i5 vs i7 in 13" rMBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by timsaxman, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. timsaxman macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2013

    So I'm getting the 13" rMBP if it's announced next week (but thats a whole other story and >12k post thread about that so don't start a discussion whether it's announced or not!) but I'm torn between getting the i5 or i7.

    Give me, please known, pros and cons about getting either one of them in the 13" rMBP and tell me about your experience covering things like performance, battery life etc.

    Also note that it's not the CPU frequency that bothers me (that I can choose on my own) but rather the i5 vs i7.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. vatter69 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 4, 2013
    The difference between i5 and i7 is 1mb cache on the 13". They are both dual cores. So if it's not frequency, what is it? :)
  3. timsaxman thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2013
    Some say that the i7 gest better battery life under light work for example.
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Do you have any links for that? tbh, I've never heard that and how much does it potentially increase battery life? I can't imagine enough to justify the cost increase.
  5. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK

    The i7 can virtualise another 2 cores, making it faster than the i5 when running parallel tasks (for a given clock-speed). So your dual-core i7 'fakes' being a quad-core, or a quad-core i7 would 'fake' being an eight-core. In reality, the performance boost is often reported to be around 20%.

    In the real-world, hyper-threading is useful for video editing/rendering, and the Adobe Suite.
  6. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2012
    Actually, the mobile i5 chips also support hyperthreading. The desktop i5 chips don't (but they have 4 physical cores).
    I have a base rMBP with a 2.5GHz i5 and it shows 4 virtual cores.

    Intel's branding is really confusing.

    The differences between the i5 and i7 in the rMBP are:
    1) cache size
    2) "turbo boost" frequency
    3) base frequency

    That's basically it; maybe there are some other minor differences but that's what it comes down to.
  7. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    Thanks for the correction. Interesting!
  8. Rick-ITA macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2013
    Big true!

    I also thought that i5 does not support hyperthreading but I was wrong. Dual core models have it.

    IMHO if you are looking for an MBA the upgrade worth it. There's a big difference in clock power and with i7 you can arrive to 3.3Ghz.

    For rMBP where the difference is much smaller I wouldn't spend money for that.

    For the 15" (if the base model has i5) it's still different. In quadcore i5 hyperthreading is disabled so the upgrade to i7 is very significative.

    In short:
    MBA: i7
    13" rMBP: i5
    15" rMBP: i7
  9. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    Yeah, it's definitely worth it on the MBA. On the rMBP, not so much. But I will still be going for the i7 most likely.
  10. timsaxman thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2013

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