13" MBPs - Core 2 Duo vs. Core i3 Processors

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by neteng101, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. neteng101 macrumors 65816

    Jan 7, 2009
    There's a lot of people wondering if the 13" MBPs would have been a lot better with a Core i3 processor, but everything has been just hangups over perceived old vs. new technology, and really the only thing the Core i3 adds is Hyper-Threading, but it doesn't have Turbo Boost, which helps the Core i5/i7s tremendously. Let's compare using Geekbench since it is cross-platform and one of the few available sources of info...

    Core 2 Duo P8600 2.4GHz (~3362)



    Core i3 330m 2.13GHz (~3472)


    Core 2 Duo P8800 2.66GHz (~3700)



    Core i3 350m 2.26GHz (~3680)


    As you can see in both cases, the difference is pretty minimal indeed, and in single threaded applications, the C2D will easily outdo the Core i3 which lacks Turbo Boost and runs at lower clock rates.

    And you get a 320M instead of Intel HD graphics with the new 13".

    The Geekbench results from the old 15/17" to the new 15/17" are quite an order of magnitude better.

    So unless people are expecting Core i5 processors in the 13", sticking to the C2D was actually a good decision, and given the differences between 2.4 and 2.53 isn't so large, one is far better buying the base 13" and then putting the money saved towards a good 7.2k HDD or SSD.

    Note - I took averages of the 32-bit numbers and added them.

    Note 2 - The C2D Pxxxx are 25W TDP processors, which are more efficient than the Core i3 which are 35W TDP processors. Less heat, better battery life from C2Ds.
  2. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    Totally agree.

    Apple were able to get better performance AND battery life out of a C2D + 320M setup than they would from an i3 + Intel HD graphics.
  3. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    Intel graphics are what they are so to mate a fast new CPU to a super slow GPU is just illogical. Handicap graphics and little else.
  4. BeamWalker macrumors 6502a


    Dec 18, 2009
    The Core i3 does not implement Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel VT) at this point. So if your' using virtual machines a lot you're better off with the Core 2 Duo anyway.

    I'm sure that there are some fields in which the i3 is superior to the Core 2 Duo but for me it fails to deliver in the important ones.
  5. funwithamar macrumors regular

    Dec 1, 2008
  6. neteng101 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 7, 2009
    Hmm I just checked, it does have VT?...


    Edit - yes to VT-x, no VT-d.
  7. BeamWalker macrumors 6502a


    Dec 18, 2009
    That's news for me to be honest. A german hardware magazine stated otherwise.
  8. larq2391 macrumors member

    Apr 17, 2010
    A mod should float this so people stop complaining.
  9. rnb2 macrumors regular

    Jan 23, 2006
    West Haven, CT, USA
    Definitely agree re: complaints. I think it's pretty clear that Apple does not want to stick customers with the integrated Intel graphics without a discrete GPU, and given the lack of room in the 13" (both for cooling and space on the logic board), the C2D with 320m is a better option than the i3.
  10. Serv macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2010
    I was never one of those who complained about the 13" not getting the i3 but it's nice to be able to compare their geekbench scores. I just wanted to point out that the P8800 is clocked at 2.66GHz not 2.53GHz which was the P8700 found in last year's top-of-the-line 13" MBPs.

    Thanks ^^.
  11. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    Excellent post neteng101! Apple clearly made the correct choice when it came to the right combination of CPU/GPU. :)
  12. lcs101 macrumors regular

    Jan 28, 2010
    It's good to see people talking sense about the 13" and the C2D.
  13. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    Good look at the benchmarks. There are other factors involved, but the benchmarks tell an interesting story.

    I don't know about others, but my disappointment stems more from the price than anything else. I would have liked to see an i5 or a dedicated GPU, but neither happened so there's no point talking about it.
  14. neteng101 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 7, 2009
    Whoops - you're right... my bad, keep getting the old/new confused! :eek:

    Made the edit to get the clock speeds right.
  15. Frosties macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    My opinion is still that i3/core2duo is for the macbook and the i5/i7 is for the macbook pro. Computers half the price of the macbook pro have the i3.

    Going forward with the core2due in at least 2 more revisions (13" macbook and 13" macbook pro) still due to money put into Nvidia is not a good decision. But I decide where my money goes as you do and today it's not going into a 13" macbook pro for me.

    The 13" macbook pro will still sell good due to it being the cheapest apple portable but it leaves us wanting more than we can get even from the start and that is a bad sell. No way around it.
  16. lilo777 macrumors 603

    Nov 25, 2009
  17. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
  18. rnb2 macrumors regular

    Jan 23, 2006
    West Haven, CT, USA
    Then there are those who, no matter how many times you explain why things are the way they are, still just keep plowing ahead undaunted......
  19. WisdomWolf macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2010
    I am so glad to see this thread. I was starting to think I was the only one that saw apples logic.
  20. neteng101 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 7, 2009
    I suppose they want cherry and sprinkles to go too. ;)

    The base 13" is an incredibly good value proposition - for a Mac laptop meant for everyday use. If people want Windows and don't care about form factor, ergonomics, battery life, etc, there's dozens of crappy PC laptops they can buy for much less (of course, who'd thunk, you get what you pay for generally).

    The high-end 13" isn't such a great value proposition, but given the form factor its offered as an option.
  21. bigjobby macrumors 65816

    Apr 7, 2010
    London, UK
    Yes and no. I think putting the i5 into the 13" would have moved it into a much higher price point; something that nobody wanted to see. i3?... as mentioned, are on much, much cheaper Windows laptops and there wouldn't be any motivation for new customers to move over to Apple and customer retention would be difficult.

    In my semi-educated and humble opinion, the C2D is a better CPU and Apple have made the right decision. In a way I'm glad the 13" didn't get the i5 release otherwise the 15" and 17" releases would've been pushed back further due to the CPU shortages.

    Hopefully the 13" will get the i5 eventually when both the internal design criterias and Intel's asking price are right.

    If you really want the brunt, sacrifice some portability and go for the 15" for now. ;)
  22. lilo777 macrumors 603

    Nov 25, 2009
    It does not have to be expensive. There are plenty i5 laptops on the market priced below $700. And i5 consumes less power than C2D.
  23. bigjobby macrumors 65816

    Apr 7, 2010
    London, UK
    That is true, but if the i5 is considered to be better than the C2D, wouldn't you think it would also be more expensive? Is i5 being held back to give customers more reasons to upgrade in the next release whilst trying to milk the current market? Did the 13" not get the i5 because Apple didn't want that market to encroach on that of the 15" and thus having to clearly define and differentiate the two product lines? Was the decision based upon maximising profits and margins? So many questions but who knows eh... maybe Apple's marketing dept et al does.
  24. vant macrumors 65816

    Jul 1, 2009
    Did you just read the thread title and ignore the post?

    The i3/i5 cannot be an option, unless you want a graphics chip worse than the 9400M. The MBP13 cannot handle a discreet graphics card. No laptop under 1in thick with a 13" screen can handle it. The heat is too great for a tiny body. There is no more room for a larger heatsink. In fact, we would lose more heatsink area going to discreet. On top of that, the price would go up.
  25. Dwalls90 macrumors 601


    Feb 5, 2009
    They could have given it an i5 ... I would have rather an i5 with the Intel HD graphics than the C2D with the 320M.

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