Do i need multithreading for day to day home use?

hardtofin

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 4, 2009
74
12
I see the i9 in the 27inch imac has great performance for multithreading compared to the i5. But my question is, for every day use of just running single apps, no photoshop,lightroom etc, just mail, chrome, spotify, movies etc, does my computer make enough use of multithreading to justify worrying about it?

Other than that the only game in play is world of warcraft on my mac.

I cant decide whether or not i should spend the money to get the i9 as the single core performance is pretty close to the i5, its the multithreading where the i9 excels.

Thanks guys :)
 
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Ledgem

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2008
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Probably not.

But test it for yourself. Open Activity Monitor and set it to the CPU view, double-click on the "CPU Load" graph, and then resize the floating window so that you can see all of the graphs that can generated, which represents each core (both physical and virtual). If you don't like floating windows, you can also monitor activity in your Dock, although you won't have the historical data. To do that, with Activity Monitor open go to View > Dock Icon > Show CPU Usage. Depending on the number of processor cores - both physical and virtual - your machine has, this may show either a single grouped bar, or a set of individual bars.

Then, take a peek at it every now and then. Do you ever see all of the graphs maxing out? If so, you'll benefit from having more cores because you're doing something that is heavily using multithreading. Do you ever see only one or two bars maxing out? If so, you're using applications that aren't using the full processor power, and would benefit from a faster speed but not from more cores. (If you're only seeing a single bar for activity, you'll need to guess a bit more - seeing it consistently around 25% or 50% would indicate that a single core or two cores on a four-core system are likely maxing out, but the remaining cores aren't being utilized.) And if you're never finding your processor maxing out on any of the cores, then... you might not notice a huge difference in performance with any processor upgrade, unless your upgrade would remove a major performance bottleneck that suddenly allows the processor to handle a lot more tasks at once, in which case we can't say what would be best.
 
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mikehalloran

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Oct 14, 2018
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It depends. If you take a half hour 4K video off your and chop it down to the 12 minutes that feature your kid for posting on Facebook... you may not need it in the strictest sense but you’ll be glad you have it.

Oh yea...
 

hardtofin

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 4, 2009
74
12
thank you for the replies guys! i'm going to try the activity monitor thing out now.
[doublepost=1553852300][/doublepost]One last question. How much space does OSX actually take up once it's all installed and been running for a couple of months?
 

mikehalloran

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Oct 14, 2018
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Good question. On mine:

System. 9GB
Library. 182GB
Applications: 104GB

Total. 305G

These are the files that need to be on the boot drive. Period. As you can see, 256GB isn’t enough for me. In addition, active work files should be there as well. Could I get away with 512GB? Maybe but thank goodness, I don’t have to.

More and more applications install all supporting files in the App itself. Logic Pro, for example, is 1.52GB and it’s by no mean the largest. This needs to be considered if you wish to ‘future proof’ to any degree possible.

Many will argue that all your work files can be offloaded. An external like the Samsung X5 is just as fast. $450 for 1TB; $997 for 2TB. What’s the $ difference between that and extra storage on board? So why do I recommend more storage onboard? APFS Snapshots —

APFS Snapshots only works on the boot drive and in the (hopefully rare) instance that you install an update or app or screw up royally, you can restore your entire system to an earlier state in a few minutes. Previously, you had to restore from a backup which in the case of a complete system, takes hours (amount 10 in my case). I discovered this when I updated to OS 10.13.4 and one of my monitors no longer worked (Apple didn’t fix this till Mojave). I discovered Snapshots accidentally while setting up for a complete TM restore — I was back to 10.13.3 in 5 minutes. I test apps for companies and some of app updates can screw up work in progress in ways that reverting the app can’t always fix. So, the ability to roll everything back a few minutes or an hour is huge for me.

On my machine, Work files are in Users (1.3TB). These include everything from my music on iTunes, audio and video that I work with and everything else. Now, I can offload iTunes (150GB), movies (except I don’t have any) and completed projects as soon as done onto external drives. Doing this could get my requirements down to 1TB on board but that’s extra time spent on housekeeping that I don’t want to spend.

Bottom line: 2TB is my minimum requirement and I won’t consider anything less. I am not you. As much as I’l like to have the extra funds to go with a 4TB, iMac Pro, that is money I can spend elsewhere.

In addition, I have an external 2TB with Virtual Instruments (USB 3 is fast enough but mine is eSATA) and a second 2TB for offloading inactive projects—not archival as I sometimes have to revisit them as clients need.

There are four Time Machine HDDs backing up all of the Macs around here (6). I use WD My Cloud Mirror and Time Capsules loaded with 10TB WD Red HDDs (never had one go bad) via Ethernet except for a Time Capsule tower to back up the laptops vis wireless 802.11ac. Some of these backups are in hidden locations . I’m a bit paranoid about data loss.
 

c.s.

macrumors regular
Nov 11, 2007
247
166
Probably not.

But test it for yourself. Open Activity Monitor and set it to the CPU view, double-click on the "CPU Load" graph, and then resize the floating window so that you can see all of the graphs that can generated, which represents each core (both physical and virtual). If you don't like floating windows, you can also monitor activity in your Dock, although you won't have the historical data. To do that, with Activity Monitor open go to View > Dock Icon > Show CPU Usage. Depending on the number of processor cores - both physical and virtual - your machine has, this may show either a single grouped bar, or a set of individual bars.

Then, take a peek at it every now and then. Do you ever see all of the graphs maxing out? If so, you'll benefit from having more cores because you're doing something that is heavily using multithreading. Do you ever see only one or two bars maxing out? If so, you're using applications that aren't using the full processor power, and would benefit from a faster speed but not from more cores. (If you're only seeing a single bar for activity, you'll need to guess a bit more - seeing it consistently around 25% or 50% would indicate that a single core or two cores on a four-core system are likely maxing out, but the remaining cores aren't being utilized.) And if you're never finding your processor maxing out on any of the cores, then... you might not notice a huge difference in performance with any processor upgrade, unless your upgrade would remove a major performance bottleneck that suddenly allows the processor to handle a lot more tasks at once, in which case we can't say what would be best.
Great tip, I had no idea I could do that! I tried it out and opened a couple recent projects in After Effects and Photoshop and made a few changes. I definitely think I could use more cores. RAM Preview is pretty slow for me, editing larger Photoshop docs can bog down a little bit. I've never seen it visualized like that. Currently using 2014 5k iMac.
screen.jpg
 

IngerMan

macrumors 65816
Feb 21, 2011
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Michigan
APFS Snapshots only works on the boot drive and in the (hopefully rare) instance that you install an update or app or screw up royally, you can restore your entire system to an earlier state in a few minutes.

Could you explain how to do this for future reference. It would be greatly appreciated.
 

mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
1,606
396
The Sillie Con Valley
Could you explain how to do this for future reference. It would be greatly appreciated.
I will organize and rewrite this someday so it makes a bit more sense. I wrote these posts as I figured things out. As you'll see, I stumbled on this by accident.

http://www.motunation.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=64689

It's a bit non-linear as I went back and tested this and that. You will get the idea, however.

One thing I don't emphasize is that you must have Time Machine enabled for this to work even if you don't have a backup volume selected. I don't mention that I have tested this, too.
 

IngerMan

macrumors 65816
Feb 21, 2011
1,343
310
Michigan
I will organize and rewrite this someday so it makes a bit more sense. I wrote these posts as I figured things out. As you'll see, I stumbled on this by accident.

http://www.motunation.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=64689

It's a bit non-linear as I went back and tested this and that. You will get the idea, however.

One thing I don't emphasize is that you must have Time Machine enabled for this to work even if you don't have a backup volume selected. I don't mention that I have tested this, too.
Looking forward for your organized post. I have read many of your iMac upgrade post and I know your very informative and provide great detail for us fellow members. I appreciate your continuous support to this forum.
Thank you.
 
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