Macbook Pro i7 - Wait for QUAD Core???

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sunnyd76, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. sunnyd76 macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2009
    Am having a rather difficult time deciding what to do atm.

    My situation. I use my laptop primarily for surfing and DJing using Ableton Live. I could do with the extra horsepower in Ableton as i'm close to 60-70% utilisation atm in my set. Now I could run with this setup for another year if needed and just make it more efficient and the iPad would be a great addition to my DJ setup.

    Can either buy an iPad or upgrade my 2006 Core2duo 2.4 17". There are plenty of reasons to upgrade, including better display, better trackpad, cpu boost, etc.... however, i was hoping for more in this round of updates - Quad core i7 (like other fricken manufacturers!)

    Question is, with all the hullaballoo on the net about heat that generated on the current dual core i7, I can't imagine Apple releasing an egg cooking Quad core i7 anytime soon. So do I wait for the 25nm i7 Quad rollout (which realistically won't happen till next year as the 25nm is very new process) or do I just keep myself busy with an iPad!!! I guess Apple may invent a radically efficient cooling mechanism in the intermediary too, so I want to take this into consideration

    Thoughts please!

  2. liberalart macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2009
    I'd go for it now

    I'm on the new i7 with an SSD and 8GB of RAM and I'm not seeing any heat issues. Though I don't ever keep it on my lap. I was constantly maxing out my 2008 C2D when I had photoshop, fireworks, illustrator running while watching a movie and a lot support apps running. But I don't skip a beat now.

    Frankly the biggest improvement is probably the SSD, I added a 120GB vertex to my last macbook, and it was the biggest jump in improvement I've experienced in 15 years of upgrading macs. My new MAcbook has the stock 256GB and seems about the same speed wise, restart and reboot is ~30secs to live desktop and default apps are open.

    You could wait, there's always something better coming down the pike. But my guess is the faster i7 would be sufficiently beefy to wow you especially if you can spring for a big SSD and maxing out the RAM.
  3. sunnyd76 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2009

    Thanks for the feedback liberalart. Seems that it may be a viable option afterall. Although i can't see my wife allowing the funds to pay for an SSD! They're so expensive atm! I bet one of those babies would boost the performance no end even on my old 17". Hmm, just had a thought... Any idea if on the latest macbooks you can swap out the internal CD/DVD player for a HD? I could opt for a 128GB SSD + HD option = BEAST!!

    Have been looking at performance related feedback on the ableton forums. Seems that I can expect roughly a 60-70% performance improvement, which is pretty impressive!
  4. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Well, 32nm was released in January and so far there is no quads, only 45nm. Intel has said that they will update 32nm line up later on this year which may include a mobile quad core as well but will Apple use it?

    Quad is only worth it if apps you use can fully utilize the four cores + Hyper-Threading
  5. sunnyd76 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2009
    See - this is what I mean. If you're gonna dangle a quad core macbook pro carrot in front of me (which may just be an optical illusion) I'm likely to hold onto my mullah. I think i'm gonna keep an ear to the ground until we get a new product lineup from intel. I recon the thermals are the main hindrance to apple. If intel doesn't fix this in the next revision I can't see apple biting

    Man i'm hungry for some reason and i've just eaten lol
  6. Gakboi macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2010
    try this... forget about the numbers and look at your computer as a tool. Does it do want you need it to do without freaking out (Albeit at 60-70%)? If the answer is yes don't bother buying a new one. If the answer is no buy a new one. You'll be forever chasing numbers if you choose to join the rat race.

    I bought a C2D 2 months ago for two reasons... i needed it pronto and I was guaranteed a stable computer. The end of the line are usually rock solid machines. I had bought a new imac 27" i5 before that but it got robbed in the post. Seeing all the screen issues they was having it couyld have been a blessing in disguise. Very happy I bought the mbp when i did. Runs Pro Tools smooth as and not even close to maxing it out with a full song going all plugs etc

    Can't see how waiting two months for the i5/i7 would have helped me at all
  7. underblu macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2010
    I think you will find the performance between the i7 620m and the i7 720qm to be comparabl and for battery life and heat generated the 32nm 620m is the better option

    BTW my i7 17 gets less hot than my previous 15 MBP.
  8. lasuther macrumors 6502a

    Feb 13, 2004
    Grand Haven, Michigan
  9. mikes63737 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2005
    Yes, you can.
  10. pytter macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2008

    Sunil - you haven't told us whether you DJ for a living. If that is the case and you feel you may need a faster MBP for your livelihood then I would go for an upgrade now. The next update won't be anytime soon (given how often Apple refresh their line-up)...

    Of course if the current rig works perfectly fine for your purposes then the iPad may make more sense (I was a DJ when Duran Duran were big so I am little out of my depth on how you would use an iPad for DJing, or a laptop for that matter:eek:)...
  11. sunnyd76 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2009

    pytter, Duran Duran eh? :) I used a vocal from one of there tracks for a mix a few months back!

    No I wish I did it for a living. Been running a club night in Birmingham UK for past 6 months and we're getting bigger, but no way would it pay the mortgage... no, like most folks who like things to 'just work' i'm a IT nerd for the best part of the day ;)

    Check out a couple of my mixes below (shameless self promotion should start with ones Brethren!!). All done live in ableton 8

    I just ran a performance test and found that it utilised 52% of my core 2 duo 2.4Ghz. Same test was run on an i7 and it did it using 33%. I may try to live with it for a bit longer :) I think.

    The iPad is a magnificent device from a DJ perspective. The possibilities for controlling the sound are literally whatever you can imagine doing (I think i've made a decision lol!!!) For example, see this video for an example of what you can do with ableton, max for live, an ipad and apc40:
  12. therealseebs macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2010
    The dual-core i7 will run rings around your core 2 duo. Just get that and don't worry about it.

    The quad-core is really not that useful for laptops yet, IMHO.
  13. GOZiLLA macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2010
    Hey Sunil .

    Great post ... Made me finally join macRumors ..

    I can tell that u're serious 'bout your music , and like me , don't wanna spend some silly cash , when BOOOM , the latest greatest microwave-8 core i7 comes out @the end of the year with a 320gb SSD as standard etc etc . ( Probably mid/early/late next year ... knowing that Apple have business to do )

    Anyways , I have an idea ... What about getting a sweet new i-mac with the quad i5/i7 which is roughly the same price as a new macbook pro .. You'll have loads more power to do stuff on ableton . And in the meantime , use your lappie for playing out/surfing the net etc ...

    I am screwing hard about an issue I have at the moment ..
    And would love any feedback / ideas on what to do ..

    Got a 17" macbook pro during March last year .
    Over the last 6 months , I've been having problems galore .. You name it EVERYTHING is messed up ( And yes , I'm a music -man like you Sunil ), so Logic 8 and ableton will crash every 10-15 mins as soon as I start using soft synths, and effects etc ... blah blah blah

    Taken it to the apple store in Shibuya about 5 times before they finally agreed to replace my crap-top - This was a few months ago - .
    Now, being busy with work and audio 24/7 , it's a bit of a hassle to go get the computer replaced , when you know it'll take a couple of days to re-install everything properly . ( I'm not a believer of Timemachine .. yet!).

    So , yesterday I popped down to the apple store to talk to my "Genius" ..
    He tells me "Sorry, you can't get an i5/i7 replacement , because we've kept you the replacement mac , and unfortunately , we can only do replacements once ... Unless of course , the computer doesn't turn itself on or rather .. "

    Surely there's a way !!! I'm not impressed by how things are being handled by apple at the moment .. e.g. Why make firewire unavailable on the macbook , while on the unibody *save the environment dood* macbook PRO
    , it has just ONE measly Firewire port, instead of two like the days when the Macbook Pro was actually a robust Professional machine.
    Not this macbook "public" which looks very pretty ( hey you can play games on it with great graphics while pretending to be working ). Anyways ...
    Not a happy bunny ... I have no trust with apple @ the moment .. grrr
  14. ouimetnick macrumors 68020


    Aug 28, 2008
    Beverly, Massachusetts

    Why should Apple give you a new i7 notebook. They just repair it unless you have had multiple repairs, then they might replace it. If they give you a new model for free, then how do they get money from you?
  15. GOZiLLA macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2010
    Hey Ouimetnick !

    Well , my machine has been looked at 5 times , and they couldn't detect a fault with it , so I made it crash at the Genius bar, whilst showing some threads . This resulted in Apple kindly ordering in me a replacement .

    Problem is , 90% of my music friends - Logic 8 / Serato / Ableton users - have all had issues with their first gen Unibody MBP's.
    For example , dj Kofi of the Gorillaz Soundsystem buys 2 of anything work related ... He's still using the MBP's prior to the Unibody, because of the reliability issues .
    A lot of my friends who have $ to burn , have gone out and bought themselves the i5/i7 's .

    I understand that computing power doubles every 3 years or so ,but , surely Apple are updating the specs of the MBP's at an alarmingly fast pace ?
    A Quadcore MBP must be just around the corner, with some minor alterations to the positioning of the ports (USB/Ethernet/Firewire etc ).

    My original macbook PRO - Purchased in 2006 - had given me no problems at all for the three years I expected from it , apart from a bulging battery replaced swiftly thanks to applecare.

    Talking of how Apple are going to keep making money off people (Me) , would be to market the i-pad/i-phones like there's no tomorrow, whilst making the computers more "Public/eco" friendly - For example, advertising the "New" MB-PRO with a shot of a car racing game ..

    The people who are on top of their game can afford to buy/replace their apple work-horses . Then , there's people like me who become disillusioned - especially after spending over 2000 UK sterling on a product with warranty just over a year a go , to primarily use another Apple product on ( Logic ).

    my real name is Go .
    *I have a feeling that yours is Nick*
  16. ouimetnick macrumors 68020


    Aug 28, 2008
    Beverly, Massachusetts
    Yup my name is Nick. I would also delete your email address from your post so it isn't visible to everyone to spam you. How did you make it crash? Did it Kernal panic?
  17. GOZiLLA macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2010
    Hey Nick !
    I just opened up a Logic project with a UAD-2 Solo/Laptop card inserted into the port (Again , why is it that it's only the 17" that has an express card slot ... How many "Pros" need a dedicated SD card reader ) , then opened up a page on Safari to show him a thread bashing the unibody macbook to bits .. within 10 minutes of me trying to convince the "Genius" that my issues weren't just in my imagination , my laptop just froze up .

    I have no idea what "Kernal panic" is .... ( Would make a great name for a tune .. hehehe), so I shall google later today .

  18. SamTheeGeek macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2010
    United Kingdom
    Don't Wait Forever.... Enjoy ;) The Latest MBP

    Personally i hate waiting * Giggle * , im not an inpatient person...

    but apple just released there macbook pro line so its gonna be a while for the next refresh , i say goahead get the latest macbook pro and don't look back.... ITS AWSOME !!! :D

    typing from my first mac ( macbook pro ) :D and its delicious :p
  19. FieryFurnace macrumors 6502


    Sep 19, 2008
    Berlin, Germany
    His email is still visible in your post quotes.
  20. mk1ap macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2009
    so true!
  21. fewture macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2006
    Im in same position. Im a heavy Ableton user (a producer and not a DJ).

    I regularly hit 70 to 90% CPU in some of my tracks. And I hate freezing tracks

    Ive got a 2.4 Penryn Core 2 Duo Macbook and was considering upgrading to the i5/i7 pros.

    However, the difference in performance is not enough for me to get another dual core this time around. Ableton takes advantage of multi cores (apparently uses all cores equally) and a quad will give you so much more headroom.

    If Sandy Bridge gets put in MBP next year (early next year as opposed to what happened this year), we will hopefully see quadcores in MBP's. This is because quadcore is supposed to be entry-level then and MBP's will need them to be competitive. I think the power consumption is only a little more than current i5/i7s

    Its really not that long to wait (this year will go fast), and you will get a much better computer for your needs. And I have a feeling that they may offer a redesign of the Macbook Pros for the late 2010 refresh (they need something new to update them and its been 2 years now with current design). Why not wait for the quadcore to come, as you really need it and the current i5/i7s will not be as much of an upgrade.

    Otherwise, as has been suggested, get a quadcore Imac. They are much faster than current i5/i7 MBP's and will give you the headroom you want. My preference is to have one machine though, so I'm waiting for quadcore MBP's before I upgrade. (I may get a top SSD to make me happy until then).
  22. ozreth macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2009
  23. fewture macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2006
    Really? I guess I presumed they vaguely redesigned the MBP when they introduced the Intel chips. I know that powerbooks/mbps have had very similar designs, but it seems that they offer a slightly new design rehash every couple to few years?

    And given the little fanfare with the new refresh of MBP's and Steve Job's comment about 2010 mac lineup, i was hoping that meant a new case design (although would be a similar design of course).

    On top of that, they have already have the new CPUS (they won't change much this year except a small speed bump), the new graph cards, so the only thing they could really offer for late 2010 would be a case refresh. Quads/Lightpeak/USB3 etc would probably only come out next year at the earliest.

    Its a hopeful hunch anyway :)

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