rMB performance?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by 76ShovelHead, Dec 25, 2015.

  1. 76ShovelHead macrumors 6502a

    76ShovelHead

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    Florida
    #1
    How well does it perform, and what kind of performance could I expect with a couple desktops, several open web tabs/windows, iWork and Spotify? How well does it stream video? I'm a first time college freshman looking for a decent replacement notebook for campus. My major isn't computer-intensive and I'd like to think the same about my workflow.

    My 15" early 2008 MBP has got the 2.4 C2D, a spinning hdd, and only 2 gigs of ram. Not really sure if it's worth upgrading (at least $250 factoring a new ssd, 6 gigs of ram, and good battery) or if this new Macbook would be the worthwhile upgrade.
     
  2. David58117 macrumors 65816

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    Jan 24, 2013
    #2
    It will handle all of that, no problem.

    I've said elsewhere, but I've had -

    Safari open with 3 tabs, Microsoft word open with a document I'm working on, Sibelius 7 playing a midi I'm working on, essential anatomy open with a model of muscles zooming around, and skim with 3 large PDFs loaded - all with activity monitor saying I have high 80-low 90% idle CPU.

    I have the base model, and really haven't had any issues. The claims of it being underpowered are hugely exaggerated.

    It would be an excellent laptop for students.

    The keyboard is a bit weird at first, but after a few days you get use to it, and it feels tight and controlled..while the old type feels like marshmallows.
     
  3. fierarul macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #3
    I have a similar 2008 MBP and RAM and SSD upgrades would make it a nice laptop. Still, it is old and I assume you want a fresh machine.

    The rMB only matches the Core 2 Duo frequency when Turbo is on, which by definition is rare and not for a sustained load.

    And although your major is not computer-intensive, you might need or want to do something that turns out to be intensive (transcoding video comes to mind, perhaps some specific tool, etc).

    Also, I assume you will be using at least an USB stick to copy stuff. You will be frustrated not having an USB port on your laptop and having to carry an adaptor of sorts all the time.

    In short, I think a 13" rMBP will be a much better machine for your school years.
     
  4. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

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    Zurich, Switzerland
    #4
    I think it really depends. I think I've never transcoded a video in my entire life.
    I do run VMs (non-MSFT), but it seems the rMB handles even that quite well. Unfortunately, no stores have Fusion running - so it's all anecdotical evidence on this forum.

    How often do people use USB sticks these days anyway?
    I won't deny that the MBP is (much) more powerful - but how much of that power is actually needed?

    I'm torn between the MBP and the rMB myself - I could buy the MBP with 16GB RAM and run multiple (small) VMs simultaneously - but how often would I actually do that?
    In almost all cases, portability trumps everything else.
     
  5. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #5
    Some stores will let you install some software to try it out, so you could ask around and see if you could install whatever you need for a spin in the store.
     
  6. Algus macrumors regular

    Algus

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    Arizona
    #6
    The 13'' Pro is not a large computer. It certainly cannot compare to the MBA and rMB on battery life but it still has industry-leading battery and is very light for its weight class. IMO it is the best valued Mac available (save maybe the ultra cheap and often on sale 11'' MBA). We live in a great time for laptops. When I was a freshman in college, I had a 15'' Sony VAIO with a super hot and noisy Pentium 4. Damn thing weighed 8 1/2 lbs and had enough juice to get me through one class, if I was lucky.

    I would choose the Pro over the rMB on port access alone, however. USB game controller, SD cards, and video out for presentations, sharing Facebook video with my grandmother are just some of the things I do with my Macbook. If you're sure you won't need those access ports, by all means consider the rMB. Just remember that while you can buy accessories that allow you to attach whatever you want through USB-C - that is one more thing you must carry in your bag.
     
  7. 76ShovelHead thread starter macrumors 6502a

    76ShovelHead

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    #7
    Glad to hear it can keep up with the demand, have you noticed any lag at all?

    A couple valid points I hadn't considered: while I'm not generally concerned with port access for thumb drives (I have a printer, but I'm sure I'll think of a reason to use the libraries') giving a presentation and having to use a windows specific application on a virtual machine could prove difficult for this Macbook.

    I'm leaning towards a 13" Macbook Pro now... Bummer though, If I could afford a new 15" it would be no contest, I really hate the idea of downsizing since 15" is really comfortable for me.

    The only reason for me to upgrade from my current MBP is the terrible battery life. Though I've only got 4 classes, I'll be there Mondays 8a to 8p (12 hours) and Wednesdays 8a to 1p...

    Fieraral: What battery do you recommend this older MBP? Lizone is what I see on amazon. I also understand that an SSD could improve battery life. Maybe I should just upgrade this solid laptop, I know for a fact that with 6gb of ram and an SSD I wouldn't have any issues running windows on a virtual machine or even bootcamp.
     
  8. zhaoxin macrumors regular

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    Jan 28, 2015
    #8
    Here is the picture comparing the Geekbench 2 scores between you computer and the current MacBooks. Even the Macbook retina 12 is nearly twice the speed of your system.

    So you can choose any of the Macbook above. Depending on your concerns on battery, powerfulness or weight or better looking. You can choose Macbook air 13, Macbook pro 15 or Macbook 12 as you wish.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. fierarul macrumors member

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    Jun 18, 2010
    #9
    Here is the picture comparing the Geekbench 2 scores between you computer and the current MacBooks. Even the Macbook retina 12 is nearly twice the speed of your system.​

    By comparing the old CPU on cpuboss http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core2-Duo-T8300-vs-Intel-Core-M-5Y71 I see multiple benchmarks, with the T8300 being much closer on single core in PassMark and 3D Mark 06. (Of course, the T8300 is blown away in AES single core because the newer Intel CPUs have hardware instructions for AES while the older Core 2 Duo has to do it in software).

    I am surprised by these Geekbench numbers. No way the passively cooled Core M at 1.2 Ghz is so close to the i5 at 2.7Ghz in the rMBP 13". Maybe for a short spike while Turbo kicks in but not for any kind of load.


    Fierarul: What battery do you recommend this older MBP? Lizone is what I see on amazon. I also understand that an SSD could improve battery life. Maybe I should just upgrade this solid laptop, I know for a fact that with 6gb of ram and an SSD I wouldn't have any issues running windows on a virtual machine or even bootcamp.​

    I did buy new Apple batteries in time for my laptop and upgraded it to 6GB and an SSD. I don't remember it having such an excellent battery life even when it was brand new. But I did stress it a lot with heavy apps. 3-4 hours under light usage I would say.

    I doubt the SSD would noticeably help with the battery. It will massively help with the responsiveness of the laptop. Adding an SSD years ago was the reason I've only upgraded the laptop this year (after 7 years of use!). It doesn't even compare with a normal hard drive.

    There may be some unofficial franken-batteries to have it last more hours but I never used them. I guess you could also get 2 and swap them but it's a bit inconvenient.

    I wonder if you couldn't use a tablet with a bluetooth keyboard at times -- do you really need the laptop for each and every day?
     
  10. zhaoxin macrumors regular

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    Jan 28, 2015
    #10
    According to Geekbench. Both CPU and Memory speed affect the scores of Geekbench. So the result is not CPU only. It is CPU + RAM or CPU x RAM.
     
  11. 76ShovelHead thread starter macrumors 6502a

    76ShovelHead

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    #11
    I'm not sure you can get replacement batteries from Apple anymore, I can't cite my source but that's also where I found out about lizone on amazon. I bought a cheap plastic eBay knockoff for 20 bucks several months ago and It was a waste. The laptop probably lasts an hour and a half on a charge, but 4 hours would be plenty provided that I am able to access an outlet in at least one of my classes. I know the library has them. Tablets are just uncomfortable for me.

    Interesting those geek bench numbers though, per that link the Core M beats the C2D in everything. Is the C2D really all that old now?! lol I've never taken the Core M seriously, but apparently it does have hyper threading... Score 1 for the new Macbook.
     
  12. 76ShovelHead thread starter macrumors 6502a

    76ShovelHead

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    #12
    Right so a faster bus/ram also plays into the equation... In real world performance, could I assume that rMB would run a virtual machine better than my C2D MBP?
     
  13. zhaoxin macrumors regular

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    Jan 28, 2015
    #13
    Of course it will. Especially if you machine is not an SSD. Also I will prefer 16GB RAM if you run multiple virtual machines all together. For me, 16GB RAM could run 4 parallels desktop os, a Windows 10, three OS X, version 10.9, 10.10 and 10.11, along with my main OS: OS X 10.11. Then Macbook pro 15 will be the best for you.

    But I should also warn you that all of them are not equipped with the latest Intel 6th generation CPUs. That may be changed early next year. Maybe around March or April.
     
  14. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    #14
    I would not bother upgrading your existing computer. It's right at the point where it is about to become completely outdated and you'll never get the battery life you really want from it.

    As for rMB vs. MBP, for your use, I think you would get by with either one just fine. If the tiny footprint and light weight of the rMB appeals to you, go that route. It really is the first Apple laptop that gets over that tipping point where you can take it everywhere with you and it gets 'lost' in your bag such that you don't even notice its there. The footprint on a table or desk is so small that there are few places you'll find you can't take it out to do work.

    If that doesn't appeal to you all that much, buy the 13" Pro. It's incredibly powerful and is impressively small and light for what it is. I don't think you will miss your 15" screen - these high resolution retina screens generally allow you to down-size a bit and still remain comfortable because text is so crisp and clear. I have personally moved from 14" laptops to 12" now that screens are so good. I think the 15" model would be way overkill for you, and while it too is slim and light for the power it packs, the footprint is somewhat unwieldy. It takes intention to find a space large enough to pull it out and sit down to work with it.
     
  15. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #15
    Don't expect longer battery time with an SSD. The difference is practically unnoticeable.
     
  16. 76ShovelHead thread starter macrumors 6502a

    76ShovelHead

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    #16
    Thanks for the advice everyone, I see my current Macbook has reached obsolete status. I guess OS 10.12 is out of the question now haha. I wish I noticed this before I ordered a ram and ssd upgrade this morning.

    I was poking around the education store and the base 1.1 rMB is 1249, and the 2.7 MBP (yielding a measly 128gb of storage) is 1199. I guess it comes down to whether I value storage over performance, as even the new MB is a suggested improvement over my 2008.

    I'm gonna have to go check it out in-store... I believe 128 gb is just too small, and to multiply that by 2 for the MBP would tally an extra $200, as opposed to an extra $50 for a 256gb rMB.
     
  17. zhaoxin macrumors regular

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    Jan 28, 2015
    #17
    I just realize you rMB refers to the Macbook 12 retina. I don't think it will be a good idea if you want use a virtual machine on it. It is fanless design, which means with CPU intense work, it will become hot and slow. I will prefer MBP to Macbook 12 retina on virtual machines. Also, I think a second hand rMBP will be better than a brand new MBP unless you don't care the retina display and really want to upgrade the hard drive and RAM yourself. Just find some that still are in the warranty.
     
  18. fierarul macrumors member

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    Jun 18, 2010
    #18
    Thanks for the advice everyone, I see my current Macbook has reached obsolete status. I guess OS 10.12 is out of the question now haha. I wish I noticed this before I ordered a ram and ssd upgrade this morning.​

    Can't you just cancel the order? Anyhow, obsolete status is mostly a legalese warranty term from Apple. It doesn't necessarily mean there will be no more software written for it. Considering the dedicated GPU and the rest of the hardware it has, there are high chances the next OSX will support it.

    I don't think it will be a good idea if you want use a virtual machine on it. It is fanless design, which means with CPU intense work, it will become hot and slow. I will prefer MBP to Macbook 12 retina on virtual machines.​

    I agree. From a performance standpoint I wouldn't bet on the fanless (aka throttled under load) Core-M.
     
  19. cycledance Suspended

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    Oct 15, 2010
    #19
    i have the same mbp that had 4gb ram and i can tell you that going to 6gb made a world of a difference starting with mavericks. definitely upgrade the ram in it.

    it's too heavy and slow for a main computer in this age tho.
     
  20. 76ShovelHead thread starter macrumors 6502a

    76ShovelHead

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    #20
    I just discovered that my backpack weighs a ton :( and I still need to pick up a couple more binders for theses dang "loose leaf" textbooks!

    Is the extra half a kilogram of weight that the MBP carries all that noticeable in comparison to the retina Macbook?
     
  21. Xgm541 macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    That's a very subjective question. I would say no, but someone else who has a "bad back" may say yes.
     
  22. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    Jan 6, 2005
    #22
    Is it a big difference? Well, of course it's not a huge amount, however, the rMB falls under that point where it is slim and light enough that you can add it to your bag and barely notice it. The MBP, once you include the larger brick, is nearly twice the weight and volume of the rMB. It will be a noticeable difference IMO.
     
  23. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

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    #23
    WOW, impressive, I'm going to roll with the 1.3 rMB, it has the rScreen I LOVE, care less about the ports, as everything is in the Cloud,and the only thing I have plugged into the 2008 15" MBP is the power cord, and Eithernet,at home I'll use it in Clamshell mode, hooked to an OWC dock, and plug into the HDMI port on the dock to my 24 in monitor. When I travel, just the lappie goes with Power pack, sweet
     
  24. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

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    Zurich, Switzerland
    #24
    Great. Anything but the 15" rMBP will be slower than my 2012 i7 Mac Mini.
    Hopefully, the numbers will improve with Skylake - if only a tiny little bit I guess.

    Shows that it's rarely worth upgrading every generation.
     
  25. zhaoxin macrumors regular

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    Jan 28, 2015
    #25
    I have an i7 Mac mini 2012 too. It is great unless you want it together with a 4K monitor.
     

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