What's the difference between an i5 and i7 processor (in non-tech speak haha)?

I'm looking to buy a 15'' macbook pro and can't decide between an i5 and i7 processor. I'm wondering what the difference is since the price difference between the two is $1000. Is it worth the extra money?

2 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    Ok so the names i5 and i7 are arbitrary on the apple site. you really have to dig to get the true Processor models.

    The tech speech;

    The Processor on the 15" 2.4 GHz is the i5-520m
    The Processor on the 15" 2.53 GHz is the i5-540m
    The Processor on the 15" 2.66 is designated as the i7-620m

    All of these processors are essentially the same other then clock speed (GHz) and max Turboboost speed.

    Turboboost is a technology developed by Intel which allows the Processor to "throttle" it's self until the processor's max thermal threshold is reached. ( max speed.)

    So when you turn on an Application that requires more juice the Processor will start increasing it's clock speed in intervals of 133MHz until the thershold is met, or the task is done.

    Max thersholds are as follows;

    The i5-520m 2.4GHz > 2.93GHz Max speed
    The i5-540m 2.53GHz > 3.06GHz Max speed
    The i7-640m 2.66GHz > 3.33GHz Max speed

    Now, there is a lot more to this then that, in which I'd have to get real technical.

    So you go on a drive, your cruising speed is 25MPH but you want to get there faster so you drive at 35, then 45, then 55, then finally 65, which is the speed limit of the road.

    So, the i7 is a faster processor. But for all intents and purposes it's the same as the i5's. it depends on if you need the extra performance it has to offer.

    What do you want to do on it?

    • Answered by Jonathan A from Apple Valley
    • Oct 18, 2010
  • Ok, both are dual cores, so the i7 is faster than the i5 because of the cache level, the cache is very important, the more bigger it is, the more faster your processor will do the tasks that you demand. I recommend you to wait, the price that you will pay for that laptop does not worth it, because for that price you get in HP a quad core processor with blu ray reader included. So, as Apple updates its products every year, maybe the next year you will be able to buy a new macbook pro with blu ray, I hope so. But if you live in the US (not my case), you have all the finicing options availables, as well as you can buy now the machine that you want and the next year give it to apple, and they will give you an Apple Gift Card for the value of your Mac, so you dont get without a Mac for a year and you will pay for the new one much less. So if you decide to buy a new one now, take care of it so you can recycle it with Apple and recieve the price of it.

    • Answered by Grisel B from Lima
    • Oct 20, 2010