imac i3/i5/i7 ???

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ycwee37, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. ycwee37 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    #1
    hey there everyone,

    i'm planning on buying an iMac but i'm not sure which one to choose..
    i'm currently studing architechture and uses programs such as auto CAD, shade 11 , photoshop CS5 etc etc...

    which processor will be better if it's this case ? and do i need a SSD ?
    btw, is the 4GB ram more than enough ? or i should go for the 8GB or more?

    pls give me your opinions..thx alot
     
  2. DannyBres macrumors 65816

    DannyBres

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    Oct 30, 2007
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    UK
    #2
    the way i looked at it was If i am spending £1600 on a computer i might as well put an extra £140 to it and get the extra speed and HT as when cs7 or osx 10.8 come along in 4 years time they might have some optimisation for 8 threads! that will mean you benefit alot from the i7! And untill thne you just have more horsepower for processing
     
  3. ycwee37 thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 4, 2010
  4. mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

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    Aug 22, 2010
    Location:
    Behind you
    #4
    you don't "NEED" anything bt the base configuration, but if you don't want to rip your hair out in frustration I would recommend at least an i5 with a ssd, preferably the i7, you can always add more RAM later.
     
  5. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #5
    all three of them will handle your programs just fine ,if you choose the ATI Radeon HD 5670 with 512mb ddr3 , then its only a thing of personal preference if you need or want a 27 inch or if you are happy with 21.5 , on the smaller you could always ad a second 21.5 inch display (the hp or samsung ones are quiet good )
    you can always add some ram later if you need too (its cheaper then apple ram) the ssd has its advantages , best spend the money on the ssd option then on the 8gb option , but it really comes all down to your personal preferences
    if you want things ultra fast and if you got the cash ready and dont mind spending it then ahead and get the i7 maxed out , if you can live with if a program needs a couple seconds longer to render a picture then fine the i3 will do

    so maybe best is to go in a apple store and take a small pen drive with you with some images you did previously and ask if you can test them out which one is best suited in screen size , as not for all programs the bigger screen is best , i for example prefer photoshop displayed on a non widescreen display
    at 1280x1024 instead of my iMacs 1440x900 and i prefer the two screen option instead of one big one , but that is a personal preference
     
  6. davidw macrumors member

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    Jun 6, 2005
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    New York City
    #6
    You have to get at least the i5. Quad core makes a big difference.
     
  7. ycwee37 thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 4, 2010
  8. richpjr macrumors 68030

    richpjr

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    May 9, 2006
    #8
    Do you ever kick yourself later if you didn't get the more powerful model? I do, so I don't even pretend I would be happy with the i3 and I'm going straight for the i7!
     
  9. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

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    Nov 5, 2009
    #9
    Those programs moreso would be happy with higher amounts of vram rather than cpu speed. I'd say go for a happy medium and get either a baseline 27 inch or upper end 21.5 inch.

    Saying i3,i5 or i7 is confusing because then intel's current naming strategy has multiple cpus from multiple lineups with overlapping names.
     
  10. ycwee37 thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 4, 2010
    #10
    that's true..i don't wanna feel regret after buying it..;)

    i think the baseline 27 inch and upper end 21.5 inch are exactly the same except for the screen size..
     
  11. jaydentaku macrumors member

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    Sep 28, 2010
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #11
    Its not the only difference actually. For example, only the 27" can accept input display signals.
     
  12. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

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    Nov 5, 2009
    #12
    Yes, which is why I recommended either one of them.
     
  13. jaydentaku macrumors member

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    Durham, UK
    #13
    Not wanting to spoil the party, but really, it isn't the only difference.:D

    As above, 27" allows mini display port input, 21.5 does not.

    The 21.5 allows upto 8GB of ram, 27" allows upto 16GB.

    27" allows for ssd, 21.5 does not.

    27" allows for Option: ATI Radeon HD 5750 with 1GB of GDDR5 memory

    For longevity, the 27" offers more flexibility and of course, the larger screen.
     
  14. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

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    Nov 5, 2009
    #14
    Actually, both 21.5 inch and 27 inch iMacs can accept up to 16gb of ram.
     
  15. Hisdem macrumors 6502a

    Hisdem

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    Jul 3, 2010
    Location:
    Boca Raton, FL
    #15
    A few days ago we bought a base i3 3.06GHz model, and I must say, this thing is FAST. I would recommend it to anyone. And it has HT, at least iStat and apps like that will show a full 4 cores. 2 real, 2 virtual.
     
  16. jaydentaku macrumors member

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    Sep 28, 2010
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #16
    I will rely on official figure only and I am sure any new customer who cherishes their warranty, will agree.

    I am simply trying to give a prospective apple customer accurate information by saying that there are actually a variety of differences between the two models and not as you say, only the one.

    I do not wish to begin splitting hairs with you on this.
     
  17. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

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    Nov 5, 2009
    #17
    I recommended baseline 27 inch or upper end 21.5 inch because they both share a 3.2ghz i3 clarkdale and mobility 5730 (officially dubbed 5670) as stock configuration-- because I feel that option is best for the topic creator. Sure, you could argue upgrade options, but then you might as well say the 27 inch allows for lynnfield cpus as well.

    As it stands, the only differences between stock baseline 27 inch model and stock baseline 21.5 inch model are screen and minidisplay port.

    Also, apple has a bit of a history of suggesting lower capacities of ram for their computers, when the actual capacities are higher.
     
  18. jaydentaku macrumors member

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    Sep 28, 2010
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    Durham, UK
    #18
    :rolleyes:
     
  19. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

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    Nov 5, 2009
    #19
    That's quite alright, I'll end it right there. Posting rolleyes smiley after joining in a topic just to debate and refute a point about computer configurations is beyond my means, anyhow.

    Back on topic. The 3.2ghz i3 Clarkdale and mobility 5730 will most likely meet your needs of auto-cad and photoshop, as the 5730 provides enough vram for those programs, while the 3.2ghz clarkdale could scale up to 4 threads when it needs to.

    If you ever find yourself wanting or needing to work with video and/or complex 3d rendering, I'd consider getting the 27inch model solely for the lynnfield cpus, as they can scale up to 8 threads. The SSD option would be nice for anything, especially with large multimedia files, but as of now they're all a bit too expensive to warrant their faster performance and/or lower capacity. As I mentioned before, both 21.5 inch models and 27 inch models have 4 ram slots that can each accompany a 4gig stick, making for 16gigs total, so ram shouldn't be a factor. However I don't think you'd need more than 8gigs of ram for photoshop or autocad anyways.
     
  20. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #20
    Apple does not offer 16GB on 21.5" but clearly states that all models support up to 16GB of RAM

    http://www.apple.com/imac/specs.html
     

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  21. jaydentaku macrumors member

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    Sep 28, 2010
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #21
    Hellhammer, NICE ARROW! :D Approving death growls in your general direction!
     
  22. opera57 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    #22
    Yeah I would go for an i5 at least. Only get an SSD if you really need it as they can be quite expensive at the moment, probably worth going for if you can afford it as it makes everything much quicker to load! [​IMG]
     
  23. ycwee37 thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 4, 2010
    #23
    so, can i upgrade the iMac when the SSD become less expensive ? as far as i know, it's kinda risky if you upgrade it yourself because it will void the warranty, no ??
     
  24. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #24
    The only way to officially allow Apple to install an SSD for you would be to have an iMac that came with SSD in the first place.

    Upgrading the HDD to the SSD technically voids your warranty, but if you manage to swap the HDD for SSD without damaging anything, they have no ground in which to consider your warranty voided. You'd just have to replace SSD with original HDD if you ever had to take it in for something else.
     
  25. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #25
    not only does it void the warranty its also tricky because you dont get the connector's and cage for the ssd , and people have made their iMac 27inch into some sort of paperweight in the attempt removing the display, which is still necessary to get to the components , as opening the iMac doesn't void your warranty, but damaging parts in the attempt like logicboard and display certainly does and getting a new screen and logicboard fitted is not economical, if things go wrong and with all the flimsy connectors inside it doesn't take much...
    seen it when i changed the harddrive for a mate ,original seagate out and WD Raptor 600gb in (capacity is not important for him but speed and reliability are ) on his iMac 27" easy to install , but everything inside looks a bit like it should have stickers on everything
    "DANGER self destructing on touch"

    so my best advise is if you are not used to work inside computers : order the iMac with 2 gb hdd and the 256gb ssd ,get apple care in month 11 and you are on the safe side
     

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