Differences between i5 and i7

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by trudat15, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. trudat15 macrumors newbie

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    #1
    'm new to the forums but have been mulling over a purchase and wanted some advice. I am heading to law school in the fall, and was planning on getting a new laptop. Was originally thinking of a Lenovo Thinkpad, but might go with a MBP instead.

    Been looking into deals on the MBP and saw the Microcenter deal at 999 for the 13" i5.
    I also have a friend who typically gets 20% off apple products, so I could get the i7 for 1199. Is the difference really worth $200? I plan on using it for internet and office. MAYBE bootcamp or Parallels so I can run OneNote.

    Should I be waiting for the ipod deal? Do other stores (ie Microcenter) typically get the back to school Ipod deals, or if you bring that deal into the apple store, will they price match and give me the ipod as well? If I went with my friend and the i7, I dont think I could get an Ipod on top.

    Was also thinking of upgrading RAM to 8gb through Newegg. Is this easy to do? Does it void the warranty? If the MBP comes with 2gb x2, could I just get one 6gb stick and add it to the preexisting 2gb stick, or should i buy 4gb x2? Do brands matter for RAM?

    Anyways, sorry for the barrage of questions. Any insight would be much appreciated.
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #2
    i7 is definitely not worth it for your uses. Microcenter also doesn't do the iPod deal

    Upgrading the RAM is easy to do and doesn't void the warranty, but isn't at all necessary unless you're going to be doing a lot with Parallels or VMware, but since you won't be using anything intensive in windows, it really shouldn't be necessary. If you do upgrade though, 6GB sticks don't exist, so you need to get 4GBx2. Brand doesn't really matter.

    Edit: If you are doing VM work and notice it slow down, 8GB wouldn't be a bad idea.
     
  3. acedickson macrumors 6502a

    acedickson

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    #3
    It depends on your usage but I will venture out and guess that you won't be doing a ton of video editing. Processor intensive tasks are where you would notice the difference but, even then, it would be minimal between the 13" i5 and i7.

    The only place that has the back to school deal is Apple but if there's a Microcenter in the same city Apple will price match. I don't know if they'll price match and give the back to school deal, might want to call them about that.

    It's not hard to swap out the RAM and there are videos on youtube and walkthroughs at ifixit. I prefer Crucial RAM but there are many good brands out there just do research if you have any questions and buy 4x2.
     
  4. trudat15 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Thanks guys. Very helpful info and exactly what I was looking for . Appreciate it. Looks like I'll be getting the i5 next week!
     
  5. bniu macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    i7 hyperthreads, i5 does not. i7 is essentially 4 processors, i5 is just 2. For $200, it's worth it to me to get two more processors (virtual and physical don't make a whole lot of difference to me as I use lots of multi-threaded apps).
     
  6. sporadicMotion macrumors 65816

    sporadicMotion

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    #6
    The 13" i5 MacBook Pro does have hyperthreading.
     
  7. acedickson macrumors 6502a

    acedickson

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    #7
    Correct Sir!

    - from http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/performance.html
     
  8. Peteman100 macrumors 6502

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    #8
  9. jasin, Jun 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2011

    jasin macrumors member

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    #9
    Hyper threading is the main difference. On the i7 its enabled nativly, where as on the i5 its locked. The i7 has more cores too. In windows on the mac it shows up as 8 cores.

    As for performance, In booting up and starting there is very little difference between the two. i7 is faster in booting, but its negligible.

    Also, If money is not a problem than the i7 is the way to go .. even with the little differences in booting and starting. Its newer technology, so if you got the money always buy the latest for whatever new thing you are purchasing. it just makes sense.

    Now, if you want the most bang for your buck then save your money and put it into an ssd drive. Take what you save buying the i5 instead and put that into an ssd drive. You will get a more noticeable performance boost that way. Besides, the i7 wont give you 10 second or less boot times choosing that over the i5 ... only an ssd can give you boot times like that.

    edit:

    I forgot to add that the i7 has a bit more cache. NOT much more, but it does have more cache on the cpu its self.

    Apple must of unlocked it within the firmware or had intel do it for them because it does not come enabled natively. Nevertheless, if this is true then the only difference is the cores and cache. The i7 has a few extra cores and a bit more cache, that's it. By the way, this is good to know because I am purchasing a macbook pro 13" this summer.
     
  10. cloroxbleach4 macrumors 6502a

    cloroxbleach4

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    #10
    What do you mean by locked? Am I able to enable hyperthreading on my current mbp? If so, how?


     
  11. acedickson macrumors 6502a

    acedickson

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    #11
    The i7 has the same number of cores and threads, 2 & 4. The only difference is the 4MB of cache (i7) vs 3MB of cache (i5).

    You don't have to unlock or enable it. It's already done.
     
  12. jasin, Jun 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2011

    jasin macrumors member

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    #12
    I say, just get the i5 with an ssd drive. Makes more sense really since apple Macbooks have the HT enabled on the i5. :)

    Ahh, but in windows the i7 shows up as 8 cores whereas the i7 shows up as 4.
     
  13. acedickson macrumors 6502a

    acedickson

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    #13
    You're referring to the quad-core processors not the dual-core.
     
  14. cloroxbleach4 macrumors 6502a

    cloroxbleach4

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    #14
    Maybe a dumb question, how how many cores does my laptop have?
     
  15. jasin macrumors member

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    #15
  16. acedickson, Jun 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2011

    acedickson macrumors 6502a

    acedickson

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    #16
    2 cores and when an app that is designed to take advantage of hyper-threading it sees 4 threads which act as 4 processors running simultaneously.

    Right, but they're enabled on all MBPs so he doesn't need to enable it otherwise Apple wouldn't make the statement in their performance section.
     
  17. jasin macrumors member

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    #17
  18. acedickson macrumors 6502a

    acedickson

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    #18
    But this thread is about the dual-core i7 in the 13" and none of them will show as 8 cores. The 15" and 17" will because those have the quad-core processors.
     
  19. jasin, Jun 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2011

    jasin macrumors member

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    #19
    And that's one advantage to buying a Macbook pro ;) Over a pc Laptop :D

    This is good stuff to know because I am getting a 13" macbook pro this summer :p
     
  20. acedickson macrumors 6502a

    acedickson

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    #20
    You'll enjoy it! First Mac?
     
  21. jasin macrumors member

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    #21
    Thats for the 2nd generation core processors. It has the 4 core i7s listed. And correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding is the other 4 core are virtual.
     
  22. acedickson macrumors 6502a

    acedickson

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    #22
    All the 2011 MBPs utilize the Sandy Bridge processors. The 4 cores in the 15" & 17" aren't virtual they're on the die. Hyper-threading doubles the available cores and that is virtual.
     
  23. jasin, Jun 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2011

    jasin macrumors member

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    #23
    My first mac, yes. However, I have been using macs at school for years. We have 27" imacs at the university here. I started out on apple computers too. I originally learned computing on apple computers. When I was in grade 6 & 7, my first experience with computers, we had those old apple II Es. Boy, those were the days :D

    edit:

    Note: I really want the 15" MBp but I have to get the 13" because I can't have those speakers on top. I just can't have that.:(

    I was referring to the intel website, Why it does not have 8 cores listed ... only 4. And yes, I am aware of the fact that MBps are using the sandy bridge.
     
  24. cfedu Suspended

    cfedu

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    #24
    So let me get this straight. Intel lets Apple unlock hyper threading on an i5 but not for there PC customers.

    Wow
     
  25. jasin, Jun 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2011

    jasin macrumors member

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    #25
    A side note. I did read on Mac Rumors, a different site, that apple wont be moving to Ivy bridge in the future. They are supposedly switching to Arm.

    That's my understanding so far. And thanks for correcting me acedickson :). Maybe acedickson can elaborate on this locked unlocked HT thingny?
     

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