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2.0ghz i7 vs. 3.3ghz i5

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm in the market for a new laptop and would like either a Macbook Pro or a Macbook Air. I'm planning to dual boot Windows, but I want a Mac because I really like the way they look and don't mind paying a little extra.

The Macbook Air's best configuration includes a 2.0ghz i7.
The Macbook Pro's would be a 2.9ghz i7.

I currently have a 3.3ghz i5 (not i7) in my desktop, this is what I use every day and I'm very happy with it.

My question is: will the 2.0ghz i7 be somewhat comparable to my i5, or will it be better, or will it be significantly slower to the point where I would be uncomfortable using it?

(on an unrelated note, I was planning to get the non-retina one because a 2560 res just seems silly on a 13" screen ... is it actually useful or just a marketing ploy?)
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post #2 of 12
Frequency difference is so huge, no amount of 10% IPC improvements can make a 2ghz perform like a 3.3 ghz machine.

Slower for what? Typing your word documents and checking gmail and youtube?
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post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by a!!!!1 View Post

The Macbook Air's best configuration includes a 2.0ghz i7.
The Macbook Pro's would be a 2.9ghz i7.
My question is: will the 2.0ghz i7 be somewhat comparable to my i5, or will it be better, or will it be significantly slower to the point where I would be uncomfortable using it?
It will be just as fast for daily stuff like media playback, web-browsing, and general multi tasking.
For other tasks like media encoding, content creation or gaming it won't come close.

As for MB Pro vs MB Air. Pro will be superior even if you get the i5 model over the MBA i7 due to full voltage i5 over ultra low voltage i7. Plus it has a better screen (quality/accuracy wise) and is easily user expandable.
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post #4 of 12
No doubt MB Air uses an ultra-low voltage processor so it will be weaker than the other two. From the frequencies I'd have to guess that's an i7-3667U in the Air and an i7-3520M in the Pro (silly Apple hides the specs). Either way though I doubt you will max out the processing power. I put an SSD in my T61 which had a 2.0GHz Core2 Duo T7300 (5 generations old) and the speed there was sufficient. As mobile processors, there's probably no way either of those will compare to a desktop processor, but without knowing what i5 model (or even the generation) I won't make a definitive call. But like I said on any of these I doubt you'll max out the processing power unless you have some specific intense needs for it like video encoding or something.

2560x1600 on the Macbook Pro doesn't actually display at that resolution. It displays as if on 1280x800, but every pixel is split in 4 so it can do some crazy anti-aliasing. So it will be at 1280x800 workspace and text size but all the text and system graphics will be much smoother. Go try one out in the store if you haven't tried one in person. Personally I think it's a bit of a gimmick since at a normal working distance I can't tell the difference between pixels anyway on my 14" 1366x768 screen, but it's up to you. My eyes aren't the best.

EDIT: Only works on OS X as far as I'm aware though.
Edited by Glenwing - 11/19/12 at 7:09pm
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post #5 of 12
the i5 is better than a 2ghz i7
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post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShortySmalls View Post

the i5 is better than a 2ghz i7
Desktop i5 versus a ultra low voltage i7 yes
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post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Sounds like I'd probably prefer the Pro then. Aside from Minecraft, I don't really game much, but I'm still used to things opening instantly, Photoshop running smoothly, etc.

I have an Alienware with an i3 and 4GB ram and I hate using it because every single task is significantly slower than the i5 in my desktop (even something simple like opening multiple tabs in Firefox lags it). It also can't run Minecraft at all without crashing every few minutes (I often take small jobs creating plugins for server owners, so being able to load up the game and test them is essential).

@Glenwing The desktop i5 is a 2500k, bought it summer 2011.
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post #8 of 12
MBA will have the Samsung based SSD so you have that feeling there.
The MBP wont, but you can always put one in there + replace the optical and run RAID 0 SSD array if your heart desires or a SSD + HDD combo
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post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivr56 View Post

Desktop i5 versus a ultra low voltage i7 yes

which is what hes asking about...
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post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivr56 View Post

MBA will have the Samsung based SSD so you have that feeling there.
The MBP wont, but you can always put one in there + replace the optical and run RAID 0 SSD array if your heart desires or a SSD + HDD combo

Doing that removes one of the key features of the Pro that most people who buy the Pro utilize: The optical drive. Of course, most people consider optical drives a thing of the past. I rarely use DVD's anymore and I occasionally burn a CD for music in my ancient CD player on my car.

As for the Air/Pro debate. Funny thing. Most people I asked told me to get the Air. Lighter, SSD standard and they claim the performance is equal but with better battery life.

I feel that the differences really show when you run Boot Camp with Windows 7.

Windows 7 on a Pro feels smooth and you can even play games like Borderlands 2 with medium settings. However, on the air, I would imagine even CS Source would be merely acceptable.
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