M1 iMac is Up to 56% Faster Than Prior-Generation High-End 21.5-Inch iMac

Apple's M1 iMacs are set to start delivering to customers next week, and ahead of the official launch day, benchmarks for the machines have been showing up on Geekbench, likely from reviewers who are testing them.

imac m1 blue isolated 16x9 500k
It will come as no surprise that ‌M1‌ iMac benchmarks are right on par with benchmarks for the ‌M1‌ MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini, coming in with an average single-core score of 1724 and an average multi-core score of 7453, aggregated from three benchmarks that are currently available.

Benchmarks are for the iMac21,1, which is likely the entry-level option with an 8-core CPU, a 7-core GPU, and two Thunderbolt ports. The ‌M1‌ ‌iMac‌ benchmarks list 8 CPU cores and a base frequency of 3.2GHz, and they're running macOS 11.3.

m1 imac geekbench

‌M1‌ ‌iMac‌

The 24-inch ‌M1‌ ‌iMac‌ significantly outperforms the 2019 21.5-inch ‌iMac‌ with an Intel chip that it's replacing, and it's going to be a solid upgrade over all older 21.5-inch machines.

The previous-generation high-end 21.5-inch ‌iMac‌ earned a single-core score of 1109 and a multi-core score of 6014, so the ‌M1‌ ‌iMac‌ is 56 percent faster when it comes to single-core performance and 24 percent faster when it comes to multi-core performance.

intel imac geekbench

2019 high-end 21.5-inch Intel ‌iMac‌

Compared to the current high-end 27-inch ‌iMac‌, the ‌M1‌ Mac outperforms in single-core performance, but it is lagging behind the 10th-generation Comet Lake Intel chip in multi-core performance. The high-end 27-inch ‌iMac‌ earned a single-core score of 1247 and a multi-core score of 9002.

The ‌M1‌ ‌iMac‌'s single-core performance is 38 percent faster, but the Intel ‌iMac‌'s multi-core performance is 25 percent faster.

With these scores, the ‌M1‌ ‌iMac‌ is not going to be able to replace the high-end 27-inch ‌iMac‌ because it lags behind in multi-core performance, but Apple is working on higher-end Apple silicon chips for desktop machines and we'll likely see an even more powerful Apple-designed chip introduced when Apple is ready to replace the 27-inch ‌iMac‌ with a new model.

The ‌M1‌ ‌iMac‌ does outperform lower-end 27-inch ‌iMac‌ models with Intel chips, beating the 6-core Intel models in both single and multi-core performance.

Pricing on the ‌M1‌ iMacs starts at $1,299 for the entry-level model and $1,499 for the version with an 8-core GPU, two additional USB-C ports, Gigabit Ethernet, and additional color options. ‌M1‌ ‌iMac‌ models ordered today will ship out in June, but those who preordered will soon be receiving their machines, and we'll learn more about them when reviews go live.

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

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Top Rated Comments

LiE_ Avatar
42 months ago
I mean let’s have some perspective here. This is an Intel 8th gen, the 8700. Desktop chips are on 10th/11th gen now which would be a better comparison.

i7 10700

1262
Single-Core Score
7759
Multi-Core Score

i7 11700

1562
Single-Core Score
9219
Multi-Core Score


This isn’t to say the M1 isn’t competitive because it is, especially when you consider M1 is entry level and sips power. But comparisons like the article aren’t great when the previous model wasn’t refreshed for ages.
Score: 69 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LiE_ Avatar
42 months ago

means all my attention is just staring at that big aluminum panel.
Why are you looking at the chin, and say, not the screen?
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Think|Different Avatar
42 months ago
That's just unreal. These are perfect for almost anyone that wants a Mac and doesn't consider themself a Pro.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
1258186 Avatar
42 months ago

Intel should be ashamed of itself.
Let’s not bash Intel. They did a good job powering the Mac for many years. Quantum leaps like this happen every so often in computing. ARM have done a fantastic job.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Grohowiak Avatar
42 months ago

I never minded the the chin before, and I don't now, but the missing apple logo means all my attention is just staring at that big aluminum panel. Without it supporting some other visual element, such as speaker perforations or a logo, it becomes its own visual element, & it's not apparent why the design team thought it should be. Strange.
Apple realized that the sticker they send with every mac is finally going to be used.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
turbineseaplane Avatar
42 months ago

I mean let’s have some perspective here. This is an Intel 8th gen, the 8700. Desktop chips are on 10th/11th gen now which would be a better comparison.

i7 10700

1262
Single-Core Score
7759
Multi-Core Score

i7 11700

1562
Single-Core Score
9219
Multi-Core Score


This isn’t to say the M1 isn’t competitive because it is, especially when you consider M1 is entry level and sips power. But comparisons like the article aren’t great when the previous model wasn’t refreshed for ages.
Nice to see a voice of reason in here.
Excellent post and a much more relevant comparison.

The M1 and ASi is great, but people need to get off Apple's jock a little.
It's nauseating.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)