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iMac Teardown and First Geekbench Tests

After hitting Apple's online and retail stores, the recently released 21.5-inch iMac was quickly put to work. Primate Labs were the first ones to publish their Geekbench testing scores and the results speak for themselves: the new iMac is up to 25% faster than its predecessor.

From what we've learned from Primate Labs' Geekbench tests is that the new iMacs show an incredible performance increase. Obviously the analysis focuses on the 21.5-inch models, since the 27-inch models are coming in late December (but just in time for Christmas shopping). The latest 21.5-inch model iMac scores nearly 25% higher than its 2011 predecessor, and even goes beyond the 27-inch model from last year by 10%.
iMac geekbench
Interestingly though, when compared to Apple's current desktop lines, the Mac mini and Mac Pro, the mid-range iMac falls below the high-end quad-core Mac mini's performance, which features a Core i7 processor. As the testers highlight, the "Core i7 has hyper-threading technology (and the Core i5 does not), it can execute more instructions at once, leading to higher performance."


Here this means that the mid-range Mac mini is faster than the mid-range iMac that's almost twice the price. True, you do get a display and a discrete GPU with the iMac, but these Geekbench results show how powerful the new Mac mini is despite its size.

On the other hand, iFixit has torn the iMac apart as it does with each newly released Apple product just to be disappointed with the result: the new iMac's glass and the LCD are glued to the all-in-one's frame with a strong adhesive. In other words, it's hard to repair, so it hardly scored 3 out of 10 (which is the easiest to repair) down from 7 out of 10 for its predecessor.

However, while performing the teardown, the iFixit team was surprised how Apple managed to obtain essential millimeters to make the new slim design possible. First of all, Apple has totally changed the iMac's internals, as nothing resembles last year's model. In addition they ditched the 3.5'' desktop hard drive for a 2.5'' HGST laptop hard drive, which contributed to more valuable space.

Other highlights of the new 21.5-inch iMac teardown:

  • The hard drive has a rubbery housing at its edges, which is a new design meant to dampen the vibrations from the hard drive in the closely packed quarters of the iMac.
  • There are no longer multiple small fans. Instead, Apple is using a single centralized fan.
  • Apple’s new iMac has two microphones to improve sound quality when using FaceTime.
  • The AirPort card uses a Broadcom BCM4331 single-chip WLAN solution and three Wi-Fi antennas.

    The new iMacs went on sale on November 30 as announced by Apple. The 21.5-inch iMac model's starting price is $1,299, and its availability for shipping was already pushed back to up to 10 days, up from 3 days, at launch date.

So who's going to be upgrading this holiday season to the new iMac from Apple (or will it be the Mac mini)?

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1 comment
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    Alexi8 years, 9 months ago

    well done