Core i3 or Core i5 iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by BrandinoMino, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    #1
    I know this has probably been answered a billion times, but I need the answer for my specific needs.

    My daily use will be:

    Web browsing
    iTunes
    Watching HD Movies
    Bit Torrent
    HandBrake
    Dvd Burning
    Windows Parallels
    Social Networking
    iPhoto

    and thats basicially it.

    Can someone tell me if I really need the Core i5 2.8ghz, or should choose the Core i3 3.2ghz. Mind you, I dont wanna max out the machine with daily use...but dont want to overkill it.

    Thanks.
     
  2. macrumors regular

    Krad3130

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winter Park, FL
    #2
    Me too??

    I am very curious about this myself. I know I want a 27 inch without question, but I don't know wether I need and i5 or not? My needs are pretty much the same as the OP. I am waiting though for the revision on the iMac before I mac a decision. Even after the new machines come out I will still most likely go to refurbished route...WAAAYYYY too good of a deal for any machine you get on a refurb :D
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    JamesGorman

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    #3
    Id go with an i5. It will last you longer, and gives you the option to do heavier lifting if need be.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    300D

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #4
    Neither, i7 is the lowest anyone should buy.
     
  5. macrumors 601

    BornAgainMac

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Florida Resident
    #5
    i3 sounds like it should be free.
     
  6. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    #6
    How is see it.. You just have to look at your wallet. There will be always something better. Almost all the things that your gonna do with your imac don't 'need' the i5 but everyone knows that it's better.

    When people say that buying a more expensive iMac you are prepared for the future then I say that it depends on its user. If you want to do more complicated things over time than 'yes' a better cpu is great. But if your list doesn't change over time, than you can spend the extra money on other stuff.. Because surfing now wouldnt be much different in a year or 2. Your list are full of things where you can say: if your mac can do it now, then it can do it forever (exept if it dies)..

    I have the same dilemma. The only things that I do is:
    Surfing
    Itunes
    iPhoto
    Watch a movie
    Playing a game like starcraft II, WoW, etc.

    I think that all those things can be perfectly done with the Imac 3,2 Ghz I3. But at the other hand I'm thinking about the I5.. For the feeling 'Just For Sure' ..
     
  7. macrumors 68040

    MonkeySee....

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    I purchased an i3 imac having moved from a Quad core pc over clocked to 3ghz.

    I pleasantly surprised with what i have purchased.

    There are....
    No issues with watching HD movies
    No issues with Ripping with handbreak
    No issues with editing photos with iPhoto/Aperture
    No issues with torrents
    No issues with web browsing
    No issues with iTunes.

    If anything i should have probably gone with the higher graphics card as scrolling photos in iPhoto is a bit gittery. I only say this having come from picasa which is very smooth.
     
  8. macrumors 68040

    MonkeySee....

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    i have the 3.06 i3 by the way.
     
  9. macrumors 68020

    peskaa

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #9
    The i3 will be fine for your tasks. Browsing the internet, playing some music and the odd bit of iPhoto won't make it cry like a girl.
     
  10. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #10
    Why is it that nobody seems to opt for the i7 2.9GHz option? Is it too expensive Vs. i3 + i5 or is it not worth the upgrade?
     
  11. macrumors 68020

    mulo

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Location:
    Behind you
    #11
    its totally worth it. mathmaticaly the more you spend on your imac the more you are getting for each buck.
     
  12. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #12
    I agree completely. The only thing about the iMac which I think is a bit of a let down is the GPU. I think it's a bit weak. However, I assume this will be upgraded in the summer updates later this year.
     
  13. macrumors 68040

    MonkeySee....

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    Maybe because its the top end of the scale and massive overkill for what people want??
     
  14. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #14
    If you can't afford i7, go with i5.
    If you can't afford the i5, get a macbook air instead.
     
  15. macrumors 68020

    peskaa

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #15
    What? How can the Air even compete with a desktop if that is what somebody is after? I hope you're trying to be funny.

    These forums constantly amaze me at how often people are recommended to simply waste money on upgrades that they will never see the benefit from. Somebody browsing the internet is fine with an i3, they don't need an i5 or an i7. Remember when we used to do exactly the same things on a Core Duo from 2006? There are many many people happily using Core 2 Duo iMacs, which an i3 will be equal to if not faster than.
     
  16. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #16
    What about those who don't have space for the 27" iMac? Should we just buy an iPad?
     
  17. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    #17
    I was asking myself the same question. Playing around with the i3 iMacs in the Apple store, it seems obvious that the i3 models are perfectly fine for all those normal every-day tasks the OP listed above.

    I've anyway decided to go for an i5 (on my to-do list for this week :) ) because... well... I can't find a real solid reason. I guess it has something to do with "just to make sure..." but I guess that in real life, I would do just as fine with an i3.

    It does also make no sense to plan 10 years ahead... an i3 will look just the same as an i5 or even an i7 will by then... it will look old... old and slow, equally slow. That's all. Look at the machines that were considered modern 10 years ago...

    It might be a different story if the horsepower of your iMac helps yo to make a living. Then the equations faster = better might make more sense... but I'm only gonna use my iMac at home.
     
  18. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    #18
    Thanks for all the info guys. Still a little undecided about the Core i3 vs. Core i5. Right now I know I want the 27" iMac with the added SSD option with 8GB RAM. But honestly, probably will end up going for the i5 2.8ghz, just because id rather be a little overkill than a little dissapointed with the i3.
     
  19. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #19
    Sounds like an excellent choice. I do hope though that you do not intend on buying the upgraded RAM from Apple directly? It's extremely overpriced! :eek:

    - Vodouman
     
  20. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    #20
    i3 should work well enough, but I sympathize with the temptation to get the i5. As far as future-proofing, I think your money goes farther to buy what you need now and turn over your equipment more often. Most of the time, I think today's top-of-the-line machines are destined to be outperformed by low or midlevel models in the next two years. Good luck with your purchase!
     
  21. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    #21
    I made my decision to buy the i3 3,6Ghz version. Just because thats enough for the things that I want to do with my Mac. And this one is available in the store around the corner.. I want to have it now and do not want to wait for it ^_^..Its always better than my HP PAVILLION Notebook..

    I dont do a lot of heavy things on my computer so the i3 is good for me.. The time when I notice that the iMac irritates me because it's slow or something, then it's a signal to save up money again and buy better.. And I think it will take a looooong time....
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #22
    Good call man.

    I don't think the i5 is worth the money from an i3. I wholeheartedly believe it's a decision between i3 and i7. If the i3 won't cut it, don't even look at the i5.
     
  23. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    #23
    Haha. Goodness no. If I had that type of money to blow i'd probably just buy a Mac Pro. lol. Thanks for posting the warning, hopefully people that dont know after market is cheaper will take notice now. :]
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    #24
    I am pondering the same decision. The rational/'I need' part of my mind tells me to go i3..the irrational/'I want' part tells me to go i5... ^_^
     
  25. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    #25
    I feel ya. Normally, I'd just go with the i3, but I dont know if in the future I will be able to upgrade to such a great machine. So im busting now :]

    Plus, quad-core apps will probably get quite popular in the next year or so, so I would like my iMac to be able to jump on board with ease if I want to.
     

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