Dual vs Quad Core

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DrJC, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. DrJC macrumors newbie

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    Jan 21, 2010
    #1
    I know that similar questions have been asked but a search didn't turn up my specific question so here goes. I am thinking of a MBP. I will be using it for the usual stuff (internet, word processing and stuff like that). However, I would also like to mess with audio recording in Garageband and will be doing some image stuff with PS Elements. Do either of these require or perform better with a quad core over a dual core processor? If a dual core is all I need, is there any advantage to the 2.7 i7 dual over the 2.3 dual? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

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    Oct 24, 2007
    #2
    Meh. Either Or. Both have turbo boost, and it looks like you'll be doing a whole lot of nothing (single threaded apps). No pressing need to get the quad.
     
  3. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3

    AppleScruff1

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    Feb 10, 2011
    #3
    Quad cores will be the base standard soon enough. More software will make use of the extra cores in the future.
     
  4. mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

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    #4
    not that that matters if he's not using anything demanding.
     
  5. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3

    AppleScruff1

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    #5
    Perhaps his needs will change in future?
     
  6. brentsg macrumors 68030

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    Oct 15, 2008
    #6
    The quad won't matter enough, and the 2.7 over 2.3 is a 5-10% improvement thing.

    I have read some that feel the 2.7 is more future proof than the 2.3, but I don't agree. I mean if I'm done with an old 2GHz Core2 machine then I'd still be done with it were it 10% faster.
     
  7. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3

    AppleScruff1

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    #7
    Then there is no need for processor development at all.
     
  8. DrJC thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 21, 2010
    #8
    Thanks for the input guys. I just didn't know if recording my instruments in Garageband would be better with a quad core or could I go with the cheaper dual core. Thanks again.
     
  9. X2468 macrumors regular

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    Mar 21, 2011
    #9
    Dual core is more than sufficient for your needs. Processor development is way out front of 99% of all software currently being used. Nonetheless Intel's got to sell their products just like everyone else, no matter how irrelevant to the needs of the majority of users.

    Also here in our "consumer" oriented society we're programmed to desire the latest, the fastest, the most power, and on and on.

    The software you listed cannot even take advantage of a quad core processor anyway, so in your case it's a complete waste of money. As far as the concept of "future proofing", that's a myth. The development & product cycles are so short there's no way to effectively future proof any computer for any significant period of time. It's money wasted.

    That said, what works for you today will work every bit as well in two or three years, unless you have some massive change in your needs. I say, buy what suits you today and worry about the future when it arrives.

    You may find it's not the internal specs you want to change but the model, ie: MBP to MBA. By not overspending only to find you are not using all the capabilities now, save your money for the next one.
     
  10. sydenham macrumors regular

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    Dec 23, 2010
    #10
    Wow that was some excellent advice. Very well put.
     
  11. skiltrip macrumors 68030

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    #11
    Get the quad unless the 13" footprint is important to you.

    If you starting getting more into GarageBand, but soon enough want to leave it's limitations and crossgrade over to Logic Express you're really going to benefit from the quad.

    Things change, needs change, better to anticipate it then get stuck and then be pushed into another computer upgrade.
     
  12. brentsg macrumors 68030

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    Oct 15, 2008
    #12
    That's silly, of course there is.

    First, if a person NEEDS the extra 5-10% for some critical CPU intensive work then they are likely buying the wrong tool in the 13" notebook. In any case though, a person who's work demands that improvement will know. They won't need to ask a forum.

    Second, do you really believe that a 5-10% CPU difference is enough to forestall an upgrade? Like.. wow, I sure wish this was 7% faster so I wouldn't be forced to upgrade? No.. In everyday use that's far too insignificant to be detected without the assistance of benchmarks and even then it's close.

    Incremental processor development is what ultimately gets us 30,50,100% improvement when we do upgrade.
     
  13. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3

    AppleScruff1

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    Feb 10, 2011
    #13
    My simple point was that in a few years quad cores will be the norm. It's up to each individual to decide if the upgrade is worth it to them. Just because he doesn't use it now doesn't mean it won't be beneficial in the future. And as time goes on more software will likely make use of 4 cores.

    There has been the same argument that the core 2 duo was all that was necessary in the 13" and MBA, but the Sandy Bridge processors blow them out of the water.
     
  14. brentsg macrumors 68030

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    Oct 15, 2008
    #14
    Sorry I interpreted your comment to be regarding the i5 dual to i7 dual upgrade, which is very marginal.

    I'm a believer in buying computers for our needs now. I think for most people that's the right thing to do because in general software lags behind. When I read the OPs activities and I look around at family and friends that are doing similar things with their computers, their money would mostly be wasted by upgrading to quad core CPUs.

    There are many tasks that will never scale greatly with additional cores. The only way these things get better is by heavy multitasking, and average folks simply won't do that. The question isn't whether they are better to have.. simply whether or not they are a wise way to spend money.
     
  15. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3

    AppleScruff1

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    #15
    No offense taken. It's always fun to have a good discussion on these tech issues. Most of these new machines will do fine for 90% of the market. Apple makes some nice things, but I'd still like to see them put together an all out killer package to go along with the new processors, USB 3, BluRay, integrated 3G/4G, etc.
     
  16. Veg macrumors member

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    Feb 25, 2011
    #16
    With the new thunderbolt port it's unlucky that apple will feel the need to have usb 3.0, as for bluray apple is planning on getting rid of optical drives all together so it's unlucky.
    I realize you were just saying that's what's you like, not what apples going to do, but I'm just saying it's unlikely.
     
  17. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3

    AppleScruff1

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    Feb 10, 2011
    #17
    True, I was only stating what I would like. USB 3 is here now and has been somewhat useable for a few months. Why not include USB 3 and Thunderbolt if you really want to lead the way? There probably won't be many Thunderbolt compatible devices on the market for a while, probably until the Windows pc segment adopts it.
    Same for BluRay. It has been available for a few years now and it wouldn't have hurt to include it. Of course we all know the reason why it isn't offered, but again, for a cutting edge company, it would be nice.
     
  18. Buck987 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 16, 2010
    #18
    spot on
     
  19. Buck987 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 16, 2010
    #19
    yeah...but for many how fast does a doc have to open....

    and the new sandy bridge in the 13" do not really blow the core 2's out of the water....definite improvement but not earth shattering
     
  20. josh2007 macrumors member

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    Dec 22, 2008
    #20
    My i7 13" dual core ran 35 tracks in Logic. All of them had softsynth, reverb, compressor and 2 other plugs. Do you really think you will be pushing your Garageband recordings even 25% this hard?

    And then, just for laughs I froze all the tracks, and my usage went down to zip.

    And the CPU temp ran 44c after freeze.
     
  21. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3

    AppleScruff1

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    #21
    The test results I have seen show that the core 2 isn't even close. Perhaps you've never used a fast computer to see the difference? Or maybe Windows users are more likely to be into that aspect of performance? I'm not really sure.
     
  22. Looon macrumors 6502a

    Looon

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    Jul 10, 2009
    #22
    If you like it when your laptop overheats go for the quad core
     
  23. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #23
    I remember people saying that oh 3 years ago when I bought my quad core desktop at the time lol
     
  24. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3

    AppleScruff1

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    Feb 10, 2011
    #24
    True, but now there are 6 core cpu's and 8 cores are in the works. It's only a matter of time. :D
     
  25. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3

    AppleScruff1

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    Feb 10, 2011
    #25
    Other companies make quad core notebooks that don't overheat, so it's doable.
     

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