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Late 2013 iMac review: Faster than before, but the gains over previous models are modest

James Galbraith | Jan. 17, 2014
Back in October, we reviewed the new $1299 entry-level iMac, the first of the new iMac models that we could get our hands on. Regrettably, it took us a while to get the other three standard-configuration iMacs in the Macworld Lab to test. We finally took a good look at the rest of Apple's iMac line.

56.0

iMac/3.2GHz (27-inch, quad-core, Late 2012)

68.0

iMac/2.9GHz (27-inch, quad-core, Late 2012)

68.3

iMac/2.9GHz (21.5-inch, quad-core, Late 2012)

70.3

   

*Customize to build model.

Lower results are better. Best result in bold. Reference models in italics.

HandBrake 0.9.5 encode

Mac model

Result (seconds)

iMac/3.4GHz (27-inch, quad-core, Late 2013)

99.00

iMac/3.2GHz (27-inch, quad-core, Late 2013)

105.0

iMac/2.9GHz (21.5-inch, quad-core, Late 2013)

103.7

iMac/2.7GHz (21.5-inch, quad-core, Late 2013)

110.3

Mac Pro/3.0GHz (eight-core, Late 2013)*

63.7

iMac/3.5GHz (27-inch, quad-core i7, 8GB RAM, 3TB Fusion Drive, 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 780M, Late 2013)*

82.67

iMac/3.2GHz (27-inch, quad-core, Late 2012)

120.3

iMac/2.9GHz (27-inch, quad-core, Late 2012)

122.7

iMac/2.9GHz (21.5-inch, quad-core, Late 2012)

125.3

 

*Customize to build model.

Lower results are better. Best result in bold. Reference models in italics.

Photoshop CC action script

Mac model

Result (seconds)

iMac/3.4GHz (27-inch, quad-core, Late 2013)

94.7

iMac/3.2GHz (27-inch, quad-core, Late 2013)

100.3

iMac/2.9GHz (21.5-inch, quad-core, Late 2013)

110.3

iMac/2.7GHz (21.5-inch, quad-core, Late 2013)

100.3

Mac Pro/3.0GHz (eight-core, Late 2013)*

81.3

iMac/3.5GHz (27-inch, quad-core i7, 8GB RAM, 3TB Fusion Drive, 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 780M, Late 2013)*

326

iMac/3.2GHz (27-inch, quad-core, Late 2012)

204

iMac/2.9GHz (27-inch, quad-core, Late 2012)

201

iMac/2.9GHz (21.5-inch, quad-core, Late 2012)

180

   

*Customize to build model.

Lower results are better. Best result in bold. Reference models in italics.

Aperture 3.5.1 import/process

Mac model

Result (seconds)

iMac/3.4GHz (27-inch, quad-core, Late 2013)

81.3

iMac/3.2GHz (27-inch, quad-core, Late 2013)

82.7

iMac/2.9GHz (21.5-inch, quad-core, Late 2013)

91.0

iMac/2.7GHz (21.5-inch, quad-core, Late 2013)

96.7

Mac Pro/3.0GHz (eight-core, Late 2013)*

72.0

iMac/3.5GHz (27-inch, quad-core i7, 8GB RAM, 3TB Fusion Drive, 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 780M, Late 2013)*

70.7

iMac/3.2GHz (27-inch, quad-core, Late 2012)

96.3

iMac/2.9GHz (27-inch, quad-core, Late 2012)

92.0

iMac/2.9GHz (21.5-inch, quad-core, Late 2012)

102.3

   

*Customize to build model.

Lower results are better. Best result in bold. Reference models in italics.

Cinebench R15 CPU

Mac model

Result (seconds)

iMac/3.4GHz (27-inch, quad-core, Late 2013)

81.7

iMac/3.2GHz (27-inch, quad-core, Late 2013)

86.3

iMac/2.9GHz (21.5-inch, quad-core, Late 2013)

88.0

iMac/2.7GHz (21.5-inch, quad-core, Late 2013)

100.0

Mac Pro/3.0GHz (eight-core, Late 2013)*

37.0

iMac/3.5GHz (27-inch, quad-core i7, 8GB RAM, 3TB Fusion Drive, 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 780M, Late 2013)*

 

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