i3 or i5 iMac for adobe CS5?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hdsalinas, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. hdsalinas macrumors 6502


    Aug 28, 2006
    San Pedro Sula, Honduras

    I have a 2.16 Ghz C2D late 2006 MBP that is starting to get old - dont get me wrong, it is still as -if not more- capable as any other newer windows laptop, but I am constantly running out of space and I need a bigger screen and faster CPU.

    I want to get a 27" iMac but I am not sure which one to get. Keep in mind that I will be keeping what ever mac I get for a looooong time so I want to get something that will be capable for the long haul. (I have kept my current MBP for 4 years). My wife-approved budget says I can only get the base i3. I might be able to squeeze the $300 difference with extra good behavior, but if I dont an i3 imac must be.

    I am a designer and I will be using my imac to work with adobe CS5 apps (I mostly use illustrator indesign, photoshop and dreamweaver), handling JPEGs and RAW files in Aperture and video editing in FCE and iMovie. I also have a a huge iphoto library (+50 GB worth of photos) which will have to handle as smooth as possible. I don't play games and most likely this mac will never see a version of windows running on it.

    Now, for my needs would I see a significant difference if I go with either processor? Should I really pay the extra $$$ for the i5 processor?

    At the company I work for, I use a 24" imac with a 2.4GHZ c2d and when I have all of the cs5 apps running it struggles a bit (perhaps it is because it only has 2GB of ram). The imac I am getting will be used in my office at home and wont be under such a heavy work load, but I plan on doing more and more freelance work on the side as possible.

    BTW, I am keeping my MBP for those times that I need something portable.

    I would love to hear your opinions.
  2. malnar macrumors 6502a


    Aug 20, 2008
    Good timing. I'm in the market for an Imac for similar uses, but mostly for playing at home with hopes to *someday* be doing more graphic work at home. I'm looking at the 21" Imac and was wondering the same thing you were - am I going to regret not biting the bullet and spending the $400 or so extra to get the i5. I wish I could offer answers, but I'm here for some as well.
  3. khollister macrumors 6502a


    Feb 1, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    You really need at least 8 GB RAM, so get the i3 and use your $300 allowance to get RAM from OWC or Transintl. CS5 is 64 bit and it will take advantage of the RAM to keep from hitting the scratch disk/folder. In fact, go all the way to 16 GB - CS5 will use it, especially without any way to add a fast scratch disk with an iMac (FW800 only, no eSATA)
  4. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    i5 is better if you need to use it for processor intensive tasks.
  5. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    I have a 2009 iMac w/3.06 C2D CPU and 8gb ram. I had CS4 and just bought CS5 earlier this week after playing with the trial version. I do not have any performance problems but I can tell you it is a RAM hog. With CS4 I was only able to devote 3GB of ram to photoshop and never had any large 'page-outs'. Page-outs would indicate the need to use the hard drive for scratch. The numbers were always small, in the MB range. Now, with CS5 with 5gb ram dedicated to photoshop the page outs can be 2-8Gb in size. The more you give it the more it takes.

    So I think you will be fine with a i3 but i5 can't hurt. However, make sure you get at least 8gb ram, 12 or 16 would be better and I may pick up 2x4gb ram as prices drop to make mine into 12gb within the next six months as prices continue to drop.
  6. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    i5 will be better, but get as much RAM as you can afford.

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