Ugly Hedgehog® - Photography Forum
i5 vs. i7 Core CPU for Post-Processing
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Dec 2, 2019 08:08:21   #
kymarto Loc: Portland OR and Milan Italy
 
A faster CPU is absolutely worth it if you use calculation-intensive stuff like Topaz Sharpen AI.

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Dec 2, 2019 08:29:02   #
wireloose
 
https://www.pugetsystems.com/all_articles.php For benchmarks and analysis. Depending on what else you use, the i5 is fine, but you want the highest clock speed available.

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Dec 2, 2019 08:40:34   #
Canisdirus
 
Still image post-processing ... a fast i5 chip is fine.
If you do a lot of video post-processing on a laptop ... i7 chip. On a desktop ... a fast i5 chip is fine.
Don't forget that desktop chips are typically better than laptop chips.

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Dec 2, 2019 08:41:20   #
AirWalter Loc: Tipp City, Ohio
 
wthomson wrote:
Is the price difference between the i5 and i7 Core CPU worth it? I use Photoshop and Lightroom for single image post and need to upgrade my Mac products. The price difference seems to run about $200.

Thanks.


I don't know if this matters or not for your concern, but I5's are better performers in gaming software than I7's. And that involves a lot of fast moving graphics.

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Dec 2, 2019 08:43:57   #
rmm0605 Loc: Sarasota, FL
 
wthomson wrote:
Is the price difference between the i5 and i7 Core CPU worth it? I use Photoshop and Lightroom for single image post and need to upgrade my Mac products. The price difference seems to run about $200.

Thanks.


My desktop runs a Core i9 and, yes, it is quicker than my previous i7. There are many aspects to computer speed, however, one of the largest is RAM--i.e., how much. The more the merrier!

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Dec 2, 2019 09:35:36   #
TriX Loc: Raleigh, NC
 
Gene51 wrote:
which two exactly - there is no hard and fast rule on this, eg, if you are comparing an older i7 to a newer i5 it could be a dead heat, or the i5 could be faster. And the software you are using will be a factor. I generally agree with Tri-X with one exception - I would not spend the extra $$ for a XEON.


I’m with you Gene, I wouldn't spend the $ for a Xeon either in most cases, but there are some bargains out there - threw it in for those few among us that like to build (or buy used) dual Xeon servers. There are also some bargains out there in $/performance with some of the new AMD devices. AMD often has more cores for the $ (and also some run quite hot), but while I have built a number os AMD-based machines over the years, I have never tried one for a PP machine. If anyone out there is using an AMD Threadripper or Ryzen series CPU for PP, I’d love to hear your experience. Anyway, if you want the real benchmarks on CPU performance vs price, take a look at this link - some real surprises (and bargains) out there: https://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

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Dec 2, 2019 09:37:38   #
Papa Joe Loc: Midwest U.S.
 
Depends on which 'version' of each you're comparing. Some later versions of i5 are more powerful and more efficient than some 'earlier' versions of i7.

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Dec 2, 2019 09:51:12   #
wthomson Loc: Arizona
 
Many, many thanks for the excellent information. While I'm not a Mac novice, your comments have opened my eyes to some subtleties I had overlooked. Thanks again.

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Dec 2, 2019 11:02:04   #
Country Boy Loc: Beckley, WV
 
If you are comparing the latest versions of the i5 and i7, the 7 will be faster. My recommendation in hardware is purchase the best you can afford. Not just for current software but in a year or two one of your software packages may have enhancements that will bother you if you don't have a fast enough processor to make it work as it should. If you can't afford the i7, then it is a mute question.

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Dec 2, 2019 11:49:35   #
cjc2 Loc: Hellertown PA
 
I agree withe the sage advice from Bill, Trix and Gene. My personal take is to do exactly what Bill listed, but buy and I7 if you can afford it to future-proof your machine. I was using an I5 (iMac) but now use a Xenon iMac Pro, both with 32GB of memory. The new machine is faster, but may not be needed by you and it wasn't cheap either(5k). I am a pro and process almost every day. This machine saves me some time, so it is very important to me. Best of luck.

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Dec 2, 2019 12:37:26   #
burkphoto Loc: High Point, NC
 
cjc2 wrote:
I agree withe the sage advice from Bill, Trix and Gene. My personal take is to do exactly what Bill listed, but buy and I7 if you can afford it to future-proof your machine. I was using an I5 (iMac) but now use a Xenon iMac Pro, both with 32GB of memory. The new machine is faster, but may not be needed by you and it wasn't cheap either(5k). I am a pro and process almost every day. This machine saves me some time, so it is very important to me. Best of luck.


Good example...

The iMac Pro is a fine, fast machine, especially the way you loaded it. And YES, you can justify the extra cost when you can move images out the door or onto the Web more quickly.

18 years ago, I worked in a photo lab where we were just transitioning everything to digital imaging processes. We were using dual processor (not dual core) Dell Zeons that cost a small fortune. We had four of them that rendered images 24/7, with no breaks! Today, one good iMac or PC could probably beat those four Dells in 8 hours. We have come a LONG way. And still, the speed race continues.

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Dec 2, 2019 13:13:29   #
Fotoartist Loc: Detroit, Michigan
 
burkphoto wrote:
Well, I think your money is best spent on hardware in this order:

Large SSD
Maximum RAM
Good graphics processor
Good CPU

The reason is simple: I/O (input and output) speed largely determines how fast you perceive your computer to be.

SSDs can be up over 100 times faster than rotating platter hard drives!

Maximizing RAM reduces the need for the OS to swap code in and out of memory, to and from the main drive. Using the SSD speeds up this sort of 'paging' when it happens.

A good graphics processor rips through raster images faster than Intel stock graphics.

The Core i5 is usually sufficient for still image processing. The Core i7 is better for video.

The latest Macs use the T2 chip for some tasks, greatly accelerating certain software (Final Cut Pro X 10.4.7 is one example).

I use a Late 2013 21.5" iMac with a quad-core i5. It sounds mundane, but I upgraded the base RAM to 16GB, and installed a 2TB SSD. It isn't slow! I don't wait much for anything, but I did when I had 8GB RAM and a 1TB 5400 RPM hard drive.
Well, I think your money is best spent on hardware... (show quote)


In terms of your old configuration, I would've substituted a 7200 RPM Hard Drive instead of 5400 RPM.

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Dec 2, 2019 13:48:19   #
Chromodynamics6 Loc: Beverly Hills Ca.
 
I used this comparison when choosing a processor for my home built Windows desktop two years ago. At the time the i7 was over two hundred dollars more than the i5. After more research I chose the i5 because there wasn't enough difference to justify the cost.


https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i7-8700K-vs-Intel-Core-i5-8600K/3937vs3941

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Dec 2, 2019 14:21:26   #
SuperflyTNT Loc: Manassas VA
 
What software are you using? PS and LR will make better use of more RAM than the processor upgrade. They don't use threading so more than 2 cores doesn't really help, and while PS is making more use of aGPU these days, you don't need overkill like a gaming GPU. Actually some gaming cards will sacrifice color accuracy for speed.

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Dec 2, 2019 14:42:54   #
Chromodynamics6 Loc: Beverly Hills Ca.
 
I'm not disputing anyone's experience but after I built my system I used a couple of performance monitors as well as the Windows performance monitor while using both LR, PS and Adobe Premiere Elements and found there was very little demand on RAM. I bought 32gb DDR4 (4x8) and have never seen the demand go beyond 6gb. I had the need for a second pc and removed 16gb from the first and used it in the second one we built two months later. Removing the 16gb made absolutely no difference in performance according to what is seen while monitoring.

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