iMac i3 or i5?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Revival Cr8tive, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. Revival Cr8tive macrumors member

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    Jan 2, 2009
    #1
    Hello all,

    Work have offered to purchase a new computer to replace my MacBook Pro C2D, which is starting to slow after a particularly intense couple of months at work. It time to transition to a desktop and I think the iMac is probably the best option as I already have a Matt 23" Apple Cinema Display and having two screens allows me to quickly complete amends on artwork. Therefore the MacPro is probably not for me.

    Its probably best if I list my requirements for the system and then you guys give your feedback, rather than me rambling!

    My Requirements breakdown:-

    80% Corporate website design in Adobe Photoshop, complete page layouts
    10% Video editing in FCE
    5% Flash Animation, Flash CS3
    5% Email, Presentations and Internet browsing

    I think the 27" screen model could be over kill on the desk and so I'm guessing 21.5" screen, but am not sure about the internal spec. i3? i5? Ram? Hard drive?

    Please help! Any advice would be very welcome.

    Thanks inadvance... :cool:
     
  2. Garemz macrumors regular

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    Feb 7, 2008
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    Edmonton Alberta Canada
    #2
    Always go faster it future proofs you for that lang lasting flavor:)

    i5 is quad core as well which is prob better for you
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #3
    Your work is paying so get the best you can. Personally, I would get the 27" i7 because the screen is enormous for editing, it's not an overkill
     
  4. Despicable macrumors newbie

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    Jul 30, 2010
    #4
    i5 is only a quad core in the top end 27" model. There is very little performance bump from the i3 to the i5. I do agree with the comment that go for the best that you can afford it does some what future proof you.
     
  5. REALIN macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Get the best you can get your hands on when work is paying. :)
     
  6. swajames macrumors regular

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    Jan 29, 2003
    #6
    I don't agree with the comment that the i5 dual core offers only a neglible performance benefit. The first geekbench results have been posted on here and the i5 3.6 dual core is posting around 6900 to 7000 for the 32-bit test and the one reported 64-bit test came in at over 7800. That's a fairly significant bump over the two i3 processors scores for the 32-bit and 64-bit tests.
     
  7. Tigerman82 macrumors regular

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    Jul 27, 2010
    #7
    Not to mention the fact that those scores of the DUAL CORE i5 3.6GhZ are WAY higher than those of last year's QUAD CORE i5 2.66GhZ. I've heard that Geekbench doesn't properly utilize quad cores but still... In other words, at least in Geekbench (in both 32-bit and 64-bit) the dual core i5 is a significantly faster processor than the quad core i5 (2.66GhZ).
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #8
    Synthetic benchmarks prove nothing. Take a look at real benchmarks. Yes, that does not include i5-650 but it is ~8% faster than i5-661 is so simply add/reduce 8% of i5-661's results to get the idea. For some things, it's faster but quad core is still the king
     
  9. swajames macrumors regular

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    #9
    Supposedly "real benchmarks" that don't include the chips that are the subject of the discussion prove even less... Right now, geekbench results provide the only real basis for comparison that we have. Ultimately if anyone is sweating the extra $200 they may as well get the i3 550. For those who are happy to pony up the difference, the i5 680 seems to provide some value in return. That said, saying the quad core is "still the king" is, frankly, a total non-sequitur... You can't get the 21.5" machine with a quad core so it's a moot point. The only valid basis for comparison is with the two i3 processors that you can buy in the 21.5" machine.
     
  10. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #10
    i5-680 has nothing more but bigger multiplier thus greater frequency. It's nothing more but an overclocked i5-661 or any other i5-6xx so the only difference is the frequency and 3.6GHz is ~8.1% faster than 3.33GHz is so my point is completely valid, at least until proven otherwise :D You add or reduce 8% of i5-661's results and it gives you the approximate result of i5-680. Of course it's just my estimation. BTW, here is one benchmark I found and i5-750 is crushing the i5-680. It's synthetic though and I don't know their testing methods.

    Or do you have some better real world benchmarks? Sure we have to wait for real world benchmarks to arrive but in the mean time, the existing benchmarks with predictions of i5-680's performance are all we got. We still need the 64-bit GeekBench of i5-680 as well, so far it's ~15% faster than i3-550 is in 32-bit GB.

    I was never talking about 21.5" and OP hasn't told us is 27" totally out of question. If it is, then the i5-680 is the best he can get and what he should get as his work is paying it but I'm still recommending the quad core 27". i5-680 is not a bad upgrade because you're paying 13% more than for i3-550 and it provides at least 12.5% better performance + Turbo.

    It's now up to OP and is 27" too big for him.

    EDIT: Now that he has replied, we should stop this fruitless discussion as he's getting the 21.5". I'm sure there will be a thread about real world benchmarks when they arrive so lets wait till that ;)
     
  11. Revival Cr8tive thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 2, 2009
    #11
    Thanks for all the resposnes..

    Thanks for the responses and in particular the bickering over Dual Core or Quad Cores! As I said initially, 27" doesn't really work as it will look strange on my desk and gloss screens are not great for design.

    In terms of day to day running, is there really that much difference between 27" 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 and 21.5" 3.60GHz Intel Core i5 ?


    This is what I'm currently thinking... Any further thoughts welcome...

    # 3.60GHz Intel Core i5
    # 8GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4x2GB
    # 1TB Serial ATA Drive
    # ATI Radeon HD 5670 512MB GDDR3 SDRAM
    # 8x double-layer SuperDrive
    # Apple Wireless Keyboard (British) & User's Guide (English)
    # Magic Mouse

    The 27" is tempting especially as work are paying ;-) its wired though, cos it will just look strange sitting next to a 23" Cinema display and not get used all that much... If that makes sense... So Im still leaning towards the 21.5" although I can see more upgrade options for the 27" model.

    Any further thoughts would be a great help! Thanks!
     
  12. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #12
    There won't be huge difference in your usage but i7 would be more "future-proof" and people usually tend to get the fastest they can for work because time is money. If you like the 21.5" more then get what you're getting, I doubt you would notice much, if any difference between quad and dual

    Buy the RAM from aftermarket, it's cheaper. You can get 12GB for 280$ IIRC, that's 80$ more than 8GB from Apple. Of course if your work prefers buying it from Apple, it's fine. It's their money, not yours :p
     
  13. Queso macrumors G4

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    Mar 4, 2006
    #13
    I've just purchased the same machine, only I've only taken 4GB RAM to begin with which I'll update to 8GB or 12GB in a few months (when a project I'm working on will allow me to charge it to a client :cool:). I completely understand what you say about the 27" being too big. The 21.5" looks enormous compared to my previous 20", although it's mostly an optical illusion. From the dimensions they aren't that dissimilar in size.

    I went for the i5 because I wanted the best machine I could fit into my space. When I got the 20" I made the mistake of thinking the base model would be enough for my needs, and just under three years later here I am replacing it. This new one is going to last at least five, providing it stays the course component wise of course. That's worth the extra cost IMO.
     
  14. rkahl macrumors 65816

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    #14
    Is there really such thing as a "future proof" computer? How many more years will a i5 get you over an i3?
     
  15. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #15
    No, there is not. That's why I always put it in "" ;) People seem to want "future proof" machines though. After 3 years or so, any iMac sold will be faster than current high-end is so in the end, you're better of getting something that does it for you now and then upgrade in few years
     
  16. Tigerman82 macrumors regular

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    Jul 27, 2010
    #16
    No there isn't if you think about that the dual core i5 is faster than the quad core i5 (2.66GhZ). Of course this applies to Geekbench and not necessarily in real life. On the other hand, say you use applications that use the cpu in a similar way to Geekbench... Then the dual core i5 would be much more futureproof than the quad core i5. Obviously we will start to see more and more applications which take a better advantage of the four cores of the quad core i5. On the other hand, I doubt we will see a quad core optimized Firefox or Word within 4-5 years. :D
     
  17. Revival Cr8tive thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 2, 2009
    #17
    Are these processors i3s and i5s? 64-bit or 32 bit?

    CS PS 5 speeds can increase with a 64bit capable computer!

    Let me know...

    Thanks
     
  18. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #18
    Yes, they are 64-bit. All Intel CPUs since Core 2 Duos are 64-bit I think
     
  19. GyroFX macrumors 6502

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    Los Angeles and NorCal
    #19
    get 27" no designer can live without more desktop real estate.
     
  20. Revival Cr8tive thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 2, 2009
    #20
    Great info people...

    This is all really good information. Thanks!

    I guess I can see what Tigerman82 is saying...

    'Then the dual core i5 would be much more future proof than the quad core i5.'

    This makes sense. I care about the fast processing of edits in Photoshop. Not browsing the internet...

    But then I can also say, well works paying so... :)

    Regarding the RAM, yeah, Crucial have always been good for me. I think work would prefer I just get whats required with as little messing around as possible. Also I've seen a few videos on the net and it seems a little intense putting RAM and hard drives into iMacs....

    I guess thats the other reason Im toying with going for the 27" model as it more upgrading options. Currently I have a 500GB harddrive with 125GB free space. But one video project can soon eat into that...

    I think 1TB should be good, but then I wonder if going slightly larger might be best. Any thoughts?
     
  21. Revival Cr8tive thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 2, 2009
    #21
    Yeah but a Gloss screen though?

    When I already have a 23" Matt Cinema display... :apple:
     
  22. Revival Cr8tive thread starter macrumors member

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    #22
    Thanks, good to know...
     
  23. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #23
    Work is paying so you should get the 2TB :p Seriously, get the 2TB because you want to have free space, otherwise it will slow down. You can of course add externals as well but at least I prefer having as much as possible in internal HD
     

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