Macbook Pro i5 vs i7

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by JSRPanda, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. JSRPanda macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2010
    Location:
    Charlotte
    #1
    Hello! My Toshiba laptop has finally kicked the can and its time for me to invest in a new computer – and I’m ready to make the leap to a mac! I’ve done a ton of research, been to the apple store 100 times, read all sorts of forums, but I am still left without a clear answer to what meets my specific needs the best – the i5 or the i7. Yes, I know there is a lot out there about this, but I feel as though each person’s needs are different so it’s hard to determine what will be right for me. I will mainly be using the laptop for heavy photo editing. No gaming. No Video as of now (maybe minimal amount once I upgrade my camera).

    I want a macbook pro 15 inch for portability 2.4ghz (2.53 doesn’t seem worth it). I can’t afford the SSD right now, but would eventually like to upgrade (possibly sooner rather than later). Until then, I was planning on getting 500GB with the 7200 rpm. I also plan on upgrading to 8GB RAM (ordering it through crucial) as soon as I get it. I will also be getting the antiglare (better for editing and I have dry eyes…). Still undecided about applecare.

    What I will be running on the laptop:
    Photoshop CS4 – RAW images, batch processing, large panoramic images, editing/running actions, etc.
    Lightroom – some editing, opening files into photoshop, organizing photos, exporting to smugmug, etc.
    External Monitor – Dell 2209WA – will hook up to this when doing lots of editing
    Building occasional photobooks
    Obvious - Internet/email/other basic stuff

    i7 – concerned about overheating issues, more expensive
    i5 – want to make sure its enough for what I’m doing – (esp using the external monitor, raw panos, etc)

    So what do you think – i5 or i7? Any advice is much appreciated! Thanks!
     
  2. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #2
    2.4 i5 would be fine.

    Instead of paying $150 for the 500GB 7200rpm drive, since you are opening it up anyway to add RAM why not get the standard drive and putting in a Seagate Maximus XT hybrid drive? Same capacity and rotation speed, some solid state capacity, and lower cost.
     
  3. aimbdd macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    East Cost
    #3
    You would be fine with either. Remember though, when it eventually gets slow, you can always add an ssd when they are much cheaper.You can never replace the processor.

    Only negative with that drive is the battery life suffers.
     
  4. JSRPanda thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2010
    Location:
    Charlotte
    #4
    Interesting thought... How much better is that drive than the 500gb 7200rpm one that would come with it from apple?

    Is it bad to open it up right after I get it? I don't want to void the warrenty or anything...

    And this is probably an ignorant/stupid question - but is it hard to install the ram and hard drive?
     
  5. croooow macrumors 65816

    croooow

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2004
    #5
    I'm about to order a 15" MBP. I am leaning toward the i7 partly because of the 512MB vs 256MB dedicated video memory that the i7 has over the i5. Will that extra memory be worth the upgrade?
     
  6. Neolithium macrumors 6502a

    Neolithium

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    Location:
    Wherever the army needs me.
    #6
    Not an ignorant or stupid question. The process is actually quite easy, and I think the manuals for Macbooks even come with relatively detailed instructions on how to do it. The Momentus XT is one hell of a speedy hybrid drive, personally I just tossed a 7200RPM WD Scorpio Black into mine and couldn't be happier, things such as a hard drive, solid state drive or RAM is much cheaper if you buy it aftermarket and install it yourself instead of upgrading right through Apple.
     
  7. Neolithium macrumors 6502a

    Neolithium

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    Jun 4, 2010
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    Wherever the army needs me.
    #7
    What are you doing with your notebook? Personally 256MB suits me just fine, and I even get some casual gaming in on my MBP.
     
  8. croooow macrumors 65816

    croooow

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2004
    #8
    I plan to do video editing (Final Cut or Adobe Premiere, I'm not sure which one yet), and maybe some gaming. I want power!
     
  9. Neolithium macrumors 6502a

    Neolithium

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    Location:
    Wherever the army needs me.
    #9
    Not sure about the video editing, since I personally do none of that; but for the gaming aspect, if you're going to do any bootcamp stuff I'd go with the i7. I find myself sticking with the Steam titles and Blizzard stuff which is native to OSX, and the 256MB leaves me happy with the performance.
     
  10. davidlv macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Location:
    Kyoto, Japan
    #10
    Tons of research ....

    Even a 13" C2D at 2.4GHz would be enough to do what you plan to do, so the i5 will be more than enough. I would suggest saving the 200 or so odd dollars for the i7 and put that towards a 7,200rpm Seagate 750GB HD (largest in the 7,200rpm class). Buy the HD and 8GB of ram from a 3rd party and install it yourself. This does not invalidate your warranty (sorry, couldn't resist, but there are "tons" of threads about this). Of course Apple will not take responsibility for the replacement parts. Keep the original HD and use it in an external case as a bootable backup drive, Carbon Copy Cloner is your partner in this and when installing the new drive.
    You will need a #00 Philips head screwdriver to remove the (TINY) screws on the back (careful, they are prone to falling off and escaping!), and a Torx 6 driver to remove and replace the nuts on the side of the HD that hold the HD securely in the vibration dampening slots.
    As suggested above, there are many candidates for the new 500GB or 750GB HD, including the cheap but good Seagate Momentous and Hitachi 500GB drives. Check out the enclosure kits at OWC, links below.
    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/hard-drives/2.5-Notebook/Seagate/SATA/7200RPM
    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/hard-drives/2.5-Notebook/Hitachi/SATA/7200RPM
    Until the prices come down into the reasonable zone for SSD drives, I think the 750GB Seagate is probably the best buy right now.
     
  11. sev macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    Location:
    Southeast UK + Italy
    #11
    I went for an i7 with the 7200rpm drive.

    I stayed away from the anti glare, I was going to order it at first, but after decided against it after reading the many opinions on this forum. I've got to say, that I don't really notice the gloss as much as I thought I would.

    I stayed away from the SSD and memory upgrade from the apple store for all the reasons mentioned and will upgrade memory via the crucial route after christmas.

    I never looked into alternative HDD's but my thinking was that by the time It was due for replacement the SSD stuff was going to be down in price big time, and the technology would have matured.

    My main uses are 3d modelling and image processing, which is why I went for the i7 - I suppose whether real or perceived, I wanted the safety net of the 'professional' processor.

    I use parallels to take advantage of my bootcamp partition for the one application I can't get on the Mac (Catia) and if it becomes too painful I can just boot into bootcamp partition and work from there.

    Like others have said, both will do you very well.
     
  12. Stvwndr219 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
    #12
    How big do you want your e-peen to be?? :D

    From what I remember of Anandtech's analysis, the i7 is about 12% faster than the 2.4 i5, just something to consider. I'm sure you would be well served with either option.
     

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