2.8 i7 2011 (Sandy Bridge) or 2.5 i5 (2012) Ivy Bridge

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Trvlngnrs, Jun 29, 2012.


Which to choose: higher end 2011 MBP, or lower spec'd 2012 for the same price.

  1. 2011 i7 2.8GHz, 750GB HD, 4 GB RAM 1333MHz

    3 vote(s)
  2. 2012 i5 2.5GHz, 500GB HD, 4 GB RAM 1600MHz

    4 vote(s)
  1. Trvlngnrs macrumors 6502


    Jun 8, 2010
    I'm looking for a 13" MBP for my wife to used for the next 3 - 5 years. She doesn't want the MBA for various reasons.

    The choices are the new base model MBP:
    2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
    4GB 1600MHz memory
    500GB 5400-rpm hard drive
    Intel HD Graphics 4000

    Or last years model with released in October:
    2.8GHz Dual-core Intel i7
    4GB of 1333MHz Memory
    750GB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
    Intel HD Graphics 3000 with 384MB of DDR3 SDRAM

    The prices are within $20 of each other.

    My thoughts: the 2012 has the 1600MHz RAM, the newer processor and USB 3.0, but I'm not sure if the newer processor/memory can outperform the "older" higher spec'd processor/memory. I don't have a clue about the difference in the graphics components.

    Since it's for my wife I'm also slightly concerned of heat output, but realize I can install SMC Fan Control.

    My question is, which laptop do you guys thing would be faster, and/or which would you buy (and why)?

    Thanks much,
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Just a common sense question here, don't take any offense.

    Why would you want to spend > 1000 bucks on old chip set that was replaced with Ivy Bridge?

    Sandy Bridge Computes are fine and either one will work, but if I'm spending that kind of money, I'd be getting the new chip set. Performance is better and the GPU is better - that's just me though
  3. Trvlngnrs thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 8, 2010
    No offense taken.

    I realize it's older, but didn't know if the bump in spec's would make it comparable or even "better".

    Thanks for your input!

  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    From what I've read before and after the release of the ivy bridge chipset. The cpu is about 11 - 15% faster but the GPU is much better (I don't have any estimated percentages).

    I think the Ivy Bridge based laptop sets your wife up for a good long run with the laptop and while the older model would work too, you (or your wife) will not wonder down the road if you should have gotten the newer model.

    Just my $.02 - good luck :)
  5. Robin Chung macrumors member

    Robin Chung

    Apr 6, 2010
    I'd get the new base model if I were you. I have several reasons too:

    1. USB 3.0, future USB drives (work & home) will operate fundamentally faster on the new Macbook.
    2. HD4000, the GPU is probably the most noticeable bottleneck on both systems. Making that part greatly helps the overall balance. Also consider that RAM + HDD can be upgraded if you desperately need more speed down the line.
    3. Ivy Bridge is more power efficient and better optimized, albeit just a little bit.
  6. striker33 macrumors 65816


    Aug 6, 2010
    What does your wife want to use it for?

    The difference in processor speeds is negligible for the majority of people, and the i5 will also produce less heat and use less power, as well as having the much improved HD4000 which will handle graphically intensive tasks more effectively.

    Then theres USB3 as well to consider, and like you said, the faster RAM, although once again is negligible for most people.
  7. Trvlngnrs thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 8, 2010
    Thanks for the advice guys!

    She'll be using it for routine stuff...internet, Word, Casino type games....

    I'll borrow it for Handbrake, DVD creation since my MBP is a 2010 model.


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