Need help with decision between i5 and i7

Dyne

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 30, 2010
80
0
Good morning everyone!

First and foremost, I apologize for this thread; I'm sure there are a hundred just like mine. I would have just used the search function, but let me put it this way: I'm typing this from my iPhone. Over the EDGE network on one bar. Yeah.

Anyhow, I'm torn between the i5 and the i7, and can't decide which to get. I do not do any encoding or music mixing of the sort; this will simply be a luxury machine for gaming, net browsing, and movie watching. Cost isn't really a factor... I just don't know if I will receive any benefit whatsoever for using an i7 over an i5 as games do not utilize hyper threading from what I understand. another factor is if I went with the i5, I can pick that up today from the Apple store for instant gratification, whereas with the i7, it's BTO only.

What do you all think? :)
 

zedsdead

macrumors 68040
Jun 20, 2007
3,257
575
If you do not do any kind of movie encoding or processor intensive tasks, then the i7 will not benefit you. Save the money, go for the i5 and get either more RAM or an SSD (which will make a huge difference in speed, but it is not cheep).
 

henrikrox

macrumors 65816
Feb 3, 2010
1,218
2
Think this has been answered 20 times now, fine your on your mobile. but still.

i7 is good for apps that can utilize all threads, encoding, editing and that stuff. Then the HT feature can give a very good boost to performance.

But games doesnt benefit much from HT yet, but in the future yes. So if you are planning on having it for some time. go i7 without a doubt.

Though, if you plan on selling it and get the new imac when it comes, go for the i5, you wont notice any difference now. And save the extra dollars for RAM, or better internet connection, so you dont have to ask this ;)
 

dexthageek

macrumors 6502
Dec 7, 2007
391
0
Are you looking at purchasing new or refurb?

If you don't mind getting last years model. You can get the 27'' i7 for $1699
$500 in savings compared to the 2010 i7, and the performance differences are minimal.
 

henrikrox

macrumors 65816
Feb 3, 2010
1,218
2
Are you looking at purchasing new or refurb?

If you don't mind getting last years model. You can get the 27'' i7 for $1699
$500 in savings compared to the 2010 i7, and the performance differences are minimal.
Well he said he was going to game, the refurb and new i7 is the same expect clock speed. But the new GPU should give a 10-15% boost in performance. So if he plans on gaming a lot he should go for that card
 

dexthageek

macrumors 6502
Dec 7, 2007
391
0
Well he said he was going to game, the refurb and new i7 is the same expect clock speed. But the new GPU should give a 10-15% boost in performance. So if he plans on gaming a lot he should go for that card
I am not so sure we will see that great of a performance increase.
 

dexthageek

macrumors 6502
Dec 7, 2007
391
0
It would be nice!
I am not a big PC gamer (used to be) but with how fast hardware requirements change (gets to expensive) for PC games, I now play most of my games on consoles.

I did pick up SC2 this week which is awesome! But at least in OSX, in order to get over 30 fps, I need to drop down from native res and run with medium settings. Going to try in Bootcamp see if I get better performance.
 

henrikrox

macrumors 65816
Feb 3, 2010
1,218
2
It would be nice!
I am not a big PC gamer (used to be) but with how fast hardware requirements change (gets to expensive) for PC games, I now play most of my games on consoles.

I did pick up SC2 this week which is awesome! But at least in OSX, in order to get over 30 fps, I need to drop down from native res and run with medium settings. Going to try in Bootcamp see if I get better performance.
Blizzard said SC2 performs 10-15% better in windows then in OSX. Just cant find the forum post atm.

I think the hardware requirements for PC games is much better now then what it was. Mosly people just remember crysis period and that they couldnt run it any good unless they had the greatest card. All the new PC games require a hell of alot less then crysis does. Therefor i think the imac will handle games just fine in the future. at least when its so easily overclocked. Looking forward to seeing how the imac handles upcoming titles such as Mafia II and stuff like that.

maybe you cant play at native res, but hell most xbox/ps3 games play native 1280x720 and thats on a 50" TV. ANd they still look great.

So taking the resolution down to 1920x1080 it will still look great.
 

Dyne

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 30, 2010
80
0
Thank you all so much for the responses so far!

Let me throw another equation into the mix: a year and a half or two from now, I'm planning on building a dedicated gaming rig and use the iMac as the monitor, so I'll be using the Mac for years to come, but a Windows rig for the more demanding games. Nothing out right now or that I want in the future comes remotely close to needing anything higher than what the iMac already has... At least not for me. PC games in general seem to be a dying breed. :)

So having said that, i5 or i7?
 

Dyne

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 30, 2010
80
0
Blizzard said SC2 performs 10-15% better in windows then in OSX. Just cant find the forum post atm.

I think the hardware requirements for PC games is much better now then what it was. Mosly people just remember crysis period and that they couldnt run it any good unless they had the greatest card. All the new PC games require a hell of alot less then crysis does. Therefor i think the imac will handle games just fine in the future. at least when its so easily overclocked. Looking forward to seeing how the imac handles upcoming titles such as Mafia II and stuff like that.

maybe you cant play at native res, but hell most xbox/ps3 games play native 1280x720 and thats on a 50" TV. ANd they still look great.

So taking the resolution down to 1920x1080 it will still look great.
Exactly!

Besides, the video card in the iMac is still a significant step up from my 8800gt, and that card can max out almost any game I throw at it.

Also, it seems like we can OC the 5850 to 5870 clocks without it causing any issues if need be.
 

henrikrox

macrumors 65816
Feb 3, 2010
1,218
2
Thank you all so much for the responses so far!

Let me throw another equation into the mix: a year and a half or two from now, I'm planning on building a dedicated gaming rig and use the iMac as the monitor, so I'll be using the Mac for years to come, but a Windows rig for the more demanding games. Nothing out right now or that I want in the future comes remotely close to needing anything higher than what the iMac already has... At least not for me. PC games in general seem to be a dying breed. :)

So having said that, i5 or i7?
Haha pretty funny, you are doing as i am doing right now, i have a 5970 gaming rig that i have had for a while and going to use the imac as a screen. might sell the 5970 and go zotac gtx 460 (which has dp port) and get a cleaner/sleek cabinet.

Anyway it's kinda of difficult to say what thing is going to be like in 1-2 year from now. And yes PC games aren't actually on the top of the list of what game developers concentrate on. How much PC games were at E3? Exactly ;D

But ye, if you want to just use it as a screen and osx until u have a gaming machine, you should just go lower end 27" and save all those money on a beefy gaming rig.

Hopefully the 6XXX ati radeon cards that are coming late 2010, will work with the imac, since the 58XX and 57XX doesn't, just the 5970 and gtx with dp port.
 

blinkin182

macrumors regular
May 3, 2010
195
2
Switzerland
Thank you all so much for the responses so far!

Let me throw another equation into the mix: a year and a half or two from now, I'm planning on building a dedicated gaming rig and use the iMac as the monitor, so I'll be using the Mac for years to come, but a Windows rig for the more demanding games. Nothing out right now or that I want in the future comes remotely close to needing anything higher than what the iMac already has... At least not for me. PC games in general seem to be a dying breed. :)

So having said that, i5 or i7?
I was also hesitating between new i5 or i7 and refurb i7 and i think I'm gonna go for the i7 refurb. The difference in GPU don't seem significant. only thing that bothers me is that 4850 won't support OpenCL so well. But as I do a lot of ripping and video encoding, I think i'll see the benefit of the core i7 Hyperthreading. I also own a PS3 so I do my gaming on that most of the time.

So difficult to know what one wants or needs :D
 

dwd3885

macrumors 68020
Dec 10, 2004
2,108
91
I was also hesitating between new i5 or i7 and refurb i7 and i think I'm gonna go for the i7 refurb. The difference in GPU don't seem significant. only thing that bothers me is that 4850 won't support OpenCL so well. But as I do a lot of ripping and video encoding, I think i'll see the benefit of the core i7 Hyperthreading. I also own a PS3 so I do my gaming on that most of the time.

So difficult to know what one wants or needs :D
the 4850 will support opencl just fine. Even if the newer i5 supports opencl better, the i7 still has hyperthreading and i believe that will outweigh the graphics and ram speed benefits.
 

blinkin182

macrumors regular
May 3, 2010
195
2
Switzerland
the 4850 will support opencl just fine. Even if the newer i5 supports opencl better, the i7 still has hyperthreading and i believe that will outweigh the graphics and ram speed benefits.
Are you sure? A poster sent me this article:
http://en.expreview.com/2009/12/24/amd-admits-opencl-performance-on-radeon-hd-4000-series/6205.html

I don't know how significantly we will see applications taking advantage of OpenCL. But I figure the difference between refurb i7 and i5 in terms of CPU offsets the GPU disadvantage, as you say.
 

SkyMasterson

macrumors newbie
Jul 28, 2010
21
0
It would be nice!
I am not a big PC gamer (used to be) but with how fast hardware requirements change (gets to expensive) for PC games, I now play most of my games on consoles.

I did pick up SC2 this week which is awesome! But at least in OSX, in order to get over 30 fps, I need to drop down from native res and run with medium settings. Going to try in Bootcamp see if I get better performance.
Hmm and that's with last years model?

So running SC2 on a highend 21.5 would fair better you think?

Just curious as I'm in th market for a new comp.
 

dexthageek

macrumors 6502
Dec 7, 2007
391
0
Hmm and that's with last years model?

So running SC2 on a highend 21.5 would fair better you think?

Just curious as I'm in th market for a new comp.
30fps is running in the 27'' native res. If i was to drop the res I would get a much better FPS.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.