MBA 13.3 BTO Core i5 vs Core i7 -- really worth the $300 + $100?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by irrªtiºnal, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. irrªtiºnal macrumors member

    irrªtiºnal

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #1
    Just want to get this straight, according to "specs" of the two different processors offered, I deduced that the Core i5 in question corresponds to the 2557M model, and the Core i7 in question corresponds to the 2677M model.

    Now, the only "significant" difference between both processors is the extra 1 MB of of L3 Cache, with a few higher notches here and there in favour of Core i7; and according to my Wikipedia quotes, the price difference should really be only $67.

    Is it to stingy for me to complain??? :p
     

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  2. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #2
    Of course Apple is going to charge you extra. And they like nice, round numbers like $100, $250, and even $1200 :eek:
     
  3. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #3
    It's generally not worth it. It's basically Apple just trying to make more money
     
  4. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #4
    It's worth every penny. If you want the biggest, baddest MBA out there, go i7. No matter how you slice it, i7 > i5.

    Let the i5ers start their complaining...
     
  5. Brandon0448 macrumors 6502

    Brandon0448

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    #5
    Hahahahaha, I couldn't of said it better. 7% cost increase for a 10% performance gain? Sounds good to me.
     
  6. matixryder macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    #6
    It depends on what you are going to do with your MBA. If you do video editing or heavy photo editing get the I7. Otherwise, get i5 it more than enough for casual use.
     
  7. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

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    Glasgow, Scotland
    #7
    ...iMac.
     
  8. jamesr19 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    #8
    Not going to lie, never seen anyone on the train back from a photoshoot with an iMac on the desk...



    It depends what you're going to be using it for. If it's simple tasks like web, word, spreadsheets etc then i5 but if you're doing graphics, programming or light video editing then go for the i7. Or maybe if you're wanting the 256GB version what's the harm spending an extra $100?
     
  9. akdj macrumors 65816

    akdj

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #9
    These new lIttle Airs SMOKE any iMac made before last year! You can absolutely edit video, audio and stills!

    Core i7 vs i5...completely up to the user's wallet. If you can swing it, the i7 is a really awesome little beast:)

    J

    (I've got both...a 13" i5 and 11" i7...other than the size, no noticeable difference in day to day tasks
     
  10. johnhurley macrumors 6502a

    johnhurley

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    #10
    It is a fairly minor performance enhancement and if you run the machine at full load for extended periods of time the i7 will run slightly hotter.

    Most of us don't push our mbas to the limits or close to the limits. Most of us cannot tell the difference between the two.

    Others of us will always worry that they did not get the top of the line.

    You just need to figure out where you sit in that equation. Even asking the question makes me think you probably want the i7 so you are not unhappy with the i5.

    Me I have the i5 2011 13 inch but with the 256 gb SSD.
     
  11. Abazigal macrumors 604

    Abazigal

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    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #11
    Sorry, it's an improvement of up to 10%, not a flat 10% speedup in everything you do. :p For everyday tasks like word processing, you will hardly notice the gains at all.
     
  12. Brandon0448 macrumors 6502

    Brandon0448

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    #12
    Derp, its still a 10% gain in processing power. I never said it sped up everything you do.
     
  13. Apple Expert macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    #13
    If you got the cash why not go for i7. However I'd rather have an i5 with Samsung SSD vs. i7 and Toshiba SSD. Now if you can get an i7 with Samsung SSD that's a win win.
     
  14. agentphish macrumors 65816

    agentphish

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    #14
    I have i7 13" I got a week ago CTO online.

    It came w/ Samsung SSD. I have the LG screen, which when calibrated looks wonderful.

    This is the best Apple i've owned in terms of speed and design. I love it and I went from a mid-2010 15" MacBook Pro. This thing smokes it.
     
  15. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    Enjoying Better Things
    #15
    Day to day tasks, you wont see any difference, if you need the extra few percent for a specific application or workflow go for it, if you are questioning the cost you probably dont need it. I rather suspect the vast majority of i7`s are bought simply as it say`s i7 on the box and a bigger number to talk about while propping up the bar ;)

    Those with a serious need for computing power should look at the MacBook Pro line up. If Apple ditch the optical drive I am sure we will see the MacBook Pro`s move much closer to the Air`s portability, and hopefully be designed from the ground up with SSD for the OS & large capacity hard drive for data :cool:

    If Apple does not bring this combination to market, I will take the DIY route on my next Pro, as I will not return to a mechanical drive for the OS, as this is by far the biggest bottleneck, than any modern CPU...
     
  16. ZipZap macrumors 601

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    Dec 14, 2007
    #16
    Spend the money on Applecare....you wont notice the difference (except for heat).
     
  17. Dan-- macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    #17
    You cannot notice a 10% improvement in CPU speed unless benchmarking, or with a few specific high-intensity tasks.

    25% is barely noticeable.
     
  18. heyloo, Nov 3, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011

    heyloo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Location:
    NY
    #18
    I thought about getting the upgrade myself - $100 extra for an upgraded processor - I usually take it 'just because' more or less.

    That said, I've done some reading about the i7 and stumbled across a number of posts of complaints about the heat in those things. The computer apparently runs warmer than the i5 and the performance upgrade was...while they may have noticed a very minor bump, the 'condition' of how the computer ran wasn't a worthy tradeoff.

    I went ahead and picked up an i5 13" from Best Buy and been loving it ever since. :)

    **Edit. i5, NOT i7! Sorry!! Got mixed up with the 5s and 7s *sigh - long day
     
  19. Apple Expert macrumors 65816

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    Jan 31, 2010
    #19
    Best Buy now sells an i7 MBA?? :confused:
     
  20. irrªtiºnal thread starter macrumors member

    irrªtiºnal

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #20
    I'm planning a long trip to the Austrian alps on Christmas and I will mostly use it for facebook, internet, media uploading (pics and video) along with some media editing (same pics and video.) I definitely want something ultra-light. Don't want to spend more than $1500, and need to budget for software and taxes... I'm already overspent. :p

    $1200 :eek:, are u talking about the extra $1200 premium of the Mac Pros? LOL

    Yeah, u're right, I obviously want the i7, and $100 is not such a big deal. Maybe what I subconsciously want is a BTO upgrade to 8GB RAM, and touchscreen with retina display... All that for $100. :D

    :D

    What do u mean, you got the i7 13" and are OK with its temperature levels?!

    BTW, how hot is 'hot'?
     
  21. heyloo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Location:
    NY
    #21
    Ah I knew that I'd get flagged eventually for a typo on one of these points lol. I'm sorry about this, I mixed up the numbers *Sigh

    I have the i5, not an i7 *oops.

    And no, Best Buy doesn't sell i7s. I was thinking about getting the i7 from the Apple Store or just waltzing by the Best Buy for an i5 and waltz I did. :)

    Sorry about the confusion!
     
  22. Dan-- macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    #22
    These are definitely not high-intensity tasks. You will notice ZERO performance improvement.

    There are probably some edge cases where you might notice a slight improvement. For example, to complete your video, it might save you about a minute on a 10 minute render.

    Is that worth $100 to you?
     
  23. johnhurley macrumors 6502a

    johnhurley

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    #23
    Hope your waltzing is better than the worm Woz gave all of us ( dancing with the stars )!
     
  24. irrªtiºnal thread starter macrumors member

    irrªtiºnal

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #24
    With $100 you can buy 100 litres of Pilsner in Prague! :D

    Yeah... I acknowledge that I might be overreacting... You see, what pisses me off, is that I know I really don't want to be forced to spend $300 in a 256GB flash HD so that I could then spend $100 to upgrade to i7. But I realize that this is the way Apple likes to stick it to us... :mad:

    If I want to save money, I'd rather go with the low-end MBA 13" 128GB then.
     
  25. johnhurley macrumors 6502a

    johnhurley

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    #25
    If you are going to keep the machine for 3/4/5 years then buying the 256 gb SSD but sticking with the i5 makes sense to many of us. It's what I did anyways.

    It may be somewhat easier to think that you can stick with the discipline of staying within 120 gb that actually surviving for extended periods of time like that. Depends on how much stuff you have that you always want with you though ...
     

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