2.0ghz i7 worth it?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by gibbo132, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular


    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?
  2. macrumors member

    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).
  3. macrumors regular

    I'm going for the 13" so the i5 will do!

  4. macrumors newbie

    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!
  5. macrumors member

    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
  6. macrumors member

    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. :)
  7. macrumors regular

    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?


    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?
  8. macrumors regular

    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
  9. macrumors 65816

    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.
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    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.
  11. macrumors member

    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.
  12. macrumors G4

    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.
  13. macrumors regular

    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!
  14. macrumors 6502a

    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.
  15. macrumors 6502

    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.
  16. macrumors G4

    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.
  17. macrumors regular

    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.
  18. macrumors 604


    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.
  19. macrumors G4

    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.


    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.
  20. macrumors regular

    For rocket science it is absolutely worth it.
    For word documents not.
  21. macrumors 604


    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.

  22. macrumors regular

    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!
  23. macrumors member

    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...
  24. macrumors 68000

    How were the drugs?
  25. macrumors regular

    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.

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