2010 27" i5(quad) vs refurb i7

Discussion in 'iMac' started by dnenciu, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. dnenciu macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2007
    Hi I know this subject has been discussed already but my dilemma is a bit diff.

    For the exact same price what would you chose between the new i5 (quad) and the refurb i7?

    I compile a lot of code and I also use photo/video apps. I don't really game but the video card is good for final cut, aperture stuff.

    My take on it:
    new 2010 i5:
    Option to add ssd
    Better video card with 1Gb ram
    Brand new in box.
    less chances to have a problem with the screen
    easier to exchange if there is a problem.

    2009 i7 refurb:
    faster cpu

    In my situation I can get both for basically the same price so question is what would you do?
    Is the faster i7 cpu worth over all the other points offered by the 2010 i5?
  2. juicedropsdeuce macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2010
    Good question.

    Heard some people say you (most people) will never really need the 1gb video ram. Then again, not sure how much the tiny increase in clock speed and hyperthreading actually matters with the i7.

    The new one also allows an additional ssd inside of you want to do it yourself or send it to OCW.

    Then again, the new ones will be on refurb in a month or two.
  3. ias2010 macrumors newbie

    Aug 31, 2010
    you could pick any one, the benchmark score difference is only 9 between i5 and i7, i would go with i7 though if price is same.
  4. Tec972 macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2010
    Thats tough, but here's what I told myself... If you're going to drop $2k on a machine whats another $200 for the baddest MoFo out there and brand spanking new.

    Otherwise, I would go for the new i5. New machine better video. You really have to tax the hell out of the thing to see any real world benefit. And of course it depends on the programs you are running, if they would even take advantage of hyperthreading.

    Also take into consideration possible future resale value on a 1 year newer machine especially with the well known reputation of the '09 panel problems
  5. dnenciu thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2007
    Yeah I also lean towards the newer one.
    The only thing is that the main reason for buying this machine is that I want to improve the compile times and startup of the dev servers I use as my current mbp with a c2d 2.53 is kind of slow for that.
    The thing is that whatever I buy I will keep it for at least 3-4y.
  6. Tec972 macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2010
    Moving to a core i5 quad or the core i7 will should be head and shoulders over the MBP. The newer processors are great at number crunching and mathematical calculations from what I understand. Also understand that laptops are just slow period. If you compare equivlent components in the mobile and desktop world the desktop counterparts are always faster. A mobile i7 will not hold a candle to a desktop i7 processor for example and laptop hardrives are typically slower even though they are both 7200 RPM.

    If you expect to have the machine 3-4 years why not just spring for the new 2.93GHz i7 now? From stuff I have read, and also knowledge from other users, the consensus is the price to performance ratio of spending the exta 10% is worth it. But of course that is entirely up to you.
  7. dnenciu thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2007
    The thing is that i would buy it on credit.
    The i5 i can get it on 24m 0% interest but they don't carry the bto i7.
    The refurb i7 i would buy it at lower price but higher interest so in the end they would be the same.
    Also my mbp has an ssd in it and i intend to put an ssd in wathever model i get as well.
  8. opera57 macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2009
    Depends if you want to do anything graphically intensive really.. if you want to play games or do anything that uses the graphics card I would be swayed towards the 2010 i5, if not, the refurb i7. I would also stay clear of Apples SSD option as I believe it is overpriced for what you get. Much better off buying an aftermarket ssd. [​IMG]
  9. dnenciu thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2007
    Well besides games (which I don't play) I don't really think that for the rest of things (final cut, aperture, cs5) the diff in video card would really make a diff.

    The only things keeping me from deciding 100% in the favor of the i7 refurb:

    - All the issues with the 2009 27" screen (yellow, gray issues clusters of dead pixels...) now for sure this could happen on the 2010 model as well but hopefully apple has had time to work on it, also for the new 2010 model I have 14 days to exchange it in store if there are any issues.
    - The extra sata/ssd slot on the 2010 I have an x25m lying around that I can put in it and would prefer keeping the 1Tb in place and not having to use the dvd slot.
    - Third apple in the past has been known to stop providing soft updates for older video cards so the 4xxx series in the i7 is already 1y old and I want to keep the computer for at least 3y.

    On the other hand the i7 cpu has been shown to be 20-30% faster in apps that use hyperthreading, so it makes it hard to decide. :)
  10. richpjr macrumors 68030


    May 9, 2006
    One other thing to consider for the new i5 is that the video cards in the new version run cooler and use significantly less power than the older models.
  11. dnenciu thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2007
    Do you have any link for that? Less heat would be good less fan noise.

    Also the new I5 is a second generation product so hopefully would have less problems.
  12. dnenciu thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2007
    I was really leaning towards the i7 refurb as for me the cpu speed is the most important factor, but after reading about all the problems with the 2009 27" models and the i7 ones, I feel that getting one would be a craps shot with pretty low chances of getting a perfect one (I would really dread having to spend my time on the phone getting it replaced and waiting for a new one).

    I already went through this with the first generation mbps I was lucky that it was bought locally and I just returned it within the 14 days period.

    So I will be getting the i5 model from a local store that I can return it to if there are any issues, with no questions asked (the same day if needed).

    I hope the i5 will be fast enough for my needs (I need at least 100% faster java compile and server start up times over the c2d 2.53 to make it worth it) if not I will just return it and keep working on my mbp.
  13. dnenciu thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2007
    Ok got the new I5.
    Beautiful machine no problems with the screen no yellowing, quiet, there is a speck of dust in the corner under the glass but that can be fixed.

    On the performance side is fast but not as fast as I tought it would be.

    Is maybe 60% faster than my mbp in the java stuff I do. Seem that the disk is holding it back, my mbp has an x25 g2 ssd.

    I'm still debating wether to keep it and add the second x25 I have to it or return it as it is a good chunk of change.

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