15" i5 2.4GHz + 256G SSD or 15" i7 + 8G RAM + 7k500

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by msimsi, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. msimsi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    I am planning to upgrade my current MBP (mid 2007) to the new uMBP. I have about $2.5K budget with student discount. Originally, I was planning to buy the 15" i7 with Hi-Res AG, 8G RAM, and 7k500. But after reading a lot of threads here, I am now considering the 15" i5 2.4GHz with Hi-Res AG and the 256G SSD, which costs about the same.

    I am in the Math department. This uMBP will be my main computer, and I will use it for programing, simulation, Adobe CS4 Illustrator and Photoshop, word, etc. I will also install Windows XP in the new uBMP too.

    I know that SSD will increase the booting and app launch speeds dramatically, but is that it? Since I do a lot of simulation, will the lifetime of SSD be good enough for the next 3-5 years, as the SSD has limited writing cycles? Also, I have read threads that Windows XP is not optimized for SSD, and it might reduce the lifetime of SSD a lot. Is this true? For my purpose, will I benefit more from the SSD compare to the faster CPU and more RAM?

    I know that I can upgrade the SSD or RAM later, but since I will buy Applycare with this uMBP, I am not planning to replace any components of the mac in the next three years.

    Sorry for so many questions, and any helps are well appreciated. :)
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    I would get 2.4GHz and upgrade RAM to 8GB and save the rest of the money. Then buy an SSD later on as they are coming down all the time

    Upgrading RAM and HD DOES NOT void your warranty so you can upgrade them yourself and still have the 3-year warranty
     
  3. critten macrumors member

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    Jan 13, 2008
    #3
    hi i am interested in this question without the options....


    I think 8gb is too much right now for the price. Sure if you want to spend all 2.5k but rather save it when it goes down (which it will!!)

    the SSD is better to go outside and get an intel....don't buy the apple...

    I just am considering i5 v i7. I am looking to replace my desktop, i7 920. I would like to know is

    300$ worth better chip and video card. Does the chip and video card in pair cause more heat? I am a student and I don't want my fan running when just typing notes....

    for more intense stuff like math i would choose i7 definitely though. my desktop is a beast!

    But for me all i do is extract big zips occasionally and video edit a few times...nothing a few SECONDS is worth money but if it's minutes then ek. I just dont want to pay more for more heat!!!
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #4
    i5 520M and i7 620M both have TDP of 35W so i7 shouldn't be hotter.

    Remember that your desktop i7 is quad core while MBP's is dual core so IMO you're better off getting the i5 and leave the serious bit crushing for your desktop, as it'll anyway be A LOT faster. i7 is about 10% faster than i5 in MBP
     
  5. critten macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #5
    yeah 10% isn't really looking worth it...i only have plans to play starcraft 2 which most say this could handle with 256mb....i think....i am leaning to i5 + high res screen anti-glossy screen....only thing that makes me mad is i could dish out 300 more to get the 17 and a better processor too. TOO MANY OPTIONS !!
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #6
    Well, if you really want the 17" but don't want to pay the full price, check refurb store. 3.06GHz is only ~15% slower than i5 and even 2.66GHz C2D would be fine, it''s only 1739$
     
  7. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    #7
    Right about the speed, and the TDP is accurate too, but the i7 operates closer to its TDP when idle.

    An article mentions that the i7 draws about 10w more when idle, and 14w more under full load compared to the 2.53ghz i5. That will impact battery life.
     
  8. critten macrumors member

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    Jan 13, 2008
    #8
    yeah the 17 is the only way to get the i5 + more vram....does vram affect heat?
     
  9. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    #9
    It will a bit (more RAM draws more power, more power means more heat), but the GPU and CPU completely overwhelm the amount of heat produced by the RAM or VRAM. You won't notice a difference at all. Well under one degree.
     
  10. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #10
    Oh, that's pretty big difference! Any article about that? Would really like to read it

    RAM consumes very little energy so as Krevnik said, you won't notice it
     
  11. msimsi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #11
    Thank you guys. I am going to get the i5 2.4G + Hi-Res AG + 8G RAM + 7k500. I will be able to assign 3G RAM to Parallels for Windows XP :).
     
  12. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Feb 9, 2008
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    NYC
    #12
    Good choice. Congrats.

    Just a note: as it has been mentioned already, I would buy the RAM from OWC or someone like that because not only do you get 8GB plus your original to possibly sell, you also get lifetime warranty; AppleCare is only 3 years.
     
  13. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #13
    I wouldn't sell it as if you ever need to send it to Apple, they might replace the RAM with original 4GB, meaning that you lose your 8GB. It's only ~70$ anyway.

    NewEgg has the cheapest RAM
     
  14. runebinder macrumors 6502a

    runebinder

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    Apr 2, 2009
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    Nottingham, UK
    #14
  15. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    Aug 19, 2008
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    The Anthropocene
    #15
    I have the i7 8GB RAM fast HDD model you mention. Since it sounds like you do lots of applied math/simulations as I do, I can tell you that this thing is blazing. That said, you probably have access to a cluster or some nice workstations, right? For me, there is a sweet spot for "small jobs" that can run in a few hours (finish on my laptop/workstation before making it past the queue on the cluster), and for these jobs this laptop is sweeeeeet. If you're going to be running a lot of multi-day (or massively parallel) computations, then obviously to the cluster it goes!

    The other thing you have to consider is how much I/O to disk you'll be doing (SSD will be amazing for that) vs how much data you will need in RAM.

    If I were to pick between the two computers you listed above (assuming they are similar in price), I'd pick the i7, but I don't know your exact needs or resources.
     
  16. msimsi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #16
    Hi mobilehaathi,

    Yea, I have access to more powerful workstations and clusters. So I mainly use the MBP for optimizing programs / testing simulations before I submit it to the big machines.

    BTW, as I posted before, I am going to get the i5 2.4G with 8G RAM + 7k500, so I can run Windows XP in Parallels with the max 3G RAM it can take.

    Thanks for your reply :)
     
  17. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    #17
    I've lost the link, but I did notice something interesting...

    Go to an Apple store and unplug both an i7 and i5 from power and wait. Best if both are idle (or doing the same task), and on the same monitor brightness settings.

    Bring up System Profiler and under Power there is "Amperage (mA)" which will show you the milliamps flowing to or from the battery (which is actually kinda cool). Negative numbers are a drain on the battery, positive numbers means it is recharging.

    The i5 2.53Ghz was drawing about 1.1 to 1.5A depending on what websites I brought up and so on. (so 1.3A average)

    The i7 2.66Ghz was drawing about 1.3A to 1.8A in the same situation. That's ~18-20% more draw overall. (so 1.55A average)

    Assuming we have a 7Ah battery in the machine (also pulled from the Power section of System Profiler), the i5 will get about 5h 23m at 1.3A. The i7 will get about 4h 31m at 1.55A.

    Now, Engadget gets a bit more, so these numbers are bound to be a tad low, but it does demonstrate that the i5 does draw less power, enough to be noticeable. That said, I wound up with an i7 anyways, because 4-5 hours of actual productive time is still better than what I get with my current MBP and has a similar power profile. The i5 is maybe 100-200mA lower than the old C2Ds, and have larger batteries.
     
  18. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Anthropocene
    #18
    Oops, sorry i didn't read through the whole thread! Sounds like a good choice!

    Have fun!

     
  19. critten macrumors member

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    Jan 13, 2008
    #19
    would the i7 be worth it if i run win 7 in vmware a lot? I forgot that being a windows user looking to switch over, i might be using htat for awhile....Is it just slower? I mean i think an i5 should be more than enough to run win 7, rather the ram and ssd would just make it way better than the 180$ i7
     
  20. anarchron macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2004
    #20
    More RAM is your friend in this instance.
     

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