Apple's new 27" iMac boasts up to 54% performance improvement over predecessor

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Benchmarks for Apple's redesigned 27- and 21.5-inch iMac models are now available, showing significant performance increases over the previous-generation models.

iMac


Among the first to get their hands on the 27-inch iMac was CNet, which published its review of the big-screen model on Friday. The 27-inch 2012 iMac won't become publicly available until later in December, with Apple's online store currently advertising estimated shipping times of two to three weeks.

In their tests, the new high-end 27-inch iMac, with a 3.4-gigahertz Core i7 processor, scored 7.49 points in a multi-core rendering Cinebench test. That bested the 4.85 score of the May 2011 iMac with 3.1-gigahertz Core i5 CPU by more than 54 percent.

The new hybrid Fusion Drive also offered major performance gains in iTunes encoding, as the new 27-inch iMac took 52 seconds in their test, compared with 86 seconds in the previous-generation model.

An image processing test with Photoshop also reduced time necessary from 236 seconds in the 2011 model to 199 seconds in the redesigned 2012 model.

Wider tests of the 27-inch iMac are not yet available with the hardware not on sale to the public, but a number of tests with the 21.5-inch variety were published on Friday by Primate Labs, maker of the Geekbench testing software. The late 2012 21.5-inch iMac with a 3.1-gigahertz Intel Core i7 processor scored 12,447, which was about 9 percent better than the mid-2011 27-inch iMac, and nearly 25 percent faster than the identically sized 21.5-inch model from last year.

iMac


In its review, CNet called the 27-inch model an elite all-in-one desktop that makes it one of the best available on the market. The publication gave the new iMac a score of 4 out of 5 stars.

"This is a computer for serious, performance-driven users, particularly those who need a high-resolution display, and fast graphics and disk performance," they concluded.

The 21.5-inch iMac is now available to order from Apple, while the 27-inch model is available for preorder. Official Apple authorized resellers are also offering preorders for both models, which are expected to be in limited supply this holiday.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,569member
    That's crazy!
  • Reply 2 of 28
    They're comparing the 2012 BTO 3.4GHz i7 model (a $200 upgrade) to the previous generation's standard (retail) high-end 3.1 GHz i5. They should be comparing the 2012 retail 3.2 GHz i5 model to last year's 3.1Ghz i5. The i7 upgrades have historically shown impressive gains compared to the standard i5 models.
  • Reply 3 of 28
    2011 3.1GHz i5 vs 2012 3.4GHz i7? Why didn't they compare against the 2011 3.4GHz i7 instead?
  • Reply 4 of 28
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,569member


    My crazy comment is taken back. 


     


    That's expected!

  • Reply 5 of 28
    Is AppleInsider independent from Apple, because articles like this, which are devoid of *any* integrity, make me wonder. That AI would compare an i5 to the new model with an i7 is just inexcusable. Shame on you, Apple Insider.
  • Reply 6 of 28
    Flawed comparison.
  • Reply 7 of 28


    Title should be "More powerful processor in new skin found to be more powerful than weaker processor in old skin", or simply "More powerful processor found to be more powerful"

  • Reply 8 of 28
    xgmanxgman Posts: 145member
    The author needs to feed the 2011 i7 #'s into this article to compare more apples to apples. Do we have those numbers somewhere?

    I guess the original cnet article is more a compare to PC all in ones than to similar 2011 macs.
  • Reply 9 of 28
    simtubsimtub Posts: 277member
    Had they added the i7-3930K, 3.2GHz, w/12MB Cache, 6 Cores/12 Threads. It would be a beast of a machine and suitable for 3D work
  • Reply 10 of 28
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,669member


    For those whining about AppleInsider, CNet did the test comparisons. Read the freaken article.

  • Reply 11 of 28
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,404member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by simtub View Post



    Had they added the i7-3930K, 3.2GHz, w/12MB Cache, 6 Cores/12 Threads. It would be a beast of a machine and suitable for 3D work


    http://ark.intel.com/products/63697/Intel-Core-i7-3930K-Processor-12M-Cache-up-to-3_80-GHz


     


    It isn't feasible in the imac. First it's 130W rather than 77W. That could be problematic. The real limiting factor is it wouldn't fit in the same logic board. It uses the LGA 2011 socket. This means they'd require another design.

  • Reply 12 of 28
    simtub wrote: »
    Had they added the i7-3930K, 3.2GHz, w/12MB Cache, 6 Cores/12 Threads. It would be a beast of a machine and suitable for 3D work

    You shouldn't want to do that on an iMac, that is what the Mac Pro is for. It's cheaper too.
  • Reply 13 of 28


    Integer BASIC running on a 1978 Apple ][ -- 1 MHz 6502 CPU with 4K RAM outperforms the equivalent running on a 2012 iMac 27 -- 3.4 GHz Core I7 with 32 GB RAM...


     


    ...The only thing that comes close to the Apple ][ is The Surface RT -- but that lacks the Apple ][ UX.

  • Reply 14 of 28
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,404member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post





    You shouldn't want to do that on an iMac, that is what the Mac Pro is for. It's cheaper too.




    It's not possible anyway without a different logic board. The other sites were reporting much more modest improvements. I'd question the validity here on more points than those already mentioned. You need an accurate up to date test using a benchmarking tool on each with the same OS version installed, and they should be compared against comparable hardware or price points. People also miss hyperthreaded vs non hyperthreaded. Its impact in use varies. Overall I'd at least wait for the barefeats tests. They're not always perfect as many of them don't run long enough to analyze the effects of throttling under constant use, including within potential consumer uses like gaming. This is just more click bait like usual, although I suppose that could be stated for any unpaid news article.

  • Reply 15 of 28
    I ran cinebench on my iMac 2011 i7 3.4GHz. Here are the results:

    Multiple CPU - 6.76
    Single CPU - 1.42
  • Reply 16 of 28
    Having owned the "fastest Mac ever" since May 2011, I've been surprised this day took so long to arrive, and am happy for those who can and will take advantage of the new iMac's capabilities.

    However, the differential isn't as great as alluded to here. My Mac is likewise a BTO 3.4 GHz 4-core i7 unit (with SSD, of course, and 16GB RAM). The overall performance improvements will come from the upgrade to Ivy Bridge over Sandy Bridge, faster SSD, and faster video card.

    Significant as those are, what I have is still 'wicked fast,' and for me the difference isn't large enough to merit the hassle of upgrade. If the difference in processor performance was actually on the order of 54%, I'd be seriously considering one of these. As things are...nah.
  • Reply 17 of 28

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by xgman View Post



    The author needs to feed the 2011 i7 #'s into this article to compare more apples to apples. Do we have those numbers somewhere?

    I guess the original cnet article is more a compare to PC all in ones than to similar 2011 macs.


     


    You can see from this article that the 2011 3.4GHz i7 is about 39% faster than the 2011 3.1GHz i5 referenced in the article above.


     


    Using the figures provided above, that makes the 2012 3.4GHz i7 about 10.6% faster than the equivalent 2011 model.


     


    This is less than the expectation (20% improvement) set by Intel when introducing the Ivy Bridge architecture.


     


    It should be noted that these scores are for the processor only, and do not take into account improvements in SSD speed, availability of the Fusion drive, or increased speed of the iMac's newer NVIDIA video card.

  • Reply 18 of 28
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,377member
    Having owned the "fastest Mac ever" since May 2011, I've been surprised this day took so long to arrive, and am happy for those who can and will take advantage of the new iMac's capabilities.

    However, the differential isn't as great as alluded to here. My Mac is likewise a BTO 3.4 GHz 4-core i7 unit (with SSD, of course, and 16GB RAM). The overall performance improvements will come from the upgrade to Ivy Bridge over Sandy Bridge, faster SSD, and faster video card.

    Significant as those are, what I have is still 'wicked fast,' and for me the difference isn't large enough to merit the hassle of upgrade. If the difference in processor performance was actually on the order of 54%, I'd be seriously considering one of these. As things are...nah.

    If you're on an i7 Mac it's not 'the fastest Mac ever' as those only come with Xeon.
  • Reply 19 of 28


    Originally Posted by godrifle View Post

    Is AppleInsider independent from Apple, because articles like this, which are devoid of *any* integrity, make me wonder. That AI would compare an i5 to the new model with an i7 is just inexcusable. Shame on you, Apple Insider.


     


    I'm sorry, you've been here since 2005 and you don't know that APPLEINSIDER IS NOT RUN BY APPLE?!

  • Reply 20 of 28

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post





    If you're on an i7 Mac it's not 'the fastest Mac ever' as those only come with Xeon.


     


    It was widely reported at the time--a year and a half ago--that the fastest i7 iMac was faster than the fastest Mac Pro with Xeon. Nothing has happened in the interim to change that.


     


    http://www.macworld.com/article/1160469/ultimateimac2011.html


     


    http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/15/27-inch-imac-core-i7-with-ssd-is-fastest-mac-ever/


     


    http://us.gizmodo.com/5812281/the-latest-imac-is-the-fastest-mac-ever


     


    Of course, we're talking off-the-shelf and BTO product here. Modded equipment--specifically, with the addition of SSDs (RAID or not) in the Mac Pro--could be a different story. Apple never sold that configuration.

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