Originally Posted by Tempis
Why not use the money and build a computer?
Originally Posted by Stay Puft
Well there's plenty of reasons. Most importantly I prefer OS X to Windows and also need it for development. I like the all-in-one design, and I neither have the room or money for two computers.
Originally Posted by ElevenEleven
If you are set on just getting a processor, both overclock via turbo boost by 4 bins (400MHz) for each maximum turbo value. 3770 thus goes to 4.3GHz per top 2 cores, 4.2GHz per top 3 cores at load, and 4.1GHz when all 4 cores are stressed. The i5 will bring you to 4GHz max turbo boost. If you're just buying to play games, this i5 should serve you just fine! My family member's playing lots of games with an i5 2400 at 3.8GHz max boost with a 7970, and there's been no shortage of fps!
(I have the aforementioned i7 at 4.3GHz and -0.05V offset voltage).
It's in an iMac so I'm unable to overclock it at all. But thanks, it's good to know the i5 2400 would work fine.
Originally Posted by coachmark2
While I agree with you in concept that an iMac is overpriced and not adequately cooled, he is asking a specific question that can be addressed. You CAN get a LOT more performance for your dollar with a custom built rig of course.
I'm aware I could build a better value rig, but it's not suitable for me right now. (Not that I haven't spec'd one up a few dozen times...
To your question, for a solely gaming based application, there will be very little noticeable difference in most games. The i5 has 25% less cache, but it has been shown in 2500k vs 2600k benchmarks that it really doesn't matter that much. Another thing to consider is that the 3470 won't get as hot, which is a BIG deal in an iMac. With Apple's upgrade pricing being what it is, I imagine they hit you pretty hard to go to the 3770. With the exception of Civilization V which is threaded up to 16 threads, most games are dual or quad core at this time. The 3470 will last you at least 4 years of solid gaming. My only concern would be the GPU that you're getting in there as it's almost certainly not upgradable and will require lots of power to run 2560. Also, it's going to be a downclocked mobile part with gimped performance....
TL;DR: The 3470 will be fine. It'll do everything you need it to for gaming. I wouldn't pay to up it to a 3770. I do worry considerably about your GPU more than anything.
I was wanting to go with the i5 3470 because of less heat. It's $200 to go from the i5 3470 to the i7 3770.
As I said the GTX 680MX is about as powerful as the desktop GTX 580. It's based off the desktop GTX 680 but with a 30% lower clock speed. So I'm pretty happy with that. The result would be ~30 FPS on highest settings at native resolution in high end games.