13'' rMBP: i5-4288U 2.6 GHz or i7-4558U 2.8 GHz?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Tears Apart, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. Tears Apart, Oct 30, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013

    Tears Apart macrumors 6502a

    Tears Apart

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    #1
    Hello all,

    Hopefully I won't add more madness with a thread similar to the endlessly-confusing 8GB ram vs 16GB here but...

    I am ordering the high-end 13'' rMBP tomorrow and am a bit baffled as to whether I should go with the base i5-4288U 2.6GHz, or spend the extra for the i7-4558U 2.8GHz.

    I am looking at these three possible configurations (with edu discount):

    1. 13''/2.6/8GB/512Gb --> £1,408.80
    2. 13''/2.6/16GB/512Gb --> £1,558.80
    3. 13''/2.8/16GB/512Gb --> £1,728.00

    This rMBP will be my main computer for 3 years. I use it for webdesign and photoshop plus all the 'normal' stuff.

    Any advice really appreciated, thank you.
     
  2. maxsquared macrumors regular

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    #2
    Not sure if you need all that SSD space, but max out the ram is way forward...
     
  3. Tears Apart thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Tears Apart

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    #3
    Forgot to say that I do need the 512 SSD, that is the only thing I am sure of.
     
  4. AlecMyrddyn, Oct 30, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013

    AlecMyrddyn macrumors 6502

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    #4
    (Removed quote & response about OP's first post as it has been edited)

    I'm in a similar debate myself.

    Per Monday's geekbench numbers, here's the difference between the 3 processors (0% = the base 2.4 GHz i5 on the Haswell rMBP). The difference in performance from the 2.6 i5 to the 2.8 i7 appears to only be 2-6%.

    [​IMG]

    Option 2 and 3 are both BTO. I'm debating between option 1: because it's available in the store and it's a real gamble as to if I'll ever benefit from 16 GB of RAM; and option 3: because if I am ordering a custom system with 16 GB of RAM to insure it lasts as long as possible, I might as well get the faster processor to help with that.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Tears Apart thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Tears Apart

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    #5
    You are right, that was a typo. Fixed now.

    Re your doubts, so right: if I go up in RAM I feel that I should go up in processor too... false perception?

    But then I ask myself, if I max it up like it that, is it worth it, considering that it doesn't 'even' have a dedicated graphic card?

    Lastly, I remember reading somewhere that those Geekbench data could be off the mark, and need more input to be precise.
     
  6. AlecMyrddyn macrumors 6502

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    #6
    My logic goes like this:

    IF I'm buying a BTO model in order to get 16 GB of RAM.
    AND The primary reason for that RAM is to insure this system remains as usable as possible for as long as possible (4-5 years...)
    THEN I might as well spend the extra $180 for the fastest processor too.

    Right. You said you only need this machine to last 3 years? Right? After 3 years you can sell it and buy the latest and greatest, which will be faster and better?

    Unless you are editing massive Photoshop/Movie files or are running VMs, the high-end base model (2.6/8/512) should easily be adequate for you. And because it's a base model, it's available in store for warranty replacements.

    More data points have been added since Monday, and nothing appears to have significantly changed. The chart only compares geekbench scores, not real world use comparisons. But it gives an approximation of the performance differences.
     
  7. Tears Apart thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Tears Apart

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    #7
    Yes, that's my logic too. And yet, the non discrete graphic card seems to make it a no go.

    Thanks to your insight I feel I am moving towards the high-end base model more and more.
     
  8. AlecMyrddyn macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Me too (I haven't purchased yet), but I occasionally think to myself "What if I'm running into RAM limitations in 2-3 years?" Even though I plan now on keeping this machine for 4-5 years, that plan can change. If there are significant changes in my usage, or in the new models that Apple releases using Broadwell or Skylake (or whatever else Intel comes out with), I can upgrade. Yeah, it'll cost money when I do, but it's an informed choice. Right now, ordering 16 GB is based on a guess that it will help me in the future.

    As for the question of graphics, there's a lot of speculation that Skylake may really bump up iGPU performance. It's all wild speculation at this time though. If it's true, then saving money now and upgrading to a new machine after Skylake comes out might be a good plan.
     
  9. Tears Apart thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Tears Apart

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    #9
    One can always wait for the 'new and better'. And doesn't also depend on the kind of new releases that we will see, whether we will update in 2 years as opposed to in 5?

    This ram/processor choice is tearing me apart a bit. Maybe I should look at it this way: are £350 worth 8gb more ram and 6% more processor performance?

    No, that didn't help :mad:
     
  10. AlecMyrddyn macrumors 6502

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    #10
    :eek:

    What about these questions:

    If you buy the high-end base model (13"/2.6/16/512), are you going to enjoy it as is, or are you going to wonder & worry about if you should have spent the money for the extra RAM & CPU?

    If you buy the BTO option (13"/2.8/16/512) are you going to enjoy it, or are you going to wonder if the extra money was really worth it and think of all the beer you could have bought with it?
     
  11. Mots macrumors newbie

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    #11
    It's eating at me too! I know it might not even matter very much for my real world usage/needs (light video editing and maybe some light gaming), but I just can't seem to pull the trigger. I'm leaning towards just getting the i7 and saving the $200 RAM upgrade for something else. Either way it'll be a huge upgrade from this 2008 Dell!!
     
  12. rMBP2013 macrumors member

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    #12
    The 1st option would be more than sufficient for your needs at the moment. Maybe i'll splurge for 2nd option if you have the budget for it.

    Do keep in mind that money that you save now will (and should) be used towards future purchase as you've already stated that you want to keep the laptop for 3 years.

    Lots can change within 3 years.

    I personally went with option # 1 'cuz I know i won't need 8 GB of RAM and I also plan on keeping the laptop for 3 years.

    PS: If you are asking whether you need to upgrade then you probably don't. =)
     
  13. Tears Apart thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Tears Apart

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    #13
    The problem with these questions is that one doesn't know beforehand how much better/worse the system would have been with a higher/lower configuration. And it's difficult to rely on other people's advice since everybody's usage is different.

    But somehow you make a point: if I can afford it, and if I know I won't be thinking (too much :)) about the extra $$ spent, maybe I should max this out to 16gb/2.8GHz.
     
  14. KPOM macrumors G5

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    #14
    My own view is that by the time the Core i5 is "too slow" for current software needs, so will the Core i7. The performance bump isn't quite worth the jump in price. Just set the price differential aside in savings, and then in a few years you'll be that much closer to getting a replacement.
     
  15. Carlson-online macrumors member

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    #15
    i just returned a 512/8/i7 as maxed out the RAM with some photoshop/development coding work. ( photoshop, iTunes, coda 2, terminal and chrome ).

    Admittedly the docs in photoshop were large with many assets, but I was using 8GB of RAM and a lot of memory compression was occurring.

    while the system wasn't slow at any point, my logic here is "if on day 4 of having a computer I'm maxing it out, what about a year down the line ".

    so, returned and i've ordered 512/16/i7 off the online store, comes monday.


    hope that helps.
     
  16. timbococ macrumors newbie

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    #16
    I wrestled with the same issues. I know you said 512 ssd is essential for you, but maybe my decision and decision-making process can be helpful to others:

    I decided to compromise on the SSD size. I went i7/16/256.

    By starting with the middle model (256 SSD), you can max out RAM to 16GB and the processor to i7, and pay just a hair more than the top-tier base model. My total was $1,849, the top-tier base is $1,799 (both prices with edu discount).

    I know I can/will very easily fill up 256GB, and it will take some diligence to live in such a "small space." That's the sacrifice I'm making. I plan to add a nice, fast thunderbolt external HDD or SSD in the near future. Maybe six months down the road. I like an external anyway, for deep/long-term storage and backups.

    The bigger 512GB still isn't enough to store all my photos, music, vids, backups, etc. I need external storage no matter what. Along with cloud storage of personal photos and videos, I know I can get by just fine with 256 on-board.

    Side note:
    I've been living with no pc for about 6 months since my last laptop croaked. I use my super smartphone (Note 3) completely untethered from a PC for music and movie downloads. I can download torrents (legal files only) directly to my phone so, yeah, I have this other ~90GB device (32gb internal + 64gb micro sd) in my pocket.

    I can get along with 256GB thanks to a combination of cloud storage, smartphone, and probably a big ol' external drive. Maybe hook up a little home server, so I can access it all on the go. It will take an extra bit of organization and regularly deleting unused stuff, but I kind of like that.
     
  17. Uliman macrumors member

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    #17
    These graphs are super helpful! Thank you!!

    Makes me want to buy the i7 for the 13" rMBP but I intend on selling the dang thing in about a year when the MBA comes out with the Retina - that's what I'm really waiting for. So I don't really need to future proof; I really need to buy the best configuration that allows me the maximum return in about a year or so for resale which I believe will be 2.6/8gb/256.
     
  18. aiyaaabatt macrumors 6502

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    #18
    It is my understanding* that Mavericks purposefully "maximizes" ram. So, just because you were seeing your ram usage was almost 8gb, you probably weren't actually using anywhere near that.

    I have 1.5gb free (of 8gb) right now with ONLY spotify and safari (8 tabs) running. If I were on ML, I would probably have 5.5-6gb free of 8gb. Mavericks.
     
  19. noxatom macrumors newbie

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    Oct 30, 2013
    #19
    I have a 2009 8gb first i7 QM Hp. In 4 years of graphic desing and finance usage only a couple of times Ive needed more RAM, and Im thinking to replace it only because it unconfortly overheats a lot, and the battery last 10 min, if not i could keep it for a couple years more. So the BTO is perfect. But Ive been thinking that the mbp might be my last computer, today i dont need more power, couple more seconds this and that wont count... and maybe in 4 to 6 years tablets or phones have reach some level that will caught my attention. anyways in that way i want this one to be the best with 16gb and i7 2.8
     
  20. JSalig macrumors 6502

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    #20
    Same here. My system is showing 6GB out 8GB being used with just Safari and 2 tabs open. I like that the system is putting unused RAM to work.
     
  21. Carlson-online macrumors member

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    #21
    totally understand that, RAM should be used as much as possibly. However, it was in orange on the memory pressure graph, showing it had compressed almost as much as it could do. the ram upgrade isn't a massive amount, in context of the price of the machine, so it's dealable. I'll see how the same work load compares under 16GB of RAM when it arrives monday ;)
     
  22. Tears Apart thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Tears Apart

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    #22
    Yesterday I chatted online with an Apple assistant asking whether I should get 16GB ram and 2.8GHz for my new rMBP. I explained the heaviest usage I make of it is with 100+ mb files on Photoshop.

    Surprisingly, he was quite certain that I should not get 16GB ram, that that would be overkill.

    Surprisingly, he was quite certain that I should get the faster processor, as I would see a visible increase in performance.

    Confusion. Again.
     
  23. Tears Apart thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Tears Apart

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    #23
    Can any tech-savvy explain to me what's the difference between 3mb versus 4mb cache in real-life use?

    i5-4288U i7-4558U
    Cache 3.0 MB 4.0 MB
    Clock Speed 2.60 GHz 2.80 GHz
    Max Turbo Frequency 3.10 GHz 3.30 GHz
     

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