2011 MBA - 11.6" - 1.6 i5 or 1.8 i7

bacan1

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 22, 2010
48
0
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?
 

HawkBYU

macrumors member
Nov 15, 2010
60
2
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.
 
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bk123

macrumors member
Jul 4, 2011
71
0
same issue..
anyone know about apples return policy?
if for some reson i wanna downgrde or even buy from best buy or something
 
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mac jones

macrumors 68040
Apr 6, 2006
3,257
1
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
 
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mac jones

macrumors 68040
Apr 6, 2006
3,257
1
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.
 
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KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,578
3,116
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?
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. :)
 
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Krevnik

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2003
3,437
742
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? :)
 
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mac jones

macrumors 68040
Apr 6, 2006
3,257
1
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? :)
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".
 
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Krevnik

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2003
3,437
742
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".
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. :)
 
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Roman2K~

macrumors 6502a
Mar 11, 2011
552
16
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?
 
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mac jones

macrumors 68040
Apr 6, 2006
3,257
1
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?

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 )
 
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Jobsian

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2009
828
13
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?
I'd absolutely love the answer to these questions too. We may need to wait for some proper benchmarking though.
 
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Starfyre

macrumors 68030
Nov 7, 2010
2,766
990
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
 
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Roman2K~

macrumors 6502a
Mar 11, 2011
552
16
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 )
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.
 
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mac jones

macrumors 68040
Apr 6, 2006
3,257
1
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.
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? :)
 
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KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,578
3,116
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.
 
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da3dl3us

macrumors member
Jul 27, 2010
69
0
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:
 
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bigjnyc

macrumors 603
Apr 10, 2008
6,437
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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..?
 
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Starfyre

macrumors 68030
Nov 7, 2010
2,766
990
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.
Yeah, the whole binning is more of a performance than power consumption thing.
 
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