FYI - The ?Bone-Head? iMac choice? Watch Out! (Price changes, too)

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Background:

As my wife?s G5 iMac has been showing signs of dyeing for a few months, this Saturday we placed an order for a BTO new i7 quad core iMac after seeing the fantastic 27? screen at an Apple Store.

I knew that as she needs to run a virtual Windows 7 and lots of graphics stuff only the best graphics chip would do (and that?s not all that hot ether ? only 512M and GDDR3 instead of GDDR5 like the rest of the civilized world ? but oh well).



Then came the cold feeling in the pit of my stomach as I attempted to digest the price!



Out of this near panic, I took another close look at the other options, and discovered a real price trap for the unwary.



Choice Number One (?Bone-Head? Choice?)

iMac 27-inch upgraded to 3.33GHz. Intel Core 2 Duo

Also upgraded to ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB



Price? $2.049



VS



Choice Number Two

iMac 27-inch with 2.66GHz Intel Quad-Core i5 (with VT enabled)

ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB standard



Price? $1,999 ($50 less than the Dual-Core!)



OK, everything?s fair and square ? the prices are posted for all to see ? but GEE WHIZ.

Just imagine buying the dual core (assuming it MUST cost less than the otherwise identical quad-core), and then you find out it was more.



Priceless. (OUCH!!!)



PS ? for those who might think the higher speed of the dual core might be worth the price, consider the i5 has ?Enhanced Intel Speedstep® Technology?, which when the quad-core only needs to use two of its cores (just like a dual-core) it will automatically speed-up to 3.20 GHz.



The i7 runs at 3.33 GHz when in ?dual-core? mode.

It also has Hyper-Threading Technology to enable 8 virtual cores (like the Xeon in the Mac Pros)



If it can help, links to Intel Processor Specs.

Core2Duo3.33

QuadCore i5

QuadCore i7



PPS - EDIT - NO PRICE CHANGE

My bad, I forgot my wife is a teacher, so the i5 to i7 was only $180.

For the rest of us mortals its always been $200 - still worth it.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    what the heck was this post supposed to be about? You bought a new computer, have a more or less amateur understanding of what you're buying, and think the "rest of the world" is actually using GDDR5.



    that about sums it up.
  • Reply 2 of 16
    I think the point of his post was that you can get an i5 iMac cheaper than a C2D iMac. (All other specs being equal.)



    Rather interesting point... I certainly hadn't noticed.
  • Reply 3 of 16
    I'm not a hardware expert, but here's another interesting comparison -



    Mac Pro

    2.66 GHz Xeon

    3GB RAM

    640 GB Hard drive

    $2,499



    iMac 27"

    2.66 GHz Intel Core i5

    4GB RAM

    1TB hard drive

    $1,999



    Now like I said, I'm not an expert on this stuff and I realize the Xeon is a better processor than the i5, but to the layman just looking at clock speed you get the same performance, more RAM and more hard drive for about $500 LESS on an iMac.



    I really want to update from my 2007 13" Macbook, but Apple just doesn't have what I want. I don't need a screen (especially a glossy one), but I don't want to pay $500 more for less computer. WTF?!
  • Reply 4 of 16
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ChadP MIK View Post


    I'm not a hardware expert, but here's another interesting comparison -



    Mac Pro

    2.66 GHz Xeon

    3GB RAM

    640 GB Hard drive

    $2,499



    iMac 27"

    2.66 GHz Intel Core i5

    4GB RAM

    1TB hard drive

    $1,999



    Now like I said, I'm not an expert on this stuff and I realize the Xeon is a better processor than the i5, but to the layman just looking at clock speed you get the same performance, more RAM and more hard drive for about $500 LESS on an iMac.



    I really want to update from my 2007 13" Macbook, but Apple just doesn't have what I want. I don't need a screen (especially a glossy one), but I don't want to pay $500 more for less computer. WTF?!



    Add the price of a 27" display to that Power Mac and the price difference doesn't get any better
  • Reply 5 of 16
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post


    Add the price of a 27" display to that Power Mac and the price difference doesn't get any better



    Exactly! The thing is that I already have a matte 27" widescreen that I use with my Macbook. So what should I do, get the iMac and set it on the floor next to my desk?!
  • Reply 6 of 16
    akacakac Posts: 510member
    Except if you're looking at performance that Xeon is better and worth it. Plus the ability to pop in multiple drives, more memory, etc...
  • Reply 7 of 16
    Speedstep (EIST) is not what you think it is. It has nothing to do with the i5/i7s' ability to overclock cores when it has thermal headroom to do so. That's Turbo Boost.



    If you're going to talk about CPU features as if you know about them, try to get the details right.
  • Reply 8 of 16
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post


    I think the point of his post was that you can get an i5 iMac cheaper than a C2D iMac. (All other specs being equal.)



    Rather interesting point... I certainly hadn't noticed.



    Hm, for most people its about what you need, not what you can get.
  • Reply 9 of 16
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmz View Post


    Hm, for most people its about what you need, not what you can get.



    Who the heck is ever going to want to pay MORE money to just get what they need, when they can pay less and get everything they need and then some? Your post makes no sense. I completely understand what this threads originator was pointing out and it is quite interesting. I basically don't see anyone ever ordering the 3.33ghz with the 4850 card, it will always be one or the other, otherwise they would just bump up to the quad.
  • Reply 10 of 16
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hlfnlsn View Post


    Who the heck is ever going to want to pay MORE money to just get what they need, when they can pay less and get everything they need and then some? Your post makes no sense. I completely understand what this threads originator was pointing out and it is quite interesting. I basically don't see anyone ever ordering the 3.33ghz with the 4850 card, it will always be one or the other, otherwise they would just bump up to the quad.



    For the 6 people who know the difference, the post wasn't needed. For the average customer, it will come down to price.
  • Reply 11 of 16
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmz View Post


    For the 6 people who know the difference, the post wasn't needed. For the average customer, it will come down to price.



    Hey i was just trying to point out that there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to bag on this persons post. If the information wasn't pertinent to you, doesn't mean that others didn't appreciate the post and find it informative. Lighten up, and welcome a new poster to the group.
  • Reply 12 of 16
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmz View Post


    and think the "rest of the world" is actually using GDDR5.

    that about sums it up.



    Wake up - they ARE!

    They are also using the ATI 5xxx series video, too.



    Heck even my old 3870 used GDDR 4!



    I guess I just listened to too many people talking about Apple using the very best quality components, so reality is a bit of a let down.



    The screen IS fantastic, though.
  • Reply 13 of 16
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post


    I think the point of his post was that you can get an i5 iMac cheaper than a C2D iMac. (All other specs being equal.)



    Rather interesting point... I certainly hadn't noticed.



    Yep, that's my point, and stated MUCH better, too.
  • Reply 14 of 16
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hlfnlsn View Post


    Hey i was just trying to point out that there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to bag on this persons post. If the information wasn't pertinent to you, doesn't mean that others didn't appreciate the post and find it informative. Lighten up, and welcome a new poster to the group.



    Thank you.



    I'm cooling off a bit now.



    Apple makes some truly fantastic looking stuff, and has so often been in the forefront in introducing tomorrows tech and literally forced Intel and Microsoft to get on the bandwagon or look ridiculous.

    As I recall USB and Firewire were two of these.



    It's more than a little sad not to see this so much now, but I'm going astray from my own thread!



    The main thing here was to prevent someone from making a boo-boo in the heat of getting a neet new computer.
  • Reply 15 of 16
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ChadP MIK View Post


    Now like I said, I'm not an expert on this stuff and I realize the Xeon is a better processor than the i5,



    Not necessarily. Core and Xeon are just branding. In fact, with the 900 series i7s and xeon 3500s, they are different packagings of the same Bloomfield CPUs (Xeons have ECC enabled) sold at the same price using the same tylersburg motherboards. In fact, the Gainestown (Xeon 5500) used in the 8-core MPs is simply these chips with a second quickpath link to communicate with a second CPU.
  • Reply 16 of 16
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post


    Not necessarily. Core and Xeon are just branding. In fact, with the 900 series i7s and xeon 3500s, they are different packagings of the same Bloomfield CPUs (Xeons have ECC enabled) sold at the same price using the same tylersburg motherboards. In fact, the Gainestown (Xeon 5500) used in the 8-core MPs is simply these chips with a second quickpath link to communicate with a second CPU.



    Even more reason to go the iMac route with things as they currently stand. I was just reading the teardown thread and it looks fairly straightforward to go in there and change out the 7200 RPM hard drive for an SSD and since the glass is removable I bet we'll have some decent possibilities for matte alternatives in the not too distant future.
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