Is 2.6GHz i5 upgrade worth it?

pk314

macrumors member
Original poster
May 18, 2014
39
0
Hey everyone,

So I'm an avid PC user and my 3 year old HP is starting to give me problems so I was thinking about making the switch to a Mac. After researching, I think the best option for me would be the 2nd tier 13in rMBP priced at $1,499. Since I will be taking advantage of the college student pricing, I was wondering if the extra $90 to upgrade to the 2.6GHz i5 would be worth it?

Thanks in advance!
 

Hieveryone

macrumors 601
Apr 11, 2014
4,147
1,468
USA
I went to through the EXACT same dilemma when making my decision.

I bought the 2.6. From my experience, the 2.6 does seem snappier than the 2.4 in a side by side comparison, but if you used them individually you probably wouldn't be able to tell.

In the end I spent, with taxes, $1,585 for the 13" 2.6/8/256
 

pk314

macrumors member
Original poster
May 18, 2014
39
0
On the other side, would it better to keep the 2.4GHz CPU but upgrade the RAM to 16GB?
 

pk314

macrumors member
Original poster
May 18, 2014
39
0
I don't see any point in more ram unless you are running ram intensive apps like after effects.
Hmm...thanks! Seems like it's gonna be a tough decision because from what I've read on these forums, the majority seems to suggest going with the extra RAM over the CPU boost. On the downside, the extra RAM is an upgrade of $180 compared to the $90 for the 2.6GHz :confused:
 

53kyle

macrumors 65816
Mar 27, 2012
1,275
92
Sebastopol, CA
Hmm...thanks! Seems like it's gonna be a tough decision because from what I've read on these forums, the majority seems to suggest going with the extra RAM over the CPU boost. On the downside, the extra RAM is an upgrade of $180 compared to the $90 for the 2.6GHz :confused:
You really should upgrade to 16 GB of ram. That will really make a difference as apps get more ram intensive and the 200 MHz difference in the CPU will hardly make any difference in performance. Keep in mind that ram can never be upgraded in retina macbook pros.
 

pk314

macrumors member
Original poster
May 18, 2014
39
0
You really should upgrade to 16 GB of ram. That will really make a difference as apps get more ram intensive and the 200 MHz difference in the CPU will hardly make any difference in performance. Keep in mind that ram can never be upgraded in retina macbook pros.
Thanks, I'll most likely go with the extra RAM!
Now my only gripe is that even though Best Buy offers a better student discount, I will have to buy from Apple because of the upgrade to the RAM. :apple: :(
 

Hieveryone

macrumors 601
Apr 11, 2014
4,147
1,468
USA
Thanks, I'll most likely go with the extra RAM!
Now my only gripe is that even though Best Buy offers a better student discount, I will have to buy from Apple because of the upgrade to the RAM. :apple: :(
Well, the only problem with 2.4 GHz and 16GB RAM, is that if you are using, let's say 15.5 GB of ram at any one time, you're bottlenecked because of the 2.4 GHz CPU.
 

pk314

macrumors member
Original poster
May 18, 2014
39
0
Well, the only problem with 2.4 GHz and 16GB RAM, is that if you are using, let's say 15.5 GB of ram at any one time, you're bottlenecked because of the 2.4 GHz CPU.
But in that sort of situation, would the extra 200 MHz really make a noticeable difference?
 

thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
2,984
7
Switzerland
This is, as always, a difficult question. First it should be clear that you will be fine if you don't get any of the upgrades.

If your RAM usage isn't very high (no virtual machines for example) then the 16 GB upgrade will give you zero benefit right now. It is a bit of an investment into the future use of your machine, where it might or might not benefit you.

The CPU upgrade will give you an immediate benefit, but it is just a small one. About 8% performance, and a little faster graphics. It is not going to close the gap to a quad core!

Personally I went with 2.6 GHz and 8 GB, but that was more of an emotional decision (didn't want the slowest machine).
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,455
4,265
The OP has given no indication what he is using his macbook for, hence everyone is just guessing.

The base configurations are generally very balanced, if you need an upgrade you should know.

The bottleneck always will and has been the harddrive. Ram was and is merely a way to compensate.
Now pcie is capable of way more than ~750mbps and we will see a fast speedincrease in the future.

And: The ssd in your mac is replaceable.
 
Last edited:

majkom

macrumors 65816
May 3, 2011
1,352
649
had both of them, 2.4 and 2.6 version with 8gigs ram - that upgrade is worthless, either save those 90 bucks or invest into something else.
 

chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
8,190
2,515
had both of them, 2.4 and 2.6 version with 8gigs ram - that upgrade is worthless, either save those 90 bucks or invest into something else.
I use the example of the Mac Mini: at home I have a 2.3 GHz Mini and at work I have a 2.6 GHz Mini. If someone switched them I'd likely never notice unless I happened to look at "About this Mac."
Save your $90 on the CPU upgrade.
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,455
4,265
had both of them, 2.4 and 2.6 version with 8gigs ram - that upgrade is worthless, either save those 90 bucks or invest into something else.
I use the example of the Mac Mini: at home I have a 2.3 GHz Mini and at work I have a 2.6 GHz Mini. If someone switched them I'd likely never notice unless I happened to look at "About this Mac."
Save your $90 on the CPU upgrade.

Just because you dont notice it doesnt mean others dont notice it.

It depends on your usage.

Stop giving the OP advise without knowing what he is using his macbook for.
 

majkom

macrumors 65816
May 3, 2011
1,352
649
Just because you dont notice it doesnt mean others dont notice it.

It depends on your usage.

Stop giving the OP advise without knowing what he is using his macbook for.
So, please, give OP advise, when he will see that this incremental upgrade is worth 90 bucks. Feel free to elaborate.
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
230
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
Just because you dont notice it doesnt mean others dont notice it.

It depends on your usage.

Stop giving the OP advise without knowing what he is using his macbook for.
I think he's asking the OP to save the $90 and not go for the CPU upgrade, because he said that he didn't notice any difference between the 2.3GHz and 2.6GHz variants of the Mac Mini.
 

JoelTheSuperior

macrumors 6502
Feb 10, 2014
366
205
London, UK
To be honest whilst I wouldn't go so far as to say the upgrade is worthless, it's unlikely that the extra cash spent is worth it to you - it's a very minor upgrade that will only realistically benefit a very small proportion of users.

Regarding RAM, whilst it is true that you cannot upgrade the memory in the retina MacBook Pro, I would have to argue that 8GB is plenty, especially with the fantastic performance benefits that come from having a PCI-E SSD. In all honesty, I'd be very surprised if you had any performance issues at all with the standard specification. Equally however, if you have money to spend it wouldn't be a bad idea at all to upgrade.
 

Naimfan

Suspended
Jan 15, 2003
4,669
1,996
Hey everyone,

So I'm an avid PC user and my 3 year old HP is starting to give me problems so I was thinking about making the switch to a Mac. After researching, I think the best option for me would be the 2nd tier 13in rMBP priced at $1,499. Since I will be taking advantage of the college student pricing, I was wondering if the extra $90 to upgrade to the 2.6GHz i5 would be worth it?

Thanks in advance!
"Worth" is an entirely subjective term, so it is impossible for anyone to answer.

That said, save your money and either put it toward Applecare or invest it - you'll get a better return either way.
 

MartinAppleGuy

macrumors 68020
Sep 27, 2013
2,243
888
Hey everyone,

So I'm an avid PC user and my 3 year old HP is starting to give me problems so I was thinking about making the switch to a Mac. After researching, I think the best option for me would be the 2nd tier 13in rMBP priced at $1,499. Since I will be taking advantage of the college student pricing, I was wondering if the extra $90 to upgrade to the 2.6GHz i5 would be worth it?

Thanks in advance!
Why do you feel the need to spend the extra money? Just keep the extra cash and put it towards your next MBP after that.
 

pk314

macrumors member
Original poster
May 18, 2014
39
0
Wow thanks everyone for the input. I am now really leaning towards just staying with the base 2.4/8gb/256gb model and investing in Applecare rather than upgrading the RAM/CPU.

I am waiting untill he provides some info.
I will be using it for basic college student requirements and necessities such as word, excel, powerpoint as well as social media, web browsing, streaming movies etc. Although I feel that the 2.4 GHz with 8 GB would be plenty for me, I'm just worried about the RAM being enough for future OS updates and I might consider installing Win 7 as well.

----------

Why do you feel the need to spend the extra money? Just keep the extra cash and put it towards your next MBP after that.
I'm just thinking that if I'm going to be spending around $1,500 for a Mac, why not invest just a little bit more to get the best config if there would be any real benefits from those upgrades.
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,455
4,265
I will be using it for basic college student requirements and necessities such as word, excel, powerpoint as well as social media, web browsing, streaming movies etc. Although I feel that the 2.4 GHz with 8 GB would be plenty for me, I'm just worried about the RAM being enough for future OS updates and I might consider installing Win 7 as well.
you will basically use your macbook for stuff any phone can do.
Any macbook is overkill for the years to come.

If you want the retina and got the dough then get the 2.4/8/256. Best bang for the buck.

There is no reason at all to upgrade anything.
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,046
1,104
NYC
Forget the student pricing; get it refurbished or get the 2012 model from somewhere like MacMall and buy AppleCare from B&H.