Which would you buy? slower 4 core or faster 2 core 13"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ls1dreams, Jul 3, 2017.


Which chip for standard 13" use?

  1. Lower speed quad core

    20 vote(s)
  2. Higher speed dual core

    12 vote(s)
  1. ls1dreams macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2009

    With Coffee Lake around the corner, and a potential 15w quad core chip, I'm curious if you were given this option, which would you buy for a 13" macbook?

    15w quad core, lower single threaded ipc/cpu speed (i.e. 4 x 2.0ghz), or
    28w dual core, higher single threaded ipc/cpu speed (i.e. 2 x 3.5ghz)

    My usage is pretty boring lately with mostly web browsing, media playback, etc. I do plan to dabble in some code though, where a quad core might be more useful for compiling Swift in Xcode.
  2. jerryk macrumors 68040

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    Quad core for me, but that little power will not meet my performance needs. The quad i7 is better for me. And 15 inch display.
  3. itsamacthing macrumors 6502a

    Sep 26, 2011
    Depends on your use.. a lot of apps are not multithreaded. If you only browse the internet and do email..get an iPad Pro
  4. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I am more then sure that 15W quad cores will have higher single-threaded throughput than the current dual cores.

    In a hypothetical situation you describe, I'd obviously choose the one with better single-threaded performance. A 15 W CPU that's sacrifices single-thread for multithread would of be a very narrow product. Not even sure about its niche. Low-powered multi-CPU servers?
  5. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    My use case needs no more than dual core simple as that.
  6. SteveJUAE macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2015
    Land of Smiles
    Hardly any quad core aps more of benchmark appeal than IRL especially for your usage
  7. OneMike macrumors 603


    Oct 19, 2005
  8. ls1dreams thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2009
    You're definitely wrong on this. All of the 15w TDP chips right now have a similar burst speed, but not a sustained speed. Geekbench and similar synthetic benchmarks right now are an abysmal test of these chips.

    Reference- Linus Torvalds: http://www.realworldtech.com/forum/?threadid=136526&curpostid=136666

    The 2.0-2.4ghz macbook non-touch models right now essentially have macbook air like performance, or macbook pro like performance from 4-5 years ago.

    As much as I'd love quad core, at this point I'd probably stick with a better dual core machine.
  9. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    You are perfectly right, but I think that you are also kind of missing the point. Your question was about Coffee Lake. First of all, we don't really know how the Coffee Lake configs will look like. If Intel is really introducing 15W quad-cores, then I am fairly sure that they will completely phase out dual-core models to begin with (save for maybe far low end). I don't see a point in a consumer 15W quad-core CPU, if it sacrifices single-threaded throughput. Most likely what we'll have is quad-core 15W, quad-core 28W and then hexa-core 45W CPUs. And all of them will have better single-threaded throughput (burst and substance) than current generation.
  10. TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    This reminds me of the old days on the notebookreview forums when the hot topic back then for gaming laptops was either to choose between the faster clocked Intel core 2 dual cores like the P9600(2 Cores, 2.66 Ghz) or the slower clocked core 2 quad Q9000(4 cores, 2.00 Ghz).
  11. poematik13 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2014
    it depends on if your use cases need a faster clock speed or more cores to spread out rendering tasks.

    the current 13" tMBP has a nice 3.5ghz dual i7
  12. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Which quickly became a non-issue as turbo boost entered the stage :)
  13. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    Why does everyone keep giving this garbage advice? Some people simply prefer the laptop form factor with a real keyboard pointer and all.

    By extension, just get an iPhone if all you do is check email and browse the web right?
  14. FrozenDarkness macrumors 65816

    Mar 21, 2009
    you know what? I wouldn't be surprised if apple won't even put quad core chips into the 13" mbp. I bet Intel puts crappy graphics solutions into the 4 core chips for thermal reasons and apple just completely skip by them because they want to get the iris pros.
  15. NBAasDOGG macrumors 6502


    May 27, 2017
    "With Coffee Lake around the corner"? lol
    You do realize that Coffee Lake with Iris 740/750 for MacBooks won't be ready in 2017! Most probably Q1 or Q2 2018...

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