Apple Boosts iMac Performance with Faster Multi-Core CPUs

(Adam Engst) #1

Originally published at:

After nearly two years, Apple has beefed up the 21.5-inch and 27-inch Retina iMacs with faster processors, graphics chips, and memory. The company also added some high-end options to the iMac Pro.


(David Redfearn) #2

I have been waiting for this update. The advice to start with a higher-end model rather than upgrading a lower model still applies - the $1999 and $2299 models end up at $3399 if you upgrade to 16 GB of RAM, a 1 TB SSD and the 8 core i9 CPU. What I don’t know is what performance improvement I would get from upgrading from the 580X GPU to the Vega 48. You can’t find benchmarks for these imbedded GPUs and these appear to be specific to Apple. I don’t see the value of upgrading the i5 to the i9 since they are both 9th gen and 6 vs 8 cores is not likely to be material, given the state of multi-threading in applications. I’d be interested in hearing how others are evaluating these choices.



(Adam Engst) #3

Yeah, it’s funny that you get a better GPU just by starting with a different config. I have to assume that Apple just replicated the previous setup, which has had this quirk since 2017.


(blm) #4

I’ve been looking to get an iMac, I’m currently using a 17" MacBook
Pro (really!), and kind of figured they were due for a bump, so I’m
glad I waited. And thanks for the note on the configuration quirks.
I usually play around with the configuration so may have noticed it
myself, but may not have too.
I suppose I’ll be stuck with Mojave though. Don’t suppose it will
run Snow Leopard? :slight_smile:


(Geoff Duncan) #5

Educators and audio people are rather happy the new iMacs don’t have the T2.

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(L Carl Pedersen) #6

Minor quibble: Some of the new processors are 8th generation, according to Apple, not all 9th generation.


(Adam Engst) #7

Yes, as the article says, the 21.5-inch iMac got 8th-generation processors, while the 27-inch iMac got 9th-generation processors.


(L Carl Pedersen) #8

According to Apple’s “Choose your new iMac” page the two lower-end 27" iMacs start out with 8th generation i5 processors. The middle model offers an upgrade to the i9.


(Adam Engst) #9

Oh, good eye—you’re absolutely right. The tech specs page doesn’t list processor generations, and Apple’s press release merely says:

The 27-inch iMac now for the first time features up to 9th-generation 6-core and 8-core processors, delivering up to 2.4 times faster performance.

So yeah, pay very careful attention when configuring an iMac if you want the latest.