The iMac M1 is an impressive device with a 24-inch display, which is suitable for both personal and professional uses. One major concern for designers is whether a computer is able to meet their daily professional needs. The iMac M1 is powered by an octa-core processor, with four power-efficient cores and four high-performance cores. Based on benchmarks and real-life tests, the M1 is proven to be an excellent platform. In Geekbench 5, it scores 7660 for multi-core, while the MacBook Pro 16-inch with 9th gen Intel octa-core processor only scores at 6900. Unlike the iPad Pro M1 that scored less. In real work situations, the highly optimised octa-core design allows designers and video editors to perform fluid multitasking. Combined with fast storage, rendering and playback are very smooth. Exporting times of videos and graphics are impressive too.
The Apple iMac M1 comes with a RAM limit of 16GB. Although it’s more than enough for typical use, it can be insufficient for heavy-duty design and video editing works. It may mean that designers and video editors need to scale down their work accordingly. When working with image editing or raster graphics editing software, the Apple iMac M1 can easily handle many layers and it will fluently rescale large resolution images. However, you need to pay attention to the image size and resolution used, due to RAM limitation. For designers and video editors with less intensive projects, the Apple iMac M1 can provide fluid performance. Another hardware limitation of the Apple iMac M1 is the absence of a dedicated GPU. The M1 has an integrated GPU and it is far weaker compared to high-end GPU for graphic designs.
Hard-core designers and video editors may need to choose a custom-built Windows PC rig with at least 32GB of RAM and a dedicated graphics card to handle the most intensive project. When rendering videos with DaVince Resolve, you may notice that the M1 processor seems to struggle and it delivers sub-par performance. The 24-inch iMac can only support one external monitor with up to 6k screen resolution, which is a limiting factor for some professionals. The M1 processor of the new iMac is quite competitive. However, when it comes to RAM capacity and GPU performance, it is lacking. Even so, the M1 comes with a built-in neural processor, that would enhance machine learning and AI performance. For designers and video editors, the display is a crucial component and they should get the best available. The actual display size is 23.5-inch. Although it’s marketed as a 4K display, its resolution is actually higher at 4480 x 2520. With 218 PPI of pixel density, objects on the display should be quite crisp.
Video editors can easily create and edit 4k videos at their native size and resolution. There is still enough space for an additional interface to work with colour adjustments and other features when editors are working at 4k. The display is bright, which is convenient when working in a well-illuminated office. However, the 24-inch model is still prone to reflections and you should get the 27-inch version to get a display with nano-textured glass.