iMac retina core i5 vs non retina iMac core i7?


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 9, 2007
Northern California / Bay Area
I am going to purchase a new iMac today. I do some very minor video and photo editing and I do a little bit of programming in Xcode. I also do a bit of video gaming, but most of my usage is web browsing and media watching. I'm not sure what would benefit me more, is a core I7 processor and non-retina iMac going to be much faster then a retina iMac with the core I5 processor? Both the machines will have 8 GB of memory And a 256 GB SSD

Thanks for the advice in advance.


macrumors regular
Oct 27, 2012
upstate NY
Of course go for retina with i5. Hyperthreading is useless for most of the consumer workloads, and is absolutely useless in gaming.


macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
Hong Kong
Should be no difference for you in most of the time. The i5 may perform a little bit better for single thread application, since hyper threading may affect the CPU's single core performance a little bit. However, you should not able to tell the difference without accurate benchmarking software.

For something like video rendering, the i7 should be much faster since it has 4 extra virtual cores.

So, in general, for the same clock speed, i7 is better than i5. However, it's only true for multi thread environment and regardless the cost. Since most of the software still single thread, unless you create the multi thread environment on your own (e.g. rendering video in the background and playing game at the same time), you may not able to benefit from the i7 but simply pay more money.


macrumors 6502
Feb 6, 2004
Near Chicago
The more you read these forums and what peoples opinions are, the more your going to doubt a purchase.

I was in the same shoes, waited for todays event before I ordered. I am disappointed.
I have no interest in the first gen of Retina iMacs, I am sure they are nice.
The best thing since sliced bread for some people.
Me...not today.
I just got done purchasing a refurb, I have no doubt the iMac I purchased will last me a few years and handle anything I throw at it.