13-inch MBA: i5 1.8 or i7 2.0 ??

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by macchiato2009, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. macchiato2009 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    #1
    hi

    just sold my 2011 15" MBP (too heavy for travels) and getting the new 13" MBA

    but hesitating between i5 and i7

    70% of use will be web browsing
    20% watching movies (1080p)
    and 10% photo editing (pro body dslr shooting raw)

    any feedback ?

    would i notice a difference or is i7 useless for this kind of configuration ? (i'm choosing 8 Gb of ram and 256 SSD)

    thanks
     
  2. Knightimer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    #2
    You are paying a lot for the air and with that configuration 8 gig and 256SSD, an extra 100.00 won't break the bank. Go for the I7 and have no regrets later on..You will have the close to the ultimate air minus the 512SSD.
     
  3. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

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    Luzern, Switzerland
    #3
    I agree, the i7 shouldn't be a budget breaker... but in case it is, then stick with the i5 cause it will for sure handle the things you want to do on the notebook.
     
  4. pandaguy macrumors member

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    Jun 29, 2012
    #4
    Lots of people tend to have the "just spend the money to get the better computer" mindset. Honestly, though, we have to see what you find most important. For example, do you want extra battery? i5. If battery is not as important to you, then possibly get the i7.
     
  5. macchiato2009 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Aug 14, 2009
    #5
    what about juice and heat?

    will the i7 get much more power from the battery than the i5? if so what would be the difference?

    and about heat or noise... will it be warmer? will the fans run faster and louder in order to cool down the i7?

    thanks again
     
  6. Barna Biro, Jul 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012

    Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

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    #6
    It will eat a bit more power, it will get a tad bit warmer but you'll get almost the same thing out of the i5. In real life, I doubt you'd notice the heat / noise / power consumption difference...

    i7 eats more power but also gets the job done slightly faster... so you're not really losing anything in the end. On the contrary, you'd be saving some time... I would personally prefer to get the CPU that drains the power faster but gets the job done faster than having to stare at the monitor 30 mins more to get the same job done on a slower CPU.

    It's also personal preference in the end...

    If you can't justify the tad bit more expensive, warmer and bit more power hungry CPU, then you should most likely not go for it cause chances are you don't need it ( won't utilize it to it's potential )...
     
  7. macchiato2009, Jul 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012

    macchiato2009 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Aug 14, 2009
    #7
    i am not really concerned by extra cost because the difference is very little but would be more looking at the best compromise

    wondering if extra cpu power is noticeable in the pros but also bringing extra cons like more heat/noise

    too bad there are so many reviews with the i5 and not the i7

    i guess only i7 owners of this mid 2012 could give feedbacks on this until reviews come up

    but i have to order this week so i can't wait

    so hard to choose
     
  8. Alameda macrumors 6502a

    Alameda

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    Jun 22, 2012
    #8
    I think it's probably a waste of money and you won't likely notice the added CPU performance.
     
  9. Xikum macrumors 6502

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    Oct 19, 2011
    #9
    Why are people suggesting throwing more money at something for no purpose? Yes the laptop is expensive, but thats the "Ive invested so much money in the Concorde business, it would be stupid to pull out now!" mentality.

    The OPs needs DO NOT need an i7 CPU. Save your $100.
     
  10. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    Sunny Florida
    #10
    Yes purpose. To get the fastest MBA money can buy. That's a purpose.
     
  11. Xikum macrumors 6502

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    Oct 19, 2011
    #11
    Is that really a 'purpose'? What good does it do if you never even nearly push the machine to its limits?

    If you dont max out the capabilities of an i5 (which the OP wouldn't), what difference would an i7 make? Literally none. You wouldn't even know. The only subjective (!) difference would be a hotter machine.

    You could spend that $100 on something that actually mattered.
     
  12. macchiato2009 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Aug 14, 2009
    #12

    that's my concern !

    because spending an extra $100 is not a problem, especially when one can afford the high-end 13-inch MBA already...

    so it's not really about saving any money, but getting a faster mac (to compensate the slow 2-core cpu compared to the other macs) vs losing battery or getting more heat & noise

    i'm trying to find any clue on google that can help me decide

    there might be some i5/i7 MBA debate or review somewhere...
     
  13. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    #13
    I didn't say it was a good purpose.

    No one ever complained about their computer being too fast or having too much memory. This is not like baking a cake, where you need to get the ingredients just right. This is more like buying a sports car. Sure, you can afford the faster one, but if you don't need it.... Ok.

    To the OP, save yourself $100 and get the slower computer. You wont "need" it to be faster anyway... :rolleyes:
     
  14. macchiato2009 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Aug 14, 2009
    #14
    thanks for your advices guys

    i'd love to get the answer soon, just by curiosity

    hope that websites like anandtech will post something soon

    in the meantime i'm ordering this week :)

    just sold my heavy but beloved MBP to get a MBA...
     
  15. MacBird, Jul 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012

    MacBird macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Since you do little post-processing, the i5 should be fine, getting 8 GB is a good choice. I got the i7 and have used it for importing over 1000 RAW images into Bridge and using an external 24'' monitor at the same time without any problems. Supposedly, the i5 is 10-15% slower, and my MBA does not get nearly as warm or loud as my 2008 uMBP. I guess you will be happy either way.
     
  16. Xikum macrumors 6502

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    Oct 19, 2011
    #16
    But thats the thing. Just because it is an i7 does not mean that it will be faster doing basic tasks (OP said he spends 70% of his time browsing the net, and another 20% of the time watching movies; none of these are CPU intensive). It means it will be POTENTIALLY faster at CPU intensive tasks e.g. video encoding; it effectively has a higher 'maximum performance', a higher roof. The 0.3 GHz clock speed boost is noting that a human would realise in everyday computing.
     
  17. MacBird macrumors 6502

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    Apr 1, 2010
    #17
    As I said, for the OP's kind of use either one should be perfectly fine. I'm wondering how much impact the bigger Level 3 cache of the i7 might have on basic tasks.
     
  18. macchiato2009 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Aug 14, 2009
    #18
    i'm working on x000 raw pics every time i'm back from my trips too

    that's why i was wondering if the i7 would give some extra speed, considering that:

    - RAM working at 1600 Mhz will work fast thanks to the CPU speed
    - extra L3 cache is supposed to provide extra speed too

    on average let's say that i open/edit 50 RAW at the same time in Photoshop CS5 with Camera raw
     
  19. MacBird macrumors 6502

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    Apr 1, 2010
    #19
    In that case, the i7 might make a difference and it is amazing how much less noise it makes even at 6000 rpm, at least compared with my MBP.
     
  20. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    Sunny Florida
    #20
    You're over thinking it. Do you have the cash? Get the fastest MBA you can afford. That way you'll never have to wonder whether this file or that app could've been faster. There's a reason they make an i7. If the i5 was that good, there would be no need to offer a higher spec processor
     
  21. macchiato2009 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Aug 14, 2009
    #21
    this is a never ending thread ;)

    on one side, people who can afford to spend $$$ and are not concerned by noise/heat/battery life

    on the other side, those who are wondering if extra power will mean a sacrifice at some point...

    to answer your question, i have cash, but i don't want the best machine if it means some discomfort in terms of noise/heat/battery


    if someone can tell me that i won't notice any difference in terms of noise & heat between these 2 CPU, and only losing 10-20 minutes of battery, then i'll say great let's go for the i7 without any doubt

    so far, no one could have been able to tell

    that's why people are asking questions ;)
     
  22. MacBird macrumors 6502

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    Apr 1, 2010
    #22
    Probably not too many people have two MBAs with i5 and i7 in front of them. :) Under heavy load, my MBP gets pretty hot at the bottom, the MBA only gets warm. The MBP is noisy from 3000 rpm on, the MBA's new fan design makes a big difference in my opinion and there is only one fan. As for battery life, you can probably compare the 2011 models, the difference might be quite similar or just wait until Anandtech posts the review for the 2012 model. My best guess is that the difference in these respects between i5 and i7 should be more or less negligible.
     
  23. SoIsays macrumors regular

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    Nov 1, 2011
    #23
    I got in on the best buy deal and bought the 13" i5/4/256. I have to tell you, I love it. It runs everything I have really well. The only things that worried me were the semi-slow processing of 10mb raw photos in Lightroom which felt only slightly faster than my 2008 Dell XPS laptop and a slow down/delay when I ran a virtual machine dedicating only 2gb of ram.

    Today I dedicated 3gb of ram and put on an espn video on parallels while I processed raw photos on lightroom to see the effects. There wasn't a considerable delay but the page-outs were something like 15mb per photo as OSX worked with only 1gb of ram.

    Normally, I would be fine for this because I'm using it mainly for work and not for Lightroom and running Parallels at the same time, but I'm lucky to have some extra funds so I ordered a 13" i7/8/256 to arrive next week. It's been bothering me for a week of what could have been so I pulled the trigger. I'm going to see if it will change my mind about my i5/8gb.
     
  24. macchiato2009 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Aug 14, 2009
    #24
    i will spend time in an apple store tomorriw in order to compare both if they have it displayed
     
  25. Slivortal macrumors 6502

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    Jun 14, 2012
    #25
    If you were already planning on getting the 256GB model, the extra $100 for the L3 cache and i7 processor's most likely worth it. If you're not getting the 256 model, it's probably not worth it. But either way, the extra 4GB of RAM is probably worth it more.
     

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