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A very quick look at the Retina iMac’s graphics performance

While I’m still busy setting up my Retina iMac—given I always do this by hand, it’s time consuming—I did take a few minutes to see how the graphics performance compares to that of my mid-2011 iMac.

To test the Macs, I use a visual benchmark called Unigine Valley. This benchmark puts the graphics card through a real workout, and is fun to watch while running. Before the results, here’s a quick comparison of my two iMacs:

2011 iMac 2014 iMac
CPU 3.4GHz Core i7 4.0GHz Core i7
RAM 16GB 24GB
Graphics AMD HD 6970M AMD R9 M295X
VRAM 2GB 4GB

And here’s how they did…

2011 iMac

2014 iMac

I’m no math whiz, but it looks like the new Retina iMac is over twice as fast in the graphics realm as my older machine. I knew it’d be faster, of course, but I wasn’t expecting that kind of speed up. Wow.

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  1. Ha! I tried this on my early 2011 17″ MacBook Pro (Os X 10.7) with 16GB of ram. After running ay about 8-15 fps for a while, it started runn at 1 (one!) fps. I eventually force quit it.

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