Gaming benchmarks: i5 vs i7

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Stankonia, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. Stankonia macrumors regular

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    #1
    Hey guys, I am planning on buying a 15 inch MBP in the near future, but I am waiting to see some gaming benchmarks to decide if I should shell out the extra money for the i7 for the extra VRAM or just stick with the i5.

    Have any of you seen any sites that compare the two systems? I know barefeats has benchmarks using different apps, and says it will have something on gaming benchmarks soon, but I didn't know if anyone has already done it.

    edit - dang, Barefeats just updated with their benchmarks, but they used 17 inch MBPs, so the i5 and i7 comparison used the same video card (512 MB) instead of comparing 256 vs 512. How disappointing.
     
  2. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

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    Sep 7, 2006
    #2
    Yeah, personally I'd go for the higher model. The CPU is supposed to be a big enough jump that you can feel it even in normal use, and the extra video RAM should be useful. 256MB is just super skimpy. My laptop from almost 15 months ago has 1GB, and it was kind of mid range or low mid range at the time. Of course slower GPUs like these don't need as much video RAM since they can't do as high of resolutions anyway (I probably don't really need 1GB on mine), but still games have been using over 512MB for several years now.
     
  3. Benjones-KY macrumors member

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    Apr 16, 2010
    #3
    The CPU bump isn't that big from i5 to i7. There's another thread showing benchmarks. Biggest reason in my opinion would be the little extra VRAM.
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #4
    Get the i5. Difference between i5 and i7 is less than a frame

    http://www.barefeats.com/mbpp21.html

    Bigger VRAM only helps with games that have lots of or large textures and doesn't give more than few FPS anyway
     
  5. mingoglia macrumors 6502

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    Dec 10, 2009
    #5
    Yeah, looks like for the most part the CPU doesn't matter on a modern game..... it's all GPU. Well not all, but once you get to a "fast" CPU a "really fast" CPU doesn't matter and at that point the GPU is what makes or breaks the experience.

    Mike
     
  6. mark28 macrumors 68000

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    Jan 29, 2010
    #6
    For some games, 1 GB is not enough. But for gaming you need a desktop anyway :p

    There was someone who posted a vid of Modern Warfare 2 with the 256 MB GT330M. Looked pretty good at default settings.
     
  7. Stankonia thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    The i5 vs i7 tests were both conducted using the same video card (512MB), so at least those tests give good evidence about how little the difference is between i5 and i7 with the same video card (for gaming at least).

    I emailed the guy who runs the site and he said he was looking into getting a 15 incher to test 256 vs 512. If you are right about VRAM not affecting FPS that much, it would make the decision to get the i5 much easier.
     
  8. iamrawr macrumors 6502

    iamrawr

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    #8
    I hope they come out with those benchmarks soon >.<
    I really need a mac but I want it to satisfy my gaming needs too... And my budget
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #9
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=896454

    The base i5 runs BC2 without issues at medium settings. There might be more benchmarks if you browse through it
     
  10. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

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    Sep 7, 2006
    #10
    You really don't. There are <$1000 laptops that run games really well.

    I'd put a LOT more stock in what Anandtech's benchmarks say than...Bare Feats....

    There's a noticeable difference between the 2.4 and 2.66GHz CPUs just in general stuff...and then you're getting a decent amount of video RAM on top of that.

    As some of you guys noticed, those benchmarks, assuming they're accurate, are NOT comparing the top end Macbook to a lower end one, plus apparently all those results were at 1080p, which probably isn't what you're going to be running games at on a lowish end GPU (of course at 1080p the difference between the 512MB and 256MB models would be even more extreme, but...)
     
  11. newmacnooby macrumors regular

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    Apr 21, 2010
    #11
    same question here

    im also n the same dilema right now
    but ill probably get the i7 just for the extra ram it may not be noticabale but some current games ask for 512 on vram so even if the performance chance isnt noticeable i dont want not to even be able to install them just becaise the lack of vram.
     
  12. MBHockey macrumors 68040

    MBHockey

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    New York
    #12
    IIRC, this has been debunked because the games that guy used to test the two machines were ancient and their developers likely didn't even take into account the possibility of video cards having more than 256 MB of vram. I remember seeing benchmarks on here somewhere with more modern games that showed a bigger difference in the two cards but I don't remember which thread it was.
     
  13. demonsavatar macrumors regular

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    Jun 26, 2010
    #13
    Extra VRAM could be useful, especially with the Hi-Res screen. You probably shouldnt game at the full native hi-res screen resolution anyway though, likely to really kill performance.

    Not sure about this. It has a bit more ram and 133Mhz more speed. Improvements should be <10% when CPU is pegged, and the CPU doesn't really get pegged much during normal use. There are other threads discussing this though. Also, as has been said hundreds of times before, the ~$200-400 more would be much better spent for an SSD.

    Gaming might actually peg your CPU a good amount so you may see some difference, but as suggested above, you will be GPU limited with modern games anyway so it won't help as much as it would during non-gaming tasks.

    I'm still surprised how much companies (not just apple) charge for minor CPU boosts, I think they bank on the fact most technologically uneducated people still use the CPU frequency as their main comparison point for the overall performance of the machine. The 2.4Ghz -> 2.53Ghz for $200 is steep even counting the hard drive upgrade. I ordered the 2.4Ghz 15" and if I really wanted to, I'm sure I could overclock it to the 2.53Ghz speeds no problem.
     
  14. Garrus macrumors member

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    Mar 26, 2010
    #14
    Actually 512mb of vram will be really usefull in a game like Starcraft 2, that show alot of units...
    Specially the custom maps!
     
  15. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

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    Sep 7, 2006
    #15
    I use quite a bit MORE than 512MB when I'm running Folding @ Home on it :lol:
     
  16. PurpleShaman macrumors member

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    Sep 18, 2007
    #16
    im currently facing this dilemma as well. ive heard that the base i5 and the i7 really dont have much in difference, and I'd rather save that money to upgrade RAM and SSD in the future. I've also been looking forward to playing Starcraft 2, how will it run on those two models respectively? (settings, FPS, lag, ect)

    also, will the hi-res upgrade kill FPS? would there be a bigger difference between the 256 and 512 cards with the hi res upgrade?
     
  17. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

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    Sep 7, 2006
    #17
    1GB has been pretty standard for a year or so, 512MB for years...there's no way I'd get only 256MB on a GPU personally, when 512 may be pushing it.
     
  18. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

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    Sep 7, 2006
    #18
    Oh, and don't forget the 17" model is about the same price, and only slightly over an inch wider, if you'd prefer the extra 2 inches.

    Basically you trade 2" for 133mhz + 4 vs 3MB l3 cache.
     

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