General Question

Schroedes13's avatar

Is there really that much of a difference between a 2.3GHz and a 2.7GHz processor in a Macbook Pro?

Asked by Schroedes13 (3886points) July 29th, 2011

I’m just looking into buying a Macbook Pro and I was wondering if I will overtly be able to see a significant difference between the two processors.

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11 Answers

tranquilsea's avatar

I suppose it depends on what you’ll be doing with the computer. I tend to lean towards getting the fastest processor possible as computer technology changes so freaking fast. You can generally easily upgrade your RAM and HD but no so the processor.

Schroedes13's avatar

For me, I’ll be using it for editing photographs, word processing, and random internet surfing! Nothing major!

PhiNotPi's avatar

I would recommend the faster CPU. The CPU pretty much is the computer, and there is no way to upgrade it.

Technology advances fast, and new software tends to take advantage of faster CPUs and larger memory. Most programmers don’t take as much time to make their software run as fast as possible because when we have CPUs that run at 2,700,000,000 clock cycles per second (2.7 GHz), you can still have slower software run fast. In a couple of years, we will have even faster CPUs, which will make slow programs look fast, but when you put the software on today’s PCs, it will run very slowly.

So my advice, buy the fastest one because it will take longer to become obselete.

funkdaddy's avatar

Benchmarks will give you a better idea of actual performance.

One example comparing several recent models

I like the benchmarks better because it measures how everything works together in a variety of situations and also means you’re comparing numbers that mean the same thing (GHz can be misleading at this point with all the different configurations)...

That said, if you’re not going for a fast machine, have you considered the Air instead? Save a little cash, get the SSD which may make a bigger difference, and have the smaller machine that will still drive an external monitor?

Just another option.

Bagardbilla's avatar

FYI, one cannot really go by processor speed alone. The type of processor also matters,
i.e. i7 is faster then i5, which is faster then i3, which is faster then Core2Duo… Also the configuration matters, type of HD, the ram, the graphics card… Etc.
So as @funkdaddy said above, Benchmarking is a better way to make a decision.
Having said that, for your needs (as mentioned above), you should be fine with a 2.3GHz in any of the processors.

tedd's avatar

If all you’re doing is editing photos, surfing the net, and typing on it…. You don’t even need a 2.3 GHz processor. (and no, with those activities you will never notice the difference)

Prosb's avatar

I took a look at the current MacBook Pro, and it looks like @Schroedes13 is comparing these because the 2.7GHz model is priced at $1499, while the 2.3GHz model is $1199.
With a $300 difference, at numbers this high, it’s understandable he wants to minimize cost.
I hate to point it out, since I’m sure you’ve already considered it, but buying a PC laptop costs boats of cash less, to the point where you can buy 2 PCs of equal performance or better, for the price of a single Mac. If you are in love with the OSX Macs provide, you can install it onto your PC, just like Macs can install Windows.
It all comes down to the cost of hardware, and for your purposes, going with a laptop just seems like a smarter choice, in my opinion.

Bagardbilla's avatar

Actually you can find a refurbished MacBook Pro, for $850 to $950. Full warrenty, brand-spankin’ new look-a-like… Go to Apple’s Site, Store, scroll to almost the bottom, look for bax on bottom left saying “refurbished Mac”
these machines are good as new, full warrenty en all, except they don’t come in the original box.

jrpowell's avatar

Not really. Here is my CPU usage with a 2.93GHz i3. You will see much bigger speed increases with a lot of RAM and a SSD. I am currently using around 5Gigs. And OMFG get a SSD if can can afford it. I have a 60Gig SSD that I keep the OS and applications on and then I keep my user folder on on a 1.5TB mechanical drive. Holy shit, the SSD makes a huge difference.

Lightlyseared's avatar

If you are doing CPU intensive tasks like video editing, 3D rendering or ripping DVD’s then it will make a difference but otherwise you probably won’t notice it.

Schroedes13's avatar

Thanks everyone for your input. It has really helped a ton!

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