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iMac Memory Benchmarks

More memory equals a faster Mac. It has been our company mantra for quite a long time and the iMac computer is no exception. Having more memory is always a benefit, even if you are only able to add/replace one memory module at a time. How much memory you install and when you do it is entirely up to you and your budget.

The 27" iMac 3.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo from Late 2009 completed the Photoshop Action Test Medium in almost half the time going from the stock 4GB to a maximized 16GB of memory while the Mid 2007 24" iMac 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo speeds along 2.5 times faster by replacing the stock 1GB of RAM with the 6GB maximum (following the OWC MaxRAM guidelines).

With the release of the latest 2011 iMac and the availablity of 8GB memory modules, it is now possible to install a whopping 32GB of memory into these powerhouse machines. Going from 4GB to 16GB makes the Photoshop Medium Action Test complete in half the time. The jump from 16GB to 32GB halves that time again! That's over 4 times faster overall!

There is hardly any better return on investment you can make for your iMac than when you boost its memory. It is economical, easy to install, and gives a real performance boost that you’ll immediately appreciate.

More Memory = Faster Mac.



OWC offers memory upgrades available up to 32.0GB to make your iMac screaming fast!

OWC's FREE detailed step-by-step installation videos guide you through upgrading your iMac.

 

Speed Up your Actions to Save Time

Lower times are better.

Adding more memory to your new iMac
can make a dramatic increase in performance.

 

Boost Your Graphics for Gaming

Higher results are better.

Additional memory helps to increase graphics frame rates as well.

 

Get More Out of Your Previous Generation iMac.


Lower times are better.

Or make your previus generation iMac feel like new again by adding more memory for better performance.

See What SSD Can Do For You!

Lower times are better.

By replacing the stock hard drive on a 2.93GHz 27" iMac Core i7 with an OWC Mercury Extreme SSD, speed test results were 20-40% faster still!

Now Available: Add a High-Performance eSATA Port to Your 2010 Apple iMac 27" to Give Your iMac Blazing Speed.
Other World Computing's Turnkey Upgrade Program for the 2010 Apple iMac 27" allows you to customize your iMac with a high-performance eSATA interface port, OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSDs up to 480GB, hard drives up to 2TB, and/or OWC Memory Upgrades up to 16GB complete with shipping and warranty. Check out our read/write testing of various enclosures via the eSATA interface port:

Pass-Through


Utilizing an OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro Dual with a single 240GB Mercury Extreme Pro SSD installed.

OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro Mini


Utilizing the 240GB OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro mini 'Quad Interface' SSD Portable Storage Solution

OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro


Utilizing the 2.0TB OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro
'Quad Interface' 7200RPM Storage Solution

Other World Computing Benchmark Result Tables

Looking to delve deeper? Unlike most benchmarking sites, we put every configuration of the iMac to the test so you can see exactly what your machine is capable of with additional memory.

Jump to Results:

See Benchmark Results for Other Models:


"Adobe Photoshop CS5 Medium Action Test" Results

This test measures the time (in seconds) it takes to execute a custom action script comprising of 45 commonly-used, memory-intensive processes on a 17,500 pixel wide image using Adobe Photoshop CS5. It is designed to represent a system-straining photo editing session of a graphic artist on an iMac machine such as with multiple images, images with multiple layers, or large images such as retail signage, movie posters, event signage, promotional banners and more. These same type of results can be expected from video production suites and other 64 bit applications.

No other processes are running in the background besides those that keep the machine itself running. Memory Usage is left at the default 71% of system memory. Increasing this slider can speed up the test when more memory has been added to the system, however with lower memory amounts, make sure you're leaving enough resources for any additional processes running.

History and cache performance preferences are set as follows:
History States: 20
Cache Levels: 3
Cache Tile Size: 1028K

The only scratch disk used for the purposes of this test is the boot drive itself. No additional drives are installed in the system. Increased performance can be achieved through the use of additional scratch disks. For more information on optimizing your Mac for Adobe Photoshop CS5, we suggest checking out Lloyd Chambers' Mac Performance Guide article Optimizing Photoshop CS5 Performance.

Lower times are better.

RAM Configuration 1.0GB 2.0GB 4.0GB 6.0GB 8.0GB 12.0GB 16.0GB 24.0GB 32.0GB
27" iMac Late 2012
3.4 GHz Quad Intel Core i7 (iMac13,2)
147.59 146.21 139.85 122.19 111.24
27" iMac Late 2012
3.2 GHz Quad Intel Core i5 (iMac13,2)
268.42 261.45 239.78 175.96 125.26
27" iMac Late 2012
2.9 GHz Quad Intel Core i5 (iMac13,2)
273.83 269.91 245.45 186.02 138.35
27" iMac Mid 2011
3.4 GHz Quad Intel Core i7 (iMac12,2)
525.04 437.93 358.05 291.66 265.13 TBD TBD
27" iMac Mid 2011
3.1 GHz Quad Intel Core i5 (iMac12,2)
529.31 456.00 378.56 294.27 273.16 204.46 159.50
27" iMac Mid 2011
2.7 GHz Quad Intel Core i5 (iMac12,2)
576.05 497.18 419.64 322.29 300.17 TBD TBD
21.5" iMac Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Quad Intel Core i7 (iMac12,1)
557.94 489.10 413.81 307.60 286.65 210.18 150.99
21.5" iMac Mid 2011
2.7 GHz Quad Intel Core i5 (iMac12,1)
504.50 434.43 368.31 297.56 280.32 TBD TBD
21.5" iMac Mid 2011
2.5 GHz Quad Intel Core i5 (iMac12,1)
576.12 482.86 430.03 319.92 294.17 232.45 180.26
27" iMac Mid 2010
2.93 GHz Quad Intel Core i7 (iMac11,3)
556.18 476.18 423.55 325.14 310.61
27" iMac Mid 2010
2.8 GHz Quad Intel Core i5 (iMac11,3)
560.47 480.26 428.72 325.81 311.95
27" iMac Mid 2010
3.20 GHz Intel Core i3 (iMac11,3)
605.35 538.23 479.18 365.82 347.78
21.5" iMac Mid 2010
3.20 GHz Intel Core i3 (iMac11,2)
616.26 541.56 487.10 383.60 352.92
21.5" iMac Mid 2010
3.06 GHz Intel Core i3 (iMac11,2)
594.38 508.98 468.27 367.88 349.96
27" iMac Late 2009
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7 (iMac11,1)
575.96 447.09 403.13 329.95 309.60 229.73 165.78
27" iMac Late 2009
2.66 GHz Intel Core i5 (iMac11,1)
601.57 492.10 415.00 343.38 318.19

27" iMac Late 2009
3.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac10,1)

733.59 652.37 493.68 409.17 389.43

27" iMac Late 2009
3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac10,1)

697.93 659.36 589.74 448.10 416.77
21.5" iMac Late 2009
3.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac10,1)
662.56 580.82 516.25 433.30 396.64

21.5" iMac Late 2009
3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac10,1)

726.06 706.60 622.54 464.19 426.72
24" iMac Early 2009
2.93 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac9,1)
1186.17 676.25 646.64 559.63
24" iMac Early 2009
2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac9,1)
1390.16 760.25 738.81 660.08
20" iMac Early 2009
2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac9,1)
1389.87 762.94 732.38 653.81
24" iMac Early 2008
3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac8,1)
1107.86 612.28 607.37
24" iMac Early 2008
2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac8,1)
1637.38 864.32 809.36

20" iMac Early 2008
2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac8,1)

2125.32 1683.87 918.68 905.80
24" iMac Mid 2007
2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac7,1)
1693.92 1374.08 871.00 771.23
24" iMac Mid 2007
2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac7,1)
2090.50 1667.46 1042.98 836.94
20" iMac Mid 2007
2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac7,1)
3012.17 1792.22 1012.81 799.55

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"Adobe Photoshop CS5 Small Action Test" Results

This test measures the time (in seconds) it takes to execute a custom action script comprising of 45 commonly-used, memory-intensive processes on a 12,500 pixel wide image using Adobe Photoshop CS5. It is designed to represent a system-straining photo editing session of a graphic artist on an iMac machine. These same type of results can be expected from video production suites and other 64 bit applications.

No other processes are running in the background besides those that keep the machine itself running. Memory Usage is left at the default 71% of system memory. Increasing this slider can speed up the test when more memory has been added to the system, however with lower memory amounts, make sure you're leaving enough resources for any additional processes running.

History and cache performance preferences are set as follows:
History States: 20
Cache Levels: 3
Cache Tile Size: 1028K

The only scratch disk used for the purposes of this test is the boot drive itself. No additional drives are installed in the system. Increased performance can be achieved through the use of additional scratch disks. For more information on optimizing your Mac for Adobe Photoshop CS5, we suggest checking out Lloyd Chambers' Mac Performance Guide article Optimizing Photoshop CS5 Performance.

Lower times are better.

RAM Configuration 1.0GB 2.0GB 4.0GB 6.0GB 8.0GB 12.0GB 16.0GB 24.0GB 32.0GB
27" iMac Late 2012
3.4 GHz Quad Intel Core i7 (iMac13,2)
77.66 71.12 60.08 59.96 59.28
27" iMac Late 2012
3.2 GHz Quad Intel Core i5 (iMac13,2)
134.45 109.60 72.86 66.35 66.15
27" iMac Late 2012
2.9 GHz Quad Intel Core i5 (iMac13,2)
137.25 110.42 73.07 67.87 67.81
27" iMac Mid 2011
3.4 GHz Quad Intel Core i7 (iMac12,2)
170.62 168.00 150.37 123.67 79.25 TBD TBD
27" iMac Mid 2011
3.1 GHz Quad Intel Core i5 (iMac12,2)
180.84 177.48 151.17 130.69 83.84 82.77 80.99
27" iMac Mid 2011
2.7 GHz Quad Intel Core i5 (iMac12,2)
196.67 192.71 161.61 143.38 86.66 TBD TBD
21.5" iMac Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Quad Intel Core i7 (iMac12,1)
183.90 176.12 153.91 134.01 81.61 77.85 77.76
21.5" iMac Mid 2011
2.7 GHz Quad Intel Core i5 (iMac12,1)
183.43 166.13 149.57 129.03 84.63 TBD TBD
21.5" iMac Mid 2011
2.5 GHz Quad Intel Core i5 (iMac12,1)
199.50 191.55 167.83 143.62 95.44 90.29 89.05
27" iMac Mid 2010
2.93 GHz Quad Intel Core i7 (iMac)
190.02 174.23 166.84 138.20 91.33
27" iMac Mid 2010
2.8 GHz Quad Intel Core i5 (iMac11,3)
201.20 192.32 172.52 146.37 97.16
27" iMac Mid 2010
3.20 GHz Intel Core i3 (iMac11,3)
222.59 220.41 195.63 175.01 127.93
21.5" iMac Mid 2010
3.20 GHz Intel Core i3 (iMac11,2)
223.50 220.82 194.64 171.24 129.83
21.5" iMac Mid 2010
3.06 GHz Intel Core i3 (iMac11,2)
219.24 232.72 192.63 170.49 132.37
27" iMac Late 2009
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7 (iMac11,1)
205.13 163.06 161.72 141.75 94.52 88.09 88.08
27" iMac Late 2009
2.66 GHz Intel Core i5 (iMac11,1)
225.62 186.49 181.95 159.66 105.54

27" iMac Late 2009
3.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac10,1)

275.93 238.21 217.76 193.98 147.07

27" iMac Late 2009
3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac10,1)

311.37 274.47 269.75 209.13 164.83
21.5" iMac Late 2009
3.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac10,1)
239.61 271.38 236.08 201.15 153.01

21.5" iMac Late 2009
3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac10,1)

285.01 303.79 299.84 215.93 167.27
24" iMac Early 2009
2.93 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac9,1)
373.28 261.58 250.74 239.99
24" iMac Early 2009
2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac9,1)
455.19 339.91 299.27 240.88
20" iMac Early 2009
2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac9,1)
453.62 336.17 300.52 241.27
24" iMac Early 2008
3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac8,1)
357.77 244.99 219.88
24" iMac Early 2008
2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac8,1)
473.08 301.10 297.88

20" iMac Early 2008
2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac8,1)

1010.54 516.57 339.51 327.47
24" iMac Mid 2007
2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac7,1)
816.91 437.10 324.00 317.04
24" iMac Mid 2007
2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac7,1)
987.30 507.33

399.06

333.58
20" iMac Mid 2007
2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac7,1)
1030.84 546.50 408.42 378.46
24" iMac Late 2006 'White'
2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac6,1)
1260.41 618.47 517.95
20" iMac Late 2006 'White'
2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac5,1)
1272.80 691.70 568.30
17" iMac Late 2006 'White'
2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac5,1)
1282.75 657.30 577.20
17" iMac Early 2006 'White'
1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo (iMac 4,1)
2121.34 1128.38

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"HALO Frame Rate Test" Results

Recognized as one of the greatest achievements in video game entertainment, the Xbox version of Halo has sold over 3 million units and continues to be a top seller. The Macintosh version adds 16-person online multiplayer, new vehicles, new weapons, new maps, customizable multiplayer games, the precision of playing with a mouse and keyboard and more.

For our testing, we ran the Timedemo Benchmark from the Intel-native version of the popular game, Halo v2.0.3
When Halo is launched in Timedemo mode, it will run through four fixed cinematic sequences from the game. Once it's finished, it generates a file called Timedemo.txt in the ~Documents\Halo directory. The contents of the file can be examined to see what settings were used in the timedemo, including what the average framerate for the demo was.

Results are the average frame rate (in frames per second) achieved. Higher results are better.

RAM Configuration 1.0GB 2.0GB 4.0GB 6.0GB 8.0GB 12.0GB 16.0GB 24.0GB 32.0GB
27" iMac Late 2012
3.4 GHz Quad Intel Core i7 (iMac13,2)
251.87 251.29 251.57 256.12 259.86
27" iMac Late 2012
3.2 GHz Quad Intel Core i5 (iMac13,2)
207.26 217.43 235.11 239.41 239.86
27" iMac Late 2012
2.9 GHz Quad Intel Core i5 (iMac13,2)
201.18 205.05 228.58 228.63 229.35
27" iMac Mid 2011
3.4 GHz Quad Intel Core i7 (iMac12,2)
264.59 265.88 268.22 268.56 269.35 TBD TBD
27" iMac Mid 2011
3.1 GHz Quad Intel Core i5 (iMac12,2)
231.81 235.93 237.93 246.07 247.70 278.98 279.28
27" iMac Mid 2011
2.7 GHz Quad Intel Core i5 (iMac12,2)
229.10 241.14 245.46 247.86 250.24 TBD TBD
21.5" iMac Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Quad Intel Core i7 (iMac12,1)
253.67 253.82 259.73 299.99 301.02 304.68 306.81
21.5" iMac Mid 2011
2.7 GHz Quad Intel Core i5 (iMac12,1)
246.89 246.97 284.09 293.84 251.00 TBD TBD
21.5" iMac Mid 2011
2.5 GHz Quad Intel Core i5 (iMac12,1)
223.97 225.63 225.97 226.82 236.29 261.05 263.39
27" iMac Mid 2010
2.93 GHz Quad Intel Core i7 (iMac)
229.44 229.96 231.37 232.42 270.27
27" iMac Mid 2010
2.8 GHz Quad Intel Core i5 (iMac11,3)
209.71 215.95 215.55 218.53 249.17
27" iMac Mid 2010
3.20 GHz Intel Core i3 (iMac11,3)
178.57 193.77 193.84 194.28 221.21
21.5" iMac Mid 2010
3.20 GHz Intel Core i3 (iMac11,2)
189.61 190.47 193.81 212.01 220.32
21.5" iMac Mid 2010
3.06 GHz Intel Core i3 (iMac11,2)
186.72 189.66 189.50 189.95 212.80
27" iMac Late 2009
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7 (iMac11,1)
217.94 218.62 220.79 238.54 242.26 246.89 250.97
27" iMac Late 2009
2.66 GHz Intel Core i5 (iMac11,1)
215.22 216.59 219.53 232.08 239.11

27" iMac Late 2009
3.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac10,1)

196.56 196.58 197.16 197.31 198.00

27" iMac Late 2009
3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac10,1)

163.89 168.26 169.60 170.48 188.38
21.5" iMac Late 2009
3.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac10,1)
98.30 98.15 98.96 105.92 106.04

21.5" iMac Late 2009
3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac10,1)

80.79 82.78 84.18 97.30 97.98
24" iMac Early 2009
2.93 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac9,1)
172.60 175.51 177.23 177.44
24" iMac Early 2009
2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac9,1)
85.16 90.56 95.87 96.98
20" iMac Early 2009
2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac9,1)
86.09 91.95 96.15 97.12
24" iMac Early 2008
3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac8,1)
146.76 148.20 148.82
24" iMac Early 2008
2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac8,1)
132.04 132.65 137.44

20" iMac Early 2008
2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac8,1)

86.04 86.09 86.97 90.50
24" iMac Mid 2007
2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac7,1)
131.77 137.45 137.79 156.07
24" iMac Mid 2007
2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac7,1)
116.92 123.79 124.74 124.85
20" iMac Mid 2007
2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac7,1)
83.68 84.37 85.08 90.79
24" iMac Late 2006 'White'
2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac6,1)
63.56 63.96 64.87
20" iMac Late 2006 'White'
2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac5,1)
86.90 90.20 91.70
17" iMac Late 2006 'White'
2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac5,1)
88.12 90.31 90.36
17" iMac Early 2006 'White'
1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo (iMac 4,1)
58.86 59.03

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Want to check your setup against our numbers?
System preferences were also all left as close to factory defaults as possible with few exceptions. Under the Energy Saver pane, sleep has been turned off for both display and hard disk. No network connection or airport settings are enabled in order to eliminate outside influences to the tests.

If a specific program is used outside its factory default, the change is noted at the beginning of each test.


Memory & Hard Drive Upgrades
for iMac Models

 

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