i5 vs. i7 - Whats Best for my Situation

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hannahwildcat, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. hannahwildcat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Location:
    Tucson
    #1
    I am pretty set on getting teh new 27" iMac, but I am not sure as to if I need the hyperthreading that is the i7.

    I run Final Cut Studio 7 and I want to know if spending the extra $200 will make rendering any quicker. Also I run WoW and Starcraft 2, will performance increase?
     
  2. jinx5000 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    #3
    you'll see a speed increas with final cut; however, the performance increase for SC2 and WoW will be negligible... games are going to be bottlenecked by the GPU (5750) in the imac's rather than the CPU's... you will see a very minor increase in FPS when comparing the two

    for final cut though the hyper threading will make a huge difference
     
  3. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #4
    If you hadn't mentioned Final Cut, I'd say save your money. Like jinx5000 says, the processor increase won't make much difference for gaming.

    Spend the $200 on the better processor.
     
  4. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #5
    I've found the hyperthreading good for about a 25% speed improvement rendering. So it's like 5 processors instead of 4. A good improvement, but not the doubling one might optimistically expect.
     
  5. js81 macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #6
    Is there EVER a time that faster isn't better? lol

    Really, there's not a ton of difference between the two. However, I bought the i7 for 2 reasons: 1) It wasn't a whole lot more to get the extra power. and 2) So that I won't have buyer's remorse later and wish that I had gotten the better model.

    Oh, and 3) The i7 comes with more video memory, too. Remember, you CAN NOT upgrade the processor or graphics card; might as well get the best you can.

    Either way I'm sure you'll be happy. My only complain with my i7 is that you could fry an egg on this thing! Won't get cold in the winter, though... :D
     
  6. dburney macrumors member

    dburney

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    #7
    It's also worth mentioning for other readers that you can configure the i3 with an i5 3.6 (is this quad core as well?) and upgrade the video card bringing the total to $2049 - a mere $50 more than the base i5. I'm currently torn between this configuration, or the stock i5 or the i7 upgrade. I could invest the $150/$200 savings in RAM, or go all out for the i7 and upgrade the RAM later. I do quite a bit of heavy lifting in photoshop/illustrator/indesign and know that RAM will be extremely important. I'm afraid I've milked my first-gen Intel iMac for all it's worth.
     
  7. camking macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    #8
    "It's also worth mentioning for other readers that you can configure the i3 with an i5 3.6 (is this quad core as well?) and upgrade the video card bringing the total to $2049 - a mere $50 more than the base i5."

    No the i5 3.6 is not Quad core. I think the fact that the 2.8 quad core is cheaper is an anomaly in the pricing as you are getting the better video card as standard on the quad core machines. I guess it is a no brainer to switch to the i5 2.8 Quad core unless the dual core 3.6 is in someway better?

    That is one of the reasons I'm leaning towards getting the quad core machines. Seems like you're getting a better deal unless Intel are selling the 3.6 i5 for more than the 2.8 quad i5 ones?
     
  8. camking macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    #9
    I'm having trouble deciding upon which system to go for myself. Apart from bog-standard stuff like surfing the net I'm mainly using my computer either for Photoshop/Aperture work or running music programs - I'd like to be able to run Logic alongside Reason or Ableton and at the moment my 2.33 GHZ MBP is really struggling to do that. I'm not sure if that's a lack of RAM (i've only got two GB) or if the processor is too slow. Anyway my machine is 4 years old and has both a broken CD drive and right-hand fan so I think it's time to get a new machine!

    Anyway I made some notes about the mainly BTO systems I'm thinking about to take down to the local apple store. If anyone on here could answer some of the questions it would be much apreciated and it might help other readers and the OP too even if their needs are slightly different.

    3.20GHz Intel Core i3, 1GB Graphics card, 4GB RAM (£1,337.15) vs 3.20GHz Intel Core i5 512MB Graphics Card, 8GB RAM (£1,372.40)
    Better Graphics Card vs. More RAM (£45/$71 more expensive)
    Is having a better graphics card completely pointless if I'm not doing any gaming or 3D work?

    3.20GHz Intel Core i5 512MB Graphics Card, 8GB RAM (£1,372.40) vs3.60GHzIntel Core i5 512MB Graphics Card, 4GB RAM (£1,372.40)
    More RAM vs. Better processor (same price)
    I know it is possible to upgrade the RAM later but for arguments say I didn't which would have better performance?

    3.60GHz Intel Core i5 1GB Graphics Card, 4GB RAM (£1,478.15) vs 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 1GB Graphics Card, 4GB RAM (£1,451.13)
    'Faster' Dual processor or 'Slower' Quad core (Quad core £27/$41 cheaper)
    Is this an anomaly in the pricing as the better graphics card comes as standard on the quad core or is the faster 3.60 'dual' processor actually more expensive/better in any way?

    2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 1GB Graphics Card, 4GB RAM (£1,451.13) vs 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 1GB Graphics Card, 4GB RAM (£1,592.13)
    i5 vs. i7
    is the difference worth £141/$221 for my needs?


    Prices based on UK Education store prices.
     
  9. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #10
    At the higher end, yes. Money is better spent elsewhere. However Aperture will take advantage of the GPU, so you might want the better card for that.
    Few people need more than 4GB at this time, so having a faster process is better.
    The quad core i5 has "turbo boost" that has it overclock if you aren't using all the cores. I don't know the exact specs, but it could easily be faster running on two cores than the dual core processor.

    Only if you are running processor intensive tasks and your time is worth money. This usually excludes students!
     

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