Upgrade path: C2D or i5/i7

Discussion in 'iMac' started by valmundo, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. valmundo macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2006
    Hi everyone,

    I had a first generation intel imac 2.0 core duo (not core 2 duo) since 2006. Well now I am in the market for a new imac but I'm trying to figure out whether I should go with the C2D or i5/i7.

    I use my imac for audio recording and it has served me well. Although its age is showing which is causing me to find new creative ways to stretch its CPU power, I wonder if a 3.06 GHz is a good enough boost (from my current 2.0 Ghz).

    I know most will say that i5 / i7 are better, but I wonder if the significant jump from 2.0 to 3.06 can suit my needs for another 3-4 years.

    What do you think?
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Note that a Core 2 processor is actually about 25% faster than a Core processor at the same clock speed.
  3. EliteF50 macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2009
    Go for the C2D, it'll be much faster than the 2GHz Core Dou. You'll notice a really big difference, and it's a lot cheaper than the i5.
  4. 53x12 macrumors 68000


    Feb 16, 2009
    Go for the i5 at the very least. If you are looking to keep this computer for 3-4yrs, why settle for a C2D which is 2006 technology? Why not go for either the i5/7 and 2009 technology? If you can't afford the i7, the i5 would be perfect. Don't settle for less by getting the C2D.
  5. powerbook911 macrumors 68040


    Mar 15, 2005
    Core 2 Duo will actually feel quite a bit faster than Core Duo.

    However, for an extra couple hundred, you might want to consider the i5. When you look back in 3-4 years, a Quad machine will be less behind.

    Going from dual core to Quad is almost as significant as when we went from things like G4 to core duo.
  6. The Mac macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2009
    I'm a producer and recently purchased my i5 quad core for the purpose of home recording. (Expecting my Mac Friday).

    I have professional music engineer friends who demanded I get nothing less than a quadcore machine. Being faster means nothing when you are using a plethora or Virtual instruments and efx. The Quadcore will ease the load of all the Efx you are adding to your audio. I opted for the i5 because I kept reading that most current music programs do not support hyper threading.(Although I can not confirm this to be fact.) So I decided to save the extra bucks and put it into extra ram for the near future. I would recommend you get a quadcore whether it be i5 or i7.
  7. neonkru macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2009
    i throw everything at the core 2 duo and it doesnt slow down =D however i dont game or do any serious encoding work. so the core 2 duo is just fine for me.

    sometimes i have all kind of apps running and winxp in virtual machine and the imac simply just works as it were nothing=) works like a dream. the quad core must be perfect but i just don't need it
  8. Gepper macrumors member

    Dec 7, 2009
    As long as applications support threading it should just work (tm)
  9. rs14smith macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2009
    I was in the same boat as you thinking whether or not I should go for the bottom line 27" iMac or save a few more bucks and get the i5/i7 iMac.

    I decided to save up (currently still saving) and go for the i5.

    1. It's not as easy to upgrade a cpu as it as a Hard Drive or Ram, you simply have to upgrade the whole motherboard..etc, so it's like a one shot deal that I'm stuck with.

    2. The i5 is only a few hundred dollars more, and I feel like if I'm going to keep this computer for a few years, and take my work seriously, I rather get something I know I'll be satisfied with and something that is considered top of the line and will be for some time.

    But yeah it's been a tough decision since I've never spent over 2 grand for a computer, but speed means a lot to me, so I'll just be patient and purchase something that I know I'll love. :apple:
  10. Surklyn macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2009

    Until yesterday (x-mas) I had that EXACT same machine. 2gz core duo, initial intel release. Got the i5 for X-mas (wish it was an i7 but free is free so I'm not complaining at all).

    I graduated Berklee with a degree in Music Synthesis/Engineering and use DP 6.0 for recording. Honestly, I haven't tested it with the new i5 but being able to access 4 cores (which DP 6.0 does) should be able to almost double my track count/ effects count. I'm in the process of purchasing another 4g of ram (total 8g), but having trouble finding "reliable" ram.

    From what I've heard the i5 is as fast as the i7 when hyper threading isn't used.. so I'd save the $200 and buy another 4g of ram. Ram will be the most noticeable improvement to your system for recording and sound design.
  11. thiagos macrumors 6502


    Dec 20, 2007
    NYC (Manhattan)
    If you got the money go with the i7. It is considerably faster than the i5, I am sure it is a lot faster than the C2D. The i7 scored par with the current entry level Mac Pro machine.

    I don't think the C2D will hold well for the next 4 years (speed-wise)

    You can buy 2x 2GB DDR3 Ram for less than $80.
  12. Talarspeed macrumors member

    Dec 12, 2009
  13. ljonesj macrumors 6502a


    Oct 20, 2009
    Kingsport TN
    well is not the i7 08 tech and the i5 09 tech if u look into the years they were released
  14. 53x12 macrumors 68000


    Feb 16, 2009
  15. ljonesj macrumors 6502a


    Oct 20, 2009
    Kingsport TN
    lol i am talking about the release of the initial i7 i know a new version of the i7 released this year with a die shrink and new socket

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