newer i5 or older i7 Macbook Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by macstatic, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. macstatic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    I'm about to buy a laptop mainly for traveling (my main machine is a Mac Pro 5.1) and have these two to chose between:

    • Brand new 13" Macbook Pro (mid-2012) 2.5 GHz i5/HD-4000
    • Second hand 13" Macbook Pro (late-2011) 2.8 GHz i7/HD-3000

    Both machines can be upgraded to 16GB RAM and the hard drive replaced with an SSD, but the i5 has a faster graphic processor (HD4000), Thunderbolt and USB-3.
    The i7 on the other hand has a faster clocked and more powerful processor, but is that enough to make it a (noticeable) faster computer? It'll be used for Photoshop/Lightroom editing and photo organizing in addition to basic tasks such as email/web etc. It's possible I might be using it to make music with as well (DAW software such as Logic, Cubase etc.).

    I'm leaning towards the i5 because it's brand new in the box, has newer technology (USB-3, Thunderbolt) and has a more powerful graphic processor (HD4000) which I assume might be good for Photoshop and Lightroom use. Will this make up for the i7's more powerful/faster processor?
  2. AaronM5670, Jun 13, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014

    AaronM5670 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 19, 2012
    Get the newer i5, no question.

    You'd only notice the difference if you had two brand new MacBooks, one an i5 and one an i7, and you were running applications that support hyper-threading (which is why I have an i7 as I need to). The newer i5 will be faster than the old i7 without a doubt, as well as providing better battery life.
  3. chrfr macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2009
    I'd pick the 2012 too. USB 3.0 is a tremendous benefit if you'll need to use external storage of any sort.
  4. h9826790 macrumors 604


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    Same suggestion, go for the new i5. And let your Mac Pro do the heavy duty work.
  5. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    Done! I've just ordered it (the i5) :) Thanks for all your advice.

    It's been a while since I bought a new Mac and I understand that you no longer get an installation DVD as before. Is it now a matter of downloading (for free) OSX 10.9 from the App store in case you need to reinstall everything? I do prefer "physical" backup copies of things instead of relying on the cloud.

    And what about the apps which I assume aren't part of the OSX instllation (iTunes, iMovie, iPhoto etc.)? And do I get a free copy of Numbers/Pages/Keynote, or is that just with the current retina machines?
  6. AaronM5670 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 19, 2012
    Great news, enjoy your new Mac! :)

    iTunes, iMovie and iPhoto are included by default. Where exactly are you sourcing your Mac from? If it was brand new after September 2013 it will have the iWork suite (Numbers, Pages & Keynote) included free of charge - you can just download these apps from the Mac App Store.

    No, you don't get a physical disk for Mavericks, as has been the case since OS X 10.7 Lion, as it is just a simple download from the Mac App Store with which you should have absolutely no problems.

    If you're desperate for a physical copy, then your only option would be to download the files and create a bootable USB memory stick from them, which you can find out how to do here: . I'd just advise you to install Mavericks via the Mac App Store (in the unlikely event it isn't already - it should be) as this is the easiest, least stressful way and is highly unlikely to cause you any headaches - if not, Apple's support will unquestionably fix any issues.
  7. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    I ordered it from a local electronics chainstore.
    It is brand new (as in not previously owned by anyone else), but apparently Apple and stores selling Apple products still deliver that mid-2012 model in addition to their most recent retina computers. Not sure if it that makes it "pre-" or "post-free iWork suite" though.
    I assume you need to log in (or create a new account) to the App store and that the serial number of the computer is somehow connected to what you're able to download for free -is that how it works?

    I like to keep OSX installation-copies on DVD, a hard drive or whatever just in case I need to reinstall and don't have Internet access (or the computer in question can't connect because it needs to have a messed up OSX reinstalled in the first place) so that link will come in handy.
  8. kwikdeth macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tempe, AZ
    The machine will have a separate recovery partition which you can use to reinstall OSX should the primary HD become corrupted.
    More info here:

    additionally, you can use "Hackintosh" tools like Unibeast (and im sure there are other utilities out there that will do this) to make a bootable USB stick from an App Store-purchased OSX Install App. OSX installs much more quickly off a USB-stick than a DVD :D

    pretty sure that offer is for *any* new mac, not just retinas.


    according to apple's iwork page:

    * Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are free on the Mac App Store for qualifying Mac computers purchased on or after October 1, 2013. OS X Mavericks required. Downloading apps requires an Apple ID.

Share This Page