Don't buy i7, get i5 Upgrade processor later

Discussion in 'iMac' started by DrKeys, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. DrKeys macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    #1
    I am not sure why people spending 2600-> 3000 dollars buying top of the line i7 processors when they should just buy an i5, i believe ifixit mentioned that 2011 imacs have upgradable processor. so Buy the i7 cheaper and upgrade it yourself. spend the money on SSD or something.
     
  2. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #2
    Hmmm ... $2600 ---> $3000 for i7 upgrade? Where do you live anyway? And what currency are we talking here?

    i5 to i7 upgrade cost extra US$200 .. other countries may have different pricing, but at least close to that .. now that $400 difference you mentioned is HUGE.

    I admit that even $200 for i7 upgrade is steep .. but I think it's worth it.

    It took a lot of courage, and determination to do major surgery and upgrade iMac processor. They may use socketed processor just like we find in most custom-built PC. But the disassembly process may not as easy as it sounds/looks on the internet. Even harder compared to SSD DIY installation.

    And Apple could do something with firmware or OS to prevent this. Upgrade to i7 may brick your iMac, or could be overheated since potentially i7 produces more heat even with same TDP compared to i5 due to more aggressive activities (Hyper Threading, higher clocks etc). Settings for i5 or i7 cooling system may be different too.

    Conclusion: Yeah i7 upgrade price is quite steep compared to actual price difference between i5 and i7 on free market, but I think it's worth it compared to hassle you'd get when you upgrade it yourself.

    If somehow you damage something in DIY upgrade process.. you'd sorry not to just pay the difference for i7 and mess up your iMac instead.
     
  3. TMRaven, Jun 29, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011

    TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #3
    Going from an i5 to i7 sandybridge on the iMac is a 200usd upgrade.

    Meanwhile..
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115071

    300usd.


    I think not.



    Your logic would be sound, if one was building their own computer from scratch. This is different. What you're essentially suggesting is paying for an i5 and an i7 at the same time, instead of just paying for an i7. True, you could sell the i5 off later, but at what cost? You still might gain maybe a 20-50 dollar profit at most, and would have had to go through all of that hassle tearing the iMac apart, installing the i7, and then selling off your i5 (which might even be osx only)
     
  4. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #4
    Yes .. true,

    Intel i7-2600 : $300
    Intel i5-2500 : $200

    That is around $100 difference when you buy them both BRAND NEW. Say you buy new i7 to be installed on your iMac, you already took the risk, spend $300 for processor.

    Now you have to disassemble iMac yourself, or have Apple technician install it for you (if you want to keep the warranty), that is additional cost. Say you'd have to spend $50 for installation (get the tools yourself, or paying for labor fee)

    For all that problem, you already spend $350, right?

    Next step is selling your naked, pre-owned i5 processor from iMac. How much would you get from that bare-naked processor? No matter it's the newest i5, unused ... it's still pre-owned ... you may get around $150 for that. That if you can sell it to another end-user. Apple Store definitely won't take that, and local computer store may take it for even lower price.

    So, in total you spent: $350 - $150 = $200 to upgrade your iMac to i7. Now, do you think it's still expensive?

    All currency is in US$ .. and OP still not telling us, what kind of currency did he use?
     
  5. iMikeT macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #5
    $2,600-$3,000 (USD) for a BTO i7 iMac? I think not. My BTO with the i7 cost me $2,169 (USD) along with using the education discount.
     
  6. skier777 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #6
    True, but the risk of damage, not to mention the difficulty selling the used i5 at its MSRP make the $2-400 upgrade easily worth it.
     
  7. Spike88, Jun 29, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011

    Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    #7
    Within my region:

    Base: $1,999.00 (for 2011 27" - high end base)

    CPU upgrade: 3.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 [Add $200.00]

    - 2TB Serial ATA Drive [Add $150.00]
    - 256GB Solid State Drive [Add $500.00]
    - 1TB Serial ATA Drive + 256GB Solid State Drive [Add $600.00]
    - 2TB Serial ATA Drive + 256GB Solid State Drive [Add $750.00]

    AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB GDDR5 [Add $100.00]

    In addition to the above, add needed software, add "environment" disposal fee + 13% taxes on "all the charges". Thus, getting near $3,800 - $4,000 grand total "at one's door" (for a fully loaded machine).

    In my books, high end base + CPU upgrade + 2TB+SSD+better graphics is "way too much" dollars in my books....

    Note too sure about "upgrading" with CPU &/or SSD later. For me, buy what I can afford (based on my expected usage) for the next 4-5 years, then "buy new" again. In 5 more years internal SSDs will probably "affordable" 2TBs, graphics will be much better and might even have the i9s (LOL!). Why upgrade with little parts and in the future, "base" will be much, much better.

    .
     
  8. skier777 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #8
    Obviously one should only buy what one needs, then upgrade it/ replace it when it no longer works for them. The base in 2 years will far outperform the top of the line of today, so save the money that one would pour into the upgrades in order to buy brand new down the line.
    If you don't need a Ferrari, it would be much wiser to buy a new Honda every two years then to buy a Ferrari and try and use it for 20.
     
  9. rj86 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    #9
    Just on that point. No authorised Apple technician should touch this kind of upgrade with a big long stick.
     
  10. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #10
    Agreed, if it's not an upgrade Apple themselves would offer, I doubt the AASP technicians are likely to touch it.

    Other than perhaps switching out an HDD for an SSD.
     
  11. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #11
    And I dont think separated SSD installation is something offered by Apple too. Apart from 256 GB ssd available as BTO. Having Apple technician to install ssd of your choice to your iMac could be 'illegal' from their POV
     
  12. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #12
    It's wasn't a problem at my local one, they offered to do it pretty cheap.
     
  13. DJJAZZYJET macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2011
    #13
    i wouldent buy the i7 cos its not worth the upgrade, 0.3ghz of difference isnt going to do much more.
     
  14. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #14
    I'm not getting an i7 because I don't need it. But if I was, I certainly wouldn't upgrade it myself. That's risking a ~$1500 machine just to save $150-200 or so.
     
  15. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #15
    I don't think the average user is going to tell much, if any, difference between the i5 and i7 models. The i7 is kind of like the 8 and 12 core mac pros, they're for people who use a few specialized programs that take full advantage of multiple cores, like FCP.

    If, in a few years time, MS Office and Safari can run in multiple cores, and still run on the system architecture, then it may be worth it to find a cheap i7, and either DIY or pay a AASP to try the surgery and gain a couple of more years of service life out of the machine. Otherwise, it won't be.

    I just think this upgrade mentality is the result of former windows users coming over to the mac. Bully for them, I'll read their posts, look over their shoulders and cheer them on.
     
  16. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #16
    Cinebench tells a different story.

    It's not just 0.3GHz. There's hyper-threading and a larger cache, it's a much better processor.
     
  17. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #17
    Yes, sure, save 200$ so you can buy a new CPU for 300$ (not counting tools), teardown your 2000$ computer, potentially destroying it in the process and voiding your warranty.

    Great plan, OP...
     
  18. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #18
    Cinebench is an artificial benchmark. It does not reflect the real-world performance of an average user.


    The only reason I got the i7 because I do lots of statistical simulations which are easily parallelized. And hyperthreading on i7 gives a nice performance boost here.
     
  19. bontempi macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    #19
  20. coolspot18 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2010
    Location:
    Canada
    #20
    Too much hassle to upgrade the processor.
     
  21. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #21
    The benefits of an i7 are quite apparent if the application used supports all cores. If it doesn't, then you won't really see a difference.
     
  22. ryu3000 macrumors member

    ryu3000

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago
    #22
    The i7s always outperform i5s. Even if the i7 is of last generation architecture.
     
  23. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #23
    I found I need the i7, typing emails, using Safari wordprocessing is noticeably faster on an i7 compared to and i5. I'm really glad I ended up maxing out 27", the $1000 extra was well worth it to see Safari open that much faster.

    I really can't understand why Apple ships its computers with i5 they are so darn slow, you can't do anything useful with them because the CPU grunt is so sluggish.
     
  24. ryu3000 macrumors member

    ryu3000

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago
    #24
    Haha You're kidding right?:D:D
     
  25. caughtintheweb macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    #25
    I found i7 useful for photo editing as its very zippy. Not so much on i5.

    I agree that I will not break my head to upgrade manually. Only reason I did not get a SSD is due to the extremely high costs right now.
     

Share This Page