i5 or i7 in this usage case?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Haptic, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. Haptic macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2010

    First time poster and long time reader here, and soon to order my first mac.

    I'm getting a 15 inch model with hi-res antiglare display and am wondering which processor speed would be the best fit for my working style (and whether speed is even relevant)

    Peak use for me is around 100 browser tabs and as much as 25 word documents open, which can last for weeks at a time during intensive project phases. (alt and tab are my two favourite keys in Windows)

    Ideally, I'd also like to be able to run Unity, watch DVDs, play games or do light 3D modelling without having to close anything else first.

    Should I get the i7 or will the 2.4 Ghz i5 suffice?

    Also, how smoothly will the Mac equivalent of alt-tabbing run under such circumstances?


  2. Kenndac macrumors 6502


    Jun 28, 2003
    I'd say if you're intent on having a bunch of stuff open at once like that, upgrading the RAM to 8Gb will affect performance much more than the difference between the i5 and the i7.
  3. Baycon macrumors member

    May 10, 2010
  4. atticus18244fsa macrumors 6502


    Jul 11, 2008
    Waterloo, ON
    At the end of the day I often have around 50 tabs open in both firefox and safari. So I believe the OP. It's not that hard to do.
  5. Haptic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2010
    Thanks for the advice Kenndac! I'll go for the i5 then and add RAM if/when it becomes necessary.

    Basically, I work on too many things at the same time. Some projects are broken up into smaller documents to make them more manageable, and I'll sometimes have 10-15 tabs of research open for each project in addition to regular browsing. My old laptop hates me for working like this.
  6. kmaute macrumors 6502


    Oct 5, 2008
    I/O is going to be your issue. Get the low end model with 8Gb of RAM and an SSD. If you get page outs with a 5400RPM drive, your experience is going to suck.

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