intel i5 or i7?

Oct 30, 2016 11:12AM PDT

Hello, since I'm an Architecture student and I work daily with heavy software like AutoCAD, Photoshop and Illustrator, what type of processor would you recommend? I'm thinking about buying a 13" MacBook Pro with touch bar, but can't decide between Core i5 or i7, and if it's Core i5 which one of the two (2.9Ghz up to 3.3Ghz, or 3,1Ghz up to 3.5Ghz) is enough for a student like me?

Thank you! Happy

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worry more about what graphics card instead
Oct 30, 2016 11:34AM PDT


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(NT) how can I see that on a mac ?
Oct 30, 2016 11:45AM PDT
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On every mac to date.
Oct 30, 2016 12:40PM PDT

I use the "About this machine" or whatever words they use for that menu item.

If I was shopping I look at the specs given. Graphic works like CAD lean hard on the GPU for spinning zooming around the artwork.

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In 13 inc macs with touch bar all the grafics are the same
Oct 30, 2016 1:29PM PDT

It's not upgradable on 13" macbooks, all of them uses a Intel Iris Graphics 550 across the models.

To upgrade the graphics I'll need to buy the 15" and that's way too expensive..

Is the intel i5 going to be a huge diference compared to the i7?

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There are so few laptops with upgradeable graphics.
Oct 30, 2016 1:36PM PDT

You have to wonder why folk think this is an option or "card."

As to the last question, I don't see enough reviews yet with benchmarks.

Try CPUBOSS to compare and GPUBOSS to see if in theory the i7 has enough of an edge.

If you are stuck in the 13 inch, i7 gets a nod here. Most CAD folk want huge screens.

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Hopefully an understandable answer to a complicated subject
Dec 5, 2016 11:35AM PST

Just check Apple website. Their 13" MBP only offers Core-i5 Intel processors. So it seems it's a non-issue if you buying a new mac.

If you're a student, you'd be new to most architecture projects assigned to you, meaning that you would be spending more time thinking than turning the crank (drawing, scaling, shading and searching for pallets, etc), so you are unlikely to tax the processor power of the Core-i5 probably until your fourth or fifth year in school. For most workstation-like applications, it's not often that the application need to spin off four different tasks to perform the action you take in the app and keep all four processors of the Core-i7 quad-cores (4 processors) gainfully employed. However, whatever task you're doing, you need that one task to complete quickly. i.e. No spinning pinwheels. So a higher speed dual-core processor is better for you than a lower-speed quad-core processor. That said, there are reason you may want to consider a 15" MBP if you can swing another $500.

I personally use a 13" MBP with 2560x1600 screen resolution, but mostly for portability. I also do not do architectural graphics nor use Photoshop more than 2 to 3 times a year. If you expect to do a lot of exact graphics work on your computer, shirt of a desktop with at least a 1920x1080 screen, I'd go for the 15" MBP because it gives you a maximum 2880-by-1800 screen resolution, instead of 2560x1600 screen resolution on the 13" MBP. This means you will do less scrolling around (at human speed) on your desktop when working with graphics and photos.

The 15"MBP has 16GB memory vs 8GB on the 13". While a large project that help fill up the 8GB memory on the 13" and have to go to the much slower SSD to get the additional data, that is unlikely to happen on your 15".

Your professor or TAs should be able to give you their experiences on the sizes of your projects and what they wish they had more off.

In case you're consider buying older MBPs, here are the trade-offs you should consider, in their order of importance:

1. Screen resolution. Choose larger to minimize scrolling at human speed.
2. Graphics processor speed. Choose faster to avoid spinning pinwheel when doing stuff like rotating 3-D house plans or adding shading.
3. Memory size (8GB on 13"; 16 on 15") is a consideration if your project are large enough that upperclass students with old laptops equipped with HDD see the disk light come on when they already had 8GB memory.
4. Storage speed: SSD is much better than HDD, but it's something you may be able to upgrade yourself with some expert help. Non-issue on recent MBPs or new ones.
5. Larger L3 cache
6. Faster processor

With MacBooks, the choice are smaller and easier. The models with faster process speed comes with a larger L3 cache too.

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