In 2021, Apple is set to launch the freshest Macs in a decade. They will not just get thinner and get fewer ports, both the 2021 16-inch MacBook Pro and 2021 iMac are rumored to received fresh designs too. The design update will come during a time when Apple is transitioning their entire Mac lineup to in-house designed Apple Silicon chips like the A14 Bionic found in iPad Air and iPhone with the M1 found in Mac mini, MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro.
What will it look like?
A design refresh for Apple’s iMac is long overdue and with the imminent integration of Apple Silicon on the horizon the time is right for a design refresh to accompany the new chipset. The design is a mystery at this point but some insiders have said it will resemble the iPad Pro/iPhone 12 design with flat sides. Some speculate that the iMac will get touch support and curved display corners like the iPad Pro. If the design is rumored to look much like Apple’s iPad Pro/Air in that it will feature flat edges like many other recent devices like iPhone 12 and a bezel-less display, then the iMac may finally nix the curved back. Based on reputable rumors we may see a smaller 24-inch model earlier in the year then a 27-inch later in 2021 with similar designs, one being smaller than the other.
What will power the 2021 iMac?
According to Bloomberg, “Apple is working on designs with as many as 16 power cores and four efficiency cores. That configuration is most likely for the iMac and Mac Pro models, whereas the 8-12 high performance core enabled model we previously reported on would likely be for the next-gen 16-inch MacBook Pro. The first of the three Apple Silicon chips will be a 12-core processor with a unique mix of eight high performance cores called “Firestorm” cores and four energy efficient core called “Icestorm” cores. There is a clear Fire & Ice reference here that also relates to the cores that will be hotter and cooler. Apple is said to already be working Apple Silicon with more than 12 cores with the company designing second-generation processors for Macs based on the future unannounced M1X/M2 chip.
Apple engineers are developing higher performance GPU’s with 16-core and 32-core configurations in testing, says Bloomberg. They go on to say that GPU upgrades could reach 64-core and 128-core configurations in its high-end machines by 2021 or 2022.