New 17" MBP i5 vs. i7

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sdfd504, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. sdfd504 macrumors regular

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    #1
    Well after my issues with my last 17" C2D MBP I am pretty sure I am going to buy a new one. I haven't been on top of things lately with the new processors so I am wondering which would work best for me. I just use it for work and school mostly with no major photo editing etc. I am coming from a 2.4 ghz C2D so I am wondering how the i5 would compare to it? Also are there any problems that I need to think about with either processor?
     
  2. AdamRock macrumors 6502a

    AdamRock

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    #2
    go with i5 if you will mostly just use it for work/school.
     
  3. sdfd504 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    How much speed difference is there between the i5 vs. the i7?
     
  4. virk87 macrumors newbie

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    #4
    difference is minimal if you're not a heavy user. Like everyone else said in other threads, save the money to upgrade your RAM and HDD, as these things would matter more to you in the long run.
     
  5. shoppy macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    I have the i5 17" and it works fantastically. It is greatly more then I need, but I am a screen tart so enjoy the real estate and travel a lot so take the 17" with me everywhere. It chews through tasks easily and have never had it lag on me and mine is a stock machine.
     
  6. MisterFeeney macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I do not have experience with the i5 but my i7 is a workhorse I have no lag running any application not even when I have Photoshop and Final Cut open at the same time. If this isn't for heavy work I believe the i5, though I have not used it, will work fine. :apple:
     
  7. sdfd504 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    Thanks for all the info. I thought about buying a 15" this time around since I have been using one for the past few days on a rental MBP but i just like my screen size too much. lol Looks like the i5 it is for me. :D
     
  8. nwcs macrumors 65816

    nwcs

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    #8
    Sounds like you had/have the Santa Rosa MBP17. That's what I had when I ended up with the i7 MBP 17. I've had no issues with it for the several months I've owned it. I could go to geekbench and pull up stats but in my own real world feeling I'd say it's about 30% faster than my older one except when it comes to my photo processing where it's more like 50% faster.
     
  9. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    RAM and HDD/SSD are user replaceable, a CPU is not. Also SSDs are coming down in price pretty fast in terms of size and speed. I'd go with the i7 just so in a year or two I can get an SSD that saturates SATA II and is 512GB and isn't insanely priced
    I know the 17" is exceptionally light and thin for a 17", but how do you carry it around, the footprint seems too big to fit on a airline tray
     
  10. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    #10
  11. sdfd504 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    Thanks for the help. I am going to order in the morning so any last minute suggestions are ok. lol I am still on the edge about which one to get. I know the i5 will be plenty enough for what I need but the only reason I like the i7 is that I will be keeping the computer for years and it might be better for down the road use?
     
  12. mark28 macrumors 68000

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    #12
    The i5 is very cool. Doing video encoding, it's only 80 degrees. ( gaming taxes the GPU but video encoding taxes the CPU which is a better way to judge how hot it gets under maximum load )
     
  13. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    #13
    with the i7 you get hyperthreading (4 virtual cores), a 133MHz speed increase, and an extra 1MB of L3 cache (4MB vs 3MB on the i5). Those are the differences in between the two processors. Keep in mind that for multicore applications that take advantage of hyperthreading (like Handbrake), and video compressing, you will benefit from the i7. For all other tasks, the i5 should perform just fine. When looking at your cores in Activity Monitor, the i7 will show you have four cores (because of 2 virtual cores), while the i5 will show you have two cores (because you don't have hyperthreading and virtual cores)
     
  14. Frosties macrumors 6502a

    Frosties

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    #14
    The i5-520, i5-540 and i7-620 of arrandale that is used in the macbook pro has as only difference cache, clock and how high the turbomode is when using less threads. Nothing else. They have all 4 virtual cores, hyperthreading and turbo etc. This a different chip family than the one used in the iMac.
     
  15. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    #15
    OK, I know the iMac QuadCore i5 displays 4 cores while the i7 displays 8 cores, the difference is the i7 has hyperthreading and the i5 does not. Apparently, I just looked up the info and the mobile i5 supports hyperthreading, but the desktop i5 does not.
     
  16. shoppy macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    I have never had a real problem when travelling, I chuck it in my ruck sack and pull it out and sits on the make shift so called table on the plane. I love the screen size and it works great on the train and ferry to.
     
  17. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    It fits on the tables? Do you fly coach? or is it business class?
     
  18. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    After reading through this thread, in particular these two posts I quoted, it seems the i7 doesn't have much of an advantage - at least not enough to justify the price differences. This is sort of the feeling I had already been getting from all the other posts I've seen asking pretty much the same thing. So my plan was to just get the 15" base model MBP refurbished for $1529 and that would be that.

    But then I started hearing about how great the hi-res ag was and then I started wanting that. And that made everything complicated because going the refurbished route, it seemed you could only get HR AG on the maxed out MBP (15" at least - that's all I want) making the price $1999. Going the non-refurbished route and CTOing an educationally discounted base model 2.4ghz MBP (I'm still a student) w/ HR AG made the price $1870 I think and I thought for that price, I might as well pay $130 extra and go refurbished w/ the faster processor, i7 over i5, bigger hd, and the better gpu (not sure how much this matters either).

    So a few days ago I ordered the maxed out refurbished 15" MacBook Pro 2.66ghz i7 w/ HR AG for $1999.99 (well my wife did, early MBA graduation gift). But then I found out that a refurbished lower model MBP w/ HR AG did actually exist but was just harder to get. Someone was telling me how he just got it for $1650. I'm pretty sure I'd be better off saving $350 so I've been keeping an eye on the refurbished inventory in case the model I want comes in stock and I can return the one already ordered unopened and just order the new one. And the MBP I ordered shipped a little late and arrives tomorrow so I've had a few extra days.

    Today I noticed the cheaper 15" MBP mid-model w/ HR AG just came in stock:

    I debated and thought the $170 savings were worth it and called Apple. They were cool about it and were willing to give me a free return and ship out the new one - all in the same order too so that I a) don't have to do the whole free after rebate printer thing and b) I can still keep my 5% discover cashback.

    I think all this effort is worth it to save $170, but it would definitely be worth it to save $350 if I could get the base model 2.4ghz w/ antiglare hi-res. But I'm thinking I shouldn't gamble too much and just take my winnings with this.

    So now I'm trying to talk to discover about raising my credit limit to make room for all this computer action to go through. But if there are any further thoughts on why I should just keep the maxed out 15" i7 w/ HR AG over this mid model i5 w/ HR AG (for $170 more), please do share.
     
  19. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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  20. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    ^ $170's a pretty decent amount of money to save.. I wouldn't compare it to a penny
     
  21. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    #21
    It's like one day of work for me, it wouldn't bother me at all to pay a few extra dollars to have a much faster machine. Well worth the $170 if you would ask me. I wouldn't go to the hassle of returning a perfectly good machine and getting a slower model just to have a couple of dollars in my bank account. That's like me returning my Mac Pro and getting an iMac to save money. I wouldn't do that either.

    "15" 2.2ghz MBP, 1.83ghz Mac Mini C2D, 2g iPod Touch 32gb"

    But sounds like you like to go with lower clock speed models to save money overall, so if you are OK with it, that's OK, but you are going a slower machine to save a few bucks.
     
  22. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    #23
    Still leaves me wondering, the i7 basically schooled the i5 on video compression and export stuff...
     
  23. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    Well I've said it before, the money regarding this decision wasn't the issue. You're right, it is only so many extra hours of work and I don't mind spending extra. But in this case, I'm not convinced that the extra performance is worth the extra price. Yes, the i7 is a faster machine, but how much faster is it? is it really noticeable? and is it worth an extra $400ish? I watched the video that was posted too but I wasn't convinced the i7 "schooled" the i5. Seemed to be noticeably faster in one or two applications.

    You copied and pasted my mac products (btw, one of those items should be updated - the mac mini which I've left with my family. In april I got the RFB MAC MINI 2.53ghz w/ 2X2G, 320 for $679.00). I'm not sure if you were trying to imply something but explaining those purchases.. the 15" MBP is what I bought in late 2007 and is what will be replaced w/ the newer 15" MBP (I like selling my laptops w/in 3 years before the applecare is up). The home Mac Mini is mac mini because I barely use it. At work all day I'm on my work PC, when I come home, I use my MBP primarily. The mac mini is a computer I use here and there so that's why I didn't get an iMac or a Mac Pro. And my 32gb iPod, which when I bought it was the most expensive model, still continues to serve its purpose well. I only use it in my car when listening to music off it or watching movies off my navi screen and in the gym. That's it so no need to upgrade to the latest, greatest iPods.

    I do spend when its warranted. For example, my car's a 2008 IS 350 and I paid I think $6,000ish or so more for it over the IS 250 because it blows away the IS 250 in performance. Now the IS-F is a much more expensive car out of my range but if I could have swung that I would.

    so in conclusion, yes it's not a lot of money, but I don't like wasting my money and I feel I would have w/ the 2.53ghz i5* or the 2.66ghz i7 build. I'm using my money for an SSD and to possibly upgrade the RAM if I can find a clear answer on if it's worth it.

    *yeah, I said the 2.53ghz because the 2.4ghz i5 w/ hi-res antiglare came in stock today after over 10 days (so rare to get this).so I gave apple a call and they were cool with (yet again) swapping out the units.
     

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