As I was considering buying a Apple's newly launched Macbook Pro with Retina display, I've faced a rather serious issue with the hardware configuration.
Apple offers the following choices: 2.6GHz, 6MB L3 cache vs 2.7GHz, 8MB L3 cache, 8GB vs 16GB RAM, 512GB vs 768GB SSD storage.
I have no problem with the last two options, but regarding the CPU upgrade, I've been hearing some words such as: you will see no difference, don't upgrade, and save your money.
Is it really true? I mean, 0.1GHz of improvement is not going to do any good in normal applications, but what I use this computer for is intensive scientific calculations, which my 2.8GHz dual core cpu sometimes takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete (I use Matlab and Mathematica). So, the ultimate question: is the upgrade from 2.6 to 2.7 going to cut a significant amount of calculation time?
It will make a difference however it mainly depends on the program and if it will be utilizing all four of the threads. The difference will be marginal (between 3 and 4% faster) so that is up to you to decide whether or not it is worth the extra cash.
Dont forget that you can also overclock your 2.7ghz processor in the mac up to 3.3ghz.
Also I know you are set on a mac but for what you are doing it sounds like your money would be better spent creating a desktop workstation with an i7 990x or i7 3960x processor which would literally cut your processing time down to a fraction of what it is. Just a thought
That is just for adaptability. The machine itself is still pretty solid its just that it is just going to be an island, nothing can move. Also that means that if the screen breaks, you will be unable to replace the screen making your machine obsolete. If all you are really interested in is if the extra $500 is going to save you 2-3 minutes off of your calculation speeds...its not. Maybe 20 seconds tops. My reccomendation would be to spend $2000 on a professional desktop rig with windows 7 and an i7 3960x processor. I can pretty much guarantee it will calculate matlab and mathmateca in about 3 minutes vs 15 in your dual core and probably 10 in your new macbook pro retina.