21.5" iMac: i5 or i7

Discussion in 'iMac' started by macaron95, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. macaron95 macrumors regular

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    May 5, 2014
    #1
    Hi there,

    i'm thinking of getting a 21.5" iMac with 16 Gb of RAM and 256 GB SSD

    i think both will boost the system quite well

    but i was wondering if the i7 is worth the extra $$$ to be paid vs the i5 2.9 ?

    my usage won't be very intensive, the most "powerful" soft to be used will be photoshop CS6 for editing RAW pictures

    i understand that i7 and multicore will be useful only if all the applications are optimized to use such architecture, is that correct ?

    or does it also make a difference in daily tasks ?

    or should i stick to i5 2.9 Ghz + 16 Gb + SSD ?

    thanks
     
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #2
    It doesn't make a difference to daily tasks, but by going for the i7, should you branch out into video editing or do rendering and encoding, the i7 will give around a 40% boost over the i5.

    I have a 3.1GHz i7/16/256/750M configuration of the 21.5", and it absolutely flies.
     
  3. macaron95 thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 5, 2014
    #3
    i actually don't encode or edit videos, that's why i'm hesitating

    i don't know if the i7 will make the difference for all other tasks
     
  4. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #4
    Only hyper threaded apps will take advantage of it.

    At this stage, the only reason you'll go for an i7 is probably just to future proof it, or to max it out since it's a non-upgradeable part (even if you don't have any use for it) :p
     
  5. tyche macrumors 6502

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    Jul 30, 2010
    #5
    If you're going for 16GB and and an SSD I say go the extra $200 and get the i7 and max that baby out.
     
  6. macaron95 thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 5, 2014
    #6
    ok thanks for your feedbacks and advices


    btw, i was thinking

    i already tried an imac last year with ssd instead of HDD, it's totally silent :)


    but is the i7 supposed to heat up more than the i5 ?

    will the fans run more often than with an i5 ? or faster ?


    thanks
     
  7. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 21, 2013
    #7
    The 21" iMac maxed out is a complete rip-off. Because it is a smaller package, Apple charges a huge premium on parts relative to the 27". You can get a significantly better 27" for less money. It comes with a vastly better screen as well, which is perfect for editing photos. There are only two reasons to get a 21" iMac. You either do not have the space for a 27", or you do not have the money for one. If you do not have the space, I would recommend making some, as the 27" is a much better computer. If you absolutely want a 2013 model, this is one of the best, and it is exactly the same price as the 21" you are looking at.

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/G0PG3LL/A/refurbished-27-inch-imac-35ghz-quad-core-Intel-Core-i7

    This is the best iMac currently for the price. It is a 2012 model, so it is exactly the same externally as the 2013 model.

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/G0MS5LL/A/refurbished-27-inch-imac-34ghz-quad-core-Intel-Core-i7

    If you want to go all out, for $250 more than the computer you are looking at now, this one is a little overkill, but it comes with 512GB of pure flash.

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/G0PG6LL/A/refurbished-27-inch-imac-35ghz-quad-core-Intel-Core-i7

    Matt
     
  8. macaron95 thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 5, 2014
    #8
    well, indeed, i don't have space for a 27" and more importantly i tried but 27" is way too large for my eyes, i feel like sitting right in front of a tv my nose stuck to the screen

    21.5" is the perfect size for me (actually it used to be the imac 24")


    that's why i'm going for this one and hesitating about the options
     
  9. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #9
    Both the i5-4570S 2.9GHz and i7-4770S 3.1GHz have the same TDP (65W), so no, it won't heat up more.

    The myth about higher GHz heating up more is a myth, because as long as the processor is of the same class, the TDP is (almost always) identical (i.e. R to R, S to S, HQ to HQ, MQ to MQ, U to U, Y to Y.....etc).

    You can compare TDPs between processors by finding the processor at ark.intel.com
     
  10. macaron95 thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 5, 2014
    #10
    thanks for this info

    i'm actually asking because on past macs i used to own, same macs, same generation but different proco (i5 and i7), i noticed different heating and fans behavior on iMacs and Macbook air

    after a check, these proco used to have the same TDP, that's what is confusing
     
  11. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #11
    TDP can mean whatever the manufacturer wants it to mean. Use it as a general guideline, not a fixed point. Tests have shown the i7 to be slightly more power hungry then the i5 at both idle and load. Its not a huge difference and nothing worth worrying about really. The machine is designed to take the full load of an i7. The i7 gets its extra multithreading goodness from clever execution of instructions (basically weaving two threads together to execute on one core). The extra heat is mostly coming from the slight bump in core speed.
     
  12. macaron95 thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 5, 2014
    #12
    ok thanks for the clarification


    will my imac be noisier with the i7 then?
     
  13. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #13
    Not noticeably.
     
  14. macaron95 thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 5, 2014
    #14
    great, i'll wait a little bit to see if rumors about a new iMac is coming, otherwise i'll get my imac before the end of the aug :)

    thanks again for all advices and responses
     
  15. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #15
    I have the i7 variant and it's completely silent. Even under extreme loads, all I hear is a soft, almost inaudible whir.
     

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