i5 or i7 - which one?

i5 or i7 - which one should I choose?

  • i5 - you save money and you will still not fully exploit i7!

    Votes: 72 36.9%
  • i7 - To be future-proof take i7 instead

    Votes: 123 63.1%

  • Total voters
    195
  • Poll closed .

Hj12345

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 21, 2009
68
0
And then came the update that we all had been waiting for. I had been waiting for this update in four months so I am very happy. It has spent many hours here on the forum to examine the rumors, but now everything is finally over.

And it is clearly over my expectation at all levels. 27" is perfect for me, IPS, and LED makes it one of the best screen on the market right now (and for a long time) - and since the mass of other nice things I just love. Just looooove it.

And I love it so hard that I've already placed an order. But there is one problem: now I begin to sit and think about whether I made the mistake of choosing a i7? All in all, I got 27" with the i7 for $2800 (19600 Swedish crons). But I really do not know if I will use the full performance.

What I usually do is watch movies (HD), chatting, working with photos, surfing the Internet, listen to music and play some simple games (CS, Football Manager etc) - do I really need i7 then? Is it not an i5 better for me?

Difference between these two is $300 with student discount.

Is it worth going for i7? I will have your computer in many years to come, so therefore it is good if I have a stable computer - but I would like to be affordable in terms of performance offered.
 

G-Force

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2006
657
20
I chose the Core i5. To be honest, you won't be more future proof with the Core i7 and it's not much faster than the i5 used in the iMac.

I mean, when the day comes the Core i5 can't run the latest apps anymore, the Core i7 will also be unable to run those apps. Just to show that they are not more future proof.

If you can afford it, well, go for the i7 if that makes you happy. But I didn't want to pay 165 Euros for the small performance gain.
What I usually do is watch movies (HD), chatting, working with photos, surfing the Internet, listen to music and play some simple games (CS, Football Manager etc) - do I really need i7 then? Is it not an i5 better for me?
I doubt you will notice the difference between the i5 and the i7. :)
 

Hj12345

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 21, 2009
68
0
I chose the Core i5. To be honest, you won't be more future proof with the Core i7 and it's not much faster than the i5 used in the iMac.

I mean, when the day comes the Core i5 can't run the latest apps anymore, the Core i7 will also be unable to run those apps. Just to show that they are not more future proof.

If you can afford it, well, go for the i7 if that makes you happy. But I didn't want to pay 165 Euros for the small performance gain.
It leans to me that I will cancel the order and make a new order with i5 instead - how long do you think it will take until the money is on the bank account from that I cancel?
 

Salavat23

macrumors 6502
Feb 7, 2008
328
1
I chose the Core i5. To be honest, you won't be more future proof with the Core i7 and it's not much faster than the i5 used in the iMac.

I mean, when the day comes the Core i5 can't run the latest apps anymore, the Core i7 will also be unable to run those apps. Just to show that they are not more future proof.

If you can afford it, well, go for the i7 if that makes you happy. But I didn't want to pay 165 Euros for the small performance gain.

I doubt you will notice the difference between the i5 and the i7. :)
The i7 has twice the threads. In heavily multi-threaded apps (think the future), you'll see fairly large differences in performance figures.

Think of it this way. The i5 can do 4 things at the exact same time, while the i7 can be processing 8 (only under certain programs, of course).
 

Salavat23

macrumors 6502
Feb 7, 2008
328
1
The i7 is a different architecture, and is faster clock for clock than i5.
Fundamentally, its the same architecture.

Its not faster clock per clock unless the program(s) you are using can take advantage of the extra threads.
 

Hj12345

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 21, 2009
68
0
but the question is: is it worth paying 300 dollars extra for what I do? would you do it?
 

pukifloyd

macrumors 6502a
Jun 25, 2008
985
83
Scottsdale
I would advise that you don't cancel your order...i7 is better than i5...if you can afford it then go ahead with it...
congratulations!
 

Hj12345

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 21, 2009
68
0
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gah. I can afford it but does it make any sense for me? hm.
 

craig1410

macrumors 65816
Mar 22, 2007
1,121
838
Scotland
Hi,

I would buy the i7 without question, the price difference is minimal in my opinion. This is a 3-5 year useful life (or more) product so why compromise right at the beginning? You can presumably afford the i7 as you have ordered it already so just sit back, wait for it to arrive and enjoy it when you get it! You won't even question your decision a year from now.

I'm running a 2.4GHz iMac from late 2007 and it still runs great but part of me wishes I had gone for the 2.8GHz at the time.

Don't second guess yourself - in my experience the first instinct is the right one!! :)

Craig.
 

Error Type -43

macrumors member
Sep 16, 2003
77
0
I have the same dilemma. But since these iMacs won't ship til Nov, I have time to research and wait for independent benchmark testing. I primarily use Photoshop and Illustrator while the rest of my time goes towards music production w/ Pro Tools. Would I benefit from the i7 or would the i5 suffice? Performance is key but I'm afraid the i7 might produce more heat and cause the fans to spin faster/louder which is a no-no in a recording environment.

I managed to squeeze 6 years out of a Powerbook G4 aluminum and it's finally nearing the end of the road so this release couldn't come at a better time.
 

craig1410

macrumors 65816
Mar 22, 2007
1,121
838
Scotland
Why? You won't even notice the difference. Only that 2.8 looks cooler than 2.4 though. :p
It's not that... :p

I'm an IT consultant and do use my machine quite extensively even though my day job is using Windows PC's and Unix boxes at the office. When I bought the iMac it was my first Mac and was my first personal computer which I hadn't built myself so it was a big purchasing decision for me. I've got three kids so money doesn't grow on trees... ;)

Previously I had always spent about £600 every 3 years or so refreshing my PC with new mainboard, CPU, memory and graphics card. Before I bought my Mac my old PC was 5 years old and I also needed a new LCD monitor so my budget was increased to around the £1100 mark. That fitted with the £1149 at the time iMac but wouldn't stretch to the 2.8GHz BTO option at £1489 (IIRC) even though I wanted it.

Looking back, I've had 2 good years from the machine and expect to get another couple before the machine gets handed down to another member of my family. The extra £300 would have given me a faster CPU, bigger disk and I think a faster graphics card which when you spread over 4 years or more is only £75 per year. When you consider that I use my machine for average of 4 hours per day that comes down to £0.05 for every hour I sit in front of the machine. I probably cost myself 10 times that amount in tea/coffee/beer while using the machine... :eek:

I'd still say, get the best you can afford without paying silly amounts of money to be on the bleeding edge. In this case £500 would be silly money but £160 seems reasonable to me for the extra performance.

Craig.
 

Hj12345

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 21, 2009
68
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Oh, it was 300 USD but still worth it?
 

Bryan Bowler

macrumors 68040
Sep 27, 2008
3,742
3,388
I voted for the i7. I qualify for a discount, so it will only cost me $180 for the upgrade. That's a steal in my opinion...

Bryan
 

G-Force

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2006
657
20
But isn't the only difference the Ghz? 2.66 to 2.8...
Also Hyper Threading as explained in this topic. However, I'm pretty sure the tasks mentioned in the topic start don't make much use of that so the i7 will not be much faster for Hj12345.
No, hyper threading and a different architecture.
Architecture is the same.
 

gianly1985

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2008
798
0
i7 ---> Hyperthreading ----> 8 (logic) cores

i5 ---> NO Hypethreading ----> 4 cores


So: i7 ftw.
 

300D

macrumors 65816
May 2, 2009
1,284
0
Tulsa
However, I'm pretty sure the tasks mentioned in the topic start don't make much use of that so the i7 will not be much faster
New technology takes time to become standard. When the G4 came out, nobody thought AltiVec or the dual models had any usefulness outside photoshop. Now the core OS and nearly every application made takes advantage of it. Since then the G3 models became nearly worthless from being so much slower than a G4 at the same MHz. The same can be said of Core Duo to Core 2 Duo value.

Architecture is the same.
Not between the i5 and i7.
 

G-Force

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2006
657
20
New technology takes time to become standard. When the G4 came out, nobody thought AltiVec or the dual models had any usefulness outside photoshop. Now the core OS and nearly every application made takes advantage of it. Since then the G3 models became nearly worthless from being so much slower than a G4 at the same MHz. The same can be said of Core Duo to Core 2 Duo value.
That's more like an Intel processor without SSE versus one with SSE. Hyper Threading will not have such a big impact as the AltiVec story. Hyper Threading has been around since the Pentium 4. If it was that necessary, wouldn't all CPU's have it by now?
Not between the i5 and i7.
The i5 750 and the i7 860 are based on the same architecture.
 

definitive

macrumors 68000
Aug 4, 2008
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gah. I can afford it but does it make any sense for me? hm.
if you have a decent computer right now, and are in no rush, then wait another six or so months until these imacs get a refresh. the new one will probably have a better graphics card to deal with the high resolution that the current 27" offers. otherwise go with the i7 to help deal with it.
 

G-Force

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2006
657
20
They do not use the same die.
Hyper-Threading aside, the Lynnfield CPUs are functionally identical. Each of the four cores has a 32KB instruction and 32KB data Level 1 cache, and 256KB of Level 2 cache; the four cores share an inclusive 8MB Level 3 cache. The £441 Core i7-870 is clocked at 2.93GHz, the £225 Core i7-860 at 2.8GHz and the £155 Core i5-750 at 2.66GHz.
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2009/09/08/intel-core-i5-and-i7-lynnfield-cpu-review/1

Clockspeeds aside, the only big difference is Hyper Threading.