Worth upgrading m3 -> i5?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Tanax, Jun 9, 2017.

  1. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #1
    Is it worth upgrading the m3 to i5 on the low-tier model (256 GB SSD)?
    Adds an extra $100 to its base price.

    Will be using computer for general browsing, web development (without VMs or at most only 1 VM) and hopefully some light gaming. Figured I won't need 16 GB RAM for only 1 occasional VM and 8 GB is more than enough for browsing with Safari, even when having lots of tabs open. 256 GB SSD works fine for me as well, mostly using cloud storage for everything that takes up a lot of space.

    So it's mainly the processor I'm curious about.
    Also; Is the GPU performance between m3 and i5 different? I see they both use HD 615 but are they clocked differently? Huge difference?
     
  2. BlackMamba14 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    #2
    Wondering the same thing. Most of the articles online are all based on the m3
     
  3. C64 macrumors 65816

    C64

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    #3
    I was planning on the m3, because with the 2016 model you couldn't upgrade to the m5 without also upgrading the expensive SSD. Now that you can upgrade just the CPU I took a gamble and went for the i5 instead of the m3. In past years the speed difference was clear and for many uses noticeable between the m3 and m5, but less so between the m5 and m7, so I'm assuming/hoping the same is true for the m3/i5. Whether I really need it and will actually notice it, I don't know, but since I'll be using this machine for hopefully many years I'll take the extra speed for a, to me, reasonable price.

    There are a few benchmarks out there, but most of them don't seem all that reliable. Most of these Macs will be arriving next week so we'll have to wait a bit longer for more data points.
     
  4. Tanax thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #4
    Thanks for your replies.
    Hopefully when you get the i5 model, or if someone already got it, you/they can post their findings here.

    Also might be worth saying that I will probably upgrade this machine to newer generations in maximum of 2 years.
     
  5. psymac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #5
    Check out this thread

    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/2017-early-geekbench-scores-seem-strange.2049957/

    Looks so far that the i5 is coming up with even lower Geekbench scores than the m3, no i7 scores yet. So, the base m3 seems to be the best bargain with over 20% better scores over 2016 m3 and even faster than the 2016 m7.
     
  6. Esquire1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    #6
    I'm wondering with this 2017 MacBook update, if the 2017 M3 MacBook is the same or similar to the 2016 M5 MacBook. If so, I might as well grab a 2017 M3 instead of a used 2016 M5.
     
  7. BlackMamba14 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    #7
    The other difference is the updated keyboard if that matters.
     
  8. Tanax thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 15, 2011
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    Stockholm, Sweden
    #8
    Is there a difference in clock speed for the Intel HD 615 in m3 vs i5?
     
  9. ColdShadow macrumors 65816

    ColdShadow

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    #9
    tough decision..
    2017 m3 256GB
    OR
    2016 m5 512GB (new)
    I can get either around the same price.

    512GB definitely nice and useful but 256GB isn't end of the world.

    reading the other thread it seems 2017 m3 outperforms 2016 m5 even m7 but how realiable those scores are at this point?

    If it was 2016 I wouldn't consider the m3 at all no matter what.
    but could the 2017 m3 really improved so much that it can easily beat 2016 m5 and m7?
     
  10. Gaprofitt macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    #10
    The 2017 i5 will be faster than the 2016 m3 or m5, or the 2017 m3, people trying to justify not buying the faster processor, not saying it's worth it, but it's faster.
     
  11. Tanax thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #11
    If the Macbook had TB3 I would probably get it but seeing as the price different for base 13" MBP TouchBar was only about 26% more expensive, I bit the bullet and got the MBP instead.

    Planning on replacing my, now 5 y.o, gaming PC with this MBP + external GPU via TB3, something that would've been impossible with the Macbook, requiring me to get another computer in addition to the Macbook.
     
  12. psymac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #12
    Yes.

     
  13. ColdShadow macrumors 65816

    ColdShadow

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    #13
    any source?
    from what I read and based on benchmarks, the 2017 M3 is very similar to 2016 M5 and definitely not noticeably faster.
     
  14. psymac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #14
    My 2016 m5: 3144/6215

    2017 m3 about 3500/6700 and with twice as fast SSD, better GPU, newer keyboard.
     
  15. ColdShadow macrumors 65816

    ColdShadow

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    #15
    the slightly faster score is believed by many to be due to faster SSD and not the actual CPU..also these GB scores are not definitive.
     
  16. malko macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2014
    #16
    Those "many" don't understand how Geekbench works in that case. SSD speeds won't impact the results.

    Based on what benchmarks?
     

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