1.2G + 512GB vs 1.3G + 256GB

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by diablo2man, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. diablo2man macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2015
    Which option is better given they have similar price and shipping date?

    I will mainly use this machine for travel and some coding work (xcode/web). Also I need to run windows version of excel a lot so need VM for that.

    In terms of storage, I have 16TB home server at home as well as several TB paid cloud service. In theory I don't need huge space on laptop. But I'm still concerned about 256GB mostly due to my experience with iPhone. My last iphone is 32GB and I got low space warning after half year usage (taking a lot of photos/videos and some large apps). I hate to be forced to clean up photo/app since i will be panic about choosing what photo/app to delete. In the end I paid huge premium to get 128GB verion. I guess laptop is different in usage pattern but the idea that sync with my iphone already take more than 1/4 of the space worries me.

    I haven't had a laptop for 5 years and never had any macbook so I really need some inputs here. Does mac os system size increases as time like windows? Is there easy way to keep only favorite photos on laptop and keep everything else on cloud? Is 256GB generally enough (with cloud server)?
  2. mikeray macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    When I hear things like Xcode and VM, I'm just going to guess you would want to get the 1.3
  3. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    If you plan to run Excel for Windows, I'd recommend running it in Boot Camp rather than in a virtual machine. The 1.3GHz vs. 1.2GHz processor might not make much difference since both will wind up being throttled a lot if you frequently run a virtual machine. It's fine for occasional use, but if you plan to code and run Excel for Windows, I think you'd be much better off with a MacBook Air or Retina MacBook Pro. The fastest MacBook is about 10-15% slower than the slowest MacBook Air, and about 30% slower than the slowest MacBook Pro. Plus, both the Air and Pro can sustain higher speeds for longer because they have fans.

    If you plan to run it natively (i.e. Boot Camp), I'd probably just go for the 1.2GHz. As I indicated before, you'll likely run into more throttling issues with the 1.3GHz, so the performance improvement may be minimal. It's about 10% for multi-core tasks for the 1.2GHz vs. 1.1GHz, and negligible for single-core tasks.

    What is it you need Excel for Windows for? Do you code in VBA? You might check out Windows 2016 Preview for Mac. It is getting closer to feature parity.

    In general, OS X does not "bloat up" like Windows tends to, though with major releases every year, be aware that we usually deal with our own crop of new bugs with each new release.
  4. ct1211 macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2012
    Wow, thanks for sorting this out. I did not know there were 1.3Ghz models in the wild. With all that throttling you've experienced, I may just cancel my 1.3Ghz and snag a 1.1Ghz when they hit the stores ditch Parallels and just boot back and forth when I need to which unfortunately for me is every 5 minutes. Would you say your 1.2 rMB is more efficient on battery than your 1.3 rMB?
  5. diablo2man thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2015
    Thanks for the comment.

    I don't code in VBA and mainly use excel for financial modeling (think balance sheet/income statement) etc. The reason I need windows excel is the number of shortcuts available. I need all those shortcuts exactly same as windows because I can't remember two sets of shortcuts (office only has windows PC).

    I checked out MBA and MBP. First I can't bear with non-retina screen now so MBA is out for sure. I like MBP in general but I don't do heavy computation/video editing/high end game so I think extra 70% weight is not worth it. I need to carry this laptop almost daily next two years (due to work change)

    So you think I may not notice difference between 1.2 and 1.3 in those scenarios?
  6. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    I think there's a very good chance you won't notice any difference. There is a 14-day return period, so it's not crazy to buy it and give it a real flogging and see what it does (or doesn't do) for you.
  7. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    My guess is you won't notice the difference. AnandTech had a good article recently about how the actual performance of Core M processors is based more on thermal management than CPU speed.


    I don't have the 1.3GHz. However, in comparisons between the 1.1GHz and 1.2GHz, the 1.2GHz was actually slightly slower in single-core tasks, and about 10% faster in multi-core tasks. My guess is that the 1.3GHz would demonstrate similar characteristics. Granted, running a VM would be multi-core, but it would also tax the processor more, leading to throttling. For sure, running Windows native on the 1.1GHz would be significantly faster than in a virtual machine on the 1.3GHz.

    That said, I do run Windows in Parallels on a VM on the MacBook. I haven't done it much, but once all the updates were installed (which took a fairly long time to download) it did seem reasonable, albeit noticeably slower than what I was used to running a VM on my 13" rMBP.
  8. bmustaf macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2007
    Telluride, CO
    I would be very weary of the (what I believe to be) false assumptions that the higher the clock, the worse the battery life or thermal performance.

    In fact, the data is exactly the opposite. The 1.3GHz is a more thermally efficient processor/model (think the Intel part number is 5Y71?), it actually consumes *less* power with a higher clock (yeah, believe it although it sounds paradoxical).

    The 1.1 actually uses the *most* power at the lowest clock.

    It has to do with "binning" - when these CPUs are manufactured, as much as we all wish they were absolutely identical, they are not, very very minute abnormalities in the process create CPUs of varying thermal performance and reliability. Once they all come off the line, they're tested/benchmarked (sometimes reworked?) and set to operate at a given frequency based on a certain thermal profile. So, that is where they get their frequency rating and their TDP (power/thermal output/use) rating.

    The 1.3GHz CPUs are just better specimens, they're more efficiently, they're the creme of the crop, the end of the bell curve, they're more rare (thus the large lead times on them) and they command a premium.

    They'll run faster and use less power, they have less flaws (to oversimplify the issue).

    Buy the 1.3GHz and don't look back. It will throttle LESS and produce LESS heat and do the same amount of work with less input power (draw on your battery) and less wasted power (heat loss) in less time.
  9. Superfuture48 macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2015
    I ordered the 1.3ghz so I hope you're right.
  10. squirrrl macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2013
    San Diego, CA
    Me too.. .ordered 1.3/256. I can't wait to rock out with my clock out.
  11. bmustaf macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2007
    Telluride, CO
  12. Maclee2010 macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2010
    Louisville, KY

    Best advice on this thread. I concur completely, the top end clocked CPU in this flavor will be worth the extra $$$, imho. I am test driving a 1.1/256 and I like it a lot, having a bit more power efficiency and top end CPU power it fine with me, so I will take delivery of mine come my May 21 order window as promised by Apple. The lightweight footprint of this machine and its ability to handle just about everything I throw at it bodes well for this new design. I do primarily perl, python and ksh scripting. The heavy lifting all happens server side anyways so no worries there unless you are compiling locally...

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