Who bought/ordered the 27" iMac (Mid) model?

Falcon80

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Oct 27, 2012
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All this while, I am considering just the highest end model and just deciding between i5 or i7. However, after reading the following post from a fellow user, I am starting to take a closer look at the mid-tier version. Would love to hear from those who made this choice on what led you to this decision.

Thanks!

Hello all,

did you see this interessant article comparing i7-7700K (the i7 of the imacs 27) and i5-7600K (the 3.8 Ghz of the high end imac 27) and i5-7600 (the 3.5 Ghz of the medium imac 27") :
http://www.tomshardware.fr/articles/test-7700k-7700-7600k-7600,2-2606.html

It is in french, but basically it says that the i7-7700K temperature during full load is 100°C, the i5-7600K (3.8 Ghz of the imac highend) is 90°C and the i5-7600 (3.5 Ghz of the imac 27" medium) is only 70°C, as indeed the i7-7700K and i5-7600K are like overclocked i5-7600 processors.
And so the i5-7600 processor is the standard one, the one with the best nominal state for the transistors, so the best yield of the 3. So it means less noise (fan speed) and less temperature, for just a little less performance (10-15%).

This article convinced me to take the i5-7600 3.5 GHz of the imac 27" medium, instead of the imac 27" highend model. (+ option SSD 512Gb for Lightroom catalog performances, even if the photos are stored on an external USB3 disk + magic trackpad2, prefered to the standard mouse)

So think about that... does the little bump in performances of the highend imac 27" model (with i7-7700K or i5-7600K) justifies the disagreements of noise and heat avoided on the medium imac 27" with the perfectly optimized i5-7600... ?
 

starwager19

macrumors newbie
Jan 1, 2016
27
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I got the mid-tier. Upgraded to 1T SSD and aftermarket 64GB of RAM. I almost got the base. My needs aren't incredibly demanding. Even though I use Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, and some other big apps, even my mid-2015 MacBook Pro is fast enough for my needs (I'm not doing any 6K editing or anything like that). So I didn't see a compelling reason to upgrade. The only reason I went to the mid level from the base was that the price difference was very small (especially with the EPP discount), and I thought that with such a large high-res screen, a slightly better GPU might be a good idea.

I'm very happy with the machine, but I'm not totally convinced that I shouldn't have just gone with the base model. I have no desire to have gone with the higher model or upgraded the CPU.
 

EugW

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Jun 18, 2017
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7500 and 7600 are 65 Watt chips.

7600K and 7700K are 91 Watt chips.

However, the 7700K is a lot faster than the other chips.
 
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Falcon80

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Oct 27, 2012
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7500 and 7600 are 65 Watt chips.

7600K and 7700K are 91 Watt chips.

However, the 7700K is a lot faster than the other chips.
Am I right to say that at lower load, i7 version will probably use as much power (with same heat generation) as the i5 version?
 

EugW

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Jun 18, 2017
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I dunno, but I can say my i7 7700K iMac is absolutely silent at low load. At high load, like trying to play 4K p60 10-bit HEVC in software (without hardware acceleration), the fans rev up to annoying levels. But that's with the CPU maxed out, so that's not unexpected. I'm assuming the cooling setup is the same with the non-K 7500 and 7600 chips, and given that they are 65 Watt chips, it'd be a lot harder to get the fans revved up to max. But the problem there is the performance of those chips is much, much lower.
 

EugW

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Jun 18, 2017
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I disagree, the differences in perfs seems pretty marginal according to the benchs of real use cases I can see... (+5 to 10% at max between i7-7700K and i5-7600)
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-kaby-lake-core-i7-7700k-i7-7700-i5-7600k-i5-7600,4870.html
I was talking about the 7700K vs the other chips. My point is if you want quiet, probably go for the 7500 or 7600, both of which are 65 Watt TDP, but just realize that they can be hugely slower in heavily threaded applications.

eg. Video encoding:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/10969/the-intel-core-i57600k-91w-review-the-more-amenable-mainstream-performer/4



In this benchmark, use the 6600 as a surrogate marker for the 65 Watt 2017 chips.

Actually in this test the 7700K is a good 30% faster than the 7600K too. However, despite being a 91 W chip, it may be cooler.
 
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Falcon80

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I was talking about the 7700K vs the other chips. My point is if you want quiet, probably go for the 7500 or 7600, both of which are 65 Watt TDP, but just realize that they can be hugely slower in heavily threaded applications.

In this benchmark, use the 6600 as a surrogate marker for the 65 Watt 2017 chips.

Actually in this test the 7700K is a good 30% faster than the 7600K too. However, despite being a 91 W chip, it may be cooler.
Wow.. That is pretty impressive. Really a tough decision to choose i5 or i7.
 

rico7578

macrumors newbie
Jun 20, 2017
14
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Maybe in video encoding (but who do that regularly ? only hackers ? :) ), but generally speaking at the end it will be 2 or 5s more in a normal Lightroom batch export, or few FPS in a game, so who cares in general use ? :)
For specific use cases, ok why not, but maybe the imac pro will be even more adequate for these use cases...
 
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saberfi

macrumors member
Oct 7, 2015
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I have the mid-model, BTO'd with SSD.

I made the decision to go for that, since I wanted to minimize noise/heat. Ultimately, the drawback is that the 580 becomes unavailable (the difference between i5-7600 and i5-7600K is negligible).

In this benchmark, use the 6600 as a surrogate marker for the 65 Watt 2017 chips.
I do not believe 6600 is a fair surrogate marker in those tests for the 2017 65W i5's, since the 7600 is clocked higher than the 6600K.

i5-6600K: 3,5 Ghz -> 3,9 Ghz boost (95w)
i5-7600: 3,5 Ghz -> 4,1 Ghz boost (65w)

So the results should be closer to the 7600K.

For multithreaded workloads the i7 of course is a powerhouse, no question.
 

Falcon80

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So it seems i7 is useful for very specific tasks like video editing. I am doing mostly development work using Xcode, Android Studios, Unity, etc and at the same time running 1-2 VMs (parallels). Will that help much?
 
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Falcon80

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Oct 27, 2012
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So it seems i7 is useful for very specific tasks like video editing. I am doing mostly development work using Xcode, Android Studios, Unity, etc and at the same time running 1-2 VMs (parallels). Will that help much?
Anyone with similar requirements as mine? Would love to hear from you guys on your choices.
 

Quash

macrumors regular
Sep 27, 2007
192
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I have a middle model on the way. (Don't want the noise profile the i7 models have + I rather upgrade more often)
Honestly, the base model easily provides the best value this generation.
It has more than enough performance for about any task today (Even 4k video editing/ and any kind of photo editing.)
Next generation intel chips are probably gonna be 6 core so it's not a great time to be buying high end cpu's.
And upgrading from an i5-7500 to i7-7700K is costing you 700$ which is terrible value... (sure you also get 30% faster graphics, but still middle of the road). You can build a seperate i7-7700K pc for that kind of money!

There are certain tasks which benefit greatly from having hyper treading!
Which shows up really nicely in benchmarks.
But day to day for normal/not benchmark loads who is really going to notice it.
The things you feel most day to day are single core performance and SSD speed.

To be blunt if you have that need and you spend like 4 hours a day rendering you're much better off with a different kind of computer than an all in one like the iMac. It's just not designed for that stuff, it's gonna be hot and/or noisy.
Your much better of with any kind of tower. Shame there is no Mac Pro to speak off, so I get why some people choose this route... Doesn't make it a great idea imho.
 
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Falcon80

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Oct 27, 2012
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I have a middle model on the way. (Don't want the noise profile the i7 models have + I rather upgrade more often)
Honestly, the base model easily provides the best value this generation.
It has more than enough performance for about any task today (Even 4k video editing/ and any kind of photo editing.)
Next generation intel chips are probably gonna be 6 core so it's not a great time to be buying high end cpu's.
And upgrading from an i5-7500 to i7-7700K is costing you 700$ which is terrible value... (sure you also get 30% faster graphics, but still middle of the road). You can build a seperate i7-7700K pc for that kind of money!

There are certain tasks which benefit greatly from having hyper treading!
Which shows up really nicely in benchmarks.
But day to day for normal/not benchmark loads who is really going to notice it.
The things you feel most day to day are single core performance and SSD speed.

To be blunt if you have that need and you spend like 4 hours a day rendering you're much better off with a different kind of computer than an all in one like the iMac. It's just not designed for that stuff, it's gonna be hot and/or noisy.
Your much better of with any kind of tower. Shame there is no Mac Pro to speak off, so I get why some people choose this route... Doesn't make it a great idea imho.
May i know why are you choosing the mid model instead of the base model?
 
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connorxxl

macrumors newbie
Mar 5, 2007
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Bumping this up for new owners of the mid-tier 27" iMac. :)
Good reminder. I received my new iMac yesterday (i5, 575, 8gb RAM, 512gb SSD). Will upgrade to 40gb RAM whenever my order is delivered.
Have to admit that the base model would/should have been enough for me. Just doing Office, eMail, Safari and some Skype etc. I'm sure that even the base model is really fast for these tasks.
However I thought that I want to be a bit future proof. Which is stupid. Read a few nice comments here about that, and I understand that 10% more performance on the GU won't make the machine much faster in five years... Better to save money for the next computer.
My iMac is super fast. I really enjoy working with it.

So my 5 cents: get the base model with SSD, upgrade RAM and enjoy it. I'd bet that at least 80% of people getting the top-tier model won't ever use the 580 GPU completely (even with 575... count me into that group. :) ).
 

EugW

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Jun 18, 2017
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Good reminder. I received my new iMac yesterday (i5, 575, 8gb RAM, 512gb SSD). Will upgrade to 40gb RAM whenever my order is delivered.
Have to admit that the base model would/should have been enough for me. Just doing Office, eMail, Safari and some Skype etc. I'm sure that even the base model is really fast for these tasks.
However I thought that I want to be a bit future proof. Which is stupid. Read a few nice comments here about that, and I understand that 10% more performance on the GU won't make the machine much faster in five years... Better to save money for the next computer.
My iMac is super fast. I really enjoy working with it.

So my 5 cents: get the base model with SSD, upgrade RAM and enjoy it. I'd bet that at least 80% of people getting the top-tier model won't ever use the 580 GPU completely (even with 575... count me into that group. :) ).
The i5-7600 3.5 Ghz with 575 is what I ordered (the second time around after having the i7/580 for a week).

Please try to play back the Sony Camp HEVC 10-bit video in the IINA video player (in software on Sierra 10.12) and tell us if the fan comes on. Info here:

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/software-with-hardware-hevc-vp9-decode-on-10-12-sierra-or-is-10-13-high-sierra-a-requirement.2051943/#post-24745353