Difference between i5 and i7 more noticeable in future?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Bartos88, May 12, 2011.

  1. Bartos88, May 12, 2011
    Last edited: May 12, 2011

    Bartos88 macrumors member

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    Apr 8, 2011
    #1
    Hi, I'm going to get my first 27" iMac at the end of the month (I now own a macbook alu). I'm still in doubt between the i5 2.7, 3.1 and i7 3.4. After student discount and tax returns, the difference between the 2.7 and 3.1 is about 180 euro, and the difference between the 3.1 and 3.4 i7 is about 150 euro. Because of these relatively small price differences, I'm thinking of just going for the i7, since it's only 330 euro more (1550 euro total) than the low-end 27" (1220 euro total).

    On short term, the i7 is probably going to be worthwile for me because I have to do some cpu-intensive experiments for my graduation project. But after that is over, I don't think i'm going to notice the difference between the the i5 and i7 processors during my average usage. Do you guys think that in 2 years time, the difference between the i7 and i5 processors are going to be more noticeable in average use?

    Any info to help me make a decision is much appreciated :)
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #2
    There is no such thing as future proofing. Give up now.
     
  3. Bartos88 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 8, 2011
    #3
    I guess that future-proofing is the wrong word. What I mean is will the difference between the i5 and i7 be more noticeable during average use that it is now?
     
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #4
    It probably won't matter at all, depending on your definition of "average use."
     
  5. PorterRocks macrumors 6502

    PorterRocks

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    #5
    I'm ordering the i7 because I plan on using my iMac for a long time. I'd like to keep it as fast as possible since it's quite an investment.:D
     
  6. Norne macrumors member

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    Norway
    #6
    Frame your trade-off

    View it this way: Going for the basic 2.7 leaves €330 that you could splurge towards, say, an iPod Touch 32 GB. Of course, if you already own an iPhone or iPad that particular point is moot, but you get it: two gizmos - or the decked-out single one?

    I don't think you'll notice any practical difference - not today, not in two years - on i7 vs i5.

    But then I myself didn't heed such advice, and await the i7 with SSD and CPU/GPU/HDD upgrades, admittedly wasting a lot more than you're contemplating .:p
     
  7. ThE.MeSsEnGeR macrumors 6502a

    ThE.MeSsEnGeR

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    #7
    I was gonna tell you, that since you CAN afford the high-end one, why not going with it? no matter if you're gonna use it for heavy duty or not. in 2 or 3 years, you'll still be in good shape because you made a smart investment today! so go for it and enjoy the roaring beast! and you'll make it roar even more with Lion in a couple of months :D
     
  8. curtisinoc macrumors 6502

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    Southern California
    #8
    (Good point / advice from "one1" on another thread):

    "Always buy the best you can afford. The higher resale and better performance will continue to satisfy through ownership. Buying anything less than the best you can buy is kinda like staying where you are right now because it's not as good as the best iMacs that are out. That's why you are upgrading in the first place" .........
     
  9. PorterRocks macrumors 6502

    PorterRocks

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    #9
    Exactly! I'm willing to upgrade my iPhone every year, but not my mac.
     
  10. Bartos88 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 8, 2011
    #10
    Thanks guys. I think you have convinced me to go with the i7, if only to avoid living in doubt afterwards :p

    @Norne: Spending the 330 euro an ipod or something is also a good plan, but I already hope to get a free ipod touch using the back2school promotion (if I can manage to restrain myself from buying for another 2 weeks... :p)
     
  11. Norne macrumors member

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    Norway
    #11
    ..then try the 1TB Time Capsule

    Ok, but what I'm trying to entertain, is a notion that your decision needs to be at a comparable budget: In effect, the advice that says 'easy - go for the i7' simply say that when faced a choice between an i5 and an i5+€330 (=i7), they obviously want the latter.

    The harder choice might well be when the same budget constraint is applied:

    Do you want an i5 w/1TB Time Capsule, or do you want the i7 without? Note that you will get the iPod Touch promo deal in both cases :cool:
     
  12. PorterRocks macrumors 6502

    PorterRocks

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    #12
    On that note, you could argue that you could always get the Time Capsule later on down the line. You can't buy the i5 and then upgrade it to the i7 later on (without buying a whole new computer), you have to go all-in on the options you want when you purchase the iMac.
     
  13. Bartos88 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 8, 2011
    #13
    I see what you're saying :)
    But I don't really have a fixed budget that I need/want to fill completely. At this point I only really need a new computer, and can't really justify it to myself to buy any other gadgets. So if I don't go for the BTO, then the extra money would just stay in my pocket (also nice ofcourse :p).
     
  14. sonarghost macrumors regular

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    Sep 6, 2006
    #14
    I personally would feel more comfortable buying the best now and not needing it than needing it in the future and not having it. You can easily get more Ram, external disk space, ect. for your new computer in a year or two but you can't upgrade you cpu.
     
  15. bdmst16 macrumors newbie

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    May 1, 2011
    #15
    I'm going to chime in since I've been looking at the 2.7 i5 and the 2.8 i7 (21.5") pretty hard since the announcement.

    The cost is $200 to upgrade to the 2.8 i7. Both are 4 Core - but the i7 has HyperThreading. Now for every benchmark I've seen the 2500 i5 and the 2600 i7 score almost identical - except for applications that can make use of hyperthreading. For those applications there was a noticeable increase in the 2600 i7 from the 2500 i5.

    But in the end for me - I will not be needing the HyperThreading as much as I originally thought - and the fact my lack of patience allows me to buy the i5 2500 in an apple store rather than BTO :)
     
  16. orangewall macrumors member

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    May 3, 2011
    #16
    I went for the i7 because my collegue at work told me its the better choice for the future, he says i5's do not have multi-treats (or however its spelled) & that the i7 series do. & Considering i'm a webdesigner & developer (my job+hobby),.. i need programs such as the ones from adobe creative suite, netbeans, sqlyog, stuff like that, & my collegue said, right now, multi-treats isnt quite 'in' yet, but he goes on to say that in the future more and more programs will be multi-treats, so that was my motivation...

    That and it wasn't 'that' expensive to upgrade to i7 so i went for it (y).
    should have my mac tomorrow unless the ups guy drops it or something x)

    *i meant 'HyperThreading', after reading above post ^^, thanks bdmst16
     
  17. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

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    Feb 6, 2011
    #17
    Take example of imac 2010 model. A standard i5 quad core 2010 iMac, which priced $2000 now can't even compete with 2011 base 21" with 2.5ghz i5 on processing power, although 5750 in top end 2010 still better than 6750.

    But imac 2010 with 2.93ghz i7 still catch up with 3.4ghz i7 now, only a bit less powerfull. So, for a bit future proofing, stretch out as max as you can so u dont put to shame when imac 2012 released later
     
  18. Bartos88 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 8, 2011
    #18
    Thanks guys, I'm pretty sure now that I will be going with the i7. The only small worry that I have now is whether the i7 (and 6970M) will produce a lot more heat and fan noise than the other 27" models.
     
  19. Georgio macrumors 6502

    Georgio

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    Essex, UK
    #19
    All the aluminium iMacs heat up during heavy use, i.e. gaming, video encoding etc. but they're designed to so it's not an issue.
    The i7 isn't going to heat up/ramp up the fans any more than the i5 so relax. If you're really worried install a third-party manual fan control and rack the fans up a couple of notches. :rolleyes:

     
  20. Bartos88 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 8, 2011
    #20
    Actually, it's not so much the heat I'm worried about, but more the fan-noise that it will lead to. But if you say there isn't going to be a noticeable difference between the i7 and i5, then i'm reassured :)
     
  21. makingmusic macrumors regular

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    Nov 3, 2008
    #21
    I have a late 2009 i7 and only hear the fan when the CD-ROM is involved. I never turn my machine off - just a reboot once a week! Going to but the 2011 i7. Maybe tonight :)
     
  22. Bartos88 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 8, 2011
    #22
    Nice! I can't wait to order mine, but I'm gonna have contain myself for another 2 weeks for the back2school promo. It's getting harder every day...
     
  23. trip1ex macrumors 68000

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    Jan 10, 2008
    #23
    i7 is only for bragging rights. Will not make one iota of a difference in how long you keep your computer.
     
  24. hipnotizer macrumors regular

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    Apr 11, 2011
    #24
    I know the way my brain works....I always get the best possible.

    If I purchased an i5 the little voice in the back of my head would say

    "Uh oh you should have got an i7"
     
  25. makingmusic macrumors regular

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    Nov 3, 2008
    #25
    I always want the latest and greatest Apple "toy" and have trouble waiting. In reality there is NOTHING wrong with my current computer. So, why would I put my self through the effort of buying a new one and transferring everything from one system to the other. No, idea but I hope to move forward and buy this afternoon. I am no longer in education (work for a corporation) so get a corporate discount but no back-to-school iPod!
     

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