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View Full Version : Please help me decide, MBA i7 vs. i5




jeme
Jul 21, 2011, 09:45 AM
I am having trouble finding a comparison of the two in regards to heat and battery life in the new MBA. I will be doing your standard browsing, some email and simple word and excel and some very minor photo editing.

Thoughts? Thanks in advance for the help.



jeme
Jul 21, 2011, 09:46 AM
I will be getting the 256GB SSD.

FusionZero
Jul 21, 2011, 09:49 AM
If that's all you're doing you really don't need the extra processor. If you did more heavy video editing/photo editing on a consistent basis you would probably be better served.

But if you're doing standard use (which from your list you are) you're probably better served with the i5. You may end up seeing better battery life out of it, too.

KPOM
Jul 21, 2011, 09:53 AM
For the kind of usage you describe, the Core i5 would be more than adequate and should serve you well for a long time. It will also get better battery life. Remember, we were all doing those same tasks you describe on Pentiums or PowerPCs a few years ago. Sure, software has gotten more complicated to take advantage of that processing power, but the Sandy Bridge is a brand new design (sort of like what the Core 2 Duo was in 2007), and should be "current" for the next few years. Ivy Bridge is only a minor update (sort of like the early Core 2 Duo vs the later models).

trondah
Jul 21, 2011, 10:00 AM
I'll do a lot more than that and settled on the i5. According to the Geekbench score you could compare it to a C2D 3.2 GHz in terms of raw power. Combined with an SSD and Lion it should be blazing fast for your purposes.

drewyboy
Jul 21, 2011, 10:18 AM
I'm still having a difficult time figuring out why ppl would go for the i7. I'm not trying to tell anyone how to spend their money, but for .1GHz more and 1MB cache extra. I only honestly see the cache doing something, because thinking about it, 4 virtual core, each 1MB rather than .75MB. 33% increase of cache per core. I know it's not how it technically works, but it helps separate things to look at it like that.

Scottsdale
Jul 21, 2011, 10:30 AM
I'm still having a difficult time figuring out why ppl would go for the i7. I'm not trying to tell anyone how to spend their money, but for .1GHz more and 1MB cache extra. I only honestly see the cache doing something, because thinking about it, 4 virtual core, each 1MB rather than .75MB. 33% increase of cache per core. I know it's not how it technically works, but it helps separate things to look at it like that.

Agreed.

MacRumorUser
Jul 21, 2011, 10:30 AM
I'm still having a difficult time figuring out why ppl would go for the i7. I'm not trying to tell anyone how to spend their money, but for .1GHz more and 1MB cache extra. I only honestly see the cache doing something, because thinking about it, 4 virtual core, each 1MB rather than .75MB. 33% increase of cache per core. I know it's not how it technically works, but it helps separate things to look at it like that.

On the 11" it's not .1 ghz more. When turbo boost is enabled (when you are actually using the processor) there is a 600mhz difference (2.3 v 2.9) alongside the extra 1mb cache - means if you are doing more than light work on the machine the extra boost will certainly be felt.

SaintsMac
Jul 21, 2011, 10:36 AM
On the 11" it's not .1 ghz more. When turbo boost is enabled (when you are actually using the processor) there is a 600mhz difference (2.3 v 2.9) alongside the extra 1mb cache - means if you are doing more than light work on the machine the extra boost will certainly be felt.

I like your explanation!

Kingcodez
Jul 22, 2011, 01:36 PM
On the 11" it's not .1 ghz more. When turbo boost is enabled (when you are actually using the processor) there is a 600mhz difference (2.3 v 2.9) alongside the extra 1mb cache - means if you are doing more than light work on the machine the extra boost will certainly be felt.

You sold me on it.

Oppressed
Jul 22, 2011, 01:55 PM
On the 11" it's not .1 ghz more. When turbo boost is enabled (when you are actually using the processor) there is a 600mhz difference (2.3 v 2.9) alongside the extra 1mb cache - means if you are doing more than light work on the machine the extra boost will certainly be felt.

Don't forget the ability to fry an egg on the keyboard as well.

Apple Expert
Jul 22, 2011, 01:56 PM
Take it from me. I own both. Mine is the i7 and hers is the i5. Do I see a difference in speed? HECK NO! I've yet to do heavy work on the i7. But the iTunes, web, mail and photo edits I've done so far - I've yet to see a difference in speed. Maybe if I did some heavy 3D work or games I might get a benefit. But for daily task I just mentioned, no difference at all!

Oppressed
Jul 22, 2011, 02:04 PM
Keep heat, battery power, and fan noise when choosing i7.

MBABuyer
Jul 22, 2011, 02:42 PM
Just to let everyone know.

Regardless of specs (I am sure the i5 is great)....the i7 is great also, don't be worried about fans or heat....it isn't an issue at all with mine. The fans come on occasionally for HD videos, but turn off once the video stops playing.

Enjoy it!

greenmountain
Jul 22, 2011, 03:59 PM
Can anyone address the second half of the OP's question: battery life? How much mobility time is one likely to give up by upgrading to the i7, esp on the 11in?

Thanks in advance.

DJFriar
Jul 23, 2011, 05:36 AM
Here are the raw technical specs between the three different processors:

http://ark.intel.com/compare/56858,54620,54617