i5, or i7, also... 128, or 256?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Cicatrix, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. Cicatrix macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #1
    My first MacBook Pro, a 2011 model. I have been been overpampered for the past few months, and now it's time for another Mac attack. I want a MacBook Air as well. Only question is, like the title basically says, which spec? Can you good fellow Mac folks help me decide please? I have put a 128GB intel 320 into my MBP and It really is the best upgrade I've ever done on a computer. Should I get another 128gb and save some dough, or should I indulge in 256gb. Also, is the i7, worth the extra pennies compared to the i5?

    How I'm looking at it is for $1299.00 I can get a great piece of gear that would probably suit my needs just fine.
    For $1699.00 I can get a super great piece of gear. But will I really be using that extra power that the i7 provides over the i5? Also, since I already am happy with the 128gb in my MBP, do I really need 256, when I use external drives anyway. Should I get 256 in the Air just to make the MBP jealous?

    I would like to use the Air for portable studio gigs on the road. I can't make the MBP sweat in the least bit so I'm thinking if I could save some money on power I will never need, that would be nice. I am grateful for your advice, and opinions!
     
  2. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #2
    There are plenty of threads on this subject. I suggest reading this review.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4528/the-2011-macbook-air-11-13inch-review


    It will be updated sometime next week with additional testing on an 11" Core i7 model.

    As far as performance, the top-of-the-line 1.8GHz Core i7 MacBook Air performs about on par as the base 13" MacBook Pro with the 2.3GHz Core i5. The 1.7GHz Core i5 in the 13" Air performs slightly slower, while the 1.6GHz Core i5 in the 11" Air is a bit slower since it doesn't turbo boost as much as the other 2 chips.

    Since you have already updated your 13" Pro with an SSD, the main advantage of the Air over your setup is size. The 13" Air also has a 1440x900 screen vs the 1280x800 screen in the 13" Pro. All other factors favor the Pro, since you can upgrade it later (unlike the Air).

    Get extra storage only if you need it. If you don't spending the extra money is unnecessary. There are no measurable performance differences between the 128GB and 256GB drives from the same manufacturer in the Air.

    I usually suggest that someone get either the Air or the 13" Pro. Having both doesn't make too much sense, since they are very similar in terms of performance and specifications. It's incurring the cost of two Macs without getting much additional benefit. Those who need a second Mac that is more powerful are usually better off getting a desktop Mac or a 15 or 17" MacBook Pro with the quad-core CPUs and discrete GPUs.
     
  3. Cicatrix thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #3
    I actually have a 15", not a 13" Pro.

    Thank you for the information, and the link. I will definitely read it through. Sorry if this subject has been beaten, but I get excited about Mac stuff, and I post!

    :)
     
  4. TheRealDamager macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    #4
    The difference between the I5 and I7 may not be noticeable at all unless you do hardcore photo and / or video editing, so that's an easy place to economize if you don't push your machine.

    I'm a big fan of the 256GB upgrade - you can always use more space.
     
  5. horack macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    #5
    just returned my macbook 11 ultimate for the stock i5 / 128 ssd.

    glad I did.. I have it hooked up to a 27 inch apple cinema display. and the i7 was so loud it became distracting. It ended up heating up so badly that laptop display would flicker. Comparatively, I have yet to hear the fan fire up.

    good luck with your choice
     
  6. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #6
    In that case, I'd suggest going for the 11" i5. You already have a great desktop replacement for when you need the power. The 11" 128GB model would be good for portable use. If you are worried about the step down from quad-core i5/i7 to dual core i5, then the Core i7 is a $150 upgrade and can be had for $1349 on the 11".
     
  7. Cicatrix thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #7
    Thank you all very much. Your responses are extremely appreciated.

    horack, that is interesting to know about the i7, thanks for this. I was wondering if there would be a noticeable difference in heat comparing the i5 to i7. anyhow, I'm glad your purchase turned out good for you.

    KPOM, thanks for your reply, I do like the 11", but if I like the Air as much as I am thinking I will, It might end up replacing the 15" altogether. I also want the sd card slot that the 13" has to offer.

    I think the i5 is probably more than enough for what I am doing. As a matter of fact, I could never max out the core2duo even. I guess I am not that big of a power user as I thought I was. It's funny because I always thought I ran some pretty hefty programs, but I'm never ever close to maxing out like some users. I think I'm going for the i5, Still deciding on either 128, or 256.

    Thanks again!
     
  8. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #8
    If you are going for the 13" then I'd recommend the i5. The only major differences between the i5 and i7 in the 13" is 1MB of cache and 200MHz of turbo boost. On the 11" there is a 500 MHz difference in the maximum turbo boost in dual core mode.
     
  9. Cicatrix thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #9
    Much appreciated, i5 it is. I want to go get the MBA today, but I know I should probably order online instead. No tax.
     

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