2013 MBA: i5 vs i7

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by elcrian, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. elcrian macrumors newbie

    elcrian

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Location:
    Georgia, US
    #1
    Hello,
    I've been searching for hours and hours and couldn't find a satisfying result to my question, since virtually everyone seems to have a different opinion on that topic... yet none seems to have compared the CPUs by themselves. :confused:

    I'm planning on getting a MBA 2013, 8GB Ram, 128GB SSD which will cost me $1,199.00 w/ the i5 and $1,349.00 w/ the i7. That's a $150 I could spend on an external hard-drive (since 128Gigs isn't exactly huge, though sufficient w/ iTunes Match).

    I'm not sure how the real-life advantage of the i7 is in the following topics:
    • Video editing / Rendering (not terribly often, but I do that from time to time)
    • RAW-editing photos from my DSLR
    • Since the HD5000 seems capable of it: Some gaming from time to time
    • Programming & Real-Time-Debugging w/ Eclipse

    Benchmark show an increase in speed up to 25%. How noticeable will that be in everyday's business? If a movie were to render 15 instead of 10 minutes, I wouldn't really care, but if my editing software would start lagging and crashing, I most certainly would. :D

    I wanna use the MBA for at least 2 years and don't have an iMac or any other big machine, so the MBA is gonna by my desktop-replacement.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. sk3tch macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    #2
  3. monokitty, Jun 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013

    monokitty macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    #3
    You should see a difference with the i7 based on what you're doing; the Core i5 will work, but the Core i7 will do it better. Remember that the Core i7 is two cores with four threads, so in essence, it has four virtual cores where as the Core i5 will only have the two. (Hyper Threading.*I think.

    I'm contemplating a MacBook Air myself and would choose the i7/8GB options as well - they're no a brainer to me for the money, especially since neither can be upgraded after the fact.
     
  4. elcrian thread starter macrumors newbie

    elcrian

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Location:
    Georgia, US
    #4
    @sk3tch: My preferences are slightly different to the other guy's, so I thought I might start a new thread. Sorry.

    I'm aware of the comparison, though I'm not sure how to interpret it - are the 400Mhz (respectively 700Mhz more in TurboBoost-mode) worth the extra cash? Is 1MB more L3-Cache noticeable? My knowledge about CPU-architecture is somewhat limited, I'm not gonna lie. :eek:

    @thought: I'm pretty sure the i5 has HyperThreading, too. :confused: And yeah, I was thinking the same thing about it being a one-time-only decision...
     
  5. ApplNat macrumors member

    ApplNat

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    #5
    From all that I've read on this very topic, the 8gb RAM increase gives the most 'bang for the buck.' The i5 is absolutely capable of doing all that you want/need to do, including video editing, however if you spend more than 30% of your time doing high-end type tasks like raw video editing or huge 3D renderings or major computational calculations, then the i7 is probably a good upgrade. If you only do these high-end type processing tasks once in awhile and mostly do standard browsing/computing/viewing/gaming, then the i5 will (still) serve you well, even 2 yrs out.
     
  6. yzh macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    #6
    I'm actually more worried that the i7 becomes hotter and louder fans in the same use as on a i5.

    I hope someone can report that this is not the case.
     
  7. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    #7
    I'm also interested to see what effect the i7 has on that 12 hour battery life.
     
  8. coolio93 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2013
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #8
    I can testify that it has little to no effect on battery life. Yesterday I got 11 hours and 30 minutes use from my laptop doing web browsing, typing, and a little youtube.
     
  9. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    #9
    That sounds about right. Glad to hear it isn't sucking down more juice than that.

    Thanks for the info.
     
  10. elcrian thread starter macrumors newbie

    elcrian

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Location:
    Georgia, US
    #10
    I just went ahead and ordered the MBA w/ the i5, 8 Gigs of RAM and the 128GB SSD. I'm pretty sure the i5 will do fine, several YT videos from this and last year's model show that the i5 is perfectly capable of handling video-editing and stuff... and I've another $150 to spent.

    ApplNat's comment actually made me think how often I'm really gonna need that extra power. So i did the math and didn't really hit the 30%.

    Thanks guys!
     
  11. mattferg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    #11
    I'm sorry but you're wrong - both the i5 and i7 have 2 cores with 4 threads, both are hyperthreaded. All the i7 gives you is a little more mhz, definitely not wotth it.
     
  12. dmpep macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
  13. greenythebeast macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    #13
  14. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #14
    None if you do the same things. For really processor intensive tasks, the i7 will get the task done quicker and empty the battery quicker.
     
  15. curtoise macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    #15
    Can you define this?

    really processor intensive tasks
     
  16. Neeyul macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    #16
    Here's my experience so far with the 13"/i5/8gb/128:

    Holy moly! This thing is fast! I don't really care much for most benchmarks as a way to gauge the real, observable performance and enjoyability of a computer. So, here's what I've done since owning it:

    *Ran Photoshop CS6 and filtered a bunch of stuff lightening fast

    *Re-setup my web project and mobile app through DreamWeaver CS6 and tested everything. Again, super quick with everything, no lag issues.

    *Migrated ~6gb of photos/documents in the time it took me to make a hot sandwich and drink.

    *Ran World of Warcraft on high all settings except good Ground Clutter+Water, Trilinear:
    A comfy ~36-45 fps! Flying around in the middle of a packed Orgrimmar. Raiding drops the FPS to ~32-37 in heavy graphical conditions. Smooth as butter!

    *Ran Diablo 3, High Settings/Antialiasing On:
    ~23-26 FPS in small/med fighting conditions

    *Disk writes at 4xx/7xx, and charges from 3% to 100% in approximately an hour and a halfish.

    Wouldn't change a thing or reorder any different configuration! :)
     
  17. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #17
    Glad to hear you are enjoying it! I have an 11" i5 4GB / 128 GB and I can't see any difference between it and last year's model (same configuration). It's fast, to be sure, and I am quite pleased with it. However, it's no different (besides the fabulous battery life).

    What computer are you coming from to be that impressed with the speed?
     
  18. Neeyul macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    #18
    An early '11 MBP no SSD.
     
  19. johnjey macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Location:
    Northern CA
    #19
    Well that says it all..the 11' with i7/8GB/256 SSD will ROAR past everyone else in the Air segment....! Also, for people who are contemplating about the performance difference b/w i5 and i7 in a 11 inch ==> the facts and tests have shown that there is a 25% improvement in performances with the i7 in 2012 versions for 11', however there is only a 11% difference in performance improvement for 13' version..so that's why getting an i7 in 11' becomes a bigger deal..but we still have to find out about its effect on battery and heat...
     
  20. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #20
    I'm interested in the i7, but haven't decided if it would be worth it for me. It seems logical to assume the computer would run hotter and need more fan cooling, so the battery life would be less. But, that isn't what Apple's site says! I'll think about upgrading to it, but I probably won't bother. I tend to buy the base model and upgrade every year. This seems to get me back a larger percentage of the original purchase price, so I'll stick with that plan.

    As for upgrading from an '11 to a '13, it would surely be a huge difference in speed and performance. Wasn't that a Core Duo with 2 GB RAM? Wow. Things are different now :)
     
  21. curtoise macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    #21
    Remember that Apple tested the machines with the i5 and not the i7 for battery life, it is on their website at the bottom of the tech specs page.
     
  22. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #22
    Whoops! My mistake. Thank you. I had footnote #1 and #2 mixed up in my head. Well, I'm not sure I'd be willing to sacrifice my battery life if it comes to that. I guess we'll have to say what people report. I seem to be getting about what Apple said for the 11", but I'll try a test again tomorrow. The problem is that 9 hours is too long to work!
     
  23. curtoise macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    #23
    Yes and if you add sleep times, lunch breaks, etc etc where the machine will stay idle you will go a couple of days without the need to connect the laptop to power.
     
  24. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #24
    Not quite a couple of days. A long workday, though, should be possible. After about 30 minutes on battery, I am still at 100%, and the meter tells me I have 9:14 remaining. That's quite nice, though I do have the screen brightness down to about 60% (the sun isn't up yet).
     
  25. curtoise macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    #25
    Yes, I managed a couple of days and still had 30% left, regular use (not being glued to the screen) with sleeping times, breaks, etc.
     

Share This Page