi 6E 802.11ax, and Bluetooth 5.3. The desktop computer has two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports, and can be configured with an optional Gigabit Ethernet port. The pricier model has two additional USB ports, which are USB 3, and a Gigabit Ethernet port. The entry-level model comes with a color-matched Magic Keyboard and a Magic Mouse, while the higher-end version ships with a Magic Keyboard that supports Touch ID and a Magic Mouse. Both versions can be configured to have a keyboard with a numeric keypad, and a Magic Trackpad.

Apple 24-inch iMac M3 specs

  • Display: 24-inches 4.5K Retina Display, LED-backlit, 4480 x 2520 pixels, 500 nits brightness, Wide color (P3), True Tone technology
  • Operating System: macOS 14 Sonoma
  • Chip: Apple M3, 16-core Neural Engine
  • CPU: 8-core with 4 performance cores + 4 efficiency cores
  • GPU: 8-core / 10-core (Four port model), Hardware-accelerated Ray Tracing, H.264, HEVC, ProRes, ProRes RAW, AV1
  • Unified Memory: Up to 24 GB (8 / 16 / 24), 100GB/s memory bandwidth
  • Storage: Up to 1 TB / 2 TB SSD (256 GB / 512 GB / 1TB / 2TB)
  • Camera: 1080p FaceTime HD Camera
  • Audio: 3.5 mm headphone jack, 6 speaker system, Stereo sound, Spatial Audio, Dolby Atmos, Three-mic array
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.3
  • Ports: Base model - Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports, Configurable with Gigabit Ethernet; 10-Core GPU model - Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports, Two USB 3 ports, Gigabit Ethernet
  • Keyboard: Magic Keyboard / Magic Keyboard with Touch ID / Magic Keyboard with Touch ID and Numeric Keypad
  • Trackpad: Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad
  • Dimensions: 18.1 x 21.5 x 5.8 inches (46.1 x 54.7 x 14.7 cm)
  • Weight: 9.75 pounds (4.43 kg)
  • In the box: iMac, Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse, 143W Power Adapter, 2M Power Cord, USB-C to Lightning Cable,
  • Misc: Apple Pay, Siri

24-inch iMac M3 pricing and availability

The 24-inch iMac M3 price starts at $1,299 for the 8-core GPU model which has 8 GB RAM / 256 GB SSD / 2 x Thunderbolt ports, and comes with a Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse. The iMac will be available in 4 colors: green, pink, blue, and silver.

The iMac M3 with 10-core GPU costs $1,499. In addition to the features of the basic model, the higher-end version of the iMac M3 has two additional USB 3 ports, a Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, and Gigabit Ethernet. This model of the iMac comes in 7 color options: green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver. Please refer to Apple's website to learn more about the prices for customized models.

2023 M3 iMac color options

The prices of the 2023 iMac are similar to the 2021 iMac, which is rather surprising. What is actually surprising is the fact that the base model still comes with 8 GB / 256 GB, which is a let-down. On a side note, Apple is including a USB-C to Lightning Cable in the box, which is for the Magic Keyboard.

The new iMac M3 is available to order today, on and in the Apple Store app in 27 countries and regions. The computers will start shipping to buyers from November 7, and will also be available in Apple Store locations and Apple Authorized Resellers from the same date.

Apple announces 24-inch iMac with M3 chip
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Apple announces 24-inch iMac with M3 chip
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  1. Karl said on November 1, 2023 at 8:37 am

    As always, thanks for your constant updates, Ashwin! Looks like I might need to bite the sour Apple and look deeper into the software** to “upgrade” the OS on my loved but unsupported 27″ iMac workhorse, as I was hoping there would be a serious upgrade to a 27″ with, well, at least 16GB as standard plus obviously an ethernet port and not only a tiny 256GB SSD. So yeah, no purchase will happen anytime soon it seems. Some hardware upgrades from Apple, for any product in their lineup, makes a lot of sense and is good all around, like with the entry iPhone 15, they were not that big improvements, but all welcomed improvements that makes a difference to the entry spec and makes sense, constant small improvements over a longer period of time makes a big difference and is the key there. But other upgrades are the complete opposite, and this is one of them, this hardware upgrade makes very little sense, especially for all 27″ users since there is no 27″ option at all. It is true that it is easy to move up in screen/monitor size, but moving down in size is a completely different story and not something many would like to do. I think the following comments from Macrumours pretty much sums up this hardware “upgrade” event….

    “When he said that 27inch intel imac users would appreciate this new Mac, I couldn’t stop laughing. There is nothing good about a 24inch screen size from last decade.”

    “Why does Apple hate the iMac so much? This is a major disappointment for the iMac, only an M3 CPU with no M3Pro option. This is a really really big miss by Apple. I will definitely be keeping my 2017 27″ iMac until they bring out the iMac that most of us 27 inchers want – and hint, it’s not a 24″ iMac with the low-end processor. The hard push to convince 27″ owners to switch to the 24″ should go over like a lead ballon.”

    “STILL 8GB RAM AND 256 SSD!”

    “Apple: It’s the perfect size and resolution to replace both the 4K and the 5K Intel based models.”
    There goes all the hope that 27” iMac users had left, at least for a good while. Sorry guys!”

    “24” to me is completely useless. And by today’s standards that’s tiny.”

    “Ick. He said the current size is the perfect replacement for the 4K and 5K iMacs. ?”

    “This 24″ crap does not replace a 27″ iMac.”

    “Apple: Perfect size to replace both the 21.5” and 27” iMacs”
    keep saying that Apple, but it won’t make it true. It ain’t a 5K 27 inch display.”



    Another downer that Apple should try to add back is to make the memory in all the iMacs upgradeable again, via a slot/port. Which they were in the past. Then you could buy an iMac with little memory and simply upgrade yourself at a later point, as that is much more affordable than paying “Apple prices” for the memory as they are ridiculously high. But since the M1 iMac was released (and a few other model exceptions) this is nolonger possible:

    “1. iMac (24-inch, M1, 2021) has memory that is integrated into the Apple M1 chip and can’t be upgraded. You can configure the memory in your iMac when you purchase it.
    2. Memory in iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2015), and iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, Late 2015) is not upgradeable.
    3. Memory is not removable by users on iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2012), iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2013), iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2014), iMac (21.5-inch, 2017), iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, 2017), and iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, 2019). If the memory in one of these computers needs repair service, contact an Apple Retail Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider. If you’d like to upgrade the memory in one of these models, an Apple Authorized Service Provider can help. Before you schedule an appointment, confirm that the specific Apple Authorized Service Provider offers memory upgrade services.”

    1. Karl said on November 1, 2023 at 10:41 am

      Just to add. I know the upgradeable memory won’t make a comeback of course, as the future is that it will be part of the chip. It was nice while it lasted. Hopefully Apple will lower their memory upgrade prices as they are ridiculous, not to mention the SSD upgrades. So it seems like the best option forward for 27″ users is to consider a Mac Mini or Studio and use a 27″ external display. One positive thing with that is that if the computer breaks down then you don’t need to stop using a working monitor and if the monitor breaks down then you still have a working computer and could “just” buy a new external monitor, and that there are many monitor manufacturers in all sorts of price ranges to pick from.

      1. Ashwin said on November 1, 2023 at 2:20 pm

        Karl, that’s cool, you’ve held on to your Mac for a long time.

        Yeah, Apple is really greedy with the base models, I’m not sure that it’s worth the price. I know someone who uses the 2021 iMac as his daily driver, and wanted to upgrade. I think he might have to splurge on a higher end model, I think the Mac Mini would be the better option. It’s tough to beat Apple’s Retina displays though, they’re too good.

        Also, I wouldn’t hold my breath for a 27-inch iMac, Apple seems to want to go straight for the 32-inch iMac Pro. It seems silly, but that’s Apple in a nutshell.

      2. Karl said on November 2, 2023 at 5:31 pm

        Haha, thank you. Well, it actually does not matter if it is electronics or something else, I simply refuse to stop using/throw away stuff that are still working as intended and are in a good condition, just because somebody decided that this is X years old, now it’s time to stop the active support! Brand lojal people tend to sometime have a hard time being a critic to the products they use. I have never been one so I have no issues being a critic even though I am an active user of some product from a certain brand.

        It’s popular for some “green” folks to be so proud of their “new” life style now that they apparently don’t throw away good edible food anymore. Well, I have never thrown away edible food, because that has always been the logical thing, also known as common sense, and I am not “green” in the way that they are.

        Also, when I think about it. What I and many other 27′ users could have done is keep the current 27′ iMac (until it breaks) and simply add a Mini to it, use the 27 as an external monitor. Problem is, if I remember correctly, it was possible to do this in the past officially by Apple, but Apple did at some later point simply change the policy on this so it is nolonger possible, yet another stupid decision. It is at least not officially possible, but maybe if it works through some inofficial way. Its very stupid that inofficial ways of solving problems that should never have been created is needed, should Apple just keep it cool and not make things harder than they need to be.

        Yes, the Mini would be a better option for the 2021 iMac user, combined with an external monitor. Yes, Apple’s external monitors have always been some of the greatest. But I could live with a 27′ 5K monitor from another brand if the price difference is ridiculously big, and it unfortunately is. Like $1599 for their 27′ 5K Studio Display, that’s around 80% of a Mac Mini! It simply ain’t gonna happen.

        Yes, I think the same. If the 27′ don’t see some kind of hardware upgrade within a year, then it can be considered to be history, at least for now.

        Yes, problem with the 32 would be the price, it won’t come cheap at all and will be something that I would consider way too pricey. Especially if you also think about the time Apple might support the hardware officially, a lot of money down the drain when they stop the active support. And I also like a 27 better, 32 is too big for my desk and my sitting/chair position.

        Keep your Apple articles coming, Ashwin. Take care!

  2. John said on October 31, 2023 at 7:47 pm

    Lot of money for a 24 inch retina screen. Just saying. Its nice its so thin its like a giant tablet on a stand. But Apple’s base models basically are not worth buying, because they lack ports and good hardware specs all around. Considering everything is soldered you have to look beyond today’s needs. I can see why Apple Mac sales have dropped significantly.

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