Why does the processor speed drop from 2.7Ghz to 2.0Ghz in the move from the $1299 to $1499 MBP

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by neoelectronaut, Oct 31, 2016.

  1. neoelectronaut macrumors 68030


    Dec 3, 2003
    Southeastern Louisiana
    Logically shouldn't the more expensive computer have faster, better hardware?
  2. chabig macrumors 603

    Sep 6, 2002
    The new one is better/faster. Clock speed can't be directly compared across different processors.
  3. marioman38 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA
    2.0GHZ and 2.7GHZ are sort of "minimum" clock speeds. They are effectively able to "power down" to this level in order to save battery life. Imagine having a 800 horsepower ferrari but driving 35 mph down a twisty road. It is a waste of power. Both processors are able to Turbo up to even higher frequencies not directly advertised by apple, based on your current work load requirements. Another point to note, clock speed is a terrible performance measure, I have a 2005 Dual Core PowerMac G5 running at 2.3 GHZ and I would be willing to bet good money that the 1.1GHZ processor in the base model retina Macbook would run circles around it! This is due to the efficiency of each cycle.
  4. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    What marioman38 said. Intel has stated, and has been working for 7-8 years on minimizing power consumption when the CPU isn't doing anything. Apple is extending this to the rest of the system. It's the reason the Time Machine clock doesn't animate when working - wastes power. On a more serious note, why the Activity Monitor shows energy consumption by app/process. When the reviews come out with standard benchmarks, this will be born out.
  5. CultMasterEd macrumors newbie


    Aug 10, 2016
    Its really quite simple. Every processor that Intel makes is designed to work within a very specific thermal/power envelope. That is why you'll see for every family of processor, the more cores included, the lower base clock advertised. The fun part comes due to Intel's power gating, when fewer cores are required for a task, the remaining cores are able to 'Turbo' up to higher clocks so long as they stay within the aforementioned thermal/power envelope. Its a simple balancing act.
    As to Marioman38's analogy, clock speeds between different families of processors aren't an apples to apples comparison, but comparing a modern Skylake CPU to a PowerMac G5 CPU is way out of line, we're comparing a dual core to a quad core from the same product line, so yes, clock speeds do compare directly.
  6. tha_man macrumors member


    Apr 4, 2016
    If that animated Time Machine icon was really such a power waste, IMO they should have replaced the programmer, not the icon :)
  7. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    I bet Apple found that some people stopped using their Macs while the Time Machine clock was spinning. "Oh no, Time Machine is backing up. I better let it finish before I touch the Mac".
  8. blueruck macrumors member

    Oct 14, 2008
    You can use the laptop while it is backing up? Damn my productivity just doubled :)
  9. fred_garvin macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2003
    Intel makes 4 lines of laptop cpus. They refer to them as U, Y, H, and one other. Basically, the power draw is the biggest differentiator.

    4.5w - MacBook 12" - Fanless
    15w - Was used in MacBook Air line
    28w - Was used in old 13" pro lines
    45w - Quad core, used in 15" lines

    The Air is gone now and Apple now uses the 15w cpu in the lower end 2016 13" pros. The 2.0 Skylake gives about the same, probably a little better performance than the old 2.7. Its branding, but the $1499 13" today is really more of a next generation 13" Air. This CPU difference is also why there are only 2 thunderbolt ports vs 4 on the models that use the 28w chip / Touch bar.

    Intel causes confusion because the launch of a generation like Kaby lake is spread over a large amount of time. The launch of the first SKU and the date when the whole set of SKUs is available is so long, that it overlaps into the start of the launch of the next generation.

    This will only get worse. The Cannonlake line, the first at 10nm will only include the 4.5w and 15w models. We will wait another generation, until Ice lake to see 28w and 45w chips at 10nm. So, intel announced Coffee lake, the 4th iteration of 14nm, which will have the 28w and 45w chips.

    Ice lake is probably Q1 2019, so Intel has stumbled badly the past few years. Its all the more amazing to see the gains the ARM designers have been making in comparison.

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8 October 31, 2016