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Review: Apple's new 5K iMac -- powerful, pixel-ful and pricey

Michael deAgonia | Dec. 17, 2014
There are 14.7 million reasons to want Apple's latest iMac -- the 14.7 million pixels that make up its stunning 27-in. 5K Retina display. At $2,499, the new iMac isn't cheap, but its screen makes this desktop a great value -- if you can afford it.

Keep your cool

One thing that was noticeable was how quiet this iMac runs. Even with the processors working full blast for extended periods of time, the fans were never louder than ambient room noise.

During heavy processing, however, the iMac's internal fan will vent hot air through the grill hidden by the stand, so make sure that is never covered. The rest of the iMac remained cool and even cold to the touch towards the edges, but warmed as I neared the center and vent.

My only real caveat with this iMac — which in my opinion is probably the best all-around Mac that Apple has ever shipped — is that it's self-contained. It's likely that the 5K display will outlive the usefulness of the now-current Haswell-class Intel chipset and AMD GPU. But this iMac doesn't support Target Display Mode — a feature built into previous iMacs that allows you to connect another computer to use the iMac's display, as you would any other monitor. This is something potential buyers should be aware of.

Bottom line

This iMac represents the best all-in-one computer for novices who want to be up and running out of the box immediately, while at the same time packing enough horsepower to make high-end users warrant a look — especially if your job requires that you stare at a display all day. The price is high, but, given the technology, you may find it an excellent investment.


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