Just bought my 27-inch i5 - Questions? Please ask!

K-13

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 21, 2010
10
0
Hey everyone,

So I made a post here a couple of months ago hawing and humming about what I should get. Originally my plan was to get the i7, but I was talked down by a guy at the Apple store into getting the i5. My uses are primarily gaming and using it as a media center. Thus far I have played Portal, Starcraft 2, and Torchlight on it.

If you guys have any questions about my purchase, how I'm liking it so far, or if you need any help with your own decision, please ask! I will do my very best to answer any questions you have within my own (admittedly limited) technical ability.
 

Dsync

macrumors member
Jul 26, 2010
90
0
USA
I am about to get the i5 or i7 myself and did have a few questions...

1. Does your HDD make alot of noise?

2. What kind of apps are you running and do you think it will run CS5 production edition?

3. What did the apple dude say about i5 vs. i7?

4. Do you think getting from the referb store is ok?

Thanks for helping!! :D
 
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K-13

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 21, 2010
10
0
Hey Dsync,

1.) My HDD doesn't make that much noise, no. A light hum, but nothing distracting or overbearing. That being said, occasionally I keep my cell phone on my desk, and I have thought a couple of times that my phone was vibrating when it was actually the iMac. Like I said though, nothing that would deter me from getting one. My room is small and so that's definitely something that I would notice.

2.) I'm mostly a casual user in terms of apps. I'm not running PS or anything frequently (although I do use it on occasion I haven't started it up yet). I'm usually running the basics (firefox, itunes, amsn, word, ical, steam) and so for that I am well aware that I don't need the capabilities of an i5. As mentioned, I've played Portal, Starcraft 2, and a couple of others with no problems on decently high settings. They look fantastic, although Portal clips a little bit when you move the mouse quickly from side to side. I may not be the best person to ask for how it would run CS5 production edition because I never have. It seems to me though that this computer would be quite capable running such things.

3.) The guy at the Apple store was a graphic designer who used an iMac C2D which he has had for 3 years or so and with that he has never really encountered any problems. Seeing as my use was geared mainly towards games, he said that the dif between i5 and i7 would be negligible because that's mostly the realm of the gfx card. He did say though that in terms of rendering graphics and editing hd video that the difference between i5 and i7 was like so: "If you were doing it on your i7 and it took 50 seconds, it may take something like 70 seconds on the i5." Now I'm also aware that if you blow that statistic up, it would translate to a decent chunk of time, but in terms of the ability to perform, he said that the i5 was more than capable of handling its own and would do what you needed it to do in slightly more time. I wasn't too keen on paying 220 more for the difference between 2.8 and 2.93, especially if I wasn't going to use it to its full potential. If you are, though, then you may want to go i7.

4.) I was actually going to buy on the refurb store but my decision not to was based on a couple of factors: I couldn't wait anymore - I needed to get rid of my macbook asap and so I couldn't afford to wait for the delivery and such. I also wanted to deal only with a store. I've read imacs have been having problems with screens (mine seems more than fine, btw) so I wanted to be able to go directly to a store without having to wait for them to ship something to me and me having to ship to them...too much of a pain imo. I would strongly suggest/recommend going to the refurb store though. I've heard in many cases they're better than new because they've been checked out and people I know who have used it have never had a problem. Go with what's more economical if you're on a budget. You won't regret it.

Hope this helps! Feel free to follow-up.
 
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K-13

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 21, 2010
10
0
Sorry guys! I don't own a copy of windows, I'm afraid. Although I would be interested myself to see the results!
 
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K-13

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 21, 2010
10
0
Nope, no noticeable yellow tint. It's something I was paranoid about but truth be told, I haven't seen a screen this AWESOME in a while. It swallows your face. I've got about 4-5 windows open at the moment. So, no yellow thus far (fingers crossed), and this screen kicks some major ass.
 
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Apple I

macrumors newbie
Jul 28, 2010
2
0
Nope, no noticeable yellow tint. It's something I was paranoid about but truth be told, I haven't seen a screen this AWESOME in a while. It swallows your face. I've got about 4-5 windows open at the moment. So, no yellow thus far (fingers crossed), and this screen kicks some major ass.
That's really good news, considering I have a new i7 on the way and have been worried about the whole yellowing problem.
 
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ryan0402

macrumors 6502
Jul 24, 2010
315
0
thanks for the help just placed my order with 15% off by may apple employee friend
 
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glxyjones

macrumors regular
Jun 29, 2007
200
27
Hey Dsync,
2.) I'm mostly a casual user in terms of apps. I'm not running PS or anything frequently (although I do use it on occasion I haven't started it up yet). I'm usually running the basics (firefox, itunes, amsn, word, ical, steam) and so for that I am well aware that I don't need the capabilities of an i5. As mentioned, I've played Portal, Starcraft 2, and a couple of others with no problems on decently high settings. They look fantastic, although Portal clips a little bit when you move the mouse quickly from side to side. I may not be the best person to ask for how it would run CS5 production edition because I never have. It seems to me though that this computer would be quite capable running such things.
Can you give some more details on how well SCII is running? I just ordered my 27" and I can't wait to move from my current C2D MBP to the i7.
 
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K-13

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 21, 2010
10
0
You should be excited. My i5 runs SC2 beautifully on high settings. I'm not sure if I've maxed them out but it looks phenomenal with no clipping or lag issues to note. I hope you enjoy your new purchase. I know I felt kind of like I had copped out for not paying the extra 220 to get the i7, but after using my i5, I feel awesome about it all.
 
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K-13

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 21, 2010
10
0
Just wanted to add that I've been playing SC2 on native resolution. No problems. Runs awesome, looks awesome. From what I understand though, SC2 isn't an incredibly graphically intensive game. I think Blizzard tried to make it so that a wide scope of computers would be able to run it well. I think the true benchmarks for graphical ability would probably be some of the big fps titles like Crysis, MW2, Bad Company 2, etc. Unfortunately, I don't have any of those to test em out!
 
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henrikrox

macrumors 65816
Feb 3, 2010
1,218
2
k-12, i asked cause im waiting for my i7 :)

you are running sc2 in osx right, so its even better in windows. its amazing it can run high settings under osx

can you tell me your fps i think the command is ingame ctrl + command + f or its ctrl + alt + f

then the fps shows

take native resolution and take pictures and post them here

would be super glad if you test out native res at medium graphics, high and ultra.

also super glad you like your new computer, its going to be a long week waiting for mine, damn you :D
 
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K-13

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 21, 2010
10
0
Yeah I can definitely do that when I get home tomorrow!

It's worth the wait. It'll be that much better when you finally do get it :D
 
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Alonzo84

macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2009
831
16
North Carolina
K-13, do you or anyone else have experience with the previous gen quad core i5 compared to the new ones. I am eyeing a refurb quad core i5 but am concerned that the new faster RAM will provide a noticeable difference for applications like PS and day to day use. I am a little uneasy about upgrading the RAM myself but would willing to give it a shot. Plus, the $1529 price tag is very tempting.
 
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Dsync

macrumors member
Jul 26, 2010
90
0
USA
K-13, thanks for going into such detail with your reply! I now think that I will look into the i7 as I will be using it often to render 1080p video, so the difference in 50 seconds and 70 seconds with a 30 minute video render is huge!

I do have another question... will you be upgrading the RAM? If so, what size?
 
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K-13

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 21, 2010
10
0
Alonzo84 - I don't have any experience with the previous generation, unfortunately but from what you're telling me it sounds like the faster speed of the ram MIGHT make a difference, but I don't think that should be an incredibly huge factor, especially if you're going to save some money with the refurb. I really don't think you're going to be missing out on that much, to be honest. Also, I would highly recommend just doing the ram upgrade yourself. It's MUCH cheaper, and I'm sure you can read tutorials online on how to do it. I'm not tech savvy in the slightest but I've upgraded my ram a couple of times on my own without any problems. Just make sure you're grounded so static doesn't screw anything up!

Dsync - I got the 4gb of ram. As mentioned, I think/know Apple's prices for ram upgrades are exorbitant and you can definitely find some ram for much cheaper at places like newegg, etc. I'll probably upgrade to 8gb at some point when I feel like I need it, but having just shelled out 2200, my wallet needs a little rest. Maybe one day I'll even max it out at 16, but 8 seems like more than enough for my purposes.

Barefeats - I'll try to get to the benchmarks today for you.
 
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K-13

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 21, 2010
10
0
Dsync - I also want to let you know that the guy at the apple store may or may not have been picking that 50-70 second statistic out of the air. That's what he told me, but I've learned that people at the apple store don't ALWAYS know what they're talking about. I'd read more into it if I were you...look into benchmarks and things like that. I wouldn't want my advice to make you spend 200 bucks you don't need to, but then again, if you know you're going to be doing 1080p video rendering, go with the i7.
 
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dolphin842

macrumors 65816
Jul 14, 2004
1,168
28
K-13, thanks for going into such detail with your reply! I now think that I will look into the i7 as I will be using it often to render 1080p video, so the difference in 50 seconds and 70 seconds with a 30 minute video render is huge!
It's extremely unlikely you'll see a 30% boost going from 2.8GHz to 2.93 GHz (<5% clock increase). I posted some benchmarks I've run in this thread, and if your encoder is multithreaded (like x264 is), the presence of hyperthreading only gives a ~3% boost at identical clock speeds (this year's 2.8GHz i5 vs. last year's 2.8GHz i7). So the overall real-world benefit of going to the i7 would be in the neighborhood of 7-8%. If it's a matter of moving from last year's i5 to this year's i7, the boost would be roughly ~20% if you extrapolate from my existing data.
 
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Meever

macrumors 6502a
Jun 30, 2009
630
24
You have to remember that the iMacs have real i7 processors (not those posuer i7-6xx variants) with 4 physical cores which are hyper threaded to 8. When it comes to video encoding 30% difference would actually be a pretty modest estimation.

It wouldn't really do much for gaming though. Most games barely take advantage of two cores let alone 4 or even 8!
 
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dolphin842

macrumors 65816
Jul 14, 2004
1,168
28
You have to remember that the iMacs have real i7 processors (not those posuer i7-6xx variants) with 4 physical cores which are hyper threaded to 8. When it comes to video encoding 30% difference would actually be a pretty modest estimation.
The i5 760 in the 27" iMac is quad-core just like the i7. If you check the encoding test I ran, you will see that this year's i5 gets 65fps, while last year's i7 gets 67fps. Both chips run at 2.8GHz, so hyperthreading only adds about 3% here. When comparing this year's i5 to this year's i7 (the latter was not in the Apple Store so I couldn't test), they're both quad-core so the difference should only be roughly a matter of clock speed + the 3% hyperthreading bonus, hence my guesstimate of 7-8% overall.

You're correct in that moving from a dual-core 3.2GHz i3 to a 2.8GHz quad-core i5 has a substantial performance improvement (~50% for x264 encoding). But with the exception of the entry-level 27" (where you can upgrade to a 3.6GHz dual-core i5, though that's kind of strange), the i5 and i7 in question are both quad-core, so the difference is rather minimal.
 
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Dsync

macrumors member
Jul 26, 2010
90
0
USA
I see that there are a ton of thoughts on this! It seems to be a question for many people! But I still think the i5 is an awesome system even though the i7 may be a little faster. Saving that cash would allow me to bump it up to 8GB of RAM right away and that is really looking like the way I want to go.

So that's where I am right now! ;)
 
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