Deciding Between i5 and i7 - help appreciated

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mefck, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. mefck macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    #1
    Hello all!

    I have been browsing these forums for he last few months as I decided to make the switch from PC to Mac. I appreciate everyone's advice - even if I was just an un-registered interloper.

    So, this long decision process is almost over. I am deciding between two refurbished models and I would appreciate everyone's input.

    This model is a 17" with anti-glare and the 2.53 i5 processor. It has 4GB RAM which I would probably upgrade to 8GB myself.

    This model is $170 more and is the same in all respects, except it has the 2.66 i7 processor. I will probably also upgrade the RAM myself for this one.

    I will be using the computer for photo editing in LR and PSE (maybe PS), some video editing, word processing for work (going to buy Word for Mac), iTunes, etc. - much of it at the same time (hence the desire to upgrade the RAM).

    I just want to confirm that the i5 will be sufficient. My worry is that I plan on having this laptop for at least 4 years and if LR becomes more feature rich then the i5 will start to lag. Anyone have any thoughts? Right now, would I notice a difference between the two with the tasks I am running. If so, what would that difference be?

    I appreciate everyone's help.
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #2
    In 4 years the i7 is going to be obsolete as well...
     
  3. mefck thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 24, 2010
    #3
    I understand that there will be many new processors out between now and then (probably a new one early next year)....there have been many since the Centrino Duo I am working on now.

    I guess my question is what kind of difference will I notice with the i7?

    Thanks!
     
  4. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #4
    The i5 will be fine for you. There really isn't that huge of a difference between the two to begin with
     
  5. Corato macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    #5
    I would buy the i7 to get the longest possible life out of the unit as possible. The increase in price is a small percentage and it might allow you to wait an extra year before feeling compelled to buy the latest machine.
     
  6. mefck thread starter macrumors member

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  7. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Location:
    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    #7
    I just did a bit of a long detailed post on this last night over on this thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=11113786#post11113786

    I'll recap it here and add in some new info. Kind of long but I think it could help you out:

    From everything I've read, for the 15" at least, the base model i5 seems to be the way to go. It seems it's not worth it to pay extra- definitely for the middle model, and most probably for the top of the line i7 model. So I was set to get the 2.4ghz refurbished i5 for $1529.

    But then I started hearing about how good the antiglare hi-res screen was and decided I wanted that. That made everything complicated because at the time, going the refurbished route, the $1999 15" MBP 2.66GHz i7 build (500gb HD, 512MB GPU) had the AG HR and I thought that was the only build that had it. That was $470 more than what I was planning to pay. I then priced out a non-refurbished base model 15" i5 w/ HR AG using the education discount and the total was $1870 so it seemed I might as well go top of the line refurbished and get the other things for $130 more.

    So I ordered the $1999 model. My wife actually bought it for me as an Early graduation gift and used her discover 5% Cashback and got the printer added onto for the $100 rebate (w/ the intent to sell for whatever it goes for). this helped soften the blow a bit. The main final price lowering will be when I send my current 15" 2.2ghz MBP SR which I will be doing once new one arrives and is set up.

    So that was done... then I found out that you can indeed get both lower i5 15" models w/ HR AG, they're just hard to get. So I started to be on the lookout in those models came in stock at the refurbished store before I officially got and opened my computer. Then it would be too late w/ the restocking fee and all.

    Finally yesterday a 15" 2.53ghz MBP i5 build (w/ 500gb but 216mb gpu) w/ AG HR for $1830 came into the refurbished store. While not the 2.4ghz I was hoping for I Thought this would be good enough and I called Apple and explained everything. What was worked out so that I could still keep my Discover 5% and free printer promotion was that within the same order, the cheaper MBP was put on and then a return was set up for the more expensive MBP once it arrived.

    Today all that went down. My brother was at home and as soon as the fedex guy arrived w/ the $1999 MBP, my brother immediately put the return label on it and sent it back right w/ the same delivery guy. So the $1999 model should be back in Apple's hands I'm guessing by Monday and the refund should begin processing. My $1829 RFB i5 w/ AG should arrive on monday.

    A lot of runaround but I felt to save $170 it was worth it. I don't mind paying extra but wasn't convinced of the value between the different insides. And the hard drive space was irrelevent to me since I'm planning on putting a SSD in there and taking the superdrive out. So it was really about if the extra price is worth it for the 2.66ghz i7 over the 2.4ghz i5 or (on my case) vs 2.53ghz i5. And, if the 512mb GPU over 256mb is worth it. And it just seems it's not.

    I just hope now that the 2.4ghz base model i5 w/ the HR AG doesn't come in stock otherwise I know I'm going to try to do what I did again. But then again, to save another $180 I still think that it would be worth it. Just dreading it if it happens.

    Hope this helps OP.
     
  8. DJ-R macrumors regular

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    Feb 17, 2010
    #8
    Mine was i7 but I would go for i5 if I want but really I prefer 512mb video ram instead of tiny 256mb ram.

    More video ram = better for high resolution monitor (games, or other 3d applications)
     
  9. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    ^ I've been an active mac user (ignoring the apple iie in my childhood) for over 8 years and still haven't played a game on it. Also, never did anything with 3d applications (honestly not even sure of what they are). Are those the only two things that the better 512mb card would matter for?
     
  10. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    ^ thanks for the video. I'm guessing the 15" 2.53ghz i5 build I ended up going with will be something in between, which should be fine. The big thing I was worried about was the smaller GPU but nothing from the video stood out to me at least. I do video editing off my computer but what was mentioned regarding the GPU was 3d, photoshop, and a few other things I don't deal with.
     
  11. deus ex machina macrumors regular

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    May 28, 2010
    #12
    The 2.4 and 2.53 i5's are closer in performance than the 2.53 i5 and 2.66 i7. I am not all that certain that it would be a deal breaker.
     
  12. iPhone1 macrumors 65816

    iPhone1

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    Apr 2, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #13
    Your going to want the extra VRAM that the i7 MBP provides. 8GB of RAM is awesome for photo and video editing. I highly recommend an SSD but understand that it is very expensive no matter what brand you buy.
     
  13. Rithem macrumors 6502

    Rithem

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    #14
    I loved my i7 when I actually used bootcamp to play games... but now that I'm over it I kind of regret spending all that money for it. Gym and social life > video games.
     
  14. mefck thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 24, 2010
    #15
    Thanks all!

    I decided to go with the i5 and use the extra money to upgrade the RAM unless it comes with the extra RAM as a surprise as I hear the occasional reburb models do. :cool:

    It was a tough decision, but for my uses, I think the i5 will suffice (I am not a gamer, though I edit photos).
     
  15. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    8gb ram and an SSD (taking the superdrive out and keeping the 500gb for files) I can make happen.

    Regarding "settling" for the i5 and losing this extra VRAM.. I'd like to hear more on it on how significant it is. I'm not convinced from everything I've read that it is and I'm thinking I'll be in good shape w/ this computer for the next <3 years (I like to sell my primary mac laptop before the apple warranty expires and get the latest)

    I didn't quite understand what you meant by this
     
  16. TopHatPlus macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    Location:
    Southern Ontario
    #17
    hey i am running the i7 2.66 ghz anf i run SC2 ALOT, and i also run final cut pro for video editing and iphoto mainly for photo editing but i have a pho library of about 17k + photos, so i gets a lot of use and the i7 is spectacular, the i5 will work very well for you application and it will eb an outdated processor in 4 years but that does not mean it don't wont run the new programs it just wont run all of them at once >_< enjoy your mac you will love it!!


    i5 = i7

    the only difference is the ghz they have all the same features
     
  17. talkinghead macrumors member

    talkinghead

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    Austex
    #18
    Excuse me, but why would the OP want a 2.4ghz over a 2.53ghz? :eek:
     
  18. deus ex machina macrumors regular

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    May 28, 2010
    #19
    The i7 shines with video editing and conversion. For your purposes, you will do just fine. ENJOY!
     
  19. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    #20
    If the price was the same yeah, but if for $200ish price increments, the question is if it is worth it.

    This implies that the i5 does not shine for these tasks and from everything I've read (and the video that was posted a few posts up on this thread), it seems the i5 is really close to the i7. So if the i7 shines w/ video editing and conversion, you should be saying the i5 shines too - maybe just a little less.
     
  20. deus ex machina macrumors regular

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    May 28, 2010
    #21
    You are reading too much into it, or perhaps I was being unclear.

    A common response to a i5 vs i7 comparison would be that it is only a 10-15 percentage improvement. However, video editing and conversion demonstrates a substantial improvement in performance (>20%). Like the fine gentleman in the youtube inferred, this is not to say that the i5 is a slouch.

    Heck, I own an i5!
     

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