After months of pondering, I've made a decision! (Almost..)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Steve.P.JobsFan, Feb 14, 2012.

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Which Intel processor should I opt for?

Poll closed Feb 16, 2012.
  1. 2.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5

    36.4%
  2. 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 (Add $180 USD)

    63.6%
  1. Steve.P.JobsFan, Feb 14, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012

    Steve.P.JobsFan macrumors 6502a

    Steve.P.JobsFan

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    #1
    I made a decision on a Mac. I found out the 512MB graphics card would be fine for what I do. I decided on the upgraded 21.5" iMac (the $1499 config.). The Genius said I would definitely need 8GB RAM, and he said the same thing I was about to say, buy it from Crucial. 8GB RAM for $45 via Crucial, or $200 via Apple. I'm looking at the 2.7GHz Quad-Core i5, 4GB RAM (Upgraded to 8GB), a 1TB HDD, and the Radeon HD 6770M card with 512MB VRAM. My question is, should I pay the extra $180 for the 2.8GHz Quad-Core i7? Part of me says yes because the i7 has hyperthreading, but part of me says no because I'd wait an extra week or two. If I get the 2.7 chip, I can get it Saturday. I really want off this Windows Machine with a failing HDD. It's like playing Russian Roulette. So, what would you do? 2.7 i5, or 2.8 i7? BTW, I would wait until the new generation, but I've been waiting for 2 months. The waiting is killing me.
     
  2. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a

    Angelo95210

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Paris, France
    #2
    You wrote an heavy post without even telling us what you want to do with this machine. We cannot help you.
     
  3. Steve.P.JobsFan thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Steve.P.JobsFan

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    #3
    I'm sorry. My mind was clouded with other things. What will I do? iWork, Office, Windows 7 in Bootcamp, moderate gaming everyday in OS X and Windows, iTunes, occasional 1080p video render in iMovie.

    Basically, the normal stuff, but with moderate to heavy gaming, and exporting a 720p movie maybe once a week, and 1080p once per month.
     
  4. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a

    Angelo95210

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Paris, France
    #4
    No worries. Honestly for your needs I am sure the i5 is powerful enough even for the video stuff, which you do not do intensively.
     
  5. bungiefan89 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    #5
    I would advise you to take 2 things in to consideration:

    1) it's a good idea to future-proof your machine. You probably won't be able to upgrade the CPU later, and it'll be good to know you got the most power you could. Granted, I don't know how much of a performance increase you'd get with that upgrade, but that's for someone else to answer, and something for you to consider in the meantime.

    2) the 2012 iMacs are probably just a few months away (Figure April-May). Are you sure you can't wait that long for a substantially more powerful computer at the same price, or the computer you're looking to buy at a reduced cost? ;)
     
  6. camardelle macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Location:
    Texas
    #6
    It's never too early to dump your windows machine. Make the jump.
     
  7. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #7
    Go with the faster CPU, and dump the Windows PC. You will never look back or regret your decision.
     
  8. yashi macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    #8
    I've never regretted paying extra for computer upgrades. If you can afford it, go for it.
     
  9. jwm2 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    #9
    $180 for 100mhz, thats $1.80 per Mhz. Sounds extremely expensive to me. Save the money and upgrade the RAM. The stuff you listed above i can still do on my 8 year old 2ghz single core windows xp machine, so the need for extra power is wasted in this particular instance. Even if you plan on doing lots of gaming the 100mhz speed bump will make virtually no difference what-so-ever.
     
  10. Kendo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    #10
    You only need the base model in my opinion. You don't even "need" 8GB RAM but it wouldn't be a bad move for $50.
     
  11. tuccillo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    #11
    Regarding the I5 vs. I7 processor, Apple is charging almost 2x the net difference in price. Regardless, the I7 gets you an increase in cache, an increase in clock rate, and hyperthreads. The memory bandwidth is the same. Hyperthreads essentially allow two processes to share the same core - depending on what the processes are doing, it may or may not yield an advantage. My own experience with computationally intensive apps is there is no advantage to hyperthreads - your mileage will vary. If it was me, I would put the $180 in the bank. I generally try to spend the least amount of money possible (to meet my needs) on depreciating assets. Actually, I would opt for the $999 refurbished entry-level iMac and put $500 ( or $680 ) in the bank.

    I am in a similar boat - need to replace my wife's PC. She has become "Apple Centric". I am waiting for new iMacs to come out and then will probably pick up lowest cost current generation (hopefully less than $999 for refurbished entry level iMac).


     
  12. karmamule macrumors 6502

    karmamule

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Location:
    Waltham, MA
    #12
    My first instinct was to say the jump is not worth it, but when you mentioned "moderate to heavy gaming" that changed my mind. Some games are coded to take advantage of the gpu, and others rely more heavily on the cpu.

    Once gaming comes into the picture I almost always recommend buying the highest spec you can reasonable afford and (just as importantly!) have the patience to wait for.
     
  13. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #13
    The crucial point for what you said is "Gaming" - some games impact heavily on video ram, so 512MB may be low graphics settings for a lot of games.

    As for ram, yeah, get the base ram from Apple and add the 8GB crucial kit for a total of 12GB.

    As for 2.7 vs 2.8 if you can afford it, go for it. and what you're getting the most use of is the extra cache and the faster speed, hyper threading is a tad overrated for most uses.
     
  14. Steve.P.JobsFan thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Steve.P.JobsFan

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    #14
    I've had a Mac before. I sold my iMac to buy this new one. The Windows machine is a temporary fix until the iMac arrives. The iMac I was using but sold, was a 2007 Aluminium with the 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM, OS X Lion, and the 2600 PRO Graphics Card.
     
  15. camardelle macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Location:
    Texas
    #15
    I just made the leap and am loving my Apple experience so far.
     
  16. Steve.P.JobsFan thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Steve.P.JobsFan

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    #16
    I'm glad you're liking your experience. I think I should say this though. I am NOT making the switch. I'm a Mac User. This is my first time using Windows in 3 years. I sold my Mac, so I can buy a new Mac. The only reason I'm on a Windows box is because it's the only other computer that I have.
     
  17. Liquinn Suspended

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    #17
    This posts confuses me. What do you mean? You can still own a Mac and use Microsoft Windows on it by dual booting as we all know.

    I'm a little confused though; what's the difference between making the switch to a Mac and being a Mac user?

    Cheers.
     
  18. camardelle macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Location:
    Texas
    #18

    LOL I keep a windows machine in use also for a single piece of software that only works under the windows environment for my gps. Luckily they've had a version in beta for mac that is finally coming of age.
     
  19. Steve.P.JobsFan thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Steve.P.JobsFan

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    #19
    People are thinking I'm a first time Mac user, and making the switch from Windows to OS X. I have a spare PC with Windows 7 on it. I've been using that since I sold my iMac. I don't use BootCamp. I made the switch almost two years ago. I still have a PC, though.
     

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