OS Neutral i5 and 680MX

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by Chargrave, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. Chargrave macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2012
    Hello all!

    I am buying a new iMac soon, and I have decided to get the new 680MX upgrade because I plan on gaming with it whenever I am not in Logic. I have a very tight budget and can't go beyond a certain point, so I know that my decision is "only" $200 more, but it is a $200 I don't have.

    My question/concern is this: Every benchmark test I see, or example I come across about the newest iMac with the 680MX is paired with an i7. I am just wondering how significant the upgrade to that i7 would be, and if the i5 is a poor bet. My gut tells me it isn't a big deal, but I have literally found no one with the build I am getting.

    I won't be doing much Logic, and whenever I do it will be for recreational purposes. I also get it for free through work so the expense isn't an issue.

    If all I am doing is gaming - any and all titles, really - and basic computing, will the i5 still scream like I'm hoping? I plan on pairing it with 16GB of ram eventually, just not right away.

    I guess I'm trying to find out if there is a general reason as to why I'm the only one not getting the i7 upgrade when choosing the 680MX as my GPU.

    Any thoughts for me?
  2. antonis macrumors 68020


    Jun 10, 2011
    You obviously planning for the high-end 27" model since all the other models don't have both upgrade options. I agree that if you have to choose between i7 and 680MX for top gaming, the GPU is the way to go (680MX also has 2Gb memory while the 675 comes with 1Gb).

    To be honest, though, I wouldn't buy such a high-end machine without SSD. Leaving it running with HDD only, will be a struggle. SSD will offer you a generic overall difference in speeds. For me it's a difference between night and day. It won't affect your FPS in games, of course, but such a high-end machine will be kind of crippled running only with a HDD. Logic will have a great difference, too.
  3. Chargrave, Mar 10, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013

    Chargrave thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2012
    I totally agree about the SSD. I plan on adding the Fusion Drive option. I need a lot of extra space from that 1TB drive since it will be my family computer, but the 128GB of flash memory will be great for the games I play. I won't play more than a couple at a time, and the Fusion automatically adjusts what it holds on the SS portion of the drive.

    I'm just trying to figure out if I will honestly notice a huge difference between the i5 and i7 if I'm not doing major computing tasks; I know it will affect gaming in a very minimal way. After all, a 3.2Ghz i5 is nothing to sneeze at. I'm just hoping I am not missing something; folks are choosing the i7 consistently.

    Perhaps they just view it as "Well if I'm already spending x amount, I may as well..." which I don't intend on doing.
  4. AndiS. macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2012
    I've first had the i5 with 680mx and fusion, but upgraded to the i7 because the imac had to be replaced.

    There was no difference in games whatsoever, between the i5 and i7. Also, the i7 gets warmer.


    The fusion drive's SSD doesn't work under windows, but for gaming it doesn't really make a difference. There is a way to make the SSD work under windows, but I didn't see a reason to bother with that.
  5. Chargrave thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2012
  6. Mac32 Suspended

    Nov 20, 2010
    Yes, totally agree. In games i7 will perform identical in most games, and you'll have more heat too. :) I got the i7, and ended up disabling CPU turbo boost in Windows 7 (advanced power options in control panel). That lowered the temperature quite a bit. Very much recommended for 680mx/i7 gamers.
  7. SlickShoes macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2011
    The i5 will be fine for gaming, the best processor for gaming in a PC just now is probably the i5 3570k 3.4Ghz, getting the i7 variation of it is just a waste of money currently as it offers no increase in performance.

    Unless you need that i7 in your imac for work or other tasks just got with the i5, the difference between a 680MX and 675MX will be much more noticeable.
  8. edddeduck macrumors 68020


    Mar 26, 2004
    For gaming the i7 gives only a small boost in most cases (some games get a bigger boost), however when doing working with Audio, Video or compiling in XCode it is usually over 33% faster. All our development iMac's get the i7 upgrade as it makes a huge difference in performance for the price. I suspect Logic would run faster with the i7 for example.

    Interestingly we avoid the Fusion drive it seems to be a big expense for the fairly minor performance improvements. If you have the choice between i7 or fusion drive I would go i7 every time.

  9. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    For gaming no difference, but for Logic it might be worth it. Not sure how optimized that app is for the i7 instruction set?
  10. edddeduck macrumors 68020


    Mar 26, 2004
    You don't really need to optimise the instruction set as i5 and i7 CPUs have the same instruction set it is just the internal design that differs.

  11. Chargrave thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2012
    Thanks all!

    Thank you for everyone's responses. I ended up going with the i5 and 680MX with the Fusion.

    There were different reports for the Fusion Drive option, and ultimately I decided to roll the dice and give it a shot. Who knows, maybe the i7 would have been a better fit but I'm excited either way.

  12. cosmicjoke macrumors 6502

    Oct 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    i5 is totally sufficient for gaming, the primary thing you'd want an i7 for is cpu intensive hyperthreaded tasks - video editing and compiling software are two great reasons to get an i7... gaming not so much.

    An ssd just makes life more enjoyable, your system boots faster, feels more responsive... in most games it will only effect load times, but in some games it can make a dramatic difference in performance, like Diablo 3 which doesn't actually have load screens but is constantly loading the game while playing... people with out solid state drives end up getting a bit of stuttering.... most games aren't like this though and really the only difference you'll see is load screen times with a rotational drive.

    edit: just saw you got the i5 680mx fusion set up, wise decision imo.

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