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Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020 Review: The All-in-One gets a matte display

5K, Core i9 & Radeon RX 5700 XT. In addition to several hardware upgrades, Apple's all-in-one system is also available with a matte display for the first time. But is it really worth the additional price and how do the other components perform?
Andreas Osthoff 👁, Daniel R Deakin (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 🇩🇪 🇮🇹 ...

Apple frequently refreshes its all-in-one system with new hardware upgrades. Today we have a closer look at the larger 27-inch unit, which gets new CPUs and GPUs, but it is also the first iMac with an optional matte screen. Apple calls it nano-texture glass and charges more than 600 Euros (~$709) for the option. We obviously want to find out whether this price is justified. We do not test many desktop systems, so we will mainly focus on the performance compared to other desktop and laptop components.

Our test unit ticked pretty much every box in the options list, only the storage and the RAM can be upgraded even further. Our unit with the Core i9 processor, Radeon RX 5700 XT GPU, 32 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD storage, 10 Gb/s Ethernet, and the nano-texture glass retails for 5,500 Euros (~$6,503). The base configuration of the iMac 27 currently starts at around 2,000 Euros (~$2,365).

Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
Processor
Intel Core i9-10910 10 x 3.6 - 5 GHz, Comet Lake-S
Memory
32768 MB 
, DDR4-2666, Dual-Channel, 4 Slots
Display
27.00 inch 16:9, 5120 x 2880 pixel 218 PPI, APPAE32, IPS, glossy: no, 60 Hz
Mainboard
Intel Z490 (Comet Lake PCH-H)
Storage
Apple SSD AP1024, 1024 GB 
, 980 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Comet Lake PCH-H - cAVS
Connections
6 USB 3.1 Gen2, 2 Thunderbolt, 2 DisplayPort, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm stereo, Card Reader: SD, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Broadcom NetXtreme BCM57765 Gigabit Ethernet PCIe (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Broadcom 802.11ac (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 203 x 650 x 516 ( = 7.99 x 25.59 x 20.31 in)
Operating System
Apple macOS 10.15 Catalina
Camera
Webcam: 1080p
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
8.917 kg ( = 314.54 oz / 19.66 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
5500 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case & Connectivity: Apple keeps the same design

The design of the Apple iMac did not change since 2015, but there is still not much to criticize about the design of the all-in-one system. The case is almost completely made of aluminum and the build quality is perfect. However, the iMac 27 is no lightweight at almost 9 kg, but at least the power adapter is already included inside the case. You can change the tilting angle to a certain degree (see pictures below), but you cannot adjust the height. It is possible to use Vesa adapters for optional mounts.

Tilting angles
Tilting angles

The black bezels still quickly attract fingerprints. We already know this from previous iMacs, and the problem is even more pronounced with the optional matte screen. You should therefore touch the case at the bottom of the aluminum case when you want to adjust the screen, otherwise you will have to clean the bezel.

The port situation did not change, either, and the port selection is very good with 2x Thunderbolt 3, four regular USB-A connectors, and an Ethernet port (either 1 Gb/s or 10 Gb/s), but it is still tricky to access them. It is basically impossible to attach a USB drive without looking or turning the display around. We recommend a docking station.

Bezels quickly attract fingerprints
Bezels quickly attract fingerprints
All ports are located at the rear
All ports are located at the rear
4x RAM slots
4x RAM slots

The iMac is hardly convincing in terms of maintenance. You can only access the four RAM slots via a small cover at the rear. To remove the cover, you must push a little button above the connector for the power cable. The mechanism was a bit tight on our unit. All in all, the maintenance is still extremely limited for a desktop PC.

SD-Card Reader

You still get a full-size SD-card reader at the rear. The access is obviously a problem, but the performance is very good. We measured transfer rates of more than 200 MB/s with our reference card from Toshiba (Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II).

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
197 MB/s ∼100%
Dell XPS 17 9700 Core i7 RTX 2060 Max-Q
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
195.4 MB/s ∼99% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
164 MB/s ∼83% -17%
Apple iMac Pro
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
85.6 MB/s ∼43% -57%
Average of class Desktop
  (18.6 - 197, n=15)
57.4 MB/s ∼29% -71%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
223 MB/s ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
198.6 MB/s ∼89% -11%
Dell XPS 17 9700 Core i7 RTX 2060 Max-Q
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
197.9 MB/s ∼89% -11%
Apple iMac Pro
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
88 MB/s ∼39% -61%
Average of class Desktop
  (20.1 - 223, n=15)
66.5 MB/s ∼30% -70%

Communication - iMac without Wi-Fi 6

Like the current MacBooks, Apple still uses a Wi-Fi 5 module from Broadcom. The Wi-Fi signal in general is very stable and we did not notice any problems during our review period even when we downloaded larger files for our gaming benchmarks, but the transfer rates are still not very high. We already know this phenomenon from previous iMac models. Our standardized Wi-Fi test with the router Netgear Nighthawk RAX120 only determined around 600-700 Mb/s. The current MacBook Pro 16 with its Wi-Fi 5 module is a bit faster, but we have also included two Windows laptops in the comparison chart. Their Wi-Fi 6 modules manage much higher transfer rates.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
1431 (1279min - 1644max) MBit/s ∼100% +98%
Dell XPS 17 9700 Core i7 RTX 2060 Max-Q
Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650s
1321 (1216min - 1419max) MBit/s ∼92% +83%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Broadcom 802.11ac
817 (806min - 821max) MBit/s ∼57% +13%
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
Broadcom 802.11ac
723 MBit/s ∼51%
Apple iMac Pro
Broadcom 802.11ac
721 MBit/s ∼50% 0%
Average Broadcom 802.11ac
  (570 - 817, n=12)
696 MBit/s ∼49% -4%
Average of class Desktop
  (301 - 1317, n=18)
596 MBit/s ∼42% -18%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
1431 (566min - 1523max) MBit/s ∼100% +138%
Dell XPS 17 9700 Core i7 RTX 2060 Max-Q
Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650s
862 (667min - 971max) MBit/s ∼60% +43%
Apple iMac Pro
Broadcom 802.11ac
713 MBit/s ∼50% +18%
Average Broadcom 802.11ac
  (461 - 785, n=12)
645 MBit/s ∼45% +7%
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
Broadcom 802.11ac
602 MBit/s ∼42%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Broadcom 802.11ac
581 (533min - 616max) MBit/s ∼41% -3%
Average of class Desktop
  (172 - 1165, n=18)
482 MBit/s ∼34% -20%

Webcam - Apple now uses a 1080p camera

Apple upgraded the webcam of the iMac, but the jump is not huge. Instead of the old 720p webcam, you now get a 1080p module. The quality is a bit better compared to many notebooks, but it is not a really good camera, either. There are no space restrictions here, and especially in the current time with more home office work we would have liked to see a much better camera, for example a front camera from Apple's iPhone portfolio.

ColorChecker
4.8 ∆E
7.7 ∆E
8.1 ∆E
11.3 ∆E
11.6 ∆E
8.1 ∆E
5.1 ∆E
5.8 ∆E
7.2 ∆E
10.4 ∆E
7.3 ∆E
7.2 ∆E
4 ∆E
10.6 ∆E
4.8 ∆E
12.3 ∆E
7.6 ∆E
15.6 ∆E
16.7 ∆E
17.9 ∆E
17.6 ∆E
17.8 ∆E
14.2 ∆E
10.2 ∆E
ColorChecker Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020: 10.16 ∆E min: 4.02 - max: 17.9 ∆E

Input Devices

The input devices did not change. You can choose between two keyboards (with and without numpad), the Magic Mouse 2, and the Magic TrackPad 2. The functionality of the three input devices (all wireless) is good, but the keyboard does not offer much key travel and is not illuminated. There are better desktop keyboards, especially if you want to write longer texts. The location of the charging port at the bottom of the Magic Mouse 2 is still inconvenient and Apple still uses the old Lightning connector instead of a more modern USB-C port.

Display - iMac with 5K Retina Screen

Subpixel array
Subpixel array
Only minor backlight bleeding
Only minor backlight bleeding

The 27-inch 5K panel did not change. The resolution is still 5120x2880 pixels (16:9) and there are no scaling issues in macOS. It is still a glossy panel by default, but now you can select the matte nano-texture glass for 609 Euros (~$720). Many manufacturers use additional matte filters, but the nano-texture is etched into the glass in this case. This process is supposed to ensure the same picture quality you get with a glossy screen. But does it work?

Not completely. The subjective picture impression is still very good, but the picture just does not look as vivid. Bright surfaces also look a bit grainy, but this is hard to notice from a regular viewing distance. Still, the matte panel works extremely well in bright rooms or when the iMac is located close to a window and we would always prefer it over a glossy screen for work. However, you have to decide for yourself whether you want to pay more than 600 Euros (~$709) for this feature.

There is hardly any visible backlight bleeding, despite the large panel and the high luminance. We can detect PWM flickering at a brightness of 66% or lower, but the high frequency of more than 22 kHz should not cause any problems.

504
cd/m²
543
cd/m²
533
cd/m²
478
cd/m²
529
cd/m²
491
cd/m²
509
cd/m²
513
cd/m²
497
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
APPAE32
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 543 cd/m² Average: 510.8 cd/m² Minimum: 4.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 529 cd/m²
Contrast: 1102:1 (Black: 0.48 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 1.4 | 0.6-29.43 Ø5.7
ΔE Greyscale 2.2 | 0.64-98 Ø5.9
100% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 80% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.32
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
APPAE32, IPS, 5120x2880, 27.00
Apple iMac Pro
APPAE1E, , 5120x2880, 27.00
Apple iMac Retina 5K 27 Late 2015 3.2 GHz M390 MK472D/A
5120x2880, 27.00
Apple iMac Retina 5K 27 Late 2014 i7-4790K M295X
APPAE01, IPS, 5120x2880, 27.00
Response Times
-54%
-40%
-22%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
27.2 (12.4, 14.8)
30.4 (14, 16.4)
-12%
30.4 (11.6, 18.8)
-12%
27 (10, 17)
1%
Response Time Black / White *
12.4 (4.8, 7.6)
18.8 (11.2, 7.6)
-52%
20.8 (4.4, 16.4)
-68%
18 (4, 14)
-45%
PWM Frequency
22730 (66)
208.3 (50)
-99%
Screen
-30%
-19%
-41%
Brightness middle
529
496
-6%
429
-19%
Brightness
511
468
-8%
424
-17%
Brightness Distribution
88
87
-1%
95
8%
Black Level *
0.48
0.54
-13%
0.58
-21%
Contrast
1102
919
-17%
740
-33%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
1.4
3
-114%
2.8
-100%
2.66
-90%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
2.6
5.8
-123%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.2
2.5
-14%
1.97
10%
3.47
-58%
Gamma
2.32 95%
2.22 99%
2.13 103%
2.32 95%
CCT
6826 95%
6824 95%
6889 94%
7127 91%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
80
79.4
-1%
79
-1%
66.2
-17%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
100
100
0%
99.97
0%
99.62
0%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
0.9
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-42% / -35%
-30% / -23%
-32% / -35%

* ... smaller is better

We use the professional CalMAN software in combination with the X-Rite i1 Pro 2 spectrophotometer. Compared to the iMac Pro we reviewed back in 2018, the panel ID has changed and we measured better values across the board. The brightness is a bit higher (more than 500 cd/m² on average) and the black value is a bit lower, so the contrast ratio has improved. The color accuracy is very good out of the box and calibration is not necessary, because all the color deviations are already lower than 3 (compared to the P3 reference color space). We can only improve the color accuracy slightly with our own calibration; the corresponding profile can be downloaded for free in the box above.

The panel, like most Apple devices, targets the P3 color gamut and it is completely covered according to CalMAN (2D comparison). This means the panel is very well suited for picture or video-editing. True Tone (automatic adjustment of the color temperature to the environment) is supported and also very comfortable in practice, but you should deactivate this feature for the most accurate color presentation.

Color deviations after calibration
Color deviations after calibration
vs. P3: 99.3% (CalMAN, 2D comparison)
vs. P3: 99.3% (CalMAN, 2D comparison)

The viewing-angle stability on large desktop systems is not quite as important as on mobile devices, but Apple's iMac does not reveal any weaknesses here with its IPS display.

vs. sRGB: 100% (Argyll, 3D comparison)
vs. sRGB: 100% (Argyll, 3D comparison)
vs. AdobeRGB: 80% (Argyll, 3D comparison)
vs. AdobeRGB: 80% (Argyll, 3D comparison)
Viewing-angle stability
Viewing-angle stability

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
12.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 4.8 ms rise
↘ 7.6 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 17 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (24.4 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
27.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 12.4 ms rise
↘ 14.8 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 19 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (38.7 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 22730 Hz ≤ 66 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 22730 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 66 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 22730 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9725 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance - iMac with 10 CPU cores

Processor - Intel Core i9-10910

The processor is an Intel Core i9-10910, which is exclusive for Apple's iMac. The CPU shows many similarities with the regular Core i9-10900 but has a slightly lower clock, so the i9-10910 should also consume a little less power. It offers 10 cores (20 threads) with a maximum clock of 5.0 GHz. Please see our tech section for more information.

Cinebench R15 Single
Cinebench R15 Single
Cinebench R15 Multi
Cinebench R15 Multi

A look at the performance figures under load quickly shows that the performance utilization of the Core i9-10910 is not perfect and the cooling is insufficient. The performance is stable, but the power consumption levels off at around 115-120 W under sustained workloads, which corresponds with a clock of 4.0-4.1 GHz. We can record a maximum of 160 W at the beginning of the benchmarks.

040080012001600200024002800320036004000Tooltip
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020 Intel Core i9-10910, Intel Core i9-10910: Ø2171 (2137.21-2302.16)
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M Intel Core i9-9880H, Intel Core i9-9880H; macOS 10.15.1: Ø1407 (1386-1435)
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M Intel Core i9-9880H, Intel Core i9-9880H; Win 10: Ø1296 (1268.87-1362.31)
Apple iMac Pro Intel Xeon W-2145, Intel Xeon W-2145; Win10: Ø1694 (1676.31-1706.48)
Apple iMac Pro Intel Xeon W-2145, Intel Xeon W-2145; macOS: Ø1687 (1658.31-1695.42)
Schenker XMG Core 15 GK5NR0O AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, AMD Ryzen 7 4800H: Ø1866 (1840.26-1926.13)
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X AMD Ryzen 7 5800X, AMD Ryzen 7 5800X: Ø2579 (2569.37-2596.05)
Nvidia Titan RTX AMD Ryzen 9 5900X, AMD Ryzen 9 5900X: Ø3681 (3663.67-3707.14)
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X AMD Ryzen 9 3950X, AMD Ryzen 9 3950X: Ø3967 (3957.65-3990.42)

The performance utilization of the Core i9 in the current iMac 27 is still decent and there is just a small drop under sustained workloads. Compared to the iMac Pro 2018 and especially the most powerful MacBook Pro 16, there is a significant performance advantage. So much about the current Intel situation, but then there is the problem with AMD CPUs. Even a 45 W processor like the Ryzen 7 4800H is not much slower, and AMD's desktop counterparts are just much faster. AMD also managed to improve the single-core performance noticeably with the brand-new models like the Ryzen 7 5800X and is now ahead of Intel in these scenarios as well. According to rumors, there will be an iMac with Apple's own silicone next year, and we are already curious to see what the performance will be like.

Cinebench R20: CPU (Single Core) | CPU (Multi Core)
Cinebench R15: CPU Single 64Bit | CPU Multi 64Bit
Blender 2.79: BMW27 CPU
7-Zip 18.03: 7z b 4 -mmt1 | 7z b 4
Geekbench 5.3: 64 Bit Single-Core Score | 64 Bit Multi-Core Score
HWBOT x265 Benchmark v2.2: 4k Preset
LibreOffice : 20 Documents To PDF
R Benchmark 2.5: Overall mean
Cinebench R20 / CPU (Single Core)
Nvidia Titan RTX
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
639 Points ∼100% +28%
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
520 Points ∼81% +4%
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
Intel Core i9-10910
501 Points ∼78%
Average Intel Core i9-10910
 
501 Points ∼78% 0%
Dell XPS 17 9700 Core i7 RTX 2060 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-10875H
483 Points ∼76% -4%
Schenker XMG Core 15 GK5NR0O
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
475 Points ∼74% -5%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Intel Core i9-9880H
453 Points ∼71% -10%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Intel Core i9-9880H
442 Points ∼69% -12%
Average of class Desktop
  (156 - 501, n=17)
354 Points ∼55% -29%
Cinebench R20 / CPU (Multi Core)
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
9075 Points ∼100% +75%
Nvidia Titan RTX
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
8629 Points ∼95% +66%
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
Intel Core i9-10910
5196 Points ∼57%
Average Intel Core i9-10910
 
5196 Points ∼57% 0%
Schenker XMG Core 15 GK5NR0O
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
4435 Points ∼49% -15%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Intel Core i9-9880H
3422 Points ∼38% -34%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Intel Core i9-9880H
3057 Points ∼34% -41%
Dell XPS 17 9700 Core i7 RTX 2060 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-10875H
3329 Points ∼37% -36%
Average of class Desktop
  (304 - 5196, n=17)
1647 Points ∼18% -68%
Cinebench R15 / CPU Single 64Bit
Nvidia Titan RTX
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
271 Points ∼100% +26%
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
Intel Core i9-10910
215 Points ∼79%
Average Intel Core i9-10910
 
215 Points ∼79% 0%
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
209 Points ∼77% -3%
Dell XPS 17 9700 Core i7 RTX 2060 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-10875H
202 Points ∼75% -6%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
Intel Core i7-9750H
191 Points ∼70% -11%
Schenker XMG Core 15 GK5NR0O
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
187 Points ∼69% -13%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Intel Core i9-9880H
184 Points ∼68% -14%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Intel Core i9-9880H
184 Points ∼68% -14%
Apple iMac Pro
Intel Xeon W-2145
177 Points ∼65% -18%
Apple iMac Retina 5K 27 Late 2014 i7-4790K M295X
Intel Core i7-4790K
168 Points ∼62% -22%
Apple iMac Retina 5K 27 Late 2015 3.2 GHz M390 MK472D/A
Intel Core i5-6500
151 Points ∼56% -30%
Average of class Desktop
  (68 - 218, n=41)
148 Points ∼55% -31%
Cinebench R15 / CPU Multi 64Bit
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
4002 Points ∼100% +74%
Nvidia Titan RTX
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
3717 Points ∼93% +61%
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
Intel Core i9-10910
2302 (2137min - 2302max) Points ∼58%
Average Intel Core i9-10910
 
2302 Points ∼58% 0%
Schenker XMG Core 15 GK5NR0O
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
1926 Points ∼48% -16%
Apple iMac Pro
Intel Xeon W-2145
1686 Points ∼42% -27%
Apple iMac Pro
Intel Xeon W-2145
1678 Points ∼42% -27%
Dell XPS 17 9700 Core i7 RTX 2060 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-10875H
1452 (1339.18min - 1451.59max) Points ∼36% -37%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Intel Core i9-9880H
1435 (1401min - 1435max) Points ∼36% -38%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Intel Core i9-9880H
1362 (1268.87min - 1362.31max) Points ∼34% -41%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
Intel Core i7-9750H
1074 (967.16min - 1074.4max) Points ∼27% -53%
Apple iMac Retina 5K 27 Late 2014 i7-4790K M295X
Intel Core i7-4790K
806 Points ∼20% -65%
Average of class Desktop
  (188 - 2302, n=43)
731 Points ∼18% -68%
Apple iMac Retina 5K 27 Late 2015 3.2 GHz M390 MK472D/A
Intel Core i5-6500
548 Points ∼14% -76%
Blender 2.79 / BMW27 CPU
Average of class Desktop
  (208 - 3527, n=18)
1022 Seconds * ∼100% -391%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
Intel Core i7-9750H
475 Seconds * ∼46% -128%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Intel Core i9-9880H
343 Seconds * ∼34% -65%
Dell XPS 17 9700 Core i7 RTX 2060 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-10875H
330 Seconds * ∼32% -59%
Schenker XMG Core 15 GK5NR0O
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
255 Seconds * ∼25% -23%
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
Intel Core i9-10910
208 Seconds * ∼20%
Average Intel Core i9-10910
 
208 Seconds * ∼20% -0%
Nvidia Titan RTX
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
141 Seconds * ∼14% +32%
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
125.8 Seconds * ∼12% +40%
7-Zip 18.03 / 7z b 4 -mmt1
Nvidia Titan RTX
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
6785 MIPS ∼100% +19%
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
Intel Core i9-10910
5690 MIPS ∼84%
Average Intel Core i9-10910
 
5690 MIPS ∼84% 0%
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
5340 MIPS ∼79% -6%
Dell XPS 17 9700 Core i7 RTX 2060 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-10875H
5316 MIPS ∼78% -7%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Intel Core i9-9880H
4837 MIPS ∼71% -15%
Schenker XMG Core 15 GK5NR0O
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
4664 MIPS ∼69% -18%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
Intel Core i7-9750H
4657 MIPS ∼69% -18%
Average of class Desktop
  (2132 - 6171, n=19)
3913 MIPS ∼58% -31%
7-Zip 18.03 / 7z b 4
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
99467 MIPS ∼100% +64%
Nvidia Titan RTX
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
95123 MIPS ∼96% +57%
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
Intel Core i9-10910
60747 MIPS ∼61%
Average Intel Core i9-10910
 
60747 MIPS ∼61% 0%
Schenker XMG Core 15 GK5NR0O
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
48326 MIPS ∼49% -20%
Dell XPS 17 9700 Core i7 RTX 2060 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-10875H
41529 MIPS ∼42% -32%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Intel Core i9-9880H
39455 MIPS ∼40% -35%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
Intel Core i7-9750H
29516 MIPS ∼30% -51%
Average of class Desktop
  (6040 - 60747, n=19)
20428 MIPS ∼21% -66%
Geekbench 5.3 / 64 Bit Single-Core Score
Nvidia Titan RTX
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
1669 Points ∼100% +21%
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
Intel Core i9-10910
1381 Points ∼83%
Average Intel Core i9-10910
 
1381 Points ∼83% 0%
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
1306 Points ∼78% -5%
Dell XPS 17 9700 Core i7 RTX 2060 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-10875H
1305 Points ∼78% -6%
Schenker XMG Core 15 GK5NR0O
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
1188 Points ∼71% -14%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Intel Core i9-9880H
1115 Points ∼67% -19%
Average of class Desktop
  (388 - 1745, n=14)
960 Points ∼58% -30%
Geekbench 5.3 / 64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Nvidia Titan RTX
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
12990 Points ∼100% +27%
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
12363 Points ∼95% +21%
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
Intel Core i9-10910
10244 Points ∼79%
Average Intel Core i9-10910
 
10244 Points ∼79% 0%
Dell XPS 17 9700 Core i7 RTX 2060 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-10875H
7825 Points ∼60% -24%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Intel Core i9-9880H
7109 Points ∼55% -31%
Schenker XMG Core 15 GK5NR0O
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
6906 Points ∼53% -33%
Average of class Desktop
  (1353 - 10244, n=14)
3814 Points ∼29% -63%
HWBOT x265 Benchmark v2.2 / 4k Preset
Nvidia Titan RTX
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
25.5 fps ∼100% +52%
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
Intel Core i9-10910
16.8 fps ∼66%
Average Intel Core i9-10910
 
16.8 fps ∼66% 0%
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
15.8 fps ∼62% -6%
Schenker XMG Core 15 GK5NR0O
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
12.1 fps ∼47% -28%
Dell XPS 17 9700 Core i7 RTX 2060 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-10875H
11.1 fps ∼44% -34%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Intel Core i9-9880H
10.6 fps ∼42% -37%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
Intel Core i7-9750H
7.1 fps ∼28% -58%
Average of class Desktop
  (0.65 - 16.8, n=21)
5.24 fps ∼21% -69%
LibreOffice / 20 Documents To PDF
Average of class Desktop
  (55.8 - 367, n=10)
110 s * ∼100% -59%
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
Intel Core i9-10910
69.4 s * ∼63%
Average Intel Core i9-10910
 
69.4 s * ∼63% -0%
Schenker XMG Core 15 GK5NR0O
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
60.16 s * ∼55% +13%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Intel Core i9-9880H
58.9 s * ∼54% +15%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Intel Core i9-9880H
16.5 s * ∼15% +76%
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
53.57 s * ∼49% +23%
Nvidia Titan RTX
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
47.65 s * ∼43% +31%
Dell XPS 17 9700 Core i7 RTX 2060 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-10875H
47.1 s * ∼43% +32%
R Benchmark 2.5 / Overall mean
Average of class Desktop
  (0.548 - 1.885, n=14)
0.944 sec * ∼100% -72%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Intel Core i9-9880H
0.6904 sec * ∼73% -26%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Intel Core i9-9880H
0.661 sec * ∼70% -21%
Dell XPS 17 9700 Core i7 RTX 2060 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-10875H
0.59 sec * ∼63% -8%
Schenker XMG Core 15 GK5NR0O
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
0.583 sec * ∼62% -6%
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
Intel Core i9-10910
0.548 sec * ∼58%
Average Intel Core i9-10910
 
0.548 sec * ∼58% -0%
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
0.524 sec * ∼56% +4%
Nvidia Titan RTX
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
0.4513 sec * ∼48% +18%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
21190
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
8131
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
57842
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
2.44 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
25.57 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
159.9 fps
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
163.9 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
215 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.5 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
2302 Points
Help

System Performance - iMac with fast SSD and plenty of RAM

Disk Speed Test
Disk Speed Test

Thanks to the powerful components and especially the fast PCIe-SSD, the iMac is a very responsive system, and we did not notice any problems during our review period. Windows 10 also works very well when you run Windows 10 via BootCamp and it is a good choice when you want (or have to) use applications that are not available for Apple's operating system. The results in the synthetic benchmarks (PCMark) are also very good, so there do not seem to be any limitations caused by the BootCamp drivers.

The iMac 27 is only available with SSDs, but a storage capacity of 256 GB for the base model (more than 2000 Euros, ~$2,365) is not much. However, you can get up to 8 TB SSD storage, even though the prices are extremely high at about ~3000 Euros (~$3,548) for the jump from 512 GB to 8 TB.

Note: The smaller iMac with the 21.5-inch screen is also shipped with a small 256 GB SSD by default, but there is still the option for a 1 TB FusionDrive, which is a combination of SSD cache and HDD storage. We cannot recommend this option, because the subjective system performance can be much worse in certain situations.

PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
Radeon RX 5700 XT (Desktop), i9-10910, Apple SSD AP1024
9318 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i9-10910, AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT (Desktop)
 
9318 Points ∼100% 0%
Apple iMac Pro
Pro Vega 56, W-2145
7511 Points ∼81% -19%
Dell XPS 17 9700 Core i7 RTX 2060 Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q, i7-10875H, Micron 2200S MTFDHBA1T0TCK
6781 Points ∼73% -27%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
GeForce GTX 1650 Mobile, i7-9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5171 Points ∼55% -45%
Average of class Desktop
  (972 - 11987, n=29)
3988 Points ∼43% -57%
Productivity
Apple iMac Pro
Pro Vega 56, W-2145
8515 Points ∼100% +42%
Dell XPS 17 9700 Core i7 RTX 2060 Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q, i7-10875H, Micron 2200S MTFDHBA1T0TCK
7683 Points ∼90% +28%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
GeForce GTX 1650 Mobile, i7-9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
6489 Points ∼76% +8%
Average of class Desktop
  (2883 - 8515, n=29)
6124 Points ∼72% +2%
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
Radeon RX 5700 XT (Desktop), i9-10910, Apple SSD AP1024
5995 Points ∼70%
Average Intel Core i9-10910, AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT (Desktop)
 
5995 Points ∼70% 0%
Essentials
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
Radeon RX 5700 XT (Desktop), i9-10910, Apple SSD AP1024
9773 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i9-10910, AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT (Desktop)
 
9773 Points ∼100% 0%
Dell XPS 17 9700 Core i7 RTX 2060 Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q, i7-10875H, Micron 2200S MTFDHBA1T0TCK
9507 Points ∼97% -3%
Apple iMac Pro
Pro Vega 56, W-2145
9398 Points ∼96% -4%
Average of class Desktop
  (4418 - 10598, n=29)
7776 Points ∼80% -20%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
GeForce GTX 1650 Mobile, i7-9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
7548 Points ∼77% -23%
Score
Apple iMac Pro
Pro Vega 56, W-2145
6050 Points ∼100% +3%
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
Radeon RX 5700 XT (Desktop), i9-10910, Apple SSD AP1024
5859 Points ∼97%
Average Intel Core i9-10910, AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT (Desktop)
 
5859 Points ∼97% 0%
Dell XPS 17 9700 Core i7 RTX 2060 Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q, i7-10875H, Micron 2200S MTFDHBA1T0TCK
5672 Points ∼94% -3%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Radeon Pro 5500M, i9-9880H, Apple SSD AP1024 7171
5500 Points ∼91% -6%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
GeForce GTX 1650 Mobile, i7-9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4535 Points ∼75% -23%
Average of class Desktop
  (1658 - 7329, n=29)
4035 Points ∼67% -31%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Radeon Pro 5500M, i9-9880H, Apple SSD AP1024 7171
4812 Points ∼100% +6%
Apple iMac Pro
Pro Vega 56, W-2145
4614 Points ∼96% +1%
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
Radeon RX 5700 XT (Desktop), i9-10910, Apple SSD AP1024
4550 Points ∼95%
Average Intel Core i9-10910, AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT (Desktop)
 
4550 Points ∼95% 0%
Average of class Desktop
  (2575 - 5454, n=24)
4480 Points ∼93% -2%
Dell XPS 17 9700 Core i7 RTX 2060 Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q, i7-10875H, Micron 2200S MTFDHBA1T0TCK
4385 Points ∼91% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
GeForce GTX 1650 Mobile, i7-9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4241 Points ∼88% -7%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
Radeon RX 5700 XT (Desktop), i9-10910, Apple SSD AP1024
8396 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i9-10910, AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT (Desktop)
 
8396 Points ∼100% 0%
Apple iMac Pro
Pro Vega 56, W-2145
7689 Points ∼92% -8%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Radeon Pro 5500M, i9-9880H, Apple SSD AP1024 7171
7359 Points ∼88% -12%
Average of class Desktop
  (3014 - 10550, n=15)
5757 Points ∼69% -31%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
GeForce GTX 1650 Mobile, i7-9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4836 Points ∼58% -42%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
Radeon RX 5700 XT (Desktop), i9-10910, Apple SSD AP1024
4946 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i9-10910, AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT (Desktop)
 
4946 Points ∼100% 0%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Radeon Pro 5500M, i9-9880H, Apple SSD AP1024 7171
4900 Points ∼99% -1%
Apple iMac Pro
Pro Vega 56, W-2145
4327 Points ∼87% -13%
Average of class Desktop
  (1928 - 5418, n=31)
3725 Points ∼75% -25%
Dell XPS 17 9700 Core i7 RTX 2060 Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q, i7-10875H, Micron 2200S MTFDHBA1T0TCK
3649 Points ∼74% -26%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
GeForce GTX 1650 Mobile, i7-9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3417 Points ∼69% -31%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4946 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
8396 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4550 points
PCMark 10 Score
5859 points
Help
Apple SSD AP1024
DiskSpd seq_q8t1_read: 2964MB/s
DiskSpd seq_q8t1_write: 2355MB/s
DiskSpd seq_read: 1523MB/s
DiskSpd seq_write: 1718MB/s
DiskSpd 4k_q32t16_read: 1017MB/s
DiskSpd 4k_q32t16_write: 1208MB/s
DiskSpd 4k_q1t1_read: 8.21MB/s
DiskSpd 4k_q1t1_write: 46MB/s
DiskSpd Loop seq_q8t1_read: 2891MB/s

DiskSpd Read Loop, Queue Depth 8

020040060080010001200140016001800200022002400260028003000Tooltip
: Ø2891 (1919.46-2965.79)

GPU Performance - AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT

GPU-Z Radeon RX 5700 XT
GPU-Z Radeon RX 5700 XT

The AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT is an upper mainstream desktop graphics card, but the core clock is much lower compared to other versions of the RX 5700 XT and the iMac also falls behind in the benchmarks. Similar to the processor, we suspect that there is a limitation of the power consumption, and the graphics drivers might have an impact as well.

The old Radeon Pro Vega 56 of the 2018 iMac Pro is just beaten, and the current MacBook Pro 16 is much slower. Depending on the benchmarks, the performance sits between the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile and the RTX 2070 Mobile.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super (Desktop), AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
35377 Points ∼100% +28%
Average AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT (Desktop)
  (27697 - 35930, n=4)
33696 Points ∼95% +22%
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT (Desktop), Intel Core i9-10910
27697 Points ∼78%
Asus ROG Strix G15 G512LW
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, Intel Core i7-10750H
27298 Points ∼77% -1%
Apple iMac Pro
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 56, Intel Xeon W-2145
25589 Points ∼72% -8%
Schenker XMG Core 15 GK5NR0O
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
21748 Points ∼61% -21%
Dell XPS 17 9700 Core i7 RTX 2060 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q, Intel Core i7-10875H
18863 Points ∼53% -32%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M, Intel Core i9-9880H
14725 Points ∼42% -47%
Average of class Desktop
  (484 - 58698, n=31)
11025 Points ∼31% -60%
3DMark
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super (Desktop), AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
9623 Points ∼100% +59%
Average AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT (Desktop)
  (6050 - 9059, n=5)
8264 Points ∼86% +37%
Asus ROG Strix G15 G512LW
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, Intel Core i7-10750H
7826 Points ∼81% +29%
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT (Desktop), Intel Core i9-10910
6050 Points ∼63%
Schenker XMG Core 15 GK5NR0O
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
5848 Points ∼61% -3%
Apple iMac Pro
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 56, Intel Xeon W-2145
5465 Points ∼57% -10%
Dell XPS 17 9700 Core i7 RTX 2060 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q, Intel Core i7-10875H
5357 Points ∼56% -11%
Average of class Desktop
  (120 - 18863, n=18)
3997 Points ∼42% -34%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M, Intel Core i9-9880H
3364 Points ∼35% -44%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super (Desktop), AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
24640 Points ∼100% +24%
Average AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT (Desktop)
  (19850 - 26327, n=5)
24634 Points ∼100% +24%
Asus ROG Strix G15 G512LW
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, Intel Core i7-10750H
21004 Points ∼85% +6%
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT (Desktop), Intel Core i9-10910
19850 Points ∼81%
Apple iMac Pro
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 56, Intel Xeon W-2145
17797 Points ∼72% -10%
Schenker XMG Core 15 GK5NR0O
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
15746 Points ∼64% -21%
Dell XPS 17 9700 Core i7 RTX 2060 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q, Intel Core i7-10875H
14241 Points ∼58% -28%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M, Intel Core i9-9880H
10399 Points ∼42% -48%
Average of class Desktop
  (433 - 43404, n=33)
7471 Points ∼30% -62%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Average AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT (Desktop)
  (115246 - 149005, n=4)
136621 Points ∼100%
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super (Desktop), AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
128683 Points ∼94%
Asus ROG Strix G15 G512LW
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, Intel Core i7-10750H
125143 Points ∼92%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M, Intel Core i9-9880H
65776 Points ∼48%
Schenker XMG Core 15 GK5NR0O
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
62787 Points ∼46%
Dell XPS 17 9700 Core i7 RTX 2060 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q, Intel Core i7-10875H
53724 Points ∼39%
Average of class Desktop
  (3366 - 182888, n=28)
26132 Points ∼19%
3DMark 11 Performance
24377 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
17390 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
6525 points
Help

Gaming Performance

The gaming performance of the iMac is decent. We tried multiple titles running Windows 10, and 1080p with the maximum settings is no problem at all. Many titles even run smoothly in our 4K setting. There were some warning messages about the driver version, but the games still ran without a problem (like Doom Eternal or Horizon: Zero Dawn).

05101520253035404550556065707580Tooltip
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020 Radeon RX 5700 XT (Desktop), i9-10910, Apple SSD AP1024: Ø71.6 (68-75)
low med. high ultraQHD4K
The Witcher 3 (2015) 331 130 71.6 44 fps
Dota 2 Reborn (2015) 105 107 98.5 103 78.4 fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 272 118 96 48 fps
X-Plane 11.11 (2018) 79.2 65.6 55.7 41.5 fps
Far Cry 5 (2018) 126 106 100 95 76 40 fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018) 158 114 105 89 61 32 fps
The Division 2 (2019) 119 98 69 49 26 fps
GRID 2019 (2019) 216 135 110 80 74 44 fps
Doom Eternal (2020) 265 167 149 143 111 58 fps
Gears Tactics (2020) 242 154 107 78.7 45.7 24.2 fps
F1 2020 (2020) 283 214 169 108 80 47 fps
Horizon Zero Dawn (2020) 160 107 89 67 48 25 fps

Emissions - Pulsating fans under load

System Noise

The two fans run all the time, but the quiet murmur while idling is only audible in a very quiet environment. However, the fans will quickly ramp up under load and we measured the maximum 43.6 dB(A) in combined CPU and GPU workloads in macOS. The fan speed is increases seamlessly, so it depends how long the load period is. We measured the maximum noise after around 1.5 minutes. We also noticed that the fan noise fluctuates between ~38 and the maximum 43.6 dB(A) (also macOS), which can be annoying. We did not notice any other electronic noises.

Noise Level

Idle
29.7 / 29.7 / 29.7 dB(A)
Load
35 / 43.6 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM-1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 29.1 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2032.431.830.733.230.22526.529.32624.730.33130.129.327.128.830.74030.326.625.827.728.25026.227.525.825.3276326.929.723.923.524.38024.526.725.322.12510027.728.32523.525.212527.633.322.92223.916028.434.223.522.325.420026.833.7222223.925029.43423.822.624.931526.932.521.121.223.640025.630.520.520.522.650025.530.720.619.22263025.431.219.81921.680025.531.41918.221.810002329.318.217.919.8125028.334.318.917.123.1160026.933.117.516.623.5200033.638.417.716.326.5250025.531.316.11619.6315020.428.11615.616.6400017.222.815.715.516500016.119.515.515.515.6630016.220.315.715.515.6800016.220.115.715.515.61000015.617.415.515.415.51250015.516.215.315.315.31600015.215.615.11515.2SPL38.243.629.729.133.2N2.54.11.31.21.7median 25.5median 30.7median 18.2median 17.1median 21.8Delta4.75.332.53.9hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseApple iMac 27 Mid 2020

Temperature

Stress test
Stress test

The surface temperatures are obviously not that important on a desktop system compared to a laptop, and the temperatures we measured are completely okay.

However, the performance utilization in the stress test is not particularly good, because the processor only runs at about 65 Watts (10x 3.0 GHz), which is significantly below the TDP recommendation of 125 W. The graphics card also runs at about 50% of the maximum clock. All in all, this shows that the cooling solution of the iMac 27 is insufficient for the components.

 25.1 °C
77 F
25.8 °C
78 F
25.6 °C
78 F
 
 24.2 °C
76 F
25.3 °C
78 F
24.6 °C
76 F
 
 23.8 °C
75 F
24.7 °C
76 F
24.2 °C
76 F
 
Maximum: 25.8 °C = 78 F
Average: 24.8 °C = 77 F
24.4 °C
76 F
24.2 °C
76 F
24 °C
75 F
24.4 °C
76 F
24.5 °C
76 F
23.9 °C
75 F
23.6 °C
74 F
24.1 °C
75 F
23.6 °C
74 F
Maximum: 24.5 °C = 76 F
Average: 24.1 °C = 75 F
Room Temperature 19.8 °C = 68 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 36.9 °C / 98 F, compared to the average of 28.3 °C / 83 F for the devices in the class Desktop.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 39.9 °C / 104 F, compared to the average of 33.7 °C / 93 F, ranging from 25.2 to 47 °C for the class Desktop.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 50.1 °C / 122 F, compared to the average of 34.4 °C / 94 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 24.8 °C / 77 F, compared to the device average of 28.3 °C / 83 F.
Surface temperatures stress test (front)
Surface temperatures stress test (front)
Surface temperatures stress test (rear)
Surface temperatures stress test (rear)

Speakers

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2033.232.12524.728.53128.832.84027.733.85025.344.56323.560.78022.165.510023.572.41252273.316022.375.6200227525022.675.931521.273.740020.572.350019.272.16301975.180018.269.6100017.968.7125017.171.8160016.668.3200016.372.525001675.8315015.669.9400015.567.5500015.564630015.561.5800015.561.31000015.459.81250015.358.5160001567.2SPL29.182.9N1.262.1median 17.1median 71.8Delta2.53.33634.529.530.93130.229.830.629.434.728.345.226.557.325.562.523.667.722.167.323.569.62271.32170.620.974.219.872.818.970.418.573.318.273.417.771.617.371.417.369.71769.41769.41767.417.166.91768.317.166.417.163.11761.917.360.13082.31.360.7median 17.7median 69.41.92.3hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseApple iMac 27 Mid 2020Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (82.9 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(+) | good bass - only 2.6% away from median
(+) | bass is linear (4.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 1.7% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | reduced highs - on average 7.3% lower than median
(+) | highs are linear (5.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (7.8% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 0% of all tested devices in this class were better, 25% similar, 75% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 18%, worst was 38%
Compared to all devices tested
» 1% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 99% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 65%

Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (82.3 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(+) | good bass - only 2.3% away from median
(+) | bass is linear (5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.7% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (3.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.1% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (2.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (5.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 1% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 18%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 0% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 100% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 65%

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The consumption values are very similar to the old iMac 27 and lower compared to the iMac Pro. We measure a peak consumption of around 350 Watts under load, but it quickly levels off at around 250 Watts. We want to mention the extremely low consumption when the iMac is in stand-by or turned off. The iMac also performs much better than many compact notebooks in this respect.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.03 / 0.08 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 27.6 / 64.7 / 65.3 Watt
Load midlight 162 / 354 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020
i9-10910, Radeon RX 5700 XT (Desktop), Apple SSD AP1024, IPS, 5120x2880, 27.00
Apple iMac Pro
W-2145, Pro Vega 56, , , 5120x2880, 27.00
Apple iMac Retina 5K 27 Late 2015 3.2 GHz M390 MK472D/A
6500, Radeon R9 M390, Apple Fusion Drive 1TB (24 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD), , 5120x2880, 27.00
Average AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT (Desktop)
 
Average of class Desktop
 
Power Consumption
-37%
11%
0%
62%
Idle Minimum *
27.6
49.5
-79%
29.5
-7%
27.6
-0%
14.8 (1.9 - 49.5, n=28)
46%
Idle Average *
64.7
86.7
-34%
59.2
9%
64.7
-0%
20.4 (2 - 86.7, n=29)
68%
Idle Maximum *
65.3
88.9
-36%
68
-4%
65.3
-0%
21.7 (2.9 - 88.9, n=28)
67%
Load Average *
162
150.1
7%
126
22%
162
-0%
59.7 (8.6 - 162, n=28)
63%
Witcher 3 ultra *
247
Load Maximum *
354
508.5
-44%
231
35%
354
-0%
112 (9.5 - 509, n=29)
68%

* ... smaller is better

Pros

+ great design
+ excellent build quality
+ good system performance
+ great 5K screen with effective nano-texture glass
+ input devices with battery
+ great speakers

Cons

- very limited maintenance
- only one-year warranty
- pulsating fans under load
- cooling solution has problems with the components under load
- extremely high prices for optional upgrades, especially RAM & SSD
- bad access to the ports
- no Wi-Fi 6 and only Bluetooth 4.2

Verdict - Good desktop with a high price tag

In review: Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020. Test model courtesy of Apple Germany.
In review: Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020. Test model courtesy of Apple Germany.

Apple's iMac 27 is still a good all-in-one system and offers a great 5K screen and design. The integrated speakers are also excellent and many users won't need additional external speakers.

The problems start when we look at the performance of the components. Neither the CPU nor the GPU can utilize their full performance potential due to the limited cooling performance. Considering this, the optional components are not really worth it. The CPU comparison with current AMD models is another problem because they just offer much more performance. We are also not happy with the pulsating fans under combined workloads.

The iMac 27 is still a good all-in-one system in 2020, but you have to be careful with the components you select. The performance utilization of the optional components is not great.

Then there is the new nano-texture glass. Yes, the matte surface works well and the picture quality is just marginally worse compared to the glossy models, but the additional price is steep at more than 600 Euros (~$709). If you are interested in an iMac, you should save the money for the optional processors and graphics card and get more storage or RAM instead.

Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020 - 11/09/2020 v7
Andreas Osthoff

Chassis
88 / 98 → 90%
Keyboard
79%
Pointing Device
89%
Connectivity
67 / 81 → 82%
Weight
Battery
Display
93%
Games Performance
88%
Application Performance
91%
Temperature
90%
Noise
75%
Audio
91%
Camera
30 / 85 → 36%
Average
68%
86%
Desktop - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Apple iMac 27 Mid 2020 Review: The All-in-One gets a matte display
Andreas Osthoff, 2020-11-10 (Update: 2020-11-11)
Andreas Osthoff
Editor of the original article: Andreas Osthoff - Managing Editor Business Notebooks
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.