rMB 1.2->1.3 Initial Impressions

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by bmustaf, Apr 28, 2015.

  1. bmustaf, Apr 28, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2015

    bmustaf macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2007
    Telluride, CO
    Been using a 1.2GHz for about a week and a half while my 1.3 was on a long wait - it showed up earlier than expected a couple days ago and been using the 1.3 now.

    Tons of posts about benchmarks between the two seemed to show a 10% boost (given specs, that seems that it's pretty consistent with you'd expect).

    Perhaps there's some "justification bias" in this, but I have both machines sitting in front of me and still in return period on both and would actually rather like to save the $ between the two, but I am keeping the 1.3.

    The 1.3GHz *seems* faster and more efficient (again, plenty of threads about the benchmarks one can analyze and tear apart and quantify, these are qualitative findings from an n of one: me). Builds in Xcode finish faster (no, haven't and not going to pull out a stopwatch), machine runs cooler on the same workload (no, no thermometer), and seeing about 45mins better battery life on my day to day tasks (mix of email, web [using Safari exclusively, as much as I loathe it, it's a great power optimized browser, and Chrome isn't], Xcode, Google Sheets, and Keynote).

    My impression is that Intel's "hurry up and get to idle so things can cool down and go into uber lower power state modes" philosophy is working in the favor of my workload more so with the 1.3 than with the 1.2. The 100MHz clock diff at idle isn't that big a diff, but 300MHz at peak is a bit more a difference in absolute #s.

    I wonder if AAPL got their own bin of 5Y71s for the 1.3GHz chips they're speccing on these machines as they're PN-wise identical so the 1.2GHz 5Y71s (I see conflicting information on whether the 1.2 is a 5Y71 or a 5Y51, though)...if they're both 5Y71s and they're just sub-binned we'll probably never know, but maybe there's a sub-bin for chips Intel sells them that bin even higher with more favorable thermal characteristics, etc that AAPL is clocking at the 1.3/2.9 spec for the 1.3s?

    Anyway, wanted to keep the 1.2 and saw the $$$, but the 1.3 and the modest $$$ diff compels me to return the 1.2, even if it's a fluke and I just have a better battery on it?

    Totally unscientific data points here, but plenty of GB benchmarks posted for those that want those, just my observations between the exact same work/setup/user in a 1.2 vs a 1.3.
  2. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Interesting comments. I was tempted by the 1.3GHz but was put off by the purported 4-6 week delivery time, so wound up with the 1.2GHz. I think I'll keep the 1.2GHz for now, as there is a real possibility I'll upgrade to the Skylake model in a year.
  3. headcase macrumors 6502


    Jul 4, 2007
    Raleigh, NC
    Thanks for the summary. Keep us posted on what you experience after a few more days use, as I'm sure many here are interested. I certainly am.
  4. saifrc macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2010
    Really appreciate the summary! Glad you finally got your 1.3!

    When choosing, the $150 price difference seemed not worthwhile for a "100 MHz" performance difference, but seemed like it might be worthwhile for a "~10%" performance improvement. I originally decided on the 1.2GHz model when I thought (foolishly) that I'd be able to get one on April 10th; if I knew I'd have to wait either way, I might have just decided to order the 1.3GHz. However, I do have my 1.2 in hand now, having been delivered after only 2 weeks (instead of the 4 weeks I was originally told), and a bird in the hand...

    Now, I'm just hoping that I won't miss what I don't have, and can just enjoy what I do have. So far, so good! Hopefully, by the time I decide that I can't stand this performance anymore, I'll be able to sell this and buy the latest! ;)
  5. IsaacKa macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2015
    Did you notice any other differences between the two models, e.g. display, sound etc.
  6. squirrrl macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2013
    San Diego, CA
    Any differences in heat between the 1.2 and 1.3?
  7. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    solid review. I think a lot of people are curious about this very question.
  8. tecnho macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2015
    rMB 1.2->1.3 Initial Impressions

    First off, thank you for the informative comparison. As far as the chip goes, most geekbench results seem to indicate a correlation between the 1200 frequency column and a 5Y51 chip, as well as 1300/5Y71 and 1100/5Y31. Is that information inaccurate or is there more to it ?
  9. pasadena macrumors 6502a


    Sep 12, 2012
    Awesome, that's exactly what I needed today ! I just returned my 1.2/512 and had to choose its replacement. I didn't order the 1.3 at first because of the shipping delays, the .1 wasn't worth the wait when nobody had ever seen either of them. But now....

    I don't need the extra disk space, and all I wanted to know was the impact of the 1.3 on battery life and heat. Your post just made my day !

    So I ordered a 1.3/256 and invested the $50 difference in a second charger :p
  10. bmustaf thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2007
    Telluride, CO
    Having had the 1.3 in hand for a week or so now (after about a week or so with my 1.2 that went back when the 1.3 arrived) I thought I'd come back and follow up.

    Had a week of plenty of airplanes, hotels, Ubers, offices, a bit at home, and I am absolutely, absolutely compelled and convinced on AAPL's compromises to create the machine they did (regardless of 1.1/1.2/1.3). For what I use it for, one USB-C port isn't a big deal at all.

    The 1.3 has seemed to last about a 45mins-1hr longer than my 1.2 and that's been the biggest thing I've noticed. The performance is anecdoteally better in Xcode builds like I mentioned, but the quantitative change is most certainly noticably and measurably longer battery life along exactly the same workload, usage conditions, etc. Consistently. I postulated above about how this could/may relate to efficiency of a differently binned proc/the 5Y71, etc, etc, but who knows. Maybe just a better battery? Both?

    Anyway, that;s my unscientific conclusion: 1.3GHz totally worth it.
  11. rkho macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2015
    How's your experience with the OS' UI lag? It's tolerable on my 1.1 right now (Transparency is kept on, since I'm not interested in stifling the capabilities of the machine), wondering if I'd get a better performance boost by going 1.3
  12. Dayv macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2009
    I haven't used a 1.3, but I haven't noticed any UI lag on my 1.2 with transparency enabled.
  13. rkho macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2015
    Hi! May I ask what applications you have open normally and what your resolution is?
  14. Dayv macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2009
    1440x900 resolution

    Primary apps include Safari (usually at least a dozen tabs), iTunes, Messages, Terminal, and TextEdit.

    Frequent apps, closed when complete: Pixelmator and Photos.

    I also play Portal 1 and 2 sometimes, but I close all other apps first. I'll do some modern gaming if/when Portal 3 is a thing.
  15. rkho macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2015
    Thanks! That's really good to know. Last thing: What about spaces? Multiple open?
  16. Dayv macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2009
    I run some apps in full screen, so they each occupy their own space, and then just one or two for windowed apps. About four spaces most of the time.
  17. nalbagli macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2014
    Is it really noticeable the difference between 1.2 and 1.3? I have the opportunity to buy today a 1.2 but I have already ordered a 1.3 (that I am not sur if I will be able to get in time or not), I am really debating myself on wether I should wait or go for the 1.2.

    I just want the computer to work with no lags on common tasks (heavy PPT docs, Excels, Word, Spotify, Photos etc.)

    Any opinion would help!
  18. bmustaf thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2007
    Telluride, CO
    What people seem to be calling "lags" are actually low frame rates on UI animations as far as I can tell from the YouTube videos posted. Having used both a 1.2 and a 1.3, I'd say there is no lag issue/laggate - it's overblown or there's some issue with some systems that is a hardware problem, because I haven't had any issues on either the 1.2 or the 1.3 with this lag or even what is shown in the YouTube videos (but I do turn off animations to eke out every last min of battery life as I fly a lot on long hauls and even though most aircraft have power on board these days, I hate fussing with plugging my laptop in and where the cable is as I sit in the seat).

    Anyway, biggest difference is battery life. My 1.3 has shown 45-60 mins more consistently on the same work load.

  19. iRun26.2 macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2010
    It surprises me that the 1.3GHz professor could be so much more efficient than the 1.2GHz processor. I'd almost expect it to be the other way around.
  20. MyopicPaideia macrumors 68000


    Mar 19, 2011
    Trollhättan, Sweden
    I think it has been confirmed many times over that the 1.2 is a 5Y51 and the 1.3 is a 5Y71. All reviews and all benchmark programs report this, and it would be an unprecedented and completely useless excercise on Apple's part if they were to somehow be reporting out a fake system report for the 1.2, doesn't make any sense, there's zero motivation to do that.

    iRun26.2, there has been speculation since the keynote that due to Apple choosing to go with the the slightly lower TDP bins for the 5Y51 (goes all the way up to 1.3, but Apple chose the 1.2 bin) and 5Y71 (goes all the way up to 1.4, but Apple chose the 1.3 bin) as opposed to the max specc'd and hughest TDP 5Y31 (base 0.9, highest 1.1, Apple using the 1.1) that both the 1.2 and 1.3 models would be more efficient than the 1.1 as far as power and heat were concerned.

    That said, I would not have expected to see such a difference between the 1.2 and 1.3 that the OP is seeing here, it is interesting, as I would have expected them to not have a measurable difference in battery time...

    Can't wait to get mine to try it out.
  21. sdugoten macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2010
    This is wierd. Macbook have a history of shorter battery life on top model CPU. I wonder if there is any chance if you can run some battery life test on both 1.2 and 1.3? Thanks.



  22. bmustaf thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2007
    Telluride, CO
    I don't have the 1.2 anymore, so I can't run side by side tests, but comparing previous MacBooks to this esp relating to battery life and clock speed is deceiving and not a copacetic comparison, IMO.

    In my original post I alluded to the notion of binning and TDP numbers - it makes sense the 1.3 has better battery life than the 1.2 and the 1.2 better than the 1.1 because of the dynamics of the Core M line.

    The 1.3 is actually binned as a much better thermal performer.

    In my experience (unscientific), the 1.3 has had much better battery life, like I mentioned.

  23. bmustaf thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2007
    Telluride, CO
    It "makes sense" that higher clock = more power use in some situations, esp things like the i5/i7 line that, as you increase clock, you increase TDP (generally), but not with Core M.

    The actual only difference in the 1.1/1.2/1.3 in the rMB (and Intel's entire 5YXX line of Core M CPUs) is binning, the high end actually has at least the same and in many cases better TDP/thermal characteristics. The difference in these processors is that their clocks are set to the 1.1/1.2/1.3 (with commensurate turbo clocks) based on their manufactured/binned thermal dynamics. The 1.3s are more efficient, better examples of exactly the same processor, really.

    They work faster, and get back to a lower power idle faster under many workloads, Intel's strategy here is "hurry up and get to idle", which the 1.3s can do faster & better (esp with more headroom up to 2.9 at the same power draw).

    That last parenthetical kind of hits the gestalt of this:

    The 1.3 can do more, faster with the same amount of power than the 1.2, and the same goes for the 1.2 vs. the 1.1.


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