Which Processor Configuration is Better?

jmine83

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 9, 2011
50
0
1. 2.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i7
2. 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7

Which processor is better? Explain your reasoning.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,419
758
Most average users won't notice any difference in performance between the two. Those that would notice already know which they need.
 

jmine83

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 9, 2011
50
0
People who need to ask this question generally don't care about the answer. You probably just browse the internet, listen to music, and do "some video or photo editing."
Believe me I care. I run Parallels and multiple virtual machines. I am asking this because I am seriously considering buying the latest MCP with Retina Display that has 256 GB flash storage. There is a guy in my town who just bought one and is selling it at a steep discount and I'm wondering if it is significantly better than my 2010 MCP with 17 inch screen, 512 GB SSD, and 8 GB memory. On the whole, the specs look nearly the same between my MCP and the latest MCP except with regards to the processor and graphics specs. Therefore that where the real comparison comes down to.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,419
758
Believe me I care. I run Parallels and multiple virtual machines. I am asking this because I am seriously considering buying the latest MCP with Retina Display that has 256 GB flash storage. There is a guy in my town who just bought one and is selling it at a steep discount and I'm wondering if it is significantly better than my 2010 MCP with 17 inch screen, 512 GB SSD, and 8 GB memory. On the whole, the specs look nearly the same between my MCP and the latest MCP except with regards to the processor and graphics specs. Therefore that where the real comparison comes down to.
You still won't likely notice any difference. Running VMs is more RAM intensive than it is processor intensive.
 

mac jones

macrumors 68040
Apr 6, 2006
3,257
1
I understand your question, as most people here wonder about this at some point (some a lot :D ).

The Quad is much faster. The dual will start to win the race when it's something like , 2GHZ quad vs 3GHZ dual. Then you are probably evenly matched.

Mind you, i'm guessing, and don't really know diddly. But over the years you get a feeling. There are a lot of arguments, most of them about threads, and multitasking. But this has been going to for a while

Everyone jump in (on me) please :D
 

tninety

macrumors regular
Apr 18, 2010
244
5
Banned!
Because of Turbo Boost, the quad core is absolutely faster in pretty much all situations. The "do I get a slow quad core or fast dual core" problem was exactly what Turbo Boost was designed to solve.

If the quad core runs into a situation where the dual core would perform better at stock clocks (heavy single or dual threaded applications), it is generally smart enough to turbo boost itself up to 3.3 GHz. The dual core's max turbo speed is also 3.3 GHz.
 

Speedy Gonzalez

macrumors regular
Jun 12, 2012
153
10
Alligator Bayou
1-the most expensive because the most expensive things are better :D

2-the one with bigger numbers because bigger is better :p

3-you don't need 2.6ghz because you won't notice the difference on 99% of tasks you do on your computer blah blah blah

4- get whatever makes you happy and you can afford no matter what people think be happy :)
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,164
1,209
NYC
The quad core will be faster for your VMs and such. It's just things like Excel worksheets, they'll probably be evenly matched.
 

262Runnr

macrumors regular
Jul 21, 2008
212
9
NC
...keep in mind also that a Quad Core will generate more heat and use more battery. Better is a subjective thing, buy what you need.
 

playsontheleft

macrumors regular
Jul 2, 2012
126
0
...keep in mind also that a Quad Core will generate more heat and use more battery. Better is a subjective thing, buy what you need.
That's true, but the Apple laptops with quad-core processors all have batteries sufficiently large to compensate for the more power-hungry processor, so the battery life is actually roughly the same from what I've heard. But valid point on the heat.
 

derbothaus

macrumors 601
Jul 17, 2010
4,060
4
The quad is 2x as fast. If the i7 dual you are referring to is Arrandale M620 the Quad 3615QM boosts to the same 3.3GHz so single thread they are matched. Everything else the Quad shreds it handily.
Geekbench 32-bit:
M620: 5420
3615QM: 10900

----------

That's true, but the Apple laptops with quad-core processors all have batteries sufficiently large to compensate for the more power-hungry processor, so the battery life is actually roughly the same from what I've heard. But valid point on the heat.
Also you idle well below the clock speeds listed. They are amazingly power efficient. More so than all chips before them + the die shrink helps maintain cooler temps.
 

thermodynamic

Suspended
May 3, 2009
1,340
1,175
USA
1. 2.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i7
2. 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7

Which processor is better? Explain your reasoning.
Even if you do video processing,

get the 2.3GHz model.

A 300MHz boost, for the added cost, is not worth the money. Practical results for CPU-intensive tasks are not there... especially with Photoshop and more now using the GPU for effects processing, get the best GPU possible for the money... if the higher-end BTO has a higher GPU, then definitely get that.

On the plus side, the maximum power draw by the rMBP is ~83W, lower than the 85W maximum... so the CPU won't throttle itself down over power issues.

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Apple-MacBook-Pro-15-Retina-2-3-GHz-Mid-2012.78959.0.html