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Dual Core 3.0 ghz i7 vs. Quad Core 2.7 ghz i7

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August 16, 2013 12:28:46 PM

Hi. I'm trying to decide on a new laptop for school and have a few questions on which would be best. I'm deciding between:

Retina MacBook Pro 15" w/ 2.7 ghz quad-core i7, 8gb RAM, 256 gb ssd
Retina MacBook Pro 13" w/ 3.0 ghz dual-core i7, 8gb RAM, 512 gb ssd

They cost about the exact same price. I much prefer the size of the 13" (portability is important to me), and the bigger hard drive is very nice (i have >230gb to transfer over as it is). I know the MBPs will be upgraded w/ Haswell processors very soon, but I need the computer ASAP; I'll be starting school in just a week and a half and my old one has just about died.

In terms of what I'll use it for, I'd describe myself as a "power user." In addition to the usual school apps (Word, Excel, etc.), I usually have a few browser windows open, each with about 10 tabs, I'm a computer science major, so I'll have a terminal window or two open and a code editor (usually Sublime Text 2, not particularly resource-heavy), and often Photoshop, all while watching a video or playing music (Spotify). I also need to run a virtual machine (VMWare Fusion) frequently.

I know the quad core will probably run faster under this use case, but my question is how much faster? I really prefer the smaller form factor and bigger hard drive, but am willing to sacrifice that if it means a huge leap in performance. Also, how much performance am I giving up (in either case) by missing out on Haswell? Assuming I don't care much about battery life (I always have a charger with me), is it really that big of a deal?

Thanks!
a c 210 à CPUs
August 16, 2013 12:30:04 PM

Always go quad cores or more...dual core doesn't cut it anymore.
a b à CPUs
August 16, 2013 1:00:10 PM

Get the retina macbook pro 13" as it has a high res screen in small form factor, its portable decent igpu double the ssd size space wise and the haswell battery life improvements make it worth having even if you have the power supply as if the power has a shortage one day you can type up any work you want to do with around 10 hour battery life. You will be able to do all this.
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a c 210 à CPUs
August 16, 2013 1:37:09 PM

hafijur said:
Get the retina macbook pro 13" as it has a high res screen in small form factor, its portable decent igpu double the ssd size space wise and the haswell battery life improvements make it worth having even if you have the power supply as if the power has a shortage one day you can type up any work you want to do with around 10 hour battery life. You will be able to do all this.


He's a computer science major...that means running a compiler quite often. Quad cores compile MUCH faster than dual cores.
a b à CPUs
August 16, 2013 1:51:42 PM

Yes the quad i7 ivy will be 2x faster then haswell dual core but he wants portability the i7 ulv will be plenty to get through applications.
a c 210 à CPUs
August 16, 2013 2:22:34 PM

hafijur said:
Yes the quad i7 ivy will be 2x faster then haswell dual core but he wants portability the i7 ulv will be plenty to get through applications.


Have you ever compiled code in large amounts?

If you have, then you know you want your PC to do it as quickly as possible...especially if you're compiling a LOT of code. It's massively time consuming if you're compiling a large amount of code, and your PC performance suffers while it's running. On a dual core, you may as well just set your PC down and leave it be until it's done. With a quad core, you can at least run some light programs at reasonable speed while it's compiling.
a b à CPUs
August 16, 2013 2:51:12 PM

I just bought an i5 3210m laptop with gt 650m samsung np550p5c-s03uk as I know from my previous laptop with an i5 3317u at 2.4ghz and 640m that the cpu just isn't enough for games to run perfectly. He even says he has 230gb to transfer over. To the op what i7 ulv is it. If the i7 ulv is running cool it will stay on turbo mode so you will get plenty performance from it. If you want basically double the performance get the ivy bridge i7.
a c 210 à CPUs
August 16, 2013 3:00:58 PM

sundance0 said:
Hi. I'm trying to decide on a new laptop for school and have a few questions on which would be best. I'm deciding between:

Retina MacBook Pro 15" w/ 2.7 ghz quad-core i7, 8gb RAM, 256 gb ssd
Retina MacBook Pro 13" w/ 3.0 ghz dual-core i7, 8gb RAM, 512 gb ssd

They cost about the exact same price. I much prefer the size of the 13" (portability is important to me), and the bigger hard drive is very nice (i have >230gb to transfer over as it is). I know the MBPs will be upgraded w/ Haswell processors very soon, but I need the computer ASAP; I'll be starting school in just a week and a half and my old one has just about died.

In terms of what I'll use it for, I'd describe myself as a "power user." In addition to the usual school apps (Word, Excel, etc.), I usually have a few browser windows open, each with about 10 tabs, I'm a computer science major, so I'll have a terminal window or two open and a code editor (usually Sublime Text 2, not particularly resource-heavy), and often Photoshop, all while watching a video or playing music (Spotify). I also need to run a virtual machine (VMWare Fusion) frequently.

I know the quad core will probably run faster under this use case, but my question is how much faster? I really prefer the smaller form factor and bigger hard drive, but am willing to sacrifice that if it means a huge leap in performance. Also, how much performance am I giving up (in either case) by missing out on Haswell? Assuming I don't care much about battery life (I always have a charger with me), is it really that big of a deal?

Thanks!


You're not giving up much by skipping 4th gen, and for performance, you would probably see compiling times cut down to 2/3 the time on a quad core versus a dual core. The performance increase doesn't scale linearly, however, it is a massive bump...especially if you compile a lot of code.

September 5, 2013 10:40:29 AM

quad core 15' retina display weighs 2.02kgs
dual core 13' normal display with cd drive weighs 2.06kg...
portability is not always about exterea dimensions.
more screen real-estate is better
get bigger and not need the extra screen space rather than get the smaller screen and need more space...
In my own opinion...
!