Non-Retina MBP i5 vs i7

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Smith23957, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. Smith23957 macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2014
    I currently have a 13" MBP Early 2011 2.3GHz Intel Core i5.
    I mainly use my MBP for school and work, some audio/video editing as a hobby not professional, and basically never use it for gaming.

    I will be buying a Non-Retina 13" MBP instead of the new Retina MBP to save money and I still use/burn cds/dvds quite often. I will be giving my 2011 MBP to my sister who needs a laptop for school (the only access she has to a computer is at school or public library). I thought about buying her a new Macbook Air but this will be her first computer of her own and as a teenager she has not had very good luck with keeping electronics "safe".

    I plan to upgrade my new Non-Retina MBP to 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD on day one. I would like this computer to last another 3-4yrs+. My question is about choosing the i5 vs i7 processor. My main concern is heat and fan noise vs longevity. When I bought my 2011 MBP I was told to go with the i5 for less heat and less fan noise. Recently I was told in an Apple help chat that on the Non-Retina MBP both the i5 and i7 run EXACTLY the same when comparing heat, fan noise, and how often the fan will run. Is this true? Because they also told me the Non-Retina MBP does NOT support 16GB RAM and will not function well with a 1TB SSD which seems false from what I have read.

    Thank you for your help.
  2. Atomic Walrus macrumors 6502a

    Sep 24, 2012
    That's the official Apple line, but they only say it to avoid confusing people. What they mean is that under normal light usage there probably won't be a difference, but in reality the faster CPU can potentially produce more heat and use more power if both run at medium to high load.

    The actual difference in heat/power consumption will be more or less proportional to the difference in performance, but it also depends on the load (they'll be closer when you do light work, and the gap will widen as you use the CPU more heavily). This Anandtech article is about Haswell CPUs, but it still gives a general idea of how things work out when you increase the CPU speed:

    With the i7 you're technically getting a better binned CPU which would actually have lower power consumption if they were clocked equally, but because it hits higher frequencies it still ends up consuming more power. In Windows you can actually take the faster CPU, underclock it, and lower its voltage offset, which results in a CPU with the same performance as the lower end model which consumes even less power. Unfortunately I don't think this is possible in OSX (no Mac version of Intel XTU software).

    As far as the memory you'll have no trouble putting 16GB RAM and a 1TB SSD in the machine. I imagine you were told those weren't supported simply because they aren't actual options Apple offers.
  3. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2014
    They can support 16 GB of RAM and 1 TB SSDs with no problems at all. I'm not sure what they were talking about when they told you that.

    Considering the usage you listed, I'd just get the i5 and save some money.

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