Do I really need the i7?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by macDelirium, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. macDelirium macrumors member

    May 16, 2011
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    Just trying to work out if it makes sense buying the i7 13" MBP over the i5.

    I won't be running VM's. I do a lot of web browsing and a fair amount of time is spent in Aperture.

    I'm going for the 750GB HDD, SSD is far too small and too expensive. Also going for 8GB RAM.
  2. bozz2006 macrumors 68030


    Aug 24, 2007
    the generally agreed upon consensus is that you get poor value for your dollar with this upgrade.
  3. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020


    Jul 9, 2009
    Nope, you will never notice the difference.

    Save money and buy a hard drive and ram from newegg or amazon, apple rips you off with their upgrade options.
  4. Pentad macrumors 6502a


    Nov 26, 2003
    Questions to ask yourself:

    -How long am I going to keep this computer? The i7 will give you a longer life than the i5 as other apps and the OS are updated...

    -Will my computer usage change in the future? You may not use VM's now but will that change in a year, two?

    -Am I going to try to resell this computer later? Perhaps to sell this and upgrade (to a Mac or a PC) because the i7 will have a much better resale value

    -Since this is an investment and nothing is more expensive than regret, have I considered all the factors when choosing the CPU? Will I be thinking "Gosh, I paid for the extra memory and larger drive but I wish I would have done things differently with the CPU?"

    Lastly, let me offer you a humber but empirical observation:

    The i7 is a faster CPU no matter how you look at it. People will howl on here about the cost vs speed issues of the i5 vs the i7 but they really have no idea what they are talking about. I'm not trying to belittler their opinion but they post from their heart and not their head.

    I think you would say that your time is valuable. If the i7 speeds up your image processing by say 25 seconds per image (or whatever) and you times that by X amount of images over the course of two years (or more), than the i7 upgrade is really just a few cents.

    My MBP is the best tool I'ver ever owned. My time is very valuable and I charge accordingly for the work that I do. When I looked at the i5 vs i7 the price difference isn't X amount now, it's X amount over the time you think you will own your computer.

    In the end, only you can decide which CPU (or any component) to get but the CPU is not upgradeable so I consider it to be a poignant decision. Lastly, I had a mentor when I was in college who often said "I would rather have too much power than not enough" which I took to heart.

    Good Luck!
  5. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    i would just go with the i5. the cost of the upgrade doesn't really account for the trade off in performance in my opinion.
  6. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020


    Jul 9, 2009
    no it will not, the i7 is going to do very processor intensive tasks a little bit faster. The most noticeable difference for the average user is in movie encode times, and the i7 is not that much faster than the i5. On a 10 minute HD movie encode, the i7 saved 30 seconds over the i5, not very noticeable.
    VM's are going to benefit from more RAM much more than from the difference between the i5 and i7.
    You are going to pay a $300 premium, I doubt you will sell it for a $300 premium as well so you are going to lose more money over time. (even though you can sell it for more, if you payed more for it, the difference is moot)

    Based on his needs, and pretty much everyones, the i7 is a waste of money. You will never notice the differences unless you are constantly running the processor at full load. In that case, he would be MUCH, MUCH, MUCH, better off saving an additional $200 and getting the base model 15" with a quad core processor. He has already said he is using it for basic computing needs.

    So show us proof that it is going to save you so much valuable time....

    Like I said, over a 10min encode, it saved 30 seconds. Assume your average movie is around 90 minutes, at that rate you will save 4.5 minutes per 90 minute movie you encode. Since most people don't sit at their computer and wait for the encode anyways, that difference most likely doesn't even matter. And like I said, if that difference is important to you, buy the 15" where you can cut encode times by closer to 40%-50%. 40% better performance for $500 is a hell of a lot better than a 5% increase for $300
  7. gullySn0wCat macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2010

    Get the i5 and save yourself some money. If you want to feel the speed trick it out with an SSD.

    No. An app that is slow on the i5 (example please?) will still be slow on the i7.

    It's marginally faster, and certainly not worth what Apple is asking for it. Anyone who needs to do serious CPU-work would be better off with a 15/17" model and it's four cores.

    Even with HT, both processors are still only dual core, which will cripple you in any truly CPU-intensive app (IE future ones that will theoretically use all cores.)
  8. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    The 13" i7 is a dual core. Unless you are dead set on a 13", I don't see much value for the money there. Instead of spending all that money on a bigger drive, RAM, and i7 to use with a small display that has low resolution, just move up to the 15".

    The 15" will give you better resolution, quad core, i7, and 500 GB memory. It costs 50%+ more than the 13", but it seems like you would get a lot out of it.

    I have the 13" MBP / 8BG RAM. It is great for my needs, but I am mainly working with documents (Acrobat Pro, Word, Excel, etc.), so I am thrilled with the resolution and speed. You might not be as happy with it, especially if you spend hundreds of dollars and don't see a huge increase in performance over the base model.
  9. tuna macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2010
    You probably don't need it but depending on what you are using the computer for or for how long you want the computer to feel fast with the latest software, it might not necessarily be a terrible bargain.

    With the last generation of 13" MBP, upgrading to the higher model took you from 2.4ghz to 2.66ghz Core 2 Duo.

    With the current gen of 13" MBP, the stats go like this:

    -Base frequency: 2.3ghz vs 2.7 ghz
    -Max single core turbo: 2.9ghz vs 3.4ghz
    -Max dual core turbo: 2.6ghz vs 3.2ghz
    -Max graphics frequency: 1200mhz vs 1300mhz

    This generation's upgraded model is a much more noticeable upgrade than last gen. Besides the 400mhz difference in base frequency, the i7 does 500mhz higher single core max frequency and 600mhz more dual core turbo thanks to the turbo boost features of the Core iX series. Plus there's a slight increase in graphics performance.

    Apple definitely charges much more for the upgrade than what their difference in component costs are, but considering that you can't really do a CPU upgrade on your MBP at home, if you want the faster CPU, you have to get it from Apple. And it should be noticeably faster. The frequencies are almost 20% higher on average.
  10. Sam2lucky13 macrumors 6502


    May 26, 2011
    I think I read there was only a 12-15 percent difference in the benchmarks of the two processors. I was going to get an i5 13" before deciding on a quad core base 15" inch.

    bump from the i5 to i7 not worth the money iyam
  11. 2hvy4grvty macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2011
    The i5 dual to i7 dual is one of the least efficient upgrades you can get atm. The i7 is the top of the line dual core, and as such, you're paying a significant premium for very little gain. An increase of about 10% benchmark means... well, nothing in real world uses (<5% for the most part). If you want to "futureproof" this laptop (in quotes because the actual concept is impossible), it's going to be significant hardware changes, not a minor clock boost. That's to say, going to a quad-core is somewhat "future proofing", going to a discrete card is "future proofing" (not really), going from 2.3 to 2.7 clock is not.

    Frequency means nothing. It's all about efficiency now, and optimization. Frequency's just a nice little number that tricks the technology illiterate in paying more for less. In the "future", once the i5 starts struggling with tasks, the i7 would've as well. Furthermore, the i7 comes with more heat and less battery life, two things that would for certain, SHORTEN the life of your MBP.

    8 GB is bogus as well for a variety of reasons. Even if you're not dabbling and doing legitimate work for clients, a 18 x 24 poster fails to use up even 4 GB. There's no realistic reason for you to go 8. Anyway, for the $500 premium you're already considering over the base MBP, you might as well spend another $100 and get the 15.
  12. saberahul macrumors 68040

    Nov 6, 2008
    It isn't like you're getting a 2.3GHZ i7. Its a 2.7 GHz i7 which is faster not only because of the processor but also in the terms of ghz. Choice is yours. For your purposes - no you do not.
  13. 2hvy4grvty macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2011
    No, the actual processor is only marginally more efficient (because of the 3mb -> 4mb cache bump), and even then, it's situation based on the software. Other than that, the clock speed bump is the only change between the two processors. There's no difference in architecture (as with the old Pentium 4 vs Celerons). This is, for all intents and purposes, an 2.7 i5 if anything.
  14. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    i disagree. i need more than four all the time, and considering how inexpensive it is, upgrading the ram is a no-brainer. upgrading the cpu for that price is the bogus choice.
  15. macDelirium thread starter macrumors member

    May 16, 2011
    Thanks for the replies. I tend to agree that the Hyperthreading function is not something I'm really going to see valuable. The raw CPU speed has me still considering it, honestly.

    I did consider opting in an SSD but the price for a 256GB SSD is prohibitive.

    Edit: Yes, I'm going for 8GB. I frequently see my memory usage at about 90% with 4GB memory.
  16. 2hvy4grvty macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2011
    And are we still talking about a base 13 MBP? Multitasking bottleneck for it should for the most part, come elsewhere.

    And even if you do, I still don't see why you'd do it through Apple. With third party RAM upgrades, not only is it cheaper, and of better quality, with you having full control from which vendor to buy from, even the option of higher clocks, but also you'll know for sure whether or not you'll actually need an upgrade.
  17. macDelirium thread starter macrumors member

    May 16, 2011
    Because I buy Apple to have a complete package and I'm happy to pay a little more and have it shipped to me 'as I want it' and I'm not interested in faffing about with upgrading memory or storage.
  18. s.hasan546 macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2011
    nope it's worthless. Spend your money on 8 gb ram + SSD + Optibay. I did that and spent about $200 in total for all of that. And the i3 13" is a good amount cheaper since Microcenter has it for $1000, which bestbuy price matches.
  19. s.hasan546 macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2011
    its like 10 screws to change the ram... but hey its your money.

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