Macbook Pro 15" - 2.53 i5 or 2.66 i7?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Vazza, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. Vazza macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #1
    Hi guys, am about to purchase a 15" MBP to replace my old Macbook but would like some advice please.

    I have been looking at both the 2.53 i5 & and 2.66 i7 on the HE store. I am wondering if I would be better off getting the i7 (even though the i5 will more than likely meet all my needs e.g. Photoshop & occasional gaming) in terms of "future proofing" (I hate this term and realise nothing in computing is future proof) as I intend to keep this for 3+ years like I have with my Macbook.

    If I get the i7 through the HE store, it works out to be "only" £130 more (if I upgrade both to the high res screen & 7200rpm HDD), which seems a no-brainer for a faster processer (albiet not that much faster according to the benchmarks) and the 512MB GPU rather than the 256MB one that comes with the i5. The downsides that I can see from reading the forum is that the i7 may run hotter and battery life may be slightly reduced.

    I would appreciate any advice.

    Also I know there are a lot of threads on this but in terms of matte vs glossy, I very rarely use my laptop outside and there have been a few occasions where the glossy screen on my Macbook has been difficult to view due to reflections and I wished that I'd had a matte screen but from the few pics I've seen I prefer the glass screen to the silver bezel on the matte. Does anyone have good pics of the matte screen with the silver bezel, as I haven't been able find many googling or on here?
     
  2. Maximus434 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    #2
    The i7 is essentially all marketing hype. The extra 1mb L3 cache wont have any benefit for 99% of users. Other than that it is identical to the Core i5.


    Save the cash and get an SSD from OCZ or Intel, then watch your MBP scream.

    Save some more cash by buying the 2.4 Ghz Core i5, there are benchmarks available on the Macbook Pro forum (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=896205) and it is, for all intents and purposes, on par with the 2.53Ghz model. A .13Ghz speed increase is unnoticable, and absolutely not worth what Apple are charging.

    So then you've saved a mint, and have enough for an SSD or even some accessories, and a fantastic, super fast computer.
     
  3. Kingcodez macrumors 6502

    Kingcodez

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Location:
    China
    #3
    I second the SSD idea, it's really changed everything about this computer for me.

    I'd go with the 2.4 i5, if you really need the extra speed I'm sure someone will figure out how to overclock it in the future. But you will never notice the speed difference.. SSDs man...
     
  4. Moomba macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #4
    I was going to say get the 2.5, but in doing a bit more research I find it hard to justify. So... I'll go with the others and say the 2.4ghz would be the most cost effective solution. Assuming you got the same hard drive (the only other difference in the specs between the 2.4 & 2.5) you would be spending ~$50 more for the 2.5ghz over the 2.4. So it'd really be up to you to decide if you want to save the extra $50ish or splurge and get an ever so slightly faster machine.

    That said, I ordered a 2.5ghz for myself yesterday.

    I wouldn't personally bother with the core i7. You are right in that the battery life will be shorter (likely not short per-say, but shortER than a comparably speced i5.) The performance should be better, but IMHO it's not $200+ better/faster.

    Again, as the others have said getting a GOOD SSD (such as Intel) will make the biggest improvment in terms of overall speed. I'd love to put one in my new unit when it comes, but frankly I need the space of the 500gb. I may wait a few months and get another Intel SSD for it when prices come down for larger capacities down the road, but right now I need the space more than the speed.
     
  5. Vazza thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #5
    Thanks for the replies guys, I appreciate the advice. The base 15" MBP does seem to give the most bang for the buck...the only thing pulling me towards the i7 is the extra VRAM, as obviously I won't be able to upgrade that in the future if needed.
     
  6. Kingcodez macrumors 6502

    Kingcodez

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Location:
    China
    #6
    If upgrading the proc is only like 50 dollars or so, I'd do it, it'll hold its value better when you resell.

    But the real difference in HDD prices are maby 15 dollars max for a jump in size. (160-250-320-500-640-750-1tb) Apple charges you basically 1.5x the cost of the regular HDD, and they KEEP the old 'base' HDD. It would be one thing if they charged the real 'upgrade' cost of the bigger hdd, and then maby 20 dollars for labor.

    # 500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm [Add $150.00]

    I buy those for under a hundred dollars, I think they might even be 75 these days. They even keep the old HDD too.
     
  7. JNickyJJ macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    #7
    My 2cents is that the SSD will make a much bigger difference in the long run then the i7, i'm not a pro [​IMG] but I think they have the same core apart from a different cache?
     
  8. Maximus434 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    #8
    Really though, an extra 256Mb Vram wont make all that much difference. If the upgrade was more substantial (up to 1Gb maybe) then yeah, it might be worth it. You're still going to be able to play the latest games, and steam when it comes out on OSX.

    But paying the hefty premium for an extra 256mb of ram is insane. In gaming, it won't make much of a difference at all. If you want to game on your laptop, buy a windows one, with a high end 1Gb+ gpu. For everything else, 256Mb of video ram is ample. And if it isn't, for you, you shouldn't even consider a mac laptop.

    I think this is a case of your eyes being bigger than your belly. ;)
     
  9. Raptor235 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    #9
    exactly what I ordered :) already got a intel ssd waiting to be installed

     

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