13" MacBook Pro 2.26 vs. 2.53 GHz

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Aspen, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. Aspen macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2009
    I am able to find a good deal on the current 13" 2.26 GHz MBP. Does anyone have any real world experience as to how fast that model would run compared to the 2.53 GHz model? I could upgrade the RAM to 4 GB. I would be using it for general internet, Word documents, that sort of thing along with some CAD type of programs, no gaming. Thanks.
  2. brendu macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2009
    go for the deal... upgrade the HDD while your at it... thats exactly what I did and its perfect.
  3. iwhillenbrand macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2010
    Terrace Park, OH
    Having used both, the 2.53 is slightly faster, but not by much. If you are doing just basic internet, pages, numbers, keynote, 2.26 is great. I think it would be better if you saved that $200 and put it towards RAM (4gb) or the bigger HD (or SSD). Check MacWorld if you want a speedmark comparison of the two.
  4. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    you can get the 2.26 Ghz model from microcenter for $999 now, so the price difference is substantial now.
  5. supaflyz macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2010
  6. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    If your going to use your mbp for a long time say around 3-4 years, I'd get the 2.53GHz model. But if you upgrade every couple of years get the 2.26GHz model.

    $999 is a great deal + 4GB RAM ($120) will make it about $1119 + tax will cost $1211. $1499 with student discount for the 2.53GHz model at the Apple store gets it down to $1399 + tax equals $1514 (well here with 8.25% tax in Texas and the final price can vary by a couple of dollars depending on what state you live in).

    So you still save $300 which is still a great deal. If you consider the harddrive, the 160GB HDD vs. a 250GB HDD (usually for me I always swap out the harddrive for my own so it doesnt matter what HDD comes with the Mac) then you should get the 2.53GHz model.

    Also you have to consider if the $300 is worth the extra 270MHz, which to me is worth it as I run Plex player which hogs all the CPU it can get to play MKV 1080p files.
  7. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009

    For $300, you can upgrade the Ram to 4GB and buy a 80GB Intel SSD.
    I personally would rather have the SSD than 270Mhz.
    And if you follow my link you can save another hundred.

    I can play 1080p mkv files fine. The 9400M has hardware acceleration built in for h264 files.
  8. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    What do you mean save another $100 by clicking on the link..??

    Its already the $999 price I configured + the 4GB RAM the OP will buy (cost $120) that makes it $1119 + tax equals to $1211.

    You are right though, the intel x25-m 80GB model can be bought for $245 (which I did as you can see on my sig).

    I guess if the OP wants an intel SSD go with the 2.26GHz model. But I strongly believe that if your going to use this 13" as your main machine for a long time, I would get the 2.53GHz. Not only will the extra 270MHz actually help you in clock speed, the 2.53GHz model will be easier to sell as it looks more attractive and will be able to fetch a little more when the time comes to sell the 13" 3-4 years from now.
  9. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    I mean the student price for the 2.26 GHz model is $1099, and its $999 from microcenter.
    That would be $400 less than the 2.53GHz model rather than $300 difference from apple.

    I am also pretty sure if you shop around you could get both the ram and SSD for closer to $300 rather than closer to $350.
    Ram $80-$100 and SSD closer to $210-$220.

    And I still think the .270 Ghz is nothing to worry about as far as future use.
  10. ttttttttttt9 macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2010
    I'm in the same position, and my own thoughts on the matter are that the processor is the only major component I can't upgrade, so I tend to try to max that out. I can double the RAM or HD or whatever for really cheap down the road, but processor is kind of the weak link.

    Just my $.02
  11. Wacky Jackson macrumors member

    Wacky Jackson

    Feb 6, 2010
    If you look around on ebay you can get the 2.53ghz for around $1320 with the bing cashback. Also it had no tax and free shipping.
  12. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    No look at my math~

    microcenter 2.26GHz macbook pro is $999 but it only comes with 2GB of RAM. So you would plunk down $120 for the 4GB of RAM so its $999 + $120 that makes it $1119 for the 2.26GHz (microcenter $999 macbook pro + the $120 4GB of RAM that the OP would buy) + tax $1211.

    Remember the $2.53GHz mbp comes with 4GB of RAM already and it costs $1399 with student discount + tax it comes out to $1514.

    So $1514 - $1211 = $303 dollar difference..

    So if the OPs original budget is $1500, then by all means choose the 2.26GHz route from microcenter and buy the RAM separately and he'd have $300 left to buy the intel x25-m SSD drive for $250 and probably have something like $45 bucks left to spend on food or whatever.

    But if your budget is higher than $1500, I'd say go for the 2.53GHz 13" mbp + an intel x25-m (trust me when in terms of clock speed 2.26GHz vs. 2.53GHz there is a speed difference you'd notice it in real life usage if your wanting to run say mkv files or higher processing files). I've used a mac mini 2.26GHz and when running plex player it does process mkv files slower than on my 2.53GHz because its cpu intensive.

    Also keep in mind resale value, you'll be able to get a bit more in the future and dump the 2.53GHz 13" faster as well.
  13. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    I understood the math. My point is the difference between $999 (microcenter) and $1399 (apple) is $400, and the difference between $1099 (apple) and $1399 (apple) is $300. So the op would be saving an extra hundred by getting the 2.26 GHz if the op bought from microcenter. The op does not have to upgrade to 4 GB of RAM, and the 2.53GHz model does not receive the same extra $100 off, so the price difference is therefore $400. I understand if the op bought the MacBook from microcenter and upgraded the RAM, the difference would be closer $300. $300 does seem like quite a bit though for simply a mild processor speed increase.

    I do disagree that the memory upgrade will cost $120 though.

    Microcenter has OCZ DDR3 2GB sodimms for 34.99 after rebate
    when in stock

    Amazon.com has crucial 4 GB kits for between $96 and $111 as the price fluctuates, and Newegg.com has GSkill 4 GB kits for currently $102.
  14. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    Ok so if he decides to buy those RAM from microcenter, then he would have $85 dollars left after the upgrade.

    I'm pretty sure the OP will want to upgrade to 4GB of RAM, 2GB is too little these days.

    To me $300 is worth it, I've used a 2.26GHz and a 2.53GHz I can tell a big difference between the two.

    Also like someone mentioned earlier that the CPU cannot be upgraded so might as well go the higher CPU route. I mean whats $300-$400 dollars in 3-4 years anyway? Might as well get the machine that will fetch a better price in the future and be able to dump it quicker as well while getting a overall CPU boost.

    I guess we've all been spoiled to think 270MHz is nothing these days.. But dont forget, 270MHz was a full working desktop pc in the past. I think 270MHz is kind of alot actually.
  15. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    This is true if the op decides to buy an Intel SSD and upgrade the RAM to 4 GB. But the op could just save the $400 (or $300 after RAM upgrade).

    The Intel SSD 80 GB SSD is $220 at Newegg.com
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010150636 50001157 1421445225&name=80GB
  16. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
  17. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    The 2.26GHz is about 10% slower, and the upgraded MacBook Pro 13" is close to 40% more (or close to 30% more after the RAM upgrade).

    I remember computers when there were 286, 386, 486, and Pentiums. Pentiums, 486s and 386s were 75 to 90Mhz or about. I remember my father bringing home the second generation IBM notebook ever produced in 1988 or 89. I remember the Apple IIe or IIc (I do not remember which). I also can comprehend the speed differences in relative terms without recalling my history with computers.
  18. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    10% still seems alot to me.

    Yea I remember my uncle had an intel 4004. LOL.
  19. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    I think if the price difference was only $200 between 2.26GHz and 2.53GHz, both with 4 GB of RAM, it would seem a little more reasonable.

    Can you honestly say though you would give up your SSD to keep the 2.53GHz processor or would you rather have the SSD and 2.26 GHz processor?

    Given that SSDs can potentially increase battery life and are a huge increase in performance, I think you know where I stand.

    The IBM was left at home for me to use (I hated that 20lb laptop!), and my mom programmed using punch cards while in college in the 70s. :eek:
  20. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    I would get the 2.53GHz model first and then pick up an intel SSD later.
  21. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    That is not an answer to the question.
  22. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    Well the intel SSD is great no doubt. But I would choose the 2.53GHz over getting the 2.26GHz + intel SSD. The SSD drive does increase battery life but only by 20-30 more minutes.

    Sometimes though I dont notice much of a difference between my 500GB hitachi 7200rpm hdd and the ssd except boot time. I do miss the 500GB of space though at times but then it just feels cool to have the intel SSD in this machine.

    One issue that I'm having with my SSD drive is with parallel 5 or vmware fusion.

    For some reason if my computer is idle for more than an hour it'll freeze. Even when vmware fusion or parallels 5 isnt running. I checked the log console and it saids something to do with an error regarding the virtual machines.

    I uninstalled both and osx hasnt been freezing anymore in the morning. I decided to use bootcamp instead as the boot time is so fast.

    I just installed vmware fusion again to run with bootcamp to see if the problem persist. Have you had any issues like this?
  23. fibrizo macrumors 6502


    Jan 23, 2009
    I'm kinda curious. How can you really tell the difference. Most times it shows approximately ~5% improvement in real world applications. ie the thing will finish in 19 seconds instead of 20. I would say that most people can't tell with a stopwatch.

    Will the machine really fetch a better price in 3-4 years? not 300-400$ more I can tell you that. maybe 50.

    Also 270mhz is not alot if you look at the over all machine speed. The cpu is not the bottleneck in performance here for most things. It's HDD and memory speed. Also 270mhz is approximately 11-12%. And realistically only 5% performance improvement, since the bottle neck is not the cpu typically, ie how often is your CPU 100% loaded.

    I think another way to look at it is this way.

    I can get a machine 95% as fast for 300-400$ less. A 5% increase in overall performance is about 60-80$ per 1% improvment. wherase the first 95% cost about 11$. Now people dismiss 300-400$ over 3-4 years as insignificant. Let me propose it this way. How much resale value is there? I'm going to use gazelle to do a rough estimate (since it's easy for everyone to use) Mind you this is nowhere near 3-4 years old though so the difference would be less.

    Just as an example, I'm going to take the unibody aluminum macbook, precursor to the 13inch released 1.5 years ago. I actually owned the 2.4ghz model. (note prices would be higher if you sold on ebay or craigslist by about 100$ in my experience, but you'd have to do it youself) The original price was 1299 and 1599. And the 2.0 didn't even have a backlit keyboard.

    2.0ghz = 515$
    2.4ghz = 631$

    Mind you this is 400mhz more, and had an additional backlit keyboard. But your resale difference is 116$

    If you took the 300-400$ you would save, and add the sell price you could buy a new unibody 2.26ghz pro. Which is actually faster than the 2.4. I know because I owned both and benchmarked them. The later core revision is faster at a lower frequency than the older core. It surprised me too, because I thought I would have a slightly slower laptop. But I gained the new 7 hour integrated battery and a much much better LCD display.

    So you can choose to pay 300-400$ for 5%, if that's what you chose. Or you can upgrade again sooner to a machine with much better specs than the high end machine you bought before for the same money basically.

    If anyone ever told you to invest 300-400$ in something that would pay 116$ in the future... I'd think people would not be so keen to jump on it.
  24. Denzo macrumors member


    Sep 10, 2009
    Thank you. Some ****ing sense finally.
  25. puma1552 macrumors 601

    Nov 20, 2008
    Always max out the processor.

    Can't upgrade it, so max it out.

    2.26 is a dog by today's standards. I had that processor on my Dell XPS M1330 I bought in August 2007, no joke.

    2.26 is definitely on it's way out the door, big time.

    FWIW I have a 2.8 MBP and I converted a 180 MB AVI video to MP4 in about 40 seconds. The processor is to thank for that--always get the most you can because the RAM and hard drive can be upgraded later, and for cheap.

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