i5 or i7?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by jayducharme, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. jayducharme macrumors 68030

    jayducharme

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Location:
    The thick of it
    #1
    I have a chance to buy either of these for the same price. The difference? The i5 has an ATI Radeon HD 5750 graphics with 1GB memory and the i7 has the ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics with 512MB memory. Which would you go for? Does the larger graphic card outweigh the speedier processor?
     
  2. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
  3. drambuie macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    #3
    Both the current generation i5 and the previous generation i7 iMacs you mention use 2.8GHz CPUs. They both use quad core CPUs. The only difference is that the i7 has hyperthreading, which is of limited usefulness. Personally, I would go with the current i5 with the better GPU specs.
     
  4. David085 macrumors 6502a

    David085

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
  5. mpe macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    #5
    In games 5750 is slightly faster than 4850. i7 is faster than i5 (but only in certain apps).

    Get the newer iMac.
     
  6. bossxii macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Location:
    Kansas City
    #6
    I had this exact same option just last week, Although the i7 was 150 cheaper here is how I made my decision.

    i5 iMac:
    Better GPU
    3rd eSATA connector if I want to add a drive
    Faster memory

    i7 iMac:
    Hyperthreading CPU (8 cores) usable for things like encoding/ripping etc..
    Already own a 8 gig (4gx2) memory upgrade 1066 memory

    I chose the i7 because my iMac is mainly used for running things like Handbrake, iMovie and a design software I use for work. All CPU intensive programs that take advantage of every core available. I don't game anymore so the GPU wasn't really a selling key for me and after testing it on a couple of older games like HL and WoW it's more than enough for anything I'd ever do.

    The faster memory imo really won't be noticed considering I now have 12 gigs, since I already own the 8 gig kit vs having to buy a 1333 DDR3 set. The design software I use is for laying out floor joists and roof structures in homes so it eats up the CPU cycles and seems to take 8 to 9 gigs of memory when I use it.

    The 3rd sata connector was almost the deciding factor until I put in the 12gigs of ram and setup everything the way I normally use it. With spaces enabled I open up what I need and pretty much have 4 or 6 desktops ready for use, I don't need to close programs to run another so load time is pretty much a non issue, not to mention once opened once they all open nearly instant anyhow.

    With the memory taken into consideration and the 150 diff to begin with it was really a 300 swing so I went i7 for the Hyperthreading ability as that is used way more than the GPU will ever be.

    Good luck with your decision!
     
  7. richpjr macrumors 68030

    richpjr

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    #7
    I went back and forth between those two, and in the end decided I wanted both the better CPU and GPU, so I ordered a 2.93 i7. It's more money, but I figured in the grand scheme of things, another 10% for a bit longer life would be better in my case.
     
  8. jayducharme thread starter macrumors 68030

    jayducharme

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Location:
    The thick of it
    #8
    Thanks for all your advice! I was going to get the i5 when the Refurb store posted an i7 with the 1 gb video card, so I went for that one. I do a lot of movie and sound editing, so I think my decision will work out well.
     
  9. richpjr macrumors 68030

    richpjr

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    #9
    Refurb - best of both worlds!
     

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