How powerful is the Apple iMac 2019?
- Apple is offering up 8th- and 9th-Generation Intel Core processors for some of the best CPU speeds available.
- The Apple iMac comes with 8GB DDR4 RAM by default, but can be upgraded all the way up to 64GB DDR4 memory.
- Wide selection of AMD graphics cards on offer, with Radeon Pro Vega 48 the most powerful.
The Apple iMac 2019 has a huge range of configuration options on offer, with the industry-leading 9th-Generation Intel Core processor running the show. The model we had in for review is a custom build, rocking an eight-core Core i9 chip with a boosted clock speed of 3.6 GHz. Making things even speedier is the 16GB DDR4 RAM, resulting in super-slick performance overall.
This configuration isn’t cheap, though. With the Radeon Pro Vega 48 and 512GB SSD included, this build costs a staggering £3413. Of course, you probably don’t need a configuration this powerful and could easily knock at least £1000 off this price and still get performance to suit your needs. For all of our benchmark tests, keep in mind we’re using a particularly powerful custom model of the iMac 2019.
- Want an iMac alternative? Check out our Best Desktop PC list
The range of configuration options is at least very useful, suiting a wide spectrum of creatives. Compare this to the Surface Studio 2, which limits you to a 7th-Generation Intel Core processor and the option of a 16GB or 32GB of RAM. As you can see in our benchmark results, the iMac trounced the top-spec Surface Studio 2, despite the latter having a more lofty price at £4749.
Geekbench 4 is CPU benchmark software that tests both the single- and multi-core performance of a computer’s processor. This equates to how able a computer is to process tasks quickly, whether we’re talking about managing multiple web browser tasks or ploughing through demanding editing suites. The Apple iMac 2019 showed far superior CPU speeds than the Surface Studio 2, demonstrating that it’s the better desktop for pure performance.
Annoyingly, both 3DMark and Cinebench no longer offer access for iMac GPU benchmark tests. We used Unigine Heaven instead, but since this isn’t our usual GPU benchmark test, we couldn’t compare the scores to other all-in-one desktops. This is frustrating, but we do at least know from testing that this model of the Apple iMac 2019 should still easily speed through media work when using the likes of Adobe’s creative suite.
Blackmagic measures the read and write speeds of a hard drive, which essentially means how quickly it can save and launch applications. This is important for media-focused machines, with the expectation that users will be using and transferring large multimedia files on a regular basis.
Blackmagic dished out a read speed of 1876.5MB/sec, which is underwhelming compared to the likes of the Surface Studio’s 3103MB/sec figure. Note, though, that I was forced to use CrystalDiskMark as the benchmark software to test the Surface Studio because Blackmagic isn’t supported by Windows, which isn’t ideal.
Fortunately, the read speeds were much more favourable for the Apple iMac 2019 at 2549MB/sec, which is among the best results in the desktops we’ve tested yet – for comparison, the Surface Studio spat out a meagre 956MB/sec.
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