M1 iMac can’t match fastest Intel iMacs in early benchmarks

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24-inch iMac with M1 processor released in 2021
The M1 processor in the 24-inch iMac is faster than most Intel iMacs. But not all.
Photo: Apple

The first benchmark scores for the upcoming 24-inch M1 iMac are out, and the all-in-one desktop is just as fast as the laptops and desktop released in 2020 running this processor. And no faster.

That makes the new model 24% quicker than the 21-inch iMac it’s replacing. But it’s slower than the 27-inch iMac introduced in 2020 with a top-tier Intel processor.


Geekbench 5 benchmark scores for the new 24-inch iMac appeared Wednesday on the Primate Labs website. A typical multi-core score is around 7450, though there’s always some variation and occasional bad results. Single-core benchmark scores are around 1730.

Those scores are very close to the ones earned by the late-2020 versions of the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac mini. These have multi-core scores between 7360 and 7410. Their single-core scores are between 1701 and 1710.

And the new desktop did significantly better than the fastest 21.5-inch iMac. The mid-2019 model pulled in a 6014 on the Geekbench 5 multi-core score.

M1 iMac is as fast as any other M1-powered computer

To be clear, it really isn’t a surprise that the 2021 iMac runs at the same same speed as the 2020 Macs. But Apple doesn’t discuss the clock speed of the M1 chip, and there was a possibility the version in the new model was faster than that one used in the earlier ones. Nope.

More importantly, the benchmark scores for the 24-inch M1 iMac — however good they are — explain why the 27-inch Intel-based iMac remains in Apple’s product lineup. Because the version of that computer with a Core i9 processor pulls in about 9000 on the Geekbench 5 multi-core test. Apple clearly decided to not replace it with a slower model.

But given the steady performance improvements Apple has made with its processors over more than a decade, it’s possible the M2 coming as early as this fall will be faster than the i9. Rumors and speculation point to a 32-inch iMac coming later in 2021 built around an M2 processor.

Via: MacRumors