rMBP 13": Keep the i5 or return for i7?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ~Achilles~, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. ~Achilles~ macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2013
    Hello, new to the forum, 2nd time Macbook user in a bit of a dilemma. I have spent the past few days searching this forum and others on the topic, but have yet to have found a conclusive answer.

    First things first:

    Currently 4 days into my 14 day cool-off/return period after purchasing a 13" MBP retina i5, 256, 8gb.

    USES: General browsing, streaming, etc. But also will be working with 24mb RAW photos & JPEG editing in apps such as Lightroom & photoshop. Possibly some gaming too. I wont be doing heavy video editing, but would like to work with 5+ minute 720-1080p clips editing and adding music, etc.

    It'll cost me £150 in total (including travel & upgrade) to return the MBP and get the i7. But I'm concerned about a few things:

    1. Battery & heat: What is the score on this? Is it noticeably affected by the i7 as opposed to the i5? I'm talking general use, Ive read the i7 runs at higher frequencies regardless. Battery is an important factor since I travel with work, to move to something noticeably less wouldnt be good.

    2. Performance: Am I likely to really notice the change? I dont mind video/photo editing taking slightly longer, but I dont want to be limited to the point that everything freezes up and crashes (like with my old cMBP, 4gb, i3). I have heard people say that the difference is minimal unless you're a HEAVY user. What qualifies as a heavy user?

    3. vs Maxed out Air: My original purchase was going to be an 11" 2013 Air, 8gb, 256-5gb, i7. How would the i5 pro compare? Im I getting the same performance as I wouldve? (this would help ease my stress as I would simply look at the i7 as an upgrade I wouldnt have missed)

    3. Is it worth it? I'm telling myself to be happy with what I have. This is the best machine Ive ever used so far. But I dont want to come to next year and wish I'd just forked out the extra. But then I could say the same about the Quad core 15" too (that might be my next dilemma if I fork out for the i7!!). I COULD go and get the i7 this weekend. But it just means I have to travel to get it, take extra care not to do too much with the one I have (just incase of damage, etc) and I couldve done with the extra cash this weekend for other things.

    Is the i5 going to hold me back or is it a good, lasting all-rounder? Will this be enough for photo editing the size files Im going to be working with? And what is the verdict on the extra power consumption?

    Thank you all in advance!
  2. sonicrobby macrumors 68020


    Apr 24, 2013
    New Orleans
    I dont think you would notice too much a difference between the two. I cant say for sure, but I usually cant tell between small upgrades in CPUs. A dual core to the quad core, you would definitely notice, but a dual core i5 to dual core i7, Im not too sure its worth the money. But thats just my opinion, wait and see what more experienced users of this upgrade have to say.

    Though the geekbench scores between the 2 computers seem to be 1000 points different.
  3. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030


    Mar 22, 2011
    Tokyo, Japan
    From your usage, i5 should be enough.
    i7 is when you do video editing, rendering, gaming, and more CPU intensive stuff.
    What you listed should be enough with i5.
  4. ~Achilles~, Jul 31, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013

    ~Achilles~ thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2013
    Was great until you mentioned the bolded lol. now leaning more to i7 :S

    thanks for the reply though

    Many thanks, i will be doing some video editing, but I dont mind so much that it may take a little longer here or there. What I was most concerned about was having it lock up completely. My old cMBP used to do that within about 2 minutes of footage, forcing me to close down losing all progress. basically makes creating videos impossible.

    How much would you say I'd be limited gaming wise? Could I play something like COD or Battlefield on medium settings on one, but not on the other?
  5. ~Achilles~ thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2013
    Also; Any info on the battery & heat?

    If the i7 definitely runs hotter and takes up noticeably more battery on normal use this would be a deal breaker
  6. sonicrobby macrumors 68020


    Apr 24, 2013
    New Orleans

    Haha sorry, but in terms of money vs scores, Im not sure 150 pounds is worth the 1000 points. As for the gaming, how is it now on your current i5? Because Im not sure how well either will perform without a dGPU on either the i5 or i7. Though Im sure some videos on youtube show demos of those games on certain 13" rMBPs

    As far as battery or heat, again, dont think there is too much of a difference, maybe a few minutes less in battery life of the i7, a slightly higher heat production, but not too distinguishable from the i5 heat Id say.

    I would say keep what you have, I dont think you will regret not getting the i7, and if you did regret it, I would definitely say you would probably have the same complaints with the i7 as you would with the i5
  7. fskywalker macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2009
    I think the remorse will only go away if you upgrade, since deep inside that is what you want ! :D

    Seriously, if you can afford it, do the upgrade, you will not be able to do that upgrade for that amount of money after the exchange period, unless you sell your machine as used and buy a new one or refurbished ata a later time.
  8. ~Achilles~ thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2013
    Honestly I really havent done much outside of browing and watching a few movies. Trying not to personalise it too much if Im not gonna keep it. I should check out some gaming videos tonight though. I think Im just being stupid, its still more powerful than the maxed out Air I was originally going to get so its not like Im missing out. Already feeling heat after a little while using the current one. Wouldnt be happy with anymore heat!

    If I knew of something else I could blow that money on it'd leave me with no choice anyway, and less stress :D
  9. ~Achilles~ thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2013
    interesting article here. i5 comes out on top overall


    "Even if the i5 processors have a slight lead in many exercises in terms of performance, the i7-620M CPU reveals itself as being especially energy devouring. The CPU treats itself to about 15W more, with up to 64.7W under load, than the i5 colleagues. The test system also needs around 10W more in idle mode with 30W than the configuration with a Core i5 chip."

    "If you consider the criteria price, performance and power consumption, the Intel Core i5 should be exposed as the obvious winner. You can get the considerably stronger Core i5-520M starting at 225 dollars (compare: Intel P8700 209 dollars)."
  10. dsciel, Jul 31, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013

    dsciel macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2011
    I went from a quad core retina 15 to a dual core retina 13... The CPU is definitely become slower. But Dual core to dual core really doesn't increase that much. Even you went to do the upgrade, you may come back with a machine that feels the same to you, but you lose the money.. Right now, the retina 13 is too weak(no quad core, no 16GB ram, no dGPU, etc). I would say keep the machine now and wait until like next year when there is a more powerful 13 inch retina comes available.

    p.s. The retina 13 runs hot easily on the keyboards and the 15 inch is much cooler. However, I think the air is even worse and slower due to the design
  11. B... macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2013
    There is no quad core retina 13".
  12. KeepCalmPeople macrumors 65816


    Sep 5, 2012
    San Francisco Bay Area, California
    I think he made a typo. I think his point was that going from quad core to dual core or vice-versa is much more noticeable than an incremental change in clock speed on a dual core processor...
  13. Sammorama macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2013
    I've got the i5 2.6 retina - it runs Lightroom 5 well although I'm shooting 16mp files and don't have huge catalogues.

    Images look incredible on the display too :)
  14. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    To make it short

    1. Not really, though the battery will drain quicker under load

    2. No

    3. Its likely that you won't notice any difference in performance between the Air and the 13" rMBP. Actually, for big files editing the Air might be faster, because it has a much faster storage system.

    4. No :) You will be paying lot of money for a few percent improvement in theoretical performance. Its unlikely that you will actually push your CPU so hard for prolonged time that these few percents will matter.
  15. twingo macrumors regular

    Jul 3, 2009
    These "returning-****" makes computers more expensive.
    Why can't people think and use forums like this, before they enter the shop?

    We all have to pay for this mindless folks. :mad:
  16. ~Achilles~ thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2013
    Thanks everyone for the info. just what I needed to hear. I'm keeping the one I have. it's beautiful machine

    don't get me wrong, that's also a big reason why I didn't want to return it. Plus I would feel like an ass for someone ending up with a practically used laptop after I'd used it and returned it. main aim of the post was to make me realise I was being stupid. also didnt realise I was given the i5 until I'd left the shop when it clicked that it cost the same as the air I was looking at. (dumb I know!) I just thought I'd give it a go.

    anyway, I'm keeping this machine either way :)
  17. fskywalker macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2009
    Don't worry for "them", since they are the ones who bennefit from returns, buying practically new equipment, same as new warranty, at discount prices!

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