Need advice: MBP 13" i5 or i7?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mRta03, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. mRta03 macrumors newbie

    Aug 17, 2012
    Hi guys.
    I already searched a lot about this situation, but I need some advice, because time is running short and I need to make a decision on what MBP 13" to buy.

    I'm a college student and I will start my Master's Degree in September, I study Psychology.

    Some of you may think that it may be a waste of time to just buy a MBP, but I really need a fast computer that can handle the type of work I do, which is basically word processing & presentations (90% of the time I need to have multiple documents open), large & heavy pdf's (opened at the same time), web browsing, sometimes photoshop and video editing.

    I live in Portugal, so prices here are a little different. These prices are with student discount applied.
    For the MacBook Pro i5/4GB RAM/500GB disk, they are asking for 1220€, which equals to 1500 USD and for the MacBook Pro i7/8GB RAM/750GB disk they are asking 1500€, which equals to 1850 USD.

    I want my MBP to last for a good couple of years, maybe 4 or 5 years, at least to the point where I feel the need to change computer.

    I went to Premium Reseller here in Portugal and the employee advised me to get the i7, which was on my limit price range. But he also told me that I would be fine with the i5 version, which was more than enough for what I'm doing/will do with the MBP. He also advised me that I could get a MBA, but I don't like this model and I prefer the MBP.

    I'm afraid that I will get tired of the i5 version in a couple of years. If there is one thing that I absolutely deslike is to work on a machine that responds slow, which can be frustrating and a waste of time.

    On the other hand, I don't want to spend money that is not worth for the type of work I will do. I tend to have a lot of applications opened at the same time (I need them) and I'm afraid the i5 may became slow with the development of new software versions. But I don't know if the i7 is really that necessary.

    I don't know if I made myself clear, I hope so.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Any computer built in the last 4 or 5 years can handle these tasks perfectly fine.
  3. mRta03 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 17, 2012
    But is it safe to think that the i5 version will remain fine after 4 or 5 years? I know I will not perform heavy tasks on Mac, but one thing I'm concerned is if this i5 specs will handle fine many applications opened at the same time or if it's better to buy the i7 or if it's not worth it.
  4. smitty078 macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2004
    Its the ram and the storage that make it worth it (at the same time, both are upgradable in the future - and will be cheaper than from Apple).

    The current i5 and i7 have identical features and capabilities (hyperthreading, turboboost, SSE, integrated graphics all that good stuff). The only difference is clock speed and cache. i5 vs. i7 is merely a marketing thing at this point.

    That being said, there are no uses that you listed that are going to benefit significantly from processor. I doubt you'd notice the difference. RAM on the other hand is something everyone will benefit from. Hard Drive space is really an as-needed decision, it doesn't affect performance (except where 5400/7200RPM or SSD come into play).

    My recommendation: Get the i5 model and upgrade the ram aftermarket, unless you also need the additional storage.

    Hope this helps.
  5. mRta03 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 17, 2012
    Yes, it really helps smitty078, thank you so much for your opinion.

    Disk isn't something that it's going to make a big difference to me. Some people also recommended me to update the RAM to at least 8GB, so maybe it's one thing to consider when I buy the MBP.

    Of course money it's an important question and I don't want to spend money that it's not worth it or in other word, buying something that I don't need.

    I would like to read some more opinions.
  6. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030


    May 20, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Were it any of the previous rev cycles of 13" MacBook Pro (Mid 2009, Mid 2010, Early 2011, Late 2011), I'd tell you that the higher-end model is almost a rip-off and not worth getting. But this current crop of 13" MacBook Pros have a little more built-in incentive that make it a better buy. The difference between the two processors is negligible; I'd guess that today's dual-core i5 is comparable to the dual-core i7 seen in last year's high-end 13" MacBook Pro. Where it pays off is that for the same price to upgrade to the higher-end model as before; they're maxing out your RAM and they're giving you a bigger hard drive. Nevermind that you could tack on those things aftermarket to the lower-end model, but previously, for the same price, you didn't have those bonuses, and factoring them into the base prices, an i5 with 4GB of RAM IS noticeably different than an i7 with 8GB of RAM.

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