Preliminary performance analysis: Apple’s new iMac with Retina 5K display

“We are excited about the new iMac with Retina 5K Display,” rob-ART morgan reports for Bare Feats. “We ordered the 4.0GHz Quad-Core i7 model with Radeon R9 M295X GPU for our long term testing, but plan to benchmark it against the 3.5GHz quad-core i5 with R9 M290X GPU as well as models of non-Retina iMac.”

“The “Best for display” setting of the Retina 5K will be 2560×1440,” morgan reports. “Using the Displays System Preference panel, you will be able to scale the resolution up or down similarly to how it works with the Retina MacBook Pro. Some apps will offer you the choice of running at the full 5120×2880. Some will not. Whatever resolution you scale it to, the pixels-per-inch (ppi) will remain the same, thereby preserving the ‘Retina’ effect.”

“The top Quad-Core i7 is now clocked at 4.0GHz with Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz. Compare that to the top Quad-Core i7 offered in the non-Retina iMac at 3.5GHz with Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz,” morgan reports. “If you choose the 3.5GHz Quad-Core i5, keep in mind that, though it has Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz, it does NOT support Hyper-Threading. It will not render with eight virtual cores the same way the Quad-Core i7 does. If your most demanding apps use more than four cores to render, you will want to spend the extra $250 for the Quad-Core i7.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Still wondering if anyone has done a quantitative comparison of the high-end iMac against the low-end Mac Pro (with similarly configured memory and flash). Someone posted that the Mac Pro should be faster, but I wonder by how much?

    I need a high-performance server type machine (rendering and stuff like that) with a $4,000 budget. I could get a Mac Pro for that amount (and use my existing Thunderbolt display, which would work fine) or get an iMac with a similar configuration (other than CPU/GPU) for the same amount.

    Is the Mac Pro so much faster it’s actually worth giving up the display? (Then again, I’m replacing a core 2 duo Mac Mini, so the more compact configuration of the Mac Pro is a plus, too).

  2. want.

    this makes everyone’s graphic design rig obsolete, esp. if you do larger format print, CAD/CAM, video, 3D, etc.

    the ability to see 4K of a video frame or a photographs and have room around the edges for editing controls is DOPE.

    4K is 8.3 Megapixels – you can photoshop at 1 to 1 resolution in a window on a 5K monitor and still have plenty of room left over.

    This just fries my mellon for the price.

  3. Oh, and the Dell Pricetag for this same monitor, sans computer is reported to be the same $2499.00 as the iMac 5K… has Dell given their money back to the shareholders yet?

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