iMac i3 3.2ghz vs i7 2.93ghz

Discussion in 'iMac' started by melkorsbane, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. melkorsbane macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2011
    I've seen similar threads all around but I couldn't find something a little more exact. If I've missed it, please point me in the right direction.

    My needs are pretty simple:

    Logic Pro (not that many tracks)
    iLife stuff
    Some torrents
    HD video
    Light gaming - World of Warcraft, CoD4 and its sequels

    My needs might expand at some point but I wouldn't let that affect this too much. Everything that I can find tells me that the i5 isn't worth the jump from the i3 and that it's between these two. I'm trying to figure out which has the most bang for my buck. I don't want to have to worry about being faced with slowness any time soon.

    Thoughts/advice? I plan to head down to the Mac store in the next couple of days. Anything helpful is very much appreciated :)
  2. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
  3. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    While the dual core i5 is a bit of a bust, the quad core i5 is a nice upgrade over the i3. I don't know that I'd recommend an i7, maybe save the extra $200 and get the quad i5.
  4. melkorsbane thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2011
    I've read some place that the jump in performance from the i3 to the i5 quad wasn't worth the cost. Is this not the case? I suppose they could have been referencing the i5 dual.

    I probably should have mentioned that I was talking about the 27 inch version but that probably could have been inferred based on the processor choices I mentioned, lol.
  5. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    The quad core model could do you well with some future proofing. I don't really benefit with my iMac's i7 all that much right now, but I do know it provides substantially more headroom than the dual core models based just on monitoring cpu usage through various activities on both models.

    I bought my iMac with 6 years of use in mind, so I went with the i7 The quad core i5 could be a lower cost alternative if you have the same thought in mind.
  6. melkorsbane thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2011
    I think what I will do is go with the i3 and drop a couple of sticks of ram from OWC in. It should do more than enough for what I need. As for WoW, I've read all over that post-Cataclysm the performance has been kind of bad on all fronts due to some OSX compatibility issues. Still haven't made my "final" decision yet so the i7 is a possibility.

    I keep changing my mind all of the time on this and it's frustrating, lol.
  7. solowmodel macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2011
    I've spent the last two weeks wondering 21.5" vs 27", i3 vs i5 vs i7, and now I'm wondering whether to just wait it out for the Sandy Bridge updates.

    I sold my 24" iMac last week and am laptops; however I miss the big screen real estate :(
  8. gdeputy macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2008
    New York
    Im on a new i3 27" imac 5670 I just impluse bought and it runs wow well in OSX.. 30+ fps on almost all high at 2560x1440, which is respectable. Im sure windows bootcamp is much better...

    I might buy a refurb though with a quad core..i have 12 more days to return this with no restocking fee if i decide to.. so if one goes into the store in that time frame that i like i might jump on it.
  9. Miker2k macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2009
    I split the difference and went with the Quad Core i5 with the 1gig 5750 video card. No regrets.

    For what it's worth I did build my son a basic i3 gaming PC this Christmas and have been blown away by the performance of that thing.
  10. morty192 macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2010
    I'm in the same boat mate and have decided to hold off, as the money is in the bank so it's not like i'm losing it and also if I wait to the end of March i'll have a better idea of what's happening in regards to the new iMac. If like analysts expect, a release in Q1 or early Q2 happens i'll happily buy then. However, if there isn't by that stage I'll be happy enough to wait it out until Lion, as a refresh will definitely hit sometime around if it hasn't hit before hand. Also the money is sitting in the bank gathering interest so just tell yourself that no matter how small the interest it is actually reducing the price YOU pay for the iMac as the interest is money YOU don't have at the moment but will be able to use come the time of purchase no matter how small the amount :)

    However if you are not like me and know you wouldn't beat yourself up for a buying a £1500 product now, that could very well be refreshed inside 11 weeks then I would suggest you let your finances do the talking as to what machine is best for you but couldnt imagine you would go far wrong with the quad core i5 27' with 1GB graphics card :)


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