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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Intel Core i5/i7 MacBook Pro

Intel Core i5/i7 MacBook Pro (Page 3)
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SierraDragon
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Apr 14, 2010, 11:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by Orion27 View Post
Looking over the specs on the current model, I see it only has one FireWire Port. I import video over FireWire while using a scratch disk connected by firewire. The loss of a firewire port is important to me. I'm reconsidering the upgrade. The SD slot is another downgrade as well. Much prefer the way more versatile Expresscard/34 slot. Workarounds?
Just plug the video into the hard drive's second FW port. FW daisy chains fine; on a photo shoot I typically have 3-5 FW devices daisy chained, no problem. Even FW-powering drives usually works, but I recommend use of wall power when feasible. Follow careful soft eject protocol with all devices or they can get "lost."

I concur about EC/34, one reason (in addition to screen real estate) that I choose the 17" MBP.

My MBP has FW 400 and FW800 ports. Loss of the FW400 port is too bad, because it is convenient to have a separate port for the card reader.

-Allen
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Apr 14, 2010 at 11:14 PM. )
     
solofx7
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Apr 15, 2010, 12:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by macaddict0001 View Post
You think that's bad, take a look at the Xeon line. You can have an archaic P4 based Xeon branded Xeon 3.6 GHZ, or a modern Xeon branded Xeon 2.66. If they even refer to the processor speed.
Again, I really agree here. Now, this is eve more confusing. I am still seeing laptops released with the name pentium in them. I thought that was gone a long long time ago. I even saw one called core pentium. I don't even want to get started with centrinio. I truly thi k that intel does this on purpose to cause confusion.
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Simon  (op)
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Apr 15, 2010, 03:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by solofx7 View Post
I truly thi k that intel does this on purpose to cause confusion.
They sure do. It's quite common practice in marketing.
     
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Apr 15, 2010, 03:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by solofx7 View Post
Again, I really agree here. Now, this is eve more confusing. I am still seeing laptops released with the name pentium in them. I thought that was gone a long long time ago.
Intel resurrected the Pentium name in 2006 to market lower-to-midrange chips:

"The Pentium Dual-Core brand is used for mainstream x86-architecture microprocessors from Intel from 2006 onwards. They are based on either the 32-bit Yonah or (with quite different microarchitectures) 64-bit Merom-2M, Allendale, and Wolfdale-3M core, targeted at mobile or desktop computers." (Wikipedia link)

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Apr 15, 2010, 03:11 AM
 
13" benchmarks are out.
Primate Labs Blog : MacBook Pro Benchmarks (April 2010)
I am definitely waiting for the 13" i5.
     
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Apr 15, 2010, 03:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Godfather View Post
13" benchmarks are out.
Primate Labs Blog : MacBook Pro Benchmarks (April 2010)
I am definitely waiting for the 13" i5.
Interesting numbers.

The extra 1 MB of cache on the i7 compared to i5 sure helps a lot. It increases performance by roughly the same amount as the extra MHz.

When you look at FP performance you can see where the new 13" MBP suffers the most. Westmere is great a FP, which is incidentally why h264 benchmarks so much better on Arrandale compared to Penryn.

If you rely on FP performance you won't want to get the new 13" MBP. OTOH if your work is limited by FP performance chances are you wouldn't be looking at a 13" notebook anyway.
     
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Apr 15, 2010, 04:05 AM
 
Meh..... so it's just a speed bump after so long ? I dont mean to whine, but i wanted BluRay (with finder, iBluRay authoring, iTunes, etc.. support) and with a 3G/SIM card option.

The speedbump is fine, but there's hardly any "use" to it. encoding and decoding blurays would have justified it IMHO.

Also, this business of integrated and discrete GPUs is just unnecessarily complicated. Maybe Having a single GPU which can scale(activate/deactivate cores or change clock-speeds on the fly, etc would be better/cheaper ?

When is the case up for a redesign ? Dont get mewrong i really like my original unibody 13" MB. but the thing that will get me to upgrade is Blu-Ray, 3G and a design refresh. Right now, there's nothing the new macbooks can do that my 2008 model cant. the new ones are just faster.
     
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Apr 15, 2010, 05:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by Orion27 View Post
I just put my MacBook Pro up for sale with the intention of upgrading to the current 15" MacBook Pro. I have the Santa Rosa 15" 2.4 MacBook Pro. Looking over the specs on the current model, I see it only has one FireWire Port. I import video over FireWire while using a scratch disk connected by firewire. The loss of a firewire port is important to me. I'm reconsidering the upgrade. The SD slot is another downgrade as well. Much prefer the way more versatile Expresscard/34 slot. Workarounds?
The old one only had a single bus for both ports, so you're not losing anything except a built-in hub.

Daisy-chain or hub your devices for identical performance (if you daisy-chain, make sure the FW800 boxes come first in the chain).
     
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Apr 15, 2010, 07:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by solofx7 View Post
Again, I really agree here. Now, this is eve more confusing. I am still seeing laptops released with the name pentium in them. I thought that was gone a long long time ago. I even saw one called core pentium. I don't even want to get started with centrinio. I truly thi k that intel does this on purpose to cause confusion.
Actually I think that the Xeons are a wonder of logic and consistency compared to everything else. The first digit is basically how expensive they are - 3000 is desktop CPUs under another name, 5000 are 2 socket midranges, 7000 is the most powerful x86 chips and 9000 is Itanic. The second digit is evolutionary, a fairly straight progression across all architechtures. 5500 is followed by 5600. After that, a higher number simply means higher clockspeed.

On the desktop and laptop, it's a total mess, and yes they do it to confuse. That's why they redo the system all the time. I can't tell you how many coworkers have come up to me, disappointed with their new laptops and how they don't run Farmville or whatever. Big surprise - Atom. They're just netbooks, which is why they were so cheap.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
solofx7
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Apr 15, 2010, 08:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Actually I think that the Xeons are a wonder of logic and consistency compared to everything else. The first digit is basically how expensive they are - 3000 is desktop CPUs under another name, 5000 are 2 socket midranges, 7000 is the most powerful x86 chips and 9000 is Itanic. The second digit is evolutionary, a fairly straight progression across all architechtures. 5500 is followed by 5600. After that, a higher number simply means higher clockspeed.

On the desktop and laptop, it's a total mess, and yes they do it to confuse. That's why they redo the system all the time. I can't tell you how many coworkers have come up to me, disappointed with their new laptops and how they don't run Farmville or whatever. Big surprise - Atom. They're just netbooks, which is why they were so cheap.
The more I think about this, the more I am fine with processor speeds on chips or slightly different names. What I am not cool with is chips that have the same exact name and nothing else to distinguish between the two.
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Simon  (op)
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Apr 15, 2010, 10:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by solofx7 View Post
What I am not cool with is chips that have the same exact name and nothing else to distinguish between the two.
In all fairness, it's not the exact same name. Sure Lynnfield and Arrandale are both called Core i7, but the actual name is Core i7 960 vs. Core i7-620M for example. I'm not trying to defend Intel's stupid naming scheme, but if you use the full CPU name it's usually not ambiguous.
     
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Apr 15, 2010, 02:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Hawkeye_a View Post
Also, this business of integrated and discrete GPUs is just unnecessarily complicated. Maybe Having a single GPU which can scale(activate/deactivate cores or change clock-speeds on the fly, etc would be better/cheaper ?
Unlike the previous version with the logout/login BS, the user doesn't have to worry about it anymore. When you open an app that uses certain GPU accelerated libraries (OpenGL, etc) it automatically flips to the more powerful GPU and shuts down the integrated GPU. Sometimes this is a waste (like if you're just doing simple text editing in Photoshop or CPU-bound actions) but it's effectively what you've described.
     
solofx7
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Apr 15, 2010, 03:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
In all fairness, it's not the exact same name. Sure Lynnfield and Arrandale are both called Core i7, but the actual name is Core i7 960 vs. Core i7-620M for example. I'm not trying to defend Intel's stupid naming scheme, but if you use the full CPU name it's usually not ambiguous.
I meant from am average consumer standpoint. I know this may be more Apple or other manf issue though. If I go into a store to buy a laptop or desktop and the both say i7, that just breeds high confusion. Yes, common knowledge might be to think "mobile computer, mobile chip." But that was not always the case. Pentium 4 taught me that. There were a couple laptops if I am correct that had desktop chips in a mobile device. What I mean is that it may be up to the consumer or sales person to be informed/inform about the difference, but Intel could go a long way to not confusing people by not having an i7 or an i7. From what I have been taught in these forums these mobile i7 and the iMac i7 are pretty different.
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Helmling
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Apr 15, 2010, 05:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Hawkeye_a View Post
Meh..... so it's just a speed bump after so long ? I dont mean to whine, but i wanted BluRay (with finder, iBluRay authoring, iTunes, etc.. support) and with a 3G/SIM card option.

The speedbump is fine, but there's hardly any "use" to it. encoding and decoding blurays would have justified it IMHO.

Also, this business of integrated and discrete GPUs is just unnecessarily complicated. Maybe Having a single GPU which can scale(activate/deactivate cores or change clock-speeds on the fly, etc would be better/cheaper ?

When is the case up for a redesign ? Dont get mewrong i really like my original unibody 13" MB. but the thing that will get me to upgrade is Blu-Ray, 3G and a design refresh. Right now, there's nothing the new macbooks can do that my 2008 model cant. the new ones are just faster.
According to the benchmarks, it's more than a "bump."

But you will never see BluRay on a Mac for the same reason you will never see Flash on the iPad or iPhone. It does not fit with Apple's larger (read: monopolistic) business plan. They want to hurt Blu-Ray and Flash, so they're denying both a portion of those technologies' potential market.
     
Helmling
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Apr 15, 2010, 05:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
They sure do. It's quite common practice in marketing.
Not so much to cause confusion as to brand the products by names that are meaningless instead of names that communicate progressional generations of a given technology. They want processor numbers to be like numbers on cars--like BMW or Infiniti or whoever else names their models with numbers--essentially meaningless.
     
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Apr 15, 2010, 05:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by Helmling View Post
According to the benchmarks, it's more than a "bump."

But you will never see BluRay on a Mac for the same reason you will never see Flash on the iPad or iPhone. It does not fit with Apple's larger (read: monopolistic) business plan. They want to hurt Blu-Ray and Flash, so they're denying both a portion of those technologies' potential market.
Nitpick in response to your troll:

a) It's not monopolistic to not tie your platform and OS development to an out-of-house programming environment you have no control over and whose owner has you by the balls.

b) they couldn't care less to "hurt" Flash. They're doing what they can to avoid dependency upon technology from a company that's already used its importance on the Mac platform to **** Apple over in the past. You remember resolution-independence that was supposed to be here two years ago? What are you willing to bet that it's Adobe's doing it never happened? (I'm guessing here)
     
Spheric Harlot
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Apr 15, 2010, 05:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by Helmling View Post
Not so much to cause confusion as to brand the products by names that are meaningless instead of names that communicate progressional generations of a given technology. They want processor numbers to be like numbers on cars--like BMW or Infiniti or whoever else names their models with numbers--essentially meaningless.
BMW's model numbers, like Audi's and Mercedes', exactly and obviously denote the class of the vehicle. They are anything BUT meaningless.
     
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Apr 15, 2010, 06:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Nitpick in response to your troll:

a) It's not monopolistic to not tie your platform and OS development to an out-of-house programming environment you have no control over and whose owner has you by the balls.

b) they couldn't care less to "hurt" Flash. They're doing what they can to avoid dependency upon technology from a company that's already used its importance on the Mac platform to **** Apple over in the past. You remember resolution-independence that was supposed to be here two years ago? What are you willing to bet that it's Adobe's doing it never happened? (I'm guessing here)
Um, not a troll, and yes, Apple wants to hurt Flash because part of Flash's market overlaps with Quicktime. Adding flash support to the iPhone in no way would make Apple dependent on Flash for anything--I don't even know what you're talking about with that claim. All it would do is enrich the user experience on their devices, but by denying Flash a huge segment of the mobile browsing market, they are pushing developers toward HTML 5.0 and Quicktime, instead of Flash.
     
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Apr 15, 2010, 06:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
BMW's model numbers, like Audi's and Mercedes', exactly and obviously denote the class of the vehicle. They are anything BUT meaningless.
Well, not literally "meaningless." Obviously they "mean" that it's a particular model, but they don't offer any meaningful information useful in actually comparing the capabilities of the vehicles, do they? Whereas back in the good ole days (which admittedly, weren't that good) a chip's number indicated that it was from a particular generation. 486 was the generation after 386; G4 was the generation after G3. It was easy to track the progress of Moore's law at work within the chip market. Now, however, Intel's naming scheme seems...well, confusing...to me at least and since I was agreeing with someone else's post, I guess I'm not the only one.
     
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Apr 15, 2010, 09:12 PM
 
BMW's naming system does compare vehicles... the last two numbers used to denote the engine displacement. 330i was a 3.0L 6 cylinder, the i meant RWD. But now a 328i is a 3.0L, the 335i is a 3.0L turbo.
     
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Apr 16, 2010, 02:34 AM
 
/OT

Mercedes used to stick to a nice naming scheme where there was a class and a engine displacement. E.g. a C220 was a C-class with a 2,200 cc engine. The other day I read that the new A180 comes with the same 1700cc engine its predecessor (correctly labeled the A170) had.
     
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Apr 16, 2010, 03:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by Helmling View Post
Um, not a troll, and yes, Apple wants to hurt Flash because part of Flash's market overlaps with Quicktime. Adding flash support to the iPhone in no way would make Apple dependent on Flash for anything--I don't even know what you're talking about with that claim.
Ah sorry.

I assumed that, since you mentioned it, you'd actually been following the Flash brou-ha-ha.

If you allow a company with a record of poor performance an bad support to control a large part or your user experience (or browsing experience), then any update you make MUST guarantee that that company's products continue working well - regardless of whether that company has been following guidelines or not. You make yourself dependent on the work of that company, not just for an app or two, but for a large part of what people do with your device.

Apple has, in the past, had to expend *considerable* effort (time and money) to support Adobe technologies when Adobe simply refused to budge. Apparently, this also involved outright *killing* major new OS technology that they'd invested a lot of effort in developing, simply because Adobe said "no".

A nice example of this power is, in fact, the Flash player on Mac. Adobe can sit there and publicly point their finger at Apple, citing lack of direct hardware access as the cause for abysmal performance. Quintessence: Apple sucks, and Flash performance is bad because they won't allow it.

The other side is that hardware abstraction is the REASON for Mac OS X's stability. Do I bypass that just because Adobe refuses to put real effort into decent coding, and ENSURE that Flash will break with every system update unless APPLE makes it work (because Adobe won't), and probably allow Flash to not only crash the browser, but the ENTIRE SYSTEM?

Hell no.

If Adobe had a decently working version of Flash on ANY mobile platform, things might have looked different. But they don't.

And Adobe, realizing that their time of dominating the web experience is coming to a close, is trying to get into the app development market, instead - a move which Apple has just publicly had to give a smackdown, at the expense of a large number of other developers.

A good read on the subject:
/dev/why!?! - /dev/why!?! - Its all about theframework…

Originally Posted by Helmling View Post
All it would do is enrich the user experience on their devices, but by denying Flash a huge segment of the mobile browsing market, they are pushing developers toward HTML 5.0 and Quicktime, instead of Flash.
Yes, they are pushing developers toward HTML 5. A Nearly all video behind Flash is already h.264, and the major video portals already offer iPhone/iPad-compatible streaming (vimeo/YouTube), or are working on a dedicated app (Hulu and others).

This is not a Quicktime vs. Flash for video playback issue.
     
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Apr 16, 2010, 03:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by Helmling View Post
Well, not literally "meaningless." Obviously they "mean" that it's a particular model, but they don't offer any meaningful information useful in actually comparing the capabilities of the vehicles, do they?
BMW 1XX, 3XX, 5XX, and 7XX denote the class of the vehicle (from compact to luxury). That's pretty meaningful.

Then there's the "X" series - the SUVs - X1, X3, X5, X6, nicely sorted by size. That, too, seems pretty obvious to me.

I really don't know - or care - much about cars, but even I get that.
     
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Apr 16, 2010, 05:11 AM
 
Intel has stated that their numbering scheme was inspired by BMW numbers - that's where 3-5-7 thing comes from. Note that they already did it once before, in the P4 era.

There are two problems with the scheme, as I see it:

1) It places a too low significance on the core count, in effect overvaluing high-clockspeed duals over low-clockspeed quads. That makes absolutely no sense in a world with turbo boost.
2) The mobile and desktop chip numbering doesn't match

1) is partially a case of differing opinion, and there is some merit to it. Most use cases, at least on Windows, will have one thread being heavily loaded and the other cores being loaded less. With HT, the dual has 4 virtual cores, and you are going to be limited by the performance of that single core anyway. You can argue that a fast dual is almost as good as a slow quad in that situation.

2) is more problematic. The difference between a Core i7-620M and a Core i7-980X is enormous, and the Core i5-750 is much faster than the Core i7-620M. This is where the scheme really fails. If Intel had used markers like i4, i6, i8 on the desktop, things would look more sane. Of course, if the duals had had the memory controller on the die in the first place, maybe the difference would have been that large.
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Apr 16, 2010, 05:31 AM
 
In the distant past, it has been enough to state the chip type and frequency while today, there are many more differentiating factors (number of cores, turbo boost yes/no, cache size, tdp, etc.).

Neither Intel nor AMD have found a satisfactory solution, although Intel's naming scheme is downright insane. I'd like to see a numbering scheme that takes into account the different types of applications, e. g.
D - desktop,
M - mobile,
A - atom,
then generation, then core count, then a more arbitrary number (say, two digits). So a M24xx is a mobile second-generation chip with four cores.
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Apr 16, 2010, 10:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Intel has stated that their numbering scheme was inspired by BMW numbers - that's where 3-5-7 thing comes from. Note that they already did it once before, in the P4 era.

There are two problems with the scheme, as I see it:

1) It places a too low significance on the core count, in effect overvaluing high-clockspeed duals over low-clockspeed quads. That makes absolutely no sense in a world with turbo boost.
2) The mobile and desktop chip numbering doesn't match

1) is partially a case of differing opinion, and there is some merit to it. Most use cases, at least on Windows, will have one thread being heavily loaded and the other cores being loaded less. With HT, the dual has 4 virtual cores, and you are going to be limited by the performance of that single core anyway. You can argue that a fast dual is almost as good as a slow quad in that situation.

2) is more problematic. The difference between a Core i7-620M and a Core i7-980X is enormous, and the Core i5-750 is much faster than the Core i7-620M. This is where the scheme really fails. If Intel had used markers like i4, i6, i8 on the desktop, things would look more sane. Of course, if the duals had had the memory controller on the die in the first place, maybe the difference would have been that large.
I very much agree with your post. Just the fact that there is an i7 and and i7 that are so obviously different, and there is no real way for the consumer to know the difference without some info from the sales person or some digging to me is a fail on the part of intel,apple or whomever.Yeah, I know its not that big of a difference, but for those that buy the computers, if I was torn between a laptop and a desktop and both chips had the same name, I would think I was golden.
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Apr 17, 2010, 01:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Actually I think that the Xeons are a wonder of logic and consistency compared to everything else. The first digit is basically how expensive they are - 3000 is desktop CPUs under another name, 5000 are 2 socket midranges, 7000 is the most powerful x86 chips and 9000 is Itanic. The second digit is evolutionary, a fairly straight progression across all architechtures. 5500 is followed by 5600. After that, a higher number simply means higher clockspeed.
True as far as the series of Xeon is concerned, but how often do you see that listed. usually it is very hard to find the specific model of chip regardless of whether it is a Xeon or a core series chip. At least with the core chips you can say an i7 is higher performance than an i5.
     
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Apr 17, 2010, 10:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
BMW 1XX, 3XX, 5XX, and 7XX denote the class of the vehicle (from compact to luxury). That's pretty meaningful.

Then there's the "X" series - the SUVs - X1, X3, X5, X6, nicely sorted by size. That, too, seems pretty obvious to me.

I really don't know - or care - much about cars, but even I get that.
I didn't even know that. I just know there are numbers on the back of them and my point is that Intel wants the public to know little more about the chips under the hoods of their computers than that bigger numbers are better, but they don't want anyone paying too much attention to the details beyond that simple fact.
     
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Apr 17, 2010, 06:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by Helmling View Post
I didn't even know that. I just know there are numbers on the back of them and my point is that Intel wants the public to know little more about the chips under the hoods of their computers than that bigger numbers are better, but they don't want anyone paying too much attention to the details beyond that simple fact.
After all of the chip talk I can only derive that you are right. I think that intel does not either want us to know the difference or think that we are not smart enough to deal with the raw specs.

Personally, with the help of the boards here I decided on an i7. Partially because I love power and multitasking and i can see the benefit of going as big as you can to future proof to a certain extent. Back to the point, I cannot really say I love any naming convention i can remember. I think the easiest way would be to go with a something to designate mobile or desktop type of chip, product name/category, amount of cores, and clock speed. Hmmm the more i think about it, that is just as confusing.
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