macbook pro 13 2012: i5 vs i7

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bonti, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. bonti macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2012

    I currently have a macbook 2,1 (C2D 2,00 GHz, 2GB RAM) running lion, which is in trouble if I open flash sites, and streaming video while is running also only mail app!

    It's time to change it and and my doubt is between i5 (4MB RAM) and i7 (8MB RAM) in 2012 base configuration... and refurbished!

    My budget is closer to i5 but I'm willing to spend a little more to get a mac that is what I really need.
    i5: 1089 €
    i7: 1339 €

    I usually run simultaneously: mail, safari, itunes, excel or word and a USB 3.0 500 GB external hdd always connected via time machine.
    In the worst case, along with the programs mentioned above I run Aperture or PS for non-professional use (no raw photo editing) or dreamweaver and Cyberduck.

    Often I connect an external monitor with 1920x1080 resolution.
    I'm not a game player!

    what is the best choice? i5 (4MB RAM) or i7 (8MB RAM)?

    please don't suggest the macbook air because I want an expandable macbook!

  2. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    Go with the i5 and upgrade the 4GB RAM via aftermarket if you need to.
  3. pbmagnet4 macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2009
  4. afinch1992 macrumors 6502


    Sep 13, 2012
    Dallas, Tx
    buy the i5, put the difference into ram or an ssd
  5. sno1man macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2011
    no cost quick thing to try

    Instead of using Safari, use Chrome which has it's own sandboxed flash playback. Some of the most flash heavy sites are education oriented and they have been recommending it for awhile
  6. fleawannabe macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2011
    +1 for the i5 with 4GB, upgrade the RAM yourself later. For the price to get Apples 8GB you can go to 16GB and keep your original 4GB that came with the computer.
  7. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    The i5 is plenty sufficient enough. I would upgrade to 8 or 16gb ram and an SSD.
  8. sjducks macrumors newbie

    Aug 28, 2012
    chicago, il
    My usage is similar to yours and I opted for the i5 and upped the RAM and threw in a SSD. I cannot complain at all. Happy shopping
  9. chriscl macrumors 6502


    Jan 4, 2008
    Stuttgart, Germany
    I run a similar spread of Apps and Photoshop Elements - very happy i5 user here; save the extra money and put it to a RAM upgrade - if you need it!
  10. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    Usually I'm a proponent of getting the base 13" and upgrading as necessary. The current 13" is the first to make me rethink that.

    Here's why:

    First, the i7 comes with 8 GB of RAM already, which is plenty for most people both now and into the future. It also still provides the opportunity to upgrade to 16 GB if needed. With the i5 only coming with 4 GB, a RAM upgrade is needed almost out of the box.

    Second, it comes with a 750 GB drive vs. the i5 coming with a 500 GB. The extra space is a positive (at least for me), and makes the drive faster than the 500 GB drive in the i5. Granted, not a huge difference, but every bit helps.

    Third, the i7 is just that bit faster than the i5. Again, not a huge difference, but one that will be useful and noticeable to some.

    For the price difference, at this point I think the i7 is a good choice. It's not a night and day difference, but at least now the i7 offers enough, in my view, to be worth the $300 price difference. Also note that if you want to change to an SSD, you can either keep the 750 GB drive or sell it and help fund the SSD purchase, the 750 GB drive being likely to net you more than the 500 GB drive in the i5. Ditto for the RAM in the i7.
  11. Elijen macrumors 6502


    May 8, 2012
    You can upgrade to 8Gb and 750Gb HDD much cheaper via aftermarket.

    8Gb RAM = $50
    750Gb HDD = $105

    That's $155 but you still keep the 4Gb and 500Gb HDD and can sell it (i guess around $80 total or more?) ... so it's $75 for aftermarket upgrade to 8Gb RAM and 750Gb HDD.

    250€ = $320
    $320 - $75 = $245 (this is what you will pay for the i7 CPU instead of i5)

    I would rather buy an external monitor or SSD for the $245 bucks ;)
  12. MaxPower72 macrumors 6502


    Aug 15, 2012
    Chicago, Illinois, Crooks County
    the i5 it's still a fast processor with plenty of firepower for your needs.
    you can have all the fun you want in customizing your MBP with aftermarket parts there is plenty to choose from
    Once you put in a SSD you'll be amazed by the change.
  13. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    I don't think you understood the point, which is that the i7 is now (finally) a reasonable alternative to the i5. As I said, I'm usually a proponent of the i5 and upgrading if necessary. However, the i7 now stands as a system that doesn't need to be upgraded out of the box, while the i5 still does (with respect to RAM in particular).

    And if one goes the refurb route, the i7 starts to be almost compelling at $1269 . . .
  14. Elijen macrumors 6502


    May 8, 2012
    Yes, for somebody who can't or do not want to upgrade his MBP himself and don't mind to pay extra money for the components it's good alternative. But somebody who buys refurbished machine (like OP) probably do NOT want to spend the extra and will not have a problem upgrading the machine right away after buying it from Apple.

    While you could find a refurb i7 for a good price, OP is considering 2 options: i5 for 1089€ or i7 for 1339€.
  15. Leoport macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2012
    Defiantly the i7 because the i5 with it's 4GB and 500GB is just a little on the down side for the price, but then saying that you could get the i5 and buy the extra's which would be cheaper in the long run. It all comes down to what you will need the i5 and i7 to do for you, I myself have the i7 2012 which is extremely useful for my Media course (Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, Adobe Master collection, etc) and this beauty runs all of them perfectly, I assume the i5 would run these with no problem but having that extra processing power comes in handy when needed.
  16. maxwelltech macrumors 6502


    Dec 29, 2011
    Irvine, CA, USA
    For your use I would go with the i5 and upgrade to 8GB of RAM and SSD. I personally got the i7 model because I am doing some medium level video editing, but the i5 is enough for your uses. I would recommend a 13 MacBook Air over the base 13 MacBook Pro, but you don't want a MacBook Air.

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