i5 vs i7 iMac 5k for Graphic Design/Photography?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by NP1000, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. NP1000 macrumors newbie


    Feb 19, 2016
    Melbourne, Australia
    Finally decided on all my specs for a 5k iMac other than the CPU. Just needed help deciding on whether I should bite the bullet and jump to the 4.0GHz i7 or stick with the stock i5? I'm a photographer and graphic designer and usually pump through around 650 photos a week in Lightroom, of which about 50% of them are also manipulated in Photoshop.

    Current specs:
    -CPU - Undecided
    -R9 M395 2GB
    -16GB RAM
    -256GB Flash Storage

    Any help in regards to if I'll actually take advantage of the i7s features when working, or if should just stick with the i5, would be great! I am looking to future proof it slightly (at least 5 years would be preferable)
  2. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    I'd go with the i7 as you need to create previews in Lightroom and this takes CPU. There's not chance of being able to upgrade the CPU later, so just go with the highest one if you can afford it.
  3. MistrSynistr macrumors 65816

    May 15, 2014
    I do the same as you (Graphic Designer/Photographer) and I have a 2013 iMac with a 7200 HDD (upgrading to the 2015 5K in a few weeks) and have absolutely no problems working with multiple giant RAW files open, InDesign, Photoshop. Illustrator and the like.

    It's a 3.2 i5. I bet any variation of a 2015 iMac would be just fine.
  4. satinsilverem2 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 12, 2013
    Richmond, VA
    I would go with the i7 just for future proofing. you could always upgrade the RAM and storage at a later date if you wanted to, especially if you are wanting to keep it for 5 years.
  5. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

    Nov 5, 2015
    I work every day in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign on a much less capable machine. I have a 2015 with the 2.8 i5 at home. The current i5 is more than capable of fast rendering in LR and PS with an SSD. RAM and an SSD should be your main concern, with fast external storage for your library. The main advantage of the i7 is hyperthreading, which I don't think would be used when render previews. I have no problems in LR. The current i5 processor can handle my hobbyist Premiere stuff at home without an issue. Photoshop and Lightroom are considerable less demanding on the processor.
  6. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I use Lightroom and PS (though I'm a light weight PS user), and I'm happy with the performance of my i5 iMac.

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