Can 13" dual core do everything quad core can just slower?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jms999, Sep 9, 2014.

  1. jms999 macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2014
    So I have been going back and forth between the 13 and the 15. I don't really do much heavy stuff other than planning on using Imovie for a hobby. Im curious if the dual core will do just fine but just take longer to process things? If so how much slower are we talking about?

    In addition I have read a lot about RAM. It seems like some people say max out the RAM to 16GB to future proof it, and others say there is no reason anyone is going to need 16GB for a long time.

  2. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
  3. MacInTO macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2005
    Canada, eh!
    Yes, much longer.

    I recall making a 5-minute video on iMovie with a dual core and the rendering took about 20 minutes. When I rendered the same video on a quad core it took about three minutes.

    You can't upgrade these machines, so max it out if you're going to do anything that will tax the graphics - such as iMovie. The 1TB SSD option is pretty expensive, but 768 or 512 is usually enough for most. However, I think 256 is too small.

    OS X Yosemite coming out this year so that will probably require yet more resources.
  4. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Assuming the CPU architecture is the same and clocks are comparable, the dual core will be as fast as quad core for applications that cannot benefit from parallel execution to up to 1.5-1.8x slower for applications that can.


    Let me guess, the quad core was a core i7 and the dual core was a Core2Duo? ;)
  5. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    It depends.

    As far as the processor goes:

    For single threaded apps, having a dual, quad, or a gazillion cores does not make a difference. A higher clocked CPU with more turbo boost will slap around one that has more cores that are clocked lower.

    For apps that are actually programmed to use multiple cores (most programs that do any kind of conversion or rendering) then the dual core takes quite a bit of a performance hit as opposed to the quad. iMovie does render stuff, so when you are rendering, a quad will be faster, same goes with applying effects.

    As far as RAM goes:
    It depends. If all you do is browse the web with a document or two open, getting 16GB RAM is just throwing money out the window.

    If you use virtual machines, large projects in Photoshop, Premiere, Final Cut, if you do CAD work on your machine, large calculations, etc. Then yes, getting more RAM is quite useful.

    Buy a machine that suits your actual needs, overbuying just leaves your wallet lighter with nothing to show for it, as you're just not using the power. Kind of like buying a ferrari to go grocery shopping and back.
  6. TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    Fixed. All the stuff you mentioned can be done with ease on 8GB of RAM. Web and documents doesn't require more than 4GB of RAM at the most, if that.
  7. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    It really depends on what is meant by 'large'. If you edit 4K video or work with insanely high resolution photos, then 16Gb is significantly faster (as can be clearly shown by benchmarks).

    You are right of course that only few people do these things (and they would probably look at professional grade hardware instead of an MBP). Most users dramatically over-estimate their own needs.
  8. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    I was under the assumption that the OP was looking at current model rMBP's.

    I just noticed the 13's come with 8GB standard, whereas the 15's now come with 16GB standard, so I guess it boils down to screen size preference for the OP.

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