13" tbMBP Processor

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by randy0613, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. randy0613 macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2016
    Just had a quick question before I went ahead and pull the trigger for my first ever MacBook. Has anyone done any testing comparing the processor in the base configuration compared the i5 3.1 GHz configuration? I don't know whether or not it is worth it. I obviously got the ram upgrade to the 16GB

    I would be mostly using the laptop for day to day use as well as light photography and video editing (I have a built pc for heavy duty editing).

    The thing I'm concerned about with the processor upgrade is that, while yes it would be faster and would reduce rendering times and such, how much more would it thermal throttle than the base config? The higher clock speed, with the same fans across the whole 13" spectrum I'm assuming, would no doubt produce more heat so while yes it might be better and faster for a short while but how much would it slow down compared to the base. Do you guys think it would thermal throttle to the point where the base model config would be better because it wouldnt throttle as much?

    All input is appreciated, thanks! :)
  2. johngwheeler macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2010
    I come from a land down-under...
    By "base configuration" do you mean the non-TB MBP 13? This base configuration is an i5-6360U that turbos up to 3.1GHz, so I think you are asking how this compares to the TB model with i5-6267U that turbos up to 3.3GHz.

    There are a few comparisons out there, but most show about 5-10% better CPU performance for the TB model and about 10-25% GPU peformance increases depending on the test. If you are not using the GPU extensively, then the difference may not even be noticeable.

    The thermal throttling (see ArsTechnica review) apparently only occurs with GPU load, and both machines can sit at their maximum turbo speeds for at least 30 minutes when running CPU-only loads.

    I don't think there is a case where the more powerful 28W CPU would end up throttling *more* than 15W. It has a higher TDP so can get hotter before it needs to throttle, and the twin fans should ensure that it keeps cool enough to keep within the TDP for longer.

    If you disregard the touch bar, extra ports, faster RAM etc. and you mostly do activities that do not depend on the iGPU, then the processor upgrade in the TB version does not amount to a great deal. If you find you need the extra GPU grunt, then you might also be better off just going for the 15" version.

    For me, the nTB version is the better deal; YMMV!
  3. randy0613 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2016
    By base I meant the 2.9GHz tbMBP. I was wondering about the upgrade to the 3.1GHz processor.

    But that was still very helpful so it's much appreciated, thank you. :)
  4. johngwheeler macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2010
    I come from a land down-under...
    Ah, I see what you meant now!

    Personally, I think the Apple CPU upgrades are overpriced. Have a look at ark.intel.com. The 2.9GHz and 3.1GHz CPUs you are asking about are the same list price ($304), yet Apple will charge you $100 for the faster CPU! There isn't a price shown for the i7-6287U, but you can bet it's not $300 more expensive.

    The specs of the 2.9GHz and 3.1GHz i5s seem to be identical apart from the clock-speed. I'm not sure the c. 7% speed increase will really be noticeable in most tasks except very long-running processes like video encoding.

    I bought a CPU upgrade once before (i7 in an MBA), and really don't think it was worth it - it reduced battery life, and I doubt I would have noticed the difference.
  5. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    It makes no difference really they are all dual core CPU's clocked very fast unless you are always maxing it out you'll never notice.

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