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gibbo132
Jun 25, 2012, 01:09 AM
Hi,

I will be buying a MacBook air soon and was wondering whether any one thinks the new i7 processor is worth the upgrade?
I don't need the extra hard drive space as 256gb is not enough so if i am going all external 128gbs will be fine!
I'm also upgrading the machine to 8gbs of ram.

Will I see the difference in real world usage of Aperture? I also don't believe I am getting 350 more in performance seeing as the i5 has hyper threading and turbo boost.
Any thoughts?
Thanks
Chris



Zzari
Jun 25, 2012, 01:12 AM
Hi,

I will be buying a MacBook air soon and was wondering whether any one thinks the new i7 processor is worth the upgrade?
I don't need the extra hard drive space as 256gb is not enough so if i am going all external 128gbs will be fine!
I'm also upgrading the machine to 8gbs of ram.

Will I see the difference in real world usage of Aperture? I also don't believe I am getting 350 more in performance seeing as the i5 has hyper threading and turbo boost.
Any thoughts?
Thanks
Chris

I'm not an expert on Aperture, but if you look at the Geekbench benchmarks for the 2012 MBA's, the i7 shows a significant performance boost for the 11" (~15%) but only a marginal performance boost for the 13" (~5%).

If you're buying the 13, I'd skip the i7 and just get the base i5/128GB/8GB configuration. If, however, you're going for the 11, you could go i7/128GB/8GB. They'd end up being pretty similar in price (~$50 difference).

gibbo132
Jun 25, 2012, 01:35 AM
I'm going for the 13" so the i5 will do!

Thanks

andrepelly
Jun 25, 2012, 03:02 AM
I'm not an expert on Aperture, but if you look at the Geekbench benchmarks for the 2012 MBA's, the i7 shows a significant performance boost for the 11" (~15%) but only a marginal performance boost for the 13" (~5%).

If you're buying the 13, I'd skip the i7 and just get the base i5/128GB/8GB configuration. If, however, you're going for the 11, you could go i7/128GB/8GB. They'd end up being pretty similar in price (~$50 difference).

That was exactly my thoughts. And as i went with the 11, i let the i7 be winning.
I will be also working pretty much with aperture so i hope i made the right decision!

tradman
Jun 25, 2012, 04:41 AM
Hi guys,
I'm in the same boat also as I was thinking of ordering the 2.0gfhz i7. I thought I read that the benchmark score originally posted was incorrect stating an improvement of only 5% for the 2.0 ghz vs the 1.8ghz. I think this had something to do with that the test was conducted on 32bit and not 64bit??
Would love clarification on this as I'm waiting to click order now once this is cleared up

MR.BUTTON
Jun 25, 2012, 05:25 AM
Hi guys,
I'm in the same boat also as I was thinking of ordering the 2.0gfhz i7. I thought I read that the benchmark score originally posted was incorrect stating an improvement of only 5% for the 2.0 ghz vs the 1.8ghz. I think this had something to do with that the test was conducted on 32bit and not 64bit??
Would love clarification on this as I'm waiting to click order now once this is cleared up

geekbench has tests on both 32/64bit.check that out. one is i5 and another is i7. depends on your use. if you are using it for photo editing or other heavy works, i7 will be a much better choice. in regular daily uses, it won't differ much. :)

gibbo132
Jun 25, 2012, 06:49 AM
geekbench has tests on both 32/64bit.check that out. one is i5 and another is i7. depends on your use. if you are using it for photo editing or other heavy works, i7 will be a much better choice. in regular daily uses, it won't differ much. :)

You say that the i7 will be much better for photo editing, but what else apart from a 0.2ghz increase in clock speed, will I be getting?

----------

geekbench has tests on both 32/64bit.check that out. one is i5 and another is i7. depends on your use. if you are using it for photo editing or other heavy works, i7 will be a much better choice. in regular daily uses, it won't differ much. :)

You say that the i7 will be much better for photo editing, but what else apart from a 0.2ghz in clock speed and 1meg more cache increase, will I be getting?

skuid87
Jun 25, 2012, 06:56 AM
I had the same consideration when purchasing mine.

For me it comes down to the price difference. It's a shame Apple don't offer i7 with 128GB storage.
If you wan't i7, you have to absorb the cost of 256GB storage.

If you're happy with 128GB of storage, stick with i5 and get the upgraded RAM.

If you're going to get 256GB storage, then definitely get i7! The cost of i7 upgrade isn't huge. But upgrading storage is very expensive.

In the end I went for Base spec with 8GB RAM. Would have loved i7 but not willing to pay that much extra for storage that I don't want/need.

Hope this helps

bp1000
Jun 25, 2012, 06:59 AM
I'm thinking of upgrading too

Last year the i5 128gb was the sweet spot for me.

This year I will get the same but upgrade the ram to 8gb.

This past year I've started using Netflix, apple tv and iTunes match a lot more so I've found I don't need to store as much on my drive.

A good external works for me.

Barna Biro
Jun 25, 2012, 07:12 AM
Nothing is ever "worth it", just go for the best you can afford / feel comfortable spending money on. I at least prefer not to live with regrets, so I always get the best possible at the given point in time and budget.

MR.BUTTON
Jun 25, 2012, 07:25 AM
You say that the i7 will be much better for photo editing, but what else apart from a 0.2ghz increase in clock speed, will I be getting?

it is i7, a different level of performance. yes, it's only 200mhz and 1mb of extra cache, but on geekbench it gains 1000 points more than the i5. depends on your use, when using pro applications(i use Xcode and aperture), the difference is recognizable. if you think it worths $100, then go for it.

KPOM
Jun 25, 2012, 08:46 AM
it is i7, a different level of performance. yes, it's only 200mhz and 1mb of extra cache, but on geekbench it gains 1000 points more than the i5. depends on your use, when using pro applications(i use Xcode and aperture), the difference is recognizable. if you think it worths $100, then go for it.

Hi guys,
I'm in the same boat also as I was thinking of ordering the 2.0gfhz i7. I thought I read that the benchmark score originally posted was incorrect stating an improvement of only 5% for the 2.0 ghz vs the 1.8ghz. I think this had something to do with that the test was conducted on 32bit and not 64bit??
Would love clarification on this as I'm waiting to click order now once this is cleared up

I think the bigger difference is the Turbo Boost. The 1.8GHz i5 has more available Turbo Boost speeds than the 1.7GHz i5, so it is faster than its 100MHz base clock speed difference would imply. That was also the case last year between the 1.6GHz i5, 1.7GHz i5, and 1.8GHz i7. The 1.7GHz i5 was a lot closer in performance to the 1.8GHz i7.

gibbo132
Jun 25, 2012, 01:01 PM
I think the bigger difference is the Turbo Boost. The 1.8GHz i5 has more available Turbo Boost speeds than the 1.7GHz i5, so it is faster than its 100MHz base clock speed difference would imply. That was also the case last year between the 1.6GHz i5, 1.7GHz i5, and 1.8GHz i7. The 1.7GHz i5 was a lot closer in performance to the 1.8GHz i7.

Thanks for that I never really gave turbo boost any serious thought, now I know more about it Im sure the i5 will suffice. 2.8ghz is plenty!

comatose81
Jun 25, 2012, 01:05 PM
It's only a $150 upgrade for something you can never change in the future. I think it's worth it.

I know people get annoyed by comments like this... but the computer is $1100. If another $150 will break the bank, I don't think you should be buying one in the first place.

TrollToddington
Jun 25, 2012, 01:19 PM
It's only a $150 upgrade for something you can never change in the future. I think it's worth it.

I know people get annoyed by comments like this... but the computer is $1100. If another $150 will break the bank, I don't think you should be buying one in the first place.But then it becomes $1250 and if another $100 for the 8gb RAM upgrade will break the bank, I dont't think he should buy one, either. The same game can go on forever. I think one should set apart some budget for a new computer and not exceed it.

If someone needs a powerful laptop they shouldn't be looking at the MBA at the first place. Personally, I dont't think the difference in processing power between the i5 and i7 is so significant so as to be worth that extra $150 they ask for the upgrade.

KPOM
Jun 25, 2012, 01:30 PM
If someone needs a powerful laptop they shouldn't be looking at the MBA at the first place. Personally, I dont't think the difference in processing power between the i5 and i7 is so significant so as to be worth that extra $150 they ask for the upgrade.

In absolute terms, processing power has increased significantly over the past decade, and the rate seems to be increasing. These chips are now as powerful as mainstream desktop processors were in 2010, and high-end processors in 2008. Someone may not need a quad-core, but may want a little extra speed. True, $150 is an inflated price, but note that the difference in the list price Intel charges is $121 (though Apple probably negotiates a lower price), so it isn't entirely unreasonable.

Analogizing back to the 1990s, it's like deciding between a 20MHz 386 and 25MHz 386 (or 68030). Sure, those who needed "real" power went with the 486 (or 68040), but there were some noticeable differences. Today, there is very little that even a Core i3 couldn't do for most people (something that wasn't true of the lower end PCs/Macs when we had 286s, 386s, and 486s all for sale (68020/68030/68040).

I agree, though, that at some point people need to draw the line. A few "it's just $100/200/400" more and you go from a $999 MacBook Air to a $3799 Retina MacBook Pro.

gibbo132
Jun 25, 2012, 01:42 PM
I agree, though, that at some point people need to draw the line. A few "it's just $100/200/400" more and you go from a $999 MacBook Air to a $3799 Retina MacBook Pro.

After thinking about it the high end MBA with 8gbs ram and the i7 is not worth it, it's another 400 on top of a 1000 laptop, another 300 and you could get a retina MBP.

The i7 is not only another 100 anyway, it's another 400 as you have to get the 256gb hard drive along with the 8gbs of ram!
The line has to be drawn!
In my oppinion it's a case of having some perspective, sure I could afford a Rmbp but I don't deem the 650 more plus the extra weight and power worth it!
Every ones needs are different.

ZBoater
Jun 25, 2012, 01:42 PM
i7 > i5. Whether the cost is "worth" it depends entirely on your concept of worth and your wallet.

Me, personally, want the fastest system I can get my hands on.

KPOM
Jun 25, 2012, 01:59 PM
After thinking about it the high end MBA with 8gbs ram and the i7 is not worth it, it's another 400 on top of a 1000 laptop, another 300 and you could get a retina MBP.


Size and weight are another consideration, though. Sure, I could have gotten the base Retina MacBook Pro for $450 more than my i7/8GB/256GB Air, but it would be twice as big and twice as heavy. Apple didn't make a 15" MacBook Air/Ultrabook equivalent. They made a slimmer MacBook Pro.

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i7 > i5. Whether the cost is "worth" it depends entirely on your concept of worth and your wallet.


Unfortunately, Intel's confusing naming scheme means i7 isn't always greater than i5. It is, within a particular type of processor. An i7 ULV > i5 ULV, but an i5 LV (even dual core) may be faster than the i7 ULV. A desktop i3 may be faster than a mobile i7.

Bigmacduck
Jun 25, 2012, 05:04 PM
For rocket science it is absolutely worth it.
For word documents not.

ZBoater
Jun 25, 2012, 05:12 PM
Unfortunately, Intel's confusing naming scheme means i7 isn't always greater than i5. It is, within a particular type of processor. An i7 ULV > i5 ULV, but an i5 LV (even dual core) may be faster than the i7 ULV. A desktop i3 may be faster than a mobile i7.

You are comparing Apples (no pun intended) to oranges. You can't compare a desktop processor to a ultra low voltage mobile processor.

In the context of THIS discussion (this being the MacBook Air forum and all), i7 > i5. Period, end of story. No ifs, ands, or buts. A MacBook Air i7 is faster than a MacBook Air i5. We can debate by how much, and whether the difference is "worth" it, but if you want the fastest possible MBA, you get the i7.

:cool:

Bigmacduck
Jun 25, 2012, 05:13 PM
From a socially minded and reduction-of-unemployment perspective you should definitely select the 2.0 GHz version because it moves the electrons around much faster. More electrons get employed that way.

You can do better than Obama or Romney ever will - employ all these hoards of unemployed electrons!

Ptdr
Jun 26, 2012, 01:32 AM
I'm in the same boat, i don't mind paying extra for the i7 and get a bit more juice...
BUT i'm concerned aboud heat and battery.

So if the i7 is only a little bit faster but brings less battery and more heat, no thanx, for me it's not worth it...

I'm waiting for the i5 vs i7 battery and heat test before i take my decision...
:)

Dangerous Theory
Jun 26, 2012, 02:13 AM
From a socially minded and reduction-of-unemployment perspective you should definitely select the 2.0 GHz version because it moves the electrons around much faster. More electrons get employed that way.

You can do better than Obama or Romney ever will - employ all these hoards of unemployed electrons!

How were the drugs?

yensteel
Jun 26, 2012, 02:16 AM
For me, I'm deciding on whether upgrading the higher tier 13" Macbook Air from i5 to i7 is worth it.

It costs $89 for the upgrade from $1,519.65 to $1,608 US (Converted from Hong Kong educational store), and even though its the macbook air is already pretty expensive for me, I may be able to justify the cost.

The cost seems so marginal, but I'm not certain about how the battery life, heat, and performance are affected.

Ptdr
Jun 26, 2012, 03:40 AM
For me, I'm deciding on whether upgrading the higher tier 13" Macbook Air from i5 to i7 is worth it.

It costs $89 for the upgrade from $1,519.65 to $1,608 US (Converted from Hong Kong educational store), and even though its the macbook air is already pretty expensive for me, I may be able to justify the cost.

The cost seems so marginal, but I'm not certain about how the battery life, heat, and performance are affected.

Exactly, me too i'm interested in the ratio battery life/performance as the upgrade isn't that pricey...

What do you guys think, if money isn't an issue, and if battery life is at least as important as performance, would you go for the i7?

Cheers.

throAU
Jun 26, 2012, 03:46 AM
I'm in the same boat, i don't mind paying extra for the i7 and get a bit more juice...
BUT i'm concerned aboud heat and battery.:)

the i7 is more efficient clock for clock. it will chew more battery and heat if you are running it at 100%, but if you are doing the same workload, it should be more efficient, as it will spend more time idling.

----------

Exactly, me too i'm interested in the ratio battery life/performance as the upgrade isn't that pricey...

What do you guys think, if money isn't an issue, and if battery life is at least as important as performance, would you go for the i7?

Cheers.

Yes, i'd go the i7. the cpu has a better feature set and as per above... it will sleep/idle more.

macneubie
Jun 26, 2012, 04:26 AM
the i7 is more efficient clock for clock. it will chew more battery and heat if you are running it at 100%, but if you are doing the same workload, it should be more efficient, as it will spend more time idling.

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Yes, i'd go the i7. the cpu has a better feature set and as per above... it will sleep/idle more.

both the i5 (http://ark.intel.com/products/64903/Intel-Core-i5-3427U-Processor-(3M-Cache-up-to-2_80-GHz)) & i7 (http://ark.intel.com/products/64898/Intel-Core-i7-3667U-Processor-(4M-Cache-up-to-3_20-GHz)) have the same max TDP of 17W. So there should not be any negative impact on the battery life.

Blackened Apple
Jun 26, 2012, 05:38 AM
I'm not quite sure about this, but I think last year's i5 and i7 also had the same efficiency and TDP, but numerous reports still mentioned that it was quite a bit hotter overall, both under a workload and while idling, besides also having some battery life chewed off. I remember some threads mentioning people who had bought the i5, decided to return them for the i7, and regretted it so badly that they went back to the i5.

I'm looking into buying a 13 " MBA myself this year, and I'm looking at the i5/256GB/8GB configuration exactly because of the aforementioned thermal and battery-life-related problems of last year's i7...

KohPhiPhi
Jun 26, 2012, 06:34 AM
I'm concerned aboud heat and battery.

So if the i7 is only a little bit faster but brings less battery and more heat, no thanx, for me it's not worth it...

I'm EXACTLY in the same boat: it's not about the money cost, it's about the heat+battery cost.

I would *LOVE* to see a 2012 i5 vs i7 test in terms of heat and battery life.

KPOM
Jun 26, 2012, 06:56 AM
AnandTech said his review of the 2012 MacBook Air will be up after he's back from a couple of days off. If history is any guide, about a week after that he'll post some additional data from an i7 model.

throAU
Jun 26, 2012, 07:37 PM
both the i5 (http://ark.intel.com/products/64903/Intel-Core-i5-3427U-Processor-(3M-Cache-up-to-2_80-GHz)) & i7 (http://ark.intel.com/products/64898/Intel-Core-i7-3667U-Processor-(4M-Cache-up-to-3_20-GHz)) have the same max TDP of 17W. So there should not be any negative impact on the battery life.

Sure, but they don't both run at max TDP all day.

Max TDP is not "your CPU will consume this much power".

fleawannabe
Jun 26, 2012, 07:51 PM
Hasn't there been overheating issues with the 2.0?

3goldens
Jun 27, 2012, 12:09 AM
every single cent!

yensteel
Jun 27, 2012, 01:36 AM
The benchmarks of the ultimate Macbook Airs just came in.

There's a noticeable difference in handbrake and iTunes encoding for both macbook air sizes.

http://www.macworld.com/article/1167418/ultimate_macbook_air_2012_models_put_to_the_test.html

No word on the battery life comparisons though. Interestingly, A lot of the comments are asking the same thing about battery life and heat.

derlockere
Jun 27, 2012, 02:19 AM
The benchmarks of the ultimate Macbook Airs just came in.

There's a noticeable difference in handbrake and iTunes encoding for both macbook air sizes.

http://www.macworld.com/article/1167418/ultimate_macbook_air_2012_models_put_to_the_test.html

No word on the battery life comparisons though. Interestingly, A lot of the comments are asking the same thing about battery life and heat.

The only downside of this comparison is that the models they compare have a different RAM size (8GB for the i7 versions vs. 4GB for the i5 version).
I would estimate that this makes kind of a difference right!?

kodeman53
Jun 27, 2012, 03:10 AM
Hasn't there been overheating issues with the 2.0?

No. :rolleyes:

Blackened Apple
Jun 27, 2012, 05:32 AM
I have a couple of questions about these Intel chips.

When they say a CPU has a base frequency of 2.0 GHz, what exactly does that mean, practically? It should actually idle at lower frequencies, right? And it should also be able to step up in frequency when presented with a demanding workload, right? So at what times exactly is it at 2.0 GHz?
It seems that this year's i5->i7 upgrade is somewhat more substantial than last year's. Can anyone who has both compare the i5 and i7 models in terms of heat and battery life?
Geekbench relative improvements [(i7-i5)/i5]
32-bit:
13" 2012: 12.78%
13" 2011: 6.85%
11" 2012: 20.34%
11" 2011: 24.26%
64-bit:
13" 2012: 13.50%
13" 2011: 7.83%
11" 2012: 20.68%
11" 2011: 25.79%

KPOM
Jun 27, 2012, 06:16 AM
I have a couple of questions about these Intel chips.

When they say a CPU has a base frequency of 2.0 GHz, what exactly does that mean, practically? It should actually idle at lower frequencies, right? And it should also be able to step up in frequency when presented with a demanding workload, right? So at what times exactly is it at 2.0 GHz?


They idle at 800MHz. The 2.0GHz i7 can step up to 3.2GHz with 1 core shut down and 2.8GHz with both cores running.

----------

Note to all that for now, there appears to be a bug in the Boot Camp drivers for the i7 MacBook Air that prevents it from going into Turbo Boost in Windows 7. A few of us have noticed this. Oddly, the i5 does not seem to be affected.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1392041

yensteel
Jun 29, 2012, 01:43 AM
The only downside of this comparison is that the models they compare have a different RAM size (8GB for the i7 versions vs. 4GB for the i5 version).
I would estimate that this makes kind of a difference right!?

Good point. I don't think the ram would make too much of a difference in terms of benchmarking, but I'm not sure about which benchmarks it's more sensitive to.

I found a discussion about a person who has the 2011 i7 and the 2012 i7 13" inch model. He says that basically the battery life is about the same, around 4.5 hours of usage :(

https://discussions.apple.com/message/18714854#18714854

raftr
Jun 29, 2012, 06:02 AM
I have a 2011 13" i5 1.7GHz 4GB. It handles well Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. but Lightroom previews don't appear as instantaneous as they could.

I upgraded the SSD to an OWC Aura Pro 6G (from an original Samsung blade) and it it only made it marginally faster.

I am upgrading to a 2.0GHz i7 with 8GB RAM now, this should help.