Resolved 2016 MacBook Pro CPU Differences

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by R1crd, Nov 24, 2016.

?

Should I return the laptop and get one with 2.7/2.9GHz CPU? (Which is another 2 months of waiting)

  1. No you won't notice the difference

    26 vote(s)
    78.8%
  2. If you are worried already, maybe it's better to upgrade (2.9GHz is worth it)

    7 vote(s)
    21.2%
  1. R1crd macrumors newbie

    R1crd

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    #1
    Hi guys, I'm about to finally receive my MBP 15" with touchbar next week on Wednesday after 4 weeks of waiting (Europe). I configured mine at 6700HQ 2.6GHz i7, Radeon Pro 460 and 512GB SSD. However now that I almost have it in my hands I started to think, whether i made a mistake with CPU choice and should rather update to the 2.7GHz or maybe even better the top one 2.9GHz.

    From intel spec sheet I see that the difference between those 3 is mainly (without comparing the actual frequencies) L3 cache being 6MB on the lower end and 8MB on the higher ones. (+ the higher ends support few more intel technologies like Intel® TSX-NI, Intel® vPro Technology, Intel® Stable Image Platform Program (SIPP), Trusted Execution Technology).

    I'm planning to keep this laptop for at least next 3-4 years (maybe even more), so my question to you guys is if I should return it and when I get the money back, get the more higher spec version (so I'm looking at almost another 2 months of waiting). I guess I can sacrifice the extra $$$ for 2.9Ghz on this already soooo expensive machine. I'm using this laptop mainly for C++/C (Sometimes graphic development, so running more threads is not unusual) and web development in memory hungry IDE from Intellij.

    I'm coming from rMBP 15" mid 2012 entry model, so I didn't even opt for the 16GB of ram upgrade which is the main bottleneck on this machine right now and also the main reason I'm considering returning the machine and getting one with upgraded CPU, so I don't regret this decision in future (like I did with 8GB of RAM)

    Thanks so much guys for your help :)
     
  2. iizmoo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    #2
    Most of the jetbrains IDE has a 512MB default VM setting fir memory and rarely uses more even if you set it so. It only suck CPU time during project indexing, but otherwise work on just about everything. You've just been applying overkill hardware for most of your usage. The graphic development is the only area you've listed that might be able to use the hardware.

    I run multiple VM, Jetbrains IDE, database, XCode, and all from a 13" MBA. Could probably do it on the Macbook too, anything more is hardware for edge cases or the 0.1% of the time where that extra CPU come into play, the other 99%+ of the time it doesn't matter.
     
  3. R1crd thread starter macrumors newbie

    R1crd

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    #3
    (just to clarify I love jetbrains IDEs, since my first message sounds like I don't). I know it's overkill for most of those use cases apart from graphic developement. I probably won't mind if my render takes a little bit more time (due to lower frequency), but just wanted to get an idea if the difference will be noticeable in things like working in Adobe Photoshop etc.

    Like I said, I wouldn't worry about it since I know that CPU won't get used so much in 99% use cases that this speed difference would be noticeable. But I just want to make sure that I don't regret this decision few years from now :)

    So thanks for your input, very helpful!
     
  4. sdeff macrumors newbie

    sdeff

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    #4
    I have the exact same MBP 15" 2016 configuration as you do and also started to wonder if I might regret my CPU choice.

    As a mobile app developer I'm most concerned about running IDEs and compiling times (especially with Android Studio).
     
  5. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #5
    The difference in processing power (and that if you really good in utilising the CPU) is at most under 10%. I wouldn't worry about it.

    P.S. I ordered a maxed out CPU for myself, but thats because I prototype numerical simulations, so the difference will be noticeable for me.
     
  6. iizmoo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    #6
    The IDE indexing is actually a legitimate workflow point, and was one thing I considered between the 13" and 15". On a day to day basis, it's the only thing I do that peak the CPU at 100%, I have a MacPro (trashcan) and it's the one point of 30 seconds in my life where I really could use a 12 cores CPU... In the end, the $1500 difference wasn't worth it for me.

    For everything else...

    In < 1% of the time, the difference will be approximately < 10% (going from 2.6 -> 2.9 ~= 10% Clock difference) Unless we're also accounting for things like diminishing returns, like back when we all got 4Ghz computers and they didn't really feel that much faster than 500Mhz computers... Then in real performance difference, you might be 1-4%. So with the exception of Jetbrains IDE, I don't think it would even be humanly possible to notice a difference between the 2.6 base vs the 2.9.

    Given that there's debate about Kaby Lake even having "real" performance gain clock for clock and not just TDP efficiency, it might be 4-5 years even before there's a significant (above marginal) performance difference with a 2020 or 2021 Macbook Pro.
     
  7. R1crd thread starter macrumors newbie

    R1crd

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    #7
    Hehe, It's pity I haven't thought about this sooner, then I would cancel the order and go with the 2.7GHz (just because of the cache). Now I still can't decide whether getting the macbook as a new years gift (would arrive between 22 Dec - 3 Jan, just checked) or on Wednesday, but probably will not have time to fully set it up till 20th of December.

    I'm that kind of guy, who would probably sometime in the future maybe regret not getting the higher end CPU, even though iizmoo had great arguments when he basically explained that it is not noticeable most of the time in my workflow. But just that feeling and the fact that I'm looking at this as 5+ year investment (hopefully) is still something that keeps me thinking about this and not really being decided yet on which way I'll go :D.
     
  8. ejl371 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    #8

    Just to give you a ballpark, here are my passmark 9 CPU results if you want to compare to the other processors.
    i7 6820HQ
    CPU Mark - 9116
    Integer Math - 14044
    Prime Numbers - 25
    Compression - 12152
    Physics - 582
    CPU Single Thread - 1903
    Floating Point Math - 6795
    SSE - 387
    Encryption - 2033
    Sorting - 7139

    The CPU Mark of the 6700HQ is 8056 on their chart... my 6820HQ scored higher than the ones on that chart as well. Any other benchmarks you want me to run, if they are free, I'll do them.
     
  9. symphara macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2013
    #9
    I compile C++ (very large project, hundreds of classes) and I'd get the absolute fastest CPU. If the difference between the 2.6Ghz and the 2.9Ghz is only 30 seconds build time, then it's worth it for me. I might do 30 builds a day.

    To give you an example, for the Windows version I use an 8-core Opteron and on that I got the total build time down to 12 minutes (make -j9). On my 6-core hyperthreaded i7 it's 18 minutes (make -j13). CPU utilisation is at or around 100% for the entire build.

    If you have a small project though, it won't matter much.
     
  10. R1crd thread starter macrumors newbie

    R1crd

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    #10
    Thank you guys all for the help, really love the macrumors community. Now I'm pretty sure and convinced that 2.9GHz is not worth it for me. So now I'm just thinking whether I should reconfigure it with 2.7Ghz cpu instead of the 2.6GHz, or be happy with the one that arrives on Wednesday.

    I don't even care about the extra 100MHz, now I'm just curious how the extra 2MB of L3 Cache will show in day to day performance (so no cpu intensive tasks), if that extra bits of memory somehow affect this performance. Since in my configuration that cpu upgrade is just extra 50$ (which is not much copared to the final price of that laptop).

    If that cache doesn't affect normal cpu usage in any way, and just helps during CPU intensive tasks, I'll probably stick with the one I'm getting now.

    Once again thank you all guys for your amazing help!
     
  11. karbim macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    Location:
    London, UK
    #11
    I took the 2.9Ghz because I have 0 patience. When I compile the project, even if I shave off 5 or 10 sec it means a lot because I save my brain from wandering and context switching and can keep moving on with the task. Also, I continuously run TDD / BDD on the entire code base and my MBP 2011 spins off it's loud fans @6200rpm all day long in the office which is very annoying for me and others. So I want it fast, like as fast as it can get.

    However, if you're not crazy OCD about speed and gaining 10sec of your life (that you'll spend anyway on Overwatch or similar) then you'll be perfectly fine with... 2.7Ghz. I don't think the 2.6Ghz was a wise choice as 2MB of L3 cache could come handy.
     
  12. R1crd thread starter macrumors newbie

    R1crd

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    #12
    Yeah, I have to agree with you, I didn't read the description (rushed into ordering) and ended up not knowing there are differences between those CPUs apart from just clock speeds. Even more I didn't know that with my config it's just a few bucks difference until yesterday when I started thinking about this. I'm pretty much decided now to go with 2.7GHz, 2.9Ghz is probably overkill for me right now, but maybe that extra 2MB of L3 cache will come handy in future.

    It's unfortunate to have to wait another month in order to get my hands on one (due to my stupidity of not reading the description), but since it's investment I'm making for few years ahead, I'm happy with waiting in order to get the better config.
     
  13. jackoatmon macrumors 6502a

    jackoatmon

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    #13
    CPU choice probably doesn't matter at all on these units. Or any computer these days, really. Aside from i5 versus i7 and dual versus quad, the rest is largely meaningless.

    CPU speeds have been stagnant for 5 years – they just get smaller and more power efficient these days. Most of the improvements go into the little integrated GPU units, which obviously don't matter a whole ton when you've got a screamin' fast Radeon in there.

    I would not worry one second about the CPU, since that's about how much time it will save you over 5 years – a second or two.
     
  14. Chuzwuzzin macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    I faced the same dilemma and ended up cancelling my 2.6 and ordered a 2.7 after learning about the cache and some other chip features that are turned on in the 6820. This has pushed back delivery by 3-4 weeks. The additional wait is not so bad - in fact I'd say I'm an expert at waiting for Skylake these days - and I won't be relying on the the laptop for my living anyway.

    Probably the biggest reason for me switching is that the 6820 is ~50% (!) faster at bitcoin mining than the 6700 (http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core-i7-6820HQ-vs-Intel-Core-i7-6700HQ). While that's not something I plan to do (!), the fact that such a difference exists was surprising and shows that certain niche processing tasks could benefit significantly (either from the cache or the other features). I'm planning on keeping this laptop a while and would rather it were as prepared as possible for e.g. new image processing or encoding techniques that might exercise the cpu in a way that uses the cache or TSX-NI (I suspect it's the latter that makes it so much better at bitcoin mining, but could be the cache). (https://ark.intel.com/compare/88967,88970)

    On the other hand the additional cost to get the 2.9 was not worth it for me - it is merely a clock speed bump and the additional performance would be imperceptible to me on almost everything I plan to do.

    Not entirely rational but there you go.
     
  15. R1crd thread starter macrumors newbie

    R1crd

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    #15
    Hehe glad I'm not the only one :), although you probably thought about this sooner :). I'm going to get the 2.7GHz, just for the peace of mind. It'll be a good way to celebrate new year :D
     
  16. Uplift macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    Did not know about the technical differences with the CPUs. I literally thought it was a couple hundred MHz, no big deal..

    You have probably just convinced me to cancel my order (AGAIN!) and go for the better CPU... at the moment I've gone base 15" with GPU upgrade...

    I may go for the better rMBP to take the better CPU, 512GB SSD and 455 instead of the standard CPU, 256 SDD and 460.
     
  17. R1crd thread starter macrumors newbie

    R1crd

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    #17
    Sorry about that :/, however in your case, if I get it correctly right now you ordered:

    - 2.6GHz, 256SSD, 460 Pro ?
    and you would go for:
    - 2.7Ghz, 512SSD, 455 Pro?

    If that is true, I would advise you rather hold on to 460 option as you have now. Since that GPU upgrade would be more noticeable in more use cases than the CPU upgrade and is probably better than the second config (if you don't mind smaller SSD).

    In my case however I already have 460, 2.6GHz and 512SSD so upgrade to 2.7GHz is just about 50$ (+/- when you convert it to my currency).
     
  18. Uplift macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    Ahh ok, thanks for clarification... I'll look over my options when the Apple Store comes back up.
     
  19. Kn!ghthawk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    #19
    Most of what I do is photo editing along with some video work. Nothing major or exciting. However since my 17" mid 2009 MBP is still running strong after 7+ years I figured spending the extra $$ now may pay off over time since I do intend to hold onto this for at least 5+ years. Overkill? Most likely for now. If it means that it will continue to be a productive unit for longer than I'm all for it. 2.9Ghz, 1tbSSD & 460 Pro. I'll also add that since there is no sales tax in the state I'm going to buy it from I decided I might as well put that money back into the machine for the upgrade.
     
  20. FrightWait macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    #20
    I was in your boat yesterday ... my 2.6 Ghz / 1TB / 460 was to be delivered early Dec but I ended up changing it for 2.9 Ghz / 1 TB / 460.

    What really pushed me over though was, aside from the L3 cache increase, was that iGPU HD 530 performance is quite dependent on the CPU. I don't know how much difference it makes, but I didn't want to regret my decision in 3 years time when I'm still using my MBP.
     
  21. R1crd thread starter macrumors newbie

    R1crd

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    #21
    Hehe, thanks guys for the help, in the end I ended up canceling the order and I'm getting 2.9GHz version. I'll have to wait a little bit longer, but at least I won't question myself about this decision in the future :).
     
  22. Chuzwuzzin macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #22
    Congratulations - you can now rest easy :D.

    I couldn't quite bring myself to spend another £170 to get the 2.9 on top of the cost of upgrading to the 2.7 (the difference between the 2.6 and 2.7 is only ~£80 by comparison), though I must admit I'm a teeny bit jealous that I won't have the same bragging rights!
     
  23. iizmoo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    #23
    Sure you will, you'll just question whether you really needed to spend all that money on the extra 300Mhz and 2MB of cache. :D
     
  24. R1crd thread starter macrumors newbie

    R1crd

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    #24
    Yeah, so far Iam justifying it by getting student discount :D

    I'm sure 2.7 will be just fine and i still agree 2.9 is questionable due to the cost even though I'm getting it :)
     
  25. Jaekae macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    #25
    I think most bang for the buck is the 2,7ghz/512gb/460 config :)
     

Share This Page