Quick MBP Speed Question (13 or 15)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by denm316, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. denm316 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #1
    Was curious if anyone has done this comparison.

    I had a 1.86GHz Rev 2 Macbook Air with the 128GB SSD. While I love the laptop I wanted to get something a little more powerful that would run a little smoother.

    I decided to get a 2.4Ghz i5 MBP with an OWC 240GB Mercury Extreme SSD. I got everything setup and installed last night. The laptop is beautiful in every way and fast as well. The only thing I am not a fan of is the size, as compared to my Macbook Air, I just loved the size of that thing.

    I was curious, has anyone compared the 13inch C2D MBP with the 15inch i5. I think the 13 inch would be great for me but I wanted to get something that would be really fast and would not be bogged down in a year or so. Is the C2D still very doable. The main things I do is the usual iTunes, iPhoto (looking to go with Aperture in the future) and some iMovie stuff here and there.

    Any thoughts would be great.

    Thanks,
    -Dennis
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
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    Finland
    #2
    Which is more important for you, power or portability? i5 is a nice boost when doing stuff with Aperture and iMovie and the extra screen estate is very nice too. On the other hand, if portability is more important which means you move it a lot, then 13" MBP or even MBA is a better choice
     
  3. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    Dec 5, 2009
    #3
    If the C2D in MBA is too slow for you I recommend waiting for the update in 4-6 months. The current MBP 13" is somewhere in between the the MBA and the MBP 15" depending on what you do. In many scenarios the 13 and 15" are almost equally fast.

    I personally prefer the 15" for the screen size. I just cannot get used to working on the small screen of a 13". While a 17" is too big. I can fit the 15" everywhere it needs to go.
    But if you like the 13" size. I tell you wait for the Sandy Bridge update. Those new CPUs with onboard memory controller will definitely be faster than current i5 although not by too much and they will appear in the 13" too.
    It will most likely be a 13,3" 16:9 like the current Air. Nice portable and powerful just not very productive by my personal standards. Programming on a 13" screen is a pain in my opinion. I guess movie editing and you stuff maybe different.
     
  4. denm316 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 16, 2003
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    Philadelphia
    #4
    Is there a drastic difference between the 2.66 C2D and the 2.4 i5.
     
  5. Hisdem, Nov 11, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010

    Hisdem macrumors 6502a

    Hisdem

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Location:
    Boca Raton, FL
    #5
    Yes. Though it's something I can live with as I prefer portability. If I were a power user however, doing CPU intensive tasks, I would have gotten the i5.

    dusk007 The current 13.3" MBA's screen is 16:10 ;)
     
  6. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    #6
    Yeah that's true. I kind of never checked that properly. I guess I saw the 11" and assumed the 13" to by 16:9 because I was expecting it and it said 13,3 which usually means 16:9. Nobody ever corrected me.
    That is very good news though because it makes it more likely that a redesign of the MBP line might stick to the IMO much much better 16:10 ratio.
    16:9 just makes a notebook with a similar 16:10 screen size productivity wise less portable or the other way round. The perfect ratio (for best balance between portability and productivity) would even be lower than 16:10 and IMO should resemble the A4 paper format.

    The difference between 2,4Ghz i5 and 2,66Ghz C2D is in many cases very low. It is only situations that benefit a lot from Hyper threading that see an IPC(Instructions per clock) increase of 50%, in many general usage scenarios like browsing or single threaded workload only the Turbo makes a little difference but the IPC is almost the same. If you have another machine to do long encodes and stuff like that the C2D should be sufficient.
    The problem of the i5 is the terrible Memory Latency (worse than C2D) that kills some of the IPC it gets from faster Caches etc.
    Sandy Bridge will change that to much better than C2D and it gets a really fast L3 access which together should result in a decent IPC increase. Along with about 10% more clock that will be truely a huge speed up in every situation compared to a 2,66Ghz C2D 13" MBP.
     
  7. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #7
    Good info on the C2D vs i5 differences, thanks to those who've posted.

    If I may tag along, in looking at the 13" MBP and the choice of 2.4 vs 2.66, it seems to me that the performance difference would be minimal outside of very cpu-intensive stuff. The heaviest CPU load I'd put on a system would be RAW file conversions from a DSLR and maybe a little dabbling in iMovie working with old family videos. Perhaps the occasional Photoshop batch job, but even that is more likely to be I/O bound than CPU bound. This is hobby stuff, so first I'd be doing it infrequently and second I have no problem walking away and getting a cup of coffee. Whether it take 20 minutes or 30 minutes isn't a big deal, it isn't like it's work stuff.

    The 2.4GHz version is $999 at Microcenter vs. $1269 for a 2.66Ghz version via the Apple refurbished store. I'm not seeing $270's worth of value for my usage.

    Am I missing anything? (HDD size is irrelevant, I have a 320/7200 on hand that I can swap in if the 250GB is too small or slow.)
     
  8. dmk1974 macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #8
    At lunch today, I picked up the 2.4 C2D 13" MBP for my wife (though, now I think that I may want it!). I agree...for the price difference, it was not worth bumping up to the 2.66.

    My MBP is the 15" i5 2.4. I'll let you know if I see significant differences in general use. We aren't gamers or anything. But streaming Slingbox, making iMovie videos, and playing QT vids would probably the most taxing activities that we do.
     
  9. denm316 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #9
    I would be curious to know how you think they compare. I would be using them pretty much the same way you are, like iMovie stuff here and there and the rest of my usage is iPhoto (then Aperture), browsing and mail.
     
  10. dmk1974, Nov 13, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2010

    dmk1974 macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #10
    In normal use, I'm really not noticing much difference. the 13" is probably only a hair slower. I don't know what the best benchmark test is for a Mac and didn't run any.

    I did install a Bootcamp partition on each with Windows7. Per the Windows Experience Benchmarks, the 15" i5 was definitely faster in processor and video as expected. For hard drives, the 15" had the stock drive, but in the 13" I have a WD Scorpio Black 320 GB drive in it now.
     

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