2.9GHz vs. 2.7GHz

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by nitrocosis, Dec 14, 2016.

  1. nitrocosis macrumors member


    Sep 22, 2016
    I am wondering which one to get?
    I currently have an order in for the 2.9GHz, 460 card, 512 GB. Are there any downsides to the 2.9GHz version? I have read some bad things about it on here, so I just want to make sure.
    My use cases would be light gaming (Wow, league, tycoon games, strategy games) and programming. I am probably not in need of the 2.9GHz for these tasks, but I don't see an issue with maxing it out in terms of performance. I could put the money to better use with more storage, but I currently haven't even maxed out the 128GB version that I'm replacing, so 512 seems sufficient to me.
    What are your thoughts and experiences with this?
  2. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    You can compare them here:


    I doubt you'll notice much difference. Generally speaking, if I am looking for a laptop and want the best battery life, then I'll choose the lower clock CPU. If I know it's going to be plugged in most of the time (and can afford the upgrade), I'll choose the faster clock.

    In this case, the processors are so close, that I'd choose the 2.7 and put more money toward RAM and/or disk.
  3. nitrocosis thread starter macrumors member


    Sep 22, 2016
    How much of a difference can be expected in battery life, in that case?
  4. an3s macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2016
    I guess it depends on how you use it. When it has to work it uses a lot of juice.
  5. nitrocosis thread starter macrumors member


    Sep 22, 2016
    Well, I did list my primary use cases. I am more looking if there are any downsides to the 2.9GHz than upsides, to be honest.
  6. Make Apple Great Again macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2016
    I personally went with the 2.7... they both have 8MB of L3 Cache (As opposed to the 2.6, which only has 6MB of L3 Cache), and you honestly won't really feel the difference in real life use... Save your $200 and put it somewhere else, I put the money towards the graphics card upgrade, SSD, and Applecare...
  7. Chuzwuzzin macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2009
    Your use cases don't sound very CPU bound so to be frank the 2.6 would be perfectly good enough. These days the main benefit from a faster/better CPU is on time consuming CPU bound tasks like video encoding large videos or rendering. If you do this frequently the time saving afforded by the marginally faster CPU is possibly worth it (if time is money or you're impatient!).

    Personally I've gone for the 2.7 but I'd like to have gone for the 2.9 if I didn't have such sticker shock at the price increases introduced by the new MBPs. If you're keeping it a while it's nice to know you have the fastest model there is (battery life is not an issue for me).

    Bear in mind that cancelling and reordering could entail quite a wait!
  8. nitrocosis thread starter macrumors member


    Sep 22, 2016
    Well, WoW is quite a CPU heavy game, though I'm not sure how much I could gain from the upgrade. I do realize the MBPs aren't really meant for gaming, and I have other gaming laptops for this purpose, but I'd like the option to do so on the go (gaming laptops tend to be really bulky and heavy).
    Price isn't my concern though, just the potential disadvantages of the 2.9 (for instance battery life).
  9. mbezzo macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2000
    I don't see any downsides... I've got a 2.9 and it's great. All 15" CPU's are 45watt max - regardless of clock speed so battery life will be negligibly worse... if it's different at all.
  10. Jefe's MacAir macrumors 6502

    Nov 21, 2010
    Generally I would say no, but if you're doing any kind of gaming at all on a regular basis, I don't see how it would hurt.
  11. Noerdy macrumors member


    Dec 13, 2016
    Battery life will only be affected if the task is enough for the 2.9ghz to kick in, like if you are doing simple tasks, they should be the same, but if you are doing something that the 2.9 could do that the 2.7 couldnt, then battery life will be affected.
  12. Make Apple Great Again macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2016
    The battery life isn't that much different for the 2.9 over 2.7, if price is not an issue, definitely get the 2.9... the new MBP's are not machines that are upgradeable in any sense, so definitely get the best specs you can now. It seems the battery life issue is something that has been fixed with the latest Sierra update.
  13. recurrence macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2012
    Is there some published evidence of this battery life delta I keep hearing about? It doesn't make technical sense IMO.

    The 2.9 should actually save you battery life since it can hit higher clocks at the same wattage, resulting in completion of your task sooner and a return to a lower wattage faster. Why is a higher clocked processor with the same power threshold as a lower clocked processor going to eat more battery?
  14. littlepud macrumors regular


    Sep 16, 2012
    I didn't want the 2.9 because it was quite a bit more expensive, but ended up getting it anyway because it was on the only BTO SKU that the Apple Store carries with the Radeon 460.
  15. vance09 macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2009
    if you can afford it go 2.9 runs fast runs win7 at 7.5

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