Which 2012 iMac is right for you? It all depends on your use case and what characteristics are most important, like bang for the buck. For example, although Apple’s price spread has an appealing linearity, parsing iMac benchmark performance by each model’s cost doesn’t deliver straight lines.
That said, the absolute performance leader is the top-end 27-inch iMac with the optional 3.4GHz (+$200) processor upgrade. However, with a Geekbench score of 12857 and priced at $2,199, bang for the buck at just 5.846 (table below) isn’t impressive.
Less attractive still are the numbers delivered by the two stock 27-inch iMac configurations.
Somewhat surprisingly, the new 27-inch iMac models aren’t that much faster than the new 21.5-inch iMac models. Only the low-end 27-inch iMac is significantly faster (13 percent) than the low-end 21.5-inch iMac. The other 27-inch models are only 3 to 4 percent faster than the equivalent 21.5-inch models — John Poole, founder, Geekbench
In fact, the best bangs for the buck are the 2.7GHz entry-level and 3.1GHz (+$200) processor upgraded 21-inch models with the later easily delivering the best value.
Of course, Geekbench is all about processor and memory performance, leaving GPU performance and screen size considerations out of my rather unscientific extension of the math…
Which 2012 iMac is most attractive to you?