i5 vs i7

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sioannou, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. sioannou macrumors member

    sioannou

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Location:
    Nicosia Cyprus
    #1
    Hello guys,

    Last year i was in a dilemma between buying a macbook pro or a pc. I ended up buying a windows laptop (Toshiba U500-1FN) but I regret it 100 times. The quality of the plastic was poor and the keyboard sucked.

    Fortunately :D this year I am in the same position as I managed to sell my Toshiba and I am on the looking for a new laptop this time will be apple for sure.

    Sadly my budget is limited so I have to stick with the 13-inches MBP or the MacBook Air. I consider a must to include an SSD hard drive in my laptop and both my options provide this possibility. My laptop will not become a desktop replacement (i already own an Imac and a desktop PC). However I will use it mainly for programming, surfing the web, some movie playing(not editing) and maybe a little webdesign or some mmo playing (RIFT) during my often trips.

    So what's your recommendation? Should I go with the i5 or the i7 or the air? Is the increase of performance between the i5 and i7 worth the extra money? Could Macbook Air do the job for me?
     
  2. mjepson macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011
    #2
    Hi,

    I converted from PC last summer when buying my MBP 13" Core 2 Duo. I installed 8GB ram and OCZ Vertex 2 SSD in it and it was very fast.

    I did an upgrade to MBP 13" i5 this week as the CPU is 70% faster than my 2010 model. I installed the same Vertex 2 SSD but only using standard 4 GB RAM.

    I notice the speed increase in daily tasks like browsing heavy web pages, using WordPress etc. I work with web design and use a 27" Cinema display with my MBP.

    The I7 costs 25% more but is only 13% faster according to geekbench scores, so that didn't justify the price for me, and I would not have noticed the speed difference. The main thing you need is SSD disk.

    So go for Macbook Air or Pro i5 and install SSD in it :)
     
  3. brentsg, Mar 4, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011

    brentsg macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    #3
    Note that if you're buying the Apple 128GB SSD, the upgrade expense for the i7 is not as steep percentage wise.

    I don't think Geekbench means much, but basically if you're including the SSD then it's a 17% price increase for a 17% CPU increase. Note that there are also some minor Intel features that are meaningful for VMs and encryption that the i5's don't support. Most people won't care about this, but it is there. These can be referenced on Intel's datasheets.

    Also note that the turbo modes for the i7 are considerably better than the i5, in excess of the 400MHz rated difference. It's unclear how useful these will be due to thermal issues.
     
  4. sioannou thread starter macrumors member

    sioannou

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Location:
    Nicosia Cyprus
    #4
    Thanks for yours reply guys.

    In my country (Cyprus) the price of i5 13 inch is 1239 Euro (including vat) where the i7 13 inch is 1585 Euro (including vat).

    Now, if i add the SSD disk then price goes to e 1519 and 1785 respectively.

    So what you think its better, go for the i5 13-inch and with the extra money expanding the RAM to 8gb or go for the i7 13-inch and leaving the ram to 4gb?

    (for both of the laptops I will put the 128GB SSD HDD provided by Apple).
     
  5. 1BadMac macrumors 6502

    1BadMac

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    #5
    From what I've read, it seems like for sustained processor tasks (gaming, ripping a DVD, etc...) turbo boost will not stay engaged once the processor heats up. So for most activities, you'll be running @ 2.3 or 2.7.

    The extra 1mb of cache is in favor of the i7, which looks like it's helping in tasks involving compression activities.
     
  6. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    #6
    I personally think this is one of those cases where the price increase for the CPU upgrade is fair, so the question is whether you need it.

    I know for my uses, I'd go with the i7 and 4GB RAM for now. It's so easy to add RAM later, and most people will be perfectly fine with 4GB. That being said, there are plenty of people that would never benefit from the extra boost from the i7.
     
  7. adnoh macrumors 6502a

    adnoh

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    Nov 14, 2010
  8. Wesko macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #8
    I had the exact same problem and bought an.... i7 today!
    Extremely happy with it so far! I don't think you'll notice the increase in speed in everyday use very much though.. I don't know, it just felt the better choice over the i5!
     
  9. scmarcos macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #9


    I totally agree and I herd that the i5 is much more cooler.
    Finally the 300 euros (more than 400 dollars) that I should pay more for the i7 are too much in my opinion to get en extra 13% of performace that may be evident only in heavy tasks!
    Do you agree with me?
     
  10. sioannou thread starter macrumors member

    sioannou

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Location:
    Nicosia Cyprus
    #10
    From what it seems if it is really 13% difference , its not enough to convince me as most probably I will never use 100 % of the cpu. So, as it seems I will go with the i5 option and the SSD . Thanks guys
     
  11. MultiMediaWill macrumors 68000

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    Aug 1, 2010
    Location:
    Illinois
  12. nostylez macrumors member

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    Mar 4, 2011
    #12
    I too was stuck on which mbp to choose, I planned to get last years model but wasn't sold on the fact it still had the c2 duo.

    Now Between the 13" i5/i7 or the 15" beast.

    I decided on the 13" i7 just due to the fact it's my first Macbook
    and the only reason for me to get a 15" was if I planned to do media/graphics
    intensive work/gaming. Which I don't need since I have a decent desktop.

    It all comes down to personal preference and what you will use it for.
    I chose the i7 even though performance difference with i5 to i7 isn't substantial.
    I intend to keep this macbook pro for quite a while, considering my brother has had his old macbook pro I think 2006 model. It seems to last quite a while.

    And I tend to hear many keep there's for a very long time without a need to upgrade for a while.
     
  13. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #13
    What, the entry level being on par if not faster than the prior flagship isn't enough of a speed increase?
     
  14. MultiMediaWill macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    Location:
    Illinois
    #14
    Faster = Better. Why not get the i7?
     
  15. sioannou thread starter macrumors member

    sioannou

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Location:
    Nicosia Cyprus
    #15
    It's not about having the latest and faster computer , it's about buying what you really need. Why buy a ferrari when you can do your job with a mini? You see where the point is? Why spending more money to get something that i will never use? And in technology things change from moment to moment as you know so the thought "maybe i will use the extra power on a later time" does not really counts ;)
     
  16. nostylez macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    #16
    It all depends on weather he plans to keep the notebook for long term and really use it for I guess you could say shelf life.

    Why by a Ferarri the only reason you would buy one is if you got the money and if you by a Ferarri you know you got the money.

    And no one ever uses the Ferarri for it's true horsepower, it's cause they can turn heads. :D
     
  17. sioannou thread starter macrumors member

    sioannou

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Location:
    Nicosia Cyprus
    #17
    Damn this seems a very tough choice :confused: I still cannot decide if the i7 processor worths the extra money. Do you guys know if there is any reliable benchmark?
     
  18. scmarcos macrumors member

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    Feb 27, 2011
    #18
    I totally agree so I will go for the I5!
     
  19. scmarcos macrumors member

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    Feb 27, 2011
  20. sioannou thread starter macrumors member

    sioannou

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Location:
    Nicosia Cyprus
    #20
    Finally, after long thoughts I took my decision :D

    I will go with the i5 13" Macbook Pro with an 128 SSD at the price of 1519 euro. I believe my computational needs could be accomplished by the i5 processor as, surfing the web, listening to music , and making some Java/C++ programming does not require the extra horsepower of the i7 and the extra cost of plus 300 euros . :)

    As Monday is a public holiday in my country, I am going to order on Tuesday. Except if someone manages to change my mind until Tuesday :D
     
  21. scmarcos macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #21
    I am still trying to decide as well.
    My bigger concern is the fact that seems that the i7 goes very warm!
    Can anyone help with their experience.
    Right now I would think about the i7 becouse I am going to keep the laptop for a while and processor is the only part you won't be able to change!
     
  22. DJChrisG macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011
    #22
    On i7 13" 2011... Safari, Mail, SMC Fan Control set 2000rpm
    running at 39degrees. Not bad been on for an hour now
     
  23. scmarcos macrumors member

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    Feb 27, 2011
    #23
    Anyone could do the same with a i5 to comapare temperatures?
     
  24. ZombieZakk macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    #24
    i went with i5 since i wont really use the extra boost and used the extra cash to opt for the 750 hard drive and 8gb ram which still came out to be cheaper than i7 with my HE discount and i will probably upgrade in 2 years or next year if the 13" get discrete graphics.

    Obviously the i7 is faster there no question but if you dont need it then dont bother. It all matters what you will use.
     
  25. lukta macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    #25
    If you get ram then buy it aftermarket for half the price (or less)
     

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