will duo core become obsolete?

doctorjsh

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 14, 2010
8
0
Hi, long time mac user but Macrumors newbie. I am looking to buy an iMac but do not want the gargantuan 27" screen. I prefer the 21.5", but I am concerned that they only offer the duo core chips. The top speed (3.33 gHz) is plenty fast for my purposes, I am just worried about obsolescence. I have a 5 year old powerbook G4 which is plenty fast for my purposes, but it is obsolete in the sense that newer webapplications and general software often will not work with powerpc chips. I am worried that the same will happen once the i5/i7 replace everything, which I assume will be pretty soon.

Does anyone here that is more knowledgable than me know if this would be a problem similar to what I have now with the powerPC/intel duo core incompatabilities? I don't care if things will be a bit slower - my concern is that I won't even be able to run certain software in the future (which is the case with my PowerPC).
 

flopticalcube

macrumors G4
The new iMacs should still be capable machines 5 years from now. The i5/i7 series look identical to software that is running on it from Core 2 Duos. The only advantage is more cores. In the case of PPC, it was a change of architectures so its understandable that things changed quicker. The i5/i7 series just look like faster Core 2 Duos to the programs.
 

chrismacguy

macrumors 68000
Feb 13, 2009
1,980
1
United Kingdom
Call me a luddite if you will, but I still have a 450Mhz PowerPC G4 In regular service, and know of people who still live on a 33Mhz 68040 as their main computer system (Hell, a local amateur TV station was relying solely on a few Quadra 840av's until last year). Im pretty sure/hopeful Dual Core x86 boxes will be solid for the next 5-10 years or so :)
 

gazzamac

macrumors member
Jan 17, 2010
85
1
I'll keep my DC mac mini as long as it runs without labouring under the strain of future OS and App upgrades. Lets face it, the cpu isn't swappable so I don't have much of a choice.
 

eelpout

macrumors regular
Oct 30, 2007
236
6
Silicon Valley
the 3.0 or 3.33 GHz C2D version of the iMac would probably be enough for most people for the next couple of years. Unless one is doing video (encoding/decoding), intensive audio production or research where symmetric multiprocessing is needed, the core duo should float ones boat enough. If you look at say the SYSMark 2007 Productivity tests on AnandTech, the E8600 (3.33 GHz) is no slouch compared to the quads.

How many apps that you're going to run truly use all cores? Does Apple's recent release of Aperture 3 even take advantage of them? How about hyper-threading, does it help or hinder the application? Apple will probably put the new, lower cost "pseudo" quad chips (the extra cores coming from hyper-threading) into iMac's by years end, so yes, the duo's days are likely numbered. But still, will anything really utilize all the cores for the foreseeable future?

The nice thing about the current batch of (real) quads is their turbo boost can match or exceed the C2D raw speed in most instances, so if one can afford them, there is little downside to getting one. Unfortunately, they are tied to that monster LCD panel.

I too think the 27" is too large (and more importantly, too dense with pixels) and think about just picking up a 21.5" as the Mac Pro's continue to be priced too dearly.
 

definitive

macrumors 68000
Aug 4, 2008
1,957
699
they are capable cpu's, but are old technology which aren't worth the money anymore. i wouldn't bother buying a c2d cpu today for a full retail price when something like i5 or i7 is available.
 

MacHamster68

macrumors 68040
Sep 17, 2009
3,252
3
since there is a i7 extreme the normal i7 is obsolete , so core duo is way beyond its time , to be up to date you need to buy at least every 6 month a new computer
 

Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,081
287
Indianapolis
thats not quiet true there are significant differences between the i7 and the i7 extreme editions
but read for yourself
An unlocked multiplier? Not that it stops people from buying a Core i7 920 and pushing it to 4 GHz.

If you know something about Bloomfield that we don't, please do tell.
 

MacHamster68

macrumors 68040
Sep 17, 2009
3,252
3
no actually not but thats what i meant the multiplier and higher clock speeds ,but i thought about the gulftown ...as the new intel which makes the others obsolete ,
but personally i am more interested in getting a power 6+ processor , so i try to get hold of a system P board from ibm
as i am not really a intel fan ..last intel i used was a pentium4 prescott
 

raysfan81

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2009
595
0
North Carolina
Hardware and technologically speaking they are outdated. They have been replaced/ re badged as the i3 and i5 dual core.

The only differences are the new ones are manufactured on a 32nm instead of 45nm process and the new ones have integrated graphics. (they are faster as well even if the clock speed is the same) If you need a new Mac then go ahead but I might caution you that you MAY be able to pick up a refurbished core 2 duo or a brand new one on clearance later this year if Apple decides to switch to the new i3/i5/i7 lines later this year.

But if you really need or want one go ahead because Apple wont discontinue software support for them anytime soon as long as they stay on the Intel architecture.

this was said earlier and is completely true

they are capable cpu's, but are old technology which aren't worth the money anymore. i wouldn't bother buying a c2d cpu today for a full retail price when something like i5 or i7 is available.
 

doctorjsh

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 14, 2010
8
0
Thanks all for the replies. Since it is not urgent I think I will wait a few more months until hopefully there is a refresh and they put quad cores in the smaller iMac. Really, I wish they would offer a 24" since 21.5 is a bit small for me and 27" is a bit big.
 

Raima

macrumors 6502
Jan 21, 2010
397
7
Thanks all for the replies. Since it is not urgent I think I will wait a few more months until hopefully there is a refresh and they put quad cores in the smaller iMac. Really, I wish they would offer a 24" since 21.5 is a bit small for me and 27" is a bit big.
I'd get a 21" iMac if it had a i7 Quad core in it. It'll replace my overclocked 3.6Ghz Q6600 8gb PC nicely.