2.6Ghz Intel Core i7 vs 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 (T4) vs 2.9Ghz quad core Intel Core i7 (3.8)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by marcnyc, Oct 29, 2016.

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  1. marcnyc macrumors newbie

    marcnyc

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    #1
    Hello everyone,
    I was planning on buying one of the new MacBook Pro's but I have to say I am underwhelmed with the specs... It seems to be all about the Touch ID and Touch Bar and the bigger trackpad, but what I am REALLY after is more processing power, but there doesn't seem to be a huge improvement on that front...

    So my question is (aside from peripherals and ports), how much difference in ACTUAL PROCESSING POWER actually is there between:
    - the new top of the line Mac Book Pro with 2.9Ghz quad core Intel Core i7 (Turbo 3.8Ghz)
    - the previous top of the line MacBook Pro with 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 (Turbo 4.Ghz)
    - the Late 2013 MacBook Pro with 2.6Ghz Intel Core i7

    Also, I am curious, does quad-core mean there are FOUR processors and the Late 2013 Intel Core i7 has only ONE processor?
    And does that mean the quad processor models are FOUR TIMES FASTER than the Intel Core i7?

    To tell you where I am at and what I care about the most:

    I currently own a MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013) with 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7, 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 and NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2048 MB.
    This is my main and only mac but, except for when I travel, I use it mostly as a desktop computer (meaning I use an external Cinema display, keyboard and mouse, therefore I don't really care much about the display of the laptop itself or about the size of touchbad or the new Touch Bar or the new Touch ID.

    I am a professional sound engineer, mixer, producer and so my most processing-intensive task is using ProTools with high track counts and high number of plugins so that is where my CPU and RAM usage goes.

    With all that in mind, what is the most powerful CPU/RAM-wise MacBook Pro I can buy today if I don't care about Touch Bar/ID/display/trackpad much?

    Thanks a lot!
     
  2. deadworlds macrumors 6502a

    deadworlds

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    #2
    Well as far as quad-core, it means that there are 4 logical processors. This can make a big difference in performance because essentially you can have 4 processors, all running at the same speed, working on the same task. For example converting a video on a quad-core will be faster than on a dual or single core processor, even if they are running at a higher clock rate.
     
  3. marcnyc thread starter macrumors newbie

    marcnyc

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    #3
    so my computer is a Single core? and is a Quad core 4 times faster than a Single core?
     
  4. fate0311 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 31, 2015
    #4
    Going from single to quad is major. When I went from a base 13" last year to a maxed out 15" it was incredible. From the speed of converting, transferring, and saving to the difference I saw in GUI lag.

    It for sure set my standards and expectations moving forward on what I expect and will continue to expect out of any MBP I purchase.
     
  5. marcnyc thread starter macrumors newbie

    marcnyc

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    Jan 16, 2007
    #5
    I understand but I am STILL unsure whether mine is a single or a quad core... according to this linke (http://www.everymac.com/systems/app...-graphics-late-2013-retina-display-specs.html) mine IS indeed a quad core
     
  6. deadworlds macrumors 6502a

    deadworlds

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    #6
    If this is your computer https://support.apple.com/kb/sp690?locale=en_US

    Then you have a quad-core in there. Also I think all i7 processors are quad core. They are intels performace CPUs
     
  7. marcnyc thread starter macrumors newbie

    marcnyc

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    Jan 16, 2007
    #7
    Yes that's it.
    So back to my original question: what are the differences in speed between a 2.6, a 2.8 and a 2.9 cpu? Since these are all quad core Core i7 CPUs, how much difference can there possibly be?
    I wonder why in 4 years there hasn't been a leap in CPU speeds and since these new computers are still only being sold with 16Gb of Ram, even in that dept that hasn't really been major improvement
     
  8. deadworlds macrumors 6502a

    deadworlds

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    #8
    I don't know what kind of perormace difference there will be between the cpus but I can say that you'll most likely not notice it unless your doing something that is very processor intensive.

    As for why we aren't seeing speed bumps in CPUs these days, it comes down to power usage and heat generated. It used to be that we could expect every couple of years to see more and more speed increases. However the faster the clock rate need more power which leads to more heat being generated and there are also timing issues that can pop up.

    somone realized that instead of raising the clock speed it would increase performance and keep heat down if they started making multiple cores running at a lower clock rate. Hence why we now have processors,up to 8 cores, that run at something like 2.8Ghz that can outperform an overclocked pentium 4 at 4Ghz.
     
  9. T5BRICK macrumors G3

    T5BRICK

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    #9
    You can't measure the speed of different generation processors simply by comparing clock speeds. That being said, there really haven't been any huge increases in CPU performance in the last few generations.

    Overall system speeds have improved due to faster GPUs, RAM and SSDs. Additionally newer components generally draw less power so the battery life improves.

    Moores law. Processors have been improving at an incredible rate for years and years. Eventually we'all hit a wall. It seems that happened in the last few years.
     
  10. marcnyc thread starter macrumors newbie

    marcnyc

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    #10
    That makes sense, so why aren't we seeing eight core MacBook Pros?
     
  11. deadworlds macrumors 6502a

    deadworlds

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    #11
    Most likely because 8 cores require more power to run and therefore more heat. It wouldn't make sense to make a laptop, which is supposed to be mobile, use a power hungry processor that will kill your battery. Also Apple will have to *gasp* build a thicker body for such a chip.
     
  12. marcnyc thread starter macrumors newbie

    marcnyc

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    #12
    Well it seems they are all the same generation CPUs (quad core i7) so the only real difference is the clocking speed, right? And since I already have 16Gb of RAM (which is the most today's new models have) and an SSD drive, I really don't see a way for me to hope for a faster machine for the time being, am I correct?
     
  13. deadworlds macrumors 6502a

    deadworlds

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    #13
    Someone over in another thread made an observation that one of the cpus has a larger L2 cache. I have not looked into the actual specs of these processors so I cannot say which one it is. I would guess it's probably the 2.9Ghz one.
     
  14. wegster macrumors 6502

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    Nov 1, 2006
    #14
    This is one of the reasons I held onto my 2011 MBP for so long - the CPU performance gains have been minor and incremental (although the drive performance has become impressive).
    Your 2013 vs 2015 model:
    [​IMG]

    What is NOT apparent from the above is the 2013 was using PCI-E 2-lane, while the 2015 moved to 4 lane, so nearly double the storage performance. Whether or not that matters 'in reality' has to do with an individuals particular usage, as for things people like to commonly 'measure,' e.g. system boot, opening apps, I wouldn't expect much real difference, but those dealing with LARGE file writes frequently, or a LOT of physical to virtual memory swapping..would.

    It seems like the latest model has upped the SSD performance again, although I'm unsure how much in real-world. This is a good thing in general, as many systems have been I/O bound in wait states for a long time now, so attacking the 'weak link' in the chain is pretty awesome, although not everyone may benefit equally depending on their specific usage.
     
  15. Softwarez macrumors member

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    Oct 29, 2016
    #15
    Firstly, they aren't the same generation of CPU. The late 2013, as well as last years model use 4th Generation Haswell. The new Macbook pro uses 6th Generation Skylake.

    Performance through generations is not determined by only clockspeed. For example, a 3.7GHz 6th generation i7 is faster than a 4.0 GHz 2nd generation i7. There are a lot of factors that go into the performance of a CPU, and performance can even vary depending on the task being done (video editing and render, physics simulations, etc). It's quite a lot to write about, so I'll leave it out.

    Simply put, the new macbook pro is definitely faster. You will notice small things like programs opening faster, and in general, a more smooth experience. The new one is also a lot more power efficient, so when doing casual webbrowsing, you'll probably notice the fan spinning up less.

    Is it a night and day difference? No. But is it faster, and still relatively noticeable in day to day use? Yes.
     
  16. T5BRICK macrumors G3

    T5BRICK

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    #16
    The 2.6GHz and 2.8GHz CPUs are both Haswell, 4th generation. The 2.9GHz CPU is Skylake, 6th generation.

    Regardless, the CPU isn't that much faster. The newer SSD and GPU are though.

    It really comes down to this: does your current Mac do what you need it to do? If you answered yes, you don't need a new Mac.
     
  17. tigres macrumors 68040

    tigres

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    #17
    Helpful thread guys.

    I would like to add a question to the mix. I am contemplating a 2015 refurb maxed out 15" vs. the new one. I will primarily be using it for intensive VM's (2-3) at a time. I have also been looking at the Surface Book (just to compare), however I cannot find myself leaving the OSX environment as I am so used to utilizing both environments for my work.

    Daily, I use Office suite, Jabber, Heavy excel, Outlook, safari, VPN, Workday, Teamwork, Mail, Calendar iMessage, and the like. In my VM environment, I use Viseo, a heavy processing intensive company program we use to Code, and program client environments, with 2-3 different VM's open at a time. Our company uses windows 7 Enterprise.

    The above said, anyone have some input for me?

    2650 for a referb maxed out 2015/15"
    Or 3279 EDU 15" maxed out (1TB) drive, not the 2TB.

    Thanks for your input.
     
  18. viljamip macrumors regular

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    Jan 22, 2016
    #18
    No, they are all 6th gen Skylakes, 6700HQ, 6820HQ, and 6920HQ.
     
  19. T5BRICK macrumors G3

    T5BRICK

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    #19
    Read the OP. He's comparing his 2013 model(2.6GHz haswell), last years top of the line model(2015 rMBP with 2.8GHz haswell) and the newly released top of the line model(2016 rMBP with 2.9GHz Skylake).
     
  20. viljamip macrumors regular

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    Jan 22, 2016
    #20
    Ah, my bad. Sorry.
     
  21. marcnyc thread starter macrumors newbie

    marcnyc

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    Jan 16, 2007
    #21
    do you guys know if there are any websites that post actual speed test comparisons of different machines? I checked barefeets but I don't see the latest machines tested vs the earlier generations
     
  22. Rockadile macrumors regular

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    Jun 11, 2012
    #22
    Geekbench? https://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks

    15" not released yet though.
     
  23. dk808 macrumors 6502a

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    May 13, 2015
    #23
    So is it worth spending the extra cash to get the 2.7 ghz over the 2.6?
     
  24. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan, Nov 1, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2016

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    #24
    The two year old 4890HQ is faster than the new 6700HQ and 6820HQ according to Geekbench 4, CPUBoss, etc. The 4Ghz Turboboost makes a great contribution to many single core tasks while the multi core performance is about the same.

    The 6920HQ can match the 4890HQ...but you pay three times less for used MBP with the older chip.

    Unless you utilise the extra power of the 450-460 then you won't notice the difference in daily tasks. Even the Intel chip will perform just as well.

    Just remember Apple made big claims about the 370X but in real testing it was no faster than the 750M.

    The extra bandwidth of the new SSDs are only felt if you can tap into it. Daily use no. But if you copy multi gigabyte files around, yes.
     
  25. paaj macrumors member

    paaj

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