13", Core i5 vs Core i7 - worth the upgrade?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by .Logan, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. .Logan macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    Hey,

    I'm finally ready to press the buy now button on the MBP. As much as I want to wait for the new MBP redesign, I really want a MBP for school in September. It's so inconvenient not having a laptop on campus. I'll survive when the redesign comes out I guess, or I'll do my best to sell for a decent price.

    Some quick questions:

    1. I want a 13" for the increased portability, however should I do the i5 2.3ghz or 2.7ghz i7? Is it worth the $300 price increase? (I know it includes more HD space too). I don't plan to do anything other than email, web, internet, etc. But I don't want to ever have an issue with speed either. Can you notice a difference between the 2 processors?

    2. Does anyone use one of those speck seethru cases and a sleeve? Just wondering if you have a case on it if it'll still fit in the sleeve?

    3. I will sometimes be using an external display, and mouse/keyboard. Would this be the best thing to use for ventilation, etc. for storing the Macbook in that configuration?: http://store.apple.com/ca/product/H6364?mco=MjI4ODAxMzA

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. Resqu2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    #2
    I got the base model 13" and have similar needs that you have, I have never had a problem, I did drop in an extra 4gb of ram but don't get it from Apple.

    I have tried taxing mine by opening up a bunch of videos plus a bunch of programs all at once and can't slow it down. Save the money for accessories.
     
  3. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #3
    i have the mbp 13" with 8 gb ram. i doubt you will need the extra ram, much less the expensive processor. except in very few cases, i cannot see a good reason for anyone to get the 2.7. by the way, have you considered a 13" mba (refresh due ina few days)?

    i have a clear case. a great idea, especially if you are mobile. i have a sleeve. it fits. but, i suppose that depends pn the sleeve maker.
     
  4. motoracer1486 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    #4
    I have the i5 with a Vertex 3 SSD...this thing screams.
     
  5. .Logan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    Does it void the warranty if you upgrade the RAM and/or hard drive after purchase?
     
  6. Philflow macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    #6
    If you're an average user: An upgrade to SSD or Hybrid drive will give you more performance boost than a CPU upgrade.
     
  7. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #7
    I don't think the i7 is remotely worth it. You can change the hard drive in the i5 and upgrade the RAM and I doubt you'd ever tell the difference in daily use. And if you're a power user, you're looking at the wrong laptop either way--the 15" MBPs are a LOT faster.
     
  8. akhbhaat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    #8
    No. The i7 is only marginally faster than the i5, while that same $300 will buy you 8 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD. A solid state drive will make a huge difference in the perceived performance of the machine.

    Mind you, if the upgrade offered a quad core i7 and/or a significantly better GPU, I might argue differently, even though $300 is still a ridiculous upcharge for a component that costs Apple very little extra to install (but that's always the case with "options," be it with cars or computers--the baseline model is almost always the best deal to the consumer with regards to what it costs the manufacturer to produce).
     
  9. .Logan thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 7, 2010
    Location:
    Canada
    #9
    The problem is weight, as much as I want the speed increase with a 15" MBP I don't want to carry it around in my backpack all day. I'd rather not notice it's there, or have it at least feel lighter than a textbook :)

    I'm happy to hear that the opinion seems to be the i7 is not worth it. The SSD upgrade sounds worthy, but 128GB is not enough space and the next largest size is way too expensive for me. I wouldn't like carrying around an external HD to supplement the 128GB either.

    I think I'm going to go with the base 13". In the future I may upgrade it to 8GB if that doesn't void the warranty?
     
  10. Hyper-X macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    #10
    The words "is it worth it" isn't always tangible because it's a personal call between the balance of benefit per unit cost. If you ask me the $300 doesn't justify the improvement of the i7, in fact many users have noted that when compared to the i5, they couldn't tell the difference.

    If you need more visuals, you can find benchmark test results on Google comparing the 2 models and the difference was negligible. Again on a personal note, I'd rather apply it to maxing out the system RAM and buying either a case, mouse, or whatever with the extra money saved.

    Neither will void the warranty.
     
  11. Chiuy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Location:
    NorCal, Bay Area
    #11
    Quick answer: No.

    You will barely even notice the difference in the i5 and i7 of the 13" model.
    Playing games, I get a good 30FPS for the i5, and if I were to get i7, it'll probably be 34FPS. (World of Warcraft)
    For the price that it's worth, $300 more, I rather upgrade to SSD and Ram, then it'll be faster than buying an i7 model.
    Remember, the i7 is a dual, NOT a quad.
     
  12. michaelquerty macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    #12
    For a 2011 13" i5 MBP w/4g ram, what brand/spec ram would be my options if I wanted to go to 8gb? Also, what is a hybrid drive? I have heard of a ssd, but not a hybrid drive.
     
  13. MJNBGA macrumors regular

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    Mar 26, 2011
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #13
    Nope. But anything else will. :)
     
  14. MJNBGA macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2011
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #14
    From my understanding, a hybrid drive is like a traditional drive, except it has a certain amount of space in an SSD that is dedicated to performing the actions you do most regularly (such as powering on, certain app launches, etc.). Correct me if I'm wrong, I'm not very knowledgable on these subjects. :D
     
  15. .Logan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Location:
    Canada
    #15
    I haven't really followed the rumors on the new MBA that's supposed to be coming this week, but do you think its capabilities will be the same as the MBP 13"? I really don't want to wait any longer to order my MBP, but I am getting curious.
     
  16. dsio macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #16
    Technically the i7 is not worth the $300 extra.

    That said, $300 is a small price to pay for smugness. I'm satisfied with my i7 purchase.
     
  17. satchow macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    #17
    I have a Speck case and an Incase sleeve, it's a tight fit. I don't even use the sleeve cus it's annoying getting it in, but it'll go in.
     
  18. wisty macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    #18
    Depending on what you will use it for, the new MBA (next Tuesday, maybe?) or even the *old* MBA might be better. I have a MBA for Python programming, Office, and web surfing, and it craps all over a MBP 13" for 90% of what I do (thanks to the SSD), and it's lighter. You won't have a DVD drive, but if you have an old computer (or an external) that might be enough, depending on how much you use it. Also, I think the screen is higher resolution than the MBP, which might be a pro or a con (do you mind smaller text?).

    If you use Photoshop, it might be a judgement call. If you do Video or Audio editing, then something a little more heavy-weight might be good.
     
  19. jetblk328i macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    #19
    I have the i5 13" with an ssd and looking to upgrade to 8gb of ram. Perfect for day to day tasks.
     
  20. gorskiegangsta macrumors 65816

    gorskiegangsta

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #20
    IMO the 2.7GHz i7 upgrade isn't worth the extra $250. I'd rather get the base 2.3GHz i5 model and get third party SSD upgrade. It'll be more worth it.
     
  21. dsio macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #21
    I'd rather get both =)
     
  22. phassat macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    #22
    Buy the base model, upgrade to 8GB Ram... $80. Buy SSD $200, buy optibay on ebay $10. Put the original drive on optibay and move out dvd...
    Buy dvd enclosure for $10
     

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