Dual Core vs Quad Core Imac
October 21, 2009 10:30AM
Current Mac Hardware
edited January 2014
I do alot of photography with a canon dslr, I also plan to edit short HD videos as well as some photoshop and flash animation work.
Will I benefit greatly from the Quad Core Imac over the Dual Core Imac?
Reply 1 of 5
October 21, 2009 10:59AM
If nothing more, you're greatly benefit from the vastly superior architecture of the chip.
Reply 2 of 5
October 21, 2009 11:11AM
You're likely going to see the importance of Quad Core manifest with more developers supporting threading technology like Grand Central Dispatch and other tools.
Image editing is field that can really benefit from threading the apps for more speed and fluidity. I think the next Aperture will pave the way for some nice performance gains.
Reply 3 of 5
October 23, 2009 5:10AM
The other thing is the i5/i7 imacs dynamically overclock themselves depending on how many cores are in use. So even if an app is single-threaded, it should really fly on the new quad core chips.
Mainly, though, go for a proper graphics card with dedicated video ram, like the 4650 or better. Intergrated graphics suck, even NVidia ones. You'll get a lot more mileage out of a quad core with p[roper graphics card than a dual core with integrated graphics.
Reply 4 of 5
October 23, 2009 8:23AM
Its a bit more advanced than simple overclocking. Turboboost (not that turboboost) automatically shuts down unused cores and channels that power into the cores that are being used. There should be no difference in power usage, the chip just optimizes itself to the current task.
Reply 5 of 5
April 7, 2010 6:23PM
The i5, hands down.
Look at it this way. It's January 2006. You have a choice of a G5 or Intel iMac. They look the same; white polycarbonate. Both will work fine running Tiger and all the apps you're using at the time. You decide to save $300 and get the G5. How long will it take you to regret your decision? Would you still be running the G5 in 2010? If so, would you still think there was little difference between that and that Core Duo? I've got 12 Macs at work, and the few G5's we have left are not that useful. We can't load Snow Leopard on them, we can't run the latest version of FileMaker on them and they are really slow doing what we
ask them to do. They were great when they were new in 2004; they were a bigger improvement over G4 than G4 was over G3. But their life was necessarily limited,
as is every computer ever made.
The first Core Duo's on the other hand, while not as good as the Core 2's, are still doing ok. But they will not last as long as the Core 2's, which tend to be about twice as fast. The slower they all get, the more twice as fast matters.
If you stay current as OS X and apps evolve, the same thing will happen to your Core 2 that happened to your old G5. It will be less and less able to deal with the future. In a few years operating systems and software will be designed to take advantage of four and eight core chips, and older computers won't be able to keep up. There will come a day when Quad Core is the minimum system requirement for the latest operating system or software - with features that are oh so cool - that you really want. It would be nice not to have to buy a new computer to get that.
For $300 more than the 3.06 GHz Core 2, you get a processor that is twice as fast running processor intensive apps. You also get thrown into the deal a $150 upgrade in the graphics processor with twice the video memory. You also get 4x the L2 Cache (8MB instead of 2MB) which is also 1/3 more than in the 3.3 GHz model (only $100 less than the i5 and same graphics card as the 3.06).
All these things will matter more when instead of being top of the line, they have been superceded by the next great leap. How many years do you think it will take (5?) until they solve the problem of heat dissipation and an entry level mini is eight core, and the new OS requires at least quad core?
When you're already looking at $1700 for a computer, doesn't it make sense to spend $300 more to insure that you're not replacing it sooner?