iMac 2021 benchmarks just leaked — and there's a big surprise

iMac 2021
(Image credit: Apple)

Benchmark results for an unknown system with a new Core i9-10910 processor and AMD Radeon Pro 5700 XT graphics card suggest that we'll be getting at least one new Intel iMac sometime soon.

An initial report from Tom's Hardware spotted details of a benchmark score in Ashes of the Singularity, which shows a Jan. 25 entry for a desktop outfitted with an Intel Core i9-10910 Comet Lake CPU and an unannounced AMD Radeon Pro 5700 XT graphics card. 

Last summer, it was rumored that the Core i9-10910 was a new processor that could be exclusive to Apple. Sitting in between the 10th-generation Core i9-10900K and Core i9-10900, the Core i9-10910 is a 10-core processor, with a 3.6GHz clock speed that can be boosted to 4.7GHz.

With a likely TDP (thermal design power) of 95 watts, it's a good fit for the iMac's all-in-one design rather than the full tower design of the Mac Pro.

It's also the first indication of a new AMD graphics card, the Radeon Pro 5700 XT. This appears to be a Pro version of the already sold AMD 5700 XT. 

Though Apple isn't the only company to pair Intel processors with AMD graphics hardware, it's not uncommon for Apple to use the combination, especially with models that are just a bit different than those already on the market.

And if Apple is already in the benchmarking phase for a new iMac, it's likely that we'll see the new model officially announced sometime this spring.

What about Apple Silicon?

I know what you're thinking. How can there be a new Intel-powered iMac coming when Apple is moving all of its Macs to Apple Silicon?

We are expecting an ARM-powered iMac this spring, and we've seen plenty of rumors about a re-designed iMac with Apple Silicon inside in recent months.

As we saw in our Apple MacBook Air review, MacBook Pro review and Mac mini review, the new M1 chip is more than capable of taking on the Intel Core i3 and Core i5 processors used in equivalent laptops and mini PCs, making a strong first showing for the new Apple-designed hardware.

And we will be getting an Apple Silicon-powered iMac in the near future, because Apple has already announced its intentions of moving entirely to Apple chips by the end of 2022.

But we're not there yet, and Apple will continue to rely on Intel's desktop processors in the coming months before they have their own equivalent desktop-class processors ready to go. And a desktop-class Core i9 processor sounds like the perfect candidate to fill that gap in the coming months.

Brian Westover

Brian Westover is currently Lead Analyst, PCs and Hardware at PCMag. Until recently, however, he was Senior Editor at Tom's Guide, where he led the site's TV coverage for several years, reviewing scores of sets and writing about everything from 8K to HDR to HDMI 2.1. He also put his computing knowledge to good use by reviewing many PCs and Mac devices, and also led our router and home networking coverage. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he wrote for TopTenReviews and PCMag.