How is MBP 17 2010 compared with the latest Mac Book and Air?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hajime, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. hajime macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    Hello, the specs of my MBP 2010 17" are: i7 2.66GHz, 8GB 1067 MHz DDR3, Intel HD Graphics 288MB and Nvidia GeForce GT 330. I use it for engineering applications such as SolidWorks CAD.

    I plan to buy a new high end Mac laptop if it comes out in March. For the time being, considering to upgrade the HD to SSD but if there is a big noticeable difference in performance, get a currently available Mac. I just wonder how a MBP 2010 17" with SSD performs compared with the currently buy able Mac Book and Air? Any good advice?

    MacBook: 1.2GHz dual-core Core M 2.6GHz, 8GB 1600MHz, LPDDR3 SDRAM, Intel HD 5300
    MacBook Air: 2.2GHz dual-core i7, 8GB 1600MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM, 512GB SSD

    It seems that there are many versions of i7. For example, an i7 of five years ago running at 2Gz seems to be different from the current i7 chip running at the same speed. Am I right? How the 1.2Gz Core M in MacBook compared with the i7 2.66GHz on my MBP 17"?
  2. Skika macrumors 68030

    Mar 11, 2009
    Why are you looking into macbook and airs? You should look into rMBP 15". Considering what you use your mac for i would advise to wait because skylake refresh of those is around the corner.
  3. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    I heard that new rMBP 15" may be announced in March or May. Nobody knows. So, I am considering to just upgrade the storage of my MBP 17" 2010 i7 8GB from HD to SSD or just buy a cheaper model for temporary use.
  4. pjfan macrumors regular

    May 24, 2009
    Columbus OH
    An SSD upgrade will greatly improve your user experience. I'm sure your graphic card limitations will leave you wanting more, but you will be a lot more satisfied until buying a new rMBP. I suspect that would be true for either the MacBook Air or rMacBook as well (for solid works, your general computing will be better than it is currently).

    If, instead of spending the little cash on an SSD doesn't fill your need, I would recommend buying a refurb 15" rMBP. I can't imagine an ultra portable OSX is a good investment for you if solid works is your primary use case. Maybe an iPad Pro would supplement your next six months if the SW availability is adequate.
  5. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    iPad PRO can't run SW but Surface PRO 4s do. I read that Microsoft still has not fixed all the major issues and Microsoft does not do international warranty. So, it is better to stay with Apple.
  6. Pearl Wisdom macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2009
    Geekbench 2 benchmarks I found:
    your current MBP 17 2010 has dual core i7 2.66GHz - 5423
    2015 12" MacBook: 1.2GHz dual-core Core M 2.6GHz - 6266
    2015 13" MacBook Air: 2.2GHz dual-core i7 - 8070

    Putting an SSD into your 17" MBP should improve its general performance quite a bit, and not be too expensive. That might hold you until the next models are released. If you like the big 17" screen, you might consider looking for a 2011 17" MBP which can have its RAM expanded to 16 GB, and also has a quad core i7 with a Geekbench 2 score of 10045. And better graphics card. That is what I have been using, with an upgrade to SSD, although I'm about to switch to a 2014 15" rMBP which has benchmarks about 13000.
  7. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    So, do you mean even a 12" MacBook performs better than my current MBP 17" with a dedicated GPU?
    If I put in a SSD, will the score be similar to 6266 or it will be near 8070?
  8. nufanec macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2005
    It won't change your score one bit. Those benchmarks are a test of processor and memory performance. Faster storage doesn't affect them. What you would find is a noticeable increase in performance when it comes to booting, opening files and applications, etc. You have a decent amount of RAM so paging from memory to disk is probably not a huge bottleneck, but if you have a lot of applications and files open when you work then you might notice an improvement in performance there.

    Things like where the CPU/GPU are the bottleneck (rendering, etc) will not be improved.

    So... what to go for.

    I use my Mac for architectural design so our needs in terms of programs will be broadly similar - although I use AutoCAD not Solidworks. If it were me, I would ask myself what I wanted improved. If I were just finding the system feeling a bit slow and wanted it to feel a bit snappier then I would go for the SSD upgrade. The difference to how snappy an SSD will make your system feel compared to a HDD is huge. On the other hand if I were doing renders, or simulations and I was finding they were taking too long to complete then I would probably go for a newer system.

    In terms of newer systems, if it is a temporary system to tide you over until the next MBP upgrade comes out then don't waste your money on an i7. The real difference in performance between i5 and i7 is negligible and not work the extra outlay. The 8GB of ram upgrade is worth it on the Airs.
  9. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007

    Thank you very much for the analysis. After upgrading the OS X EI Capitan, for some strange reason, the disk access is very very slow.

    If the real difference in performance between i5 and i7 is negligible, what do you think of getting a Surface Pro 4 or SurfaceBook with an i5 and 8-16GB RAM? Again, I hesitate to buy Microsoft SP4 and SB due to a lack of international warranty.
  10. nufanec macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2005
    If that is what is making you feel like something needs done then the SSD might do the trick while you wait for something more substantial to be released.

    The benchmark difference between i5 and i7 is very small in benchmarks (a few hundred points) and in real use it can't be noticed.

    The surface books are very capable machines and with Windows 10 don't suffer from their operating system any more. Go for the 16GB RAM for future proofing (especially if you're going to keep it for a while). I've been tempted to get a surface book when it comes out. Not a big fan of tablets per se but the book looks like a good hybrid. Lack of warranty would definitely bug me too though. Not because I expect that it would have an issue, but while I was at university I was a genius for Apple and since then I'm a big fan of having warranty :p
  11. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    I do no know about the current technology. Few years ago, I read that i7 at that time had a larger cache or it could run at a much higher clock speed at turbo boost than the i5.
  12. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    This is not an easy question to answer every new version brings architecture changes and/or die shrinks, this increases both performance (not so much these days) and efficiency, clock speed and cache make little difference between the chips of the same class nowadays 6-10% tops when maxing them out. Also as you are buying a thin light laptop your biggest problem is throttling and heat when you max out you CPU/GPU.

    However for your use and with longevity in mind you will be best off with a quad core CPU and a minimum of an IRIS Pro graphics card, wether you wait for sky lake is up to you but you don't want to put very much money into anything that is old and has very poor graphics capabilities compared to modern laptops.

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