i5 2.53GHz vs i7 2.66 GHz processor

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ryanzec, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. ryanzec macrumors member

    Feb 23, 2010
    I am looking at the 17" model and was wondering if anyone know what the performance different is will the i5 and i7. The most intense things I will be doing on my computer will be playing some game (L4D2, Startcraft 2, Diablo 3), game development with the Unity Game Engine, and some low ploy 3d modeling with Cheetah 3D. Is the i7 going to get me a major boost in performance or is it just a few tick better?
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    I don't think you'd see a big increase. A few fps here and there maybe.
  3. TheRekz macrumors regular

    Sep 3, 2008
    same discussion here
  4. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    I agree. Save the 200$ towards RAM or SSD, they will make more difference
  5. skiltrip macrumors 68030

    May 6, 2010
    New York
    Sorry to dig up an old thread, but instead of making a new one, I'd like to pose this question from someone who plans to really use as much CPU as is available, for audio production. I use both Pro Tools 9 and Studio One software. As well as the occasional dabbling in iMovie and such. Pro Tools 9 sessions can really tax the CPU. And frankly, the more CPU overhead you have, the free-er you can be in your session with creativity. If not you're switching brain modes between being creative and managing your resources, bouncing tracks to eliminate plugins and such to save on CPU juice.

    In real world use is this i7 going to make a noticeable difference vs the i5 2.53GHz?
  6. london965 macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2011

    If you have the education discount it's the same price as the i5. I think it is worth it even without the 200 dollar discount.
  7. skiltrip macrumors 68030

    May 6, 2010
    New York
    I can get the edu discount, but you could argue the edu discount can be used across the board.

    You can get the i7 for the price of the i5 2.53, but you can get the i5 2.53 for only $50 more than the price of the i5 2.4, and so on.

    So it's basically $1699, $1849, or $1999 for the three models.

    The $150 between the 2.4 and 2.53 is worth it to me, as I'd drop $100 on the 500GB upgrade anyway, and it's done for me, plus I figure it's another $50 for the cpu bump. But I'm not sure another $150 is worth it. As it's basically only the cpu bump in that case. I know there's a graphic card upgrade, but that means nothing to me. I use my Macs for audio production.
  8. Blu101, Jan 5, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011

    Blu101 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2010
    Actually, that's the worst upgrade you can do IMO (no pun intended for those with the 2.53). You only get an extra ~3% increase in performance over the 2.4 and on the benchtests I saw when I bought mine, the 2.4 even outperformed the 2.53 on a couple of tests. You can get a faster (7200RPM) 500gig HDD for ~$60 these days and it only takes 5mins to install, so the 3% upgrade in CPU alone isn't worth it. The 2.4 i5 is the best bang for the buck all around general purpose.

    Judging by what you said you do and how taxing it is on the CPU, I'd opt for the 2.66 or 2.8 i7. On top of an extra 10-13% CPU performance, these will also give you 512MB of Vram, which can help you if you use an external monitor at high resolutions for your work. Use your edu discount and happy new year. Add RAM and HDD as your budget allows. On the HDD, I'd go for a 7200RPM unit at the min, over a 5400RPM HDD, as you will appreciate the increase in speed for your work.

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