Is the 2.6Ghz CPU worth it?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by samo1215, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. samo1215 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    #1
    Now that the summer ipod promotion has begun I have decided to take the plunge and purchase a new MBP. I'm wondering is the difference between the 2.5GHz and 2.6GHz cpus really worth the extra $225?
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    I opted for the 2.5GHz with 4GB of RAM. You'll get a lot more performance increase from an extra 2GB of RAM than you would from an extra .1GHz. Plus, you can get the RAM for about $100 vs $225. Much more bang for the buck! Here's one of many sources for the RAM, if you haven't found one already:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/53IM2DDR4GBK/
     
  3. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Feb 9, 2008
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    NYC
    #3
    The difference is 100MHz in speed that is not worth it.
     
  4. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

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    Oct 31, 2006
    #4
    Please do a search, this was just asked last week. It depends on what you are doing, but in most cases it's a waste of money.
     
  5. samo1215 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    #5
    Thanks for the responses. I do apologize if this has been asked before, I tried a search and couldn't come up with anything.

    If it matters, I am planning on upgrading to 4gigs of RAM regardless of the model I chose. The computer will be used for audio recording as well as some graphics work and general use (ie word processing and internet usage). Thanks again for the help.
     
  6. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #6
    I'd go as far to say the 2.4 is adequate if you are buying the 15" model.
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #7
    I wanted the 2.5GHz because it also has 512MB of video RAM, vs 256MB for the 2.4GHz. That's more of a difference than just 100MHz.
     
  8. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #8
    And that extra 256MB is useless as well. The Merom machines did very well with 128MB.
     
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #9
    What evidence to you have to show that double the video RAM is useless? My old Sony VAIO did "very well" with 512MB of RAM, but that was then and this is now! My point is, there is a more significant difference to consider between the 2.4GHz and 2.5GHz models than just 100MHz of RAM.
     
  10. foodle macrumors 6502

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    May 14, 2008
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    #10
    In general, there's not a huge performance difference. The L3 cache size is the same between both processors (6MB), so the only difference is 100MHz of processor clock frequency. However, this type of question is impossible to answer without knowing how you plan to use the machine and what your financial situation is like. Maybe you really need that extra 100MHz. Maybe you're wealthy beyond imagining and $225 is nothing to you.
     
  11. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Feb 9, 2008
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    NYC
    #11
    No evidence; just experience; friend bought a 128MB VRAM MBP, did everything from gaming to video to regular work without a hiccup; everything I do he could do just as well; why I don't think the extra VRAM is worth the extra price; if I could get a 17" HR with a 2.4GHz, 256MB VRAM, I would go for it.
     
  12. e12a macrumors 68000

    e12a

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    Oct 28, 2006
    #12
    Dont forget that in bootcamp the 8600 uses some of your system RAM as its own. Mine totals out at 1GB video memory. More than enough.
     
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #13
    Some of us prefer the more compact, portable design of the 15". Also, it's always a good idea to get the maximum performance that makes economic sense at time of purchase, since anything bought now will seem underpowered and obsolete by comparison, within just a few years.
     
  14. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    NYC
    #14
    I didn't say anything about getting a 17"; I just said I would have gotten that configuration... :confused:

    And for maximum economics sense is to get the 2.4/256MB MBP in the 15", keep 2GB RAM, upgrade the HDD to 320GB.
     
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #15
    Again, sacrificing performance. The 320GB drive at 5400rpm is slower than the 200GB drive at 7200rpm. Having a fatter, slower hard drive with half the video RAM and half the RAM doesn't sound like the way to boost performance. It all comes down to what the individual values most. Since the original question was about performance, the recommendation was to improve performance up to, but not past, the point of diminishing returns.

    17" vs 15" screen = no performance value
    320GB @ 5400rpm vs 200GB @7200rpm = slower performance
    2.4GHz vs 2.5GHz = slower performance
    256MB video RAM vs 512MB = slower performance

    Call me crazy, but I thought the point of the question was to get the most horsepower for the money invested.
     
  16. samo1215 thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 26, 2008
    #16
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I don't want to spoil any debates because I think there have been some valuable opinions discussed but I just wanted to clarify a few things.

    I am for sure buying a 15", 2GB RAM (to be upgraded on my own to 4GB), 200 GB 7200RPM HD with a matte screen. I'm hoping to squeeze atleast 3 years out of this machine. In addition I will be doing some audio and image work which I understand can be somewhat demanding of system resources. I will also be running WinXP Pro with boot camp.

    I'm waiting until next week to pull the trigger but I was looking through the pricing options in the apple store and just wondering if the extra $225 really made sense for that small of a difference between CPU's. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about computers but I am new to the Apple world and was just wondering if there was anything I was missing or should take into consideration when examining the 2 cpus. Once again, I really appreciate everyone's help, I would most certainly be lost without the help I have received on this board.
     
  17. Trebuin macrumors 65816

    Trebuin

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    Jun 3, 2008
    Location:
    Okinawa, Japan
    #17
    I'll also suggest ram over CPU unless you do heavy, and I mean heavy, encoding. When you try buying ram, look for the lowest latency you can find. I just upgraded my imac from 2GB to 4GB and here's the key:

    Both old and new are PC5300, however, my older ram is standard CL5 and the newer is CL4 (latency times). This brings not only a significant increase in memory, but the memory performs better due to less lag withing the memory system. Mine happen to cost an extra $20 plus it comes with lifetime warranty. http://xtreview.com/addcomment-id-4953-view-Kingston-hyperX-667-MHz-CL4-Sodimm.html

    In theory, you'd want to purchase faster ram, mine's 667mhz and if I had a system that supported 800mhz, I'd buy that. The only downside to that is that faster memory have relaxed specs...meaning they'll go for CL5. There's some calculation out there that basically says that there's a point where increasing latency for increased speed will eventually cause the chip as a whole to perform slower. This point is right around CL4...hence why CL5 is still an accepted standard.

    As for performance boost in reality...probably around 5%.

    CL3 is even better, but I can't find any 200-pin versions. CL2 (actually CL2.5) is probably the best you can find...but extremely rare.

    In conclusion: $20 for lifetime coverage and 5% performance boost is worth it.
     
  18. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    #18
    2.5-->2.6 is not worth the $250

    256vram is the max that you will benefit from the 8600m gt card BUT 512mb vram wont hurt for better driving external monitors.

    I've owned them all and now back on a 17" hi res mbp again for the 3rd time!! IMHO something about how the 17" mbp runs as a whole machine feels a bit faster than the 2.4ghz ,2.5ghz ,2.6ghz 15" mbp. I dont know if the mother board can take more heat or the cores can clock up faster but something about how the gui runs on osx seems alot more fluid to me even without using the mbp in external monitors.

    To me I see some difference.

    I've owned the 15" 2.4Ghz mbp last years merom with 256vram for 9 months (sold it) and bought the 15" 2.5ghz mbp and exchanged it due to the left speaker noise issue for the 2.4Ghz penryn and after a week and a half (thought it was a bit slow compared to the 2.5Ghz model with the 512mbvram overall it does feel slower on the 2.4Ghz model also left speaker making the hiss/static noise) and then exchanged to a 2.6Ghz penryn mbp with 512mb (some charging issue and that same hiss/static noise on the left side where the magsafe resides of the speakers and then to the 17" hi res 2.5Ghz (sold it on ebay) moved back to the 15" mbp 2.5Ghz thinking the hissing noise was fixed and then exchanged it for the 17" hi res 2.6Ghz model but had a buzzing screen issue so exchanged it for the 15" 2.5Ghz penryn mbp and that one was fine except the left speaker still (I noticed by now that all the 15" mbp has this left speaker hissing/static noise when the magsafe is connected) but somehow the apple store messed up with the correct serial numbering and long story short didnt charge me a restocking fee that I was ready to pay today and exchanged it for 17" hi res 2.6Ghz mbp (Perfect! Finally no left speaker static/hiss noise like all the 15" penryn that I went through and no lcd buzz noise like the previous 17" I had!).

    And to me the 17" feels a bit faster overall (all model mbp's had the same hitachi travelstar 7k200 hdd installed + 4gb of crucial ram. Amazingly I didnt pay any restock fee!! =D I'm stopping with this 17" 2.6Ghz model for a good 3-4 years now.. its so perfect!

    I'm not just saying because I'm biased or own the 17" even on previous forums I've gave advice that the 17" did feel overall faster even while owning the 15" mbp.

    P.S... I've been through the exchanges of hell and it concluded with 2 different apple stores (I live by 2 just 15 minutes and 20 minutes apart from the two) and no restocking fee!! The managers are more like get it exchanged and get the line moving kind of deal. But now they've seen enough of me in each stores and I've seen enough of them as well and finally done and keeping this perfect 17" hi res mbp!

    Just to be clear the 17" mbp doesnt make the hissing/static noise when the magsafe is connected from the left speaker or the right speakers. Also I noticed that some of the 15" mbp I had made some buzzing noise from the right speaker and one of them on the left as well, I was kind of annoyed but not that much. But I have to say the 17" hi res models except one that had a high pitch screen buzz noise has no other issues, quiet fan, very fast, runs very cool, evenly lit screen (more so than the 15"), no left speaker static/electric noise and the speakers sound golden!

    The exchange started out with a 1.6Ghz mba and it had some weird white line issues as well no restock fee lol. I think this month I went through about 10 mbpS!! 1 selling on ebay and me loosing some $$ on it though but then it had a dead/stuck pixel that I really hated on it but the buyer didnt seem to mind it for a couple hundred less on the mbp =/.

    And from my sig you can tell that I've owned the 2.8 8 core mac pro and I've had the 2.66Ghz mac pro as well.. pretty much owned everything from 20" ACD, 23" and the 30" and returned the 30" as it had terribly uneven backlighting the right side was clearly brighter than the left side. But kept the 23" and now sold it on ebay because I dont need the external display + I smell new updates coming soon anyway.
     
  19. AndyClarke macrumors regular

    AndyClarke

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    Mar 6, 2007
    Location:
    Fernhurst, Hampshire
    #19
    I have a 2.4C2D and that is plenty fast enough for most things.
     
  20. Kaupa macrumors regular

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    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Germany
    #20
    Graphic is higher clocked at the 17" models, maybe that makes a difference!
    I wouldnt buy the 2.5 neither, because the 8600 sucks so much it cant use 512mb of VRam....
    You Could get the new 320 7200 or 500gb 5400 HDD and let it replace for the money you safe on the 2.5 model. That will speed things up more than 100mhz and 512mb VRAM!
     
  21. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #21
    Wow! Sounds like you've been through half the Apple product line! Sorry to hear you've had such bad luck! I hope things go better with your latest MPB! My 15" is screamin' fast, bright, bright even lighting on the screen, wide viewing angle, no dead pixels and no noise whatsoever. If I lay my ear on the trackpad I can hear a quiet whirr of the hard drive.... no fan noise, no screen noise, no speaker noise.. nothing! Yes, it IS turned on! :) I will say that the first MBP I ordered had the bluetooth function die within 24 hours. The replacement has been rock solid and I'm on it more than 16 hours a day, every day. :cool:
     

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