Core i5 vs. i7?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by fotomatt1, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. fotomatt1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    #1
    I'm about to pull the trigger on a Late 2012 iMac 27". I was pretty much set on the 3.4Ghz i7, but now I'm wondering if it's worth the extra $200 for me. I'm a photo retoucher.....mostly Photoshop CS6, plus processing images with Capture One Pro or Lightroom 4. I also do some video encoding with HandBrake. If I'm not going to notice an appreciable difference, then I might as well save the $200.

    My thinking with the i7 is that I'm also future-proofing my system....perhaps it will last me longer with the faster processor. Any thoughts?
     
  2. painless6505 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2012
    Location:
    BC, Canada
  3. Spink10 macrumors 601

    Spink10

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #3
    If you plan to keep your iMac for several years this will be helpful - if you will upgrade it 2 years I would say no.
     
  4. trustever macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    #4
    you'd better save that 200 bucks to finance something else, you will not benefit much from the i7. I had the same dilemma but after reading the forum and the article posted above I have decided to go for the i5.
     
  5. SmithCommaJohn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    #5
    Same here. I want to use my iMac to play games (it's been an extremely time since I've had a decent computer, so I''ve got something like a 10-year backlog of PC games that I haven't played) and I decided that my upgrade budget would be far better spent on the 680MX than the i7, which would provide little benefit to many users beyond the ability to say that they have "the best one."
     
  6. risk52 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    #6
    i5-->4 cores,4 threads.

    i7-->4 cores,8 threads!

    that's the extra cash!I'm doing video editing and i've bought the i7 and fusion 1tb...
     
  7. fotomatt1 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    #7
    I think I'll only see a difference if the software I use can take advantage of hyperthreading. I have to look into that, but I also plan on keeping this computer 3 - 4 years, so it's a future proof kind of thing.
     
  8. jmpage2 macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #8
    Admittedly, most applications don't benefit from hyper-threading. However if you do a lot of video encoding, the i7 is a pretty huge upgrade. $200 in the grand scheme of things is small potatoes, if like me, you encode hundreds of hours of video a year.
     
  9. fotomatt1 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    #9
    I don't do a ton of video encoding....just ripping movies for my Apple TV and iPad with HandBrake or iVI. I'm not sure if I'll notice much of a difference between the i5 and i7. I'm pretty sure Photoshop CS6 benefits from Hyperthreading, but again, not sure how much of a difference I'll notice. At my office I'm working on a Mac Pro Quad Core Xeon with 16gb RAM....I have a feeling the Core i5 with 32gb will be faster than that.
     
  10. jmpage2 macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #10
    The i7 is probably 25%-30% faster in handbrake encodes compared to the i5. Maybe more. So decide if $200 is worth shaving a 2 hour encode down to 80 minutes.
     
  11. stevensr123 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #11
    What about program's like AUTOCAD and Revit? Do these program's rely more on the CPU or GPU?

    I ask because this year I'm gonna start trying to learn more about REVIT at home since at the moment I'm doing autocad full time at work.

    Gonna be sensible though with my money since I'm on an apprentice right now.
     
  12. bmcgrath macrumors 65816

    bmcgrath

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    London, United Kingdom
    #12
    i5 has plenty of power for most things. I went with the i5 and I would consider myself as a bit of power user. I've never hit any bottlenecks with this CPU.

    Best thing is to add plenty of RAM. I've got 16 and my iMac sings along.
     
  13. avatars macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Location:
    Ohio - U.S.A.
    #13
    My current iMac is from 2007, and I am thinking of getting the late 2012 version and letting my 11 & 6 y/o kids use the 2007 edition. Similar to my current iMac, I am looking for something that will remain relevant for at least 5 years. I do not do much gaming or video editing, though as my kids get older they may get into that. Is it worth it to get the i7 if I am looking to use an iMac for at least 5 years? In other words, is there a trend that more and more programs will utilize the additional threading, such that it becomes the norm in 3-5 years?
     
  14. marc11 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Location:
    NY USA
    #14
    Both are quad core both will remain relevant for many years. IMHO the i5 fine.
     
  15. avatars macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Location:
    Ohio - U.S.A.
    #15
    Thank you! I plan to upgrade the RAM to 24GB myself, and my thought was that would be the best money spent for the long term, and to go with the i5.
     
  16. joeybuckets macrumors regular

    joeybuckets

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Location:
    Brooklyn,NY
    #16

    great thread, i am about to purchase a imac also... 27inch, i currently have a 2008 imac 24 inch... and the debate between i5 and i7 continues.....
     
  17. VideoBeagle macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Location:
    App Q&A testing by request.
    #17
    Thanks for this thread and the great answers.

    i kind of cross between a lot of the questioners in this thread, though all of my current machines are older. (a Dual G5 and 2 dual core-duos)

    I want to buy the most future proof iMac. I mainly do photo editing (Photoshop) but of late have been playing a with After Effects and dabbling with Daz Studio and plan to do more with that with the new machine.

    I too do video converting, but i often set up queues to let stuff like that process when I'm out or asleep.

    I do some gaming, nothing cutting edge, but for example, I have Arkham City that I can kind of play on my current machines in a very small window, so I'd like to be able to that at full (full-ish) power.

    I'd been thinking i7, but now looking over this thread, I'm wondering if instead, doing the option for the better video may serve me better. Would those in the know concur?
     
  18. flavr macrumors 6502

    flavr

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    #18
    everything you named would benefit from video card
     
  19. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #19
    Everything done on a computer benefits from a faster CPU, and the i7 family of CPUs (regardless of margin) consistently benchmarks faster than the i5 family. And you don't need specifically coded apps to take advantage of hyper-threading, OS X itself takes advantage of hyper-threading when scheduling tasks and threads. When I have a lot of apps working at the same time I can see processing spill over to the virtual cores.

    If you want future proofing, include the i7 CPU on your features-to-add list :D
     
  20. Arfdog, Apr 6, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013

    Arfdog macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2013
    #20
    I made this chart to guide my Mac purchase. The linear slopes show that you get more performance gain per buck gain with the hard drive and GPU upgrades than the CPU upgrades.
     

    Attached Files:

  21. VideoBeagle macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Location:
    App Q&A testing by request.
    #21
    Interesting graph...Where'd you find the data for the performance comparisons between components?
     
  22. Arfdog, Apr 8, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013

    Arfdog macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2013
    #22
    Various benchmarks. Geekbench for the CPU, some nvidia chart for the GPU, and some tests of the FD vs HD. What's clear is that the 680MX GPU and Fusion Drive are huge bangs for the buck. The 680MX is a bit of a surprise as to how blazing it is.

    Btw: thanks!
     
  23. VideoBeagle macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Location:
    App Q&A testing by request.
    #23
    Awesome..amazingly helpful information in making buying choices.
     
  24. renem111 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2013
    #24
    I use an i5 for business but also sometimes for games .... and it works rellal fine ... I think i7 is just needed if you really do something with video stuff
     
  25. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #25
    Interesting graph but benchmarks are not the same as "real life". If you have to render lots of video, the processor will give far more bang for buck than the Fusion Drive, and for some programs that can use the graphics processor the 680MX will give much more bang for buck than the other choices. If you spend your time opening and using office applications then only the Fusion Drive will make any noticeable difference.
     

Share This Page