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Drewsf1

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 21, 2013
10
10
Hi,

I've read all the threads on the i7 vs. i5, and have a pretty good understanding of them (i5 is enough for a majority of users, i7 is useful for Handbrake or heavy PhotoShop usage)

I am ordering a machine with the Fusion Drive, best video card and additional RAM. I am willing to pay the additional $200 for a slight performance increase and possibly slightly better "future-proofing." (I tend to keep a machine for a very long time)

In reading online, I've come across several negative comments about the i7:

- Possibly causing problems with some games (I will be gaming on my iMac)
- Possibly running slower than the i5 in certain situations
- Running hotter than the i5 (Although it sounds to me that Apple has done a remarkable job on the cooling systems of the new iMacs)

All of these negative comments seemed to be of the "I've heard from someone..." and not direct experience.

Are any of these arguments based in reality? If so, I will go with the i5. Otherwise, I would like to get the fastest possible CPU and go with the i7.

Thanks!
 

leman

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2008
13,054
8,516
The i7 will be faster, simply because its a faster CPU (HT notwithstanding). It will run hotter though in applications that area heavily multithreaded.
 
Comment

flavr

macrumors 6502
Nov 9, 2011
363
40
Hi,

I've read all the threads on the i7 vs. i5, and have a pretty good understanding of them (i5 is enough for a majority of users, i7 is useful for Handbrake or heavy PhotoShop usage)

I am ordering a machine with the Fusion Drive, best video card and additional RAM. I am willing to pay the additional $200 for a slight performance increase and possibly slightly better "future-proofing." (I tend to keep a machine for a very long time)

In reading online, I've come across several negative comments about the i7:

- Possibly causing problems with some games (I will be gaming on my iMac)
- Possibly running slower than the i5 in certain situations
- Running hotter than the i5 (Although it sounds to me that Apple has done a remarkable job on the cooling systems of the new iMacs)

All of these negative comments seemed to be of the "I've heard from someone..." and not direct experience.

Are any of these arguments based in reality? If so, I will go with the i5. Otherwise, I would like to get the fastest possible CPU and go with the i7.

Thanks!

My quick answer is getting the i7 won't hurt (except for your wallet), but it won't help either unless you are running applications that utilize its extra features over the i5 and the slight .2mhz bump...

if .2mhz and a few select applications taking advantage of its hyper-threading features is worth it to you, then spend the $200
 
Comment

spatlese44

macrumors 6502
Dec 13, 2007
378
28
Milwaukee
I was wondering the same thing before I bought my Mac Mini. I don't really do processor intensive things and I hate fan noise so much that I would rather have an underclocked, lower end or throttled CPU than listen to the thing blasting away. That said, I did go with the i7. I figured no matter if it were an i5 or an i7, when the CPU gets tasked 100% the fan is going to go on. Then there's Apple's configuration scheme for the Mini, which doesn't allow a fusion drive on the i5 model, which is what I really wanted more than the i7. What with the extra cost of the i7 (and a keyboard and trackpad I bought with the computer) I was up to $950 and really needed to stop, so the fusion drive drive and 16 GB of RAM are going to have to wait and be added later. For me, there was also the psychological aspect to it; wouldn't you always feel like your missing something. My Mini is my second replacing a 2009 model and I wanted to make my purchase feel like more of an upgrade. I've only had it a couple of weeks now, but I see no downside to the i7. It even sounds cool, "quad-core"; yeah! Go for it.
 
Comment

Bigtree

macrumors 6502
Aug 7, 2007
330
107
What are examples of programs that use hyper-threading features?
 
Comment

comatory

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2012
738
0
I was wondering the same thing before I bought my Mac Mini. I don't really do processor intensive things and I hate fan noise so much that I would rather have an underclocked, lower end or throttled CPU than listen to the thing blasting away. That said, I did go with the i7. I figured no matter if it were an i5 or an i7, when the CPU gets tasked 100% the fan is going to go on. Then there's Apple's configuration scheme for the Mini, which doesn't allow a fusion drive on the i5 model, which is what I really wanted more than the i7. What with the extra cost of the i7 (and a keyboard and trackpad I bought with the computer) I was up to $950 and really needed to stop, so the fusion drive drive and 16 GB of RAM are going to have to wait and be added later. For me, there was also the psychological aspect to it; wouldn't you always feel like your missing something. My Mini is my second replacing a 2009 model and I wanted to make my purchase feel like more of an upgrade. I've only had it a couple of weeks now, but I see no downside to the i7. It even sounds cool, "quad-core"; yeah! Go for it.

i5 and i7 are completely different chips on Mac mini, IMHO dont listen to this guys advice. i7 on MM will almost always be a better choice from value perspective.

As I said to few other people in my area who asked on advice. If you feel the need to ask i5 or i7, youre probably good with i5 on iMac. i7 has very specific uses for very specific users, even if you decide to do more intensive stuff in the future like video production etc, the i5 is still very capable chip for those things.

Save the money and rather get a fusion drive and more RAM, that is something you will notice in everyday use.
 
Comment

Raima

macrumors 6502
Jan 21, 2010
398
9
The i7 is faster, meaning that you have less time and need to rush more during your toilet breaks.

Spillage may occur!
 
Comment

marzer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,365
63
Colorado
What are examples of programs that use hyper-threading features?

There's some misunderstanding about HT. It doesn't just lie dormant until an an app that uses is ran. There are apps that can take advantage of all available virtual processing power like Handbrake. It will max all 8 virtual cores on its own. Virtual machines are another way to take advantage of additional virtual cores.

However, OS X will also make use of the virtual cpus for load balancing regular apps. When my system is under heavy load from many standard apps running simultaneously can I see activity across all 8 virtual cores.

----------

But yes, if you CAN drive 55 then the i5 is probably okay for you :D
 
Comment

Dr Charter

macrumors 6502
Feb 26, 2011
277
8
Oklahoma
I was wondering the same thing before I bought my Mac Mini. I don't really do processor intensive things and I hate fan noise so much that I would rather have an underclocked, lower end or throttled CPU than listen to the thing blasting away. That said, I did go with the i7. I figured no matter if it were an i5 or an i7, when the CPU gets tasked 100% the fan is going to go on. Then there's Apple's configuration scheme for the Mini, which doesn't allow a fusion drive on the i5 model, which is what I really wanted more than the i7. What with the extra cost of the i7 (and a keyboard and trackpad I bought with the computer) I was up to $950 and really needed to stop, so the fusion drive drive and 16 GB of RAM are going to have to wait and be added later. For me, there was also the psychological aspect to it; wouldn't you always feel like your missing something. My Mini is my second replacing a 2009 model and I wanted to make my purchase feel like more of an upgrade. I've only had it a couple of weeks now, but I see no downside to the i7. It even sounds cool, "quad-core"; yeah! Go for it.

You probably see more benefits on a mini because the i7 is quad core compared to the dual core i5, right?
 
Comment

danNYtrack

macrumors newbie
Mar 1, 2013
18
0
- Running hotter than the i5 (Although it sounds to me that Apple has done a remarkable job on the cooling systems of the new iMacs)

I have the i7 and I've been running Handbreak at full speed for a good 5 days non-stop now and the iMac is still silent as can be. Not only that but Handbreak doesn't cause everything else to freeze up. I've been converting movies, streaming from iTunes to Apple TV, editing my iTunes library, updating, restoring, syncing, jailbreaking iPads and iPhones, light gaming, browsing the web, syncing my nook to Calibre, downloading from the Mac App Store, and updating apps all at the same time with literally zero problems. The i7 is a powerhouse and I HIGHLY reccomend splurging for it.
 
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