Core i5 Vs i7 iMac – Are You Getting the Right Processor?

Thinking of buying an iMac? Getting the right gen processor is essential to choose from as Mac does not allow you to upgrade that later.

Most people seem to be the victim of indecision when core i5 vs i7 iMac arises ahead. So, to make this selection bit more comfortable for you, let’s dive into the in-depth comparison. Here, we get a side by side comparison of these two processors based on different criteria.

Comparison of Two MasterPiece- Core i5 Vs i7 iMac

Core i5 iMac Processor

Core i7 iMac Processor

Number of Core
Quad-core or 6 cores depending on the generation Quad-core or 8 varying core gen
Comparatively smaller cache Larger cache
CPU Speed
Around up to 3.2 GHz & more with Turbo Boosting Around up to 3.4 GHz or more using Turbo Boosting
Best Use
Best for regular essential use Best for heavy duty system use
Price Range
Reasonable for long term use Pricier but worth it
No multi-threading can be in the upgraded one Hyper-threading bringing profound change in performance
Top 3 Picks
  1. iMac 21.5’’ 2.7 GHz with 1TB HDD
  2. Apple 21.5’’ Quad Core i5 with 1TB HDD
  3. iMac 27’’ Retina with 6 Core i5
  1. iMac 21.5’’  3.1 GHz Core i7 with 512 GB HDD
  2. iMac 27’’ with 3.4 GHz Core i7 with1TB HDD
  3. iMac 21.5’’ Core i7 Renewed with 1 TB HDD

Features Comparison of Two Gems

Dive into the detailed comparison by showcasing the significant features side by side with some sweet recommendations.

Comparison Based On CPU Power of iMac i7 Vs i5

Most of the power of a processor can be defined by the core number it has. However, if we consider the core i5 quad-core iMac, the CPU power can clock up to 2.8 GHz of frequency cycle. And with the Turbo Boost feature, it can go up 3.33 GHz.

Well, the Turbo Boost feature, a power-up from Intel, lets you enjoy the superior usage of power within the battery range. However, the 10th gen core i5 6 core can power up to 3.1 GHz of frequency, and with Turbo boost, you can get up to 4.1 to 4.8 GHz.

On the other hand, the Core i7 processor with quad-core generally clocked at 2.93 GHz. And it also goes up to 3.6 GHz using turbo Boost. Similarly, get the 10 gen core i7 processor with 8 core. You can enjoy the clock speed from 3.8 GHz to 5.0 GHz using Turbo Boosting technology.

Best Recommendation For Core i5 10 Gen- iMac 27-Inch Retina With 6 Core Core i5

For heavy regular usage, this iMac features the best performance. Using the Turbo Boost, you can go up to 4.8 GHz power cycling that is quite enough.

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Comparing In Case Of Intel Hyper-Threading

After the Turbo Boost that comes as a more significant difference between Intel i5 and i7 is the hyper-threading. Hyper-threading performance lets the CPU perform twice that of the core number of processors. And in i5 and i7 core, this difference is quite vivid.

For instance, a quad-core i5 processor does not provide any hyper-threading feature. And you get the same performance from each core.

Unlike core i5, a quad-core i7 features hyper-threading so efficiently. If you get a closer look, all four cores have two threads individually without compromising the clock rate. And this benefits a lot as your operating system actually sees it as the 8 cores and provides the power and speed according to that.

With the multi-threading in a Core i7 processor, you feel a radical change in performance.It is especially when you do any heavy video editing, 4K, or 8K filming, and other aftermarket production works.

Best Recommendation goes For iMac i7 Quad-Core- 27 Inch Certified Refurbished Desktop

It is a finely tested, cleaned, and certified refurbished Mac from iMac.  Not from the CPU performance, but the user-accessibility features make it the top choice.

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Comparing The Performance On Screen Flow Benchmark

Win over the bigger difference here. Let’s have some benchmarks for the two processor output on the screen. For those whose aim is to work with Premiere Pro, video editing here is crucial to clear out.

Considering the screen flow rate, exporting a 1 minute 1080P video with h.264 format core i5 processor iMac takes around 1 min 55 sec. Whereas the core i7 takes 1 minute 27 sec –that is quite less.

In iMovie’s case, importing a 1 minute HD 1080 P video core i5 processor takes only 31 sec. On the other side, the winner core i7 does that within 23 seconds only- so fast here with core i7.

And the same length video with 720 h.264 format exporting, i5 takes 2 minutes 30 seconds and 1 minute 57 sec time needs only with the core i7. So, the bigger difference here you can see for yourself.

However, this time difference may not seem more significant to some. But when you are working with more length videos or editing images, using Photoshop Channel with the i7 processor can save a lot of your time.

So, if you have confusion between i5 vs i7 IMac video editing, undoubtedly, it’s a giant thumbs up for the i7. Well, there can be a variation of the core number, of course.

Best iMac For Video Editing- Apple iMac Core i7 With 21.5’’ Display Featuring

The powerful processor gives the best performance whether you go for high-end video editing or heavy gaming. And the NVidia graphics add a twist in GPU performance.

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Comparison For The CPU Cache of Two Processors

Well, who does not know about the CPU Cache, then let’s have some hints here: the CPU Cache is a system cache with almost similar tasks that any web cache has. When the RAM, HDD, or SSD lag an inch, the CPU Cache plays a significant role there.

Literally, in the i7 processor of CPUs,you get more CPU Cache than that with the i5 CPUs. And when you are doing 3D rendering or high-end video editing, the more CPU Cache benefits a lot that you can’t even imagine.

But with the i5 processor, the Cache of the CPU is limited where your RAM and HDD get the load. So, for high-end repetitive tasks, you need an i7 iMac,no doubt.

Best Recommended- Apple iMac 27 Inch Retina With Core i5 Quad-Core

This is another 27 inch iMac with quad-core i5. It is a pre-owned series, not Apple certified. But here, you get the full generic performance.

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Price Difference With Both Processor iMac

In the case of price, more performance simply means a higher price. However, there are no significant differences here with i5 core iMac and i7 core iMac except for the multi-threading and speed frequency.

But if you think of the performance, yes, you win with the Core i7, spending maybe 200 bucks more. However, the low budget limit with high-efficiency output, core i5 with upgraded generation processor can please you, no matter.

Comparing Other Performance Difference

A core i5 iMac offer nearly the same feature as in the core i7 iMac. But to some extent, people seem to fear the noise the high performing machine cycle can produce.

To sum up this, it is remarkable that core i7 CPU fans may spin up faster but no sound even with a full 2700 rpm speed.  If you think of the noise, then set your mind to working without intense machine noise.

Is i5 good for photo editing? If you are hovering with this and don’t want to break the bank, then go for i5 with the quad cores upgraded generation.

Best Recommendation- Apple iMac 21.5 Inch Core i5 Quad-Core With 6 MB L3 Cache

This 21.5 inches functional iMac will give you incredible performance with its quad-core i5 CPU. And this nicely refurbished iMac works like brand new.

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Top 5 Picks

Core i5 iMac

Core i7 iMac

1. Apple iMac 21.5 Inch: 2.7 GHz Core i5 with Superior memory Support 1. Apple iMac 21.5 Inch Renewed: 3.1 GHz Core i7
2. Apple iMac 27 Inch Retina: 3.2 GHz Core i5 5K Desktop 2. Apple iMac Core i7-2600: 3.4 GHz Silver Color
3. Apple iMac 27 Inch: 2.9 GHz Core i5 Quad-Core 3. Apple iMac 27 Inches: 3.4 GHz Core i7 Quad-Core
4. Apple iMac 21.5 inch: Core i5 Quad-Core Renewed Version 4. Apple iMac 2.1.5 Inches renewed: 1 TB HDD with 3.1 GHz CPU
5. Apple iMac 21.5 Inch TFT: Silver Color Refurbished 2.7 GHz Core i5 5. Apple iMac 27 Inch Retina: 3.3 GHz Quad-Core i7

Which One Is for You?

The performance of an iMac can’t be finalized only based on the processor. However, optimized differences can be identical for CPU performance.

If your purpose is for high-quality video editing, 3D rendering, and music production, no doubt, i7 iMac is beneficial with more effective hyper-threading functions. Unfortunately, the upgraded version iMac no longer coming with core i7 rather, on older models. Besides, in MacBook Pro, you can strike the chance.

On the other side, if you are looking for some regular official work, browsing, and general editing, go for the i5 with any generation your usage demands. Now, decide which one to choose between core i5 Vs i7 iMac for the ultimate game-changing output.


Working at VersusKing as a respective content manager who already won the market with his core experiences in the field of writing. Besides, connected with other projects related to digital marketing.

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