2012 MBA i7 upgrade worth it?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by pinoyhatdog, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2012

    I plan on getting an 2012 MBA 11in, 128Gb SSD, 8Gb RAM mainly as a development machine both in OSX (iOS) and Windows (Unity).

    Since this will be a main machine for development, I was wondering if the i7 upgrade was worth the cost, or the already included i5 be enough for my needs.

    Just as an additional note, I plan to use this at times with an external 23" monitor, so I have no problems with the screen size.

    The worries I have are does having the i7 upgrade decrease battery life and/or increase the temperatures under load considerably?

  2. macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2011
    the i5 should be fine. My brother has the 13" i5 and I have the 13" i7 and there really isn't any difference on everyday use.

    On heavy use like encoding mine is 15% faster maybe.

    If you can afford it I would go with it
  3. macrumors 68000


    Feb 16, 2009
    The i7 only adds hyper-threading over the i5 (along with bump in CPU speed)? So if you do CPU intensive tasks then you will notice the difference the most. Seems like 8GB RAM would make more of a difference.
  4. macrumors 6502

    Dec 27, 2011
    Actually hyper-threading has been in both the i5 and the i7 since sandy-bridge (not sure about i3). If it didn't have hyper threading this would be a much slower computer
  5. macrumors 68000


    Feb 16, 2009
    Gotcha. Thanks. So is the main difference the 4MB L3 cache with the i7 vs. 3MB L3 cache with the i5?

    So really just about 15% difference in speed?

  6. macrumors 6502

    Dec 27, 2011
    I do not know about the cache but I do know the reason the i7 is faster because it can turbo boost more than the i5
  7. macrumors 603


    Aug 5, 2010
    Hyperthreading is only restricted to i7s in quad core i5s, found solely in desktop machines. Here is an example from ivy bridge. Intel states 4 cores and 4 total threads. Hyperthreaded quad cpus would indicate 8 threads, and all of the notebook quad cpus are classified as i7s. I realize their naming convention leaves much to be desired.
  8. macrumors 68000

    Mar 29, 2009
    It's a pretty good jump in speed, if you are pushing your machine it will be worth it.
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2012
    I see, thanks all for your replies! So far, I'm kind of leaning to sticking with the i5 over upgrading - but still haven't made a final decision.. yet.

    Since it'll be mainly for development, the only real benefit I think I'll be able to receive by upgrading to i7 would be compile times. With that in mind, does the reduction in compile time be worth the cost of the upgrade?
  10. macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2008
    Do you program for your job? If so, then I'd say getting the upgraded processor would be justified. If you program as a hobby, then I'd probably say stick with the i5 unless you have the extra $100 to spend

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