13'' MBP, which CPU?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thundersteele, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #1
    Hi all,

    I've essentially decided to get the new 13'' MBP with touchbar, 16GB RAM and 512 GB storage. I'm wondering what the thoughts are on the three different CPU options:

    2.9 GHz i5
    3.1 GHz i5
    3.3 GHz i7

    The 3.1 GHz i5 has slightly higher GPU clock speed than the 2.9 GHz. This could help avoiding lag with driving the retina screen, so I might be going for that one.
    I assume that the CPU performance difference will be of order 10% between the different models. Both i5 and i7 should support hyperthreading on dual core CPUs. So is there any benefit I am missing that could make the i7 worth its money?

    To give some context, this is for work so I'm not paying for it myself, but it is my own budget so I don't want to waste it on marginal improvements.

    Thanks for you thoughts!
     
  2. keviig macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    #2
    In the exact same situation myself. I think the 3.1 GHz i5 is worth it, but the gap to the 3.3 i7 is so small (considering the big cost increase) that I dont think its worth it. So to me its down to either the base i5 or the upgraded i5.

    My concern is the heat and noise difference between the two. Does anyone know if the higher tier i5's are binned? i.e. running at the 0.2 GHz higher speed at the same voltage? If the higher clocked one isn't binned (and requires higher voltage) I'll be going for the base model, as noise and heat is as important to me as the extra 5% performance.
     
  3. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #3
    It makes no real world difference and the graphics are the same on them all as well, the 2.0 ghz 15w i5 in the non touch bar version runs the screen fluidly and smoothly with a lesser iris graphics card from all reports
    so I would just buy on SSD size if I was you.
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    I don't think you're going to notice much of a difference between the 2.9 and 3.3 (even though its an i7).

    What will you be using it for? Ultimately that will determine what component works best for you
     
  5. keviig, Nov 4, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016

    keviig macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    #5
    While it might not make any big difference in real world usage, the 3.1 GHz i5 comes with a Iris 550 clocked at 1100 MHz, while the base model 2.9 GHz i5 comes with the Iris 550 as well but clocked at 1050 MHz.

    Edit: Iris 550 typo.
     
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #6
    Utter nonsense!!

    The base non touch bar model has iris 540

    All the touch bar models use iris 550, you are right about the i7 being very slightly faster bough maybe a frame or two a second better in some games!!!

    Take a look at apples tech spec page.

    https://www.apple.com/uk/macbook-pro/specs/
     
  7. keviig macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    #7
    I mistyped Iris 550 in my last sentence but other than that it is completely correct. When I said base model 2.9 Ghz i5 I clearly meant the base of the Touch Bar models, as there is no 2.9 GHz version of the base non-touch bar MBP.

    The upgraded i5 touch bar model does come with a higher clocked Iris 550 than the base touch bar model.
     
  8. TheRealAlex macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    #8
    You need to understand how Intel reaches those numbers not sure if 3.3 is Boost clock or base but it rarely hit max boost because that means shutting down other Cores and boosting 1 core only. Only number that matters is the Boost Clock with all Cores engeaged.

    That being said in 2017 I would not buy anything that is not 4 Cores.
     
  9. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #9
    Why not??? the vast majority of people do not need a quad core processor, that's why most laptops sold are dual core. You may well have good reasons for a quad core but that hardly applies to everybody.
     
  10. thundersteele thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Oct 19, 2011
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #10
    This will not be the main machine for computations, so CPU performance is not an issue (otherwise I would not even consider a dual core CPU). So now I'm leaning very much to sticking with the base CPU.

    Thanks all for the feedback.

    PS: I was not at all considering the non-touch bar model, which comes with an even weaker CPU.
     
  11. keviig macrumors 6502

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    Jun 7, 2012
    #11
    I just ordered the base i5 myself. I think it will serve me well, especially considering the powerful Iris 550. Now for the 4-5 week wait... Oh the agony.
     
  12. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #12
    I suspect the difference between the 2.9GHz i5 and the 3.1GHz i5 will be virtually nil in real-world situations. Only a 200MHz difference with otherwise the exact same architecture.

    The i7 should have a noticeable (but not earth-shattering) performance boost on CPU-heavy applications, though only the owner can decide if the difference in price is worth a ~15% performance increase.

    I was going to order a 15" model simply because the base quad core processor will be faster than any 13" model. Ultimately though, the price and size of the machine (plus honest consideration of what I intend to use the laptop for; not my only computer) brought be back to reality. I ordered the base 13" touchbar model.
     
  13. keviig macrumors 6502

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    Jun 7, 2012
    #13
    The i7 is just a higher clocked i5 though. No bigger cache, both have hyperthreading and so on. All it does is turbo 10% higher which should result in roughly 10% more performance in CPU bottlenecked tasks. Personally I think if you are going to do that many CPU reliant tasks, you might as well get the 15" which has a quad core. But thats just my opinion :)
     
  14. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #14
    I agree with that opinion 100%.
    And you're right about the i7 cache. For some reason, I assumed it was bigger as it is on most i5 vs. i7 comparisons, but not this time.
     
  15. keviig macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    #15
    Intel wiped out most of the differences between the i5 and i7 for some reason. i7 used to mean bigger cache, Hyperthreading and higher clocks, but now its just down to the clock speed. But I guess 90% of customers won't ever be able to tell the difference. Us folks on the forums probably only represent a few % of buyers, if even that.
     
  16. 5iMacs macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    #16
    On the 2.0GHz processor, 1 core boosts to 3.1GHz and two cores boost (indefinitely because of a lack of throttling) to 2.9GHz.

    This consistent turbo clock speed is typical for Intel CPUs that can be kept below 100C, which is a significant challenge on many i7 MacBooks and iMacs and utterly impossible on my 2.8GHz 2015 MBP 15". Maxing out your i7 MBP means throttling on sustained compute loads, although hope springs eternal for the new 2016s.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 4, 2016 ---
    To be clear, this is only the case for the "U" range of parts, in general i7 CPUs have a significant advantage for certain workloads, emphasis on certain.
     
  17. keviig macrumors 6502

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    Jun 7, 2012
    #17
    Yeah, thats true. I have a i5-6600k @ 4.5 GHz in my desktop computer and it lacks hyperthreading compared to the i7-6700k.
     
  18. snakes- macrumors regular

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    Jul 27, 2011
    Location:
    Wiesbaden
    #18

    shure about shutting down other cores?

    on my air when i have 4 cpu intensive Tasks there push all to the limit and Turbo on all 4 threds. but get high temperatures. if i Turn off Turbo i have the Frequenzy i can run with full load cpu over long time.

    but dont know how the skylake is.
     
  19. Macalway, Nov 4, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016

    Macalway macrumors 68000

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    Aug 7, 2013
    #19
    2.9 or 3.1 , I don't see much difference and this thread really is about these two versions I think.

    The good thing about the base touch bar versions, is that stores will cary them, so I don't have to order online and check shipping status at least 100 times. But the main reason I want to buy in-store, is that Apple has a frustrating way of having them show up before people get their shipments. Even Best buy will probably have them first. Correct me if i'm wrong.
     

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