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View Full Version : Macbook Air or Macbook Pro Retina 13"?




jmcbrid23
Aug 3, 2013, 04:00 PM
I am currently using a 2008 Macbook aluminum unibody. I am looking to upgrade sometime soon. I am unsure if I should go for the Air or Pro retina 13". I mostly use my computer for school, but occasionally do some light gaming such as Starcraft 2, Civilization, and Diablo 3. For the Macbook Air I would upgrade the processor to the i7 and RAM to 8 GB. I need 256 GB SSD. Comparing this model Macbook Air to the base Macbook Pro Retina with 256 GB SSD, there is only $100 difference with education pricing. What draws me to the Air is its portability and the fact that it has the new Haswell chip and I would receive the $100 giftcard. Opinions?



halledise
Aug 3, 2013, 04:15 PM
I am currently using a 2008 Macbook aluminum unibody. I am looking to upgrade sometime soon. I am unsure if I should go for the Air or Pro retina 13". I mostly use my computer for school, but occasionally do some light gaming such as Starcraft 2, Civilization, and Diablo 3. For the Macbook Air I would upgrade the processor to the i7 and RAM to 8 GB. I need 256 GB SSD. Comparing this model Macbook Air to the base Macbook Pro Retina with 256 GB SSD, there is only $100 difference with education pricing. What draws me to the Air is its portability and the fact that it has the new Haswell chip and I would receive the $100 giftcard. Opinions?

why not wait a month or 2 until the refreshed rMBPros arrive before deciding?

twoehr
Aug 3, 2013, 04:18 PM
If there were a Haswell MBP this would be a lot easier. :o) Considering you aren't afraid of the cost increases to upgrade an Air and are realizing how close in price you are to the MBP, I think you have to ask yourself would you be better off waiting until the Haswell MBP comes out. Naturally all the Edu discounts will be gone, but maybe having the Haswell chip makes up for that? I think you'll regret buying a non-Haswell laptop, that is what is keeping me on the sidelines for now (I'm eligible for the Edu discounts too).

jmcbrid23
Aug 3, 2013, 04:23 PM
I've thought about waiting a month or two until the new MBP Retinas come out. The only issue is the education discount is awesome. It's hard to pass that and the $100 giftcard up. :( If the discount in price is year round I might consider waiting for the Retina refresh. I agree, I don't want to buy a non-Haswell laptop...

halledise
Aug 6, 2013, 03:29 AM
I've thought about waiting a month or two until the new MBP Retinas come out. The only issue is the education discount is awesome. It's hard to pass that and the $100 giftcard up. :( If the discount in price is year round I might consider waiting for the Retina refresh. I agree, I don't want to buy a non-Haswell laptop...

$100 is that important to you on a significant purchase like this? :cool:

ValSalva
Aug 6, 2013, 04:50 AM
I've thought about waiting a month or two until the new MBP Retinas come out. The only issue is the education discount is awesome. It's hard to pass that and the $100 giftcard up. :( If the discount in price is year round I might consider waiting for the Retina refresh. I agree, I don't want to buy a non-Haswell laptop...

The educational discount is year round. The $100 gift card is just during the back to school promotion.

Nipje
Aug 6, 2013, 04:50 AM
I was in this same situation about a week ago. I ended up buying a MacBook Air because i just don't need the retina screen. And i also need a 256SSD which makes the 13" rMBP even more expensive.

If you don't really need the retina screen i would just buy a MacBook Air.

tbolt11
Aug 6, 2013, 09:23 AM
wait until the retina pros are released.

Boyd01
Aug 6, 2013, 09:42 AM
Two years ago I replaced my 2008 15" MBP with a 13" i5 4gb/256gb MBA and it was a huge upgrade in terms of speed. Have been completely happy with the decision.

Last week I had the opportunity to help a friend by selling her the MBA as a "sweetheart deal" and upgrading. I considered all the options, including the 13"rMBP. I ended up with an 11" i7 8gb/512gb MBA and I love it. It's powerful enough for what I do (including Final Cut Pro and Logic) and I really appreciate the small size when travelling. The price difference seemed pretty significant to me, and the MBP is just a lot bulkier.

jmcbrid23
Aug 7, 2013, 08:30 AM
Thanks for your responses! I think the MBA is the better option for me since I don't need the retina display specifically. I just hope the MBA is able to run some basic games like the ones I listed above... :D

hockeyfanatic
Aug 7, 2013, 09:23 PM
I7/8/256 sounds like good options for what you want. If not already purchased.

I think Zboater mentioned he could load bigger maps in CIV V with I7 but battery lasted 3 hours. Not a bad trade off. 3 hours of a game is a lot I think. If your home just leave it plugged in.

Wait for black friday and get a good deal on a 27" 2560x1440 monitor for home enjoyment.

jmcbrid23
Aug 8, 2013, 07:22 PM
Yeah I feel like the i7 would definitely fit my needs. I guess now I worry that the machine would take too big of a hit in battery life due to the larger processor. For school work (mostly word processing, Internet applications and email) I would like to be able to have great battery life. I read the anandtech article about battery life and it seems like during medium to heavy usage it does take a hit.

Suraj R.
Aug 8, 2013, 08:28 PM
I7/8/256 sounds like good options for what you want. If not already purchased.

I think Zboater mentioned he could load bigger maps in CIV V with I7 but battery lasted 3 hours. Not a bad trade off. 3 hours of a game is a lot I think. If your home just leave it plugged in.

Wait for black friday and get a good deal on a 27" 2560x1440 monitor for home enjoyment.

This. I bought the i5/8/128 configuration because I realized I have a 3TB USB 3 external HD that is on my desk, where my Air will always be. I also picked up a 64GB SD card for 40 bucks which gives me that extra storage on the go when I need it, and allow my SSD to be cleaner (better for performance). The 8GB of RAM was a no brainer, and all though I do play some games relatively often (COD 4, Bioshock) there isn't anything that the i7 can do that the i5 can't, and gaming performance is pretty much the same.

I also got a 23" HP Pavilion 23xi 1080p LED monitor for $160 at my local Costco, and along with a Logitech 2.1 system, the Magic Mouse and AWK I bought for my previous Mac and a rain design mStand, I pretty much have a desktop set up for myself that I love.

lina231
Aug 8, 2013, 08:47 PM
I am currently using a 2008 Macbook aluminum unibody. I am looking to upgrade sometime soon. I am unsure if I should go for the Air or Pro retina 13". I mostly use my computer for school, but occasionally do some light gaming such as Starcraft 2, Civilization, and Diablo 3. For the Macbook Air I would upgrade the processor to the i7 and RAM to 8 GB. I need 256 GB SSD. Comparing this model Macbook Air to the base Macbook Pro Retina with 256 GB SSD, there is only $100 difference with education pricing. What draws me to the Air is its portability and the fact that it has the new Haswell chip and I would receive the $100 giftcard. Opinions?
I just recently bought my MBA with my student discount, and I must say that $100 gift card is awesome. I am a student and use my computer for mainly just for school. I do not game, so I'm not too sure what computer would be better in terms of gaming. What I can say is this MBA is amazing. It is super thin and does not weigh a lot which makes it a lot easier to carry around, and the screen display is amazing. If you're not a hard core gamer I would say go with the MBA. It's only a $100 difference, but that's money that you could pocket and use for something else (books, food, typical college things...). The only thing that could potentially be a problem is lack of cd drive (which you could purchase separately) I myself don't miss it and my boyfriend who has the MBP barely uses his. In my opinion, either one is a win win, they're great computers so I think whichever one you go for you'll be happy with. Just my opinion though :)

hockeyfanatic
Aug 9, 2013, 03:49 PM
This. I bought the i5/8/128 configuration because I realized I have a 3TB USB 3 external HD that is on my desk, where my Air will always be. I also picked up a 64GB SD card for 40 bucks which gives me that extra storage on the go when I need it, and allow my SSD to be cleaner (better for performance). The 8GB of RAM was a no brainer, and all though I do play some games relatively often (COD 4, Bioshock) there isn't anything that the i7 can do that the i5 can't, and gaming performance is pretty much the same.

I also got a 23" HP Pavilion 23xi 1080p LED monitor for $160 at my local Costco, and along with a Logitech 2.1 system, the Magic Mouse and AWK I bought for my previous Mac and a rain design mStand, I pretty much have a desktop set up for myself that I love.

Well that is whats important. Enjoy it.