Performance of Apple’s new dual-core entry-level 21.5-inch iMac

“Apple announced a new lower-cost dual-core iMac [yesterday], and Geekbench 3 results for it are already appearing on the Geekbench Browser,” John Poole reports for Primate Labs. “When compared to the rest of the iMac lineup, the new iMac has reasonable single-core performance — it’s almost identifcal to the entry-level quad-core iMac. Multi-core performance is significantly lower due to the lower number of cores (2 cores vs 4 cores).”

“One interesting thing about the new iMacs is that they use a low-voltage i5-4260U ‘Haswell’ processor (the same processor is used in the MacBook Air). Why would Apple use a low-voltage dual-core processor in a desktop machine? The answer might be graphics,” Poole reports. “According to Intel, the HD 5000 [found in Apple’s new entry-level 21.5-inch iMac] is twice as fast as the HD 4600.”

“Apple may have sacrificed multi-core performance for GPU performance,” Poole reports. “Given the increasing importance modern user interfaces place on GPU performance, this may turn out to be a smart decision that extends the useful lifespan of the new iMac.”

See how the new iMac performs compared to other iMacs here.

Related articles:
Apple’s new 21.5-inch iMac too cheap? – June 19, 2014
Apple Introduces new entry level 21.5-inch iMac; starts at $1099 – June 18, 2014


  1. Maybe economies of scale further reduce the processor price which is why they could lower the MBA price.

    Maybe because Intel doesn’t have anything new yet.

    It’ showing to be fast enough for the rest of us and priced to increase market share.

    1. And thermal considerations might have been a factor, too. If this new iMac provides reasonable single-CPU performance (which applies to most of the software used at home), decent dual-core performance (for software that actually uses multiple cores), and roughly double the GPU performance with 8GB RAM at a significantly lower price (18.2%) than the previous generation.

      1. What? How could there be any thermal issues when they can put a 3.1Ghz quad core i7 in the same machine? The only reason they did this is to bring the price down not because of thermal considerations.

        1. @Johathan

          You forget that “thermal” costs money. Fans, vents and casing design for vents, heat sinks. You better believe lower power is cheaper to build.

  2. Why are the anal-ysts not screaming at Intel for the delays in the release of the Broadwell chips? Seems clear that Intel is spending its time trying to come up with an answer to ARM and using its virtual monopoly in laptop/desktop chips as a way of buying time at the expense of users.

    1. No it doesn’t. We’ve been over this ad nauseam. Not gonna happen. We’ve specified exactly why. Go back through previous relevant MDN article and read through the plethora of comments.

      This loony rumor is never gonna die.

        1. Not me! I understand the difference between RISC and CISC. Look it up please!

          Then look up the vast number of APIs directly burned into Intel chips that will be GONE if Apple goes A-Series on Macs.

          Oh and then consider the SPEED DIFFERENCE between the A-Series and current Intel chips.

          This is SUCH a dead issue. Stop raising zombies. They eat your brains kids.

    1. We are headed for an iMac made of just Glass only – once done it will be a machine which is totally non-upgradeable.

      But Like you I still need power. Not a big screen cellphone pretending to be an iMac.

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