MBA 13: i5 1.7ghz or i7 1.8ghz?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by baaadboy, Sep 18, 2011.

?

Is i7 worth it or no ?

  1. Yes

    40 vote(s)
    46.0%
  2. No

    47 vote(s)
    54.0%
  1. baaadboy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    #1
    Is the 100 dollar upgrade to i7 worth it?
    I have read that the difference is not noticeable so I am trying to decide whether to save 100, or upgrade.
     
  2. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #2
    No one ever complained about their computer being too fast. For $100 you'll never have to wonder whether those few extra MHz could have come in handy or not... :D
     
  3. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, Florida
    #3
    If you have to ask, no. You'll be throwing your money away.

    The 100 could go toward AppleCare or accessories, such as a case or sleeve. And the mini display cable if you plan on hooking it up to an external monitor.

    ----------

    Oh and more mhz doesn't directly correlate to a "faster" experience.

    If you don't do more than web browsing, watch videos, and play the occasional game (given the machines have similar graphics cards), a C2D will perform the "same" as an iCore, given similar internals.

    It's like putting a Ferrari against a Nissan. If you're only going to 30, it doesn't really matter what car you're driving; to use a loose analogy.
     
  4. mountains macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    #4
    It's not as cost-efficient as the 11" processor upgrade is. If you're one of those guys who only rolls with fully optioned products, pick it up. Otherwise, it's an upgrade you can skip - the i7 is only a little bit faster than the i5.


    A Ferrari handles a lot smoother than your Nissan would.
     
  5. baaadboy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    #5
    Well, I will be coding on MBA most of the time. I will be doing some Xcode, Visual Studio 2010 in bootcamp and it will be my primary machine for at least a year until I graduate from college. After that I will buy an iMac when I will be out of college and have more desktop room.
     
  6. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #6
    Actually, that is a good analogy. However, the price difference between the Ferrari and the Nissan is a bit more than $100. :D

    It's like paying $100 for a new exhaust on your Nissan. It will sound better, maybe give you a little more HP, but nothing to beat a Ferrari. I mean, you get what you pay for. For $100 you get $100 worth of boost. Is it worth it? That depends entirely on you, your budget, and your need to have the fastest system possible. Because at the end of the day, no matter how you rationalize it, i7 > i5. :D
     
  7. buddybd macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2011
    #7
    Check the Anandtech review. It says that the i7 upgrade is only worthwhile in the 11" as the difference can be as high as 25%, but not in the case of the 13" though. Performance difference ranges from 10-15%.

    So you can go about spending that 100USD on something else, like an Invisible Shield or an extra charger, maybe even both :p
     
  8. mountains macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    #8
    If you're compiling a lot of code that's definitely an area where I could see paying for a processor upgrade; although, as people have mentioned, it isn't much more than a 10-15% upgrade for your money.
     
  9. baaadboy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    #9
    That's what I was thinking too, until I read on Anandtech that the difference is only 8 percent. $100 doesn't sound a lot in the whole scheme of things, but I am in college so every little thing adds up pretty quickly. I ended up ordering i5 for now, will try it out for 14 days and if I need it to be faster might exchange it for i7.
     
  10. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a

    iAppl3Fan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    #10
    I've used the i5 and the i7 and didn't notice any differences in everyday usage. I'm glad I went with the i5.
     
  11. richpjr macrumors 68030

    richpjr

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    #11
    I've too have used the i5 and the i7 and while I didn't really notice much differences in everyday usage, I'm glad I went with the i7. :)
     
  12. waloshin macrumors 68040

    waloshin

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    #12
    Lets put it this way you are paying an extra $1 per Mhz.

    Not worth it.
     
  13. ryNze macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    #13
    I was planning on purchasing the i7 but unfortunately, they did not have it in stock. I decided to just go with the i5 and i'm glad I did.

    The i5 is plenty fast for coding and light gaming (what I do).
    I'd definitely go for the i5 considering the performance difference between the i5 and i7 is so small.
     
  14. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, Florida
    #14
    Are you just starting or already there? If it's the former, you're about to realize how much books cost.
     
  15. komoornik macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #15
    There's no option for 11" here.

    So anyways: 11" - i5 or i7 - whatever u like.
     
  16. Sirolway macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #16
    We bought what they had in stock, which happened to be the i7.
    Not entirely sure why they bother offering this 3rd option if there's so little in it.

    My main question would be whether there's any effect on battery life - I'd trade an extra hour for a smidge less speed, any day ...
     
  17. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #17
    In the 13" I'd go with the i5. Save the $100 toward your next upgrade, or perhaps toward the new SATA III SSDs later on if you feel the need for speed.
     
  18. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, Florida
    #18
    If you end up using that extra 100 mhz then yes, the battery life will be lower.

    I don't know for sure, but I doubt you'll see any real world difference. You're not going to max out the i5.
     
  19. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030

    yusukeaoki

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #19
    Depends on what you are going to do. If you need power, than get the i7.
    Just mail and net surf, your not going to need it.
     
  20. baaadboy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    #20
    I've been in college for the last 3.5 years, so yeah I know how much books cost. :D
     
  21. ryan.apham macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    #21
    Consider these things:

    1. There have been reports that the i7 chip might create annoying noise + overheating issue.

    2. The speed bump is not recognizable. In my opinion, for most work, the i5 chip comes in handy.

    3. Extra $100. Not that it is a lot (considering the price jump from 128 to 256 GB SSD model), but if you look at the above lines, the upgrade is not worth the money. You can save that to buy Apple Care, accessories, or to treat your friends a dinner (in the event of buying a new laptop) :D.
     
  22. Swerrrvin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2011
    #22
    I've had both.

    IMHO. Both can make noise. Both sound exactly the same. Both can rev the fan. Both can get warmed when worked. Both have had excellent battery life. Both perform great in Lion and Windows 7 64bit.

    Performance-wise, well probably not noticeable. However, 8% over the lifetime of owner-ship may be significant. I do a lot of dev and sure it probably saves a couple of seconds while compiling and maybe is a tad more responsive on look-ups but hey, some days I feel that I actually appreciate that marginal zip.

    I kept the i7 and haven't looked back.
     
  23. Chuchichan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    Location:
    Maryland
    #23
    Why do you think it's not even an option to upgrade the 128gb model to the i7 chip?
     
  24. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #24
    Apple wants to sell you 2 upgrades. Note that the i7 is an option on the 128" 11" model.
     
  25. Pipper99 macrumors 68000

    Pipper99

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2010
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #25
    If you can get the i5 from a seller like Amazon who won't charge tax, you save more than $100. I may be wrong, but I believe that the only place that you can get the i7 is from Apple who will charge tax. Of course, there's a long backorder on Amazon, so it may not be an option for you (or depending on your location, Amazon may be required to charge tax).

    For me, the i7 at the Apple store is $1,840 including tax.
    Amazon (assuming retail price) is $1,599 for a savings of approximately $240. The extra savings may lesson the appeal of the i7 even more...or not. :)
     

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