Will i regret buying a C2D iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by maclook, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. maclook macrumors 65816

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    Nov 2, 2008
    #1
    I need a new computer for 3d rendering. I currently own a 2ghz macbook. I'm a student on a budget but am willing to push the budget only if it is truly worth it. A refurb 3.06ghz iMac is going for $1000 compared to $1700 i5. Is the $700 worth it for the power/screen. Also, how does a 512mb graphics card affect 3d rendering compared to a 256mb graphics card (substantial or not noticeable)?. Thanks for the help!
     
  2. CJS7070 macrumors 6502a

    CJS7070

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    Chicago, IL
    #2
    If you're doing 3D rendering that's CPU-intensive, then you might benefit from one of the newer processors.
     
  3. coolmacguy macrumors regular

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    Dec 6, 2002
    #3
    A quad i5 is most definitely a better choice than a dual C2D for 3D rendering.

    I like you had a 2ghz Macbook, and I just upgraded to an i7 iMac. The difference in performance is extremely noticeable even on ordinary tasks.

    The i5 will be at least 2x faster assuming whatever program you are using can utilize all cores.
     
  4. maclook thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Nov 2, 2008
    #4
    i knew it would be so much faster but i didnt want to believe it. i really wanted to get away with only spending $1000 on my new computer :p.

    how do i know if a program can utilize all cores? i want to use sketchup, modo, vmware fusion/bootcamp, adobe cs4
     
  5. coolmacguy macrumors regular

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    Dec 6, 2002
    #5
    this page has some graphs

    http://barefeats.com/imi7.html

    I should clarify, the i5 is about 2x faster, the i7 about 2.5x.

    Programs like vmware and adobe stuff can definitely use all the processors. That barefeats page has an After Effects test.
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #6
    i5/i7 is DEFINITELY worth it for you. You will regret the C2D very soon because i5 is twice as fast. There are i5/i7 refurbs nowadays too
     
  7. Pachang macrumors regular

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #7
    You will notice a massive difference between the i5 (maybe think about i7 as well) and the C2D. As for the graphics card, you should look to see if the program you want to use has coded for openCL (or any other type of graphics acceleration) in which case the graphics card will greatly help you.
    Just search "[program name] openCL" and it should give you an idea.

    [EDIT] for openCL to work you have to have snow leopard.
     
  8. maclook thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Nov 2, 2008
    #8
    thanks for all the advice and help guys. looking at benchmarks and specs and hearing your comments, the $700 is definitely worth it to upgrade to the i5 which also has a 512mb graphics card. I just wish it came in a 21.5" form factor because 27" for me is overkill right now.
     
  9. Warbitrary macrumors regular

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    Nov 24, 2009
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    Montréal, Canada
    #9
    The next iMac rev will most probably be all quads.
     
  10. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #10
    No they won't. Core i3s and i5s suitable for 21.5" are dual core, not quad.
     
  11. BigTroll macrumors member

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    Mar 21, 2010
    #11
    if you use it for just internet browsing and watching video like i do my old macbook it should last you for a long time. i noticed the 27 inch 3.06 is under 1500 at the apple refurb store. not bad.
     
  12. Gen macrumors 6502a

    Gen

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    #12
    C2D is a few years.

    i5, i7 is the future. If buying a computer, go with something that will last for a few years.
     
  13. raysfan81 macrumors 6502a

    raysfan81

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    Oct 6, 2009
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    North Carolina
    #13
    If you are doing rendering or video editing or some kind of graphic work (or all three) then the i5 or i7 is the way to go because they are superior to the C2D even with the lower clock speed. Depending on the software you are using it may also utilize all 4 cores of the i5/i7 making it even faster.
     
  14. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    #14
    thanks for starting this thread op. Seems a lot of people stand by going with something better than C2D for the iMac. I'm looking on craigslist and will keep an eye out for a quad-core. Right now, I just see C2D iMacs (if I end up going with an iMac that is, I could drop to a mac mini or go up to a mac pro.. this my secondary comp for home)
     
  15. unixfool macrumors 6502a

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    Northern VA
    #15
    OP, you can go i5/i7 refurb...they're just as good but cheaper.
     
  16. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    #16
    Right now, the mac store has the refurbished i5 imac for $1699 which sells for $1999 new full retail. I don't see an i7 refurb (or a new i7 but I'm guessing you can buy as a bump?)
     
  17. mr.thedaniel macrumors regular

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    Feb 15, 2010
    #17
    I debated between the C2D and an i5 when I bought my iMac. After tons of research on benchmarking, forums, etc I concluded that there are very very few applications that you'll notice a difference between the two processors. 3D rendering however, is pretty much at the top of the list of applications that can really feel a CPU bottleneck, and you'll really notice the difference with the i5. Plus Autodesk, etc will probably doing a lot of updating in the next versions of all their products to take further advantage of these types of processors. Plus you'd definitely rather have the 27" screen. $1699 refurb i5 27" all the way
     
  18. unixfool macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    They sell quickly...you have to be seriously paying attention. Use http://www.refurb.me/ to get a quicker heads-up.
     
  19. Kallel00 macrumors member

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    Jun 21, 2009
    #19
    Just for resale value a quad IMac (i5 or i7) will likely be alot easier to sell on the used market than a C2D
     
  20. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 29, 2006
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    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    #20
    Thanks for the heads up. Just checked and that 27" iMac i5 Quad core is still there refurbed for $1699. With free shipping it would only be tax to worry about on top of this price.

    I'm exploring buying from a craigslist seller in my area who's selling the same thing new for $1500 (he said he's got the original invoice but I am waiting for a response to my e-mail with the big question "why"... after all, he could have just returned.. seems a big deal to sit on a new 27" iMac like that). If that works out then I'm definitely in, if not, I'll have to go the refurbished route which I am comfortable doing.

    The specs on the refurb store are:


    Refurbished iMac 27-inch 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5

    27-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
    4GB memory
    1TB hard drive
    8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics with 512MB memory
    Built-in iSight camera

    I assume the memory details are the same as the new iMac's? "4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB" Also the "Apple Magic Mouse, Apple Wireless Keyboard (English), and User's Guide aren't mentioned in the refurbed store but are mentioned when you look at the new iMac.
     
  21. APJP macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    #21
    Well, I would say that both C2D and i5 are capable machines. In common tasks, i5 runs on very low CPU utilization so you basically notice the difference only in hard CPU intensive tasks. In that case, it is only about what your time is worth. So, is it worth paying 70% more for saving a couple of minutes every now and then?

    I bought my i5 mainly because I wanted to have that large screen and then the price difference was justifiable to get quad core as well for future-proofing. But, if the screen size is not a big deal, I would say that 21.5'' with the better GPU is also a very nice machine and great value. And it's not that small either.
     

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