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Thread: CPU and ram

  1. #1

    Member Since
    Feb 10, 2011
    CPU and ram
    Hi all, newbie here.

    I finally decided to get a new computer and its gonna be an IMac! I plan on doing some simple editing of my home movie stuff. My question is....Do I NEED a quadcore for that? Will the i3 work for that? I dont want to do anything complicated, just piddle around with it? I just want to make sure that I get the right thing.

    This is a Hardware question isnt it?

    Can someone educate me?

    BTW......I just posted on the software side.

  2. #2

    Zoolook's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 24, 2006
    Brooklyn, New York
    15" MacBook Pro, i7 2.66Ghz, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD; iPad 3, iPhone 5
    This is the perennial question, and there is no right or wrong answer. You have to weigh up a few variables before making a decision and the biggest one is what is your budget.

    You can buy a computer now with the intention of using it for 3 or 4 core things, and then end up getting into other things and wonder if just a slightly faster machine would have been better. My advice would be to buy the best machine you can afford right now.

    There are some big differences between the i3 and the top end i7. Cache size, virtual machine compatibility, turbo-mode (where single threaded applications get a huge boost) etc. Clock for clock, the i7 is about 35% faster than the i3, and the i5 about 20% faster. Given the $200 difference between the 3.06 ghz Core i3 and the 3.66ghz Core i5, I'd probably pay it. Both chips can do 4 threads with their two cores. The i7 on the iMac is a lot more because you have to buy the bigger model - however if you're getting the 27" screen, the i7 might be worth it.

    In 5 years time, I am sure either machine will still run applications perfectly well, but the i7 will keep up a lot better than an i3. Mac users haven't really be exposed to such large processing differentials before, only clock speed differences, but the i3 is like the old Celeron to the old Pentium 3, if you can remember that far back.
    In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is stoned to death.
    - Joan D. Vinge

  3. #3

    robduckyworth's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2011
    Reading, UK
    15" MBP, 2.5GHz i7, 750GB, 6770M 1GB, iPad 3, iPhone 4, custom PC
    Core 2 Duos can do it. you will be fine with any of the new imacs.
    If you find a post helpful, don't forget to use the reputation system (top right of post.)
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  4. #4

    CrimsonRequiem's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 24, 2008
    MBP 2.3 Ghz 4GB RAM 860 GB SSD, iMac 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7 32GB RAM, Fusion Drive 1TB
    While RAM is important it's better if you buy it from a third party vendor and install it yourself. Apple likes to markup RAM.

    Any of the Macs that are out now can do what you want. It's just that there are ones that can do it better than others.

  5. #5

    harvey3178's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 30, 2010
    Agree completely with Zoolook, get what your budget will allow, also CrimsonRequiem makes a good point, never get apple to supply more ram! you can get the same ram much cheaper online!!

  6. #6

    TomServo's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 15, 2011
    Southern Illinois
    Quote Originally Posted by harvey3178 View Post
    Agree completely with Zoolook, get what your budget will allow, also CrimsonRequiem makes a good point, never get apple to supply more ram! you can get the same ram much cheaper online!!
    Agree, I bought my i3 27' iMAC with the base 4GB of RAM and bought 8GB from Crucial for $104 shipped. The 2 4GB simms just snapped in, I didn't even lay it down on its face. I just slide the iMAC to the edge of my desk, unplugged it, tilted it back and unscrewed the 3 screws on the little panel and popped in the 2 simms.

    Took a few minutes. I checked and the new RAM was there. 12GB for $104 - I'm superman now.


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