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Intel's Coffee Lake Chips Bring Significant Speed Boosts to 2019 iMacs

Geekbench's John Poole this afternoon shared a series of 2019 iMac benchmarks, giving us a look at the performance boosts offered by Intel's 8th and 9th-generation Coffee Lake chips.

All of the new 27-inch 5K models offer superior performance compared to their 2017 counterparts, with single-core performance up an average of 6 to 11 percent and multi-core performance up 43 to 49 percent for six-core models. The higher-end models with 3.6GHz 8-core Core i9 chip offer the biggest boost in multi-core performance, with speeds up 66 percent.


The highest-end iMac earned a single-core score of 6157 and a multi-core score of 32293, compared to the 5864/1971 single and multi-core scores of the equivalent high-end machine.


Even the base model 2019 27-inch ‌iMac‌ with a 3.0GHz 6-core 8th-gen chip saw notable gains, earning a single-core score of 5222 and a multi-core score of 20145, compared to the 4767/13682 scores the low-end 2017 models earned.

These chips are two years apart, so it is no surprise that even the mid-level chips are outperforming the higher-end chips from 2017.

6-core and 8-core chips in the 27-inch models are now competitive with the 2017 iMac Pro models with 8 and 10-cores. The high-end 8-core ‌iMac‌ offers 16 percent higher single core performance and just 10 percent lower multi-core performance than the 10-core ‌iMac Pro‌.

Gains are more modest for the 21.5-inch 4K ‌iMac‌ models, but still significant. Single-core performance is up 5 to 10 percent, while multi-core performance has increased by 10 to 50 percent.




As Poole points out, the performance gains in the 2019 ‌iMac‌ models are due to higher frequencies and core counts as the underlying architecture hasn't been updated.

Poole says that while there's a significant boost when it comes to multi-core performance in the new iMacs, along with a decent boost in single-core performance, the increase isn't enough to "justify upgrading from a 2017 ‌iMac‌."

Apple's newest ‌iMac‌ models were announced last week and have been arriving to customers this week. Aside from Intel's new 8th and 9th-generation Coffee Lake chips, Radeon Pro Vega graphics options, and faster RAM, there have been no other improvements to the 2019 ‌iMac‌ models.

Related Roundup: iMac
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

7 months ago
Couldn't care less.

No larger screens with slimmer bezels -- CHECK
No updated thermal architecture -- CHECK
No PCIe-flash across the board -- CHECK
No 16GB RAM as standard -- CHECK
No 120Hz ProMotion -- CHECK
No Face ID - CHECK
No True Tone Display -- CHECK
No 1080p Webcam -- CHECK
No Tx Security Chip -- CHECK
No Space Grey option -- CHECK
No backlit keyboard -- CHECK
Tim Cook still there -- CHECK
Rating: 56 Votes
7 months ago
I have decided, for 3D rendering, video editing and everything related to graphics and video... a PC. Way faster, upgradable and way cheaper. For audio, music apps and hanging on the internet... a Mac. I have a 2014 15" MBP and works just fine with an external monitor, Logic Pro, Ableton, everything! But I am not wasting money on an iMac, not worth it.


Rating: 32 Votes
7 months ago
Typing this on my '19 i9 iMac right now. Couldn't be happier. Blazing fast, dead quiet and surprisingly cool. I find it quite humorous the amount of people taking the piss with a machine they do not have in their possession. Maybe it's jealousy, ignorance or trolling. Not sure which...?
Rating: 30 Votes
7 months ago
It's no suprise that newer chips are faster than 2 year old ones. What I'm interested in is what the temperatures are. The i7 2017 iMac gets really hot with heavy use. Wit the same internal cooling solution, does the i9 throttle?
Rating: 12 Votes
7 months ago

Pathetic results, a Hackintosh with the same CPU (9900k) and proper cooling is about 25% faster.

for just 25% faster, we don't care about the hassle
Rating: 11 Votes
7 months ago
Hello throttling, my old friend...
Rating: 11 Votes
7 months ago
I'm just here because I thought I heard someone say coffee...
Rating: 10 Votes
7 months ago
What did we expect from an entire lake of coffee?
Rating: 10 Votes
7 months ago
The fact that everyone is now equating performance and Geekbench scores is a tragedy of modern hardware reporting...
Rating: 10 Votes
7 months ago

for just 25% faster, we don't care about the hassle


25% is a significant amount. 10 hours of rendering or whatever gets cut down to 7.5. It doesn't even have to be a Hackintosh, it could be any computer. It's the CPU that matters and Apple absolutely SUCKS when it comes to making a powerful computer.

For the record, Hackintoshes are not a hassle.
Rating: 8 Votes

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