Apple's New iMacs Up to 20% Faster Than Previous Models in Geekbench Testing

Apple's new 21.5-inch 4K and 27-inch 5K iMacs released yesterday have been subjected to early Geekbench 3 benchmarking, and the results show the late 2015 models are expectedly faster, with improved single-core and multi-core scores compared to previous-generation models.

The new iMacs are between roughly 7% and 20% faster than previous models in Geekbench testing, but it should be noted the results are based on single data points that will need to be averaged out against other benchmarking results for a more accurate comparison.

iMac-5K-Performance
Japanese blog Mac Otakara benchmarked the new 21.5-inch 4K iMac, equipped with a 3.1GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, and the desktop computer received 64-bit single-core and multi-core scores of 3,787 and 12,803 respectively. The comparable late 2013 model 2.9GHz iMac had single-core and multi-core scores of 3,543 and 10,685 respectively.

Geekbench-2015-iMac-4K
The late 2015 high-end non-Retina 21.5-inch iMac, equipped with a 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, had a single-core score of 3,532 and multi-core score of 11,865. The comparable late 2013 model iMac, with a 2.7GHz Intel Core i5 processor, had single-core and multi-core scores of 3,175 and 10,199 respectively.

The lineup of new 27-inch 5K iMacs were also benchmarked, with the lower-end model equipped with a 3.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor receiving single-core and multi-core scores of 3,931 and 12,079 respectively. The higher-end 3.3GHz model earned a single-core score of 4,214 and multi-core score of 13,081.

Geekbench-2015-iMac-5K
The comparable late 2014 lower-end 5K iMac had an average single-core score of 3,329 and multi-core score of 10,632. The comparable mid 2015 high-end 5K iMac, configured with a 3.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, had single-core and multi-core scores of 3,844 and 12,192 respectively.

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Top Rated Comments

gpat Avatar
69 months ago
Meanwhile, the standard 5400RPM hard drive is exactly 0% faster than the one in an 1999 iMac.
Score: 82 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
69 months ago

I am not in favor of 5400 hard drives, whenever I could, I would use 7200 hard drives.
However, the story of 5400 is not as straightforward as it seems, I think.
In 1999, disk cache was probably 2 mb, RAM was 64-128 mb, so disk caching was very, very heavy and performance was not optimal. They were also ATA hard drives.

Yes, now we still have 5400 disks, but they have much larger cache (8-64mb), SATA controllers, and have excellent reviews like this.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236221&cm_re=hard_drive_5400_1TB-_-22-236-221-_-Product

So I wouldn't fixate much on RPM only. With much larger RAM (8GB standard), you don't have to use disk drive that much as before. I have OS X on my SSD drive and a reserve installation on usual hard drive 1TB (Seagate), and under normal use, except boot times, difference is not like that much.

That is one way of looking at it. Another way is 5400 rpm platters should not be in a premium computer; especially a premium priced computer. A $350 Best Buy bargain computer? Okay, understandable. A $1K+ machine? No amount of justification can make that seem right to me.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
m.x Avatar
69 months ago

I am not in favor of 5400 hard drives, whenever I could, I would use 7200 hard drives.
However, the story of 5400 is not as straightforward as it seems, I think.
In 1999, disk cache was probably 2 mb, RAM was 64-128 mb, so disk caching was very, very heavy and performance was not optimal. They were also ATA hard drives.

Yes, now we still have 5400 disks, but they have much larger cache (8-64mb), SATA controllers, and have excellent reviews like this.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236221&cm_re=hard_drive_5400_1TB-_-22-236-221-_-Product

So I wouldn't fixate much on RPM only. With much larger RAM (8GB standard), you don't have to use disk drive that much as before. I have OS X on my SSD drive and a reserve installation on usual hard drive 1TB (Seagate), and under normal use, except boot times, difference is not like that much.

I think it is much more about the way they sell this weak hardware. When Phil Schiller states in the press release that "the spirit of iMac has never wavered — deliver the ultimate desktop experience with the latest technologies, gorgeous displays and cutting-edge designs", this might be true for the display as well as for the design, although the thick bezel and the overall appearance of the body hasn't changed much since 2009, which is an eternity in the digital world, but I think it is a blatant lie.
They ship only the 27" iMac with the latest Skylake CPUs, use no DDR4, use no Thunderbolt 3, no USB C, no dedicated GPU option on the 21,5" iMac... THAT would be the latest technology, Phil! Instead they still ship the entry options with outdated HDDs, just to push the consumers to Fusion Drives, where they shrunk the Flash memory down from 128 GB to 24 GB to maximize profit. Why don't they include a 250 GB or 500 GB SSD in the base model? I think it is because then, they couldn't charge $200 or $500 for it (fun fact: the rMBP can get a 1 TB SSD for $500 more). It is really a shame to take this computer and to put the vision behind it on the same level of the first iMac.
It may sound harsh, but this is pure greed showing that there is no intent to give their customers the best hardware. They chose to satisfy their Stakeholders, not their customers. In the short term, they may succeed, but in the long term, I am deeply worried about the company that I really admire.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bkends35 Avatar
69 months ago

i5 processor? WTH? Apple, you've been smoking and drink a lot these days.

Huh? The i5 is an outstanding processor. I don't think the i7 will be worth it for most people. The 5400rpm hard drive on the other hand..
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
maflynn Avatar
69 months ago

"Hard drive sucks". Yes it does. So upgrade it to an SSD when you buy one. It's not THAT much.

If I were to buy the 4k iMac, I'm already on the hook for 1,500 and I have to add 500 bucks for a decent sized SSD, pushing the computer in the 2k range and I still have no dGPU option? Yes, people can configure the components to improve the performance but that does drive the price up.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
840quadra Avatar
69 months ago

I am not in favor of 5400 hard drives, whenever I could, I would use 7200 hard drives.
However, the story of 5400 is not as straightforward as it seems, I think.
In 1999, disk cache was probably 2 mb, RAM was 64-128 mb, so disk caching was very, very heavy and performance was not optimal. They were also ATA hard drives.

Yes, now we still have 5400 disks, but they have much larger cache (8-64mb), SATA controllers, and have excellent reviews like this.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236221&cm_re=hard_drive_5400_1TB-_-22-236-221-_-Product

So I wouldn't fixate much on RPM only. With much larger RAM (8GB standard), you don't have to use disk drive that much as before. I have OS X on my SSD drive and a reserve installation on usual hard drive 1TB (Seagate), and under normal use, except boot times, difference is not like that much.

I fully agree, and can relate to your thought process, and viewpoint of the subject. IO speeds on the 5400 RPM drive in my Mac Mini far surpass the speeds within my PowerPC G4 Digital Audio PowerMac with IDE.

Sadly people love to target fixate with the in problem of the week to either gain likes, or, because beating a dead horse is a favorite pass time. Last few weeks it was #TSMC, now #5400 is the hot topic, and quite honestly a tired joke. I am looking forward to the release of the new :apple:TV to see what 1st world issue plagues our forums with that device. ;)
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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