iMac i5 vs i7?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Soundhound, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. Soundhound macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    Is there much of a difference in processing power between the i5 and i7. I'm looking at upgrading from my current iMac 24" 21.6 ghz Core 2 Duo, to a late model 27" i5 or i7. For my purposes (music - using Logic, various cpu and ram hungry plugins) and the amount I can spend, it looks like this is the way to go, but I'm just not sure whether I should spring for an i7, which would be a little more $, or if there's really not that much difference in processing power?

    thanks!
     
  2. Flynnstone macrumors 65816

    Flynnstone

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  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #3
    Logic seems to benefit heavily from Hyper-Threading so i7 should be worth it.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Soundhound thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Maybe I'll hang on to it after all! :eek:

     
  5. Soundhound thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    What a great chart, thanks! Not sure where on there I should look to compare (or even ballpark estimate) the difference between my imac (2.16ghz core 2 duo) and say a an imac i7, 2.93 ghz...?




    i7 2.my
     
  6. sonarghost macrumors regular

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    #6
    I had the exact same spec computer as you when I upgraded to the new imac i7 (except mine was a mere 2.16 not a 21.6 :p).

    I noticed incredible performance leaps using Ableton with rewire to Logic. I know that the new cpu obviously made a difference but being able to load more ram than the max 4gb in the old computer made equally more of a difference imo. I went to newegg.com and got some ram to upgrade it to 16gig of ram for around $100.00. When running several plugins on certain tracks (using Native instrument especially) on the 2.16 computer I frequently would see my ram making the computer come to a near stand still. I looked around the web before I made my imac purchase and most posts from gearslutz, the apple forum discussions, ect. made it pretty clear that ram was the main thing that would improve performance which seems to be true. I personally ran into more error messages concerning ram on my old comp than any kind of cpu overload messages. There is no doubt, since you are coming from the same boat as I, that you would see SIGNIFICANT increase performance by just using the 15 with more ram if price was a factor in getting an i5 vs. an i7. I bought an i7 merely because I wanted to kind of "future proof" the computer since I keep my computers for 4-5 years before I upgrade.
     
  7. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #7
    I would say the MBP 2.4 would be the closest to your iMac and the iMac 2.8 i7 would be closest to the 2.93.
     
  8. Dresevski macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Hyperthreading on the i7 will become more important with time. I would suggest getting the better CPU now instead of a new computer quicker. That's what I did!
     
  9. Soundhound, Jul 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011

    Soundhound thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    thanks so much. I'm going to load it up with 16 gigs, because I can see how much ram i need for the various things I'm using (Trillian, SUperior Drums, etc etc) Just being able to load the instruments I want to work with, without having to freeze tracks all the time, is going to be a pleasure. But it's the processor speed I can't quite get a handle on - how much that will help. From the chart in this thread (thanks!) it looks like it might be about 3 times as much headroom...?

    Edit: I hit the wall with processor speed fairly regularly. If I loaded all the isntruments I wanted for a regular setup (drums bass keys horns etc) I'll hit the wall, and have to freeze tracks.

     
  10. Soundhound, Jul 15, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2011

    Soundhound thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Okay how about this one. Which would be a faster 27" iMac for Logic/streaming sample instruments etc:

    2011 i5 (May 2011, that means Sandy Bridge, right?)
    or
    2010 i7

    ???

    Edit: whoops! the i7 is a 2010.

    thanks!
     
  11. fivedots macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    The, uhh, faster one? Unless you meant 2010 i7, since that's a common question. Otherwise, the i7.
     
  12. Soundhound thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Sorry, yes I meant 2010 i7!

     
  13. Soundhound thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Glad to know it's a common query! So which do you think would be faster/better etc?

     
  14. fivedots macrumors 6502a

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    #14
  15. Soundhound thread starter macrumors 6502a

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  16. fivedots macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Did you click it or copy & paste it? Works for me.

    Just search thread titles for 2010 i7 2011 i5 and you'll get lots of hits.
     
  17. Soundhound thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Hmmm, doesn;t work for me but no worries, I'm doing a search and found some info. Not an easily answered question, it seems, there are plusses and minuses on both sides. Arg! :)

     
  18. Soundhound thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    i5 vs i7 - what's the difference?

    I can't figure out what the actual difference is. Is it the number virtual cores maybe? Seems like I read that somewhere, but nobody seems to know.

    thanks!
     
  19. bniu macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 21, 2010
    #19
    quad core i5s do not have hyper-threading, quad core i7s do, so it's 4 cores versus 8 cores here. 8 cores come in handy with Handbrake, a full 2 hour movie in high resolution in just 30 minutes, and that's on a MacBook Pro. iMac will be even faster.



    dual core i5s do have hyper-threading but that's a different story. Mobile i5s also have hyper-threading, but they only come in dual core models, all mobile quad cores are i7s.
     
  20. Soundhound thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    So the key is whether what you're using it for uses hyperthreading? I'm using it for music - Logic and virtual instruments...

     
  21. bniu macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    yep. If you can take advantage of hyper-threading, then you essentially get an 8 core processor...
     
  22. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #22
    For logic you want the i7. It will eat up all the CPU you give it.
     

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