The new 24-inch M1‌ ‌iMac‌ significantly outperforms models with Intel chips

If early CPU scores for the new 24-inch iMac powered by Apple’s M1 chip are anything to go by, shoppers can expect a substantial speed increase over the previous generation.


  • Benchmark scores for the new iMac and iPad Pro are similar.
  • Both machines are powered by Apple’s M1 chip.
  • The M1 iMac outperforms Intel-used versions handily.

Apple’s new 24-inch M1 iMac is a screamer

Just as the new all-in-one desktop from Apple is being readied for shipping starting May 21, the first Geekbench scores have now appeared online, as per MacRumors and 9to5Mac. With a single-core score of around 1,724 and an average multi-core score of 7,453, the new M1 iMac is on par with Geekbench scores for the ‌M1‌ MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac mini.

Scores for the M1 iMac are aggregated from three benchmarks that are currently available.

The benchmarks indicate that the tested M1 iMac is most likely a baseline model featuring an 8-core CPU with a base frequency of 3.2GHz. The machine is configured with sixteen gigabytes of unified memory and runs the macOS Big Sur 11.3 software.

How does the new iMac compare to the previous 21.5-incher boosted with Intel’s Core i7 CPU?

The new M1 iMac: The Geekbench scores

M1 iMac Geekbench scores:

  • M1 iMac single-core: 1,724
  • M1 iMac multi-core: 7,453

And these are the scores for the previous-generation flagship 21.5-inch iMac model:

  • 21.5-inch iMac (2019) single-core: 1,109
  • 21.5-inch iMac (2019) multi-core: 6,014

In other words, the new M1 iMac is 56 faster in single-core CPU performance than the Intel-based 21.5-inch ‌iMac‌ from 2019 that it’s replacing and 24 percent faster in multi-core.

24-inch M1 iMac vs. 27-inch Intel iMac

And when it comes to the flagship 27-inch iMac which Apple has yet to refresh, that Intel-based machine has a single-core score of 1,247 and a multi-core score of 9,002.

MacRumors comments:

Compared to the current high-end 27-inch ‌iMac‌, the ‌M1‌ iMac outperforms in single-core performance, but it is lagging behind the tenth-generation Comet Lake Intel chip in multi-core performance. The ‌M1‌ ‌iMac‌’s single-core performance is 38 percent faster, but the Intel ‌iMac‌’s multi-core performance is 25 percent faster.

Again, Apple is yet to drop the Intel chip from the 27-inch iMac. And when it does, chances are that the computer will use a souped-up version of the M1 chip, or perhaps a future Apple M2 chip, to drive that high-resolution screen and replace discreet GPUs that power it.

With these scores, the ‌M1‌ ‌iMac‌ is not going to be able to replace the high-end 27-inch ‌iMac‌ because it lags behind in multi-core performance, but Apple is working on higher-end Apple silicon chips for desktop machines and we’ll likely see an even more powerful Apple-designed chip introduced when Apple is ready to replace the 27-inch ‌iMac‌ with a new model.

And when it comes to lower-end 27-inch ‌iMac‌s, the new M1 iMac outperforms the 6-core Intel models in both single and multi-core performance (the new iMac has two more cores).

Geekbench scores for other Apple products

For comparison’s sake, here are the CPU scores for other Apple products:

  • 21.5-inch iMac (2019) with Intel’s Core i3: 3,329
  • 21.5-inch (2019) with Intel’s Core i7: 6,400
  • 16-inch MacBook Pro (2019) with Intel’s Core i9: 6,819
  • M1 iPad Pro (2021): 7,200
  • M1 MacBook Air (2020): 7,580
  • M1 Mac mini (2020): 7,346
  • iPad Pro with the A12Z Bionic (2019): 4,656
  • iPad Air (2020): 4,246

Single-core score is the most important metric here and that’s one area where Apple-designed chips outperform the competition. In fact, benchmarks from 2020 show the Apple M1 chip outperforming every Mac ever made in single-core scores.

Can Geekbench be trusted?

It’s worth underscoring that Geekbench is a synthetic benchmark that measures performance in ideal conditions. In many cases, an overall CPU score on Geekbench can be used to compare CPU performance between similarly designed systems, such as the old and new iMacs.

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However, synthetic benchmarks don’t take into account real-life factors influencing CPU speed, like what you do on your system, the number of apps running in the background and so forth.

When will the new 24-inch M1 iMac launch?

The new M1 iMac was unveiled during Apple’s “Spring Loaded” online product presentation that took place on April 20, 2021. It’s available in three configurations ($1,299, $1,499 and $1,699), with the baseline one sporting Apple’s M1 chip with eight CPU cores and seven GPU cores.

Among the features that are shared across all three models are 8GB/16GB of unified memory, a 24-inch Retina display with 4.5K resolution and two Thunderbolt/USB4 ports.