2011 MBA - 11.6" - 1.6 i5 or 1.8 i7

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by bacan1, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. bacan1 macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2010
    Toronto, Canada
    Will I notice any difference? I'm mainly web browsing, e-mailing, some Aperture use but not frequent, and watching videos from iTunes.

    My main concern is battery life and heat, so if the faster processor will likely have a big impact on either of these, I'll stick to the slower one. Any thoughts?
  2. Oppressed macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2010
  3. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    Waiting is depressing when you want to order NOW ;) :D
  4. HawkBYU macrumors member


    Nov 15, 2010
    I'm in the same boat... I think I am going to stick with the i5 since I really want the 256GB HD and I can't justify spending $1649. $1499 is already more than I wanted to spend.
  5. bk123 macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2011
    same issue..
    anyone know about apples return policy?
    if for some reson i wanna downgrde or even buy from best buy or something
  6. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    I just grabbed a 11" i7

    I can't believe they are stuffing in i7s into these little things.

    The fans are really going to get a a workout :D
  7. mac jones, Jul 20, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011

    mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    This has caught everybody off guard. At most everybody thought a 1.6 i5 for the 11" but not a 1.8 i7, no way.

    I'm typing on a 1.6 core2 11" Air right now, but the new one must be twice as fast as this.
  8. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    For what you describe, the Core i5 should be sufficient. The Core 2 Duo was fine for that, even for limited Aperture usage, though the Core i5 will be significantly faster than the old model.

    I went with the 1.8GHz Core i7 "Ultimate 11," but primarily for ego than anything else, now that the MacBook Air is effectively the base model. :)
  9. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    The i7 comes across as those trying to eek out the last drop of performance from the machines and power consumption is a secondary concern. As with the older dual-core i5/i7 comparisons, I bet you'll see that the extra power drain from an i7 is noticeable.

    I'm going with the i5 myself, since with Astrophotography, power consumption is king. I can always process the photos when I'm back near a wall outlet, but when I'm on a 12VDC battery source for all my gear, less power means more time in the field. Plus, the 1.4Ghz C2D wasn't a deal breaker for me before, why would a faster 1.6Ghz i5 (both in clock and just raw perf) be? :)
  10. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    That's wise. I hate to think of the hit on the battery with the i7.
    I use an 11" now exclusivley and the 1.6 is more than enough.

    I bought the faster one as I need the power and was having some problems with deciding to take two machines with me (not something I want to do).

    But no way i'm traveling without the 11".
  11. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    I can certainly see the benefit of having the option, that's for sure. And I think most people are in agreement that it varies based on your needs. The OP should probably stick with the i5 if battery is a primary concern.

    In my own case, AP and software development isn't exactly something that taxes the processor these days. Not unless you are building large projects (and I have distcc + a MacPro for that). Neither does HD video, the web, or e-mail. :)
  12. Roman2K~ macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2011
    Regarding battery life: from the i5 (1.6 .. 2.3 GHz) to the i7 (1.8 .. 2.9 GHz), they all have a 17w TDP. I don't know enough to confirm, but doesn't that mean they all consume the same amount of power?
  13. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006

    No, the faster one will draw more (if this was not so the universe would explode...really :D )

    (ok, so i'm a wise guy, I know :D )
  14. Jobsian macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2009
    I'd absolutely love the answer to these questions too. We may need to wait for some proper benchmarking though.
  15. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    One advantage of the Core i7 is that the CPU boosts to 2.9 GHz vs 2.3GHz. The boost on the HD 3000 is much less signifcant (1.2 GHz vs. 1.15GHz for the Core i5.)


    Compare the 2677M 1.8 GHz Core i7 to the 2467M 1.6 GHz Core i5.
  16. trondah macrumors 6502

    Dec 1, 2008
    Well, 15w is 15w right? How can Apple claim 5 hours battery life on both then?
  17. Starfyre macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2010
    They can claim 5 hours most likely because of a few things:

    1- New sandy bridge processors are lower power
    2- No more Nvidia 320m dedicated card
    3- Bluetooth 4.0
  18. Roman2K~ macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2011
    That's my other (conflicting) assumption.

    But I also know that Intel have their binning process in place where the better batches of CPUs become high-clocked i7s (require a lower voltage at higher clocks) and conversely, the lemons become i5s and i3s.

    That's why I'm seriously wondering about power consumption among same TDP processors like in the new line of MBAs.
  19. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    Well, even the thought of this defies just about every law of physics I can think of. Should I list them? :D

    just saying.:D
  20. mac jones, Jul 20, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011

    mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    short answer. no

    (good wishful thinking though. I think I like your attitude ) :)

    But seriously, your right. The specs are the same so the difference will be minimal, which is great. but it's most likely Intel with some new spec trick. Mind you, their track record with this sort of thing is spotty at best (for those who remember the good ol days ) :D

    But any of you on the fence, get the fast one. Live a little.

    What the heck, right? :)
  21. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Interestingly, the website says the 1.8GHz and 256GB 11" models are available only online. http://www.apple.com/macbookair/specs.html

    I wonder if any of the physical stores (e.g. 5th Avenue) will have the "Ultimate 11" in stock like they did with the old models?

    With np more plastic MacBook, they ought to be able to stock more MacBook Air configurations in store. My main motivation in going "ultimate" was the storage. 128GB was getting a little tight.
  22. da3dl3us macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2010
    Damn, this is the question. With student discount, the i7 is only 90 bucks more. But the real issue is battery life. If it takes it down 30 mins, not a big deal. But if it goes 7hours to 5 hours, that could be a deal breaker, and might stick to the i5. :confused:
  23. bigjnyc macrumors 603


    Apr 10, 2008
    Excuse my ignorance but how does the 1.6 i5 compare to a 2.4ghz Core2Duo is it much faster, slightly faster, the same, etc..?
  24. Starfyre macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2010
    Yeah, the whole binning is more of a performance than power consumption thing.

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