Another i5 vs. i7

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by AbjectEvolution, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. AbjectEvolution macrumors 6502

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    Jun 14, 2009
    #1
    I sold my self built desktop PC and a bunch of other gear. Along with that and my financial aid from school, I have come up with $1800. I customized an i7 MBP along with apple care and the student discount... the total comes to $2600. Along with a case and some accessories, it will come to about $2800. That's $1000 I still need to come up with and absolutely no idea how to do so. I'm trying to find a summer job between college semesters, but I have a suspicion that might not be possible.

    I went back and made the same customizations but with an i5 instead of an i7 and the total came to $2300. Is the i7 really $500 extra? Why? Is it really worth it for the speed increase? I'm going to be doing lots of graphic design work at school with Adobe products and I plan on playing modern games on it as well... so how important is it for me to get an i7? I want the laptop to last me a while as well and speed is important to me but if the difference isn't huge... $500 is easier to come up with than $1000.

    Help?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    Get the i5, i7 is only 10% faster and you really sound like the money matters. RAM and SSD will make more improvement than few MHz
     
  3. bob.loblaw macrumors member

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    #3
    You can't afford either of them. Save your money.
     
  4. AbjectEvolution thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 14, 2009
    #4
    Thanks to the previous comment but this one doesn't help. All you are doing is stating the obvious. Obviously I need to come up with some more money but there is a difference between needing $1000 or $500.
     
  5. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603

    ECUpirate44

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    #5
    I would deff go with an i5. As said before, it sounds like money is the issue. imo i dont think you need an i7 and a 512 MB video card. If i were you, I would go with the 2.4 ghz i5 and upgrade to a SSD down the road. I wouldnt bother with the 2.53 ghz i5. its a minimal upgrade from the 2.4 ghz. Perhaps an external display would be more benficial than an i7 processor for graphic design work
     
  6. runebinder macrumors 6502a

    runebinder

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    #6
    Considering your circumstances, go for the i5. It's still a fast chip and sounds like $500 is too much extra.
     
  7. xi mezmerize ix macrumors 6502a

    xi mezmerize ix

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    #7
    If you can get the money go for the i5, not much difference from the i7. But if you cant, just get a cheap pc to get u through school. dont go into debt just for a computer.
     
  8. bob.loblaw macrumors member

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    #8
    This
     
  9. ano0oj macrumors 6502

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    Apr 20, 2010
    #9
    Well if money is an issue at this point, are you sure a MPB is right for you? In terms of graphic design, you could very easily find another laptop within your funds to do exactly what you want. But I understand, I'd want the cool factor too, which is why I hopped on the new i5 as quickly as possible.
    I think the i5 should be able to handle your photoshop needs but in terms of heavy video editing or anything like that I don't know.
    And do NOT go into debt for a laptop like stated before. I know a girl who took out a 2k loan for hers because she really wanted one and thats just stupid to me
     
  10. AbjectEvolution thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 14, 2009
    #10
    Getting the laptop isn't going to hurt me financially... I setup my finances for the year and I won't be going negative. I'm paying out of pocket for the laptop and not using a credit card.

    I just realized that the i5 also downgrades the graphics card to 256. I mentioned that I'm a gamer and I'd like to play modern games at high settings. Is this going to be an issue with a 256 graphics card... especially with games that haven't come out yet?
     
  11. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #11
    Unless you're using 30" external monitor, you won't notice much difference, maybe a frame or two
     
  12. ThrawnTHX macrumors member

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    Jul 20, 2009
    #12
    What size MBP were you considering? What customizations? I could help you decide what's truly important if you provided more info. You mention graphic design and modern gaming--I would absolutely settle for nothing less than an i7 with the corresponding video card that has 512mb RAM.

    Also, save some cash and put off Apple Care until you near the end of the 1 yr warranty. Buy it then. Get a cheap neoprene case from the apple store for like 30 bucks. I'd also recommend sticking to the 15 inch MBP if at all possible.

    Don't upgrade RAM or hard drive now--use it first and upgrade later based on your needs. These are the two components that are readily upgradeable and cheaper to do so with better quality parts later on.
     
  13. sn0warmy macrumors 6502a

    sn0warmy

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    #13
    I completely disagree with this statement. The OP is not talking about financing the computer. They are talking about saving a bit more money to get the computer they want. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    When I was getting ready to go to college I used a good portion of my graduation money to splurge on a 1st generation 15" MBP and it was a great investment for me. It lasted me through all 4 years of college without a single issue. All the PC owners I knew in college had constant issues with their machines and it cost them hundreds for repairs over 4 years.

    If it were me, I would go with the i5 over the i7 because I think it's a better value. I use mine daily with Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign CS5 and it has absolutely no lag at all. It's a great computer and will last you a long time. I'd recommend throwing an SSD in it when you can afford it. This will show much greater benefits that an i7 without one.

    I even went with the base 2.4GHz i5 and threw an SSD in it. The performance of the base MBP with an SSD is greater than the performance of the mid level MBP without one for just about everything, including gaming.
     
  14. AbjectEvolution thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 14, 2009
    #14
    Some good ideas here, thanks. Yes I'm going with a 15" as I think a 17" would be annoying to carry around... and I will definitely be taking it to school with me and out of town.

    I didn't think about waiting on Apple Care... that's a good idea. I would have money again to buy it in January which would be well before my 1 year warranty is up.

    The only upgrade I chose for the hard drive is the 7200rpm which is only $45. I'm sticking with 4g of ram.

    As for other options, I chose the high res glossy screen. Honestly I'm torn about it because I can't stand glare and I'll be using it in bright classrooms and school. Yet I'm doing graphic design work and I hear that the color looks better on the glossy screens.
     
  15. GoyoNeuff macrumors member

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    #15
  16. sn0warmy macrumors 6502a

    sn0warmy

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    #16
    Well not necessarily. The color is more "true" on the antiglare screen. If you are going to take it to class with you (like I did) I highly recommend going with anti glare because the florescent lights can make reading the glossy screen impossible at times.
     
  17. AbjectEvolution thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Hmm... yeah I thought about that... about how the glossy might actually exaggerate colors instead of faithfully reproducing them. Thanks for the input. I do think I'd rather have anti-glare.

    I took out apple care and added anti glare... now my total is down from $2600 to $2400.
     
  18. sn0warmy macrumors 6502a

    sn0warmy

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    #18
    You should really consider the 2.4 over the 2.53, even for gaming. I just priced one out with the high-res anti-glare screen with the student discount and it's only $1840. If you spend another $200 on an SSD it will have much better performance than the 2.53 without an SSD and your grand total would only be around $2,040.
     
  19. ThrawnTHX macrumors member

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    Jul 20, 2009
    #19
    Another consideration for you is that you get more bang for your buck with a high end iMac. If you will mostly be taking notes in your classes and doing light word processing, consider an iMac & iPad combo. It stretches your money further with fewer compromises depending on your needs.
     
  20. xi mezmerize ix macrumors 6502a

    xi mezmerize ix

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    #20
    I wasnt saying that a pc would be better, i was just saying that if money is really tight, maybe getting a mac isnt the best of ideas. the mbp i just got is for college cuz i know how reliable macs are btw :)

    Plus, if you "completely disagree" with my statement, you wouldnt have said get the i5 cuz my statement also said get the i5...partially disagree :p
     
  21. AbjectEvolution thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #21
    I don't know... I could go for a 2.4.... it's definitely enticing. It's just that I know laptops aren't optimal for gaming as it is... even at the higher end. Unfortunately, I only have the money for one computer and so MBP it is. Maybe I would have to wait a while longer to get the laptop, but I know as a gamer... it will probably last me longer than an i5 2.4.

    I guess the major question right now is... do I desperately need this right now? As a gaming computer, it will probably do ok for the rest of the year, but into next year it might start to have trouble with newer games. Of course I'm the type of person that buys a product and sells it when the next update comes out... it is what I have done with the iPhone. It's great that Mac's hold their value very well.

    I know in the past, none of this would have mattered. Yet now, Steam has come to OSX and that means more and more games will be cross platform. It's one of the reasons I finally decided to switch. The lack of games always held me back from Macs in the past.
     
  22. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #22
    Is a console out of question? PS3 is only like 300$ and handles all games. Also, you could build a desktop PC for gaming and buy white MacBook. Then you wouldn't have to worry about games. You can get a decent one for ~600$
     
  23. AbjectEvolution thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #23
    I have a PS3 and a Wii. Computers have some games that consoles don't.

    If I had a iMac or Mac Pro, I wouldn't care as much if the laptop is capable at gaming... but since it will be my only computer this year, it's a factor. Next year I'm hoping to buy an iMac or Mac Pro.
     
  24. sn0warmy macrumors 6502a

    sn0warmy

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    #24
    haha - ok, I "kind of" agree with you.:)

    OP - I know you probably aren't going to change your mind on this, but I would stick with the PS3 for gaming and focus on the MBP for school. There aren't to many games out for macs and the MBP wasn't designed for gaming per se.

    I don't think I would allow gaming on the computer to way into your decision to much. And if it is a huge deal for you, then you probably should be getting a Windows PC that is built for gaming. You can find a nice one for <$1,400.
     
  25. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    #25
    Further, financial decisions are personal matters. Unsolicited advice that you shouldn't spend money you have already said you would like to spend comes perilously close to officious intermeddling.

    As to the issue at hand, concerning which you did ask for advice, I agree that the i5 is the better choice. It will save you $500 and the difference in computing power between it and the i7 would be virtually unoticeable.
     

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