Jump from i3 to i5 worth the money?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by jshelton, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. jshelton macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2008
    The refurb 27-inch i3 is $1269 and the 27-inch i5 is $1419. I don't do any work that requires the faster speed and extra cores -- just email, browsing, Netflix, etc. What would be good reasons to go with the i5 over the i3?
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The reasons were to get more cores or extra processing power, but then you already stated you don't need that as you surf, email and do other light computing tasks. Stick with the i3
  3. lexar, Nov 22, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011

    lexar macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2011
    For $150 the speed difference is considerable. i3 = 2 core ; i5 = 4 core with turboboost.

    Even if you don't need it now depending on how long your plan to keep it might be worth considering since different applications in the future will most likely need more power.


    Our Conclusion:
    So in the battle between the three i3 vs i5 vs i7, we think that the i5 processors are putting up a higher hand as they have Quad cores for higher speeds,Turbo boost for extra speedy performance and quite a fit in the pocket pricetags than the i7 processors.

    I don't have the results from the latest 2011 iMacs but here it is from the 2010. I am sure for 2011 the differences are still similar although all are faster.


    The Core i5 is as much as 41% faster than the Core i3 for 18% more cost.
  4. majordude macrumors 68020


    Apr 28, 2007
    Short answer: YES! Long answer, YEEEEEESSSSSS!
  5. jshelton thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2008
    But, remember what I use the machine for. I don't necessarily need all the power. I just like screen size. If I needed the power more I would go with the 21.5 i5, which I am also debating (different thread). Argh.
  6. Spike88, Nov 22, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011

    Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    My iMac is i3 and do usual "home user" stuff as well. It runs fast enough for me and my needs. If I used my iMac for "heavy lifting" tasks and/or for business (where time = money), then I might upgrade to new 2011 iMac with i7, internal SSD and 2GB memory Video card. Ya, its a business tool and the business writes off the cost of the office tool. But for "general" home user tasks, my i3 continues to work great. Why upgrade (cost, hassle to transferring data and re-configuring GUI to your wants) when one doesn't need to??? Or as some might say, "if it ain't broke or too slow, no need to fix it".

    BTW: For home user tasks such as email, general surfing, U-Tube, Netflix and other video streaming tasks, is the "bottle neck" the CPU or is it one's Internet B/W pipe size?. Me thinks the "pipe size" is the bottleneck area. Upgrading to faster CPU only helps local (standalone) apps response time. For example, gaming, video editing and other "no network" heavy lifting tasks.

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