13" i5 or i7 MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lahar, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. lahar macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2011
    Hi, Im a 2nd year university student with a double majoring in economics & biology, currently waiting for the refresh to come out, if not within a 2 weeks ill purchase the early 2011 version. The dilemma I have is whether to get the i5 or i7 macbook pro, the price difference is roughly $200. Im heavy into video editing(canon 7D) and photoshop especially after effects, I do have a 27" quadcore i5 iMac that I share with the siblings. This will be mine so Ill have more use on it unless i need the iMac desperately, being that I want somewhat future proof it - my current windows laptop is 3years old - this macbook will hopefully last 5. No matter what I will upgrade to 8gb of ram cause i mulitask a lot.

    So Im contemplating 13" i5 MBP or 13" i7 MBP, price difference is $200 so i could spend that on a SSD but honestly I dont really care about boot speed. please dont refer me to the 15 or 17 model i dont want to lug that around with me.

    sorry about my english, I just moved to usa a few month ago from china.
  2. Risasi macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2011
  3. fireman32 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2010
    Raleigh, NC
    I just got the 13" with the i7 and I could not be happier. I would suggest bumping it up to 8GB of ram. I would not have Apple install it as they want to much for it. I picked up Crucial 8gb for 45 bucks off of Amazon.
  4. eric.john macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2011
    I have the 13' i5 which is a great computer however messing around with my co-workers 13' i7 makes me regret now spending the extra cheese. Overall you can go wrong with either one however i do suggest upgrading the hdd.
  5. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    There are probably, oh, fifty or so threads asking this question . . . so if you SEARCH you'll find out that . . .

    the consensus is that the i7 is not worth the extra money. You'll get much better value by getting an i5 and upgrading the RAM to 8 GB and the hard drive to something bigger/better than the 320 GB one that comes stock.

    SSD? Up to you, for me, they are nowhere near worth the money.
  6. lahar, Oct 5, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011

    lahar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2011
    May I ask why pick ssd ovr i7? Or upgrading the HDD for the matter. I know for fact I will use all of the 128gb of a cheaper SSD with the programs and such. And I much perfer a slower boot time + faster cpu over a faster boot time. I'm not part of this impatient generation so I will probably not get a SSD until a few years when the price drops dramatically. Is the i7 boost really that bad? I multitask a lot and not like itunes, safari power point etc. Usually I can be rendering 1080p footage in premiere while working on stuff in after effects. I'm leaning more towards the i7 because I know in the next few years I can easily upgrade the hard drive, ram but not the proccessor.

    I have searched it and all the results for ram and i5 vs i7 consist of regular users which probably don't even break a sweat on the mbp, I'm looking for opinion on heavy users that actually put their machines to work.
  7. jgz macrumors regular


    Mar 4, 2011
    I'll get an i7 13.3 this weekend + 128GB Crucial M4 + optibay (from ebay seller Nimitz) with standard 500GB HDD + 8GB 1600Mhz RAM (for a very very little extra boost in graphics)... You ask why? I need my book for my work as an architect (Autocad, Vectorworks, Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator, rendering (with network render machine)). I need a small (because I have a external display - for moving around my 15" book I personally find, it is too big), but powerful machine, and for my needs - I think - and for the price you can't get a better mac or generally a notebook....
  8. Risasi macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2011
    Last Saturday I bought a 17" MBP. The machine was a monster. I upgraded it to Lion, then set up bootcamp. As I was using it I just kept getting more and more buyer's remorse. I returned it Sunday afternoon and picked up a base 13" MBA. Yes, boot time is nice. But it's more than that. The entire machine just felt snappier in almost every way compared to that 17" MBP. That just shouldn't even be possible that a $1300 MBA is running circles around their flagship $2500 MBP. I was a little saddened that Apple didn't find a way to put SSD into the base models of all MBP's.
    Likewise the MBA is also snappier compared to the base 2011 13" MBP that I'm typing on right now.

    Mind you I use this 13" MBP for work. I'm usually running 3-5 spaces, connected to various servers and throughout the day other client workstations, for support and maintenance.
    While doing all that in spaces 3-5, on my first space I'm also running Google Chrome, with multiple tabs, running my email, calendar, custom in-house ticket system, time log. And also skype and hipchat. The second space is dedicated to Safari, and for certain Java apps I have to run.

    If I need to start running VM locally again, the wisest upgrade for me would be to 8GB of memory.

    The i7 is not going to help me, even though I have a lot of stuff going on. The CPU mostly sits idle unless I'm booted into Windows and playing games. But the SSD is hands down the best bang for the buck upgrade I could make to this machine.

    I plan to upgrade and sell this machine when the Ivy Bridge Macbook Pro comes out. But if they delay and I decide to keep it, most likely I'm popping in an 8GB memory kit and then installing a 60GB - 120GB SSD and moving my 320GB HDD to the optical bay. I can do that for a few hundred dollars and this machine will scream for everything but games for the next few years.
  9. squeakr macrumors 68000


    Apr 22, 2010
    Most of the responses are correct. If you are such a power user that you would "really" notice the difference between the 13's i7 and i5, you wouldn't even be looking at the 13. You would be moving on to the 15's as they are all quad cores (even the 2.0 which would cream the 13 i7 in a comparison) and the 13's are only dual cores. The power users are all looking to the quad cores for the extra horsepower. I like the 13's but my wife's seems like a toy when I get on it, compared to my 2.3 quad i7 (and we both have 8 gb of ram and 5400 drives, until I can scrape together enough for the ssd or they make a 1TB 7200).

    As for the sad, it is not just impatience that causes one to want the speed. I am in support and routinely run 3 vmware images concurrently with the OS X installation running as well. I am thinking about moving to 12GB in the interim until I can fully afford 16GB. The SSD just is so appealing as the reads and writes would be nice to help with the vm's.

    These are just my observations and I would suggest that you go for the base 15 if the horse power is such a concern.
  10. Risasi macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2011
    Yeah, I agree. I love this 13" MBP, but I do realize it's weaknesses. I wish they had as an option a dedicated GPU and a 1440x900 res screen. Aside from that it's great, and I don't intend to upgrade to a new machine because I need to, but because I want to.

    I have a sneaky suspicion that next year when they introduce Ivy Bridge we will only see four Macbooks; 11"/13" MBA, running IGP and dual core CPU. And then a 15"/17" MBP dedicated GPU, screaming fast quad CPU. Hopefully SSD will be a cheap upgrade option at that time.
  11. lahar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2011
    I dont know the difference, thats why im asking ive never had experience on either or, I dont plan on running vm or boot camp. Its not a concern since I already have a 2011 27" iMac but that my laptop will last me for years on the current specs.
  12. salacious macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2011
    i have a 13" mbp i5 4gb ram, my friend has 15" mbp 2011 base model,

    we both agreed, the 15" is better for intensive proccessing, however thats not to say the 13" with 8gb ram and a fast performing HDD could do the job either, i use AE and final cuy and logic not all at the same time, but generally if you want a faster rendering time you should only have the programme rendering hell save it for overnight and then wake up to find your files done, if your wanting extreme performance on a macbook pro for rendering then none of these options are good for you, accept the fact that the 13" i5 is good enough for rendering thats not gonna chew a blackhole in it, by this i mean dont try rendering 30 files in a go, the proccessor just wont-shouldnt cope, on my mac i tried to import 37 mov files averaging around 200mb each in final cut, rendering time just to import was 5 hours, so yeah id suggest the i5 over the i7 and save the money for more ram and a better HDD im currently considering the 8gb ram package from crucial and searching for maybe a 750gb-1tb hDD...
  13. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    $300 for a less than 10% speed increase doesn't pencil-out for me. I'm happy with my i5 MBP.

    Ditto installing an SSD. The stock i5 MBP starts-up noticeably faster than my Core2Duo Macs due to the faster CPU and Lion.

    Other World Computing has a video of the startup times of the stock drive vs. an SSD. If it's worth the money to you to save around 30 seconds... :rolleyes:

    Adding 8GB of RAM is the most cost-effective upgrade. Unless you are a power-user the base MBP with 8GB of RAM is the way to go.
  14. squeakr macrumors 68000


    Apr 22, 2010
    If it is not a concern and you don't plan on running anything cpu intensive, then as has been said many times before by different users, the i5 would suit you well. It just seems that you are dismissing their experiences and recommendations as you see them as basic users and yourself as a power user. The iMac's are great, but not portable.

    How's this for a compromise, buy the i5 (as had been suggested) and set up screen sharing so that you may connect to and utilize the horsepower of the iMac wherever you may be. No need to worry about the future usefulness of the MBP as it will do the basics for years and the iMac can be the power plant.
  15. lahar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2011
    Im not concern but im still going to work it hard, I do agree that i should use the iMac for the powerplant since i prefer to edit on HD screen wide enough to have 2 programs side by side. I will still however use my MBP for editing(which is the only reason for not going windows laptop) just not big video projects.

    Now im leaning towards the i5 because of that factor, how about I buy both and have hands on experience for both and return the one i dont want in hopes one of you guys will get a a refurbed price :)
  16. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    I don't know why you expect to be able to even notice a difference... the speed increase between i5 and i7 dual-core processors is negligible.

    Comparing a dual-core with a quad-core MBP would be noticeable, but hardly worth the effort. Readily-accessible online speed tests should provide enough information.

    The real question is why you are obsessing over a minor difference in CPU specs... If it's that important to you why not spend the extra $200 and be done with it?

    I know that I am done with this meaningless thread! :rolleyes:

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