Advice on 21.5 vs Refresh

Discussion in 'iMac' started by iMacdude313, Jun 12, 2010.

  1. iMacdude313 macrumors regular

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    #1
    I know the majority of you are probably sick of these threads about possible refreshes and whatnot but please spare me for one more thread :rolleyes:

    The jist of my situation is that I've been saving up for a Mac for a few months now. Today I made the last few dollars I've been needing to buy the upper end 21.5 iMac (all stock). However I've been reading through may threads here lately and now I'm reconsidering... I've read that the current Intel Core 2 Duo processors are getting pretty old and that the possibility of Apple putting i3, i5, and i7 processors in the next refresh is good. The buyers guide says that the iMacs are currently two weeks past the average refresh wait...

    My obvious question to you is whether or not I should wait for a refresh, please give me your best guesstimate of when that might be, to get the upgraded processors and possible lower prices?

    My uses would be as follows; school work, browsing, video capture (w/ HDPVR), video editing, photo editing, media center, and whatever else I might do in the future (coding and developing interests me).
     
  2. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

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    #2
    I would definitely wait, if you're going to be capturing video, encoding it and editing it. Especially hi-def video.

    There's nothing 'bad' about the current core2duos at all, in fact they would do anything the newer clarkdales can do, except video editing and encoding is the one area where hyperthreading support is already implemented, and would speed up your processes by a big chunk.
     
  3. iMacdude313 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Do you think the chunk would be significant enough to make a difference when I'll be just capturing gameplays from an Xbox 360 and putting them on Youtube and maybe capturing movies to store on the harddrive?
     
  4. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

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    #4
    Well, hauppauge hd pvr should encode the footage live with its h264 hardware encoder, but probably not as good as you could do with post-processing encoding at lower bitrates. Since youtube limits bitrates by quite a bit, you'll get a lot of quality out of it if you encode at a lower bitrate with x264/h264 on the computer.

    Yes, you'll save lots of time-- up to 30%.
     
  5. iMacdude313 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Hmm, well if need be would a 21.5 suit my needs in your honest opinion. I've been using a 2.2Ghz Macbook for the past 3 years, I'm assuming that upgrading to an iMac will be a pretty significant change for me.
    I just turned 17 just don't see a way that I can pull in another $500 anytime soon. Unless of course I find somebody who wants to buy the posters from my sig? :p
     
  6. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

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    #6
    You won't have to spend an extra 500 for the iMac. Wait until around September-October when they refresh the lineup, and the model you're currently aiming for (high-end 21.5") will likely be upgraded to a 3.06ghz clarkdale and mobility 5650/5750 for the price of the current high end 21.5".
    It should be a decent upgrade from your 2.2ghz core duo/core2duo macbook with integrated gpu.
     
  7. iMacdude313 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    I meant to say pay another $500 for the high end 27 now. I don't think I can manage to wait another 3-4 months for this computer. I suppose i'll just have find a way to make $500 sometime soon.
     
  8. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

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    #8
    What's so urgent about it? I've managed 6 years out of my Power PC G5 iMac up until this past March when I got the current i7 iMac-- even if I had to keep the computer on overnight to finish its x264 encodes for 5 minute long videos or never have the performance to stream hd youtube flash videos.

    Who knows, if you've waited for that refresh, you might've just saved up another 500 bucks to buy the refreshed high end 27 inch iMac.
     
  9. iMacdude313 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    Well my girlfriend just bought me the HDPVR, so I'm feeling kinda bad just having it sitting in my room not going to use. Plus I'd like to start recording my gameplays as soon as possible. Just for reference, how long am I looking at for encoding a say 10 minute long youtube video?
     
  10. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

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    #10
    Hm. What's your current computer? If there's anything that intel's new nehalem architecture would boost performance of, it's definitely video encoding.

    The time it takes to encode a video depends heavily on the complexity of the encoder used-- higher complexity encoders provide better quality for the same amount of bitrate, of course. Something advanced like x264 could take 100x longer than a simple encoder like xvid or mpeg4, but that also depends on your current cpu as well.
     
  11. iMacdude313 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    Like I said before, a 2007 White Macbook, it has a 2.2 GHz C2D with 2 GB of RAM, and GMA X3100 graphics card with 144 MB VRAM. It doesn't support the HDPVR as it needs a card with at least 256 MB.

    The PVR is a Hauppauge,
    http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hdpvr.html
    It says it has a built in encoder for H.264 so.... ? Your obviously more knowledgeable on the subject than me. Like I said though, the videos would only be like at max 10 minutes.

    Thanks for the help so far by the way.
     
  12. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

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    #12
    I'd either get the current i5/i7 27 inch with mobility 4850 card, or wait until the refresh of the iMac lineup, so the high end 21 inch gets clarkdale and a mobility 5xxx series card that has 512mb of vram, to be honest. The 27 inch also has 4 slots for ram, making it cheaper to upgrade to 8gigs of ram. You don't necessarily need 8gigs of ram, but if you want the hd recording to appear smooth on your iMac, you'd want 8gigs of ram (again not a problem if you won't be playing the game off your computer screen)

    I know some people like to upgrade rather often and sell their computers, but I'm the type of guy who upgrades few and far between, as it stands I don't think it's good enough an upgrade-- even if your current macbook can't handle the hauppauge. That's just my opinion though, I'm sure others have differing opinions.
     
  13. iMacdude313 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    Well it'd be best for me to upgrade to my own computer. The Macbook is actually my fathers and between him teaching, me going to school, and using it for regular household things it's getting harder and harder to share. I suppose that i'll just save up an extra few hundred bucks and get the i5. If I'm going to shell out this much money for an iMac, I might as well go all out. I appreciate the help TMRaven, let me know if you know anybody interested in some Apple Posters ;)
     
  14. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

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    #14

    The 21.5 inch has the same slots for ram as the 27 inch model. Which is four. They both can handle 16GB of Ram.
     
  15. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

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    #15
    My iMac will be 3 years old in August. If I don't sell it and upgrade this year, it's value will start to drop off and it will work out more expensive when I do get a new machine.
     
  16. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

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    #16
    Oh, I suppose I let the 8 vs 16gb number get the best of my quick glances at the online apple store.

    You do you. If selling your current machine precedes a new computer, of course you can get away with upgrading more often. Topic Creator and I were in different situations though. I gave my old G5 to my mom, while he's sharing a computer with his dad.
     
  17. iMacdude313 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #17
    i5 vs. i7, besides the GHz difference, what is the difference/benefits?
     
  18. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

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    #18
    hyperthreading. hyperthreading allows the i7 to have 8virtual cores instead of 4 cores. This will boost performance in hyperthreaded tasks by up to 30%.
     
  19. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #19
    + Little more aggressive Turbo (3.2GHz vs 3.46GHz)
     
  20. iMacdude313 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    Can I ask where your getting all these numbers? Is the increase of 30% from an i7 not hyperthreading or from an i5, or C2D?

    After some thought, I'm thinking that the upper end 21.5 would suit me just fine, I'd just be waiting a bit longer to get work done and wouldn't have the 27". But future proofing is always a good thing, I'm aiming for the upper end iMac with in about 2 or so weeks so I'm just trying to see which would best suit me (i5 vs. i7)
     
  21. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #21
    21.5" does not have option for other than C2D. That 30% is the difference between i5 and i7 when all 8 threads of i7 can be used, so mainly in encoding.
     
  22. gelie macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Forgive my naivety , how do they jam in a I5 in the new MBP? When they refresh the 21.5, what is the likely upgrade?
     
  23. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #23
    i5 in MBP is mobile version. The i5 in iMac is quad core while in MBP it's dual core. iMac is a lot faster because of that. MBP have "Arrandale" while iMacs house "Lynnfield"

    Next gen iMac will likely get i3 and i5 "Clarkdale" which are dual core like MBP's but higher clocked
     
  24. gelie macrumors 6502

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    Thanks, about how much faster is the I3 or the I5 clarkdale from the C2D?
     
  25. Hellhammer Moderator

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    #25
    About 40% if Hyper-Threading is supported. For most people, it won't make a difference. Video encoding with HandBrake for example is something where it matters
     

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