iMac 5K i5 Skylake

Discussion in 'iMac' started by tka7, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. tka7 macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2016

    I'm thinking about ordering a Late 2015 iMac 5K i5 3.3ghz w/ R9 M395 GPU. If someone here has this model or has one with an i5, can you answer this question for me?

    How does the i5 handle multitasking? I can't decide if getting an i7 is needed. I will be doing some light video editing (1080p) and I would like to be able to do the following at the same time;

    1) Use an elgato HD60 for console game recording
    2) Watch a video (Netflix, Hulu or youtube)
    3) Web surfing
    4) FaceTime.

    If an i5 can handle all this that would be awesome as I don't want to spend 2599 to get it with an i7.

    Thanks for the help!!
  2. wepiii macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2012
    I have that exact iMac. I don't know about the legato HD60 software, because I don't have that, but I do all the other stuff while using iVI to encode .avi to .mp4 without any problem at all. That being said I do have the 2TB fusion option on mine. You didn't mention the hard drive you are thinking about so I thought I would mention that.
  3. tka7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2016
    wepiii Thanks for the response! I will be going with the 256GB SSD. Also I will add 16gb ram for 24 total. I think all should be well for the i5 then. The elgato requirements are 2nd gen Core i5 2ghz and 4gb Ram. Honestly I've never used one. lol. It's something I'm going to try.

    Thanks again for the info!!
  4. IHelpId10t5 macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2014
    I have a 3.3 Core i5 5K, 16GB, 3TB FD and it's been amazing so far (had it about 2 weeks) but I have not personally needed to push it yet with an encoding task. What I can tell you is that when I came home today my son had a full-screen Minecraft (>60fps) server battle going on (Minecraft is processor intensive) while he had a 3-party Skype and 1-party FaceTime conference going on with his friends. He was recording it using QuickTime 7 Pro, and had Chrome running with multiple tabs for reference material in a separate Space. When I asked him how the new Mac was working I got an immediate thumbs up and a big smile!

    One thing to consider is if you will actually use the 256 GB SSD as primary storage? Obviously that's a great boot drive but it's not going to last long for video capture storage. Hopefully you plan on having a Thunderbolt external for extra storage, or, consider the 2 of 3 TB Fusion drive (do NOT get the 1TB FusionDrive due to it's very small flash portion). I considered long and hard if I wanted to get an SSD boot or a Fusion drive and for my scenario eventually choose the 3TB Fusion.

    You'll love the 5K no matter what processor you get so just make sure to get the storage you need and consider the video card if you intend to drive more than one additional display. I'm using my old iMac 21" in TB Target Display mode and it makes for an awesome combo while still allowing use of the old Mac when needed.
  5. tka7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2016
    Thanks for the info! That helps give me a good idea since that's a lot of what I'll be doing too.

    I plan on adding an external SSD and an HDD to back it all up to. That way the 256 will be a boot drive really.

    Again thank you for the info!
  6. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    A Macbook Air would handle those things just fine. That iMac wouldnt break a sweat, as long as you get the 2TB Fusion Drive or an SSD.
  7. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Yes, the i5 will handle this no problem at all. Your requirements are not such that you'll be pushing the machine terribly hard.
  8. MBHockey macrumors 68040


    Oct 4, 2003
    New York
    Agree with maflynn. There is not a significant difference between the i5 and i7 to begin with and you likely wouldn't benefit from the more expensive CPU for your usage. The i5 is an extremely capable processor.
  9. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    To go against the grain a bit here...

    The i7 has hyperthreading, and can speed up transcoding (i.e., converting from capture format to more compressed format for youtube upload, etc.) quite a bit.

    If you're heavily into video and doing a lot of conversions of stuff, then the i7 may be worth it as it will speed those up significantly.

    But as to general use, multitasking, etc. an i5 is plenty.
  10. tka7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2016
    I will be doing some youtube uploading. It will be 1080p only. Also probably twice a week. It's not a job. I'm stationed away from my kids and just putting videos on youtube for them to watch. With that said do you feel the time saved from the i7's hyper threading is that important? I've never done any of this so I have no experience to draw from on my own.

    Thank you to all who have responded! You really are helping in my decision!
  11. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    If you encoding lengthy video, then the i7 is worthwhile. For shorter clips, it probably isn't necessary.
  12. grayskyz macrumors regular


    Nov 21, 2008
    Los Angeles
    The i5 is fine for those tasks, yes an i7 would be faster but with what you're doing we're probably talking about a few seconds or minutes.

    If the encoding task takes 10 minutes to do, is 13 minutes a big deal? what if it took 34 minutes, would 38 minutes matter much? If the answer is yes, then i7.

    With the price difference though, I would look towards accessories!!
  13. tka7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2016
    The difference in time you described and I've seen on some videos isn't that big of a deal to me. Now if it was a couple hours I would say yes it does.

    I think the specs I'm gonna do are 3.3ghz i5, R9 M395x, 24gb Ram (order 16gb through OWC) and 512 SSD.

    Thanks for the input! Much appreciated!
    --- Post Merged, Feb 6, 2016 ---
    Actually to be honest I'm even considering to just get the i7. At this point with what I listed (without Ram upgrade) I'm at $2749USD. Whats 250 more at this point? It will be way overkill for me but I'll have room to grow if i decide to get heavier with video editing and might future proof a little better.

    Again thank you everyone for your input!!
  14. taedouni macrumors 65816

    Jun 7, 2011
    I literally purchased that model from Best Buy last night. I was doing quite a bit of everything last night from installing/downloading software to encrypting (FileVault), running Sketch3, Xcode, using Chrome with 6-7 tabs. It was a bit sluggish for a while but that was probably due to encrypting using FileVault.

    The i5 can easily do the tasks that you mentioned but the i7 would perform better simply due to HT and the higher clock speed 4.0-4.2 versus 3.3-3.9. As for me, the thing that would benefit the most of the i7 (HT) is using parallels (Ubuntu). I really wish that Apple made the i7 a base model and not build to order. Since you're doing build to order for that 395X then yes definitely go with an i7.
  15. throAU, Feb 7, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016

    throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Depends how often you're doing it. I do 1080p transcoding on an i5 haswell chip and it is fine for hobbyist stuff. My internet upload sucks and i spend far, far more time waiting for it to upload.

    But the i7 is definitely a bit faster at that.

    Depends how often you do it though. If you're doing it twice a week, and it saves you perhaps a couple of minutes each time (say, 15-20% of your total transcoding time), is that worth the extra money? Probably not.... but that's something only you can decide really.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 7, 2016 ---

    This is the classic Apple trap :D

    I almost did the same thing with a 13" macbook pro recently.

    Decided that i wanted at least 512 GB SSD, then decided may as well max the RAM on it, and then it was like "well hell, why not go for 1 TB SSD" and then the CPU upgrade isn't much more. And then i started looking at 15" machines with 16 GB because at that point "may as well step to 15" and get the discrete GPU?".

    You need to draw a line in the sand.

    I went for the mid-spec 512 GB machine off the shelf. Why? Because the money saved (would have been about a grand) can go to the next machine and i'll just upgrade sooner (if/when you decide to do more video, move the machine on if it is insufficient and upgrade then).

    Typically the "mid spec" Apple gear will do anything most people want at a reasonable pace quite happily. If you're using the machine to make money and processing time will cost you money, maybe its worth upgrading from there but for a home machine probably not. Put the extra money aside for the next one, and get better bang for buck then.
  16. tka7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2016

    That's funny cause I thought the same thing last night. I wrote that and said to myself, "Apple got me."

    You're 100% right though.
  17. tka7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2016
    Do you have the R9 m395 or the M395X?
  18. MadDane macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2015
    How come you are considering the M395x? As far as I know it only makes a difference if you are doing graphics intensive games, video and photo editing and so on. For you it seems like it might be a bit overkill and I am not sure you will be able to tell the difference :)
  19. tka7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2016
    Well someone recommended that I consider the M395X if I plan on using more than one external monitor. Thats really the only reason. I will do some video editing but at 1080p which for my needs the M395 should be plenty.
  20. MadDane macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2015
    Even the M380 can handle two external 4k displays. From Apple's website

    If I where you I would save the money on that upgrade. Unless you are planning on doing graphics intensive tasks I really do not think you will see that much of a difference. I think the i7 would be a better upgrade than the M395x, though I don't think any of them are necessary with your usage. The i5 with M395 will be more than powerful enough for that.
  21. tka7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2016
    Yeah I've read the Specs and saw that. What really messes me up is I've never edited before or really done any of the things I want to do with it. Mainly I'm being stationed in Spain away from my kids for two years. So the reason I want to record game play is because my daughter likes to watch minecraft videos on youtube. So I thought I would make videos of me playing that she can watch along with videos of where I am and what I'm doing. My youngest likes listening to people read books. So I want to make videos of that too. I'm not editing for a job so if it takes 20 minutes longer to render I don't care.

    When I search forums for info it all just confuses me. Lol. Mainly because I'm not a gamer. And all the stuff I find comparing the cards is only about games. I can probably do all with the i5 and M395 w/ 512 SSD. I do want an SSD for sure. I know that. lol.

    I appreciate your help with the information! That was very kind of you to put together for me!
    --- Post Merged, Feb 7, 2016 ---
    I meant to say as well that I have no idea what things are GPU intensive and what is CPU intensive. Then throw in the demands of driving the 5k display as well and I'm really lost. Its a lot for me because I have no idea what I'm doing. lol. Just know sorta what I want to accomplish.

    But I do appreciate everyones advice and recommendations!
  22. MadDane macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2015
    You are welcome :)

    Are you planning on running with multiple external displays? Also, the usage you are describing I could do on my late '13 rMBP 13" with a dual core i5. The i5 with M395 should be able to handle it rather easily. But going for pure SSD is the (in my mind) only right way to go :)
  23. tka7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2016
    I have a couple 1080p monitors here at the house. So I'll probably hook at least one up to it. Probably where I'll watch Hulu or Netflix from while doing other stuff on the iMac. But later I might get an LG or Dell 34" UW 3440x1440. When I get that it will be the only external connected to the 5k. I'll use the 2 27" 1080p monitors for an external for the rMB and one for my Xbox One.
  24. MadDane macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2015
    I don't see anything where you would need the M395x. The M395 should be fine :)
  25. IHelpId10t5 macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2014
    I've got the m395. I didn't see the need for any additional video horsepower for what I'm using the Mac for.

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