New OSX user - MacBook pro Retina 13" - i5 or i7 upgrade?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bedandmirror, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. bedandmirror macrumors newbie

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    Mar 14, 2015
    #1
    Hello. I've been using an old samsung laptop for about four years and it's time for an upgrade. I need a laptop that will last for a while, and it needs to be smallish so I have decided on the 13".

    My main uses are: A LOT of excel spreadsheets, the computer has to handle these fine. I use XCODE often as well as Canopy so it must run those well. I do a lot of numerical programming on both xcode and Canopy with python so it has to be able to run scripts pretty fast. I will also dual boot windows, and use VM for linux. I have narrowed it down to this:

    Macbook Pro retina 13" - 2015:

    2.9GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz
    16GB 1866MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM
    512GB PCIe-based Flash Storage
    Intel Iris Graphics 6100
    Force Touch trackpad

    Now I'm having second thoughts, should I upgrade the CPU to the 3.1GHz Dual-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz ? I've done some research and it seems as though both CPU's use hyperthreading and that the main difference is the 0.2 ghz in speed, and the 4mb L3 Cache rather than the 3MB L3 cache. I don't know if there are any other differences, or how these differences will affect me.

    I won't be gaming, it will mainly be used for programming but please note that I will have two 1080p monitors hooked up to the machine, and it HAS to be able to run the scripts I throw at it smoothly.

    I'm also interested at the resale value of the computer. In 4-5 years I will probably sell it and upgrade, would the i7 be better for that then?

    I understand that the 15" seems to be more down my alley, but I really like the portability of the 13".

    Any help please! Thank you very much.
     
  2. Tom8 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 28, 2010
    #2
    As far as I'm aware, there is little real world difference between the i5 and i7 chips in this situation as both are dual core, if the i7 were quad core it would be different story. I'd go for the i5 and keep the spare cash
     
  3. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #3
    Unless you are pegging the CPU at 100%, 100% of the time, and your computer is a source of time dependent income, your money is better left in your pockets.

    The speed difference is on the order of 5-7% in the aforementioned situation. The rest of the time? If you notice, I suggest you see a shrink, because it's all in your head.
     
  4. bedandmirror thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Fair enough! Thanks for the comical and informative reply :)
     
  5. bedandmirror thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    would upgrading it make it any more future proof?
     
  6. AustinIllini macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

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    #6
    Probably not. There are a ton of old macs out there right now. I would save the cash.
     
  7. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    #7
    I'm a guy that likes to get his money's worth when he spends it. As in, I don't mind paying twice as much for something twice(or more) as good. The processor upgrade just isn't one of those buys to me.
     
  8. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #8
    No, but it'll give you that warm fuzzy feeling that you've maxed out your rMBP (if you have the cash, that is).
     
  9. Alloy201 Suspended

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    Mar 13, 2015
    #9
    What are the chances that the new 13" will be 'outdated' this time next year? I'm talking outdated in both performance and design. I could live with either or, but to be outdated in both areas would make me sad.
     
  10. geoelectric macrumors 6502

    geoelectric

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    May 19, 2008
    #10
    Well, the next one will perform better, and probably have a different design including some of the cues from the new MacBook. If nothing else, it'll almost certainly have a USB Type-C port.

    It's hard to say how much better it'll perform. The 4-core versions are getting an incredible boost in graphics with the GT4e chipset and 72 execution units, but the 2-core versions look like they're keeping the GT3e chipset. It could be incremental.

    Upshot is who knows? It'll be better, but hard to say how much better. And also hard to say if it'll be out a year from now. I'd guess a new 13 will be out by WWDC latest, probably before that.
     
  11. mtneer macrumors 68020

    mtneer

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    Sep 15, 2012
    #11
    If your time horizon is 4 - 5 years like with your Samsung machine, no an i7 would not make it any more future proof especially since the i5 you have is so close in terms of performance at base and Turboboost speeds.
     
  12. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    #12
    Yes, I think you should.
     
  13. bedandmirror thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 14, 2015
    #13
    Why?
     
  14. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    #14
    Because it is the fastest one Apple makes. And fast is good.
     
  15. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #15
    Not worth it when the performance delta with the 2.7GHz i5 is around 20% or so.
     
  16. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    #16
    There, I fixed it for you. :p
     
  17. bedandmirror thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #17
    20% performance change is pretty big, no?
     
  18. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #18
    Only worth it if the price difference between CPUs are also around 20% or so.
     
  19. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    #19
    No. It is worth it if the buyer seeks the best possible performance regardless of expense. There are people who place greater worth on the fastest possible performance than others. Other place greater "worth" on battery life. Or overall cost. Doesn't make them right or wrong. And it doesn't make it any more or less "worth" it to others.
     
  20. yjchua95, Mar 15, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015

    yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #20
    So it is worth paying an extra USD 200 (from 2.7GHz i5 to 3.1GHz i5) just for that 7% increase in performance?

    http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench3/compare/2097413?baseline=2096703

    Performance deltas in both single and multicore is just 7% (6.9% and 6.8% respectively if you want to be picky).

    You're basically encouraging people to waste money for something they absolutely do not need.

    From 2.9GHz i5 to 3.1GHz i7 ($100 upgrade):
    http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench3/compare/2094355?baseline=2096703

    Single core performance delta: 2.3%
    Multi core performance delta: 2.5%
     
  21. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    #21
    Yes, it is worth it TO ME. It is you who are presuming that spending $200 on a 7% performance increase is a waste. It may be a waste for YOU, but it isn't for me. I value the best possible performance. To ME, that is most important. So to ME, it is not a waste. It is an expense I make gladly as I want the fastest possible system I can buy. YMMV.
     
  22. bedandmirror thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 14, 2015
    #22
    Do you by any chance have the performance of the 2.9ghz with 16gb of ram? Just to see the total difference? I really don't understand most of the terms on that page tbh!
     
  23. KenAFSPC macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 12, 2012
    #23
    Bedandmirror,

    I don't know what sort spreadsheets you use, but the OSX version of Excel isn't on par with the Windows version. Of course, you can run the Windows version of Excel on OSX with virtual machine software (until Microsoft improves the OSX version). If you work with highly complex spreadsheets (e.g., complex analyses, models), the quad-core CPU in the 15" would be highly desirable.
     
  24. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #24
    http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench3/compare/2094355?baseline=2096703

    Here's the performance of the 2.9/8 vs the 3.1/16.

    Performance delta is only 2.4-2.5% at most.

    With a 2.9/16 machine, the delta should be even smaller. In real world performance, you won't notice any difference at all. Unless you're transcoding something that takes 10 hours, and a 2.5% increase in performance can shorten transcoding time by 15 minutes.

    And also ask yourself, do you really need 16GB? If you don't run several VMs simultaneously, 16GB would be a waste.

    ----------

    You Americans just love wasting money like there's no tomorrow, don't you?
     
  25. bedandmirror thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 14, 2015
    #25
    I do plan to run 1-2 VM at a time, so the 16gb is there to stay I'd say as I also want to use it for about 4-5years+.

    After doing research, the only difference I see between the two are:
    0.2ghz speed difference
    4mb l3 cache instead of 3mb l3 cache.

    Could you tell me when one would benefit from these changes? Would it make compiling code any faster?
     

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