iMac i5 3,3GHz VS. i7 4,0GHz

Discussion in 'iMac' started by moey2k2001, Oct 29, 2016.

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  1. moey2k2001 macrumors member

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    Aug 4, 2011
    #1
    Hi

    I was hoping the iMac will get an update and waiting since June didn't bring anything.
    Now I urgently need help please.

    So, quick question please. To make it short I won't post so much text o nay opinions.
    It would be of a great help to get as much input as possible form someone who really knows the difference.

    iMac i5 3,3GHz VS. i7 4,0GHz

    I would like to use it mainly for audio production. Software that will be used are Logic, Ableton, Machine with a bunch of plug-ins etc. with bunch of hardware plugged via Thunderbolt and USB. Occasionally it will be used to edit photos with Adobe. And sometimes Film.

    I will probably start with a 8gb or 16 and upgrade later.
    The drive will also be a Fusion-drive. I want an SSD but its too expensive for me at the moment, maybe i will upgrade later.


    Thanks a lot.
     
  2. Firebrand macrumors regular

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    Sep 13, 2016
    #2
    present i5 will do very nicely. it's not like i5 is slow! 16GB RAM may be a smarter move for your needs the coming years.
     
  3. EnderBeta macrumors 6502

    EnderBeta

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  4. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

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    #4
    I would suggest that you try to get at least the m390 or m395 GPU. If it was a choice as far as cost between the faster CPU and GPU, I would suggest the better GPU.
     
  5. 59Burst macrumors member

    59Burst

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    Texas
    #5
    I went with the 3.3 ghz CPU and m395 GPU with 512GB SSD. I will also add 16GB of RAM to the existing 8GB. This should be more than enough power for my needs and a good price/performance balance.
     
  6. moey2k2001 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 4, 2011
    #6
    Thanks for the reply.

    Yes all of those softwares seem to support hyper threading. Obviously I will upgrade to at least 16GB RAM. Perhaps even more. Also I will swap for an SSD in the future.

    I am still concerned if the i5 or i7.

    I am aware the the i5 is probably not "slow". But in terms of software performance and in general performance, would you think that I would notice a difference?

    Will the iMac for instance "gitch" or make pop sounds or audio drop outs etc? on a "normal" usage. not recording an orchestra or a band of 20ppl at the same time....
    --- Post Merged, Oct 30, 2016 ---
    how that? would the m390 or m395 GPU make such a huuuuuge difference?
    i was actually looking into the M395x but i don't know anything bout graphic cards to be honest. except that its the highest i can go as far as imac... thanks
     
  7. varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

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    #7
    I have the exact same setup.

    I am absolutely loving the performance.

    What people don't remember about the quad core i5s in the iMacs is that they are full desktop processors. Much faster than the dual core i7s in the Mbps, despite one being i7 and one being i5.

    The 3.3 i5 has been perfectly fine for my needs and instead I might recommend to put that money into one of the SSD options, unless you really need the performance of the i7.
     
  8. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

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    Mar 10, 2011
    #8
    The m395 has 2GB RAM and the m395x has 4GB RAM. From what I understand both are equal speed wise. The m395 run very cool. In my experience, the 27" iMac with the m395 was cool to the touch even after several hours of use. Not sure how hot the m390 runs.
     
  9. Whiskey27 macrumors newbie

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    Aug 7, 2016
    #9
    Based on your usage, If I were you....top end all the way: i7, 395x, 16-24gb of ram, SSD..no buyers remorse. Good look.
     
  10. moey2k2001 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 4, 2011
    #10
    ur running an i5 right? i see in your comments? how does it run?
     
  11. Whiskey27 macrumors newbie

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    Aug 7, 2016
    #11
    I'm just an everyday web surfer. I do like the higher end tech though, so that's way I choose the 3.3GHz i5 and the m395, not to mention the 2TB Fusion Drive because of the 128GB SSD portion. I find my iMac to be very fast & smooth...scrolling, web pages opening, app openings. I'm extremely happy as this is my first ever Mac.
     
  12. Trebuin macrumors 65816

    Trebuin

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    #12
    Given that you are running more editing and compression work based on multithreading software, I would max out the CPU (i7 4.0) and given the photo editing, decide how much ram you want. I was going to buy the default and buy after-market ram for the other two slots. That would put me at 4GB+4GB+8GB+8GB (or 24GB). You can upgrade the other two 4GB if you feel you need it. 8GB was better cost than the 16GB chips per GB. Eventually the 16GB will come down and you can swap the two 4GB for them and get a huge boost.

    For your video card...if you don't do 3d gaming or development, you can go down to the 390 and be fine. It's really not going to give you any advantage as phone and video development deals with pixels and not geometrics.
     
  13. moey2k2001 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 4, 2011
    #13
    Thanks for all the input. I guess I will look to see if I would be able to go for the i7.
    As much as i want it from the start, I don't know if I can afford it. So I guess I will find out in a few weeks which one I will get then.
    Hopefully the i7.

    I just hate to get the i5 just cuz I can't afford the i7 at the moment and find out that it's not suitable enough. Hence, why I started this thread.
     
  14. Trebuin macrumors 65816

    Trebuin

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    #14
    The good news is you can probably swap the i5 for the i7, though it's probably worth the extra 250. Even better, there are probably a few referb units for sale and I would not turn you away from that option if you are looking for another way to save money. In fact, they should be more reliable due to the extra scrutiny they go through to resell. I would caution the 380 AMD chip as it may struggle with multi monitors if you do that in the future...especially doubling the 4/5k. Good luck...I'll be buying next year strictly due to the video card demand I have.
     
  15. moey2k2001 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 4, 2011
    #15

    Is it actually confirmed that I could swap out the i5 for the i7 after I buy it?:eek::eek::eek:
    I can find any refurbished where I live. In EU, Austria. Few shops from Germany have them and no one seems to have what I want. The other issue is that I will probably go for a monthly rate due to the price being so high for myself at the moment.... since I already invested over 6k in my sound studio... and now the only thing missing is an iMac:(

    The monthly fee issue makes it all worse cuz not all vendors offer what I want when purchasing on rates... o_O
     
  16. Trebuin macrumors 65816

    Trebuin

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    #16
    You actually want to go with refurbished units from apple. Other resellers will simply resell units that have been returned...those are not true refurbished units and I would caution against them. Check the apple website at the bottom is a refurbished section.

    For the CPU, check iFixit to see how it is done. The key is getting the correct chip...ie the same model that is currently supported. You may be able to go up...but the iMac is not designed for that and may overtemp, even with the cooler running that it has over 2014's model. Good luck!
     
  17. Firebrand macrumors regular

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    #17
  18. EnderBeta macrumors 6502

    EnderBeta

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    #18
    Those are all dual core processors and not a good example of the difference between a quad core without hyper threading and a quad core with hyper threading. The i7 dual core is practically just a cherry picked i5 that gets labeled i7 because it is able to run a little faster clock speed.
     
  19. Firebrand macrumors regular

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    #19
    EnderBeta, you’re right of course, only now I see MR indeed published a mainly ‘dual’ core table illustration.

    And true: don’t let the 7 in i fool you.
     
  20. Trebuin macrumors 65816

    Trebuin

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    #20
    A little off topic, but the worst thing I work with is a 12 core processor running on a machine with a 5400rpm hard drive and a generic video card not even able to run directx for google earth...what a mess that is.
     
  21. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

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    Sep 8, 2003
    #21
    Since we are talking the iMac though, bare feats has done some benchmarking: http://barefeats.com/imac5k16.html

    The main conclusion to draw is: the i7 is better, if your stuff is multithreaded enough like video editing. Otherwise the single core gains are small enough you might as well stick with the i5 and upgrade another component like the GPU with the money.
     
  22. mpe macrumors regular

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    Sep 3, 2010
    #22
    I am using i5 at home and i7 at work (both 2015 and 2016 and perhaps we even have the i7 from 2013.) There is no noticeable difference in performance.

    I do Xcode development, Photoshop editing and Lightroom.

    Sure, the i7 is measurably faster in benchmarks but unless you run long batch tasks like rendering or video encoding there is very little difference in performance and it is difficult to demonstrate the performance advantage.

    My experience is that you can feel when you move to from dual-core to quad or from quad to 6/8-core. But i5/i7 of the same gen is more or less the same thing.
     
  23. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

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    Sep 8, 2003
    #23
    I'm a bit surprised Xcode doesn't show a difference. At least during builds, unless your builds are already short enough that it doesn't matter. Our projects are big enough that we can definitely tell the difference.
     
  24. mpe macrumors regular

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    Sep 3, 2010
    #24
    I am pragmatic. If something is twice or more as fast there is a chance I'd notice. If something is 20% faster I think the difference is way to small to make a substantial improvement in real life

    I have complex codebases too. It doesn't really matter if the build takes 2m or 2m 25s which is aproximate what you get when you compare i5 against i7. Any quad-core CPU can crunch source with thousands lines of code very quickly these days.

    If you have a complex codebases it is far more efficient to stack a five cheap Mac minis into a Jenkins build farm than focus on difference between i5/i7 or optimise your build process.
     
  25. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

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    #25
    I'd agree to a point. If a task is starting to get to be a certain percentage of my day, getting 20% of that back can be big.

    Man, I wish we had build times in the 2 minute range... I only get that at home.
     

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