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  1. #1
    Macbook pro 13": i7 (4GB RAM) or i5 (8GB RAM)?

    Member Since
    Jun 28, 2011
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    4
    Smile Macbook pro 13": i7 (4GB RAM) or i5 (8GB RAM)?
    Hi everyone,

    It is the first time I buy an Apple machine and I am interested in Macbook Pro 13". Since I have a limited budget, I was wondering if I should get a Macbook Pro 13", Intel core i7 with 4GB RAM or a Macbook Pro 13", Intel core i5 with an upgrade to 8GB RAM? Which one is a faster machine? Thanks!

    Cheers,

    Kent

  2. #2
    Macbook pro 13": i7 (4GB RAM) or i5 (8GB RAM)?
    IvanLasston's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 26, 2010
    Location
    Rocky Mountain High, Colorado
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    2,116
    Specs:
    1.8 GHz i7 MBA 11" OSX 10.8.2
    The i7 should be computationally faster. It depends on what you are going to be using the machine for. If you are doing compute intensive tasks like encoding movies or music, and they aren't very big, then the faster processor is the way to go. If you have to deal with large files, virtual machines, a lot of stuff running, then it would be better to spend your money on RAM. Just depends on what you are doing. If you are doing Office, email and web browsing then either is more than adequate.

  3. #3
    Macbook pro 13": i7 (4GB RAM) or i5 (8GB RAM)?

    Member Since
    Jun 28, 2011
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by IvanLasston View Post
    The i7 should be computationally faster. It depends on what you are going to be using the machine for. If you are doing compute intensive tasks like encoding movies or music, and they aren't very big, then the faster processor is the way to go. If you have to deal with large files, virtual machines, a lot of stuff running, then it would be better to spend your money on RAM. Just depends on what you are doing. If you are doing Office, email and web browsing then either is more than adequate.
    Hi Ivan, thanks a lot! That makes a lot of sense! One more question though. If I have to run Windows on my MAC (some programs from work are for PC only), I should get an i5 with 8GB of RAM, is that correct?

  4. #4
    Macbook pro 13": i7 (4GB RAM) or i5 (8GB RAM)?
    IvanLasston's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 26, 2010
    Location
    Rocky Mountain High, Colorado
    Posts
    2,116
    Specs:
    1.8 GHz i7 MBA 11" OSX 10.8.2
    Again - it depends on what you are doing. If you only ever run bootcamp - then I would consider the faster machine. If you are planning to run VMWare/Parallels/Virtual Box and the like - then I would consider more RAM. Honestly - I was able to run 1 virtual machine with 1 GB of RAM on 4GB of actual RAM. I just wanted to run more than 1 virtual machine (1 linux, 1 windows) with 2 GB of RAM each - so I upgraded the RAM myself. Which is another point - you should shop around for 3rd party RAM - like from OWC - it may be cheaper than having Apple install it for you.
    Apple Mac Memory Upgrade Options: Easy Buying Guide, Free Install Videos. Memory backed by Lifetime Advance Replacement Warranty.
    I got 8GB for ~$170 - where Apple was asking $400 for my particular machine.

  5. #5
    Macbook pro 13": i7 (4GB RAM) or i5 (8GB RAM)?
    EvenStranger's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 09, 2010
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    844
    Specs:
    Currently 13" Late 2010 MBA, 4GB/128GB; Early 2011 13" MBP, dual core i7 2.7ghz, 4gb ram, 500gb hd
    It's much easier and cheaper to upgrade RAM than speed and processor. The faster i7 processor will be a better use of the money, and RAM can be upgraded at any time in the future, and done much more cheaply than ordering the RAM from Apple. OtherWorld Computing's price for an 8GB kit is less than $100, while Apple is currently charging $200.

  6. #6
    Macbook pro 13": i7 (4GB RAM) or i5 (8GB RAM)?
    Deckyon's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 06, 2011
    Location
    Louisville, KY - USA
    Posts
    1,291
    Specs:
    MBP 17" 2011, 2.3GHz Intel Quad-Core i7, 8GB RAM, MacMini 2011, 2.7GHz Intel Dual-Core i7, 8GB RAM
    Look at it this way. You can upgrade the RAM at any time. You can never upgrade the CPU.
    MBP 17" 2011, 2.3GHz Intel Quad-Core i7, 8GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 6750M 1GB RAM
    MacMini 2011, 2.7GHz Intel Dual-Core i7, 8GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 6630M 256MB RAM
    iPhone 5S 64GB, iPad Air 2 128 GB LTE, iPod Nano Gen6 8GB, Apple TV 3 & 2

  7. #7
    Macbook pro 13": i7 (4GB RAM) or i5 (8GB RAM)?

    Member Since
    Jun 28, 2011
    Posts
    4
    Thanks everyone! I will buy an i7 today!

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