13" 2.66 Core 2 Duo Vs 15" 2.4 i5

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by wrkactjob, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. wrkactjob macrumors 65816

    wrkactjob

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
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    London
    #1
    Is there a noticeable difference when making the jump to i5 or i7 with the 15" series from a top end 13"?

    Also the jump from 320m graphic to 330m with 256 or 330 with 512... Which provides the best value for money jump? What combo is worth emptying the piggy bank for?
     
  2. sadcamper macrumors regular

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    May 19, 2010
    #2
    I'll make the general observation that the buyer of the i5/i7 series either knows they need it, or wants the best...nothing more. If you're not using intensive applications, you probably won't notice too much difference, ditto for the graphics (unless you're a heavy gamer)...the 13" is more than sufficient for the everyday user.
     
  3. Jaxdialation macrumors regular

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    Mar 24, 2010
    #3
    I own an i7 17" and a 2.66 13", both with 8 gigs of ram.

    I know exactly how identical applications perform on each one and under virtual machines in some cases; Photoshop CS5, LightRoom, Mail, Firefox, etc.

    Even with this first hand knowledge I can't answer your question.

    If I could only have bought one Mac, I know it would be an i7 15".
     
  4. tuna macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    #4
    Yes, there is a significant difference. Probably ~25% performance difference between those two processors. If you're looking to get a computer that will last you longer, then yes the 15" is based on the next generation of CPU architecture and is a major improvement. They only kept the 13" with Core 2 because they couldn't fit everything that they would have needed to fit in the 13" chassis.

    Anyways I think that the 2.66ghz 13" is a much worse deal than the 2.4ghz 13". $300 difference and all you get is the 10% CPU boost and upgrade from 250GB to 320GB hard drive. Buy the base 13", buy your own 500GB 7200rpm hard drive, and spend the $220 remainder on something else for yourself. Or buy the base 15", not as bad of a deal relative to other Macs.
     
  5. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

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    Aug 22, 2007
    #5

    Same could be said for buying the i7 MBP over the i5. Buying the i7 over the i5 is a much worse deal than buying the Core 2 Duo 2.66 over the 2.4. On the 15" for $200 more you only get 130 Mhz, 1MB more in cache and a little more video ram. Rip off! That money could be better spent on more ram for better overall performance.
     
  6. sadcamper macrumors regular

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    May 19, 2010
    #6
    I wouldn't say it's a "rip off", as some poeple require as much speed as they can afford in a portable machine. It is, however, not worth it in many cases, so I agree with you there...all depends on how much you're willing to pay for a slight increase in performance.

    ps - I'm curious, were all the bench tests performed in 32 or 64-bit? By default, snow leopard boots in 32 when it could easily gain performance in 64. Just an observation.
     
  7. runebinder macrumors 6502a

    runebinder

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    #7
    The CPU speed depends on Turbo boost speeds, yes at normal the i5 2.53 is 230Hz more, at full turbo its 270MHz. Plus resale value will be better. Each to their own but personally I have no regrets in opting for the i7 model.
     
  8. Hexley macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 10, 2009
    #8
    I bought the 13-inch for the size and weight. I wish it had an i7 and a mad mad GPU but Apple is unable to do this while others can.
     
  9. Ace134blue macrumors 6502a

    Ace134blue

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    Sep 17, 2009
    #9
    i5 will run circles around the 2.66 core 2 duo. My old 2.8ghz mbp was absolutely raped by the i7 2.66. Everything is faster. Browser starting is instantaneous now as are other apps.
     
  10. Ace134blue macrumors 6502a

    Ace134blue

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    Sep 17, 2009
    #10
    Its likely more than 80% faster. Remember a core 2 duo has 2 threads, the i5 has 4 threads. So technically its almost twice as fast. Id get the i5 no doubt about it.
     
  11. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

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    Mar 18, 2010
    #11
    This is totally wrong. 4 threads != 4 cores. The earlier number of 25% is pretty close.
     
  12. runebinder macrumors 6502a

    runebinder

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    #12
    Apps have to be optimised to take advantage of hyper-threading, unfortunately there are still more that aren't as a opposed to are. Also even taken into account it's probably not THAT more powerful, but does have a distinct lead.
     
  13. Ace134blue macrumors 6502a

    Ace134blue

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    Sep 17, 2009
    #13
    No. Core 2 duos have 2 cores, 2 threads. i7/i5 has 2 cores - 4 threads.. Its at LEAST 50% faster. Turbo boost kicks it in at 3.33ghz
     
  14. TRUCRACKER macrumors 6502

    TRUCRACKER

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  15. aeboi macrumors 65816

    aeboi

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    #15
  16. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

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    Mar 18, 2010
    #16
    Turbo boost only kicks in for short bursts when only a single core is in use. Think video or audio encoding.

    When a core is split amongst multiple threads, the speed is split accordingly. So a 4-thread processor could process 4 threads at a time, but each thread is being processed at a reduced clock speed. The only thing hyper-threading is really good for is less wasted clock cycles. It's a very situational boost that not much software takes advantage of, and even then it's only a very slight advantage.
     
  17. Mikeosoft macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    #17
    Nailed it right on.

    My mom and I bought MBP's at the same time. She got a 13" & i got a 15" specs in my sig. Hers is a really nice machine because it does exactly what she demands from a small, nice looking laptop: Look good, run adobe photoshop without plugins, and browse the internet. It can do more I'm sure, but it does what she needs perfectly.

    Figure out what you need and buy the right machine for you. Are you expecting to use this purchase for the next 5 to 6 years?
     
  18. robotmonkey macrumors 6502

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    Apr 24, 2010
    #18
    Starting a browser quicker to the point that it "runs circles" around a C2D usually means something is wrong with your C2D macbook or your new one's HD is much better.
     
  19. Ace134blue macrumors 6502a

    Ace134blue

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    Sep 17, 2009
    #19
    No, it kicks in for as long as it wants not in *short bursts* Only time it will take it down a notch is if the TDP goes to high, which rarely happens. Heres how it works. At stock the i7 has a core clock of 2.66 and to achieve that it has a BLCK of 133mhz with a multiplier of 20x which = 2.66. Now when the cpu is active it activates turbo boost. If all 4 threads are in use than turbo boost comes in at 21x which = 2.8ghz, 2 threads its 22x and a core clock of 2.93 and with just 1 thread its a 24x it has a core clock of 3.2ghz.

    Now of course not all apps are multi thread aware but turbo boost kicks in real hard for those, But most apps are multi-thread aware. Its more than a *slight* advantage. If there are coded the best way possible for multiple threads than its going to be twice as fast. Pretty much all apps are becoming multi thread aware.

    The Speed is not decreased when all threads are maxed out. It never does that unless it starts throttling from heat problems. Sounds like your saying if all 4 are maxed than its going to be at 2ghz or something.... If they are all maxed than it will run at 2.8ghz. Other things wrong with this statement but i got the important ones. ;)
     
  20. Ace134blue macrumors 6502a

    Ace134blue

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    Sep 17, 2009
    #20
    Actually the *new* harddrives arent much better from last years mbp. Besides i just took the old hd out of my old mbp and put it in the new one.
     
  21. Macopotamus macrumors regular

    Macopotamus

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    Jun 22, 2010
    #21
    I would go with the i5 processor if you don't mind the 15" enclosure, I think many people stick with the 13" because they want a smaller laptop, but the i5 performs a lot better.
     
  22. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

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    #22
    Benchmarks of the i-series have already proven your speed increase wrong, so I'm not going to argue that point any more.

    Your right about turbo boost, but the i-series processors get very hot, very fast, so the turbo boost isn't very aggressive, it will only kick in when absolutely necessary.

    And as for hyper-threading, I'm not saying the speed is decreased when there are multiple threads, I'm saying you only have so many execution cores that can be used. If one thread is using 80% of the ECs, the "hyper-thread" is only able to use a maximum of 20%, and only if its instructions can be processed by those specific cores. Like I said, its just a method of using up wasted cpu cycles.
     
  23. tuna macrumors 6502

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    Apr 11, 2010
    #23
    Not the way I was thinking. Base 13" to top 13" is $300 difference (w/ or w/o student discount) and you get the 10% CPU boost and a marginal 70GB of hard drive space, to be upgraded to 320GB hdd which most people would want to upgrade further. Most people would probably want to upgrade further, and its cheaper to buy your own 500GB or 640GB hard drive then it is to upgrade the included drive to 500GB or 500GB 7200rpm.

    Base 15" to top 15" w/ student discount is also a $300 difference. You get the same 10% clock speed improvement, but also going from Core i5 to i7 you get turbo boost, CPU performance is probably 10% to 15% better depending on the task. And then you get a marginal 180GB of hard drive space, and now have a 500GB hard drive that the user will probably either keep or upgrade to 7200rpm, you don't have to replace your hdd yourself to get the best deal. And then you also get your dedicated video RAM upgraded from 256MB to 512MB, and since most performance desktop GPUs have 1GB of memory, I'm sure there's a huge performance difference.

    So yeah I think that the upgrade from base 15" to top 15" is much more worthwhile than the upgrade from base 13 to top 13.
     
  24. wrkactjob thread starter macrumors 65816

    wrkactjob

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #24
    Thanks people for the replies, interesting to read.

    I'm not really using any heavy applications just regular net browsing though with quite a bit of DVD ripping/burning/video conversion etc.

    I could get a 13 and an ipad for the price of a spec'd up 15. Which is probably the route I will go, maybe even change left over for an SSD in the 13.

    Don't see many 13's with 8gb of ram, I'm guessing with 8 and ssd it would be pretty quick anyhows!
     
  25. deus ex machina macrumors regular

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    May 28, 2010
    #25
    From what I read, The two cores of the i5 2.4 jumps to 2.66GHz quite readily when pressed. The various benchmarks do indicate the value of the newer architecture. Subjectively, the i5 feels quite a bit faster. The dedicated GPU helps with the packages that engage it. The speakers are marginally better, the screen is easier to read. All these were reasons for me quickly selling my 13" MBP and purchasing the 15" model (monies prevented me from going to the 17" i7 :)).

    My advice, sit in front of both and see which one is more comfortable to use.
     

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