Thinking about buying an imac i7

MacDeeds

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 7, 2010
25
0
Canada
Hi,

I'm new to this site and I write from a PC, hopefully not for much longer.

I've looked around the site before posting and I am honestly not sure if I should buy a new iMac with the Intel i5 or i7 core after the complaints that I saw listed below.

I was also wondering, what is the main performance difference between the i5 and the i7? Is it worth to pay the extra premium for someone who will be doing Adobe P-shop, Illustrator, (some Dreamweaver) as well as Safari multi tasking? Finally, is it necessary, highly recommended to have 8 GB's of ram?

Some of these questions are obvious for some of you, but i've been out of the mac game since 2003. Last Mac OS I had was 9.2.1 on an old iMac version B 333MHZ.

Thank you for your co-operation.

MacDeeds
 

easepease

macrumors regular
Feb 9, 2010
119
0
Colorado
my personal opinion is that getting an i7 upgrade is better than the 8 gb upgrade. You can add memory later real easily, however its hard and voids warranty to change your processor yourself... So I would get an i7, then when price in memory drops you can add more memory later when you see fit. This way your machine can be more future proof with a faster processor
 

clearyjp

macrumors member
Oct 6, 2007
60
0
Sydney, Australia
To answer your question about the problems with the iMacs, I say buy with confidence. Even with the bad experience I had with 3 faulty units, Apple's support in the end was awesome, so if you do run into problems, they usually go out of their way to make you happy again.
 

TMRaven

macrumors 68020
Nov 5, 2009
2,099
1
The i7 sports hyperthreading and a slight clock speed boost. Hyper threading doubles your number of logical cores used from the computer from 4 to 8. It's not exactly 2x the performance-- more like 30% increase, but it's something that's rather nice on video encodes nonetheless.

As of right now, not a lot of basic apps support multithreading, but that will all change over time. I'd get the i7 for future proofing as well. I'm on the "spend 2,000 usd on a computer to last me 5 years" boat.


Photoshop and illustrator do not support hyperthreading right now, but maybe down the line it will. Best things to do for programs like photoshop are to provide lots of ram. I personally work on rather high resolution files (12k x 12k pixels) and my ram gets maxed out, so I'll be making the change to 8gigs of 1333mhz memory soom.
 

joudbren

macrumors regular
Apr 13, 2007
244
1
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
MacDeeds, you're really the only one that can determine if the extra performance of the i7 is worth it or not based on your budget. It's a $300 difference right now in Canada and I believe the Apple stores are now starting to stock i7's so it's not even an issue of waiting for a BTO anymore, just the $300.

I currently own an i5 and I can guarantee you the thing is a beast. Fastest rig I've ever owned. Currently not a whole bunch of stuff supports the hyper-threading on the i7 in a Mac and the little bit of difference in clock speed shouldn't really be noticeable for day to day stuff. Don't forget, these new Quad cores can turbo up automatically if only one or two cores are being used and the i5 will go to 3.2Ghz in that mode.

Don't buy your ram from Apple either. The ram used is drop dead stock stuff that you can get from almost any local computer supplier or order online from OWC, etc. It's a cheap and painless upgrade that will literally take you 5 minutes to install. They even print the instructions in the manual on how to do that.

If you do a lot of video encoding then yes, the i7 will be useful to you as every little bit helps for that type of work. If you have the $300 bucks and you're one of those types that will always be wondering if you should have spent the extra money and "just gone for it" then yes, buy the i7. Otherwise, trust me on this one, the i5 is smokin' fast and your $300 bucks can be used elsewhere. Cheers!

James

P.S. Either route you go, definitely upgrade the ram to 8GB aftermarket. I can keep all kinds of apps open and running concurrently with the extra ram and no slow downs. I still cannot believe the performance of these new CPU's....
 

Dansk

macrumors member
Apr 15, 2008
61
0
Interesting posts. Anyone know if Photoshop CS5 will take advantage of the i7 speed and hyper threading?
 

TMRaven

macrumors 68020
Nov 5, 2009
2,099
1
The only thing I know is it'll take advantage of 64bit, meaning more ram and better cpu efficiency, but I'm not sure about hyperthreading.
 

Badger^2

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2009
1,962
2
Sacramento
For what you are doing any iMac made in the last 3 years is more than enough.

I run the entire Adobe Creative Suite + Quark 8 on a 2.4 AL iMac w/4 gigs ram and it handles it all without even breaking a sweat. And I'm talking multi hundred meg Photoshop files and 100+ page Quark files with gigs of links. Not some crappy little 72 dpi web graphics and a few 3 panel brochures.

All of the iMacs in my studio are similarly equipped, no one has a problem with waiting for files to get done.

Got a 100 meg PS file open right now. 2 seconds to open. 1 second to rotate 90º. 2 seconds to save. under 10 seconds to open 4 similar files = 400 megs. and this is from an external 2.5" 5400 RPM drive via FW800.

I could shave a few fractions of a second if they were on my internal drive.

So, i5 or i7 should be more than fine (unless you are doing more with your mac than I am?)

One thing nice about Photoshop files is that an 8 x 10 image @ 300 dpi is 20 megs, and was 20 megs 5 years ago and will be 20 megs 5 years from now. You cant change the math.
 

elcid

macrumors 6502
May 5, 2007
427
0
My vote is for the i5 and more RAM. IMO the apps you list arent really CPU intensive, but if you start working with large items they can get RAM intensive. If everyone was happy using CS with a C2D 6 months ago, the i5 will work great with room to spare on the ram.
 

natewsmith

macrumors regular
Sep 9, 2007
123
0
Santa Clara, CA
honestly I love my i7. So much better than my 24" Alum. iMac I used to have. Plus I have the 2 sticks of 4 gigs each. I can't wait to go nuts and get 8 more gigs! HAHA I also love having such a freaking HUGE hard drive as well.
 

MacDeeds

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 7, 2010
25
0
Canada
honestly I love my i7. So much better than my 24" Alum. iMac I used to have. Plus I have the 2 sticks of 4 gigs each. I can't wait to go nuts and get 8 more gigs! HAHA I also love having such a freaking HUGE hard drive as well.
So it's done, I ordered an iMac i7 with 8 GB of Ram. I even considered going to the US to get it in Burlington but it's just not worth it, even with our dollar at parity(or ALLLLMOST).

Hopefully it will be good to me.

Will post when all is up and running.

Thanks to those who answered/commented on the right choice. I was going to order the iMac i5 but the whole Hyperthreading was too imminant for me. I keep my machines 5-8 years on avarage so I wanted to be sure to have the best NOW and for later. Thinking ahead has saved me some money, but in this case, will cost me 220$ CDN more. Oh well, rather be safe than sorry.

:apple:
 

mtnDewFTW

macrumors 6502a
Oct 26, 2009
875
66
San Francisco, CA
So it's done, I ordered an iMac i7 with 8 GB of Ram. I even considered going to the US to get it in Burlington but it's just not worth it, even with our dollar at parity(or ALLLLMOST).

Hopefully it will be good to me.

Will post when all is up and running.

Thanks to those who answered/commented on the right choice. I was going to order the iMac i5 but the whole Hyperthreading was too imminant for me. I keep my machines 5-8 years on avarage so I wanted to be sure to have the best NOW and for later. Thinking ahead has saved me some money, but in this case, will cost me 220$ CDN more. Oh well, rather be safe than sorry.

:apple:

Congrats OP :D
I hope you enjoy your new purchase. Let us know how everything goes. Especially screen wise. Don't forget to get AppleCare. Even though I'm sure your iMac will be fine, like you said, better safe than sorry.
 

4PPLEM4C

macrumors newbie
Apr 16, 2010
23
0
UK
honestly I love my i7. So much better than my 24" Alum. iMac I used to have. Plus I have the 2 sticks of 4 gigs each. I can't wait to go nuts and get 8 more gigs! HAHA I also love having such a freaking HUGE hard drive as well.
I am also thinking of getting the iMac i7 with 2 x 4GB and a 2TB hard drive.

Couple of questions I have are which external hard drive do you use for Time Machine with such a big hard drive on the iMac? and does anyone know if/when Apple are going to update the iMac range?
 

Lifequest

macrumors regular
Feb 9, 2010
109
0
You could have added your own ram to go to 8 gigs for $100, saving you $100.

So easy a 5 year old could do it...
True. But it won't be covered by warranty and Apple care if you bought it.
3 Years warranty, no hassle.
$100 more? I'll take it.
 

Larpy

macrumors member
Jan 11, 2010
54
0
For the Op, I really don't think you will regret getting the i7 and I love the spaces feature when working on web pages and photoshop or another app... really nice. I didn't get the 8 gig but my i7 is just so fast.

For the external hard drive question I'm in the same boat and looking into getting a case so I can upgrade the hard drive as I need more space. It seems like the most economic way to do it.
 

Btom

macrumors 6502a
Nov 19, 2009
571
0
Hi,
......Is it worth to pay the extra premium for someone who will be doing Adobe P-shop, Illustrator, (some Dreamweaver) as well as Safari multi tasking? .....
Sorry for being Johny come lately, but for this type of work, were you concerned about the screen quality of the 27" iMac at all (yellow/blue tinge, nonuniform gray)?

Tom B.