A 27-inch iMac with M1 Max chip exists, at least as a prototype

Apple decided to prototype the perfect desktop – and then not release it

Apple iMac 2021
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has been making some of the best laptops for years now and its desktop range, including the iMac and Mac Pro, aren't have bad either. 

The shift towards Apple's own silicon, the M1 series chips, has somewhat left the desktops out, however, besides the entry-level 24-inch iMac

Notably absent has been one of Apple's best-ever computers: the 27-inch iMac with 5K display. In fact, to add insult to injury, Apple discontinued (opens in new tab) the 27-inch iMac earlier this year. 

Presumably a new large-screen all-in-one desktop will be launched at some point but until then we have to content ourselves with an excellent Mac mini and Apple Studio Display, but it's not quite the same. 

MacRumors forum user Amethyst is giving us hope (opens in new tab), however, claiming that Apple has actually prototyped three 27-inch iMac models with the latest chips. 

According to the source, Apple built a 27-inch iMac with the same design as the Intel-based models, adding an M1 chip; a 27-inch iMac with a similar design to the 24-inch and M1 chip; and finally a 27-inch iMac with the same 24-inch design, XDR display, black finish, and M1 Max chip. 

If that final option hasn't got you salivating then we don't know what will. 

Mac to the future 

It's not secret that Apple's commitment to Pro desktops has been... patchy. So much so that Apple actually came out and apologised (opens in new tab) back in 2017 for neglecting that segment of users, at a time when the Mac Pro was flagging. 

Apple Silicon has changed the game but we're still waiting to see the uber-powerful Mac Pro with M1 Extreme (or even M2 chip), which would make perfect sense of as the crowning jewel of the Mac empire. 

The Mac Studio, especially, is an absolutely beast, boasting the M1 Ultra chip and a Mac mini-like design, but having to also buy a 5K display is a pain – and one an iMac immediately solves. 

Only time will tell if we ever get to see the 27-inch iMac with M1 Max, or even a 27-inch iMac with M2 Max, but the fact that Apple is prototyping these machines gives us hope for the future. 

Maybe we'll even get a revival of the iMac Pro at some point. 

Can't wait? 

If you want an M1-powered Apple desktop then the Mac mini and Mac Studio are great options. You will need to get the best 4K display though or buy Apple's Studio Display or Studio Display XDR. 

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Max Slater-Robins has written for T3 now on and off for over half a decade, with him fitting in serious study at university in between. Max is a tech expert and as such you'll find his words throughout T3.com, appearing in everything from reviews and features, to news and deals. Max is specifically a veteran when it comes round to deal hunting, with him seeing out multiple Black Friday campaigns to date.