Need help deciding between the M3 and M5 Macbook 12" Models

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by rsg1010, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. rsg1010 macrumors member

    Jan 8, 2014
    So I'm currently interested in buying an 12" Macbook Retina and need some advice. What are the noticeable differences between the m3 and m5 model when it comes to real world usage. Would I notice the difference in overall UI speed, safari, app speed, etc?

    I don't do a lot of photo or video work but when I do its quite basic simple tasks. I might also need to run bootcamp for my wife has her school requires windows based software.

    Not sure If there is any real tangible benefits for me that I would actually notice and the extra storage would be nice but not needed.

    Having a hard time deciding between the base configuration or the upgraded option for the M5 with 512GB.
  2. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
  3. BeatCrazy macrumors 68000

    Jul 20, 2011
    Is your upgrade in price difference $300? That seems like a lot, to me. Unless you plan on filling up >250GB of storage in the first year, it seems like 512GB would be a waste. Yeah, "more" storage is always better, but not if it's sitting idle most of the time.

    A lot of people will come in and point out the difference in m3 vs. m5 benchmarks, and I agree the m5 occupies a certain sweet spot. But can you really notice it on everyday tasks opening up programs? Doubtful.

    Personally, I'd take that $300 and put it in a fund for the 2018 MacBook, or whatever comes out in a couple of years that blows away any differences between m3 and m5 today.
  4. andymodem macrumors 6502a

    Nov 20, 2008
    Baltimore, MD
    Originally purchased the 2016 M3 for school. Ended up returning it a week later and got the M5 with more storage space. Didn't notice much difference between the M3 and M5, but Windows 10 sure runs faster than El Capitan on either of the processors. :rolleyes:
  5. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    The question really boils down to whether or not you'll use the extra storage space enough to be worth the cost to you. It will, then get the m5. If it won't, then stick with the base m3. Don't fool yourself with resale values recouping the difference, they won't to any appreciable extent.
  6. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Land of the Unexpected
    Seems like Apple is just doing what Microsoft did with previous iterations of Windows, adding in endless junk with little optimisation. I have the same observations that W10 runs faster than OS X on the same or comparable hardware :(

    M3/M5 just depends on the level of storage require, doubt that there will be any significant difference in performance under the workloads the rMB is aimed at. FWIW I have a 2015 1.2, if I didn't need the storage I would have opted for the 1.1

  7. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    At the same time, battery life is generally much shorter under Windows 10 than OS X so it could be that Apple and Microsoft are making different optimizations.
  8. toddzrx macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2012
    I wish OS X had more features that could be turned on and off, so that there is more flexibility for the user to emphasize features, speed, or battery life, or some mixture of the three. Of course, that would require that the user actually take the time to make those optimizations, and require that Apple make it easy to do.

    Still, as a relatively basic computer user, I bet I'm barely using 50% of what OS X can do. It'd be nice to turn off the stuff I don't use and free up the extra RAM (and battery life if I had a laptop).
  9. rsg1010 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 8, 2014
    Update: I purchased the 2016 Macbook (Base Configuration) and I am extremely happy with my choice. Thought I would share some experiences for others who were on the fence like myself.

    This machine is more then capable for everyday tasks such as web browsing, email, office apps, media consumption and basic photo and video editing (personal occasional use). I have a 2012 15" Macbook Retina and honestly there is not much difference between the two. Again I am speaking in regards to the usage I mentioned earlier.

    Using display settings at 1440 x 900 (more space) is easy to use and gives a good amount of screen real estate that is still comfortable to use.

    The portability is amazing and the engineering aspect of how thin this laptop is quite remarkable. Makes my 15" less desirable to use based on the portability and ease of use.

    Keyboard: I was a bit concerned while using it initially but I learned to how to type with applying less pressure and I don't notice any difference in my typing speed/accuracy compared to my 15" Retina now.

    Running Windows 10 on boot camp is extremely smooth and speed wise very comparable to using OSX El Capitan. I still prefer OSX however if you need to use Windows 10 for any particular reason...this machine can handle that without any particular slow downs or compromises.

    Bottom Line: I did so much research reading reviews, watching youtube videos, etc and even tried this out in the Apple Store on numerous occasions. It was only until I bought the machine and used it in my day to day routine have I been thoroughly impressed. Sometimes we get so obsessed with the numbers aspect of computing that it takes away from real world experience and impressions. With that said, absolutely amazing machine that is very capable and performance is rock solid. Everyone is entitled to their opinions on this machine however don't base an opinion without giving it a chance is all I would say.
  10. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Thanks for reporting back. Excellent points made. True, the rMB is not suited to everyone's needs; yet it's an excellent option for those whose needs align with its design goals.

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