Yet another MBA 2020 i5 vs i7 question

Muyfa666

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 5, 2019
87
45
Sweden
Yes, I am getting a MBA 2020. The config will be a 16gb ram/512gb ssd, but I can't really decide on the CPU.

As I understand it, both the i5 and the i7 runs at TDP 10W, so they will both throttle when we reach that limit, but with that said, which one would run hotter? In my mind, the throttle of the i7 should still have it run cooler than the i5 due to the higher capacity sort to speak, or am I wrong?

I know i5's usually run cooler, but I don't think that's the case when comparing at the same TDP?

And no, to wait for the new MBP Pro is not an option. Not that I cannot wait, but for the reason I actually want the MBA for it's lovely form factor.

This new MBA have more or less everything I ever wanted in a Macbook. :)
 

Saturn007

macrumors 6502
Jul 18, 2010
405
134
Great questions! Count me in among those who will be follow this thread.

——————————

By the way, is there any way for a MacRumors user to turn off the display of other people's avatars? That skull is really creepy and distracting. Lots of people love that stuff — de gustibus non est disputandum — but it turns off others, so an option to hide avatars, entirely or selectively would be welcome!
 
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desvdp

macrumors newbie
Mar 24, 2020
3
0
Well, with the TDP being 10W for both, they will run equally hot when running in throttled mode.
The bigger question is how much lifting they can do before getting throttled. I'm guessing the i7 will be capable of handling the same load in shorter burst of power; resulting in more cycles before hitting the throttle point, or likewise I expect it to run cooler under te same load when executed over the same timespan.
As this is almost impossible to test, I too am anxiously waiting for a benchmark... to make the same choice.
 

Muyfa666

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 5, 2019
87
45
Sweden
Great questions! Count me in among those who will be follow this thread.

——————————

By the way, is there any way for a MacRumors user to turn off the display of other people's avatars? That skull is really creepy and distracting. Lots of people love that stuff — de gustibus non est disputandum — but it turns off others, so an option to hide avatars, entirely or selectively would be welcome!
OT: If a comic book skull offends you, I'd say the internet as a whole is a place where you will get offended ALOT, no offense!

That said, avatar changed.
 

Muyfa666

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 5, 2019
87
45
Sweden
What workloads do you anticipate doing on the device?
For me, it's very simple. I'll surf the web, listen to music, watch some videos, some light gaming like ScummVM, Cave Story, Monkey Island. I will run dual boot via Boot Camp thou.
 

mick2

macrumors regular
Oct 5, 2017
115
101
UK
For me, it's very simple. I'll surf the web, listen to music, watch some videos, some light gaming like ScummVM, Cave Story, Monkey Island. I will run dual boot via Boot Camp thou.
Ok man, but c'mon , that username?? Muyfa666 - isn't that, like, the number of the beast or something?!?

Gives me chills, just looking at it.

After a period of careful thought and reflection about it, I think I'm offended.








;)
 

desvdp

macrumors newbie
Mar 24, 2020
3
0
I'd agree with your 16GB/512GB choice, both the i5 and i7 would do Ok I guess. One could expect an i7 to do better in multiprocessing apps due to its larger cache, but it will all depend on specific cases...

btw: is it just me or is no-one ordering (or receiving) i7's yet: on Geekbench5 I found 33 benchmarks for the i3 and 44 for the i5 but so far 0 for the i7 (if you want to repeat the search: look for MacBookAir9,1 )
 

kitenski

macrumors 6502
Jan 30, 2008
257
55
Leeds, UK
For me, it's very simple. I'll surf the web, listen to music, watch some videos, some light gaming like ScummVM, Cave Story, Monkey Island. I will run dual boot via Boot Camp thou.
I'd say i5 will be absolutely fine, this was posted on another thread:

The boost from going i5 to i7 is nearly negligible. 10% improvement theoretically, but in practice, it's not going to matter that much, since the system is so thermally constrained. If you use either CPU for more than a brief burst, they'll both throttle/downclock to the same speed of 1.5-1.7 ghz per what I'm seeing from reviews. I have not seen a single reviewer who actually recommended the i7, it's just nice to have if you have the cash for it just to have the "best."

On the other hand, you can always use more RAM. Outside of the joke of saying "what if they want to have more than one Chrome tab open?" - let's put it this way. My Mac has more than 8 GB of RAM in use right now. Apps that I'm running are quite run of the mill: Microsoft Word and Excel, Chrome, Safari, News, Podcasts, Music, Messages, Mail. That's enough to already saturate 8 GB RAM. Imagine if your kid chooses to add more to that, maybe a simple game, maybe Photoshop or something like that. It will really ease up the pressure on the system, prevent virtual RAM paging, prevent memory compression, etc.

And that's the thing, you can't even predict right now what apps they'll want to use, or what their memory needs will be. So giving a lot of headroom there is always better for longevity than very minor CPU differences.
 

Muyfa666

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 5, 2019
87
45
Sweden
Ok man, but c'mon , that username?? Muyfa666 - isn't that, like, the number of the beast or something?!?

Gives me chills, just looking at it.

After a period of careful thought and reflection about it, I think I'm offended.








;)
I feel a bit offended that you are offended...
- - Post merged: - -

I'd say i5 will be absolutely fine, this was posted on another thread:
I read this too, but the very reason I even bother to ask is that the price up to i7 from i5 is not very big at all, and seeing as the MBA will be my main computer I might as well spec it high. I just don't want the CPU that's most likely to throttle early on.
 
Last edited:
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RotaryP7

macrumors 6502a
Aug 31, 2011
695
12
Miami, FL
If you can afford the difference, just go for the i7. Even if the performance isn't as much, it's still worth it in the long run; especially if you're going to use keep the MBA for some time. Then again, the i5 is completely OK for most people.
 

CrashKC

macrumors newbie
Mar 27, 2020
4
2
If you can afford the difference, just go for the i7. Even if the performance isn't as much, it's still worth it in the long run; especially if you're going to use keep the MBA for some time. Then again, the i5 is completely OK for most people.
I am keeping my I7 order. While complete I7 versus I5 has not been posted, this guy convinced me to stay I7....
 

ksmith80209

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2007
809
25
Can you sum that video up for us. One look at that dork and there's no way I'm going watch a video of him.
He says that the i7 is faster and the same temp under all scenarios. Note, he uses two Dell's as the test beds.
 

CrashKC

macrumors newbie
Mar 27, 2020
4
2
Can you sum that video up for us. One look at that dork and there's no way I'm going watch a video of him.
Ha ha… yeah. But this one is worth watching if you are interested in I7 versus I5. He does a great job. The caveats are: Not yet tested on Macbook (tested on Dell XPS.. and only one each), U vs Y processors.


No need to test on bigger laptops with more powerful chips and better heat solutions… answer is obvious. So the
Question is how I7 versus I5 performs on small mobile laptops like Macbook, Dell XPS etc.


These are the ones with the most thermal throttling, expected result is I5 would be cooler, better battery life, about the same speed

Summary:

I7 superior, no reason to buy I5 instead except for price

Speed… I7 wins… substantially faster

Temperatures… tie… similar

Fan noise… I7 wins (fans noise the same, but I7 finishes faster and quiets down quicker

Battery life… I7 Wins

Like I said, well worth watching the video for his methodology and charts. This result might not hold up on the Macbook, but for the extra $150 I would expect that Apple would be smart enough to force this to be true. (yeah, maybe not the best assumption)
 

Howard2k

macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
2,886
2,140
That was a great video. All the same, at CAD$230+tax on the new Air, it’s not a slam dunk for me. But it’s certainly not in the “absurd purchase” category either. CAD$150 i would do it. That‘s a much easier decision.
 

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