One question I’m always asked after publishing benchmarks like this is whether it’s worth getting the high-end model or not. Usually the answer comes down to personal preference and budget; in other words, the answer is “it depends”. To help answer that answer this time around I thought I’d try something new; I divided the cost of each iMac by its Geekbench score, coming up with a “Cost Per Point” metric. Below is a chart that lists the Cost Per Point (in cents) for each model, including the base model with a 2GB RAM upgrade.
If you’re looking for the best value in terms of raw processing power, the best iMac to get is the base model. Even after upgrading the RAM in the base model it’s still more cost-effective than the mid-range 20-inch iMac.
That said, this analysis only takes processor and memory performance into account. It doesn’t take into account the extra features you get with each model, like larger hard drives and better video cards. Personally, I’d recommend the 2.66 GHz 20-inch iMac; the extra hard drive space and video memory offset the slight disadvantage it has against the 2.4 GHz 20-inch iMac in terms of value.