Trying to Decipher Technical Details ... and Ranking Older and Newer Models

JoelMarcey

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 9, 2009
366
0
Northern California
As I have stated in other threads, I literally just bought a refurb 2.66 Ghz quad-core i5 27". When I bought it, I felt this model was a happy middle processor-wise between the C2D and the i7. I had the tally at:

C2D 3.06
C2D 3.33
i5 2.66
i7 2.8

(Of course, the higher speeds in the C2D would make the C2D better in some cases, but overall, I think that is the obvious ranking).

Now, with the new models, I am trying to figure it out. i3s are in. C2Ds are out, yes, but you can still get them refurb. Not sure why anyone would though.

So what is the overall ranking now between the older and newer models? Is what I have below? Or does the 8MB cache in the slower speed i5 (even the older model) make it a better value than the i3? Where do processors slot with respect to an overall, general usage pattern?

C2D 3.06, 3MB L2 (old)
C2D 3.33, 6MB L2 (old)
i3 3.06, 4MB L3, HT (new)
i5 2.66, 8MB L3, Turbo Boost (old)
i3 3.2, 4MB L3, HT, Turbo Boost (new)
i5 2.8, 8MB L3, Turbo Boost (new)
i7 2.8, 8MB L3, HT, Turbo Boost(old)
i5 3.6, 4MB L3, HT, Turbo Boost (new)
i7 2.93, 8MB L3, HT, Turbo Boost (new)

I did not take into account the memory speed upgrade (which I consider quite minor) nor the graphics card boost (which I actually consider quite nice, but would add a bit of complexity to this discussion ;) )

I said in other threads that me returning my Refurb i5 2.66 (old) wouldn't be worth it if these new refreshes came out within my 14-day window. However, now that they are out, the devil on my shoulder telling me to do it won't go away. :)
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
581
Finland
Quad cores are still the fastest, the 3.6GHz i5 is dual core. Of course that depends on the task as the dual core is faster in single and dual threaded tasks due its clock speed. So simply put; If you want faster than your current, get i7, other options are not or just slightly faster
 

pixel-vs-pencil

macrumors member
Jul 25, 2010
60
0
London
I'm really confused now! So the i3 and i7 support Hyperthreading, but the i5 doesn't?

I'm in a similar position, I just bought an i5 quad core, and I'm within the 14 day return policy with no restocking fee if I send it back (UK). Wondering whether to return for a new i5 or go all out and pay a little extra for the i7. I want to use my computer for Photoshop, After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Illustrator and general multitasking and internet usage. But if i3 supports Hyperthreading then is that vaguely equal to having an i5 with quad cores? (forgive me if that's a really stupid question - I'm not a techie at all) - oh, and obviously not including the screen difference. Hmm.. what to do?!
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
581
Finland
I'm really confused now! So the i3 and i7 support Hyperthreading, but the i5 doesn't?

I'm in a similar position, I just bought an i5 quad core, and I'm within the 14 day return policy with no restocking fee if I send it back (UK). Wondering whether to return for a new i5 or go all out and pay a little extra for the i7. I want to use my computer for Photoshop, After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Illustrator and general multitasking and internet usage. But if i3 supports Hyperthreading then is that vaguely equal to having an i5 with quad cores? (forgive me if that's a really stupid question - I'm not a techie at all). Hmm.. what to do?!
All dual core i3 and i5s ("Clarkdale") support HT but quad core i5 ("Lynnfield") does not. Quad i5 is still faster than dual core i5 even though it does not support HT but physical cores are better than virtual cores.

i7 should be worth it for you as your usage is pretty heavy.
 

JoelMarcey

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 9, 2009
366
0
Northern California
I'm really confused now! So the i3 and i7 support Hyperthreading, but the i5 doesn't?

I'm in a similar position, I just bought an i5 quad core, and I'm within the 14 day return policy with no restocking fee if I send it back (UK). Wondering whether to return for a new i5 or go all out and pay a little extra for the i7. I want to use my computer for Photoshop, After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Illustrator and general multitasking and internet usage. But if i3 supports Hyperthreading then is that vaguely equal to having an i5 with quad cores? (forgive me if that's a really stupid question - I'm not a techie at all) - oh, and obviously not including the screen difference. Hmm.. what to do?!
You have to consider whether the extra $500 will be worth it to you. Since I assumed you got your refurb i5 for $1699 like me. The new i7 is $2199. You can get a refurb old model i7 for $150 more though, I think.
 

propsd

macrumors newbie
May 28, 2010
3
0
Salutations from Portugal! I guess this is the right topic to ask this:

In Portugal, the new 27" QCore i5 costs around 2030€.
Is it worth paying more 200€ from the old 2009 27" i5 model, which costs (well, costed) around 1830€?
I know the GPU is better, but with those +200€, I could even upgrade a late 2009 Core i5 to a Core i7.
In any case, a new low-end 27" with Core i5 stands for 1910€.

Any suggestions? :confused:
Cheers.
 

pixel-vs-pencil

macrumors member
Jul 25, 2010
60
0
London
All dual core i3 and i5s ("Clarkdale") support HT but quad core i5 ("Lynnfield") does not. Quad i5 is still faster than dual core i5 even though it does not support HT but physical cores are better than virtual cores.

i7 should be worth it for you as your usage is pretty heavy.
Thanks, that's really helpful. I'm not sure my budget can stretch the extra £140 (higher ed discount) for the i7 though.. I guess I could try to pull in some favours. I had thought the i5 quad would be enough for me. Guess I'd better think again!

You have to consider whether the extra $500 will be worth it to you. Since I assumed you got your refurb i5 for $1699 like me. The new i7 is $2199. You can get a refurb old model i7 for $150 more though, I think.
I am in the UK so the pricing was £1438 for a brand new i5 quad core with higher education discount. After the revision the price is now £1451, and I have the option of upgrading to the build to order i7 for a further £141 making the total £1592. It annoys me that the quad i5 is the only one that doesn't support hyperthreading.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.