Quad Core i5 OR base model Core i3? - Yes I know other threads exist!

PatriotInvasion

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 18, 2010
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Boston, MA
He All - Listen, I know other threads exist, but they don't have responses specific to me so what's the harm in one more?:p

So, I am going to be selling my late 2008 15" MacBook Pro this week to get a new 27" iMac and I just need some legitimate advice from those "in the know" on processors. I plan on having this iMac for about 3 years to do the following tasks:

1.) Record and edit HD cable (1080i) from an Elgato EyeTV HD - will include some encoding of 2+ hour sports game recordings
2.) Some light editing of 720p iPhone 4 clips in iMovie
3.) Surf the web, iTunes, iPhoto, Mail, and all the other standard stuff

Assuming budget is an issue, would you recommend me spending the extra money for a Quad Core i5 iMac or would I be ok based on the info above just going with the base Dual Core i3 model? Like, will there be a considerable difference in the two machines (factoring in processor and graphics card) that will really be worth the extra $300 - $400 for 3 years of use?

Would love your suggestions and again, apologize for the added thread;)
 

TMRaven

macrumors 68020
Nov 5, 2009
2,099
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Always get the best computer you can afford, especially since hd video recording and editing are very cpu intensive. You'll also want 8gigs of ram so those hd video encodings can play back lag-free on the computer, as well as a video card with at least 512mb of vram.

Also, since you'll be recording in interlaced, it'll be worth it to get a very good cpu to use high-quality deinterlacers. The highest quality deinterlacers are found under avisynth in windows.
 

dexthageek

macrumors 6502
Dec 7, 2007
391
0
He All - Listen, I know other threads exist, but they don't have responses specific to me so what's the harm in one more?:p

So, I am going to be selling my late 2008 15" MacBook Pro this week to get a new 27" iMac and I just need some legitimate advice from those "in the know" on processors. I plan on having this iMac for about 3 years to do the following tasks:

1.) Record and edit HD cable (1080i) from an Elgato EyeTV HD - will include some encoding of 2+ hour sports game recordings
2.) Some light editing of 720p iPhone 4 clips in iMovie
3.) Surf the web, iTunes, iPhoto, Mail, and all the other standard stuff

Assuming budget is an issue, would you recommend me spending the extra money for a Quad Core i5 iMac or would I be ok based on the info above just going with the base Dual Core i3 model? Like, will there be a considerable difference in the two machines (factoring in processor and graphics card) that will really be worth the extra $300 - $400 for 3 years of use?

Would love your suggestions and again, apologize for the added thread;)
The Quad-Core i5 will outperform the i3 in every way. If you can swing the extra cash, I say go for the Quad-core.

I suggest you order the iMac i7 (2009) refurb from Apple's online store. The refurb i7 is currently $1849. This machine will out perform the i5 quad-core, especially when encoding and editing video due to Hyperthreading.

The iMac i7(2010) offers only slightly higher CPU/GPU speeds. Or if you can afford it, SSD + HDD option.
 

dexthageek

macrumors 6502
Dec 7, 2007
391
0
Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't do refurbs. Very much into unboxing a brand new machine and knowing I'm the first person to own and touch it.:eek:
Apple refurbs are different then most companies. In some instances a refurb can be better since it goes through extra testing. The only downside is you don't get the fancy box. Other then that Apple offers the same warranty they offer on new machines.
 

PatriotInvasion

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 18, 2010
1,530
589
Boston, MA
Apple refurbs are different then most companies. In some instances a refurb can be better since it goes through extra testing. The only downside is you don't get the fancy box. Other then that Apple offers the same warranty they offer on new machines.
Even so, they're not for me. I'm into the fancy box too:) But glad they are there for those who take advantage of them.

PS - I will be taking advantage of education pricing since my girlfriend has gone back to school for her 2nd bachelors!
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
581
Finland
Even so, they're not for me. I'm into the fancy box too:) But glad they are there for those who take advantage of them.

PS - I will be taking advantage of education pricing since my girlfriend has gone back to school for her 2nd bachelors!
Ahh, is she's a student there is no reason to get refurb. Get the best you can as encoding will benefit from extra speed. If you have the $, the i7 is worth it
 

PatriotInvasion

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 18, 2010
1,530
589
Boston, MA
Ahh, is she's a student there is no reason to get refurb. Get the best you can as encoding will benefit from extra speed. If you have the $, the i7 is worth it
My other issue is resale. In 3 years, when the next great thing is out and I want to sell the iMac on Craigslist or something, it's just much easier to sell the base model to the bargain consumer looking for iMacs on Craigslist. It's a lot tougher to get the value back and "sell" Quad Core to Craigslist shoppers.

Note: I don't do EBay or PayPal. Shipping a 27" iMac is too much for me, let alone the fear of shipping scams. Craigslist lets me deal locally with cash.
 

dwd3885

macrumors 68020
Dec 10, 2004
2,108
91
My other issue is resale. In 3 years, when the next great thing is out and I want to sell the iMac on Craigslist or something, it's just much easier to sell the base model to the bargain consumer looking for iMacs on Craigslist. It's a lot tougher to get the value back and "sell" Quad Core to Craigslist shoppers.

Note: I don't do EBay or PayPal. Shipping a 27" iMac is too much for me, let alone the fear of shipping scams. Craigslist lets me deal locally with cash.
I got the new quad i5 instead of the refurb quad i7. After edu discount and selling of the free ipod touch, price would be round 1700, which is $150 cheaper than the i7.

Also important is that the new imacs have an sdxc card slot for higher capacity sd cards, might be important if you plan on keeping the computer for a while. And you get faster memory and faster graphics. You also get a 2nd gen product instead of a first. While apple refurbs are rock solid, I know too many people with problems on first gen apple products.

I think the quad i5 is solid and would easily last most people 3-4 years.
 

PatriotInvasion

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 18, 2010
1,530
589
Boston, MA
I got the new quad i5 instead of the refurb quad i7. After edu discount and selling of the free ipod touch, price would be round 1700, which is $150 cheaper than the i7.

Also important is that the new imacs have an sdxc card slot for higher capacity sd cards, might be important if you plan on keeping the computer for a while. And you get faster memory and faster graphics. You also get a 2nd gen product instead of a first. While apple refurbs are rock solid, I know too many people with problems on first gen apple products.

I think the quad i5 is solid and would easily last most people 3-4 years.
Thanks for the reply. I too plan on taking advantage of education pricing AND selling the Free iPod Touch (such an easy way to shave another $150 or so off the overall price). That said, I know when the new iMacs come out in like November 2011, I'll want it...haha...oh the life of an Appleholic...it never ends:D
 

dwd3885

macrumors 68020
Dec 10, 2004
2,108
91
Thanks for the reply. I too plan on taking advantage of education pricing AND selling the Free iPod Touch (such an easy way to shave another $150 or so off the overall price). That said, I know when the new iMacs come out in like November 2011, I'll want it...haha...oh the life of an Appleholic...it never ends:D
Except now the refurb price has dropped and make the i7 only 1699 us
 
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