Retina Macbook Pro i5 or i7?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Chris Farley, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. Chris Farley macrumors newbie

    Dec 11, 2012

    Quick question, I’m going to buy the 13” rMBP but some reviews I have read say that it lags a bit when browsing multiple image heavy web sites. If this is so, will paying the extra for the i7 upgrade help? I’m using the education discount so even though it’s still an obscene price I’m getting the base i5 for £1245 or the i7 upgrade for £1383. I know the 15” is close to the price but I’m set on 13” laptop. The only other option is the Air but I see the retina screen being more future proof.

    Thanks, any thoughts?
  2. jrasero macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2011
    Not really. I had the 2012 MBP 13" i7 full loaded that stuttered on some websites and doing heavy tasks. The MBPR 13" shouldn't be that different since it has the same dual core i7 and 8GB and Intel 4000.

    With that being said, if you are really stuck on a 13" why not save money and go with an i7 MBA. It will be slightly slower than the MBP 13" i7 but not by much. Or just say the hell with it and get the 15" RMBP which hands down will handle mostly anything you throw at it and has the Retina allure.
  3. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030


    May 20, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    The lag has nothing to do with the CPU and everything to do the issues surrounding Apple's poor optimization of OS X with HiDPI. This may be a driver issue (which is also software), or it may be an issue with the OS itself. I don't know enough to know which. What I can tell you is that the problems that you cite have nothing to do with the difference between the dual-core Core i5 and the dual-core Core i7.
  4. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    I know what you're saying but - 13" is dual-core, 15" is quad-core.

    no stuttering ever, plus you can CTO with 16gb RAM and the 15" is not overly huge when you get used to it.

    I came to the 15" after 4x 13" Airs and would never go back
  5. pacalis macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2011
    The 15 is simply a glorious computer. It's in a totally different league than the 13 and a very similar size. The only compromise is a bit on price. I would highly recommend considering the 15.
  6. Freestar007 macrumors newbie

    Dec 25, 2007
    I know I'm late to this party, but I went through this same decision - I had the 13 rMBP i5 and felt the lag too bothersome to keep long term, so I exchanged it for the i7 version. It has noticeably less lag. Simple test to do is open/close Launchpad and watch for icon movement smoothness (though this is not what I'm basing my observations on).

    I found this quite helpful:

    "...but today it looks like our biggest bottlenecks are software and single threaded CPU performance. In every situation where UI frame rate drops significantly on the rMBP, the offending application usually ends up consuming 100% of a single CPU core."


    "Cinebench [...] the Core i5 model scored 2.12 CPU points, while the Core i7 scored 2.81 CPU points, or roughly half the result you’d expect from a quadcore processor. Unsurprisingly, with no discrete GPU, graphics performance showed the biggest hit, with the Core i5 managing 14.81fps and the Core i7 squeezing out 19.69fps."

    It makes sense for the i7 to have better frame rates if OS rendering is being done single-core - 2.9 vs 2.5 GHz base clock cycles. Everyone likes to jump on the HD 4000 as being the culprit for lag, but it seems to be affected by processor too.

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