Quad vs Size

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by AndreasM, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. AndreasM macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2012
    Looking for help to decide what laptop I should choose. I've been waiting since WWDC 2012 to get a rmbp. I was so sure back then that I wanted/needed a 13 inch model. I was disappointed with the specs and benchmarks of the 2012 rmbp 13 so I decided to wait for next gen. I was glad to see that you now have the option to get 16GB RAM in the 13 inch and that Iris provides much better graphics. However the Quad core is still only in 15 and I'm still a bit sad that benchmarks show that the 15 inch destroys the 13 inch in score.

    I'm going to use it for work. I do software development(Java) 25% of my time and email, skype, manage linux servers for the rest of the time. The main tool for me when developing is IntelliJ and it's much compiling and running application servers locally. Many of my colleagues have the 2012 rmbp and it's a bit crazy how fast that machine is. I have one colleague that have the 2012 rmbp 13 and he kind of stated that the 15 model is much better for dev work. But he is doing dev work 100% of his time.

    Currently I use an Asus U36S with a none SSD harddrive, Intel Core i5-2430M 2.39GHz Sandy Bridge processor and 6GB of RAM. Geekbench 3 give it 1319 in single core test and 2681 in multi core test.

    I use my laptop in a pretty mobile way. Many meetings, bring it home and use it in the sofa or bed. When I switched from 15 inch to 13 inch a couple of years ago I really loved it. I promised myself that I would never ever go up to 15 again. It's just perfect size, however when doing programming it's too small to get a good view of the code. I use an external monitor at work however I have to do dev work also when I'm home so it would be nice with more space on the screen. The Asus support max 1366x768.

    It all comes down to if the 13 inch if fast enough for dev work and if the 15 inch that is very thin can be a very portable laptop. Would be very interesting to hear from any of you that have been in the same situation and bought one or the other and how you felt afterwards.
  2. 827538 macrumors 65816

    Jul 3, 2013
    You'll be fine with the 13", if you can afford it opt for the top end CPU and it will have to problem compiling. Tbh I never had much problem compiling Java, even although it's a dual core it's still extremely capable. Horrible language though :p.


    Also I'm about to order my rMBP 15" too end. I do quite a lot of programming, more low end bare metal stuff, like FPGA's and C++, OpenCL, Verilog. I'm not worried if getting a dual core or a quad core is best. They'll both be fast. I'm more after the 750M for moderate gaming purposes.
    If 13" is the form factor you love then max it out and but it. For me I prefer the 15", 13" is just too small for me.
  3. AndreasM thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2012
    The plan was to take the mid cpu option of i5 2.6 if I decide on going for the 13 inch. It's not that expensive to do that upgrade from 2.4. However to go to i7 and 2.8 is a bit more and I've read pretty much about that there is very limited perf wins in upgrading. Would you think that is the case for standard use and that in mine case it would actually be a perf boost since I do dev work?
  4. 827538 macrumors 65816

    Jul 3, 2013
    The 2.6 i5 will be fine for coding, compiling etc.
    The main difference between i5 and i7 chips in hyper threading where if the core isn't under too much load it acts like its 'two cores'. Don't confuse this with a quad core though, it's just multi threading.
    The 2.6 i5 will fit your needs perfectly. Just make sure you have at least 8GB RAM and you'll be fine! I think from what I've seen on here, quite a few people really over estimate the demand they plan to place on their future systems and think because it's not the screaming high end it won't fulfil your needs.
    You're really hitting the sweet spot at 2.6 i5 + 8GB on the 13".
  5. aiyaaabatt macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2013
    both the i5 and the i7 use hyper threading
  6. smakdown61, Oct 27, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013

    smakdown61 macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2008
    This is correct. The only difference in i5 vs i7 is clock speed and L3 cache size. Unlike the i3, there are no feature differences between the i5 and i7. Both have turbo boost and hyperthreading. The i3 lacks turboboost.
  7. 827538 macrumors 65816

    Jul 3, 2013
    My mistake, I was confused, dual core i5's have hyperthreading while quad core i5's do not.
  8. AndreasM thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2012
    thanks for your input. Sounds like the 13 inch i5 2.6, 16GB and 256 SSD will be fast enough.
  9. Jesper Juul macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2011
    As far as I know there are no Mobile Quad core I5 processors?
  10. Animalk, Oct 27, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013

    Animalk macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2007
    Montreal Canada
    I'm quite certain the i5 demonstration unit at the Apple store I saw earlier this week has hyper threading as Activity Monitor displayed 8 thread execution pipelines.
    I was under the impression dual cores do not support hyper threading for the i5 whilst all the quad core intel chips support hyper threading.
  11. 827538 macrumors 65816

    Jul 3, 2013
    I was talking about both mobile and desktop chips.
    Well I'm not sure why you saw that, if it was showing 8 threads then it should be a quadcore i7.
  12. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    There is no such things as a mobile quad core i5. They are all marked i7. Also almost every mobile chip has hyper threading even i3. The difference between i5 and i3 is turbo boost.
    Only on desktops they cut hyper threading sometimes as it is mostly a feature that helps efficiency but when you can run any clock at any power draw you want it doesn't do as much and for gamers very little.

    Between dual cores i5/i7 iSomething is just a branding. Ignore it. Even the little bit of extra cache does very little maybe (5%). It is just the fastest most expensive options are called i7 so the buyers can feel a little bit better about themselves. It is next to no significance.

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