Worth the extra 250$?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by davmcn, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. davmcn macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2011

    I know there's tones of posts about this, I just wanted to know. Is paying 250 for the 2.3 instead of the 2.2 ? I know the graphics card is the same, this is just a slightly faster processor, Or am I wrong ?

  2. sandylp macrumors regular


    Jul 10, 2004
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I found this on one of the other threads:

    "It's not just the 100MHz speed boost, it's also the greater L3 cache.

    The primary difference, aside from the ever-so-slightly increased clock, is that the 2.2 Ghz chip is the Core i7 2720QM processor, where the 2.3 Ghz is the Core i7 2820QM processor... you can see the comparison at Intel's site here: http://ark.intel.com/Compare.aspx?ids=52227,50067,

    The 2820QM has 8MB Shared L3 Cache, vs 6MB in the 2720QM; additionally, the 2820QM will turbo 3.4 Ghz instead of 3.3 Ghz."
  3. macagain macrumors regular

    Jan 1, 2002
    I used a very simple, though probably ridiculous test... could I think of a better way to spend $250 or was there something else I'd rather have than the extra 0.1 Ghz (or optimistically 4.55% performance improvement)? I came up with lots of other things I prefer to have for $250, so I passed on it...

    On the hi-rez, I couldn't think of a better way to spend $100-150, so I went with it. $500 for SSD... well that was a little harder, but ultimately I thought the $500 made a significant enough diff... (like a < 3 petal spin boot!) so I went with it too.

    The $250 cpu upgrade might have brought me a 2s improvement on my compiles which run around 45s (down from around 1m 50s on my 2.53 C2D)... it did not pass the test.
  4. NickZac macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    Depending what you do, the larger cache will make a difference. I see a substantial difference with the 2.3 over the 2.2 that colleagues have when working large databases. For some users, getting the 2.3 is a waste of money, and for many people, the 2.0 is more than substantial if you aren't worried about graphics (which I am not but wanted the 8m 2.3 and figured why not get it all since I use my comp so much). Also, the CPU in the 2.3, the 2820QM as stated, actually costs about $200 more than the 2.2, making it a near $700 CPU. Least you know if you get it that it is a better value than the former C2D $200 'upgrades' that were literally like $20 from one chip to the other.

    It seems the 2.3 is about a 5% performance over the 2.2...it may not sound like a lot but for computers that isn't anything to laugh at IMO, as a 30% speed increase is often hailed as being revolutionary. $250 for 5% speed increase IMO isn't too badly priced, especially since the CPU you are getting truly costs $200+ to buy. If you are on a budget, absolutely get the 2.2 or 2.0 as these things run circles around virtually any computer made to date and you won't be hurting for performance. If you don't mind spending a bit more, get the 2.3...either way however, get a SSD :)
  5. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3


    Feb 10, 2011
    The retail price difference between the two chips is about $200. Is anything else upgraded with the 2.3?
  6. davmcn thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2011
    I'm a student doing video editing 24/7, and I manage a lot of data daily. Think it's worth it ?
  7. NickZac macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    Personally, yes. But I am biased as I also employ the theology of 'expensive computers will usually be kept for longer periods of time, so you might as well buy the most advanced parts that cannot be replaced to maximize the time it remains modern, hence theoretically extending it's realistic service life'.

    For what I do, the 2.3 makes quite a difference, which I assume is related to the higher cache.
  8. MacBookPr0 macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2011
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    IMO don't do it, it not a big enough diff to justify
  9. cirus, Apr 19, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011

    cirus macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
    Spend the money somewhere else (screen).

    Minimal speed difference. It will run hotter too under load. 5% speed difference is really not that much. Instead of something taking 1 hour to do it will take an hour and 4 minutes.

    Use the money for the next computer.

    When sandy bridge came out the most basic version i7 2630qm blew the socks off the most advanced previous version i7 940XM (for quad core processors). It was as good in the tests or better. The lowest quad core from the second generation beat the best quad core from the previous generation.
    Ivy Bridge is supposed to be 20% faster than sandy bridge for computing the integrated graphics are to be 30% better.

    But whatever, if you need it you need it.

    If I really needed the horsepower, I would build a cheap desktop PC but this may not be possible.
  10. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3


    Feb 10, 2011
    You bring up a good point about heat. I've looked at the 2.3 in both the 15" and 17" at two different Apple stores and in both cases the 2.3 felt noticeably hotter to the touch than the 2.2 or 2.0.
  11. NickZac macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    My 2.3 is the coolest running laptop I have ever owned...chillin at 131 now and I am doing regression analysis on the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)...with all 800,000+ values...
  12. kappaknight macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2009
    If there is already a TON (or as you put it, tones) of posts about this, why else do you need to know? If I recall, most said the money is not worth it and that it can be better spent elsewhere.

    I think paying for a spell checker or grammar checker may be worth it.
  13. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020


    Oct 1, 2008
    Tampa, FL
    Never thought much about the heat as I've compared max temps with various 2.2 in the repasting thread and 88C is usually my max with my 2.3
  14. adrian1480 macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2010

    it's not worth it unless you're doing something that constantly maxes the processor.

    those who can benefit:

    -Engineers who work in AutoCAD or similar
    -Film editors who spend a lot of time working in Premiere/Final Cut
    -Audio professionals who work with dozens of audio tracks simultaneously
    -Consumers who spend a lot of time encoding/transcoding audio/video
    -Graphics professionals who work with Maya/3DSMax or similar

    I might be missing a few niche communities, but that's really it. If you don't fall into one of those categories, you're wasting money by buying a faster processor. Don' do it.

    The biggest upgrade you can make to any computer these days is by adding more RAM and a SSD drive.
  15. xdbuix macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2008
    no. Instead use the money on upgrading the ram. Much cheaper and awesome!
  16. Pentad macrumors 6502a


    Nov 26, 2003

    I have to agree with NickZac.

    You know, about every time I see a post by NickZac I think 'that is exactly what I would have written'. :) Strange, either I am thinking more like you or you are thinking more like me (God, help you!).

  17. davmcn thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2011
    2.3Ghz it is.
  18. NickZac macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    If for no other reason, it seems that the 2.3 runs the coolest of all of the MBPs judging by what I have been reading on here...


    Rock On! :D

    We are Mac Homies...it's a bond with unusual dynamics that is poorly understood but still fun :p

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