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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Dec 13, 2011
    Posts
    60
    Specs:
    Early 2013 13" MBPro Retina, 3GHz Intel Core i7, 8GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 4000 1536MB, 768GB Flash
    Looking for CPU advice before 13" Retina purchase
    Dear all,

    I am looking to buy a 13" MacBook Pro Retina because I now tend to find my late 2008 15" MacBook Pro too heavy/bulky/slow.

    (Having 8GB RAM instead of 4GB will no doubt help speeds and I'm also quite keen to purchase a 512GB Flash drive rather than rely on my noisy/slow SATA.)

    The reason for my asking for advice is because, when it comes to selecting a processor, I do not know where to start let alone what would serve me best (without being excessive?).

    Options are:
    2.5GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz, 3MB cache
    2.6GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz, 3MB cache
    2.9GHz Dual-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz, 4MB cache
    3.0GHz Dual-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.7GHz, 4MB cache

    Currently I'm using a 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo.

    I would use my new MacBook Pro Retina for mostly browsing, word processing, and for gaming through Windows either on Boot Camp or virtual OS (e.g. VMWare/Parallels). The games I play aren't what I'd call 'serious' and I do know that any of the above would meet the minimum requirements.

    All told I am adamant that I try to avoid any sluggishness, wheels of death, and so on... Looking online, some have even mentioned waiting for Apple to release a Quad-core processor for the 13" - I'm all of a dither!

    Could anyone make a recommendation, or explain - generally - how best to choose a processor?

    With thanks in advance to all those who reply,
    Lapsang Leaf

  2. #2

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location
    Texas, where else?
    Posts
    26,519
    Specs:
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
    General rule of thumb for CPU...

    Buy the highest you can afford.
    Unless you're a low end user - my wife for example, only needs the minimum CPU for her uses.
    Don't believe there are any games (if so, very few) that "require" an iX series chip.
    Highest requirement I've seen is still the C2D.
    The items you have named, doubt you would see any difference between the lowest and highest CPU.

    With gaming, you need to be looking at GPU requirements, not CPU requirements.

    Yes, you want 8 GB RAM.
    However, compare OWC and Crucial pricing against Apple's upgrade price.
    No reason to give Apple twice the money to upgrade from 4 to 8, than to take the 4 and have those sticks for spares and buy your own 8 GB kit.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  3. #3

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    35,815
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by Lapsang Leaf View Post
    Dear all,

    I am looking to buy a 13" MacBook Pro Retina because I now tend to find my late 2008 15" MacBook Pro too heavy/bulky/slow.

    The reason for my asking for advice is because, when it comes to selecting a processor, I do not know where to start let alone what would serve me best (without being excessive?).

    Options are:
    2.5GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz, 3MB cache
    2.6GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz, 3MB cache
    2.9GHz Dual-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz, 4MB cache
    3.0GHz Dual-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.7GHz, 4MB cache

    Currently I'm using a 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo.
    What's not being factoring into this equation is that your current computer is 4-5 years old...and that the performance of a computer is due to many things other than just cpu speed.

    Yes your current computer has a 2.53ghz cpu...and the "slowest" retina MBP that was listed has a 2.5ghz cpu. When comparing these two numbers it would seem that the newer MBP is actually slower than your 2008 MBP...when in fact the newer computer with a slightly slower cpu is actually twice as fast as your current 2008 MBP!

    Thus...of the new computer models listed above...all will be dramatically faster than your 2008 MBP! So then the decision comes down to price. As "bobtomay" mentioned...it comes down to purchasing as much as you can afford.

    As far as the quad-core in a 13" MBP. Sure...it's possible Apple may put a quad-core cpu in a 13" MBP at some point. The question is when?? By the time Apple puts a quad-core cpu in a 13" MBP...there will be something else new that will be rumored to be coming to the 13" MBP...and then you'll want to wait for that too. So it's a never ending battle of wait...wait...wait.

    If you want/need a quad-core cpu...then get a 15" MBP now! What is also not being factoring in is...the 13" MBP does not have dedicated video hardware. So if you want/need better graphics/video performance...then you need to go with a 15" MBP to get dedicated video hardware.

    So to get a quad-core cpu and dedicated video hardware...then you would want to get a 15" MBP. You already have a 15" 2008 MBP...so you are used to the size...and you would be maintaining the 15" display that you're used to.

    HTH,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  4. #4

    mrplow's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 01, 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    6,916
    Specs:
    27" iMac i7 (2011) 10.11, Mac Mini i5 (2014), iPhone6s, Apple Watch, iPad Pro 9.7, AppleTV (4)
    Something else to consider is that the range 'may' be refreshed during WWDC next week (certainly worth waiting 5 days to find out anyway) and that some games do not support the retina display either at all or at native resolution.
    Not been around these parts for a while. Trying to change that . .

    Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - bottom left of this post

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Dec 13, 2011
    Posts
    60
    Specs:
    Early 2013 13" MBPro Retina, 3GHz Intel Core i7, 8GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 4000 1536MB, 768GB Flash
    Thanks to all for your help.

    - Yes I am aware that the age of my laptop is a factor. I'm not aware of ALL the things that cause fatigue, but I've certainly had enough with a SATA HDD (I've had it replaced twice) and am looking forward to more RAM (someone also mentioned buying a model with just 4GB RAM and upgrading elsewhere - the 13" Retina models now all come with 8GB RAM so that's not an option).

    If anyone is willing to be extremely helpful and take the time to briefly list other factors of fatigue, please know that I'd be hugely appreciative.

    You say that the newer 2.5GHz processor would be 'twice as fast' - was that an accurate statement or just an expression? I think I am still inclined to choose from the top three options, however. I am eligible for an educational discount so if the figures below seem different to the norm it is because they include the promotion:

    2.6GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz, 3MB cache
    2.9GHz Dual-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz, 4MB cache +104.40
    3.0GHz Dual-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.7GHz, 4MB cache +138.00

    Do any strike you as being good 'value for money' or not? (I'm not really aware of the general price differences between higher CPU specs.)

    For me, I am quite keen to downsize so a 13" it shall be. Though I take your point about the 15".

    Thank you for the heads up about the WWDC too!

    Lapsang Leaf

  6. #6

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    35,815
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by Lapsang Leaf View Post
    You say that the newer 2.5GHz processor would be 'twice as fast' - was that an accurate statement or just an expression?
    I have no reason to deceive you. Do your research...then make your decision.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

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