Reports began trickling out mid-week that some people who had placed orders for the new high end quad-core iMac Core i7 processors had been notified that their computers had finally shipped from the manufacturer in China. Now, the first benchmarks are coming to light, showing considerable speed bumps for the Apple's new top performer.
The Primate Labs Geekbench program provides a suite of tests for comparing single and multi-core processors in 32- and 64-bit versions. Users have run tests on their own computers and submitted them to Geekbenchs server, giving a good indication of performance irrespective of individual configurations. While it can be difficult to wad through all the results, Timon Royer put together a side by side comparison in a nice graphic (at the top of this post) which shows how significant the performance improvement really is. The score for the i7 (9638) compared to the i5 (7131) shows that the 2.8 GHz i7 performed 35% better than the 2.66 GHz i5... and that both leave the 3.33 GHz Core 2 Duo (5131) far behind.
The 27-inch 2.66 GHz Core i5 750 iMac has a suggested retail price of $1,999, with the 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7 860 processor available as a $200 upgrade. Both systems include:
- quad-core processor with 8MB shared L3 cache
- 27-inch 2560 x 1440 LED-backlit display
- 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM expandable to 16GB
- ATI Radeon HD 4850 discrete graphics; with 512MB GDDR3
- 1TB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm
- A slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD+ / -R DL/DVD+ / -RW/CD-RW)