What you need to know
- Max Tech has put Apple's new 10-core iMac through its paces.
- The results might surprise you.
- Max Tech says that the 10-core processor is not worth the $400 price jump.
Max Tech has conducted tests of Apple's 5K iMac to see if the 10-core Intel i9 processor is worth the $400 price jump. As it turns out, it probably isn't.
Apple announced its new iMacs in August, with new 10th generation Intel processors, nano-texture glass options and a 1080p FaceTime HD camera.
If you're curious about the iMac as a whole, then you should definitely check out our 2020 iMac Review, which it aced with an excellent score. Apple's last intel iMac is definitely its best.
Max Tech's recent testing is explicitly aimed at Apple's processor options. Apple offers users both the 3.8GHz 8-core 10th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz and the 3.6GHz 10-core 10th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz, the latter of which is a $400 optional extra.
Max Tech put both options through their paces for a couple of weeks with a variety of tests:
In this video, we compare things like CPU performance, graphics performance, gaming performance, Xcode programming, Logic Pro X music production, Photoshop graphics design, Lightroom Classic photo editing, 3D graphics rendering with Blender, and video editing with Final Cut Pro X including H.264, HEVC, Canon RAW, R3D RAW and Canon eOS R5 10-bit 4:2:2 footage!
You can watch the full video below, but the bottom line is clear. The extra money is not worth it in this case. In testing, even of purely processor-based tasks, the difference between the two was minimal, and in Lightroom tests of exporting, the 10-core version was actually worse.
Max Tech says that the 10-core model isn't bad, only that the 8-core i7 is "incredibly powerful" and not limited in the same way as the 10-core. Graphics heavy testing only showed up better results for the 10-core i9 because of the better graphics card in the machine, as the processor on the 8-core model was not being maxed out.
In conclusion, Max Tech says that "100 percent of people" should instead spend the $400 upgrading the iMac's graphics or storage instead. You can see the full video below!
Bottom line: On the surface, this iMac looks just like any iMac from so many years past, but its what's inside that counts, and this little guy has a lot.
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