MacBook Pro Decision. Difference when using encryption? (AES / i5 / i7 Question)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Schnckrbrdr, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. Schnckrbrdr macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2011
    I am looking for a new notebook to replace my 3 year old 14" DELL, which is literally breaking apart :mad:

    Currently I am running Ubuntu with the occasional Windows Session. I do Web development 90% of the time on my current machine. (no Design stuff, nobody would want me to decide what things should look like :eek:)

    A recent change in company policy requires me to have my project related stuff encrypted.

    Now my question: What difference would there be in day to day work between the i5 and the i7 in the 13" MacBook Pro using Encryption? (Running an IDE..sometimes two instances, Local Webserver, 2 - 3 Browser Instances with up to 10 Tabs each, sometimes a Windows VM)

    The i5 is missing the AES Instruction Set and I read in some other threads that this might influence the decision between the i5 and the i7?

    I understand that the current MacOS does not support the AES instruction set on the CPU? Ist that correct and will this change in the future? (Lion?)

    I am quite new to the MacOS World and I am still reading up on stuff to make a decision whether to make the switch ;)

    As for the basic decision to go with a 13":

    When working productively (programming ) I will be connected to an external 24" Screen about 80% of the time. I will still be carrying the notebook around with me a lot (usually daily), so portability is a key requirement but "on the road" I normally do not do any heavy programming...just reading/writing documentation, emailing etc...screen estate will not be as important for those tasks. Is there anything that speaks against a 13" with this usage scenario?

    With the current 14" 1440x900 I do not havy any problems screen wise (like mentioned: I am mostly on an external screen)...but I am still a bit torn between the 13" and the 15". After checking both out in the store I must say I love the size of the 13"...just asking whether there is some downside to the 13" which I am not seeing right now?

    Finally, I do like to game occasionally but usually older and not very demanding stuff like GuildWars with friends every once in while or Neverwinter Nights etc. I take it that the HD3000 should be way ahead of my current Quadro FX360m? (Which to my knowledge is based on a 8400m...)

    Thanks for your help!
  2. darkcurse macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2005
    If you're not planning to do whole disk encryption under Lion then I guess it wouldn't really matter that much speed wise. Also if you only need to encrypt your project related stuff you can create password protected disk image (.dmg) files with 128-bit or 256-bit AES encryption using disk utility.
  3. kobyh15 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2011
    I think you are a prime candidate for the 13". I just got my i7 13" last weekend and it is the closest thing to a perfect computer I have ever used. If you're going to be working with encryption I would definitely go for the i7. I haven't seen any benchmarks or anything but it should be able to encrypt significantly faster than the i5. I saw an article on tom's hardware not too long ago that compared a chip with AES-NI to a chip that didn't have it when encrypting, and they found a pretty significant difference in speed between the two chips.


    The article is comparing older chips, but I think the logic still applies.
  4. Schnckrbrdr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2011
    Thanks for your replies :)

    The tomshardware Article was quite interesting.

    Looked at the two candidates again today (I pass a reseller on my way home ;)) and I will very likely go for the 13" model (probably the i7)

    Since you have the i7, do you have any of the heat issues some are reporting about while using it for regular tasks?
  5. FOX160 macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2011
    regarding the heat issues I have just bought the 13 inch i5 and its cool
    has a cucumber. Also have the plastic body protector over it and my
    Daughter was using this all day and eve without turning it off and was
    only a little warm and very quiet.

    I am beginning to wonder if these are just bad rumours
  6. kobyh15 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8G4 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I installed iStat Pro first thing and I've been watching temperatures like a hawk because if I had a lemon I wanted to know and return as quick as possible. Turns out it doesn't run warm at all. No noticeable warmth around the HD or anything. Idle temps at around 37C. Watched some YouTube and other flash content and it got up to around 72ish and the fans came up to 3000 for about 30 seconds and it went back to about 60C. I wouldn't have noticed the fans or the temp if I wouldn't have been constantly watching iStat. I've been very very happy with the machine. Couldn't get much better at this point.

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