Confused about processors

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Jdstew1234, Feb 12, 2011.

  1. Jdstew1234 macrumors regular

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    Nov 24, 2010
    #1
    Hi, i have not been able to understand processors. What is the way i can tell what is better. I know i3 is not as good as i5 which is outdone by the i7. I have a 24" c2d imac 2.66ghz, is that better than a 2.4 ghz i5. I understand cores and i think i know what threads are, just virtual cores right? Thanks for the help
     
  2. Erasmus macrumors 68030

    Erasmus

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    #2
    Threads are individual pieces of code that a CPU runs. Each core can only run a single thread at a time. However, if a thread requires some information from memory to be retrieved, a core with two "virtual cores" can start working on a second thread while the first thread waits for its required information. The performance gain is noticeable, but far from having real cores.

    i3 vs i5 vs i7 is not so clear cut, and can be quite confusing. For example, a low voltage or ultra low voltage i7 will be easily beaten by a normal voltage i3.

    The "i" processor series are significantly more advanced than the core 2 duo series, and get a lot more work done per clock cycle. Therefore in almost all cases, a 2.4GHz i5 will be faster than a 2.66GHz C2D.
     
  3. rjbruce macrumors regular

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    #3
    If you really want to know which is "better" you have to look at benchmarks, and not only that but benchmarks for the tasks you'll perform most. For instance a chip may perform better at one task, say rendering, but not as well as some other chip at archiving.

    Modern chips, including the C2Ds, are more than capable of running anything the average user does including internet, HD video playback, word processing and excel, managing photos, games (GPU critical here), etc.
     
  4. Jdstew1234 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 24, 2010
    #4

    Okay that helps a lot but is there a raw number that can compare all processors like MHz?
     
  5. Erasmus macrumors 68030

    Erasmus

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    #5
    No.

    Best you can do is look at benchmarks, especially if you can find benchmarks of the apps you use the most, whatever they are. If you're just using iTunes, iPhoto, Safari and the like, your c2d processor is more than sufficient. If you want an upgrade, I would recommend replacing your internal HD with an SSD.
     
  6. pettit423 macrumors newbie

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    Jan 22, 2011
    #6
    Would switching from HD to SSD really make that much of difference? Yes is more durable and the read/write speeds are faster, but is it really worth the huge difference in price?
     
  7. Jdstew1234 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 24, 2010
    #7

    Power is not my problem at all, I am buying a sb Mbp when it comes out so I don't need to upgrade to an ssd.

    Ssd's make the computer faster by letting the data be found faster
     
  8. torbjoern macrumors 65816

    torbjoern

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    #8
    You know, there is very little consistency in your posting here. You're saying that you're willing to wait to get a SandyBridge MBP so you don't need to upgrade to an SSD, despite that power is not your problem and despite the fact that the main bottleneck usually is disk-IO speed and not CPU power.

    If you expect a SB MBP with HDD to be faster than a C2D MBP with SSD, it raises an obvious question: What do you use the computer for?
     
  9. Jdstew1234 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 24, 2010
    #9
    I have a Desktop and I am buying a sb Laptop. I am in a college prep, I use Photoshop, web designing software, adobe illustrator, regular things like Internet surfing and Microsoft office, I sometimes use abelton and final cut. Power is no problem with my current computer so I am just figuring out what processor would be best for me, I am thinking an i5 sb, if it comes with a ssd thats fine caue I can get an external if I need one
     
  10. Erasmus macrumors 68030

    Erasmus

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    #10
    If you buy a SB MBP, it will almost certainly be significantly faster than your iMac, especially if you're after a 15".

    When the update eventually comes, you should probably re-assess which MBP you want, and perhaps consider getting rid of your iMac, or relegating it to home theatre status.
     
  11. Jdstew1234 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 24, 2010
    #11
    I have a flatscreen and an apple tv gen two, I'm perfect in the home theater department. Maybe I will give it to my parents to use as our home computer
     
  12. Erasmus macrumors 68030

    Erasmus

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    #12
    Sounds good. I might end up giving mine to my mum.

    I would recommend you don't make any decisions until the SB refresh has been announced. You never know, the next MBPs might all be bright pink, 2mm thick, and come with Atom processors.
     

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