Ivy Bridge Core i5 vs. i7

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by TechieGeek, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. TechieGeek macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2012
    Currently it costs $300 to upgrade from a Core i5 to a Core i7 on the 13" MBP.

    With the new Ivy Bridge chips, what kind of performance benefits will there be between i5 and i7? I can't find any explanations or benchmarks online, all I've found is that in Sandy Bridge, Hyper-Threading was disabled in i5.

    Any thoughts? What's the performance benefit of spending an extra $300 (or however much it turns out to be after a refresh) for an i7?
  2. dlimes13 macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2011
    Perrysburg, OH

    If it's i5/i7 Dual Core, not much.

    Benchmarks: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php

    Around a 15% performance increase of current Sandy Bridge i5 and i7 options. Not worth it IMO.

    Now if it was i5 Dual Core to an i7 Quad Core, absolutely worth it.
  3. Rizzm macrumors 6502a

    Feb 5, 2012
    It depends exactly which i5 and i7 they offer. For example, the difference between the bottom end i7 and top i5 is very minimal. Apple overcharges for the "high end" versions every time IMO.

    The most confusing part for me is when they don't specify whether the i7 is a dual or quad core, since it comes as both. AFAIK all ivy bridge processors have hyper threading.

  4. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011
    On the 13" both are dual core. Price also includes a larger drive, not that it still offsets the difference. And no, the i5 doesn't hyperthread.

    Geekbench is about 6500 for the i5, 8000 for the i7 Jump to quad core base 15" and that score jumps to 10,500
  5. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2007
    All Mobile dual core and quad core sandybridge and ivybridge processors hyperthread. It's the desktop i5's that don't hyperthread, not the mobile processors.

    The difference between the dual core i5M and i7M dual cores isn't much. between 500 to 1000 on geekbench, depending what ram is used effects score some what.

    There may be a quad option for the 13 inch so i would wait. Quad would def be worth it. Heck even a refurb or new late 2011 will have some nice prices also.

    I would wait and see.
  6. Donka macrumors 68030


    May 3, 2011
    Yup, if you are seeing 4 cores on your dual core machine in Activity Monitor then it is using Hyper Threading.
  7. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2012
    Ivy Bridge is the same as Sandy Bridge in regards to hyperthreading:

    Desktop i7 = quad core + hyperthreading (4C/8T)
    Desktop i5 = quad core, no hyperthreading (4C/4T)

    Mobile i7 = dual or quad core + hyperthreading (2C/4T, 4C/8T)
    Mobile i5 = dual core + hyperthreading (2C/4T)

    Yay Intel! Thanks for confusing everybody!
  8. TechieGeek thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2012
    Which CPU is the i5 on the MacBook Pro 13" and which one is the i7 on the 13"? So I can compare the benchmarks to see if the $300 price difference is worth it...
  9. BlueOcean macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2012
    I've been comparing the two as well.

    From Geekbench:

    MacBook Pro (13-inch Mid 2012)
    Intel Core i7-3520M 2900 MHz (2 cores)

    MacBook Pro (13-inch Mid 2012)
    Intel Core i5-3210M 2500 MHz (2 cores)

    That's over a 1000 point increase, which is around 17%. That's quite a bit on paper, but I don't know how that translates to practical use. I calculated that the upgrade to the i7 costs the same as a Samsung 830 256GB SSD and an Optibay with External Optical Drive Caddy. My bet is that the SSD would make more real-world difference. Then again, I've heard that the HD4000 has a higher clock speed on the i7 so it may be worth the upgrade for games if you're interested in that.

    Apple's laptop line is frustrating. There are trade-offs with every model and it makes it a pain in the arse to decide which one to get! I'm deciding between the 13" Air, 13" Pro, 15" Pro and retina :/
  10. KohPhiPhi macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2011
    What about temperatures? any significant difference between i5 vs i7?
  11. colour macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2009
    These are averages if you wanted the i7 to hit 8000 on geekbench you can with the RAM + SSD upgrades. The i5 is also reaching closer to 7000 on average as per users submissions.

    Would be interested to know this also, from what I have read the fan issues are better than the previous 2011 models. Also there has been a massive jump in graphic swith the 4000HD as tests are starting to show. From the results and tests the i7 is a very good buy, the extra $300 gets you more power (i7) and 8GB of 1600MHz RAM not 4GB that is offered in the i5.

    Meaning that the extra $300 gives you a nice optibay storage size of 750 GB not 500GB offered in the i5, 8GB ram which you don't have to upgrade until 16GB is dirt cheap in a year where as the i5 gives you only 4GB is is sub par IMO.

    If you are in that range of consumers where you will be doing all future upgrading yourself then the i7 is actually better value for money and a nice future proof machine, I think that the prices for once actually reflect the true value of the machine, the 13 inch MBP i7 is a really good buy if not the best value for money machine !!! I will being buying one after the kinks are ironed out and all testing is done by everyone else...in a few weeks.
  12. drewyboy macrumors 65816

    Jan 27, 2005
    I'm not trying to invalidate anyones opinion but you should know that I'm in the same boat OP and I'm actually making a purchase, not just giving you my two cents.

    I'm getting base 13" in next week or two and using the $300 saved to buy 16gb ram ($100) and waiting for Samsung 830 256gb to go on sale again ($200). So for same price I get slightly slower CPU, gpu clocking, and 250gb less. What I gain in 16gb ram, 256gb ssd, and hdd in optibay (eBay). For a little more you can also get external SuperDrive but for me I don't care. Well, that's my purchasing decision.
  13. filmak macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2012
    between earth and heaven
    I' m ready to buy one 2.9 and the absence of info about heat kills me.:mad:
  14. Geo411m macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2010
    I have the 2.9GHz macbook pro and it hasn't had any issues with overheating but I'm not much of a gamer so I may not be taxing the system as much.
  15. filmak macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2012
    between earth and heaven
    Thank you very very much.
    I don't care about games. I need this mbp for office use, web and win7 via parallels.

    Can you please help me a little bit more?
    is it cool enough? Any temps? fan noise?

    Thank you very much again,:)
  16. Geo411m macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2010
    I use it for the same uses and I never hear my fans kick in. Not sure if the SSD I installed helps with heat.
  17. filmak macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2012
    between earth and heaven
    You have helped me a lot, I 'm grateful and I hope that I 'll be able to help you too in the future.

    Best wishes,
  18. Geo411m macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2010
    No problem, glad I could help.
  19. Mizzou02RS macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2005
    I have the 2.9 as well and I have had no heat issues...
  20. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 603

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    Hyperthreading is important for the OS kernel, not for the applications. You can call hyperthreading "thread management in hardware", which reduces the thread management overhead within the kernel. HT has no effect in optimized or CPU intensive applications, like H.264 encoders. Slow data caches (slower than a virtual core) and the lack of free CPU time reduce HT effectively to zero.
  21. filmak macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2012
    between earth and heaven
    Thank you.
  22. colour macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2009
    any fan issues, ie: loud fan or fan spinning up and down when watching youtube or media ?
  23. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I found on the desktop, that the i7 was a useful benefit running multiple apps that are fairly demanding. Vmware, photoshop, lightroom come to mind.

    I'm thinking that having an i7 is cheap insurance for a bit more performance if you might need it :)
  24. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011
    SSD gets you zero on Geekbench, it doesn't measure drive performance. 4gb to 8gb memory upgrade *might* get you between 50-100 points
  25. colour macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2009
    I would argue that, actual test results vary on so many variables, hence the distribution is so sparse on the geekbench browser results of the same machine from hundreds of entries.

    If you look at results,

    MacBook Pro (13-inch Mid 2012) - 7170

    MacBook Pro (13-inch Mid 2012) - 7989

    Exact same machine, different one running Mac OS X 10.7.4 then other Mac OS X 10.7.3. Thats an extreme which outlines how an upgrade of build can influence performance and or skew results. Other results vary from anything between 40-200 on the exact same machine running the same builds. Although adding a SSD wont really give you a 1000 increase on geekbench it will increase it and ram definitely will, 7989 with only 8GB, It will bumped at 16GB.

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