Should I get i7 MacBook Air or i5 2.6GHz MacBook Pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Pitusky, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. Pitusky macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2014
    I will buy a macbook but I don't know if I should choose a 8gb RAM i7 1.7GHz i7 processor with 256gb SSD Macbook Air or a 8gb RAM i5 2.6GHz processor with 256gb Flash Storage?

    Which one do you think is better?
    What is the differences?
  2. joecool99 Suspended


    Aug 20, 2008
    if you do heavy multimedia editing, get i7, basic stuff i5 is fine.
  3. Gman021 macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2012
    The processor on the MacBook Pro is superior to any in the air. For dual core, i5 and i7 are very similar. The big difference is in the quad core processors. The MacBook Pro has a full 1 ghz faster clock speed so it will perform much better.

    I know someone smarter will support or disprove what I said. I read all this somewhere but I reserve the right to be completely wrong.
  4. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    So in principle you should be right. However I have a hard time proving it. Going to geekbench it seems that the i7 Air beats the i5 retina in single core, and is very close to it in multi-core applications.

    Now we already know that clock speeds are meaningless these days. The CPU will just clock up to the maximal turbo state that the cooling can handle. So you would expect that the MBP will pull away on tasks that last longer, but I don't see that happening.

    There is also a better GPU in the Pros. I'm just comparing the dual cores here, quad core of course is a different story.
  5. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    The MacBook Air processor is faster, but the GPU in the MacBook Pro is faster.
  6. Wuiffi macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2011
    I think that depends on what one is doing with the device.
  7. thunng8 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 8, 2006
    No it is not, according to geekbench, they are similar in single core, but the MacBook Pro is faster in multi-core.

    64 bit benchmarks (single/multi)

    MacBook Air i7 1.7Ghz 3144/6152
    MacBook Pro i5 2.6Ghz 3124/6627

    Also note that the MacBook Pro has a much higher thermal headroom (28W vs 15W) so if you are doing tasks that take a long period of time, the Macbook air processor will start to throttle (since it is over it's thermal limit for a long period of time) and be significantly slower, for example even comparing the latest air vs the Ivy Bridge i5 Macbook Pro retina

    Eg. using handbrake, the air is quite a lot slower:

    Handbrake Encode (sec, lower is better)

    MacBook Air i7 1.7Ghz 122.7
    MacBook Pro i5 2.6Ghz 107

    And that is comparing the early 2013 macbook Pro with Ivy Bridge. Haswell Macbook Pro should be even fadter.
  8. Lucille Carter macrumors 65816

    Jul 3, 2013
    If the OP is concerned with performance there should be little question that he should get the MBPro. If portability is more important, he should go for the Air.
  9. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd opt for the rMBP, its a better machine all around with one exception, the battery. The MBA will have better battery life.

    Just my $.02

    Would it be because isn't the MBA using the ULV version of Haswell so even though its an i7 wouldn't it be slower?

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