2.7 i7 vs. 2.9 i7

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Muslin18, Nov 26, 2016.

  1. Muslin18 macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2016
    Hi. I am trying to decide between a 2.7 i7 and a 2.9 ghz. Below are the specs. I run numerical simulations for work sometimes, and I would like to get into photo editing but otherwise I'm an average user.
    However I have 0 patience. I run a lot of terminal windows and would like to future proof my comp. but I don't have to have max everything. Is 2.7 enough. Saving $200 would be awesome. Advice? Thanks! :)
    • Touch Bar and Touch ID
    • 2.9GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz
    • 16GB 2133MHz memory
    • 1TB PCIe-based SSD
    • Radeon Pro 460 with 4GB memory
    • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports
    • Force Touch trackpad
    • Accessory Kit
    • Backlit Keyboard (English) & User's Guide
  2. craig1410 macrumors 65816


    Mar 22, 2007
    This is the same spec as the machine I should be receiving on Monday. I had the same dilemma about 2.7 vs 2.9 but decided on the 2.7 in the end.

    I'm coming from a 2.3Ghz 2013 rMBP model so should see a decent improvement but I also have a 4Ghz iMac and even the 2.9 can't match that. So I figured I'm better off saving the money or at least prioritising GPU and SSD. IMO 7% extra CPU will rarely make as much difference because the CPU spends most of its time at low utilisation.

    Hope this helps,
  3. Muslin18 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2016
  4. maybeamacy macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2015
    I ordered the exact same build as well, how long did it take from order to arrival for you?
  5. JohnnyGo macrumors 6502a

    Sep 9, 2009
    Are you running hour-long monte carlo simulations ? If that's the case you really need a desktop. But if you need to cram it in a laptop, go for the highest CPU available and if possible try to use a software that will utilize the GOU/OpenCL/OpenGL
  6. Kn!ghthawk macrumors member

    Nov 24, 2016
    Go with the 2.7. I went with the 2.9/1/tb/460 setup mainly because I do a fair amount of photo editing and am starting to get into the video editing side of things...and I intend to keep this unit for 5+ years. My last MBP was a 2009 that is still running strong after 7 years.
  7. Muslin18 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2016
    @JohnnyGo right now I only run montecarlo on my work iMac, but it's a shared workstation and is often unavailable. I' don't want to buy an underpowered machine because I'm being cheap. I need to be able to work from own desk when necessary and more complex sims I will run on desktop
  8. JohnnyGo macrumors 6502a

    Sep 9, 2009
    So go for the max CPU available. Every minute counts if that is your main workload
  9. auero macrumors 65816

    Sep 15, 2006
    I have the same 2.3 GHZ 2013 MBP and it scores higher than my new 2.7 GHZ 2016 MBP on Geekbench. Disappointing, but that's entirely Intel's fault. Still, I would opt for the 2.7 instead of the 2.9 in terms of upgrading the 2016 model.
  10. Naimfan macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2003
    As a practical matter, there is no difference, so save the $200.

    If you're really in need of cpu, get a top-end Mid-2015, which provides faster cpu performance than any of the 2016 models that have appeared in geekbench to date.
  11. flat five macrumors 603

    flat five

    Feb 6, 2007
    if you do a lot of highly interactive work (CAD/3D modeling for instance), then a faster cpu is going to be beneficial.. if you measure time spent on a project, you're not going to arrive at any truly meaningful separation between 2.7 & 2.9 GHz cpus.. maybe something like 20hrs - 1min on the 2.7 vs 20hrs - 0min on the 2.9..

    but, the benefit will be in the realm of smoother navigations.. less hiccups.. while a hiccup might only be a fraction of a second, they're annoying.. a faster cpu gives a better chance at getting smoothly through an interactive project with applications that typically demand quick bursts of high speeds.

    i don't necessarily focus on operations which require the computer to work while i'm not working.. for example, rendering a still of a 3D model..
    if a computer takes an hour to complete a render at 2.9ghz or 65minutes at 2.7ghz then so what.. it's not my time therefore it's not saving me any money nor is it making my workflow any smoother.. so there wouldn't be much in the way of justifying spending extra money in order for the computer to work faster while i'm not actually using the thing.
  12. Fireball Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Fireball Dragon

    Nov 26, 2012
    Chigwell, England
    I got the same configuration with 2.9. The price difference was negligible in terms of the overall price, and I am keeping this computer for at least 3 years (and until the next major redesign).
  13. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040


    Jul 4, 2015
    Shouldn't be correct. I test these processors like a benchmarking madman and the 2.7ghz 6820HQ is noticeable faster than the older 4850HQ you mention.

  14. auero macrumors 65816

    Sep 15, 2006
    Sorry, you're correct. The 2016 is outperforming, but by a small margin. I accidentally had another Geekbench window open while doing my test and I was looking at someone else results.

    My tests:
    Late 2.3 2013 scores: 3587 Single-Core and 12234 Multi-Core
    2.7 2016 model scores: 4023 Single-Core and 13117 Multi-Core

    I should note, I've seen higher scores on the 2013 model, but I personally didn't reset my machine before testing because I have a lot of work open.


    If I recall correctly, processor benchmarks will vary based on system so we can't look at direct processor results on Geekbench? I could be incorrect.
  15. MacBH928 macrumors 68030


    May 17, 2008
    well if you do, can you help me figure out if there is any real difference between the i5 2.7GHz 2015 model and the i5 2.9GHz 2016 model for the '13 inch?
    Is it really faster or we are talking just 200MHz spec bump?
  16. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040


    Jul 4, 2015
    There's only a little variance +/- 100 points. The main thing is always to test the same version of the app. Version 4 is a completely new test and gives lower numbers than version 3.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 27, 2016 ---
    That same page should give you an idea of CPU RAW performance. But in real world use you won't notice any difference between those two until you step up to an i7.
  17. Muslin18 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2016
    Thanks for all your help, every one. I've decided on the 2.7 I think. this computer is already more than I expected, so if 2.7 will work well for most things. That's good enough. @Kn!ghthawk you mentioned video editing.. Did you find 2.7 too slow for that?
  18. jackoatmon macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2011
    processor speeds don't matter much any more. they've been largely stagnant for about 5 years. they get cooler and smaller, not much faster

    you either have a dual or quad, hyperthreading or not, and the rest is just diminishing returns on the edge of the bell curve

    usually, every other spec is more important

    there are exceptions – but i wouldn't lose a ton of sleep about a 200mhz processor bump
  19. Kn!ghthawk macrumors member

    Nov 24, 2016
    Only reason I went for the 2.9 was mainly for future proofing. I wind up keeping this one for a while & I figure the upgrade might be worth it in the end. I haven't actually had the opportunity yet to see how this handles video editing but I know it will be fine & the 2.7 shouldn't have any issues with it either.
  20. Antairez macrumors regular


    Mar 17, 2015
    Nothing is future proof to be honest, as the most technological advances happen in change of architecture, not clock speed. Clock speed has been about the same for the past decade, no matter how much you spend this year next architectural change is going to shake things up again. If you want to save money 2.7 is enough as you could barely tell the difference most of the time. MacBook is seriously overpriced already.
  21. Kn!ghthawk macrumors member

    Nov 24, 2016
    I won't argue that. For me it made some sense given that I was able to drive one state over and avoid the sales tax. Had that not been an option I most likely would have left it at the 2.7 and that would have been fine.
  22. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    my 2015 2.8 hit .
    4417 14340
  23. Make Apple Great Again macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2016
    You won't notice a difference honestly, even "Pro's" who use it would likely not notice a difference even when using up all the CPU's power... they are both Quad core and that's the most important thing, and also they both come with 8mb of L3 Cache, as opposed to the 6mb of L3 with the 2.6 CPU... which is why I always recommend the 2.7 over the 2.6 for the small price difference.

    Both the 2.7 and 2.9 will give you a great experience, you're better off with the 2.7 and taking the money and upgrading to the Radeon 460.
  24. Fireball Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Fireball Dragon

    Nov 26, 2012
    Chigwell, England
    Your email probably right. In my case, I need the 1TB and 460. A large factor was getting the 2.9 / 1TB / 460 from an Apple Store, or waiting online for another 4 weeks for 2.7 / 1TB / 460.
  25. charpi macrumors regular

    Sep 30, 2006
    Sorry for bumping this up. I kind of have the same dilemma here. In my country, these 2 specs for the 15" Macbook Pro cost exactly the same and I am undecided between them:

    i7 2.9 Ghz, 256 GB SSD or
    i7 2.7 Ghz, 512GB SSD

    (Both configs have a 460 GPU)

    - Exporting large numbers of photos from Capture One Pro (how much faster will the 2.9 be?)
    - Android/iOS development (not sure of processor is the bottleneck here but Android Studio runs extremely slowly on my Surface Pro 4 now)
    - Web development (either configs are good, will not make a difference IMO)

    Initially, I was learning towards the 2.9 for the speed in exporting photos, but now that I think about it, I will very likely install Windows with bootcamp, so storage may be important.

    Any thoughts on this?


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