MacBook Pro Retina 13'' i5 vs. i7 for Software Developer & Graphic Designer

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by apcrompton, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. apcrompton macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2015
    Hi Guys,

    i've decided that i'm going to replace my 2010 MacBook Pro with a 13'' MacBook Pro Retina (I want something more compact as I carry the machine everyday with me to Uni and connect my laptop to my 22'' monitor at home). I am a software developer (mainly mobile app and web development) and a student studying Computer Science (Specialisation in Software Engineering). I am planning on getting the top of the line model with 512GB of SSD and i'm going to max out the RAM (16GB). I was wondering for my uses (which include, Android Studio Dev work, Xcode Dev work, maybe some Visual Studio Dev work if i Bootcamp it, Web Development along with all the usual tasks like web browsing, Office apps use, ITunes use, iPhoto etc... along with a bit of graphic design work and maybe a bit of video editing) whether it would be worth the price of $220AUD (I get the education pricing) to update to the 3.0GHz i7 CPU. I do have the money to be able to update but I was just wondering if you think it is a worth while update. The total cost of the machine would be $2519.00AUD.

    Thanks very much for your help,

    Alex Crompton
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Get the 13" since you'll be hooking it up to an external monitor, and you want something as portable as the 13" if not smaller. Going with an i7 probably won't really help you in real world processing and doing coding type work, I don't see a huge advantage that the 15" rMBP provides.

    Personally, I love the 15" MBP but it seems in your case, the 13" is a good option.
  3. apcrompton thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2015
    Hi MaFlynn,

    Thanks for the quick reply!
    That's what i was thinking (about the size and connecting to my monitor). I will be doing a lot of compiling, will the Hyperthreading of the i7 help there?


    Alex Crompton


    Hi Meister,

    Thanks for the super quick reply! :-D

    I don't really want to go for the 15'' as I reckon it would too cumbersome to carry with me in my backpack everyday. I currently have a 2010 15'' cMBP and it's quite cumbersome to carry and to use in some situations (eg. in lecture theatres, the leg room it very tight lol!)


    Alex Crompton
  4. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    The i5 has hyperthreading as well. The i7 really just have a bit higher clock speed. It really isn't worth it. Makes no noticeable difference.
    Among mobile cpus only the i3 lack hyper threading and turbo. i5 and i7 have all the same features.

    Just get enough RAM and as much SSD as you think you need. The CPU does not matter for what you do, no matter how much you compile. Only get the i7 if the money does not matter.
  5. anaqvi786 macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2013
    At iOS planet
    I am a proud owner of a 2.6ghz i5 512GB 13" rMBP Haswell 2013 and I have it hooked up to a Thunderbolt display when I am home. I love everything about the setup especially how its like an iMac (my setup hides the MBP) / Mac Pro at home and a MacBook out and about. The best part is how all my files are on the same machine.

    The main thing I would suggest is get one of the higher end models if you're going with a 13" since that way it will perform like a beast.
  6. MrGimper macrumors 603


    Sep 22, 2012
    Andover, UK
    I sent back a 3.0 i7 and got a 2.8 i5 and notice zero difference.

    I'd spend that cash on increasing the RAM or SSD before choosing an i7 over an i5.

    Edit: That's a general comment as you are already maxing the RAM and getting 512GD SSD.

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