Which 27" iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ApplePu, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. ApplePu macrumors regular

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    Apr 3, 2010
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    Switzerland
    #1
    I know there are lots of threads from people trying to decide for their configuration but I can't find one that suits my needs well.

    I narrowed it down to 2 possible 27" configurations which fit my budget:

    1. i5 3.6/8GB RAM/SSD+1TB

    2. i7 2.93/8GB RAM/2TB HDD

    I'll use it for:

    large RAWs, Lightroom, Photoshop, iPhoto, HandBreak, iMovie, ....

    My questions are:

    do these applications even use all 4 cores of the i7?

    which is the better processor: i5 3.6 dual core or i5 2.8 quad core (no hyper-threading)?

    Which configuration would you pick? I'm just not sure what's better: SSD or i7......
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
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    forlod bygningen
    #2
    Handbrake (not HandBreak, it does not break your hand, it just puts a brake on the CPU) will use all four cores, as for PS and LR, I don't think so.
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #3
    The biggest difference will be in HandBrake because it can fully utilize all 8 threads that i7 iMac has (the pic I attached isn't very accurate because DVD ripping is SuperDrive intensive, not CPU). As for photo and video editing, the i7 should be faster in some tasks since some features in PS are quad-threaded.

    It's tough call, i7 is faster in some and slower in others. BTW, is buying i7 and installing SSD (DIY) later on an option? That would give you the best of both worlds.
     

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  4. ApplePu thread starter macrumors regular

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    Switzerland
    #4
    Well that could be a possibility. So if I order the i7 with a 2TB HDD, will there be all the necessary connectors to hold an additional ssd? or do I have to remove the optical drive to connect it? is it tricky to do?
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #5
    Here is tutorial for it. All you need it some cables and stuff. No need to remove the optical drive
     
  6. beerglass007 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    #6
    Wow thats scary. I had a 21.5" core 2 duo 3.06 and just ordered a 27" i5 2.8 quad core and noticed on that list the unzipping of a archive quicker on a 3.06 core 2 duo.

    Is the i5 a crap CPU ? I read all the forums and didn't see much bad reports until seeing this spread sheet.
     
  7. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Finland
    #7
    It was like 5 seconds faster in unzipping but slower in all other tasks. Could be a typo, hard to say. Here are some other archiving benches, i5/i7 crushes C2D.
     
  8. ApplePu thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 3, 2010
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    Switzerland
    #8
    One last question:

    Is it a BIG difference between operating an iMac with 2TB HDD vs. SSD + 1TB?

    I mean even if I do the DIY SSD install, the cost difference is BIG ;-)
     
  9. JayX macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    #9
    Obviously it's a different machine, but the new Air cold boots in about 15 secs on the SSD... they are *fast*.

    I'm ordering a 27" i7 this week with the standard 1TB HDD option in place, then at around Christmas I'll be getting something like a Corsair Force Series 120gb SSD placed in the second bay and swapping the 1TB out for a 2TB (and probably using the 1TB in a USB external enclosure for Time Machine). Should be a perfect amount of storage for both OS/Apps and media.

    I use Handbrake on my 2007 MBP and get 45fps on my XVID>MP4 encodes (iPhone compatability), but read the 2009 iMac i7s hit around 400fps for the same encode. I cannot wait to get my hands on this machine, and then by 2011 with its HDD updates it should be absolutely out of this world. I can't wait.
     
  10. George Knighton macrumors 6502a

    George Knighton

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    #10
    The Vertex 2 that I added to my Macbook makes a huge difference in both startup time and anything that addresses the drive.

    More than any other single improvement you could make, an SSD improves performance. The spinning 5400, 7200 or 10400 rpm hard drive is the universal bottleneck in all computer systems.
     
  11. ApplePu thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #11
    Thanks for your help. I ordered now the i7 with a 2 TB HDD. I can still add a SSD later on......
     

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