i5 or i7?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Random14, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. Random14 macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2010
    I know there are quite a few threads similar to this, but I'm not all that tech-savvy, so even after reading them I'm still not sure, so I figured might as well make my own.

    Anyway, basically I'm going to buy an Imac soon, maybe the i3, but more likely the i5, or maybe even the i7 if they have it in stock at the store (I usually see it listed on the table display), and if my parents will be willing to pay the extra cash, but not sure which one to get. Now, I mostly use my computer for web-browsing, some school work, watching movies, like .mkv, etc., but I'll also be doing some gaming, and probably occasional converting some files to other formats. I'll probably also be installing Windows 7 too to catch up on some games (and to see what they look like on that huge screen).

    I'm also hoping to hang onto this mac for at least several years, though there'll be a better version out next year, of course, but if I buy one, I'd prefer something that won't become obsolete too quickly. To be specific, when Star Wars: The Old Republic comes out next year, I hope to be able to run it at decent speeds (in Bootcamp). The requirements for that game aren't out yet, so figure might as well just get a powerful computer and hope.

    I've heard its cheaper to build a gaming pc, but I'll mostly be using it for web-browsing, and I like the mac os by now, so don't want just a windows PC again.

    So, back to my main question- is there a significant difference between the i5 and i7? I've heard that i7 has both hyper-threading and turbo-boost, but the i5 is still great with four (real) cores. I think the basic i5 and i7 models have the same graphic cards, but no idea if games depend on having more cores (real or virtual) or I've seen the term GPU, though not sure what that means, and I probably won't attempt to... overclock something? And yeah, I've heard the cards are mobility, but not sure what that means either, sorry.

    I'd probably use Starcraft II as a recent example- like if Starcraft II would run a lot better on the i7 than the i5? Although Starcraft isn't the most graphics-intensive game either, but it'd be nice to try it on high or ultra settings.

    Thank you in advance for any useful advice/answers.
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    As far as games go, you won't see a noticeable difference between the i5 and i7. They are much more GPU heavy than processor, so that is really a non-issue. I'd stick with the i5 at the most. You could probably even use one of the i3 or dual core i5 without issue
  3. Felias macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2010
    Reading you usage profile, i'd suggest going with the i3 and the better GPU.

    Speaking money-wise the i5 gives you the worst performance/price-ratio... so either the i3 or the i7 is advisable. As you won't make use of the i7, go with the i3.

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