M1 iMac is Up to 56% Faster Than Prior-Generation High-End 21.5-Inch iMac

Apple’s M1 iMacs are set to start delivering to customers next week, and ahead of the official launch day, benchmarks for the machines have been showing up on Geekbench, likely from reviewers who are testing them.


It will come as no surprise that ‌M1‌ iMac benchmarks are right on par with benchmarks for the ‌M1‌ MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini, coming in with an average single-core score of 1724 and an average multi-core score of 7453, aggregated from three benchmarks that are currently available.

Benchmarks are for the iMac21,1, which is likely the entry-level option with an 8-core CPU, a 7-core GPU, and two Thunderbolt ports. The ‌M1‌ ‌iMac‌ benchmarks list 8 CPU cores and a base frequency of 3.2GHz, and they’re running macOS 11.3.


‌M1‌ ‌iMac‌


The 24-inch ‌M1‌ ‌iMac‌ significantly outperforms the 2019 21.5-inch ‌iMac‌ with an Intel chip that it’s replacing, and it’s going to be a solid upgrade over all older 21.5-inch machines.

The previous-generation high-end 21.5-inch ‌iMac‌ earned a single-core score of 1109 and a multi-core score of 6014, so the ‌M1‌ ‌iMac‌ is 56 percent faster when it comes to single-core performance and 24 percent faster when it comes to multi-core performance.


2019 high-end 21.5-inch Intel ‌iMac‌


Compared to the current high-end 27-inch ‌iMac‌, the ‌M1‌ Mac outperforms in single-core performance, but it is lagging behind the 10th-generation Comet Lake Intel chip in multi-core performance. The high-end 27-inch ‌iMac‌ earned a single-core score of 1247 and a multi-core score of 9002.

The ‌M1‌ ‌iMac‌’s single-core performance is 38 percent faster, but the Intel ‌iMac‌’s multi-core performance is 25 percent faster.

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.

The ‌M1‌ ‌iMac‌ does outperform lower-end 27-inch ‌iMac‌ models with Intel chips, beating the 6-core Intel models in both single and multi-core performance.

Pricing on the ‌M1‌ iMacs starts at $1,299 for the entry-level model and $1,499 for the version with an 8-core GPU, two additional USB-C ports, Gigabit Ethernet, and additional color options. ‌M1‌ ‌iMac‌ models ordered today will ship out in June, but those who preordered will soon be receiving their machines, and we’ll learn more about them when reviews go live.