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  1. Thread AuthorThread Author   #1  
    dervishwhirling's Avatar
    iMore Nanite

    2 Posts

    Default 3.4 GHz i5 or 3.5 GHz i7 for iMac?

    I am buying a new iMac (27"") and am trying to decide whether it is worth $200 to upgrade from a 3.4 GHz i5 to a 3.5 GHz i7. Is there a big difference between the two? Is it worth it. I primarily use my iMac for video editing and playback as well as web browsing.

  2. #2  

    Default Re: 3.4 GHz i5 or 3.5 GHz i7 for iMac?

    The question is, "what can't YOU do with the 3.4 GHz i5 processor that YOU can do with the 3.5 GHz i7 processor?" If YOU cannot find anything then save the $200 and go with the i5.
  3. #3  
    Kris Braun's Avatar
    iMore Nanite

    1 Posts

    Default Re: 3.4 GHz i5 or 3.5 GHz i7 for iMac?

    Hi, for what you are doing, stay with the i5, put the money towards SSD storage, do not purchase a fusion drive, The new fusion drives prevent you from
    allocating where your working from, we had both machines and we returned the i5 and purchased another i7 with a full SSD. The big problem with a fusion
    drive is that when you have more than 128Gb of data on the drive you will end up using the HHD and as soon as you become accustomed to the performance of an SSD (Read Speed 685MBs) you will be very irritated with the speed of the HHD (Read Speed 115MBs).

    The other problem is that the FUSION drive is not great at placing your data on the right drive so even with only 50GB on your drive you will still be using
    some of the HHD, even something as simple as the start up, is slower with a Fusion Drive, (11 seconds slower than a full SSD Drive).

    As to the performance of the i7 compared to the i5, it is very impressive, even with something as simple as rendering a 200mb photo in photoshop the i7
    completes the task in 27.9 seconds and the i5 takes 46.6 seconds, (39.9% slower), Hyperthreading wow. Depending on how many cores are active the i7
    is between 6 and 2 percent faster than the NEW MacPro 4 core.

    Also, Mavericks is super memory hungry, if you are ever on your Mac for 6 hours or more get at a minimum of 16GB of ram, do not buy it from APPLE
    purchase it from crucial (2 x 8GB = 16GB) and sell the (2 x 4GB = 8GB) that come with the iMac.

    Have fun.
  4. #4  
    jaycee58's Avatar
    iMore Nanite

    1 Posts
    Global Posts
    71 Global Posts

    Default Re: 3.4 GHz i5 or 3.5 GHz i7 for iMac?

    The Fusion Drive works perfectly...I have no idea where you get your information from! The same applies to RAM. The iMac makes the most efficient use of memory. I have 24Gb in mine and it's not unusual to see all 24Gb in use. This is how it's meant to be. It doesn't mean the computer is a memory hog.
  5. #5  
    Peter Cohen's Avatar
    iMore staff

    78 Posts

    Default Re: 3.4 GHz i5 or 3.5 GHz i7 for iMac?

    You mention video. Hyperthreading on the i7 will improve parallel processing performance, which has practical benefits for video processing and effects. So it may, depending on how much you're going to use your iMac for video work.
  6. #6  
    CrunchDude's Avatar
    iMore Nanite

    8 Posts
    Global Posts
    9 Global Posts

    Default Re: 3.4 GHz i5 or 3.5 GHz i7 for iMac?

    I'll tell you what NOT to do: Do NOT get an iMac WITHOUT an SSD or, at a minimum, one of Apple's Fusion drives. I still would encourage you to go straight SSD. And this is not just any old SSD, this is a PCIe x2 SSD, which performs significantly faster than even the fastest SATA III SSD's.

    As for the Fusion Drive comment from someone, you can easily "destroy" the Fusion Drive with a few lines in Terminal (which leverages the Disk Utility app) and you can have SEPARATE hard drive and 128GB SSD! Again, get at least a Fusion Drive.

    And save your money with the i7. The 100MHz is definitely NOT worth it. In fact, if you could get a 12-core Xeon processor, your iMac will still not be nearly as fast if you bottleneck it with a hard drive.

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