Talk me out of the i7, please!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by karinatwork, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. karinatwork macrumors regular


    Mar 2, 2009
    British Columbia, Canada
    Between the base model of the 27" iMac and the top of the line, there are $ 400 difference. For the past several days I've been hunting high and low for answers, but it's hard to talk to "regular" people because most just look at me weird and say "Get a PC. They're cheaper." Or I talk to someone at the Apple Store and they tell me (obviously) to get the top of the line.

    I own an early 2009 24" 2.9MHz Intel Core 2 Duo iMac that currently has 8 GB RAM. I use it mainly for Adobe (InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop) for work, and for image post processing (Aperture, Photoshop) for a hobby. It still works fairly well, but mostly Aperture is giving me problems with the stuff I'm throwing at it. Plus, my son really would like me to upgrade so he can have my present rig.

    I'm worried about spending too much for a setup I don't need, but I'm worried also to spend too little and be sorry in two years when Adobe pushed yet another updated to their programs and I'm lagging behind with hardware.

    I suppose nobody can make the decision for me, but I would appreciate all the help I can get.
  2. bradbamford macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2013
    I'm kind of in the same situation, but at the end of the day....
    There's not an easy way to update it later.

    If you're cool with opening the box and upgrading the processor, then buy the low end and upgrade it later when it needs it.

    For me, I'm going to eat the cost up front and max out the processor now so that it will last as long as possible.

    Since RAM is user replaceable on the 27", I'm going with only 8GB of ram to keep the cost a little lower until I upgrade it sometime in the future.
  3. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    You don't need the i7 for what you're using the computer for. You might want to go with the 27" iMac with the 3.4GHz i5.
  4. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    Look into my eyes...

    deeply into my eyes....

    You will do as I command....

    Do not buy the i7!

    Attached Files:

  5. TheyCallMeBT macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2013
    I think you'd be fine with the i5 for editing photos/ graphics/ etc. I do video work, so I went right for the i7, no questions asked. But it takes a lot more processing power for video. So if you don't want to spend the extra money, I'm sure you'll still get at least 3 to 4 years out of the model with the i5. You'd probably even get 5 if you wanted to. How many years do you want/ expect to get out of it?

    I had a 2010 model with an i3 that I had for right at three years. It was still doing fine for Aperture, Photoshop, and InDesign. It was still doing pretty good for video, too. I just needed better performance (quicker batch rendering, playing unrendered video with effects applied in full resolution in real time). But I could have continued using for video work for probably for another two years, and it still be able to accomplish what I need-- just not as quickly as I want (/need) it to. So for photo work, that i3 would still be working perfectly well for a while.
  6. mvmanolov macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2013
  7. mossy macrumors regular


    Sep 11, 2013
    You can't upgrade the processor later! - only the RAM.

    You should get:
    3.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 (You don't seem to do any rendering, so no need for an i7)
    Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz
    8GB (two 4GB) memory (upgrade later from 'Crucial')
    1TB hard drive (If possible get the 'Fusion Drive' as an option)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M with 2GB video memory (Lots of graphics power for heavy 'Illustrator' and 'Photoshop' files)

    You should be good to go then for years to come.

    As mentioned, the i7 will be a waste for your needs. Only certain programs take advantage of it, such as Adobe After Effects and Cinema 4D (for rendering 3D and motion graphics) to mention just a few.

    All the best.:)
  8. Solomani macrumors 68040


    Sep 25, 2012
    Alberto, Canado
    OP, you use Adobe software? Then I will talk you into buying the i7. :D

    Look into my hypnotic eyes:

    Just work an extra shift or two for overtime pay.

    Just work an extra shift or two for overtime pay.

    Just work an extra shift or two for overtime pay.

    Just work an extra shift or two for overtime pay.

    … and you can then afford the i7 iMac!
  9. BenTrovato macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2012
    I like the i7 :D

    I don't know... seems like that rig should still be powerful to last a while longer with an SSD upgrade. If money was an issue I would keep it. If not, spring for the i7 and enjoy the heck out of it!
  10. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
  11. karinatwork thread starter macrumors regular


    Mar 2, 2009
    British Columbia, Canada
    HEY! You were supposed to talk me OUT of it, not into it!! :D

    But seriously, it's a big commitment. This current iMac lasted me 4 years, I hope the next one will last 5. But 400 bucks is 400 bucks, and if I can save them without regretting it later, I'd rather do that.

    Adobe is evil. They will squeeze the last drop of power out of your computer and make even the best of the best sluggish and unresponsive. EVIL. But I love InDesign too much to ever use anything else. (Plus, there isn't anything else anymore).
  12. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    With the i7, it'll last for the next 5 years at least :)

    Moore's law isn't that relevant anymore, because processor clock speeds haven't increased that much for the past two years.
  13. karinatwork thread starter macrumors regular


    Mar 2, 2009
    British Columbia, Canada
    Thank you.
    I had to look up "Moore's Law" and after I did, I still didn't have a clue what you were talking about. (Yeah, she's a smart one, isn't she..) :)
  14. mvmanolov macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2013

    think about it this way $400 over 5 years is less $80 per year, which in turn is $1.53 per week (or $3 per pay).... (or 1 late per pay less than usual :D)

    get the i7 :D and forget about it :D
  15. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I'm in the same dilemma. Mostly curious about i5 vs i7 when doing music production. i7 will make it possible to handle more tracks, more effects and more plugins - but will the i5 perhaps be enough for a hobby-music-production, e.g. not getting paid for it?
  16. keigo macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2006
    another way to look at it is.. you already spend thousand on the new iMac and what is an extra $400 mean? at least you will have a fastest cpu i7 to last you all the way.

    My 2011 MBA i5 is like dyeing on me. SO SLOW....
  17. kreach macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2010
    The biggest difference will be felt if you do video processing, and lots of it;
    i7 will be better;

    However, with budget constraint, and only photo's / audio, i think you are better spending the monies on bigger flash storage and RAM with i5;
  18. helix142 macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2013
    Stay with the i5

    You said the core-duo processor is working fine for most of your tasks, the i5 is roughly 4 times faster and the i7 is roughly 5 times faster. If your current processor works fine for most things and the i5 is 4x faster I would think that that is more than ample.

    If you're worried about future proofing it consider your current system, if you had spent an additional $400 back in 2009 to make it 20% faster, how much longer do you think you would keep it, my guess is you'd still be looking to update about this time. Save the $400 and put it towards your new 2017 imac
  19. bradbamford macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2013
    I know you can only "officially" upgrade the RAM, but you can also upgrade the processor as well (just Google it) although, of course, it will void your warranty.
  20. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    You start lagging behind in hardware the very moment you walk out of the shop with the new computer.

    5 years down the line your i7 won't do your iMac much favor - it will still be that 5 year old iMac.

    To get a perspective, check top of the line iMac from 5 years ago. 2.8 Ghz Core 2 Duo and 3.06 GHz as BTO. Do you think it makes any difference now? ;)

    There's no future proofing of a computer. You either get what you need, or what you know you will need. No "I'm worried" or "I'm not sure", etc, qualifies.
  21. hchung macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2008
    This guy's totally right.

    If you're planning on buying the iMac, then just get the i5 because you're not anywhere close to being constrained by the CPU.

    If you're having problems with Aperture, you might be surprised with how much an SSD could help you even on your 2009 iMac.

    Save the $400. In 2 years, Adobe's software won't be using that much more than now. In 4 years, you can take a look again.

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