Is springing for the i7 worth it?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Pine, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. Pine macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2010
    I know there are several similar topics on this already, but I feel like I have different needs than some of the other users asking the same question.

    I am attracted to the new iMac because they are beautiful computers and it is hard to justify giving my money to either Dell or a sketchy online PC boutique. The reality is I have to have windows, but I would like to try OSX and it seems that intel macs give the best of both worlds.

    Money is extremely tight as a college student and I have been saving for the past year. So now it comes down the the question of which quad-core iMac to blow all of my savings on.

    here's what I'll be using the computer for:
    photoshop, illustrator, indesign
    solidworks, rhino, alias studio
    rendering in hypershot/bunkspeed shot
    after effects
    steam, sims3

    I'm looking at the quad-cores for some hopefully speedy renders. Shot does support hyperthreading, but is the $180 upgrade worth it when every penny counts? Thanks for any insight you may have.
  2. frega macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2010
    If the Back-to-School promo is still up, you can "save" quite a bit. Since you're getting a free iPod Touch you can resell + the EDU price.
  3. leftywamumonkey macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2010
    Why does nobody think about the online rebate or tax.
  4. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    Now, will you be doing any of these at the same time? Or is it that you do one program/render at a time? HT will really only come into play when there is >400% CPU usage, for more then 1 process at a time. If not, the advantages of singular programs wrt HT are very minimal.

    Because it's only applicable to a number of countries? E.g. US?
  5. dwarnecke11 macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2009
    I'm in the same boat as the OP. I'm going for the i7 and selling the iPod touch to pay for most of the $180 upgrade fee.
  6. Pine thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2010
    The iPod rebate would apply to either build option, so I could sell the iPod for some cash back regardless.

    If it were possible to render in one program and model in another I probably would. I'm used to taking over 2-3 computers in a lab just to speed things up. I think hypershot will use pretty much whatever cpu and/or gpu power is available.

    Anyone have any examples of the real world differences between using 2.8Ghz i5 and 2.93Ghz i7? Could it cut rendering time in half or just shave off a couple of minutes? Can you run twice as many programs or maybe just squeeze in one more?

    Thanks for the responses.
  7. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    its possible that you can do both at the same time - depending on how much CPU each they use, can you give examples of the types of resources that they will each use? i can then estimate CPU gain etc.

    given that you ARE indeed multitasking - the i7 will prove to have significant performance increases over the i5 through the use of HyperThreading. you can expect as little as 20% increase and as much as 50% - depending on what resources are being used.

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