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Review: Apple's Core i3, i5 & i7 iMacs (mid-2010) - Page 2

post #41 of 61
^^^ English translation please?

Anyway, my 27" inch is on the way. This will be my first foray into all in one territory, other than the used G3 iMac I bought long after they were discontinued. Currently I'm writing this on my old Quicksilver, which was upgraded from a single 800mhz CPU to a dual 1.8ghz. Many other upgrades were made as well (like adding USB 2.0, SATA, etc.) Slightly afraid I'll be disappointed with the iMac's upgrade path, but I just couldn't justify $2500 for the entry level MacPro compared to what you get with the $1999 iMac.

Will I get another 8 year run out of the iMac? Perhaps. I'm still comfy with the first generation MacBook I own, and it's pushing the 4 year mark.
post #42 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by filburt View Post

I am a bit confused by the product matrix, mainly for 27" model.

There are 4 variations, 2 regular, 2 built to order CPU upgrades:
  1. $1699: 3.2 GHz i3 (dual, hyper-threading, 4 MB L3), ATI 5670 512 MB
  2. $1899: 3.6 GHz i5 (dual, hyper-threading, 4 MB L3), ATI 5670 512 MB
  3. $1999: 2.8 GHz i5 (quad, no hyper-threading, 8 MB L3), ATI 5750 1 GB
  4. $2199: 2.93 GHz i7 (quad, hyper-threading, 8 MB L3), ATI 5750 1 GB

Now, I realize 5750 is a better GPU than 5670 (AnandTech's review shows around 10 fps improvement across the board) and having double the L3 and true quad may possibly outweigh faster clock on BTO $1899 iMac. But it is a confusing matrix nevertheless. I wish someone were to compare them head on.

I think your choices are simpler than you think.

CPU

Synthetic benchmarks are difficult to use in this situation, because a 3.6GHZ dual core could outperform a 2.8GHZ quad core, in applications which are not very efficiently multi-threaded.

On the PC side, Anandtech and Tom's Hardware have done tons of benches comparing high-clocked duals with lower-clocked quads.

Bottom line IMO is, 2.8GHZ quad (even with no hyper threading) will be a better long-term investment (say, 3 years) for all-round performance. However if you use specific, single apps that you know really fly on dual cores and not quad cores, and you will be hammering the CPU hard with these apps over the next year, then the 3.6GHZ dual is the machine for you.

GPU

This one's easy. Either you play games on the Mac, use OpenGL 3D software, or you don't. If you do, accept nothing less than the 5750 1GB. Driving the native 27" resolution, even the 5750 1GB will struggle at modern games. You probably have to turn it down to 1920x1080, but you'll play modern games at very high settings at this resolution with the 5750 1GB. Don't let the 10fps fool you, the 5670 512MB is a much cut down architecture from the 5750, which is cut down from the superb 5800 series.

SUMMARY

I would propose as follows:

$1699: 3.2 GHz i3 (dual, hyper-threading, 4 MB L3), ATI 5670 512 MB
For those that want the 27", who don't have too much video, audio or gaming needs.

$1899: 3.6 GHz i5 (dual, hyper-threading, 4 MB L3), ATI 5670 512 MB
For those that want strong performing dual-core-optimised applications which do not take real advantage of four cores, and for those without significant gaming needs.

$1999: 2.8 GHz i5 (quad, no hyper-threading, 8 MB L3), ATI 5750 1 GB
The "sweet spot" ~ future-proof CPU performance for all round video, audio and gaming needs.

$2199: 2.93 GHz i7 (quad, hyper-threading, 8 MB L3), ATI 5750 1 GB
The "best" ~ for those who just don't give a f*** and want the best iMac money can buy, who can overlook the insane price for a system with a GPU of that class. Seriously though, also this would be for those who run well-multi-threaded applications most of the time, with average gaming needs.
post #43 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchelljd View Post

Blah review.

the reviewer ought to give Apple higher Con Marks from continued stonewalling of BLU-RAY.

this is a big issue that apple is mum on. Virtually all other manufacturers have models and options with Blu-Ray reading and/or burning drives. They cost very little nowadays.

Sorry, but Apple needs to hear more about this and the lack of USB 3.

The reviewer did ding them right at the end of the review for the lack of blu-ray, but for some (including me) it would warrant more criticism. It's a massive limitation on how useful a new iMac would be to me, big enough to ensure that I'll never buy one until they finally stick a BD drive in there.

I'd love to know the truth behind why there's no BD drive. The 'it's to force people to buy iTunes content' I don't really buy, as the iTunes store doesn't offer anything in 1080p, and at least here in the UK only offers a small selection of movies in 720p for rental only. Nobody in their right mind would consider that a viable alternative to blu-ray for HD content. I think it may have more to do Apple's lack of interest in PCs, and how to support blu-ray would require significant work in the OS for all of blu-ray's DRM requirements. Jobs probably looked at the sums and decided to spend the money on iOS stuff instead. It's sad to say but if you want a modern PC with all the latest kit, it's a Windows 7 box or nothing now.
post #44 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by bedouin View Post

[to brucep]^^^ English translation please?

Most of us have given up on that a long time ago. He's like the "special" friend that always hangs around at parties.
post #45 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain View Post

So it's confirmed... Apple is not going to write graphic drivers for Snow Leopard - just add new hardware instead of making existing hardware functional. So much for SL ever being used in any creative environment.
How Apple can be content with their flagship OS being a disaster is beyond me???

Same hardware on windows side is 70% faster for those who don't know.

For those who would defend SL... Some of us need to do more then browse the web & check email.

Show some numbers backing that "Same hardware on windows side is 70% faster for those who don't know.". Remember, we are talking about all in one systems here.
post #46 of 61
I'm thinking of getting the 21.5" model. Is it worth the extra £160 to upgrade the processor to a 3.6 i5 ?

I've been into my local AppleStore and the rep's didn't have a clue what the performance difference between an i3 and i5 is. I plan to get iLife when the new version comes out so I can use iMovie and iPhoto. I will probably upgrade to Final Cut Express and Aperture in time. I know the 27" model has faster processor options but it's just too big for my desk space.
post #47 of 61
You've considered getting a bigger desk off craigslist?
post #48 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckh1272 View Post

Show some numbers backing that "Same hardware on windows side is 70% faster for those who don't know.". Remember, we are talking about all in one systems here.

I am very certain, mr.rain uses computers for games only. Because games is the only field, where Mac's might not necessarily be the first joyce. For anything concerning graphic design or sound production, I would never even think of using a windows driven PC. So much to this off topic topic.

I think the specs of the new iMac line looks great and reasonable priced. As for AI's negative points, I have to admit a USB 3 or Firewire 1600 port would have been welcome. Then again, apple didn't ad those ports to the pro line either. So we have to assume, that both technologies are still buggy. And at last, excluding BlueRay is a isn't a big deal. For the majority certainly not to be quoted as a negative point.
post #49 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Bottom line IMO is, 2.8GHZ quad (even with no hyper threading) will be a better long-term investment (say, 3 years) for all-round performance. However if you use specific, single apps that you know really fly on dual cores and not quad cores, and you will be hammering the CPU hard with these apps over the next year, then the 3.6GHZ dual is the machine for you.

There's more involved than that. Grand Central was only introduced last year. Apps that take advantage of it will take time, but I would certainly expect that transition to be occurring in the next few years. It also depends on how many apps you're running. For myself, the couple hundred dollars to go from quad without hyperthreading to quad WITH hyperthreading is a no-brainer. I wouldn't even consider the i5 quad. Spend the $200 extra for i7

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

I'm thinking of getting the 21.5" model. Is it worth the extra £160 to upgrade the processor to a 3.6 i5 ?

I've been into my local AppleStore and the rep's didn't have a clue what the performance difference between an i3 and i5 is. I plan to get iLife when the new version comes out so I can use iMovie and iPhoto. I will probably upgrade to Final Cut Express and Aperture in time. I know the 27" model has faster processor options but it's just too big for my desk space.

If you're running Final Cut and Aperture, I'd go with the higher CPU. Even iPhoto is a CPU hog. You're adding 10-15% to the cost of the computer, but will be much more satisifed.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
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post #50 of 61
I make some good points here and there . I hope > anyway diuden

Well tell me to my face NVIDA . NO BAD FEELINGS
OK
Am i so really disjointed to the rest of you guys ???


i don't want to be bother or pest here .. i do love apple and i can also hang round and read and not post
ya know .

let me know ...please



bruce p
whats in a name ? 
beatles
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whats in a name ? 
beatles
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post #51 of 61
Here is the breakdown of iMac processors available in the current models:

Base options:
3.06 i3 dual 4mb L3 i3-540 (no boost, has hyper-threading)
3.2 i3 dual 4mb L3 i3-550 (no boost, has hyper-threading)
2.8 i5 quad 8mb L3 i5-760 (has turbo boost, no hyper-threading)

BTO:
3.6 i5 dual 4MB L3 i5-680 (has turbo boost and hyper-threading)
2.93 i7 quad 8MB L3 i7-875K (has turbo boost and hyper-threading)

Apple appears to have cleaned up the tech spec page where it had previously been claiming turbo boost on models that don't have it. This will make it easier for those who are looking for reviews of the CPUs on the Windows side of things.
post #52 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

i don't want to be bother or pest here .. i do love apple and i can also hang round and read and not post
ya know .

let me know ...please

You're fine... it takes all kinds. Proper grammar and paragraph structure does make writing more readable, though.
post #53 of 61
Is there a Cinebench results overview somewhere for the Mac computers?
post #54 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

I make some good points here and there . I hope > anyway diuden

Well tell me to my face NVIDA . NO BAD FEELINGS OK
Am i so really disjointed to the rest of you guys ???

i don't want to be bother or pest here .. i do love apple and i can also hang round and read and not post
ya know .

let me know ...please

bruce p

No worries mate. We would miss you if you left. Well, me anyways. You sometimes help with the trolls as well. But you didn't attack me when I was a troll during antennagate which was good...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

I'm thinking of getting the 21.5" model. Is it worth the extra £160 to upgrade the processor to a 3.6 i5 ?

I've been into my local AppleStore and the rep's didn't have a clue what the performance difference between an i3 and i5 is. I plan to get iLife when the new version comes out so I can use iMovie and iPhoto. I will probably upgrade to Final Cut Express and Aperture in time. I know the 27" model has faster processor options but it's just too big for my desk space.

If you're planning to keep the iMac more than 2 years, and doing video editing, then I would say go for the 3.6ghz i5.
post #55 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

If you're planning to keep the iMac more than 2 years, and doing video editing, then I would say go for the 3.6ghz i5.

I think you meant the 2.8GHz i5. The one that's a real quad-core would be better for someone who does lots of video editing or encoding. I doubt the average web surfer would notice any difference, though.
post #56 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

If you're planning to keep the iMac more than 2 years, and doing video editing, then I would say go for the 3.6ghz i5.

If I were doing video editing, I'd spring the couple hundred more for the i7 with the top video card (as OpenCL catches on, that will become even more important).
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #57 of 61
This is all really good information... I'm still trying to figure it out though... It seems like there conflicting reports out there on speeds etc..

Basically all I will use my Mac for will be Website Design in Photoshop CS3 and CS5 in the near future... With some occasional video editing in FCE.

What will be the best option?

Go for a Maxed out 21.5" or go for a 27" 2.8 Quad Core i5 or i7????

Need to make a choice soon!

Help Please!!!
post #58 of 61
I think the i5 quad core will handle your needs for years to come.
post #59 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1337_5L4Xx0R View Post

I think the i5 quad core will handle your needs for years to come.

So you think the 27" 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 with 8GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4x2GB would be better than

a 21.5" # 3.60GHz Intel Core i5 with 8GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4x2GB

Im thinking 1 or may 1TB hard drives to boot...
post #60 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilestoneipLtd View Post

So you think the 27" 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 with 8GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4x2GB would be better than

a 21.5" # 3.60GHz Intel Core i5 with 8GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4x2GB

Im thinking 1 or may 1TB hard drives to boot...

If you've got the cash, I'd get the 27" just for its screen.

Which processor is better really depends on what you do, but most people would have no problem with either.
post #61 of 61
I have owned a lot of Macs (even Mac Pros), but the 2010 iMac 21.5 3.06 i3 is my favorite yet. It is a quiet, fast, unpretentious loyal servant.
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