Three reasons to buy the M1 Mac mini instead of the 24-inch iMac
Macworld|September 2021
The 24-inch iMac is tempting, but you can spend your money smarter.
KAREN HASLAM

After more than a decade with the same design (fave.co/3rIvBJe), the iMac finally has a brand-new look, and it’s stunning (fave.co/3AvIV7y). The 2021 iMac also has Apple’s super-fast M1 processor, a bigger display with even more pixels, a much-needed update to the FaceTime camera, and some pretty awesome audio capabilities. But is this enough, or would you be better off spending your money elsewhere?

1. PERFORMANCE AND PRICE

One thing is clear: The M1 chip is far superior to the 8th-generation Intel quad-core and 6-core options in the iMacs it replaces. If you are just seeking a new iMac to replace an older generation of iMac, then you won’t be disappointed in the speed boost.

There is little to distinguish the iMac from the other M1 Macs, though. We have tested all the M1 Macs and found their Geekbench scores to be similar— it’s the same chip after all—even when you consider that the MacBook Air lacks a fan, which could theoretically mean that machine is throttled when the going gets tough. The lack of fan is probably why MacBook Air lags behind a bit in terms of graphics tests, even when you compare the 8-core GPU against the same 8-core GPU.

So, what of the 24-inch iMac, which benefits from even better cooling than that offered by the MacBook Pro? We’ve run benchmarks and they have pretty much proven the theory. Here’s how those speed tests compare:

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