Big difference between 2.5GHz and 2.8GHz MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sigmadog, Nov 29, 2014.

  1. sigmadog macrumors 6502a

    sigmadog

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Location:
    near Spokane, WA
    #1
    I'm going to be purchasing new 15" Retina MacBook Pros for my wife and daughter in a sneaky attempt to prepare the grounds to justify a new Mac Pro for me in a couple months.

    Both gifts will be upgrades from their current late 2008 5,1 MacBook Pros.

    The wife should be plenty satisfied with the 2.2GHz model as her use is fairly light.

    The daughter wants as much processing power as she can get, but I think considering that she's not a gamer or a video editor, the 2.5GHz model should be fine, especially considering the speedy Flash drive, as well as the quad cores, RAM and GPU improvements over the last 6 years.

    Is there an appreciable difference between the 2.5 and 2.8 models?
     
  2. Zerka, Nov 29, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014

    Zerka macrumors member

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    Oct 31, 2014
    Location:
    San Jose,CA
    #2
    Not much of a difference, no. The only way she'll notice a difference is if she pushes her laptop really, really hard. I myself use pretty intensive Adobe programs and whatnot and I'm working on 2.4 GHz quad-core but I've never gotten to the point where I wish I had more processing power. I don't want to assume anything, but most people won't even come close to the point of noticing the difference between 2.5 and 2.8. 2.5 GHz is plenty, save your money and get some useful peripherals maybe.

    P.S. I didn't really answer the last part. Yes there is an appreciable difference for those who need it, it would definitely come in handy when running multiple intensive programs at once. For example if she did use video editing programs or graphic design programs she'd need it. Just my two cents, but I think more people need to be reasonable when it comes to need vs. want. No sense in buying extra processing power you'll never use. But if you could give some examples of what she uses as far as programs that would be helpful.

    P.P.S Admirable plan, sir
     
  3. sigmadog thread starter macrumors 6502a

    sigmadog

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Location:
    near Spokane, WA
    #3
    She's an attorney (works in non-profitland, which is why she can't afford her own right now), and my guess is that she mostly uses it for internet work and lawyer stuff. Some Keynote presentations also. She does play around with Photoshop occasionally, though I would not in any way call it heavy use, and uses her computer to watch media (netflix, youtube, etc.).

    I'm thinking the 2.5 will be plenty for her and should last a few years if she takes care of it (she'll buy AppleCare on her own dime). I'll probably upgrade to the 512 Flash Drive for extra storage and include a USB CD/DVD drive which she will use for some work stuff and other media.

    It will make for a nice holiday gift, I think.

    Thank you. I'm quite proud of my sinister plan.
     
  4. cambookpro macrumors 603

    cambookpro

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #4
    Unless you're rendering/encoding video or modelling in 3D etc, even 2.2 GHz vs 2.5 GHz isn't going to be an appreciable difference. The 2.5 GHz may mean it lasts a bit longer, but in all honesty I doubt 300 MHz will make a difference in the context of processor changes in five or six years time.

    From the usage you describe, it sounds like the 2.5 GHz isn't going to make a massive difference, never mind 2.8 GHz. I know multiple professional video editors who use Motion, FCP and Photoshop (often all at the same time), and most of them use dual-core MBPs or older 2.0-2.2 GHz MBPs (one even uses a MBA). Sure, rendering may take a bit longer, but you have to push the computer pretty hard (unless you're gaming) before the CPU becomes the bottleneck - it's much more likely to be the RAM if you're running lots of apps.

    So I'd definitely save the money on the 2.8 GHz and put it towards maybe a case for travelling or some apps (or towards your new Mac Pro :D ).

    Good luck with your plan - I'm sure all three of you will end up loving whatever computers you get!
     
  5. Zerka macrumors member

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    Oct 31, 2014
    Location:
    San Jose,CA
    #5
    First, congrats to her and I wish her the best of luck in her career :)

    Based off what you've said, 2.5 GHz should be plenty. More than enough really. Maybe instead of getting the Flash storage upgrade you should get a cheaper 1 or 2 TB external hard drive for her to keep her media on. Or, again, put it towards your own laptop :p
     
  6. lionkin macrumors regular

    lionkin

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    Nov 8, 2014
    Location:
    West Hollywood
    #6
    I am using 2.2ghz, and it's more than enough for me. Using processor power is a must at my job but 2.2ghz is perfect for me.
     
  7. shoehornhands, Nov 29, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014

    shoehornhands macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2014
    #7
    To be perfectly honest, I'd go with the 2.2GHz over both the 2.5 and 2.8.

    Usually you're upgrading from an i5 to an i7 in which case, you'd gain hyperthreading which can improve performance quite a bit depending on what programs you use.

    With the MacBook Pro though, all three options are i7 processors with EXACTLY the same technologies, cache, hyperthreading and quad-core. The ONLY difference is processor speed (and remember, the processor can clock up to 3.4GHz if needed). You're only going to notice the difference in very CPU intensive tasks like encoding, rendering or synthetic benchmarks and even then, it isn't all that much (like 10-15% going from the stock option to the top option).

    It'd be one thing if you were going from a dual-core to a quad-core chip or you were gaining something like hyperthreading (you might consider upgrading to future-proof the computer). As I said though, all three of those processors are beasts so I'd save the money there and put it into an SSD upgrade or maybe an external monitor.

    Also, make sure you get the $1999 model and configure it to whatever you decide as opposed to the $2499 model. The $2499 model has a dedicated graphics card and since you said it won't be used for gaming, no point in spending extra money on something you'll never use.
     
  8. Woochoo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2014
    #8
    Hahahah you made my day man.

    Well, it really doesn't matter what is the base clock speed of a CPU, what really matters is its turboboost (the max. clockspeed it can reach) and if it has a good thermal design to hold it for all the time that is needed (otherwise it will throttle it because of the heat).
    Appart from that, 0,3GHz difference in clockspeed is negligible. If they have a 15" MBP it doesn't matter if it's the basic model or the high-end: if they don't do renders or edit video/audio in a pro way, they'll have MBP for years and your ears won't hear any complain about performance, that's for sure.
     
  9. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

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    Location:
    Brasil
    #9
    Seems to be a geek family. Nice! :cool:
     
  10. Grassgreen macrumors regular

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    Jun 2, 2013
    #10
    I have a question. My Macbook a1278, purchased back when it was the first macbook unibody in aluminium, is terribly slow when opening iphoto while I have firefox up and watching a hd video on VLC.
    That is my usage and the reference point in performance. Do I need a quad core or will dual core suffice for a long time? My macbook is pushing seven years soon and I would like my new one to have such a lifespan aswell.
     
  11. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Location:
    Brasil
    #11
    I had a similar issue with my late-2009 Macbook. When I put a SSD in, VLC stopped stuttering.
     
  12. Grassgreen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    #12
    thank you for the quick reply. Its not so much that VLC stutters but Im adressing the overall performance of a mbp 15 when it comes to multitasking. If I spend alot of money on my new laptop or imac I want performance that is fluid when:
    having many tabs open at once
    watching a hd video
    having two, three word files open

    all this simultaniously. Will a mbp 13 suffice or do I need a quad core for this?
     
  13. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Auckland
    #13
    Word processing cpu is fairly light - unless you mean actually while pasting large graphics at the same time?

    Similarly, unless the tabs are playing content, once loaded they will be light/0 on cpu. You may find different browsers better for the type of content they are loading/running.

    So you really want a laptop that can play an HD video, and occasionally load some content in another app.

    Depends on your definition of "fluid" but I would have thought any machine in the range could cope with that load - unless you want to play the video on an external monitor and guarantee as far as possible that any work you do on the machine will have zero effect on the video playing? In that scenario you may still run into problems while opening/saving Word docs and sites.
     
  14. sigmadog thread starter macrumors 6502a

    sigmadog

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Location:
    near Spokane, WA
    #14
    Sounds you have the same MacBook Pro as my wife and daughter (5,1). If so, it's a 2-core model with probably not very much RAM. One of the reasons I'm upgrading their computers is that the new operating systems and applications use a lot of RAM, and it can be used up quite quickly if you have several programs open at once. My wife will sometimes have about 8 programs running - she's not a power-user, she just forgets to close apps and it drives me crazy. All those open programs live in RAM, and she's only got 4GB RAM in her computer. That's just not enough, in my opinion. So the 16GB in the new rMBP will really help (it will also help enable her continued lazy app discipline, unfortunately, but I can only solve one problem at a time).

    ----------

    The wife and I run a business from home, so it's all a tax write-off. That said, we hold on to our computers for about 6 years or so. It's time for the wife and kid to upgrade, and my trusty old Mac Pro 3,1 will get replaced next spring.

    I love buying new toys. It's fun figuring out the right balance of power and budget. Spread out over 6 years, the cost becomes more reasonable. At least that's how I justify it...
     

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