The 2011 i5 iMac is not a good upgrade if you have a 2009 iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Buffsteria, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. Buffsteria macrumors regular


    Jun 9, 2012
    We thought we'd see an improvement when we ordered a iMac 2011 i5 3.1Ghz. We've had our 2009 Core 2 Duo 3.06 since 2010 and expected the 12,2 to be a lot faster than our 10,1. This didn't happen. The newer machine was slower in performance and also benched far lower than expected. This in spite of having 16GB RAM. The older one has 14GB.

    It's not worth the money. Either go all out on the best i7 or wait. UPS is picking it up tomorrow.
  2. chevalier433 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 30, 2011
    What pro work are you doing so 2011 i5 is slow except run benchmarks
  3. Buffsteria thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 9, 2012
    This is a different post and I didn't reply to you on the other one as well as on any number of replies by you because you're annoying. You never read what you're responding to and are never helpful. Maybe you think you are and that would be nice if you learned some reading comprehension.
  4. chevalier433 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 30, 2011
    Stop doing posts with no mean learn how to optimize your workflow if you have any
  5. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Please stop flooding the forums with the same stuff all over again. The i5 is more than two times faster than your Core 2 Duo. Even a current Macbook Air is faster. These are facts. If you don't notice the extra speed in your workflow it means that either a) something else is bottlenecking you, or b) your workflow is so light that you don't need a fast CPU at all.
  6. Litany macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2012
    Grow up. Its not our fault you think a quad core machine is slower than your old dual core machine. Learn how to use a computer.
  7. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    What do you do with your computer really? Maybe open Safari, watching YouTube, twitter and Facebooking? Or just listen to iTunes and some video watching?

    Then you won't feel any difference. C2D is just as good as i5 or i7 or even Xeon for those tasks. That's why Macbook Air is "enough" for many casual users.

    And how many percent of improvement did you get from C2D to i5 iMac on Benchmark? What did you use? GeekBench, Cinebench?

    If you want to feel snappy feeling, instant loading and less waiting, SSD is your answer, seriously 14GB of RAM on your old iMac is more than enough, it's not going to be faster than it already is. If you're up to it, or AppleCare has run out, install an SSD in it. It will mean much more than upgrade anything else.

    Safari would feel .. snappier
  8. Jiten macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2008
    It really depends on what app you use. If all you do is stuff like MS Office and web browsing then you definitely won't feel any performance jump and I agree with the poster above, you might benefit more from a SSD.
  9. mojothemonkey macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2005
    Most people will never, ever need more than 2BG of RAM, a 2.0ghz dual core processor, and integrated graphics.

    If you are on this forum, chances are already somewhat higher that you're not "most people."

    If you use boot time and program loading times as your sole measure of performance, spend your money on a nice SSD and you'll get more of kick than a brand new $4000 computer with a traditional drive.
  10. HurtinMinorKey macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2012
    If the app isn't designed to run on more than 2 cores, you could easily see a fall in performance on a newer system.

    Try running STATA SE, and watch it never use more than 25% of your CPU on a quadcore. They make you pay more for versions(STATA MP) that take advantage of multiple cores.
  11. gta50419 macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2010
  12. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2012
    He means that in this case (12 GB vs 14 GB of RAM) the performance delta is going to be negligible, unless you're doing something that is causing serious page outs with 12 GB of RAM....

    Not unheard of, but unlikely if the machine is an iMac. 12GB+ of RAM is starting to get towards Mac Pro territory. That is, if your issue with the iMac is bottlenecking performance at 12 GB of RAM, perhaps the iMac wasn't the right tool for the job.
  13. Nandifix macrumors 6502

    May 10, 2012
    Apart from the fact that every component is faster... But it feels slower?
  14. Buffsteria thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 9, 2012
    Stop replying to my threads.


    I think this comment is kinda funny. I never heard of you and you think I'm blaming you for some crazy thing.


    I'm a VFX artist using Maya, After Effects, Nuke, Photoshop, ZBrush, Topogun and Premiere.

    The benchmark wasn't much better on the 2011. Cinebench got 13fps on old, 15fps on new, the cpu went from 1.5 to 2.93 or something like that. I agree with the SSD idea, but Safari? Does anyone actually use anything other than Firefox? If they do I'm a little surprised. ;-)


    Yeah, navigation in Maya is much slower in spite of the better specs AND better graphics card. In fact when I booted up both systems together, the 2009 finished loading first, and it has all those background apps running.


    Well as I said the newer iMac had 16GB RAM. The old one had 14GB and was operating at a handicap because one of the slots had a PC8500 stick in it, bringing the system RAM down to 1067 from 1333 and in spite of this it was still faster than the 2011 iMac at everything.

    I agree that the iMac isn't the ideal tool but :apple: screwed up the Mac Pro refresh.
  15. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    Seems like some of your apps are using CUDA?
    If that is the case, you'll have better performance on a NVidia card, which your old iMac probably have.

    As for 2.93 vs 1.5 score in cinebench, well that's a ~100% increase!!
  16. Buffsteria thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 9, 2012

    Sure but my Hackintosh scores 7.0.

    But you know what, you might be right about the CUDA thing, I'll look into that. Thanks!
  17. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    I guess you have a i7-2600k or something to reach 7.0,
    Anyways looking closer, 2.9 is really poor for a 3.1ghz i5, it should score close to 5.0

  18. karpich1, Jun 26, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012

    karpich1 macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2007
    EDIT: Didn't see what you actually use the iMac FOR until after I posted. Assuming that's true, then I can see needing a beefy machine. Though still not 100% sure if you'd notice a difference between 14GB and 16GB at that point depending on how many apps you have running at the same time.


    I have to say some of the responses are a little emotional, but their overall sentiment remains.

    For starters, you're no going to notice any performance difference toggling between 14GB and 16GB of RAM. At all. Unless you're running it as a server at the same time as some real heavy autocad + photoshop stuff at the same time.

    As for the CPU, an i5 of appropriate speed will definitely be better than a Core 2 Duo. Perhaps not incredibly noticable for things outside of gaming, but it will be faster.

    So if you truly are noticing a reduction in performance then either you have a bottleneck
    • Slower hard drive (or otherwise messed up hard drive)
    • You store-bought RAM yourself, and put in slower RAM than the machine was designed for... or otherwise bad RAM.

    OR You are running a process or app in the background on the newer one that the older one didn't. Like iTunes or something.


    Now, if you want to propose that the 2011 iMac really isn't worth getting if you have a 2009 iMac then I won't argue. You're talking about a difference of 2 year's worth of tech since the 2011 iMac is still, well, from 2011.

    Unless you need a high-end performance, if your average person's 2009 is still running I'd say skip the 2011 and wait for the 2012/2013 before even considering an upgrade.

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