27'' iMac: Core 2 or i5? ATI 4670 or 4850?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by NGL, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. NGL macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    #1
    Hi all,
    I'm trying to figure out which of the 27'' iMac models would be best for my needs. Here's the breakdown:
    I use the computer for Photoshop, InDesign, Pro Tools, Final Cut, and Maya, all on a freelance / semi pro level. I also do some moderate gaming (CoD 4, and a few other titles in Bootcamp).
    My current computer, a 2008 20'' 2.66 GHz iMac, does an admirable job chugging away at all these tasks, but I'm feeling the need to upgrade for both speed and screen real estate.
    What I'm trying to determine is exactly how much better the i5 model would be over the Core 2 Duo model. Does the quad machine give a significant advantage, or does it not really apply to the tasks I need to perform? Also, when it comes to working in Maya / Final Cut / gaming, what is the practical advantage of the 4850 512MB over the 4670 256 MB? Is it going to make a big impact?
    Thanks.

    -Nick
     
  2. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #2
    Get the most you can afford for all of those tasks.

    The i5 will be noticeably faster now and in the future. Getting the better graphics card is also a wise choice, as upgrading them is impossible.
     
  3. NGL thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    #3
    Thanks for pointing this out, I didn't think of it.

    I realize that the i5 and the 4850 will both be "faster", what I'm trying to determine is if people are finding it to be a significant enough boost to justify the extra cash, or if the Core 2 Duo model is better value.

    -Nick
     
  4. wywern209 macrumors 65832

    wywern209

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    do you rly want to know?
    #4
    technology wise, all future processors will be based off of the core i5 architecture. not the core 2 duo. the core 2 series are at the end of their life. for what you are doing, the more the power you can get, the better.
     
  5. GS17 macrumors member

    GS17

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    #5
    Maya will run better wirh the i5 for render since this is a CPU process. The more video memory and faster gpu will allow for more polys and will allow bigger and better texture maps. Maya currently works better in windows than mac.
     
  6. NGL thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    #6
    Thanks for the replies thus far.

    No joke, the lag is absurd when doing the simplest of operations.

    -Nick
     
  7. NGL thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    #7
    Still hoping to hear from someone who has experience with both Core 2 Duo and i5 machines. Thanks again to everyone who has contributed so far.

    -Nick
     
  8. FieryFurnace macrumors 6502

    FieryFurnace

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    #8
    The difference between a C2D and an i5 in Maya means almost half the render time. I once did a test and the C2D needed 45sec, the i5 25sec.
    That is for Maya 2010 in Windows.
     
  9. Interceptor macrumors newbie

    Interceptor

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    #9
    Upgrade to Core i7

    I had a Core 2 duo 3ghz with nvidia 8800 and I use adobe CS4 Suite and Final Cut Pro. I just got my new Core i7 imac and it is a beast. It renders movie clips about 4 times faster than my core 2 duo. Photoshop has no lag at all not that it did with the core 2 duo. I also am an avid gamer which is why i bought the i7 gaming and video rendering (FCP) have a lot in common. There is no comparison to a quad core computer. The other thing of curious note is that my new imac came with a western digital "black edition" hard drive. This drive has 32mb cache which is awesome for huge file transfers. I use all external drives but rendering video this is pretty cool. I will be willing to answer any question you have since I am an IT guy please be as thorough as you want. (gaming wise I have Windows 7 64bit and run COD 2 max settings on this imac)
     
  10. NGL thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    #10
    Thanks guys. Looks like it's probably going to be the i5, seems to be the best investment for the future.

    -Nick
     
  11. PrinceAvalon macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Location:
    Hicksville, US of A Baby!!!!!!
    #11
    I was in this same boat but a few friends suggested the Core2.... cause the Quads in the iMacs have over-heating/noise issues.

    Are they that common and bad or not really?

    I was "convinced" to go with the Core2 though; as some of you here have said, it's at the end of its life pretty much.
     
  12. PrinceAvalon macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Location:
    Hicksville, US of A Baby!!!!!!
    #12
    So basically are there really bad overheating issues with Quads in iMacs or should I get the i5 and it's fine and safe to get and not really any heat issues?
     
  13. Interceptor macrumors newbie

    Interceptor

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    #13
    Core i7 overheating issues...

    Nothing really pushes a system like gaming. On my Core 2 duo 3.0ghz/nvidia 8800 when I was gaming on it I used to have it shut down on me once and a while. My Core i7 hasn't shut down on me yet it gets hot as hell but still hasn't shut down on me. My system stats tell me that the graphics cpu after hours of gaming is about 155 degrees F. The Cpu is about 140F. I would only recommend buying it from apple since they have fixed the monitor problem and if you buy one from another company you risk getting all the problems that I have been reading about. If you are going to spring for the Core i5 I think it is definitely worth the extra $200 to get a core i7. If you keep your computer for 3 years that's only $68 a year. And that gets you an insane processor.
     
  14. PrinceAvalon macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Location:
    Hicksville, US of A Baby!!!!!!
    #14
    Thanks, I was thinking the i5 would be the "safe" bet but I did want the i7 lol.

    So they don't really have bad or common over-heating issues then? That sorta made me nervous on getting one cause iMacs cases aren't as roomy as a PC case with a crap ton of fans lol so heat really isn't a big thing there but for iMacs I was unsure....

    And Yeah I'd get it from Apple lol. The company I work for has contracts/deals where I get a 30-40% discount with Apple.
     

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