Should I get the i7

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jj97101, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. jj97101 macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2012
    So am going to buy a 13 inch MacBook Air with a 256GB SSD and 8GB of RAM. Just wondering if I should upgrade to the i7. Normally my needs would be met by the i5 but I would also like to use my MacBook to run X-Plane ( I know it won't run fast but I've seen some YouTube videos where they test it out and it looks fine and those were on the 2010 and 2011 Airs) flight simulators use a lot of processing power so that was why I was wondering if I should upgrade.
    Thanks in advance.
  2. stchman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2012
    St. Louis, MO
    Depends on what you're going to do. I would personally spend the money on the 8GB RAM over the upgraded processor. The differences are minimal i5 vs. i7 in day to day tasks.
  3. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    May 4, 2012
  4. atMac macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2011
    Saying 'yes' before the point of learning what he wants to do just implies you like to throw away money on things you don't need.

    I do all my work and run VM's with out needing an i7. Even more so when many Core2's still do what people want. Even P4's.
  5. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    May 4, 2012
    People don't need a 2012 MBA, either. Why 'throw away money' on that? Why didn't you lecture him? What's your point?
  6. jj97101 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2012
    I will probably use boot camp for windows. I will be using my computer for school, so I'll be using adobe creative suite, Photoshop, illustrator, Dreamweaver etc. I'll be doing some light video editing and MS office stuff, PowerPoint, Word etc. my main question was whether I should get the i7 for the extra processing power for flight simulator or would the i5 be fine, I know the i5 will be ok for everything else I do, just worried about X-Plane. Also if I bootcamp will I be able to run Microsoft flight simulator or does the system suffer a performance hit when I change OS.
  7. Mjmar macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2008
    If you're already getting the 256gb version it's probably worth it. I got it just so that I wouldn't regret not getting it. Will I use the extra power? Probably not. But there is a noticeable jump in speed for CPU intensive stuff.
  8. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Or it means you want the fastest MBA and don't mind spending $100 more to get it.... :confused:
  9. dyn macrumors 68030

    Aug 8, 2009
    From what I've read X-Plane likes 2 things: multiple cpus/cores and powerful gpus. It is a multithreaded game and therefore benefits from multiple cpus/cores but some part of it require the gpu. The gpu in the MBA is quite good but not that good. I'm not sure what it'll do with the gpu or with the additional 200MHz cpu power and 1MB of cache the i7 offers. You may want to investigate that further.
  10. jj97101 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2012
    Forgot to mention earlier, am planning to play X-Plane 9 as I already have it. Might download the X-Plane 10 demo and then maybe buy it later if it runs well, so the question is about X-Plane 9 not 10 if that helps.
  11. Retina MacBook macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2012
    Not getting i7 defeats the purpose of having an 8GB of RAM. I say,go get them.
  12. jvmxtra macrumors 65816


    Sep 21, 2010
    i7 on tiny notebook? no.. just get i5 .. it's really all you need. You need something more powerful, then get desktop(aka imac)
  13. doubletap macrumors regular

    Jan 2, 2009
    Ashburn, VA
    I had that same choice when I ordered my 13" Air.. Ultimately I went with the i7, 8GB and 256GB.

    It's "only" a $100 (or $90) upgrade and I feel that I can always not use something I have, but if I don't have it I definitely can't use it.

  14. isrefel macrumors member

    Jul 8, 2012
    I opted for the i7, for a little more computational 'crunch' in Adobe creative suite. It works like a charm, and its blazing fast. I am absolutely happy with my purchase.

    I'm not familiar with the application you're talking about, but if its processor intensive, and you can spare the extra $100, I'd say its worth it.
  15. Wokis macrumors regular

    Jul 3, 2012
    Stockholm, Sweden
    And how exactly does it do that? Lol. Ridiculous. Both CPUs are definitly in the same ballpark.

    OP. I'd suggest you actually go with the i7 for that purpose. If you want it to run as smoothly as possible and are already set on going for the 256GB model, then yeah.
  16. logatron macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2012
    Note that you are going to take a hit in battery life, sometimes significant, if you upgrade to the i7, according to AnandTech's test results. In the medium workload test, the i5 lasted a half hour longer than the i7.

    If battery life is important to you, then I'd suggest going for the i5, as you're likely to be happy enough with its performance. I personally got the i5/8 GB/256 GB configuration, and I am very, very happy with how it's been performing. I run a VM, and the computer hardly breaks a sweat.
  17. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    His point is that other posters at least give a rationale behind why they recommend or discourage a particular upgrade path. You just gave a "yes", what do you expect us to make of it?
  18. Knightimer macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2012
    I wanted the 8 gig / 256SSD configuration. For my needs, I don't care about 30 mins less time. I do care about the extra power even if its minimal. Also, for an extra 90.00 for the upgrade, I thought the cost/benefit was worth it.
  19. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    May 4, 2012
    The OP already knows his workload could benefit from a faster CPU, i.e., he doesn't need any more rationale. He is simply looking for other people to confirm that spending another 6.6% ($100) is the right choice.
  20. Jobsian macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2009
    If X-plane is going to be a priority app then get the i7. If not, and you don't intend on pushing the processor for sustained lengths of time, definitely i5 (better battery).

    I went for the i7 but if I had known about Anandtech's battery benches beforehand, it would have certainly been i5.
  21. jj97101 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2012
    Thanks this post probably answers my question the best. It won't be a main app, I already have a gaming desktop for Microsoft Flight Sim so it was really just to play X-Plane, I've played it on a 4 year old iMac and it runs fine so I think the i5 will suit my needs, thanks for all the answers everyone.
  22. jj97101 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2012
    Sorry to dredge up an old topic but I have a few questions,

    1. When you play games does your CPU turbo boost? The minimum specifications for X-Plane are a 2.0 GHZ CPU, the 1.8 i5 obviously isn't 2.0 but because of turbo boost would the processor run at 2.8?

    2. This is a bit unrelated but I am looking for a leather sleeve for my MacBook but something where I just shove it in but nothing to cover the 'hole' that I put the MacBook in. Does anyone know of a case like that?
  23. Jiten macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2008
    Hmm, I would personally save up a bit more to get both options. :)
  24. Wokis macrumors regular

    Jul 3, 2012
    Stockholm, Sweden
    What performance is at 2.0 GHz will vary from architecture to architecture. Ivy bridge (in the MBA) is the latest crop of Intel processors and can handle more IPC (instructions per clock) than what the previous generation Sandy Bridge could, and it is way faster than than say a 2.13GHz Core2Duo.

    Thus a 2.0GHz requirement in their sheet is an extremely vague requirement. It's a very basic guideline unless they specify what processor they mean.

    Turbo boost is a tricky feature that sure will clock the CPU higher than the 1.8GHz value, but it's depending on other factors such as how much power the chip (including graphics) is using. If the chip is close to exceeding it's thermal envelope it will not turbo boost as far or perhaps not turbo boost at all. A situation where the HD4000 is under heavy load (i.e. gaming) will likely lead to that the CPU does smaller boosts than it would otherwise.

    Furthermore the highest turbo boost clock (2.8) is only achievable with one core active, the other must be put in a "rested" state (by the OS/EFI). Your flight simulator will put load on both cores so the highest turbo will simply not kick in.

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