Difference in new MBA 11": i5 1,6ghz vs i7 1,8ghz

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Danneman101, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. Danneman101 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    #1
    Is there any big difference between the MBA 11 inch (2011) version with i5 1,6ghz and the i7 1,8ghz to warrant 150 bucks? Benchmarks?
     
  2. PecanEater macrumors 6502

    PecanEater

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    Apr 11, 2007
    #2
    I expect you'll see a significant difference in raw processor speed that will only translate for users who do processor intensive work. For your average user it's probably not worth the money. Less battery life and extra heat could also be an issue but I haven't seen a head to head. No head to head benchmarks out yet. I'm hoping we'll see something soon from Anandtech.
     
  3. entatlrg macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #3
    Real life difference in -

    Processing power

    Battery life

    Heat/Fan noise

    is something many of us are waiting for ... there's so many threads on it .... hopefully we'll see some comparisons soon.

    Not many people have access to an i5 and i7 11" MBA to test with though.
     
  4. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #4
    The i7 turbo boost up to 2.9 GHz in single-core operations or 2.6GHz in dual-core operations, while the i5 tops out at 2.3GHz single-core or 2.1GHz in dual-core operations. Thus in processor-intensive applications, there is likely to be a noticeable difference. For browsing, e-mail, and Pages/Word, there isn't likely to be that much difference.
     
  5. HiFiGuy528 macrumors 68000

    HiFiGuy528

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    Jul 24, 2008
    #5
    I am kinda interested in the i7, 11" or 13", i5 for the same money.
     
  6. MattZani macrumors 68030

    MattZani

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    Apr 20, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Many people feel its worthy for the 13" (I've ordered one), so for the 11" I'd say definitely.
     
  7. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #7
    There is much less difference between the 1.7GHz i5 and 1.8GHz i7 than there is the 1.6GHz i5 and 1.8GHz i7 because the turbo boost is closer. That said, at $1349 for an 11" i7 and $1299 for a 13" i5, the 11" is very tempting.
     
  8. Danneman101 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Aug 14, 2008
    #8
    That is a considerable difference, and for my intended use definitely worth the extra money. Thanks for the concrete answer :)
     
  9. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #9
    Yes, I thought about it for a while, but then decided to go whole hog. I use virtual machines for Windows, so for an extra $150 why not go with the best available?
     
  10. OSMac macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    #10
    Dual core turbo speeds are what you will see:

    i5 11" 1.6 ---> 2.0

    i5 13" 1.7 ---> 2.4

    i7 11/13 1.8 ---> 2.6
     
  11. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #11
    According to Ben Brooks and Shawn Blanc B&B Podcast, there's hardly noticeable performance difference between i5 and i7 and you get worse battery life with i7 to boot.
     
  12. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #12
    Those notes relate to the 1.7GHz i5 vs. 1.8GHz i7, though. The Turbo Boost is much closer. There will be a bit more of a gap between the 1.6GHz i5 and 1.8GHz i7, though again how noticeable will depend on what's running.
     
  13. oBMTo macrumors 6502

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    Oct 12, 2010
    #13
    If you have to ask if there is a difference, then you will probably not being doing anything close to fully taxing a i5 core.
     
  14. All In macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    #14
    Which Config for MBA11?

    Went to the Apple store today and really liked the MBA11 over the 13. The OS makes the screen 'just big enough'.

    Using it for work, lots of Office Mac and either VGA to existing monitor or getting an Apple Cinema Display. As far as recommended specs, I was thinking 4GB and i5 1.7. Should I go with the i7 because of the external monitor? Will playing 480P web videos introduce lots of lag?

    Like to hear your thoughts.
     
  15. pil0tflame macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    #15
    For your usage, including playing videos, you will likely experience no difference between the i5 and i7. Most users would never know if they had an i5 or i7 from system use alone. The only practical reason to get an i7 is if you're doing a lot of processor intensive work such as video/audio encoding or running virtual machines. Or if you just want an i7 and have extra money to spend, but that's not really a practical reason.

    Also, I'm not sure if you meant "Apple Cinema Display" specifically, but a new "Apple Thunderbolt Display" will make a much nicer companion to the Thunderbolt equipped MacBook Airs and Pros: http://www.apple.com/displays/ "The Ultimate Docking Station"
     
  16. All In macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    #16
    Yes I meant the Apple Thunderbolt Display. I was going to use an existing 21 inch Lenovo monitor with DVI connection, but do you think I should replace it with the Apple TB Display? I could always get that for when I'm working from home.
     
  17. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #17
    The i5 will be able to handle 480p. The difference in boosted GPU speed between the i5 and i7 in the 11" is only 50MHz.
     
  18. pil0tflame macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    #18
    If you can afford the ~$1000 Apple Thunderbolt display then go for it. It's a very nice display and the "docking" functionality is icing on the cake. If I had the money right now, that's the display I would buy without a second thought.
     
  19. All In macrumors newbie

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    May 10, 2011
    #19
    So it won't matter powering the large monitors? I guess I would have to use it in clamshell mode.
     
  20. All In macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    #20
    i7 worse battery life even when running normal non-intensive apps? It's only $150 more but that I wouldn't want to sacrifice a lot of battery life if the i5 is fine for my work usage.
     
  21. All In macrumors newbie

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    May 10, 2011
    #21
    Bump. Looking to buy tomorrow, appreciate the suggestions.
     
  22. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #22
    Probably not much. Are you looking to do anything processor-intensive? In my case, I use Windows 7 within Parallels Desktop, so I figured having as much processor as possible would help, particularly since the Air is limited to 4GB RAM. That said, I'm sure the i5 would have been adequate, since even the Core 2 Duo was OK for occasional use. It's hard to go wrong with either model of the new Air. Apple did a nice job with them. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see a Core i7 make it into the 11" so I decided to go for it. I figured they would restrict it to the 13" model (much like the old version restricted the faster Core 2 Duos to the 13" model).
     
  23. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

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    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    ladner cdn
    #23
    as a apple shareholder...please go buy the most $$$ one...also load up on all the extra's....

    as a macrumor member...i5 should be more then enough for average mba user
     
  24. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #24
  25. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #25
    The most honest answer you will find.
     

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