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2010 Quad-Core iMac Compared to Mac Pro 3.33 GHz for RAW Processing

Last updated 2010-08-08 - Send Feedback
Related: iMac, Mac Pro, RAW

How does the iMac stack up against Apple’s previous top of the line Mac Pro Nehalem 3.33GHz?

For this test, I used a single hard drive in both Macs (no SSDs). The iMac had 16GB memory, the Mac Pro had 24GB memory.

Note that the Mac Pro is Apple’s previous fastest model, the quad-core Mac Pro Nehalem running at 3.33GHz. The 2010 Mac Pro offers a 6-core model at 3.33GHz.

For more comparisons, see the 2010 Mac Pro review, which includes the fast MPG Pro One iMac.

Analysis

The iMac quad-core Intel Core i7 gives nothing up to the quad-core Mac Pro on the CPU front.

The 3.33GHz Mac Pro ought to be 13.6% faster (based on clock speed), but it tests only 7-9% faster here. Usng a striped pair of SSDs did drop the Mac Pro time to 378 seconds, but that’s still only 10% faster than the iMac, below its 13.6% potential clock speed advantage.

The other implication is that a 2.66GHz or 2.93GHz Mac Pro would underperform the iMac. Not having either model, I can’t say for sure.

RAW-file Processing iMac quad-core vs Mac Pro
Seconds, lower is faster

The “Mac Pro 2.93 ESTIMATED” represents the expected speed of a Mac Pro running at 2.93GHz, based on the speed of the 3.33GHz model (a 2.93GHz Mac Pro was not actually tested). This helps keep the 2.93GHz iMac performance in perspective (same clock speed).

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