iMac quad-core CPUs found 25% faster than in Apple's last gen models

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
The new iMac lineup with quad-core Intel Sandy Bridge processors is consistently 25 percent faster than its predecessors, and 70 percent faster than the Core 2 Duo all-in-one desktops Apple released in 2009.



Benchmark tests of the early 2011 iMacs released this week were collected by Primate Labs. They show the high-end, 27-inch 3.4Ghz Core i7 model with a Geekbench score of 11602, besting the score of 9124 for the 2.93Ghz model released in mid-2010.



Results are not yet available for all Sandy Bridge iMac configurations, including the 21.7-inch Core i7 iMac. The tests measure processor and memory performance, but do not take into account new video cards or solid-state storage options.



"While the improvements aren't as dramatic as with the Sandy Bridge MacBook Pros, there's a consistent 25% performance improvement between Sandy Bridge and Lynnfield (the previous generation chips) at both the low-end and high-end of the iMac model range," the report said.



The tests also included the iMac models released in late 2009, which were powered by an even older Intel chip line, the Core 2 Duo. The new Sandy Bridge iMacs best those 2009 desktops by about 70 percent in CPU performance, offering what the site said is a "compelling upgrade" for those still running the Wolfdale-based systems.







Apple's new iMacs were released on Tuesday. Apple boasted that the new models are up to 70 percent faster than their predecessors, with graphics performance up to three times that of the previous generation.



Intel's latest-generation Core i processors, dubbed Sandy Bridge has been called by the chipmaker the "biggest advance in computing performance and capabilities over any other previous generations." All of the iMac processors are quad-core, and configurations are available up to a 3.4Ghz Intel Core i7.



The new iMacs also feature AMD Radeon HD graphics, which are not represented in the Geekbench scores. The entry-level 21.5-inch $1,119 model sports the AMD Radeon 6750M GPU with 512MB of GDDR5 memory, while on the high end, custom configurations can feature the Radeon HD 6970M with 2GB of memory.



Promotional materials on Apple's site boast that the new Radeon HD graphics are up to three times faster than their predecessors. They show tests with popular games running on the entry-level 6750M, with "Portal" showing a 4.8 times speed improvement, while "Call of Duty 4" has a 3.5 times boost.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    absolutely shocking that a computer is the same price and almost twice as fast as a 2 year old model
  • Reply 2 of 37
    jbro1999jbro1999 Posts: 38member
    So what would a 2.8 P4 compare to one of these? Man I need to upgrade.
  • Reply 3 of 37
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    My current system has a Geekbench score of about 3300 (2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo). I think it's time for a new computer.



    My thinking right now is to buy an iMac and then upgrade my MBP when Ivy Bridge comes out (probably with an MBA).
  • Reply 4 of 37
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,270member
    I appreciate the speed boosts. Can anyone confirm that the new iMac does 450 mb/s wifi?



    I bet a Time Machine backup with ThunderBolt would be pretty impressive, too.
  • Reply 5 of 37
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,342member
    "70 percent faster than the Core 2 Duo all-in-one desktops Apple released in 2009."



    iMac (late 2009) Intel Core Duo E7600 3.06GHz (2 cores) 4220

    iMac (27" 2011) Intel Core i7 2600 3.4GHz (4 cores) 11602



    I must be reading it wrong or misunderstanding because 70% faster than 4220 is 7174.

    11602 would be just over 170% faster than 4220.



    Either way, I'm getting a new one as mine tests in at 4235 probably due to the extra memory.
  • Reply 6 of 37
    ksecksec Posts: 1,549member
    I am waiting for Ivy Bridge...........
  • Reply 7 of 37
    neilwneilw Posts: 77member
    Woohoo, my Core2 Duo iMac has made it to the very bottom of the comparison list. Apart from the normal new gear lust, though, I have not particular motivation to upgrade right now. The only tasks where I could really use the extra oomph are video and audio encoding or transcoding, and I don't do those that often. Certainly, the prospect of Handbrake running (how much?) faster is enticing, but my old (!) Core 2 Duo performs smoothly in most tasks (credit to OSX here). This is, in fact the first machine I've owned where performance is satisfactory for the vast majority of tasks.



    That said, it's nice to see the wheels of progress turning steadily. Intel's continuous progress on its desktop platforms is impressive.



    [argh, title should say "News flash:"]
  • Reply 8 of 37
    mitchelljdmitchelljd Posts: 153member
    The article is a bit misleading, as i5 is the main chip for iMac, the i7 is a higher level paid option. For it to be on point it would be great to have full speed charts for the different model CPU options
  • Reply 9 of 37
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,015member
    Thank goodness that chart lists the full Intel processor names, lol. I really wish Apple did.



    Did the last gen's 21.5 inch have hyperthreading? The current one with the i5 doesn't. So is that 25% improvement per core, or the total theoretical max for all threads being used? Looking at that chart there isn't that big a difference between the previous dual core + HT and the current quad, so I guess its the latter.



    http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=52211
  • Reply 10 of 37
    dcj001dcj001 Posts: 301member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Postulant View Post


    I appreciate the speed boosts. Can anyone confirm that the new iMac does 450 mb/s wifi?



    Confirmed.



    http://www.9to5mac.com/65700/the-new...-450-mbs-wifi/



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Postulant View Post


    I bet a Time Machine backup with ThunderBolt would be pretty impressive, too.



    Ideally, about 12 times of the speed of FireWire 800.
  • Reply 11 of 37
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,234member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Postulant View Post




    I bet a Time Machine backup with ThunderBolt would be pretty impressive, too.



    Yeah, that was one of my first thoughts too. With Time Machine currently offering no way to control the frequency of back-ups, my 2009 Core 2 Duo iMac gets virtually paralyzed once an hour for what seems like 10 minutes of back up. And that is with a FireWire 800 connector! When Western Digital comes out with a Thunderbolt MyBook I'm buying both it and a new iMac. On the other hand, if Lion is tied to iCloud, there may be other alternatives in play later this year.
  • Reply 12 of 37
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,015member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DCJ001 View Post


    Ideally, about 12 times of the speed of FireWire 800.





    If you had a backup solution that could write that fast, yeah. For most home/casual-ish users, it will be a while before thats realistic.
  • Reply 13 of 37
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,270member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    Yeah, that was one of my first thoughts too. With Time Machine currently offering no way to control the frequency of back-ups, my 2009 Core 2 Duo iMac gets virtually paralyzed once an hour for what seems like 10 minutes of back up. And that is with a FireWire 800 connector! When Western Digital comes out with a Thunderbolt MyBook I'm buying both it and a new iMac. On the other hand, if Lion is tied to iCloud, there may be other alternatives in play later this year.



    I'm surprised your backups are so crippling. My 2008 core 2 duo iMac usually takes about 45 seconds or less to backup and I'm using USB. Even my MacBook Air can backup wirelessly in under a minute.
  • Reply 14 of 37
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    The progress on the iMacs is a teaser for how much more incredible the new, redesigned post-Mac Pro/XServe tower will be.



    At least, that's how I see it.
  • Reply 15 of 37
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,590member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    Yeah, that was one of my first thoughts too. With Time Machine currently offering no way to control the frequency of back-ups, my 2009 Core 2 Duo iMac gets virtually paralyzed once an hour for what seems like 10 minutes of back up. And that is with a FireWire 800 connector! When Western Digital comes out with a Thunderbolt MyBook I'm buying both it and a new iMac. On the other hand, if Lion is tied to iCloud, there may be other alternatives in play later this year.



    I don't even notice when the back-ups take place. On one machine I use USB the other its over wifi. I also have a 2009 iMac. I suspect you have other issues.
  • Reply 16 of 37
    Does anyone know if Primate Labs tested the new i7 iMacs with 32-bit or 64-bit Geekbench?



    iMac (27-inch Mid 2010) - 9124 - 32-bit mode



    iMac (27-inch Mid 2010) - 10544 - 64-bit mode



    I looked at their Mac Benchmarks and didn't see it listed yet.
  • Reply 17 of 37
    trip1extrip1ex Posts: 109member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post


    absolutely shocking that a computer is the same price and almost twice as fast as a 2 year old model



    Misleading. For some tasks for some people it could be up to twice as fast.



    But for most tasks for most people there's not much of a difference.



    Look at what they can do on an iPad with a much lesser cpu than a C2D and you'll see where I'm coming from.
  • Reply 18 of 37
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trip1ex View Post


    Misleading. For some tasks for some people it could be up to twice as fast.



    But for most tasks for most people there's not much of a difference.



    Look at what they can do on an iPad with a much lesser cpu than a C2D and you'll see where I'm coming from.



    that's because the software is gimped compared to the regular versions
  • Reply 19 of 37
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,690member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trip1ex View Post


    Misleading. For some tasks for some people it could be up to twice as fast.



    While I'm not a huge fan of benchmarks, a machine that is all around twice as fast will be twice as fast for all users. The machine does not become slower because somebody can't use the power inside.

    Quote:



    But for most tasks for most people there's not much of a difference.



    Total BS.

    Quote:

    Look at what they can do on an iPad with a much lesser cpu than a C2D and you'll see where I'm coming from.



    Totally unrelated. IPad only has one app at a time running so a good portion of the CPU is dedicated to that app. Further many apps leverage built in special purpose hardware. The fact is, even if people dont want to hear this, is that the iPads CPU sucks extremely badly when called upon to handle CPU bound tasks.
  • Reply 20 of 37
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    While I'm not a huge fan of benchmarks, a machine that is all around twice as fast will be twice as fast for all users. The machine does not become slower because somebody can't use the power inside.



    Total BS.





    Totally unrelated. IPad only has one app at a time running so a good portion of the CPU is dedicated to that app. Further many apps leverage built in special purpose hardware. The fact is, even if people dont want to hear this, is that the iPads CPU sucks extremely badly when called upon to handle CPU bound tasks.



    The problem is for most of us the all in one imac is a family device and even 4 yr old models are still great for most apps.



    9
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