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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Following today's launch of a new entry-level iMac model featuring an ultra-low voltage Intel processor actually used in the MacBook Air, the new iMac appears to have shown up in Geekbench's benchmarking database. The use of an ultra-low voltage chip in the iMac is a somewhat curious move for Apple, as the company has traditionally used much more powerful desktop processors in the line.


As expected, the new machine posts relatively low 64-bit scores of 2820 in single-core mode and 5435 in multi-core mode. These scores are marginally better than the 2690/5254 scores posted by the current-generation MacBook Air running the same chip and roughly 10% slower than the 3168 single-core score from the previous low-end iMac model, which remains available.

But where this new low-end iMac falls far short of the previous low-end model is in multi-core performance, where the older model clocks in at 10253. This major difference is due primarily to the chip used in the new low-end model being a dual-core chip, while the older low-end chip is quad-core.

The new low-end iMac comes in $200 cheaper than the previous entry-level model, but for that savings users will sacrifice some CPU and graphics performance and will have a 500 GB hard drive rather than the 1 TB drive included in the more expensive low-end model.

Update 12:25 PM: Primate Labs' John Poole has shared a blog post putting the new low-end iMac's performance in perspective compared to other iMac models and highlighting a Tweet from Ars Technica's Andrew Cunningham noting that Apple's decision to use a chip from its MacBook Air line may have been made for graphics reasons.
I'd say Apple used an Ultrabook CPU in the new iMac to avoid shipping Intel's HD 4600 GPU in anything. No desktop CPUs include HD 5000.— Andrew Cunningham (@AndrewWrites) June 18, 2014
Update 2: The initial benchmarks for the new low-end iMac were taken in 64-bit mode, while the data was compared to 32-bit results from other machines. This article has been updated to compare 64-bit scores across all machines.

Article Link: New Low-Cost iMac Nearly 50% Slower in Multi-Core, 10% Slower in Single-Core Benchmarks
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macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2004
I really don't understand why they went with an ULV CPU for a desktop computer as big as an iMac, especially if they had to put a HDD half the size and still weren't able to lower the price by more than 200$USD. :confused:


macrumors 6502a
Sep 27, 2011
Riga, Latvia
I don't like this Apple trend of marginally "cheaper" devices with ridiculously reduced parameters. 8GB iPhone 5c version instead of just dropping the price of 16GB. Entirely new, slower version of iMac instead of just dropping the price of the existing lowest config. These just look like bean-counter moves. :confused:


macrumors 68000
Oct 9, 2010
First new hardware release after WWDC and it's a ...wait for super slow iMac. I am completely and utterly underwhelmed.


May 3, 2013
Berlin, Berlin
Going from Quad to Dual core?
Didn't expect that when Tim Cook talked about "incredible stuff, the kind of innovation only Apple can do!".


macrumors 68000
Aug 11, 2003
It's not at all uncommon to see the current $1,299 model on sale at retailers for $100-150 off, not to even mention that refurbs are only $1,099 direct from Apple right now. Much better to go with one of those than this new model that was released today, which should have been priced at $999 for what it offers.


Editor emeritus
Jul 10, 2003
Falls Church, VA
That is way to slow. like back to the old core2duo's

From a benchmark perspective, yes, however at least they support updated instruction sets like the core i-series virtualization instructions... though on a second thought, I wouldn't be caught dead trying to visualize with that machine.

Still, if you had to... it would do better than a core2 series. much better actually.


Dec 24, 2009
I have no interest in buying an iMac but I am legitimately angry that they would do this... AND THEY COULDN'T EVEN MAKE IT 1000... I hope nobody buys this Apple. I hope you never do something this greedy again.


macrumors 68040
Aug 14, 2007
First new hardware release after WWDC and it's a ...wait for super slow iMac. I am completely and utterly underwhelmed.

Relax. A premium, retina iMac is on the way. And I'm sure it'll have a price tag to match.


Jan 15, 2003
Yep, obscenely overpriced for what it offers . . .

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