M7 256 vs M5 512

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by MXSkier62, Apr 23, 2016.


Which Computer for (Roughly) Same Price?

  1. M7 256GB

    40 vote(s)
  2. M5 512GB

    43 vote(s)
  1. MXSkier62 macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2006
    Essentially, it's the same price. Performance wise, looks like M5 is hitting 2800/5800 single/multi core geekbench, where M7 is more like 2900/6000 (so pretty similar).

    The question is, which seems like the better deal (I know, person to person), just looking for some advice. I'm a physician, so my laptop is for writing papers, simple web stuff, and charting over citrix. Maybe some simple imovie editing, but that's it. First off, does Macbook seem like enough for that? For those of you with the 2015 MBP, how overpowered would that be for what I use it for?

    I have used 210/250 GB on 2011 MBA, 111 of which is "other," and plenty of the rest is stuff I can delete (no one needs all 3 batman moves on their laptop all the time...).

    I suppose my question is how much "other" are you guys seeing in your computers? Also, if I wanted to partition to give some to Windows for work stuff, how much would you use/recommend?
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    If the choice you have must be between the two then go for the m5 as you'll appreciate the extra storage in the long run.
  3. bodonnell202 macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2016
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Given the choice between the two I would go for the M5 as I doubt you'll notice the extra speed of the M7 in everyday usage, but the extra storage may be something you end up using if you keep it for a few years.
  4. SteveJUAE macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2015
    Land of Smiles
    M5 with the 512GB, simply as the extra storage is a real daily tangible difference

    If you intend to set up a bootcamp partition given you are use to 256GB I would opt for a 100GB even though you could get away with a much smaller one especial if you install Win10 minimal footprint. By the time you put Win10, Office 360 and a few bits and bobs and some legacy stuff you would use best part of 20GB leaving a healthy 80GB for experimentation and generally playing about and still have 400GB for OSX which is 50% larger than your use to.
  5. Retops macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2008
    Concur. For me the extra storage would be more useful than the M7 processor. My work is all office stuff, web surfing, and light number crunching. Doubt I would even notice the faster processor.
  6. happyslayer macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
    I'll just be the dissenting voice then. I have the 2015 1.2/512 and have the opportunity to sell it. So I just ordered a new one today, went thru the pros and cons for this same question. Ultimately, I chose the m7. I'm only using 130GB with all my apps, documents and a Parallels with Windows 10 Pro virtual machine install. So I decided to go for the extra point processing power I might use over the drive space I'm not using.
  7. GioFerrara Suspended

    Mar 26, 2016
    I would go with the larger storage. Let's be honest, if power is even kind of important to you, you should be buying a MacBook Pro. The m7 is a waste of money, you might as well save it for a redesigned thin 13" MacBook Pro. No matter which configuration you choose, power shouldn't be a priority at all.
  8. Admiral macrumors regular


    Mar 14, 2015
    As a 1.1GHz 256GB first-generation owner, I'll second this. For my next RMB the greater storage will be the first consideration.
  9. sziehr macrumors 6502a

    Jun 11, 2009
    There is currently a reddit thread going that is comparing the performance under load of the m7 to the current i5 MBP. So i have to say you go for the m7 and deal with the storage issue another way.
  10. Jobsian, Apr 23, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016

    Jobsian macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2009
    Is it in r/apple? I can't seem to find it

    Edit: I think I see the one you're mentioning (on r/apple), but can't find where it says they're comparing under load (at least sustained load).
  11. Pbrutto macrumors 6502a


    Apr 21, 2015
    Eastern PA
    A lot of people say "for me" but for the purposes you stated it seems like 256 is plenty but the processor won't hurt. In general with soldered ssd you want to get all you can afford....but if you are really doing work stuff and occasionally editing a movie and this isn't your main comp, 256 is plenty, and exporting an iMovie with a better processor won't hurt.:..good luck deciding!
  12. asoksevil macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2010
    Taipei, Taiwan
    The geekbenchs results weren't these ones AFAIK... Without throttling it was about 6700 while throttled down was 6300.

    I would take the M7 over the extra storage because that much won't ever be used on any of my computers.
  13. MXSkier62 thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2006
    Thanks all for the feedback. For some clarification, yes, this would be my primary machine.

    I'll likely just keep checking in store availability to pick up and try it out at home with the M5, and if it seems fast enough (which it will since I'm coming from a 2011 MBA), then I'll just keep that. But if I can't get it in the next week, I'll probably just wait till WWDC (2 week vacation, away from home, would only have to wait 1 month to then likely purchase the rMB).
  14. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Land of the Unexpected
    M5 512, it will retain far more value and offer far more tangible benefit, M7 your just gaining very little, and Apple is hosing you on the price, no big surprise. If you need more performance, wait on the 2016 MacBook Pro which will very likely be revealed at WWDC. I fully expect the new 13" to be not significantly heavier than the 12" rMB, however it will be significantly more capable; CPU/GPU, ports etc.

    One may consider that it`s more prudent to wait until June, unless there is a significant driving force. Apple has updated the rMB now for one sole reason sales. The additional $200 - $300 for the new 2016 rMBP will likely be money well spent on a far more versatile system, for those that need.

    FWIW I own & use 12", 13" & 15" Retina Mac`s professorially, so really I "don't have a dog in this fight" or maybe I have three :)

  15. Resseh macrumors member

    Apr 24, 2012
    definitely storage. I bought the 256GB Macbook 13" last November thinking it would be enough and save me a bit of money. Since then my iTunes and Aperture library have grown - so i now have less than 1GB left. Ive had to spend a lot of time constantly deleting apps and moving stuff to an external HDD.

    So im giving my MBP to my girlfriend and have ordered the 512GB M7. (ive only ordered the M7 to hopefully get a few extra FPS out of games if i decide to play any)
  16. where is it macrumors 6502

    where is it

    Jun 19, 2012
    The other quandary is the M5 512 is in stock now at most Apple Stores. So you can have your new shiny toy TODAY.

    Or, wait for over a week for the build-to-order M7.
  17. xsmett macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2015
    I would go with the m7, if the macbook would have two usb ports ;) I have a 2012 MBA with a 128GB hard drive and im using it with a small ssd external hdd (samsung t1). Thats pretty much ok for me.
  18. keviig macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2012
    While on the subject of speed, does anyone know if the 512GB has better write speeds than the 256GB, like with the rMBP's?
  19. skcrane macrumors member

    Mar 24, 2009
    dayton, oh
    --- Post Merged, Apr 30, 2016 ---
    I would get the 256/m7. you can always solve storage solutions but you can't processor. it is also a better way of future proofing the machine. that is what I am doing.
  20. Brookzy macrumors 601


    May 30, 2010
    If you don't use the storage (like me) then the larger SSD can still offer two potential benefits for day-to-day usage.
    1. SSDs slow down when they're full. If you can get by with 256GB, but it will be nearly full, the 512GB will perform better.
    2. Sometimes the larger drives Apple sources are faster.
    However there does not seem to be a difference in speeds between the 256GB and 512GB drives on the 2016 MacBook: I've seen a couple of tests that come with opposite results - the reason probably being some dual-sourcing is happening (but you can't tell the manufacturer of the SSD for recent Macs in System Profiler like you used to be able to, so this can't be tested without taking off the back panel and observing what the manufacturer is).

    In my case, I use nearly no storage on my MacBook as it's a second machine and most of my stuff is in the cloud. So I went for the 256/m7. In my view, the 512GB would have provided zero extra utility for me, so I was better off saving that money. I wanted the m7 anyway.

    Edit: Also the performance improvements of the m7 vs the m5 are more than just those Geekbench scores you cite (indeed the difference in those scores is larger according to the scores I've seen), but I'd like to see an in-depth review to confirm the magnitude of that.
  21. Quash macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2007
    Maybe just buy an m3 and use the money you saved to upgrade sooner.
    Best way to future proof.
  22. Picapau21 macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2015
    my m7 benchmarks at multicore 6500-6600 so there is definitely s performance benefit.

    If you want longevity then get the m7 with 512 gb. The price difference is not that great and will be worth it in the long run.
  23. Idarzoid, Apr 30, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016

    Idarzoid macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2013
    Considered m7/256, but went with m5/512.

    None of the stuff I do requires a decent CPU, a text editor, few browsers, a solution stack (in my case, MAMP), these will run fine on m5, or even m3, other than that, the most demanding stuff I'm going to be running is VMware Fusion but I won't be running it much.

    As for why I didn't go with m3/256 - extra storage, so I can leave my VMs on the Mac instead of moving stuff around between my Mac and few hard drives, also media stuff (movies, etc), I plan to be more mobile with this rMB, also planning to keep this one much longer than I did with my other Macs.
  24. curmudgeonette macrumors 6502

    Jan 28, 2016
    I can't find/remember the source, but someone has taken apart the PackageOnPackage SSD controller of the rMB. The chip on top is RAM used by the controller. Underneath it is the actual controller - designed "inhouse" by Apple. It is the result of Apple's acquisition of Anobit. Thus, there won't be dual sourcing of the rMB's drive.
  25. tpr007 macrumors regular


    Mar 1, 2007
    Hong Kong
    I went for the 512

    The storage will be more useful in the long run than a benchmark score - the software I use will not notice it

Share This Page