Core 2 Duo or i5 for my needs??? Advice sort :)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by moneyshot, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. moneyshot macrumors member

    Nov 23, 2006

    I am going to buy a 27inch imac but cannot decide between the Core 2 Duo or i5 quad core models…

    The most powerful program I would use is Lightroom and occasionally Photoshop...

    I do have VM Fusion running with Windows XP although I only use this for a stock market trading platform.

    Other than that I usually have safari and firefox running simultaneously with multiple windows and tabs at any given time. Vuze torrent client, word, excel, itunes, quicktime, mail and skype…

    Will there be any noticeable difference in handling all the different programs and applications at the same time between the core 2 duo and i5???

    I also will be using a 20 Apple cinema display as an extra screen, will the video card and memory be a factor with this???

    Ive read that the i5 will be better for multitasking... Does my use qualify as multitasking?

    One more question: extra ram... Would having an extra 4GB of ram speed things up for my use?

    Thanks in advance :)
  2. juliancs macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2006
    I would say 4GB ram and a good C2D would be enough for you.
  3. iWoz macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2009
    East Midlands, U.K

    Can you upgrade the graphics card at a later date?
  4. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    Given the relatively small price difference for the huge performance increase I would get the quad model. As it will have a much longer useful life.

    Usually with Mac models I consider the processor differences negligible but in this case I do not consider this stance true.

    In my opinion Apple should not have even made the Core 2 model of the 27inch.


    Though on the 27 inch the GPU is actually removable, which I think is a first for the iMac. I doubt Apple will ever offer upgrades. The best you could hope is to get a replacement 4850 at an insanely inflated price and jam it into the Core 2 model with the hope that it will work.
  5. Zedsdead185 macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2006
    The Core 2 duo should be enough for all that you have in mind. I have an older 2.2ghz C2D macbook pro and use loads of photoshop and InDesign. I usually have plenty of programs open all at once and i don't find it slows down that much at all really.
    The Quad core would be very nice though if you can afford to/want to get it. Though it would be.
    I'd get the quad if you can afford it just to future proof it more, yet if your stretching your wallet with that, then the C2D should do just fine.
  6. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    The C2D is good, but i5 will give you more performance.
    THe i5 will indeed be more futureproof, multicores are the future and the cost isn't too much extra
  7. moneyshot thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 23, 2006
    Thanks for the replies :)

    Just one more question: specifically what will be the difference between the c2d and i5 models? In what sort of computing situations will the i5 be better?

  8. Goldie009 macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2009
    The i5 will be better in situations where you have multiple programs running CPU intensive processes. I.E if you were encoding a video with handbrake in the background whilst editing a photo or browsing your iphoto album then the quad core processor would allow iphoto to run smoothly AND allow handbrake to run at a speed comparable to that of the c2d model.

    If you were doing the same job on the c2d model the framerate that handbrake was running at would suffer more than it would with the i5 - this is because the i5 has two more cores that can run threads at 2.66Ghz, as opposed to 2 cores doing all the work at 3.06ghz....

    When we get to a time when all software written is designed to me multicore aware then you will see another speed boost as you would effectively have 4 x 2.66Ghz Processors to either multi task - i.e 4 apps could get a 2.66ghz processor each, or one app could benefit from all 4 processor cores sharing the load - for much faster run times.
  9. iWoz macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2009
    East Midlands, U.K

    I dont do any video editing, however I do use iPhoto, so I assume the quad core isnt necessary!
  10. moneyshot thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 23, 2006

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