Is C2D good enough?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Nora., Feb 27, 2010.

  1. Nora. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #1
    I just ordered my first iMac (27 inch C2D) after using Windows my whole life. I would like to know if people with a little more spec experience could help me figure out if I made the right choice or if I should switch to i5 or i7 if it's still possible.

    I will mainly use it for graphic design work using CS4, no video or music editing or gaming. I plan on upgrading to a newer computer after about 2 years (unless it doesn't die within that timeframe like all my Windows laptops have). Will a Core 2 Duo be enough until then or should I go for quad core?

    I'd really appreciate your advice. :)
     
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #2
    Yes a c2d will be enough. Some software downt een take advantage of dual core never mind quad.
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #3
    C2D sounds good for you if you're anyway buying a new one after 2 years
     
  4. cwwilson macrumors 65816

    cwwilson

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK
    #4
    Well an i5/i7 would have been a better long term value for the 27 incher but as for the next year or so, a C2D won't exactly hold you down. It is an aging processor though, but still more than passable by todays standards.

    Just be glad you're not on a Pentium 4 like I was for far too long.
     
  5. JajoPGH macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #5
    It'll be enough. I use CS4 also, and the files pop up very quickly. I make changes very quickly too. A lot of the i5 and i7 hype comes from people who really need it for intense production of video or graphics, and people who love statistics (I would take Roethlisberger over Manning anyday) but would never make true use out of the hardware.

    I'm on a C2D, and my CPU useage is rarely more than 10%, and ram useage is always at least 2gig free.
     
  6. jodr macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    #6
    I had a similar question awhile back. I think it's worth remembering two things: Apple is still selling Core2Duo processors in their professional-grade laptops and desktops. While some feel they should be using i-core line by now, they would not get away with selling a processor that was actually slow or bordering on non-functional using modern software. Also, notice that manufactures with larger product lines than Apple are actually having great success selling machines that are far, far less powered than any Macs available right now - Nettops, netbooks, Atom-based media PCs, etc. Many of these boast web surfing, HD video playback, and photo editing as uses. I don't think the web or software market is going to be hostile to Core 2 Duos anytime soon.

    That said, the i5 and i7 processors will be significantly faster at just about everything you have to wait for with a computer - encoding video, ripping DVDs and CDs, encrypting data, etc. It's will be a matter of convenience and time-saving for the foreseeable future, I think, not functionality.
     
  7. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #7
    I run the entire Adobe Creative Suite + Quark 8 on a 2.4 AL iMac w/4 gigs ram and it handles it all without even breaking a sweat.

    And I'm talking multi hundred meg Photoshop files and 100+ page Quark files with gigs of links. Not some crappy little 72 dpi web graphics and a few 3 panel brochures.

    Unless you are doing more than that?

    First thing I would buy is 4 more gigs of ram, $110: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/iMac/DDR3_21.5_27

    And some helpful "switcher" links:

    http://www.apple.com/support/switch101/

    http://www.apple.com/support/mac101/

    http://www.lynda.com/home/ViewCourses.aspx?lpk0=67
     
  8. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

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    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #8
    If your only going to keep it for 2 years C2D seems fine:D
     
  9. ugp macrumors 65816

    ugp

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    Jan 7, 2008
    Location:
    Inverness, Florida
    #9
    I have not seen any performance issues with the Core 2 Duos.

    I have used BootCamp just to play games and I have the base 27" model. Using Windows XP it only utilized 3GB of the 8GB of RAM and it blew away all current generations games with ease. All games running at max settings (MW2, Mass Effect 2, Crysis) Running at 1280x720 resolution.

    Until Applications are written to take full advantage of the multi-cores it doesn't matter at the current time right now.

    HandBrake on the other hand does and the i5 and i7's fly through encoding movies over the Core 2 Duos. Still I can encode an average movie in about an hour.
     
  10. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #10
    I only purchased an i5 over the C2D was because my older desktop already has the 3.06 E8400 in it and runs great, bought it right when the chip hit the market. During everyday use I can tell slight speed differences, in favor of the i5, but they are very very subtle. The major bottle neck in computer performance is usually in the hard drive anyway and everyday apps haven't come close to pushing the limits of higher end dual cores.
    If you are running benchmarks everyday then you'll notice a huge difference.
    Also.... as ugp said, I have noticed a large difference in handbrake speeds, I mainly do TV Series ripping and it takes my i5 approx 12mins for a 44min episode using the AppleTV preset. Just set your Q and forget it.
    All in all, I believe you will be very happy with your purchase, like you I was fairly new to the OSX scene and it may take a little learning to get into your comfort zone and figure out all the software you'll need for everyday use. I just perma switched in Dec and I haven't missed Win7 at all. I now swear by my computer instead of swearing at it.

    Check out macupdate.com for a large list of applications, if like me you were looking for a program but not sure of the name, you can do filter results or searches for certain types.
     
  11. Maserati7200 macrumors 6502a

    Maserati7200

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    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    11230, Midwood, Brooklyn, NY, USA, North America
    #11
    Honestly, I'd suggest paying $200 more and buy 8GB more of RAM giving you 12GB. I have a 13" MBP with 4GB of RAM, and even when doing simple task, RAM gets used up quickly. Plus with 12GB it will scream.
     
  12. unixfool macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2006
    Location:
    Northern VA
    #12
    He'd be a fool to buy RAM from Apple. It's far cheaper to buy it from newegg.com or zipzoomfly.com or other places that are cheap and have good reputations. If he already has 4GB, another 4GB should be fine...he doesn't necessarily need 8. And, running as 64-bit will help also.

    If you buy an i5/i7 now, you don't even have to worry about upgrading in 2 yrs.
     
  13. mac88 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA.
    #13
    If you can afford the i5 or i7 then go for it. There would be no need to update in a few years. If you decide to stay with the C2D, enjoy it because it will handle what you want to use it for. Good luck! :D
     
  14. Maserati7200 macrumors 6502a

    Maserati7200

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
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    #14
    I never said buy from Apple. And running 64 bit is even MOAR reason to buy more RAM. 12GB of RAM would be a big improvement over 8GB.
     
  15. kernkraft macrumors 68020

    kernkraft

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    #15
    For those tasks, 8GB might do just fine. In fact, 4GB is still a lot.

    I think that you have to do very heavy work to justify the $300 difference. If it was a 3GHz Quad Core, of course we would have a simpler problem. But here, you get the chance between a dual and a quad core machine with different clock speed. Also, the video card is different, but the one in the C2D version is a good one.

    What I think might make the answer easier is this: ask yourself the question, whether you might feel bitter for not having the best you could have for only $300 more. If you accept that for your tasks, the C2D is good enough and it will be for several years, than don't pay the extra. But if you can imagine that the more expensive machine is actually faster or it will be in the coming years with new OS and new software, than you have to get the Quad Core. Besides, in two years, C2Ds will look outdated. They might do now.
     
  16. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #16
    Clearly you have not priced ram.

    8 gigs of ram (2 sticks at 4 gigs each), either for your MBP or for a new iMac, is $350, not $200.

    Since an iMac has 4 slots for ram (unlike the 2 slots in your MBP) the most costs effective upgrade is to purchase 4 more gigs of ram (2 sticks at 2 gigs each) for $110 and add it to the current 4 gigs (2 sticks at 2 gigs each).
     
  17. Maserati7200 macrumors 6502a

    Maserati7200

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
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    11230, Midwood, Brooklyn, NY, USA, North America
    #17
    Clearly, you didn't read my post fully. I said $200 more. Adding 4GB would cost ~$100, and adding 8GB would cost ~$300, making the 8GB option $200 more than the 4GB option. And I'm saying she should buy 2 4GB sticks for those 2 empty slots making it 12GB. Trust me, I have 4GB of RAM, and even with simple tasks, 4GB gets used quickly. And besides, in a few years, if she wants 16GB, she would only have to replace the Two slots with 2GB sticks than have to buy RAM for all 4 slots.
     
  18. Jay Marcase macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    #18
    Hey man thanks so much for this information as a result I purchased a Core 2 Duo 27'' and it works like a charm.
     
  19. Nora. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #19
    Thank you all so much for sharing your thoughts. Looks like Core 2 Duo is good enough for me for now. Can't wait to receive it. :)
     
  20. Ecoh macrumors 6502a

    Ecoh

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #20
    The new C2D iMac will be more than enough. You will love the 27 " screen for CS4.

    I was using a 2.0 GHZ C2D iMac before I got my new 27 " iMac. CS4 ran fine with only 3 GB RAM and using large files with many layers. The only problem with wait times occurred with certain artistic filters.
     

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