iMac i5 or i7

Discussion in 'iMac' started by OatmealRocks, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. OatmealRocks macrumors 6502a

    Jul 30, 2009
    I am at a fork in the road.

    I know i7 has hyper-threading but how effective is this? Also I read on this forum that geekbench results is not a true representation of day to day tasks. I am not sure what to believe.

    My main area of use is CS5 and Lightroom as I do photography. I may start to do video editing as well but will not be a heavy user. My main concern is CS6 and lightroom

    On the windows side I do use MS-SQL.

    Which do you suggest? Would i5 be sufficient? or is it worth to pay the extra for the i7? I will have upgrade ram to 8GB but wondering if it is worth the extra $.
  2. aki macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2004
    Right at this moment, there is no real reason to go i5. Very few applications will benefit from the difference. Yes, that will change as time passes, and more apps are written to leverage the i7/hyperthreading etc. But not overnight.

    I bought the i7 myself but only because I could afford to at the time. I wouldn't be afraid of going the i5 plus the extra ram if that's the economic choice. (I do video on mine.)
  3. stridemat Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    When buying computers that you can't easily upgrade the components its always wise to get the highest spec that you can afford. If you can afford the i7 then go for it as eventually you will benefit of the slight extra speed. Even if you wish to sell it before it gets to old, it will have a higher resale value.
  4. isuryan83 macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2010
    Let me answer your question with another question... Do CS5 and LR3 utilize quad core technology? I know it has a definite benefit for RAM, but I'm not sure what, if any, optimizing has been done for quad core... but I'm assuming it's better.

    I just ordered an i7 iMac that I will be using almost exclusively for photography. I cannot wait to see how it flies with PS and LR. It arrives tomorrow!

    I've never really used either machines, but my gut told me to go for the i7. And after I ordered it, I felt really good about my decision. For a machine that should last me at least 3 years, $200 is pretty minimal to get top of the line.
  5. ravinder08 macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2010
    I'm in a simillar position (waiting on the refresh) the extra power will come in to it's own a few years down the line and you'll be glad you went i7.

    How long do you plan to keep the machine for?

  6. OatmealRocks thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 30, 2009
    AHh I didn't think about the resale value. I do plan on keeping it as long as I can. Not sure if the upgrade bug will get me but I don't see myself moving to a mac pro. As nice as the mac pro it is too much for my needs. I do love the form factor and screen of the current iMac and don't see myself needing more. I may add an external drive to increase capacity.

    I was told CS5 can take advantage of hyper threading but not sure if the real life benchmark #s. I do feel the $200 more seems better for long term but I rather spend the money on applecare.
  7. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    Given a years' time or so, you'll see more and more applications using hyperthreading. As it stands, quite a few things already do (full-screening a live stream for instance)

    Buy the highest spec computer you can afford.
  8. bigmacman macrumors member


    Jul 16, 2010
    Wait for the refresh in Sep/Oct and either go low & get the base 21.5" with i5 probably or go high & get the 27" with i7 or i9?

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