2.6GHz vs 2.7GHz processors.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by playsontheleft, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. playsontheleft macrumors regular

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    Jul 2, 2012
    #1
    So I'm very interested in getting my hands on one of the new MacBook Pros (not certain if I'm going Retina or standard just yet) and the option to change your processor caught my eye. At first I wasn't interested - after all, 0.1GHz is a really small speed bump for a pretty hefty £240 where I am. But then I noticed that the 2.7GHz processor has something the 2.6 one doesn't have; an extra 2MB of L3 Cache. Am I right in thinking this, and what difference does having more L3 cache make? Will it be noticeable in processor-heavy tasks and overall worth my £240?

    Thanks!
     
  2. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #2
    What are you planning to use the computer for?
     
  3. playsontheleft thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Primarily 3D graphics and animation using applications such as After Effects and Cinema 4D, and some image editing using apps like Photoshop or Aperture. If I've got the time to, and if the computer is able to (which, from what I've read, it is) I might try my hand at gaming at some point.
     
  4. Puevlo macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    0.1 GHz is 100,000,000 operations per second. So if you want to be able to do another 100 millions things per second get the 2.7 GHz.
     
  5. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #5
    I don't think you will see much of a difference in those applications and it certainly won't help for gaming since both processors will handle it equally well.

    There aren't many benchmarks of the 3820qm (2.7 BTO option) yet, but looking at the synthetic scores in the geekbench database and comparing it to the 3720 qm (2.6 ) shows that the difference in the real world will not be noticeable on a day-to-day basis. I ended up going with the 2.6 option.

    ----------

    Ignore this joker.
     
  6. playsontheleft thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    I meant to say Cinema 4D, not After Effects, but I guess this will still apply. Thanks for the advice! Out of interest, where would the difference be noticeable and what actually is L3 cache?
     
  7. MH01 macrumors G4

    MH01

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    #7
    Are you really going to care about 100 million when you have 2.6 Billion???
     
  8. daleski75 macrumors 65816

    daleski75

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    #8
    It's not worth paying the extra for that very small boost in speed which you will probably never notice anyway.
     
  9. EatMyApple macrumors 6502

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    #9
    But what if the 100 million is in my secret account and the 2.6 billion is in our joint account?

    Toy slush fund! :D
     
  10. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #10
    Here is a nice and simple explanation of L1, L2 and L3 caches

    http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-l3-cache.htm

    Any differences between the two would be more likely attributed to the increase in the frequency as opposed to the cache and any improvements due to the cache are difficult to isolate in benchmarking. It's a tricky question to answer correctly. What normally happens during the design of CPUs is that the engineers will run various load simulations on the different models and figure out how much cache makes sense vs what the accountants have to say.
     
  11. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #11
    It will save you a few seconds on some computationally-intensive work. Is it worth it? For me, no. But if you are a professional who earns your money with stuff like that, maybe the 3820QM will allow you to finish one or two (maybe even more) photos or rendered images more per day.

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    :eek:
     
  12. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

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    #12
    Doesn't a larger cache also possibly have the reverse effect of increasing latency? The two cache sizes may each have their own advantages, I don't know.
     
  13. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    #13
    The faster processor with extra cache may give a bit of an edge when compressing video -- that is where you are going to get the most advantage, like when rendering a 1080p FinalCut Pro project. The largest advantages will be seen at compression and rendering, processor-intensive tasks.
     
  14. cube, Jul 2, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012

    cube macrumors G5

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    #14
    The point of this upgrade is the cache, not the 4 x 100 MHz.

    A hardware thread has to wait more time to access data from lower levels in the memory hierarchy.
    And the Intel Hyperthreading processors have only 2 hardware threads per core.

    L1 < L2 < L3 << RAM << disk
     
  15. sireShonBohn macrumors regular

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    Jun 18, 2012
    #15
    One thing I've noticed with Intel is that while the speed bumps may be incremental, the price you pay is not. They charge a 2x premium for the label of being "the fastest" even if it is only incrementally faster than the next much cheaper option.
     
  16. Trey M macrumors 6502a

    Trey M

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    #16
    That is the dumbest way to put something I have ever seen
     
  17. Pentad macrumors 6502a

    Pentad

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    #17
    Sadly, I do not think most people understand how a CPU works or how important cache is.

    I think the 2.7 Ghz upgrade price is reasonable for what you get AND depending on what you are doing. Many applications that do large calculations can benefit greatly from more cache.


    If I was getting the RMBP I would opt for the 2.7 Ghz CPU.



    -P
     
  18. sireShonBohn macrumors regular

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    Jun 18, 2012
    #18
    The 2.6 still has 6MB of cache which is rather hefty and suitable for almost anything you might throw at it.

    L3 is shared between the cores, so being a quad core the 2.6GHZ option has 1.5MB L3 per core. Making it a similar to the 2MB per core on the 2.7GHZ, not exactly wow levels of difference.

    Never have I seen a benchmark where .5MB of L3 has made some sort of world changing difference on performance.
     
  19. ethana macrumors 6502a

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    Seattle, WA
    #19
    Time is money. The less time I waste on waiting for stuff, the more value I get out of it.

    The highest CPU is always worth it to me. A couple of seconds adds up over a lifetime.
     
  20. sireShonBohn, Jul 2, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012

    sireShonBohn macrumors regular

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    #20
    Do you work in a factory? Just wondering. It's the only place I know of where a WORKER'S seconds to completion have real meaning. Considering that you might be pumping out millions of widgets per day, cutting the time per widget by a full second = millions more widgets per day. In the world of laptops, the only time you're going to measure a full second of difference using a stop watch is if the CPU is literally going full on, 100% for well more than 10 seconds. At that point your internal clock isn't going to notice the difference even if your stopwatch does. If you need a computer that can do more than that you should buy a desktop computer that will literally save you more seconds than are humanly possible to count. In fact, you should probably buy the fastest computer on the market, because the time saved say opening and closing Illustrator will allow you to fondle yourself while thinking about all the time you're saving. It would be at least 47 extra seconds per year doing that, think of the savings.
     

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