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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

iMac help


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mikerev

 
Member Since: Oct 06, 2009
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So my faithful old MBP gave up on me last week. So I'm lookig for a new mac. I was looking at the new iMacs but I'm unsure whether to go for the core duo, i5 or i7. I know all the advantages of the i7 over the core duo but I think the 27" screen is way too big. I'm running pro tools le 8 with a 003 and a focusrite octopre connected via ADAT. I mainly record acoustic guitar, vocals and some four mic drum setups.

Do I need the i7? Would I be compromising too much if I went core duo?

I'll definitely be going for 8 gig RAM.

There's a 700euro (ish) difference between the 3.33 ghz core duo and the i7. Advice please???

Thanks in advance

Michael
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Spike88

 
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If I remember correctly, the i5 and i7 processors are only available in the 27" iMac versions. Don't think the i5 or i7 processor chips are currently available in the 21.5" iMacs. Perhaps i5 & i7s will be available in future 21.5" models? Only time will tell...

If going with 21.5" iMac and needing the best (that's currently available), you'll want to order the highest process from "factory" re: "3.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 6MB shared L2 cache" with "minimum" default RAM. From 3rd party source, I'd buy the maximum RAM simms (re: four SO-DIMM slots support up to 16GB) - which is much less cost then buying from Apple Store. Dollars saved on 3rd party RAM simms can be used to lower the purchase cost of faster processor (from Apple store - to ensure warranty is still covered).

If I bought a 21.5" iMac now, this is what I'd do.

Hope this helps...

.
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T_O_P12

 
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Mac Specs: 27" iMac Core 2 Duo, 4GB 1067 MHz RAM, iPhone 4S

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first, you will get used to the screen real quick, I decided with the 27'' duo over the 21.5 and am extremely glad I did, its not too big at all. I have no problems with performance with the duo and right now most programs and applications are designed to use 2 cores so the quad might not be used to its full but eventually it will so if money is a real big problems then go with the duo or if you can spare it, go for the quad but either way u will be happy
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Raz0rEdge

 
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@Spike88 is correct..the 21.5" only comes with the Core2Duo processors..you'd have to step up to the 27" to get the option of i5 or i7 as well..

Regards
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mikerev

 
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I understand what ye're saying but the 27" being too big is a space issue not a screen size issue. I'd like to keep it compact. I do know the processing power would be much better in the i7 but I'm wondering if i need all that power for what id be using it for
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikerev View Post
I understand what ye're saying but the 27" being too big is a space issue not a screen size issue. I'd like to keep it compact. I do know the processing power would be much better in the i7 but I'm wondering if i need all that power for what id be using it for
First of all...you can only get the i5 or i7 quad-core processor in the 27" iMac. So if you want the quad-core processor...you got to get the 27" iMac!

Secondly...if you decide you do want the quad-core...the i7 is only $200 more then the i5. After spending $2000 on a new computer...what's another $200.

Conclusion: If the 27" iMac is too large for you...end of discussion! No 27" iMac...no quad-core processor!

HTH,

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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mikerev

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
First of all...you can only get the i5 or i7 quad-core processor in the 27" iMac. So if you want the quad-core processor...you got to get the 27" iMac!

Secondly...if you decide you do want the quad-core...the i7 is only $200 more then the i5. After spending $2000 on a new computer...what's another $200.

Conclusion: If the 27" iMac is too large for you...end of discussion! No 27" iMac...no quad-core processor!

HTH,

- Nick
I know all that. All I'm trying to find out is which is the better processor option for me based on what I'd be using it for. The screen size is basically irrelevant. I would prefer the 21.5 but I am prepared to go to 27 but only if I need the extra power. I know the i7 is only on the 27 and I know it's 180euro more than the i5. But I don't want to spend money on processor power I don't need. But I absolutley do want to spend it if it'll benifit me.

So, in conclusion, the concise question is; is quad core necessary or supremely beneficial for running pro tools le 8? Or would it be overkill and am I better off going core duo and saving money? I just don't want to spend unnecessarily.
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikerev View Post
So, in conclusion, the concise question is; is quad core necessary or supremely beneficial for running pro tools le 8? Or would it be overkill and am I better off going core duo and saving money? I just don't want to spend unnecessarily.
If you can afford it...get the quad-core processor. If you don't need that processing power today...you will need it in the future if you plan on keeping this computer for a while.

Plus with the quad-core CPU...you get the better video processor as well (the 4850 with 512 meg of ram vs. the 4670 with 256 meg of ram).

Good luck,

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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mikerev

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
If you can afford it...get the quad-core processor. If you don't need that processing power today...you will need it in the future if you plan on keeping this computer for a while.

Plus with the quad-core CPU...you get the better video processor as well (the 4850 with 512 meg of ram vs. the 4670 with 256 meg of ram).

Good luck,

- Nick

Cool dude. Thanks for the help. Much appreciated
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikerev View Post
Cool dude. Thanks for the help. Much appreciated
It's always good to discuss a big decision like this with other folks. Sometimes it helps to narrow things down to the important issues.

Obviously if you get the 27" iMac with the i5 or i7 processor it's going to be a top of the line iMac...which will cost the $$$ as well.

It's too bad the quad-core CPU's are not available on the 21.5" iMac's. I'm sure it's Apple's way to "steer" buyers towards the higher end models.

If you can afford it...go for it...if not...the core 2 duo & 21.5" monitor will certainly serve you well as well!

Let us know what you decide to do when you're ready to "pull the trigger"!

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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mikerev

 
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Just I'd update. Today, I ordered a 27" iMac with i7 and 8gig RAM for just under €2K euro. Delighted! Unfortunately a problem between apple and nvidia means I'll be waiting about a month. Something to do with production of graphics cards being slow and taking apple a couple of weeks to get their hands on graphics cards.

But I am incredibly excited!
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