3.06 duo or i5?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by andrewp, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. andrewp macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2008
    #1
    Since the i5 is a quad core, will it then be an efficient choice to prioritize it over the duo core? From my current windows quadcore I still experience many programs and especially games that are not made for multicore processors, and many mac apps are still using one core.

    So will the performance difference in the end be worth the price?
     
  2. 300D macrumors 65816

    300D

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    #2
    Only $300 for more than twice the performance? Its no question the i5 should be everyone's choice.
     
  3. Winni macrumors 68030

    Winni

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    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Germany.
    #3
    I was so fed up with my loud Mac Pro 1,1 that I purchased the 27" iMac i5 yesterday. It was the only available quad core iMac in a 200 km radius from where I live. The downside: It came with a broken Airport card or, to be more precise, neither the operating system nor the hardware test software detect an Airport card in that iMac. Other than that, it's an amazing machine. And it's quiet! (Not noiseless, but quiet.)

    So: Definitely buy the quad core iMac. The price difference is not that huge, but software like Handbrake, Photoshop and Aperture will definitely perform better on four cores than on two.
     
  4. unixfool macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 21, 2006
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    Northern VA
    #4
    I would say it depends on if you had a budget. Where $300 is chump change to one person, its a pile of money for another. It also depends on what you plan on doing. It's not like a C2D is incapable... Everything an i5 can do, an C2D can do. It's just that it'll do it a bit slower. We're not talking a drastic difference, either...again, it depends on how you plan on using the machine.

    In fact, there should be enough data on Apple's iMac section to enable you to make an informed decision on purchase choice, or you can try the iMac Buyer's Guide. There are also plenty of other threads on this exact same topic.
     
  5. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    #5
    Look 2 posts down. Sheesh.
     
  6. 00hkelly macrumors 6502

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    Nov 15, 2006
    #6
    I have an i7 and can certainly say that the advantage of having multiple cores is worth the extra price. Especially regarding apps that make use of them now, and for futureproofing yourself as more apps become optimised for multiple cores in the future.
     
  7. andrewp thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 24, 2008
    #7
    Yes I know that the i5 is more future safe, but looking at all the single and two-core applications out there, isn't the 3.06 a better choice for these when the quad-core function isn't really used?
     
  8. Sir Cecil macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 31, 2008
    #8
    I'd ignore a lot of the "future-safe" advice. I wonder how many iMac buyers who bought the i5 or i7 to be "future-safe" will be trading them in next week so they can get one of the new Macbook Pros.
    On MacRumors, the latest thing is always the best. Anything praised at the start as "future-safe" is deemed useless after the first update.
     
  9. Celedral macrumors 6502

    Celedral

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    May 29, 2008
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    #9
    Geese, the most obvious answer to your question is definitely the i5. WHY? cause it has TWICE the performance of the c2d. Also if your applications don't support multicore it won't matter on the i5 since it has TURBOBOOST which turns off the other cores and overclocks itself to 3.2ghz which is much faster than the 3.02 c2d
     
  10. unixfool macrumors 6502a

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    Northern VA
    #10
    Ermmm...3.2GHz is not all that much faster than 3.02GHz. You're certainly not going to notice a difference between the two speeds.

    You're also not going to notice a difference between the C2D system and the i5/i7 unless you've owned both.

    Treating a C2D as if it is a Model T is just plain ignorant, BTW. I don't even think that you're getting twice the performance...in theory, maybe, but in reality, probably not.
     
  11. Celedral macrumors 6502

    Celedral

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    May 29, 2008
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    Los Angeles
    #11

    I use the c2d iMac at work and when rendering/encoding videos i'm usually looking at 20-55 minutes. My i5 at home does the same thing from 8-25 minutes so I can see the difference. The choice is obvious when comparing c2d to i5, but on the other hand comparing i5 to i7 is more more enticing.
     
  12. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

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    Jun 29, 2006
    #12
    Sure, the Core i5 is faster, but having four cores compared to two doesn't translate into each and every app. If it takes advantage of all of them, great. If not, you can't tell the difference.
     
  13. unixfool macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 21, 2006
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    Northern VA
    #13
    That's a better comparision than you used before...a LOT better. Maybe use it first next time?

    And remember what I said earlier:

    In this case, you know that the i5 is better because you've experienced it and have previously owned a C2D. Not everyone is going to know this, and some people don't care about encoding videos (the last time I did it was in 2003). Yeah, comparing encoding rates between the two systems is a good way to measure performance, but it doesn't do much for the person that doesn't do that type of thing on their systems.
     
  14. unixfool macrumors 6502a

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    Northern VA
    #14
    Yep...very good point.
     
  15. mtnDewFTW macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #15
    I have a 3.06, and I'm pretty happy with it.
    However, now that I think about it, an i5 would have lasted me longer.
    But anyway, at this point, you might wanna consider going with the i5, it'll just last you longer, and it's the new thing that can handle more work.

    You may not notice the difference now, but in a few years you will.
    i5s are being put into all new computers, so it just looks like the right thing to do.

    Personally, I run mostly all Apple apps that came with my computer, and so far, it has never slowed down even a little. However, I do have apps running in background at all times. Stuff like Mail, iChat, iTunes, and Safari are always open, and it seems to be working fine for me. Occasionally I'll open Aperture and Photoshop, which also run smoothly.

    Anyway, unless you need to do some heavy duty work at this moment, go with the C2D, but if you're planning on using this computer for a long time, and wanna stay relatively up to date in about a 2 years, go with the i5, or even better, i7.
     
  16. Paulyboy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    #16
    I went with a refurb I7 and it should be here Thursday or Friday. Every time I get a new Mac (typically every 3.5-4.5 years) I've made compromises. For example, last time in 2006 it was the 24" iMac with the stock 7300GT video card. Doing the BTO one with the 7600GT directly from Apple would have been around $350 more (partially because of tax).

    At this point, all this time later, I can say I made the right decision. In the last year there have been a few occasions where certain games I wanted to play didn't run well, or at all. And the RAM limitations of this generation (which would have been there regardless of which iMac I got) have hampered me some recently since I started multitasking alot. But overall I've been pleased with this iMac and probably could have made it last until the fall if I hadn't had the money for a new one.

    With that all said I promised myself I would for once buy the top of the line model even if it would be big time overkill for me right now. Over the last few months I waffled back and forth between the I5 and I7 but ultimately I settled on the I7 because the difference between the two in the refurb store is only around $160 when you factor in tax. That's a heck of alot better than a $350 difference. If I never tap the extra power it provides (which is entirely possible) I can live with a $160 mistake. :)

    Although I wasn't going to go lower than the I5 I do believe I would have been very happy with the C2D 27" iMac. I don't think there's much difference between the three for average users like me at present. However, one, two, three, etc.. years from now who knows? And despite what anybody says NOBODY *really* knows. My choice of purchase obviously indicates I'm gambling there will be a significant difference, even for average users. But it's just a guess. :)

    So while I really think the I5 is the "sweet spot" for average users I also think many in that same subset of users would be perfectly fine with the C2D model. You still get that same, brilliant 27" display with that models and that's what will be most noticeable to average users in their daily usage. :)

    -PN
     
  17. BulletToothTony macrumors 6502

    BulletToothTony

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    Jan 5, 2009
    #17
    since we're in this topic.. lately i have been converting a lot of mkv videos so i can use them on my ps3 and i do mean A LOT of videos.

    my question is... i have a c2d right meow, but i have been considering selling it and buying an i5. Most of the times mkv2vob (thru vmware fusion) takes around 20 mins to mux a video.

    But when it has to decode and encode the whole thing it takes around 3 hours (again on vmware fusion) using 100% of the cpu's power.

    so if i bought an i5, does that mean that my computer would only take half the time? or it doesn't necessarily means that it will, unless the program takes absolute advantage of the i5 cpu?
     
  18. elcid macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    #18
    I have one coming in on Wednesday and if no one answers your question by then I can do a test for you. Why are you not running Handbrake? I would imagine 64bit HB and 64bit VLC would be better than going through VMWare.
     
  19. BulletToothTony macrumors 6502

    BulletToothTony

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    #19
    I'm actually using mkv2vob which happens to be a Windows ONLY program.

    so i have to do it thru vmware.

    I guess in order to know FOR SURE you would have to use the exact same file and try it on your imac..

    ugh.. i just don't want to go thru the whole process of buying a whole new imac and spending more money if i'm only gonna see a 10 min difference
     

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