3.06 vs 3.20 - Is Turbo Boost worth $300?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mark-itguy, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. mark-itguy macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2007
    Looking at a 21.5" iMac. I understand the differences between the 3.06 base model at $1,199 and the 3.20 model for $1,499. Intended use is iPhoto and Aperture, Office, etc... And for work, a lot of VMware Fusion time.

    I don't game, so I know I won't really benefit much with the faster GPU & extra VRAM the more expensive model has. And I don't really need the extra disk space, as I use external drives for most everything.

    The 3.20 model has the Intel Turbo Boost feature in its CPU. My question is, is that feature worth $300? As I understand it, this feature is aimed at helping applications that can not leverage the multi-cores. Since the apps listed above presumably multi-thread and can leverage the dual-cores, my guess is that I should not really benefit from Turbo Boost?

  2. SiMBa37 macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2010
    New York
    As far as I know the i3 3.2Ghz does not have turbo boost despite what apple may claim, it just has hyperthreading. The i5 3.6Ghz does indeed have TB along with HT but that is the BTO model (plus an extra $200)
  3. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth

    The virtual operating system stuff benefits from the higher end processors - if you use vmware a lot for work that's where the extra $ comes in to assist.
  4. stonemann macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2009
    Simba37 is right. The difference between the 3.06 and 3.20 iMac is down to the slightly faster processor, a better graphics card and a bigger hard drive. They both have i3 processors so do not have the turbo-boost facility.

    If you want the turbo-boost feature on the 21.5" iMac you have to order the 3.60 i5 processor as a BTO option on the high-end 21.5" iMac for an additional $200 (making $1699 in total).
  5. thehetfield macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2010
    besides the obvious 3.2 vs 3.06 ghz frequency i was just about to shell out the extra 300 coins for the turbo boost i3 3.2 ghz, as listed in the apple spec database section.
    after digging on the net for confirmation, and after founding none, i choosed the base one, no i3 has turbo boost option, even intel database shows that pretty clearly, unless apple has it's own black-magic-voodoo i3's :rolleyes:
  6. diegobgr macrumors 6502

    Nov 22, 2009
    It's more than Turbo Boost.

    It's 1 TB of HD and the 5670 with 512 MB.
  7. SiMBa37 macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2010
    New York
    I ordered my 21.5" i5 last week and its currently on route to be delivered on the 19th. After much deliberation I chose that model as I am limited by size but I wanted as much horsepower and HD space as possible to future proof it for about 4 years. I was very surprised about how good the dual core i5 3.6GHz did on Geekbench. Everyone has there own reasons so I'm sure you'll be served well by the baseline i3.
  8. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    The i3-550 does not support Turbo Boost, in fact, no i3 CPU does. You don't game so just get the base iMac and spend the difference in RAM and external HD if needed
  9. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    Apple's description is a little confusing:

    i3 = hyperthreading but no turbo-boost.
    3.6GHz i5 = hyperthreading AND turbo-boost.
    2.8GHz i5 = turbo-boost but NO hyperthreading.
    2.93GHz i7 = hyperthreading AND turbo-boost.
  10. bomsom macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2010
    And some more info because some people still get confused about which ones are dual and quad-core :

    i3 =2 cores + 2 virtual cores = 4 threads NO Turbo-boost
    i5 3.6Ghz = 2 cores + 2 virtual cores = 4 threads AND Turbo-boost
    i5 2.8GHz = 4 cores AND Turbo-boost, but NO virtual cores
    i7 2.93GHz = 4 cores + 4 virtual cores = 8 threads AND Turbo-boost

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