Is the i5 really that much better than C2D?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DudeMartin, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. DudeMartin macrumors regular

    Dec 2, 2010
    Chicago, Illinois
    Well is it? The new Sandy Bridge processors uses i5's in it's mid-range (which is what I assume will be used in the 13" models), so the question is: is it worth to wait until the Sandy Bridge comes out so that I can have an i5 as a default, or should I just buy a 2.4gHz C2D right now?

    This will be my first MacBook Pro and I'd hate to have a bad impression by making my purchase 'outdated' in a sense a month or two after I bought it.

    Like will the Sandy Bridge noticably outperform the C2D in games like Counter Strike : Source, maybe some newer FPS's, like CoD 4?

    I'm assuming the integrated graphics in Sandy Bridge will be about equal to the current 320M.

    I'd really like to buy a MacBook Pro ASAP, but I also want to get the best deal for my money. BUT ... waiting anywhere between 1-4 months would be really painful...

    (If a post that addresses this 'question' has already been posted, could you please link me to it?)
  2. NickZac macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
  3. jsoto macrumors regular


    Jul 27, 2010
    ix is way much better than c2d. Benchmarks have proven it. You can google the benchmarks for comparison. I was in the same boat as you. I got the i7 Mbp 15". I am very happy :D. If sandy bridge comes out next year. This i7 has plenty of horsepower considering it is only a dual core. I have Parallels have XP Pro & 7 Pro running as VM's. I also have 7 loaded in Bootcamp so I can use Win 7 native. I purchased the 4GB & then swapped to an 8 GB Ram from OWC. I'll tell you what everyone will say. If you need now get it. If you can wait. Then wait. In my case I could have waited. I waited long enough. I got the specs that I wanted such as OS X with iLife 11 64 bit support, & native 7 support for work related purposes. There will always be better specs coming out. So you have to way your needs. If you need now then get it. If you can wait then wait. Once you get one the spec game goes out the window till your hardware or software needs outweigh the need for an upgrade. Like it always does.
  4. lee0539 macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2009
    also to note... c2d runs a lot hotter than i5
  5. shyam09 macrumors 68020


    Oct 31, 2010
    i swear it is the i processors (this current gen) that run hotter. i think SB has heat reducers built in?

    does anyone know if and when microcenter did the $999 base model 13" when the new MBP came out this year?
  6. shyam09 macrumors 68020


    Oct 31, 2010
    OP: get it now.. im buying it now. it hurts me to see rumors pop up with "new designs for MBP" and "4 new models of MBP" etc. but i figure i can always upgrade the HDD + RAM (who knows what next gen provides. better to be safe than sry if you know what i mean
  7. NickZac macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    Here's an argument to buy now. You know that the current is reliable and that you like it. There is no guarantee you will like the next generation as much and there is no guarantee it will be as reliable as this current gen.
  8. shyam09 macrumors 68020


    Oct 31, 2010
    +1 :d
  9. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Jan 8, 2009
    You guys crack me up. :D

    There is no way the next 13" MBP is going to take some magical step backwards in performance. Will it be an earth shattering speed bump? Will it replace the main frames at NASA? Probably not. But it will do just fine.

    I'm beginning to think all this talk about SB is some clandestine marketing strategy by Apple to sell out their current inventory of MBP's.

  10. arcite macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2009
    Cairo, trapped in a pyramid with my iphone


    Who really cares about raw performance now days anyhow? Certainly not the primary target of the MBP. I want better screen technologies! Higher resolution! Improved unibody design! Water proofing! More battery power! New improved light up logo on the lid!

    Any PC manufacturer can stuff in the latest graphic card and a faster processor. Apple delivers MORE. :apple:
  11. WelshBluebird macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2010
    The i3's (which is what apple would have used in the 13" MBP had Intel and nVidia not been arguing) have around the same performance as the C2D actually. Just because the C2D is old, does not mean it is slow. And it is still a lot faster than most CPU's people get in their laptops (either crappy celerons, atoms or low end Pentiums).
  12. Moomba macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    Personally, I would say to wait and see what the new ones offer. Yes, it's a gamble, but if they make a changes of any type and you had just purchased one recently it's always frustrating. Unless you absolutely NEED a new one now I really think waiting the ~3 months would be very ideal.
  13. mharpo, Dec 16, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010

    mharpo macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2010
    Buy Now

    Buy now and, if you want a really zippy machine, max out the RAM and put in an SSD (highly recommend OWC's) or the Momentus XT 500GB Hybrid for $120.
  14. dime21 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2010
    Actually, no, it isn't. It's very dependent on what you are using it for. Certain benchmarks show huge improvement, 30% better than C2D, while others are nearly identical with no change at all.

    The core i3 is worse still, losing out to the older C2D in a handful of benchmarks, being nearly tied (less than 10% difference) in most others, and only showing significant improvement in a handful of applications.

    First you need to determine what you are doing with it, what your applications are, then compare benchmarks using those same applications. Everything else is really irrelevant.
  15. NickZac macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    From a statistical basis, in the world of technology, premier models (when major changes are made) are rarely as reliable as models that have been produced for a few years simple because some issues cannot be anticipated in a lab and items need to be tested in the real world to show some design problems. Yes, it happens to Apple as well; ahem, iPhone 4 (take a look at cars as well!). It's not a step backwards; it is a step forward with a few slips along the way.

    The Core 2 Duo has been time tested and proven as has the entire current MBP lineup, much like the .45 Auto Colt Pistol. It also doesn't get nearly as hot as previous processors used in the MBP and without a significantly different cooling design, the SB MBP's are gonna be smokin'! So to get around this, Apple creates a new cooling mechanism that has never been used before and it comes out only to find that within a month, the cooling system breaks and your computer literally melts its internals. Oh snap. I am a paranoid consumer and I spend much time researching purchases so yes, I am on the cautious side, but I NEVER buy any product immediately.

    As far as speed, the ix series processes are a step forward in computer evolution, but certainly not a 'leap' as people have claimed. Penryn is still fast enough to run most programs to a satisfactory level and if you upgrade the memory and switch to a solid state drive, your Core 2 Duo MBP is going to run certain real-world tasks quicker than a standard ix series. I would rather have a C2D than an i3 any day and Apple chose the C2D over the i3 (everyone says its related to the Nvidia issue but they could have worked around it).

  16. Squadleader macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2010
    Avalon Hill
    Get it at Best Buy...You have 45 days to return it, in case you like the newer ones..(If they come out within 45 days that is !!)
  17. Wattser93 macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2010
    Let's be real here, how often do you use your MBP when the CPU is maxed out?

    Assuming you're like 90% of the purchasers of a 13" MBP, that's once a week or less.

    In that's the case, don't wait for an i5.
  18. miata, Dec 17, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010

    miata macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2010
    Silicon Valley, Earth
    The one area where I saw a big difference where I care is video encoding/decoding/transcoding if that is something you do a lot.
  19. Wattser93 macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2010
    And that's about the only time people realistically use the max potential of their CPU. It's easy for people to get caught up in "spec wars" when they don't need the extra performance, a better GPU is the way to go IMO. Much more important than clockspeed for most people's uses.
  20. skiltrip macrumors 68030

    May 6, 2010
    New York
    I push my CPU to it's limit all the times working in Pro Tools. It's not just video encoding that needs the headroom.

    And the GPU is of little concern to me. All we users have different needs.
  21. Scott6666 macrumors 65816


    Feb 2, 2008

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