What can I do to really push my quad core i5 27" iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by PatriotInvasion, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. PatriotInvasion macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #1
    Hi All,

    So I sprung for the quad core i5 a few weeks ago, and I want to know what I can do to really notice my investment. Too often I find myself just searching the web and checking my email which makes me feel like I would have been fine with the i3 for $300 less.

    I do record some HD cable shows via EyeTV and encode them in different file formats, but other than that, what else can I do to prove the quad core chip was worth the money?:confused::p

    And how to utilize the better graphics card as well...
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Gaming is something that will push the i5 and GPU. Or simply run some CineBench if you just want to push it to its limits, that is just a benchmark app though, nothing productive
     
  3. PatriotInvasion thread starter macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

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    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #3
    I have a PS3 for gaming. Don't game on the Mac. What else?
     
  4. kernkraft macrumors 68020

    kernkraft

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    #4
    You are more likely to feel the difference in three years, when more applications are taking advantage of the i5's quad cores. I don't think that the premium that you paid was worth it as with iMacs, it's always good to stick to the cheapest one that you like the screen size of. Second-hand ones won't have such a price difference and that will slowly diminish over time.

    So your best bet is to just keep it as long as you possibly can - that's where you'll really get your return on an i5 iMac. In five or seven years, you might be grateful that you can run some apps that the i3 wouldn't be able to at all or not very well.
     
  5. PatriotInvasion thread starter macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

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    #5
    Thanks - but likely won't have the machine over 3 years. Can't resist new hardware:)
     
  6. lexvo macrumors 65816

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    Nov 11, 2009
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #6
    When I compare Lightroom 3 on my i5 vs my friends Core Duo, I can clearly see my i5 is faster. I think because Lightroom uses all four cores.
     
  7. tcarrigan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Location:
    Arlington, TX
    #7
    Run OpenFOAM in parallel. That will really test the capabilities of your machine...after all, it is a Unix box.
     
  8. PatriotInvasion thread starter macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
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    #8
    Ehhh...I'm not looking for speed testing applications...Just looking for tasks I'd actually do that I can be wowed by the speed and precision with which they are completed (i.e. video encoding of a 1080i recording - but something other than that since I've already done it).:p
     
  9. easepease macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado
    #9
    use handbrake to rip movies. You could also use photoshop or almost anything from CS5, I push my i5 imac quite often but I think that has more to do with the RAM and graphics... which is the reason i did not get an i7... I think that chip only really helps with video and professionals who need to be rendering all day long
     
  10. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    Oct 9, 2005
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    192.168.1.1
    #10
    HandBrake is an easy way to push a machine's hardware. Even without the gay pr0n.
     
  11. PatriotInvasion thread starter macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

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    Jul 18, 2010
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    Boston, MA
    #11
    Oh well...I'm sure I'll be happy I spent the extra $300 for the quad core a year or 2 from now when it's standard on all Macs and the i3 looks like a weakling:D

    I'd rather be uneasy about buying too much computer than be uneasy about buying too little;)
     
  12. kernkraft macrumors 68020

    kernkraft

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    #12
    In that case, we are just talking about marginal speed difference. You overpaid for a computer that you won't be able to push to its absolute limits in a couple of years.
     
  13. meb91 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    #13
    Adobe After Effects editing with raw 1080p AVCHD video. That maxes out my 4 GB of memory pretty quick. Luckily I'm going to upgrade to 12 GB soon. The cpu handles it really well though.
     
  14. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000

    aliensporebomb

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth
    #14
    Ok

    You could run Boinc/Seti at Home to search for alien life and be happy that you're running four simultaneous work units (one per core) at the same time rather than just two that the Corei3 users get. If you don't like aliens you could research protein folding in folding @ home which could benefit medical science.

    If you don't dig that you could run Logic Audio to create music which uses all the cores you have to do it.

    If you can't play an instrument you could always record yourself singing or something..

    You could run Bjango's "IstatMenus" to see all of the operating cores in your machine and the temperatures and wattage used.

    Mplayer OS X Extended has a multithreaded video decoder if you want to watch any kind of video content (not just pr0n).

    Those are just a few ideas...
     
  15. PatriotInvasion thread starter macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #15
    Perhaps, but I got education pricing ($150 off in total) and flipped the free iPod Touch for an additional $150 off.

    I guess it's nice having the top of the line model (of the standard config options) and I'm sure I'll see a difference when encoding HD video in Quicktime formats:)
     
  16. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000

    aliensporebomb

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth
    #16
    Oh yeah

    It's not really a game but X-Plane the simulator.

    You can download the demo and it runs really well on the 27" machines.

    It's almost like flying a plane if you have a USB joystick.

    The demo works for 5 minutes before locking you out.

    I own it and it's a heck of a lot of fun.
     
  17. spcopsmac21 macrumors member

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    Nov 9, 2009
  18. maf2k8 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    #18
    i could be wrong on this because i havent tried it, but if you have a PS3, download PS3 MediaServer and stream a 1080p movie and set the settings in the PS3 Media Server to use ALL 8 cores

    " Number of cores to use for transcoding to 8 "

    sit back and it SHOULD eat up all the cores.....
     

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