i5 or i7?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by thatdarnfish, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. thatdarnfish macrumors regular

    Sep 23, 2004
    New York
    I know we don't have benchmark scores for the new iMacs yet, but from what we know of the i5 and i7 chips, is there a big difference in performance? Is it worth the extra $200? I don't do anything exotic with my computer, but I am interested in future-proofing as much as possible. Thanks in advance.
  2. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    the i7 has a higher clock speed and has hyperthreading, so 4 extra virtual cores like the Mac Pro's CPUs. the i5 and i7 however both have Turbo boost which increases the clock speed a little when the other cores are idle. http://www.apple.com/imac/specs.html

    basically both CPUs are future-proofing its just the i5 is a mainstream CPU and the i7 is high end.
  3. alywa macrumors 6502

    May 6, 2004
    Same boat

    I've ruled out the C2D, so now I'm deciding between the i5 and i7. Cost isn't a huge issue, but nobody likes to piss money away on something they won't benefit from, so that's the dilemma.

    I've resolved to wait until the machines are actually released, and look at the hands on reviews / benchmarks. I'm typing this message on an iMac G5 Rev b, so any of the new machines will blow my current rig out of the water. But, I've gotten 4.5 years of loyal service from this computer, so I want my next one to match that.

    Funny thing, this computer will live on as an office computer or kids computer for 3-4 more years, I'm sure. I've never had a PC be usable for over 3 years...
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Wirelessly posted (Nokia 5800 Tube XpressMusic : Mozilla/5.0 (SymbianOS/9.4; U; Series60/5.0 Nokia5800d-1/21.0.101; Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 ) AppleWebKit/413 (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/413)

    Futureproof? What, so you can guarantee that you can continue doing non-taxing tasks well into the future? Don't worry what it uses. ;) You'll be fine with either, and so you may as well save some money!
  5. thatdarnfish thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 23, 2004
    New York
    I'm writing this on a first generation iMac g5! What a crazy computer... I think all of its guts have been replaced at least twice. I'll never buy a first generation again...

    I don't assume that I'll be using a computer in the same way, for the same reasons, with the same programs, four years from now. That's why I try to "future-proof" as much as possible.
  6. iPhone 62S macrumors 6502a

    iPhone 62S

    Aug 18, 2009
    If you need a powerful computer, you might as well go with the i7 IMO.
  7. alywa macrumors 6502

    May 6, 2004
    Wow. It's funny... I purchased the Rev b the day it was announced, and also got my father a Rev A 17" (on clearance)... both of ours have been 100% solid... no issues at all.

    I know what you are saying about Rev A products, though. Hopefully apple has learned from previous problems. I'll still get Apple Care, though. I tend not to get it on later rev products, but this is going to be an expensive purchase, so I think it will be worth it.
  8. tempusfugit macrumors 65816

    May 21, 2009
    apple care is always worth it. we spend too much $$ on these things to not get a little protection.

    IMO, the only way to make your apple in some way "future proof" is extending the warranty.

    Personally, I'm saving my pennies for an i7 because I want to edit/render HD video and I want the machine to be optimized as such.

    God bless Apple's student discount honor system...
  9. Belm macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2009
    I know you feel. I've been going back and forward about buying a 13" MBP. I'm just a regular user and I know that I won't be doing taxing things on it. But, I would feel bad if around early next year the MBP's came with Core i5 for the same price. I have a feeling that the low-end MBPs will still have C2D.

    Right now I'm using a old Dell Dimension 9100 that I got 4 years ago. It's got a Pentium 4 3GHZ, 1.5GB of Ram and a Nvidia Geforce 6800GS:D. So any MBP would be a huge upgrade for me. I haven't had a single problem out of it besides a failed HDD but thats nothing. I just ordered Win 7 with my student discount, 2GB of Ram and a WD Caviar Black 1TB. This thing will be a torrent slave and maybe a media server once I get my MBP.

    I'm torn. My computer serves me just fine, its just a tank and I'm stuck using it in my room only. If I get the MBP now and the early next year comes around and all of the MBPs get Core i5 or i7 then I'd be angry :p. I'm so confused :eek:
  10. thatdarnfish thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 23, 2004
    New York
    My feeling is this: if the i7 were just a slightly higher ghz processor over the i5, I wouldn't consider it. However, the hyperthreading gives it an added feature as well. I know that most programs don't take advantage of hyperthreading now, but will a hyperthreading processor impact my computing experience significantly, say, three years from now? After all, programs that we might consider revolutionary now because they use hyperthreading will probably be commonplace by that time. And, if computing on an i7 will be different from computing on a i5 in three years, is that difference substantial enough to warrant paying $200 now? I, too, am confused...
  11. MacFanUK macrumors 6502a


    Jul 29, 2009
    I think the idea of a quad core iMac is great and I love the designs but I just think the 27" screen size is too big. It's a shame the Mac Mini's don't support 2 x 24" ACD's though.

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