i3 or i5?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by elbertpark, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. elbertpark macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2010
    i really have no idea what i'm doing. gifting this for my boyfriend and i need help. which of these two is the better deal? on one hand, the first one has more GHz and a dual core but it's an i3 but the second has less GHz but it's an i5. he'll be watching dvds, internet browsing, light office work, and that's it. thank you so much in advance.

    Apple iMac 27" 3.2GHz Intel Dual Core i3 4GB RAM 1TB HD SuperDrive ATI Radeon HD 5670 $1600


    Apple iMac 27" 2.66GHz Intel Core i5 4GB RAM 1TB HD SuperDrive ATI Radeon HD 4850 $1549
  2. nelz886 macrumors member


    Oct 23, 2010
    New Jersey
    Both those machines are overkill for what you've said he will be using them for. Go with the cheaper one.
  3. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    I agree

    I would lean towards an i5 regardless
  4. The.316 macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2010
    25100 GR
  5. mjsmke macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2010
  6. St. Germain macrumors 6502

    May 19, 2006
    I completely agree with this.
  7. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    The i5 is much better deal, and it's even cheaper!
  8. Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    For one's "current" usage, either system will do. My i3 system is a great home usage machine. Most buyers would focus on less expensive system. However, what will one's future usage be? What if you / he wants a game this Chrismas? What if you / he wants to get into Movie making or DVD Coverting, or ?, or ? in 1-2 years down the road? If so, the "low end" i3 basic machine isn't strong enough for heavy usage demand. Especially if many applications are getting "more power hungry" each verison upgrade.

    As a suggestion, only look a one's "future usage" needs. If you feel in 1-2 years that one's computer usage will need "more power", then get the more powerful i5 machine today. Especially if you like keeping your computers for 3-4+ years (like me).

    Also... Mac's love memory. I get the feeling that 6-8 GBs is its "average" sweet spot - to reduce page ins/page outs - to its Hard disk. Especially when multi-tasking several apps at the same time. With this in mind, purchase new iMac with basic 4 GB RAM. When your system needs more ram, buy 3rd party. For example, OWC store. Thus, saving even more dollars (when more RAM is needed in the future - for heavy demand usage). If wondering, my iMac i3 currently uses 4 GB of RAM (with acceptable Page in/Page out numbers). I'm now saving my limited dollars for additional 4 GBs in 1 to 1.5 years. Especially if my wife gets deep into photos and movie making.

    Good luck....
  9. X1Lightning macrumors 6502


    Feb 19, 2007
  10. MacSignal macrumors regular

    May 8, 2010
  11. elbertpark thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2010
    thank you guys.

    thank you guys so much! i5 it is. again, thank you so much. i really appreciate the help guys. i'm a broke ass college student the imac will set me back but just seeing his expression when he opens it will make it worth it.
  12. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    An i3 will be enough for everyday tasks. However, seeing that the i5 is much cheaper and is a better class of CPU. Go i5.

    Edit- Oh wait, you already decided... slow me.
  13. elbertpark thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2010
  14. iDutchman macrumors 6502a

    May 9, 2010
    Amsterdam, NL
    I understand your confusion. But to keep it as simple for your as possible :

    "i5 is higher than i3, so it's better. Just the same way that i7 is better than i5

    Take that with a pinch of salt, because I keep the ...Ghz out of the picture:rolleyes:

    But in this case, it is definately a better CPU. The only reason why this one is less expensive it because the 2.66 i5 has been replaced by the 2.8 i5.

    And the i3 model is the 'newest' i3 model on the market. But nevertheless, the i5 is a better processor and delivers higher performance, but just because the lower end version of the iMac (the i3) is newer and more expensive, does not mean it's better.

    It's like comparing a new lower end machine vs. a second generation higher end machine. <-- Which means the higher end one is still better!

Share This Page