is Intel i5 better choice than i7 for battery life?

mike2401 used Ask the Experts™
Would an i5 give me longer battery run-time than an i7?

90% of what I'd be doing is web surfing and Office 365.


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Robert RComputer Service Technician

the system will only use the cpu power if it needs it, so I doubt you would notice significant more battery power using an i7 cpu than compared to a i5 cpu. The cpu power is there if you need it. If you are using a cpu intensive app such as autocad, or you are a CPU intensive game you may notice a more drain on the battery, but that is too be expected using processing power. But in general computer usage the difference will be very small. For what you will be using the computer for I doubt there would be much difference. But then again if this what you are going to use the computer for, why would you need to buy an system with an i7 cpu?  If you do occasionally play cpu intensive applications then I say go for the extra expense, if not I recommend just saving your money.
Software Engineer
Top Expert 2011
The Thermal Dynamic Profile (TDP) of the chips is identical at 15 watts so there is likely to be a marginal difference in battery life between the chips ranging in typical tests from 15 mins to 25 mins.

For the usage you describe I would save your money and go for an i5

All of these are similar in terms of power consuption.  See the TDP line...
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I'm ditching my almost 4 year old Macbook pro which was an i5.

It never seemed too fast.

I kinda hate to buy the same processor 4 years later.

However, I'm entertaining a lenovo T480 which is pretty darn expensive when equipped with a 1TB SSD and 16 gigs ram so I wouldn't mind saving a few bucks.

If the answer I got here was it would save me lots of battery (very important), I'd happily go i5.

If I keep this laptop for 4 years, my temptation is to err on the side of future-proof.

I doubt an i7 CPU would improve your experience much.  The SSD will be the game changer if your previous Macbook Pro didn't have one (And the RAM may improve performance to a lesser extent) in your case :) but I have to ask is a 1TB SSD really necessary?  You could have a secondary HDD with a smaller primary SSD, or use files-on-demand with OneDrive, an external HDD or something like that if storage is an issue.


My old macbook was 512gig SSD with 8 gig RAM.  I have my files on a Synology NAS and my vision was "wireless file server".  However, it's soo darn slow that I really want my files with me all the time.  All my files will fit if I go 1 TB SSD and then I won't have to fuss with external storage.

I'm a 50 tab-open chrome browser user so I know I want 16 gigs.

I do acknowledge that this config seems like overkill but I hope to have this PC for 4 years so I want to buy ahead-of-the curve.


Thanks everyone!



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