i5 vs i7?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by askrib, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. askrib, Jul 21, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011

    macrumors member

    I have heard that the difference is very small and that the i7 causes the computer to become hotter and uses up more battery life. With very minor differences with the performance. Is this true?

    If so is it worth it to upgrade to the i7? What would be the point if my computer becomes hotter and battery life is lowered? Just to say "I have an i7"??

    Need help before i buy! Thanks

  2. Moderator


    If you do something CPU intensive, then having a better CPU will help. However, the difference is fairly small so I would just stick with i5. It sounds like you don't need the i7 either.
  3. macrumors member


    Thanks for reply. But what would be considered CPU intensive? I also want to make sure i wont regret it later down the road not upgrading. I would just do it but i heard it gets hotter and battery life goes down...this is my only concern. Do you know of this issue?
  4. MRU


    Depends on 11" or 13"

    On a 11" the difference is 1.6 v 1.8 = 200mhz, but when your machines really working the difference is 2.3 v 2.9 = 600mhz. Quite a big difference when doing lots of heavy stuff. Add the extra 1mb cache to further improve performance and the difference is even more.

    Geek bench score the i5 in the 11" as 5000 (64bit) average
    The i7 in the 11" is 6200 (64bit)

    That's a sizeable difference, but likely means little if all you are doing is iTunes, web and email, office etc. But if your pushing GarageBand / logic or photoshop / aperture that extra raw CPU power is really going to benefit you.

    So will you notic the difference? Will the CPU upgrade be worthwhile? It depends on your usage of the machine. If you can see yourself wanting to do some serious work on it then certainly it is justifiable and you will see the benefits, otherwise stick to the i5 and put the $150 towards somthing else.
  5. Moderator


    In general anything that has to do with editing, be that video, photo, music etc.
  6. macrumors member


    Thanks. Im wanting the 13" . I guess I should have put the thread to " Does it get hotter or battery life change with i7" ....thats my real question.
  7. MRU, Jul 21, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2011



    In regards to battery life and heat.

    Battery life whilst doing very basic web surfing (the same kind they use to get the 5 hour advertised battery life) will be on par with both.

    When working the CPU yes the i7 will consume more battery. However if you are really working the CPU you are not going to see anything like 5 hours anyway. You would realistically be looking at 2.5 hours even with the i5 if you were maxing the CPU. So whilst you may lose more battery whilst doing the same with an i7 - the performance difference 600mhz goes some way to outweighing that.

    But either way don't expect 5 hours doing anything more than lite usage.

    In regards to the 13" it's a little more blurred as the 1.7 and 1.8 are much closer even when turbo boosting, so the difference won't be as big and it's much harder to justify (that being said it's only$90).

    So if they are advertise 7 hours, I imagine under full load you will be getting 3.5 - 4 hours realistically. The i7 would be very little different to i5 in that particular model I would have thought.
  8. macrumors member


    Thanks. What about the fan noise.....will the fan come on more often when using an i7 chip then i5? That would be annoying to have my fan come on more often then if i had the i5.
  9. MRU



    Unlikely there would be any difference in fan behaviour between those on the 13"
  10. macrumors member


    I would love to hear from anyone that has the new i5 or i7 what there thoughts on the computer are so far! Thank you :)

Share This Page