Macbook Pro Core 2 Duo 2.66 or i5 2.3?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by testudoaubreii, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. testudoaubreii macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2014

    I have a question about a MacBook Pro. I am looking to buy one used and I have a few that I have pending. Here are the two I have in mind:

    MacBook Pro:
    Model Name: MacBook Pro
    Model Identifier: MacBookPro5,1
    Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
    Processor Speed: 2.66 GHz
    HD Capacity: 1TB HSSD
    Total Number Of Cores: 2
    L2 Cache: 6 MB
    Memory: 4 GB

    Mac Mini:
    2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 with 3MB on-chip shared L3 cache
    8GB of 1333MHz DDR3 memory
    500GB (5400-rpm) hard drive
    Intel HD Graphics 3000 processor with 288MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory

    I know that I wrote that I am looking for a MacBook Pro and I posted a Mini for the second option, but what I am really looking at are the specs. I like the idea of having a MacBook for mobility, but a Mini wouldn't bad for me, either. Anyhow, the Mini specs are what I would be looking at with a MacBook, as well.

    So, my question: How much faster is the i5 compared to the Core 2 Duo that I have listed? Will I notice much of a performance difference when using applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and Garageband?

    Thank you in advance for any and all help!
  2. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I think you will. The CPU is somewhere between 1.5-2x faster. Of course, the GPU is slower on the Mac Mini, but that will not make any difference for you, unless you want to play demanding video games (in which case none of the two machines should be considered).
  3. testudoaubreii thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2014
    Thanks for the response!

    I am leaning towards the Mac Mini, or a MacBook Pro equivalent. I will not be playing any games on it, at all really. I need it for work and school. I have a gaming rig for my fun time lol.

    So, I should probably just go with the i5? I really like the idea of the mobility of the MacBook, though, so I will have to find one with the same specs.

  4. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    The i5 is probably around twice as powerful despite the lower clock speed.
  5. testudoaubreii thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2014
    That is what I was afraid of. I think I may have to sacrifice mobility for power in this case, unless I can find a MacBook with similar specs.
  6. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
  7. testudoaubreii thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2014
    Around $700.
  8. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Well, looking at the ebay in USA it seems that its absolutely possible to get a 2012 MacBook Air or MacBook Pro for that money. I am sure you'll be able to find it even cheaper off a private seller somewhere.
  9. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Don't forget that you have to add a display and keyboard (at the least) to the mini.
    Maybe you already have those.

    The portable has both built-in, and you don't need to add ANY hardware.

    I like the mini, because you get to choose whatever size display you like.
    Giving up portability is a small concern for me. Your own use may determine which way you go… Good Luck!
  10. meson macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2014
    Look around for an early or late 2011 13" MacBook Pro. It meets the specs you are looking for, and should serve you well.
  11. testudoaubreii thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2014
    Thanks for the input!

    I went ahead and traded my XBOX One for the C2D 2.66 GHz. I didn't see the point in having a PS3, PS4, XBOX One and a gaming PC. So, I got rid of the Xbox. Plus, I didn't want to trade my i5 4570/8GB RAM HTPC for a MacMini. I figured I can use the Core 2 Duo for what I need for the next couple of years. I mean, I am not gaming or benchmarking on it, so I think it will make it that long.

    So far, the Macbook Pro (C2D) is not bad, at all. It is in really great condition. He upgraded it with a 1TB HDD/SDD Hybrid. I think it will fit my needs nicely for now.
  12. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2014
    You should be able to find an i5 or i7 MBP in that price range. I found a 2011 13" with the i7 for under $700 a couple months ago. There were quite a few options available in the $600-$700 range. Just watch out for the versions known for GPU failures.

    edit: Nevermind, saw your update. The 2.66 C2D is a very capable CPU for basic usage.
  13. testudoaubreii thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2014

    Yeah, I hope so. I noticed that this one has, I guess what is considered, dual Nvidia GPUs. I have read a bunch of stuff about Nvidia and logic board problems for some models. I just hope I didn't get one of them :p.
  14. TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    He shouldn't have to worry about GPU failures since the 13" 2011s don't have dGPUs.
  15. testudoaubreii thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2014
    I went with the 2008 Core2Duo, not the 2011. I am actually using it right now to type on and I am at work downloading Adobe CC. I think this one has dual GPUs. Here is a screen shot:


    Is that what it means? Do any of you know about any issues with this particular GPU set up?
  16. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Every 15" MBP with a dGPU has dual GPUs — an integrated one and a dedicated one. AFAIK, for the 2008 model only one can be active, which you can set up in the power saving preferences (you will need to relog for the changes to become effective).
  17. testudoaubreii thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2014
    Thanks for your response. Which one would be the most reliable, or least likely to not have the logic board/Nvidia problem that I read about a few posts ago?

    On a side note - do any of you know if this model is AirPlay compatible? I am assuming no because there is no AirPlay icon, but I thought I would ask.
  18. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    The integrated one should be more reliable. Although, I don't think it matters much. The laptop is already 6 years old, it is beyond the average life expectation. I think if the 9600M GT on that particular laptop would be defective, it should have shown by now.
  19. testudoaubreii thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2014
    So, chances are it could serve as my little "workhorse" (i use that term loosely)for a while?
  20. cambookpro macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2010
    United Kingdom
    You could probably get a couple of years use out of it - they aren't bad machines, a little slower than today's offerings, but adequate for most uses. The only thing is I'd probably expect them to drop support for C2D machines and below either next year or the year after, so you may not be on the bleeding edge of OS updates - I'm not sure if that matters to you.

    To answer your previous question - unfortunately your machine doesn't support AirPlay - I presume you're trying to mirror to an Apple TV?

    Anyway, enjoy your new machine!
  21. testudoaubreii thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2014
    Yeah, AppleTV is what I was going to use.

    Thanks and thanks for your responses!

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