Buying Macbook Pro 13" Retina. Upgrade to i7?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by phillyfan9090, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. phillyfan9090 macrumors member

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    Jul 31, 2013
    #1
    Im going to be a college student in the fall.. decided I'm buying the Macbook Pro 13" with Retina display. Definitely getting the 256GB SSD. I will use the computer for browsing, schoolwork, some gaming and eventually get into photoshop

    It would be nice to save a couple hundred dollars if the upgraded specs arent needed, so I'd appreciated your opinions on what to get

    Should i upgrade the MBP to the i7... which higher GHz? What is the difference between i5 and i7 and is it worth the $200 upgrade in the long run?
     
  2. jread macrumors regular

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    Sep 17, 2012
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    Austin, TX
    #2
    In my experience, the i7 tends to run a little more smoothly than the i5 (less lag, etc). If you are going to do some gaming, then it may be worth it to you for the little extra muscle. There is about a 1000-point difference in the Geekbench scores between the two, but to me the real-world feel is that the i7 is smoother.
     
  3. B... macrumors 68000

    B...

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    #3
    The i5 is more than adequate. It won't improve gaming much at all and basic Photoshop use isn't too hard on the CPU.
     
  4. ka-spot macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    I don't think you'll be able to browse with only i5!
     
  5. KPOM macrumors G5

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    #5
    What are you using currently? For what you describe, the i5 should be sufficient. The i7 won't boost gaming much. If you can wait until the early fall when the MacBook Pro gets the new Haswell chips, you'll get better gaming performance and battery life, but the CPU performance will be about the same.
     
  6. mtneer macrumors 68020

    mtneer

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    Sep 15, 2012
    #6
    I have the 128GB i5 rMBP 13" - its fine at the "Best for Retina" resolution. However, when I scale up to get more space, Photoshop lags and stutters when moving/ panning around pictures. Its certainly not a showstopper, and I have learned to adjust to the stutter, but will certainly annoy you the first few times it happens.
     
  7. KingKen1986, Aug 6, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013

    KingKen1986 macrumors regular

    KingKen1986

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    Aug 16, 2012
    #7
    Despite the i5 being adequate, shell out the extra buxx for the i7....your computer will run much smoother and games will run better. I have the 2.9Ghz i7 non retina mid 2012 and boy am I glad I went with the i7, and trust me...you will be too. :apple::D:apple:

    p.s. I say games run better because they really do on the i7, i believe the clock speeds are a little higher on the gpu with the i7. Plus 4mb cache. You do know if you wanna save some money and get a little more power, if your not stuck on the retina model, you can get the same model as mine, the non retina macbook pro with the 2.9 i7, 8gb ram, 750 gb hdd for 1299 (normally 1499) at best buy. Believe me it is insanely fast and that is a bargain for the computer your getting. Plus it comes with the dvd drive/burner.
     
  8. surroundfan macrumors 6502

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    Melbourne, Australia
    #8
    For the same $$$, why not upgrade to a refurb 15" and get quad core (and a proper GPU, and of course possible image retention if you buy a refurb)?

    The i7 (and indeed a quad core) will not be of much use unless you do a lot of processor-intensive work.
     
  9. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    Perth, Western Australia
    #9
    You don't need the i7.

    Very few things are CPU bound these days, the only reason you might need/want an I7 is for virtual machine related stuff in VMware perhaps (CPU feature flags), or if you are running heavily CPU bound applications that aren't coded to use the GPU instead.

    Of which.... there are very few.

    Spend the money on RAM or bigger/faster storage instead (upgrade RAM as first priority as it is soldered in). For your usage scenario - Only if you've maxed everything else consider CPU, but you won't gain much if anything and again, unless you actually need it, you're throwing money away really.

    ----------

    That's another sound option.
     
  10. KingKen1986, Aug 6, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013

    KingKen1986 macrumors regular

    KingKen1986

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    #10
    Ummmm....Where are you guys getting that you dont need the i7 and that "you won't gain much if anything" on it. The i7 will improve speed on games, photo editing, video editing, definitely on photoshop. Your mac generally uses most the resources you have, if you have a faster processor, mac osx will take advantage of it...If your talking ram than yes, it only uses what it needs, but on some simple tasks my cpu usage can go in the 90 percent range for a split second....and that with an i7. I'm just curious as to how you dont think you'll get a performance boost with the extra cache, faster clock speeds, higher gpu clock speeds....what you are saying isn't making much sense. Your computer uses the best of what it has.

    If your hypothesis was correct, why doesn't apple start putting celerons in there machines....i mean shoot, you can't type fast enough to stress out a celeron so why not? Because lots of programs use a lot of your computer resources...the more resources....the smoother and more pleasant the experience. I tried the i5 sitting side by side to my i7 mbp and the difference was incredibly noticeable...it booted faster, loaded programs faster, the os was much smoother. This was a side by side comparison...and the i7 outperformed, so phillyfan9090.....if you don't have the extra cash..by all means go with the i5, but if you do have the extra cash, by all means....go with the i7.
     
  11. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    Feb 6, 2009
    #11
    Here's a link to the refurbished 15" model that is mentioned above:

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/F...-23ghz-quad-core-intel-i7-with-retina-display

    That would be a pretty good idea if you're interested in games, since the Nvidia 650M is in a completely different class of graphics performance than the HD 4000 on the 13".

    The 15" retina is a bit heavier than the 13" retina but is still lighter than the 13" non-retina model.

    Apple's certified refurbished products come with the same return policy and warranty as a new machine.
     
  12. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #12
    Here

    Bang for buck, you'll gain more over the long term with more RAM. Most machines these days spend the vast majority of their time 90+ percent cpu-idle. But even the RAM isn't needed for this usage case really.

    yes a photoshop filter may run a little faster on an i7 but, newsflash: I was running photoshop in my day job back in 1995 on a Pentium 90, and it did the job. Well enough for me to make money with it.

    Students aren't made of money, and the money they do have is better spent paying fees, reducing student loans, and chasing girls/boys as their tastes dictate.
     
  13. KingKen1986, Aug 6, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013

    KingKen1986 macrumors regular

    KingKen1986

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    Aug 16, 2012
    #13

    I was simply giving my opinion. Yes, but how long did your pentium 90 take to antialias an image, or sharpen, or any of the amazing filters out nowadays...It prolly took a very long time. My i7 does it in seconds....and if you read my whole post, you would have read at the end stating if you don't have the money go with the i5, if you do have the money go with the i7....and as far as the idle of cpus, most programs do not require much cpu usage, but once you open a game, or other hardware intensive application those readings drastically change. Team Fortress 2 makes my macbook pro sound like a jet engine...stays nice and cool but the fans really blow out the heat....and the reason its blowing out heat is because im actually using my processor.....an i5 in the same situation doesn't have as much power for the times the poster needs the extra power.
     
  14. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    Perth, Western Australia
    #14
    You're free to give your opinion, however your tone was that mine was invalid. To turn your point with celerons on it's head, why don't apple just can the i5 and make everything an i7?

    Did you ever run Photoshop on your G5?


    Todays i5 is as fast or faster than an i7 from 2-3 years ago. Which professionals out there are STILL USING for photoshop today. Unless you are churning out BIG photoshop projects for a living, and getting paid by results rather than by the hour, shaving a couple of seconds off a filter for the occasional times he MIGHT run photoshop when getting around to it...

    Well.... i suspect more enjoyment will be had spending the couple of hundred bucks on beer and women/men.
     
  15. KingKen1986 macrumors regular

    KingKen1986

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    Aug 16, 2012
    #15
    ad
    Your right that im 27 and no longer think like a college student....But the poster is asking if he should upgrade to the i7, and all i was stating is that in my professional opinion he should if the funds allow it, the i5 is a great processor, never said it wasn't, but you can't argue that its faster than the same generation i7. Upgrading to the i7 would also future proof his system a little more. Also I meant no disrespect to you because I know you are also just stating your opinion.
     
  16. phillyfan9090 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 31, 2013
    #16
    thanks for both of ur replies. I just feel like that I have spend money to get the i7 now because Ill never be able to upgrade the Retinas in the future

    But now that you mentioned buying a refurbished 15", it sounds like a great idea. the 15" refurbished retina is 1599$, which I think is a good deal. Itll provide plenty of the power, but i want to make sure its portable since ill be in college.
     
  17. KingKen1986 macrumors regular

    KingKen1986

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    Aug 16, 2012
    #17
    Did you think about what I said, at BestBuy you can get my exact macbook pro for 1299 and it comes with 8 gigs of ram and the i7 processor. doesn't have the retina display but the display is still gorgeous. But u also get the perk of having a dvd burner built in.
    :D:apple::D
     
  18. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    Feb 6, 2009
    #18
    Definitely check them out in person at a store when you get a chance. Like I said the 15" rMBP is lighter than the old 13" MBP, so it's still a very portable machine.
     
  19. phillyfan9090 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 31, 2013
    #19
    I understand thats a fantastic deal... but when I look at a retina screen it just makes me want it so bad
    And also, if i did buy a refurb 15" retina, for 300$ more you get quad core and better graphics
    You have no regrets with ur cMBP?
     
  20. KingKen1986, Aug 6, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013

    KingKen1986 macrumors regular

    KingKen1986

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    Aug 16, 2012
    #20
    I have absolutely no regrets with purchasing my cMBP. It's insanely fast and I wanted the dvd burner to store my pictures on dvds. It has played every game I have thrown at it, its no gaming machine but it's powerful enough to play most games. I do a lot of photo editing so I really wanted the i7 and for the price i got a hell of a machine...and as I said the screen on the cMBP is very clear and crisp....it's no retina display but honestly I can live without the retina. Plus I can upgrade ram myself although I prolly wont have to since it has 8 gigs. I can also put a ssd in it if I so choose....prolly wont do that either cuz to tell you the truth I like my MacBook Pro the way it is....it's fast, reliable, runs cool (unless your playing a game, things warm up then, but not much) You have to think about how much your paying for just a screen. both the 13 inch retinas are more expensive than mine and they don't have as much processing power. For 1299 you can get your i7 and still have a fantastic machine and save a lot of money in the process. But honestly, this is a big investment for you as it is for anyone.....so go with what your heart tells you to go for....get what you want....not what other people think you want. You will love whatever mac you choose because they are all amazing machines (rather sexy too). Keep me posted on what you decide on...Id love hearing what you think of it.
     
  21. phillyfan9090 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 31, 2013
    #21
    thanks! great answer.. i guess the only way to find out which MBP is the one is to visit the Apple store..
    do you like the 13 inch? no regrets on 15 inch?
     
  22. KingKen1986 macrumors regular

    KingKen1986

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    Aug 16, 2012
    #22
    I didn't even look at the 15 inchers (well I did but not to buy just to look). I specifically wanted the model I got, It took me months before I decided to get it. Couldn't pass up it being on sale 200 dollars off. I need the superdrive and I take my MacBook Pro EVERYWHERE with me...I got a nice computer case/backpack so I can pack all my computer gear in it. But yeah like I said when i first played with this mac at bestbuy I knew I had to get it. The 13 incher is what works best for me...The 15 incher is uber nice but I needed portability. and since i wasn't lookin at the newer thinner rMBP ( wasn't even considering them) cuz I had a feeling this would be the last model witha built in drive.
     
  23. dsciel macrumors regular

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    Jul 13, 2011
    #23
    if you like the size of 15". I highly suggest you to take it. It is way better than 13" and even the i7 cannot compete with. The quad core really make it faster and will last longer compared to 13"

    I went from 15" to 13", just a personal preference because I wanted a smaller screen and bigger hard drive. Not a gamer or video editor, so i can live with a dual core.

    Main advantage on 15" compared to 13" - Quad Core, Thinner than 13", runs cooler
     

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