At what difference does higher processor speed become noticeably better?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by omarjk, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. omarjk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #1
    I have read threads in which the consensus is that the 2.53Ghz MBP will perform hardly better than the 2.26Ghz model, as the practical difference in speeds is virtually negligible.

    So how much of a difference makes the extra money worth it? Take the two 13" MBPs currently in the store - at what speed would the higher price of the second model be justified, after taking into account that it offers better RAM and HD size?

    Thanks
     
  2. LAS.mac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Location:
    Mexico
    #2
    I'd guess that, possibly, two steps. I mean, for instance, between the 15", from the low end ot the top end model, i.e. from 2.53 to 2.8 Ghz. You will see a major speed bump, however, mainly in graphic or video applications.
    For sure, upgrading from an HDD to an SSD is a more evident increase of fastness.
     
  3. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #3
    I don't see a difference in opening applications like iTunes up, when I compare my 2.16ghz MBP to the 2.6ghz MBP's in the Apple store.

    I'd notice a difference when I render stuff, or when I'm taxing the CPU heavily. Otherwise, there's no difference, any CPU from the past few years will work just as fast as the next.
     
  4. strausd macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #4
    for basic applications it may not make much of a difference, such as itunes. i used to have an old macbook and 2.0 and i upgraded to a mbp at 3.06 and using genuine fractals is amazing on my mbp. now it is a rather large margin between 2.0 and 3.06, but when you use hardware intensive applications you will see a difference between 2.26 and 2.53
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #5
    Depends on what do you do. For apps like Safari, iTunes.. You won't notice any difference but if you work with CPU intensive apps you'll notice a difference. 130MHz is quite small difference though, maybe few seconds
     
  6. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #6
    Agreed. You probably won't tell a difference opening a web page, but you'd probably notice that encoding a DVD with handbrake would take a little less time.
     
  7. macboy4 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    #7
    2.26 vs. 2.53? Double that plus 10MHZ :)
     
  8. macboy4 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #9
    Dang! :mad:

    I was thinking iMacs when I posted I guess :p But anyway, 270MHz isn't huge either
     
  10. omarjk thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #10
    So for 2.26 to 2.53 no major speed benefits, yet 0.27Ghz the other way will do it? Have I got a very crude understanding of the processor's contribution to the system? Is there an exponential benefit?

    On SSD vs HDD I have seen the rudimentary tests on another website recently and suffice to say the sooner we are all able to afford SSD the better for everybody.
     
  11. omarjk thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #11
    And to the rest:

    That does make sense. The most intensive apps I seem to use are Parallels, otherwise I'm a woefully Average Joe when it comes to computer use. In other words I watch films, surf the internet and spend the rest of my time tied to my Windows machine at work.

    Since I road-tested the MBA and MB last year and hung on to the MB I decided that I would sell my machine every year and put the depreciated cash towards a new machine to keep up.

    So if I go from my 4,1 MB 2.4Ghz to a 2.26Ghz MBP will the other improvements e.g. graphics card, make this worth it or am I in one sense regressing?
     
  12. NATO macrumors 68000

    NATO

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    #12
    My experience has been that there really isn't much user-noticeable difference between two similarly clocked CPUs, but if you swap out the HDD for an SSD it is a night-and-day difference
     
  13. relativist macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    #13
    IMO it's around 25% at a minimum. But there are diminishing returns to that. The bigger difference like has been said before is in the slowest components. That's why I always try to have a 7200rpm hard drive in my laptops. Things are about to change with SL and the ability to parse work out to other components, because graphics cards have a much bigger spread in their capabilities. If things work out as planned with GPU computing then the graphics card will make much more of a difference than cpu speed for cpu's that are similar in architecture & close in speed.
     
  14. Sweetfeld28 macrumors 65816

    Sweetfeld28

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2003
    Location:
    Buckeye Country, O-H
    #14
    I think my new MBP 2.53, is faster than my old MBP 2.15, both of which were C2D's. I think the biggest benefactor of the new MBP's is the graphics cards and RAM, a long with the faster bus.

    I just couldn't tell you how big of a speed advantage it is though.
     
  15. omarjk thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #15
    I have also seen that having larger cache and FSB will make things faster, not to mention having all components running at optimum speeds eg 1066 Mhz RAM.

    So it truly is just one of many factors.

    Thanks to all for clarifying that 200 Mhz or so clock speed is not very significant at all when memory-intensive applications are not used for the majority of the time.
     

Share This Page