Do I really need an i5?

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
I always like to get the best there is to offer, but try to make an informed decision. If I purchase a i5 imac and I am using for beginner Final Cut Studio practice, photoshop, general surfing and adding Windows 7 (for my room mate) do I need to spend the extra $$$ for an i5? Does anyone have any links or information about the i5 in layman's terms?

thanks for any suggestions.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 3
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,549moderator
    Comparing Geekbench results, the 2.66GHz Core i5 should be 60-100% faster than the 3GHz Core 2 Duo for raw processing - it's a new architecture and it has twice the cores.



    From your description, I wouldn't say you need the i5 but the raw processing will help when encoding video or using certain types of compressed footage like AVCHD. Most of the time you will only need two cores but those odd times when you do need raw processing, the i5 will be so much better than the Core 2 Duo.



    I personally would never buy a 27" monitor - if you've seen the 24" iMac or 30" Cinema display, you will be able to imagine how big they are. The 21.5" is an ideal size for what you need and the 3GHz dual core should be more than enough. I would recommend the model with the Radeon 4670 though, if you ever put effects into footage or an app gets OpenCL support, you will see a huge benefit over the 9400M.
  • Reply 2 of 3
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gwhiz View Post


    I always like to get the best there is to offer, but try to make an informed decision. If I purchase a i5 imac and I am using for beginner Final Cut Studio practice, photoshop, general surfing and adding Windows 7 (for my room mate) do I need to spend the extra $$$ for an i5? Does anyone have any links or information about the i5 in layman's terms?

    thanks for any suggestions.



    If you're doing any video editing and/or Photo editing I'd say you'll be most happy with an i5 processor. I just edited a presentation in iMovie '09 and it took me 30 minutes to export my 5 minute video preso to MPEG 4 file. Granted my Core 2 processor is weak I couldn't help but think how easy the process would have been with more mhz all around and more cores.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gwhiz View Post


    I always like to get the best there is to offer, but try to make an informed decision. If I purchase a i5 imac and I am using for beginner Final Cut Studio practice, photoshop, general surfing and adding Windows 7 (for my room mate) do I need to spend the extra $$$ for an i5? Does anyone have any links or information about the i5 in layman's terms?

    thanks for any suggestions.



    Core i5 is a solid investment. Put it this way. The 2.66ghz Core i5 can run as fast as a much "higher" Core 2 Duo, for example, 3.33ghz Core 2 Duo. This is when programs use only about one or two cores of a processor. Then, imagine you are running multiple applications which can use all the four cores of the Core i5 CPU. Then you're talking. Speed, efficiency, juicyness.



    In other words, you get speed now, and you get "more" speed over the next few years as more and more programs use all the 4 cores of the Core i5 effectively.



    What the additional $300 buys you in the top-end iMac is also the Radeon 4850 512MB graphic card. This is far better than the Radeon 4670 256MB.



    If you can afford it, the top end iMac for $1,999 with Core i5 and Radeon 4850 512MB is a solid investment if you're thinking of using it a good 2 to 3 years, and doing video on it.



    I do not know the exact details of how many cores Final Cut Studio applications actually use. However there is evidence that Final Cut does make use of 4 or 8 cores of a CPU in various usage scenarios. So we can safely assume that Final Cut Studio 2 will benefit from 4 cores over 2 cores.



    The other thing is, you're young, you're a student, seems like money is not an issue, and you've got a 27-inch screen on that iMac, go for the Core i5. ... Just remember to step away from it from time to time to enjoy other aspects of life. LOL



    Have you thought though whether the screen is too big for you?



    I am typing this on a 21.5" screen on my desk, this thing is huge!!



    If you are a beginner at video editing, a 27" screen will probably seem immense.



    You could go for the higher-end 21.5" iMac and customise the CPU to the 3.33ghz Core 2 Duo. This would be the right balance of speed, screen-size, GPU and so on.



    Let us know what your feeling is on the screen size and where you will be using your iMac.



    (As layman's terms as possible without fudging the truth too much)
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