2.0GHz i7 or 8GB RAM?

Spoonz

macrumors member
Original poster
May 16, 2012
53
0
Eagerly awaiting the store to be back online, and as soon as it was live I went to look at the spec bumps on the Air - Retina MBP is just too expensive and I don't need it. Anyway, for £100 more I can get an i7 or for £60 I can get 8GB of RAM but I can't really afford both. Which is the more worthwhile? I'm not going to be using it for anything intensive either CPU wise or RAM wise to be honest, basically just going to be used for day to day stuff, a bit of Photoshop and web design. Any thoughts on which I should bump up?
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,167
1,212
NYC
RAM will probably make more of a difference, though personally I'm going to get both.
 
Comment

Xikum

macrumors 6502
Oct 19, 2011
281
1
The extra RAM will be really noticeable if you start to fill up 4 GB; the extra CPU speed wont really be noticeable at all under any situation. It will speed up things like video encoding slightly, but not significantly.

Get the RAM.
 
Comment

kodeman53

macrumors 65816
May 4, 2012
1,091
1
the extra CPU speed wont really be noticeable at all under any situation.
Incorrect statement. 'under any situation'? Hardly.

BTW, I agree, getting the additional RAM is the right decision for most people, but not everyone.
 
Comment

jgbr

macrumors 6502a
Sep 14, 2007
637
444
Ive noticed abit of bashing the i7 option.

The 2011 MBA i7 option in most reviews got barely any hotter unless you left it doing encoding for hours and had zero impact on battery life. Various benchmarks showed somewhere in the region up to 25% faster.

I suspect most will upgrade ram and leave cpu but for anyone getting i7 and keeping 4gb ram that is silly. The i7 performs better with more ram.

(Intel confirms that i5 and i7 have same 14W stock power usage at either speed unless you speed step)
 
Last edited:
Comment

Xikum

macrumors 6502
Oct 19, 2011
281
1
Incorrect statement. 'under any situation'? Hardly.

BTW, I agree, getting the additional RAM is the right decision for most people, but not everyone.
The upgrade on the 2011 MBA from an i5 to an i7 gave a POTENTIAL increase of 10% CPU speed. That does not mean the CPU was 10% faster; you could only really see it in extreme CPU intensive activities. I suspect that the 2012 will be roughly the same principle.

The CPU upgrade really isnt that great.
 
Comment

kodeman53

macrumors 65816
May 4, 2012
1,091
1
The upgrade on the 2011 MBA from an i5 to an i7 gave a POTENTIAL increase of 10% CPU speed. That does not mean the CPU was 10% faster; you could only really see it in extreme CPU intensive activities. I suspect that the 2012 will be roughly the same principle.

The CPU upgrade really isnt that great.
There have been reports of up to 25% faster under some circumstances.

Since I have no idea how others use their MBAs, I have no idea whether a 10% improvement would be worthwhile to them. There are several videos on Youtube of people doing video encoding that took 5 hours on the MBA2011 and a 10% reduction would save them almost an hour.

Suffice it to say, a blanket statement that the faster CPU 'would be hardly noticeable under any situation' is simply incorrect.
 
Comment

Xikum

macrumors 6502
Oct 19, 2011
281
1
There have been reports of up to 25% faster under some circumstances.

Since I have no idea how others use their MBAs, I have no idea whether a 10% improvement would be worthwhile to them. There are several videos on Youtube of people doing video encoding that took 5 hours on the MBA2011 and a 10% reduction would save them almost an hour.

Suffice it to say, a blanket statement that the faster CPU 'would be hardly noticeable under any situation' is simply incorrect.
Ok, yes, fine; pedantry is the winner here. If you read the OP, you will see;

"I'm not going to be using it for anything intensive either CPU wise"

By saying that it wont be noticeable under any situation I meant in relation to the OPs use. If you really want to drag this out then yes, you are correct that it is possible to see an increase in CPU speed under SOME circumstances, none of which the OP will encounter so it is redundant.
 
Comment

Idiotpathic

macrumors newbie
Jun 13, 2012
6
0
Hey, I'm new here and have been wondering the same question Spoonz had. A friend of mine recently told me that since the Air has an SSD, having more RAM is essentially redundant and that it would be better to upgrade the processor over the RAM. Thoughts?
 
Comment

dkersten

macrumors 6502a
Nov 5, 2010
589
2
Hey, I'm new here and have been wondering the same question Spoonz had. A friend of mine recently told me that since the Air has an SSD, having more RAM is essentially redundant and that it would be better to upgrade the processor over the RAM. Thoughts?
If possible, upgrade both. If not, upgrade the RAM. A SSD and RAM serve two different functions.
 
Comment

KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,603
3,133
The upgrade on the 2011 MBA from an i5 to an i7 gave a POTENTIAL increase of 10% CPU speed. That does not mean the CPU was 10% faster; you could only really see it in extreme CPU intensive activities. I suspect that the 2012 will be roughly the same principle.
There have been reports of up to 25% faster under some circumstances.
The i5 to i7 upgrade is a bigger deal on the 11" than the 13". That was the case last year and is still the case this year. The 1.8GHz i5 has a 200MHz faster turbo boost and more "step up" options than the 1.7GHz i5.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.