Has Bare Feats helped you? How about donating to Bare Feats?

BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

SIX BENCHMARKS:
'late 2012' 27-inch iMac 3.4GHz i7
versus five recent Macs

Originally posted Monday, December 17th, 2012, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

Our 27-inch 'late 2012' iMac arrived on Saturday. We've been busy running benchmark apps as well as real-world pro app tests. This page is designed to give you a shapshot of the performance of the top-of-the-line 27-inch iMac 3.4GHz Quad-Core i7 with the GeForce GTX 680MX GPU (2G VRAM) and 1TB Fusion Drive. We ran six benchmark apps under OS X that you can download and run on your Mac.

GRAPH LEGEND
iMac 3.4 = 'late 2012' (27") iMac 3.4GHz Quad-Core i7, GeForce GTX 680MX GPU
MP 3.3 = 'mid 2010' Mac Pro 3.33GHz Hex-Core Xeon, Radeon HD 5870 GPU
iMac 2.9 = 'late 2012' (21.5") iMac 2.9GHz Quad-Core i5, GeForce GT 650M GPU
rMBP 2.7 = 'mid 2012' (15") Retina MacBook Pro 2.7GHz Quad-Core i7, GeForce GT 650M
mini 2.6 = 'late 2012' Mac mini 2.6GHz Quad-Core i7, Intel HD 4000 GPU
iMac 3.4 '11 = 'mid 2011' (27") iMac 3.4GHz Quad-Core i7, Radeon HD 6970M GPU

All Macs were running the latest version of OS X Mountain Lion.

Maxon's Cinebench 11.5 cross-platform benchmark uses code from Cinema 4D to stress all available cores of a CPU. Rather than time in seconds, it gives a speed rating. (HIGHER number rating is FASTER

The 6-core Mac Pro wins because it has more cores than the rest of the Macs. The iMac 2.9 i5 loses because it does not have Hyperthreading.

Geekbench 2.4 measures processor (integer and floating point speed) and memory (performance and bandwidth). It is multi-threaded and multi-core aware. The overall rating combines the four tests. We ran in 64 bit mode. (HIGHER number means FASTER.)

Again, the 6-core Mac Pro wins because it has more cores than the rest of the Macs. The iMac 2.9 i5 loses because it does not have Hyperthreading.

LuxRender's LuxMark 2 benchmarks OpenCL effects render speed. The test model used is Sala with 488,000 triangles. The results are measured in Thousands of Samples per Second. (HIGHER number means FASTER.

The newest, fastest iMac shines in this OpenCL test. That bodes well for users of pro apps that depend on OpenCL acceleration of certain visual effects.

Unigine Heaven 3 is a cross-platform benchmark that 'flies' through 26 scenes to measure DirectX or OpenGL performance. We ran the default setting at 1440x900 resolution. (HIGHER number in Frames per Second is FASTER)

The newest, fastest iMac shines in this OpenGL test.

Geeks3D has a free benchmark download call GpuTest containing three tests. FurMark is a very intensive OpenGL test that uses fur rendering algorithms to measure the performance of the graphics card. Fur rendering is especially adapted to overheat the GPU and that's why FurMark is also a perfect stability and stress test tool (also called GPU burner) for the graphics card. We ran at default settings at 2560x1440 (except in the case of the iMac 2.9 i5 which was forced to run at 1920x1080). HIGHER number in Frames per Second is FASTER.

We also ran GiMark which renders 100,000 instances of a mesh sphere made up of 128 triangles. We ran at default settings at 2560x1440 (except in the case of the iMac 2.9 i5 which was forced to run at 1920x1080). HIGHER number in Frames per Second is FASTER.

INSIGHTS
The newest, fastest CTO iMac, the 'late 2012' 3.4GHz Quad-Core i7 (Ivy Bridge) with the NVIDA GeForce TX 680MX, performs strongly in all tests. It was second only to the 6-core Mac Pro in the CPU tests (Cinebench and GeekBench) and beat all the other Macs in three out of four GPU tests, coming in second in the fourth GPU test.

An 8-core or 12-core Mac Pro with an 'alternative' GPU like the GeForce GTX 580 or Radeon HD 7970 might beat the newest, fastest iMac but you will spend a lot more money to get there. A lot more. Then again, if you own a fast Mac Pro already, maybe all you need is a faster GPU, more memory, and a screaming SSD boot drive.

MORE TO COME
As stated at the beginning, this is just a snapshot of performance. We've already run tests on the newest, fastest iMac using Aperture, Final Cut Pro X, Motion, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, After Effects, PhotoZoom, and more. We will post those results tomorrow. We haven't forgotten you hard-core gamers. Though Heaven is a good predictor of game performance, we've run tests with World of Warcraft (Pandaria), Dirt 2, X-Plane 10, Portal 2. These all run under OS X. Suggestions are welcome, especially if you can offer useful benchmarking methods. At some point we'll install Windows 7 or 8 on a Boot Camp partition to road tests some of the games and apps not available under OS X.

Since we provided the links to the above benchmarks, you can run the same tests on your current Mac. We'd like to see your results so we can build a database for past and present models of Mac. If you need more details on our test procedure, contact us.

Thoughts? Questions? Contact
Also, you can follow him on
Twitter @barefeats

WHERE TO BUY NEW APPLE PRODUCTS
Help us earn a commission by ordering your Apple products using this link:

For UK readers, visit Apple Store UK.

WHERE TO BUY MEMORY UPGRADES FOR 2012 IMAC
OWC has an upgrade kit for the 21.5" iMac. It requires disassembly but they provide the tools and the installation video. They also offer memory upgrade kits for the 27" iMac.

Check with Trans International for memory kits for the 2012 iMac 27" and other Mac models.

MaxUpgrades has memory kits for various models of iMac.

Has Bare Feats helped you? How about helping Bare Feats?

copyright 2012 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
Email