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The iMac M1 is nearly 60% faster than the older Intel model, according to leak

Apple’s new 24-inch M1-powered iMac will be a significant upgrade for desktop Mac owners who require more performance. The new iMac with an M1 processor outpaced its Intel-based predecessor with a performance gap nearly as wide as 60%, according to a leaked benchmark spotted by MacRumors. That represents a sizable performance jump between the models.

The new desktop was put through its paces and scored 1,729 points and 7,459 points on the Geekbench 5 benchmark utility for the single-core and multicore tests, respectively. The benchmarks arrive ahead of Apple shipping the iMac, and the scores are probably from early review samples. These Geekbench 5 scores show that the iMac is on par with the M1-powered Mac Mini and notebooks like the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. Geekbench revealed that the iMac’s CPU is configured with an eight-core processor and a seven-core GPU, likely showing the base M1 configuration clocked at 3.2GHz.

Apple also offers higher-end iMac models with higher-tuned M1 performance, like a model with an eight-core CPU paired with an integrated eight-core GPU. The M1 iMac was introduced at Apple’s recent Spring Loaded event, and the processor is based on the ARM architecture that’s widely used in modern smartphones and tablets.

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This places the base 24-inch model ahead of the 21.5-inch Intel model that it is replacing. The Intel Core i7-8700 model scored just 1,109 points and 6,014 points on the same benchmark for single-core and multicore performance, respectively. Apple’s Intel-based iMac topped out with an 8th-gen processor, so the comparison isn’t quite “Apple to apples” with Intel. A fairer comparison would pit the M1 against a 10th-gen or 11th-gen processor, but Apple didn’t use Intel’s newer CPUs on its desktop. Still, with the notable performance improvement from the M1 processor, owners of older iMacs should have nothing to worry about if they’re in the market for an upgrade.

For comparison, the top-of-the-line 27-inch model scored 1,2479 points and 9,002 points on the single-core and multicore tests, respectively, making it 25% faster in multicore performance against Apple’s M1-powered 24-inch iMac. However, the M1 is still 38% faster in single-core performance. When the M1 chip was stacked against Intel’s lower-end configurations on the 27-inch iMac, like the six-core model, Apple’s silicon beat its rival in both single-core and multicore tests.

In addition to the bolder color options, slimmer design, and the switch to the M1 chipset, Apple’s latest iMac also comes with an improved microphone array, a better FaceTime HD camera, and a new speaker system to make your video calls look and sound better.

Apple’s M1 processor is now shared on its Mac Mini, iMac, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and iPad Pro tablet. The company is already rumored to be hard at work developing an M2 chipset to succeed the M1, and the processor could debut in an entirely redesigned MacBook Air that’s inspired by the iMac’s new aesthetics in the near future.

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Chuong Nguyen
Silicon Valley-based technology reporter and Giants baseball fan who splits his time between Northern California and Southern…
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