27' iMac: i5 vs. i7

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Sam Spade, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. Sam Spade macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    #1
    I recall seeing a couple of good threads comparing the i5 and i7 CPU's, but can't seem to locate them now due to the restrictions of the forum's search function. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

    I am attempting to order a 27" iMac today and would like to read up on the two CPU's as I'm not sure which one to order.
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    What do you use your computer for? It probably doesn't even matter which one you buy.
     
  3. Sam Spade thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    #3
    Lots of multi-tasking. I almost always have these apps open at the same time:

    iTunes
    iPhoto
    Mail
    Word
    Excel
    Adobe Acrobat
    Chrome
    Firefox
     
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #4
    RAM will make more of a difference to you than processor.
     
  5. macmastersam macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Essex, england
    #5
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I would suggest aftermarket RAM, since apple charge the best part of £160 to upgrade to 8GB, compared to the £40 or so for the aftermarket.
     
  6. szolr macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK
    #6
    As Final Cut Pro/Adobe Premiere/any high specced games aren't on your list it'll make no noticeable difference whatsoever-except a bigger dent in your wallet for the i7.

    As said above, concentrate instead on packing in RAM: probably 8GB should do you fine tbh. If you can afford to spend more, only then bother looking at an i7. If you can still spend more, get 16 GB RAM. But 8 GB RAM's your first priority. :)

    Also, I'm confused why anyone would bother with multiple browsers. :eek: :confused: If you were a web designer you'd use BrowserLabs. If you're a standard consumer choose a browser and stick with it.
     
  7. Sonhascome macrumors 6502

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    Feb 18, 2010
    Location:
    Maryland
    #7
    I agree with most of these posts, you probably won't notice much of a difference between the i5 and the i7, but I'd definitely upgrade the ram after market, its very simple and you don't need to know jack squat about computers to do it.
     
  8. szolr macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK
    #8
    Ah, yes... Forgot that very important point. :) Upgrade the RAM yourself. Apple overcharge you to do it. :cool:
     
  9. Sam Spade thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    #9
    Cost isn't a big factor, so if there's no downside to the i7, that's what I will order. I do not want a processor that will cause a lot of fan noise or a noticeably difference in heat, etc.

    I will be increasing the RAM to 16GB with Crucial.
     
  10. BasilFawlty macrumors 6502

    BasilFawlty

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    Jun 20, 2009
    Location:
    New Mexico
    #10
    One of the things I do a lot is using Handbreak to rip my extensive collection of DVDs. I recenlty upgraded from 4GB to 12B of memory and noticed almost no difference in rip speed. However, I notice in resources, when I'm using HB, that HB used like 360 percent of the procesor (basically all of it it can). This leads me to onder if an i7 processor would be much faster for Handbrake and similar APS? My Macbook (dual core) will rip a DVD at 20-40fps, while my i5 quad core will rip the same DVD at a much higher rate (75-120fps).

    Anyone know if any benchmarks have been done comparing relative HB speeds between the i5 and i7?
     
  11. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

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    Jun 10, 2006
    #11
    Also, the Core i7 has hyperthreading technology which increases the number of available cores from 4 to 8.
     
  12. AlanShutko macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    #12
    It appears to be for Handbrake. I haven't seen a benchmark comparing the two, but HB does absorb all the CPU of the hyper threaded i7 (so, 780%).

    Actually, just found a benchmark. It's not a 2x improvement, but it's significantly faster.

    http://www.barefeats.com/imac11f.html
     
  13. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #13
    Your Mid 2011 27" 2.7GHz has an Intel Core i5 2500S (2.7GHz quad-core) CPU.
    The most powerful iMAc has an Intel Core i7-2600 (3.4GHz quad-core).

    For video encoding (and practically everything else) the 3.4 i7 2600 will murder the i5 2500S .

    Benchmark
    Video Editing: Adobe Premiere Pro CS5
    Encoding Video to H.264 Blu-ray 720p
    (Video runtime 2min 21s)

    i7 2600: 224 seconds
    i5 2500S: 336 seconds

    http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/...compare,2421.html?prod[4786]=on&prod[4790]=on
     
  14. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #14
    It surprises me just how much of a gap there seems to be on the cpu intensive stuff. Nothing the OP mentioned though seems like an issue for either model. I don't really care for the imac in general, but if you experience slowing in the applications listed below, it's unlikely that you'll see maxed out cpu loads via activity monitor.

    iTunes
    iPhoto
    Mail
    Word
    Excel
    Adobe Acrobat
    Chrome
    Firefox
     
  15. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #15
    Base Clock Speed 2.5GHz 3.4GHz
    Max SC Turbo 3.3GHz 3.8GHz
    Max DC Turbo 3.2GHz 3.7GHz
    Max TC Turbo 2.8GHz 3.6GHz
    Max QC Turbo 2.6GHz 3.5GHz

    And hyper-threading explains the differences in the benchmarks.

    The OP will be fine with the base iMac. Memory and fast storage would give him give him a computer that is "fast" rather than a faster CPU in his day-to-day activities.
     
  16. NMF macrumors 6502a

    NMF

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    #16
    If you needed the i7 you'd know it already. Unless you actually encode a ton of video or use serious multithreaded programs (I almost think you guys who say you do are making it up - who the hell actually does that stuff?) you don't need it.
     
  17. Zwhaler, Nov 16, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011

    Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #17
    Case in point

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. dizmonk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    #18
    thinking the same thing

    I've got a 2010 Macbook pro and have been using Handbrake and other programs for video encoding and manipulation. I'm getting a 2011 27" Imac and am leaning toward the base i5 and adding more memory. I don't think I need to go to the 3.1GHz i5 do I?

    thanks.
     
  19. Doxis macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2011
    #19
  20. webstersp macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2010
    #20
    For logic 9 the I7 gave me better performance over the I5.
    8 cores vs 4 cores and logic use every one of them and does a superb job at it!
     

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