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Old Jul 28, 2013, 05:00 AM   #1
Nipje
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Hashwell MacBook Air 13" and the upcomming Hashwell rMBP 13"

I'm opening this thread because i'm sure a lot of people are in the same situation as i am right now:

I need to buy myself a new MacBook but it's really hard with the upcomming update to the MacBook Pro line. With my needs, if i'll pick the MacBook Air, i will need 8GB/256GB and an i7. About the same price as a 13" retina MacBook Pro and, if the prices stay the same, even the same price as a 13" hashwell rMBP.

This is where i can't make a decision. With the prices of these models so close to each other the upcomming hashwell 13" rMBP seems to be the better choice. Even if i don't need the power, the prices are the same. But what about battery life for example?

I am hoping some of you can help me make my decision
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 05:05 AM   #2
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The rMBP will have a faster Haswell chipset, and while its battery life will be better thanks to the Haswell chipset, it won't be the all day like the MBA just because that computer has the ULV Haswell variant.

If you don't need the power of the MBP's cpu, or want the retina screen, then the MBA is a perfect choice and why wait
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 05:12 AM   #3
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As I wrote in the "Just ordered" thread, I was in the same place as you. But as I dont do any photo/video editing, and I don't really see that big difference in my daily tasks etc, I came to the point where I rather go for the lighter, cheaper and more then powerful enough (for me) MBA 13".

It all boils down to what you do with your machine, and how important the screen is for you. You can ofcourse buy the MBA and sell it when the Haswell arrives.
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 05:14 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by maflynn View Post
The rMBP will have a faster Haswell chipset, and while its battery life will be better thanks to the Haswell chipset, it won't be the all day like the MBA just because that computer has the ULV Haswell variant.

If you don't need the power of the MBP's cpu, or want the retina screen, then the MBA is a perfect choice and why wait
I am not a designer or anything like that. I will use the system for webdevelopment and iOS development mainly. Because of this reason i do not "need" the retina screen. My concern however is the power of the new MacBook Air. I want to work on this machine for a couple of years.

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As I wrote in the "Just ordered" thread, I was in the same place as you. But as I dont do any photo/video editing, and I don't really see that big difference in my daily tasks etc, I came to the point where I rather go for the lighter, cheaper and more then powerful enough (for me) MBA 13".

It all boils down to what you do with your machine, and how important the screen is for you. You can ofcourse buy the MBA and sell it when the Haswell arrives.
Yeah true, it all depends on what you use the machine for. I do not really "need" the retina screen. But on the other hand i am really scared that i won't like the display of the MacBook Air because i got used to retina in my iPhone 5 etc.. Can you tell me anything about the quality of the MacBook Air screen? And is the quality better than the older MacBook Air machines?
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 06:02 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Nipje View Post
I am not a designer or anything like that. I will use the system for webdevelopment and iOS development mainly. Because of this reason i do not "need" the retina screen. My concern however is the power of the new MacBook Air. I want to work on this machine for a couple of years.
My old C2D machine is still going strong able to do anything I or what my wife throws at it. I'm on a rMBP and gave my old laptop to my wife.

My point is if C2D is still a capable chipset after 3+ years of use. The MBA should be more then up to the task. I hear what you're saying however and for added insurance, getting the non ULV variant for Haswell can make sense. By going that route you get more performance but at the expense of the battery.

I don't think there's any wrong decision, in the end if you can wait until apple releases the haswell based laptops you can make a more informed decision.
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 06:08 AM   #6
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My old C2D machine is still going strong able to do anything I or what my wife throws at it. I'm on a rMBP and gave my old laptop to my wife.

My point is if C2D is still a capable chipset after 3+ years of use. The MBA should be more then up to the task. I hear what you're saying however and for added insurance, getting the non ULV variant for Haswell can make sense. By going that route you get more performance but at the expense of the battery.

I don't think there's any wrong decision, in the end if you can wait until apple releases the haswell based laptops you can make a more informed decision.
Actually, the 4258 and 4588 are both rated as a ULV processor. One being the processor leaked in the geekbench bench test whilst the other is the likely i7 version. Both are rated at higher watts then the MBA processor though (at 28W), so performance will still differ.
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 06:17 AM   #7
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Yeah true, it all depends on what you use the machine for. I do not really "need" the retina screen. But on the other hand i am really scared that i won't like the display of the MacBook Air because i got used to retina in my iPhone 5 etc.. Can you tell me anything about the quality of the MacBook Air screen? And is the quality better than the older MacBook Air machines?
I havent got my Air yet, but used one for 10 days in late june, and for me the screen is sharp and good looking. I have an iPad mini without retina and love that screen aswell. Only my iPhone 4 is retina, so I'm sort of not used to retina on larger devices yet, and that is maybe why I don't see the big difference.

However, I think a good option for you can be to buy the MBA and see if it suits your need, and if it dosen't, return it inside the first 14-days.
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 06:22 AM   #8
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Hashwell? That was funny.
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 06:37 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by maflynn View Post
My old C2D machine is still going strong able to do anything I or what my wife throws at it. I'm on a rMBP and gave my old laptop to my wife.

My point is if C2D is still a capable chipset after 3+ years of use. The MBA should be more then up to the task. I hear what you're saying however and for added insurance, getting the non ULV variant for Haswell can make sense. By going that route you get more performance but at the expense of the battery.

I don't think there's any wrong decision, in the end if you can wait until apple releases the haswell based laptops you can make a more informed decision.
You mean that with the i7 i want in my MacBook Air it will result in less batery life? Is this the case really? I tought it would still be around 12 hours. Sorry if i misunderstand, i'm kinda new in this whole thing ;D
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 07:45 AM   #10
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You mean that with the i7 i want in my MacBook Air it will result in less batery life? Is this the case really? I tought it would still be around 12 hours. Sorry if i misunderstand, i'm kinda new in this whole thing ;D
The i7 will consume more battery when pushed compared to the i5. But the difference is not that great. You'd still get around 12 hours of batter life unless you were doing something highly CPU intensive live transcoding video in HandBrake which would also hurt the i5 battery life.
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 11:58 AM   #11
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Everything is a guess at this point. The Haswell 13" rMBP will have a faster processor than the Haswell MBA, but I don't know how much faster it will be at this point. The GPU will probably be better too.

As for battery life, it's a guess. The rMBP will have a higher clocked processor and will drive more pixels, and that consumes a lot of battery. However, the rMBP also has a bigger battery than the MBA. I don't know how things will play out in the end. I would expect battery life on a 13" Haswell rMBP to range from 9 to 12 hours. Probably lower than the 13" MBA, but not by too much.
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 12:12 PM   #12
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Everything is a guess at this point. The Haswell 13" rMBP will have a faster processor than the Haswell MBA, but I don't know how much faster it will be at this point. The GPU will probably be better too.

As for battery life, it's a guess. The rMBP will have a higher clocked processor and will drive more pixels, and that consumes a lot of battery. However, the rMBP also has a bigger battery than the MBA. I don't know how things will play out in the end. I would expect battery life on a 13" Haswell rMBP to range from 9 to 12 hours. Probably lower than the 13" MBA, but not by too much.
But than it would make more sense for every person buying a new mac to just buy the 13" rMBP instead of a 13" MBA since the prices are the same. That can't be right, i'm sure Apple still wants to sell the 13" MBA and doesn't want the 13" rMBP to take in the place.
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 02:03 PM   #13
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But than it would make more sense for every person buying a new mac to just buy the 13" rMBP instead of a 13" MBA since the prices are the same. That can't be right, i'm sure Apple still wants to sell the 13" MBA and doesn't want the 13" rMBP to take in the place.
Right now the 13" rMBP is $300 more than the Air with the same 128GB SSD and 8GB RAM, and I don't see that changing when it gets updated.

The leaked benchmarks show that the new 13" rMBP will use the 28W ULV Haswell chips with Iris 5100 graphics.

CPU performance should be similar to the Air, but the rMBP has a much better cooling system than the Air so it won't be so thermally constrained. Running CPU-intensive tasks like video encoding should be much better than the Air because the CPU can stay at turbo clocks for longer period without having to throttle because of heat. GPU performance should be better as well.
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 03:08 PM   #14
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Right now the 13" rMBP is $300 more than the Air with the same 128GB SSD and 8GB RAM, and I don't see that changing when it gets updated.

The leaked benchmarks show that the new 13" rMBP will use the 28W ULV Haswell chips with Iris 5100 graphics.

CPU performance should be similar to the Air, but the rMBP has a much better cooling system than the Air so it won't be so thermally constrained. Running CPU-intensive tasks like video encoding should be much better than the Air because the CPU can stay at turbo clocks for longer period without having to throttle because of heat. GPU performance should be better as well.
Yeah my price comparison was between the i7 / 256 / 8GB MacBook Air model and cheapest rMBP model. The rMBP is cheaper in that case, and faster.

Just trying to make my choice between the two systems here. It's kinda hard. Like i said i don't need the retina display and such, but if the price is the same..
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 03:36 PM   #15
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Yeah my price comparison was between the i7 / 256 / 8GB MacBook Air model and cheapest rMBP model. The rMBP is cheaper in that case, and faster.

Just trying to make my choice between the two systems here. It's kinda hard. Like i said i don't need the retina display and such, but if the price is the same..
I think that the i7 Air beats the base rMBP in benchmarks but the cooling system on the rMBP probably makes it a net win.

For the same price though you're getting double the storage on the Airl. Basically you're trading storage size (which is expensive in the land of SSDs) as well as battery life for the better display and cooling system.

Even the Haswell 13" rMBP probably won't have 12 hours of battery life.
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 04:00 PM   #16
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But than it would make more sense for every person buying a new mac to just buy the 13" rMBP instead of a 13" MBA since the prices are the same.
Not if you need or prefer a smaller/thinner notebook.
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 04:17 PM   #17
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Not if you need or prefer a smaller/thinner notebook.
Personally... for my usage... I believe the MBA is the flagship of the Apple laptop line. I would pay a premium for a MBA over a MBP if that is what it took to have a MBA. In my case, this is re-enforced because I also use an iMac. The iMac/MBA is the ideal combination for what I do.

For those who need/want a single computer... then a MBP might be a better solution.

/Jim
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 05:26 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Nipje View Post
I'm opening this thread because i'm sure a lot of people are in the same situation as i am right now:

I need to buy myself a new MacBook but it's really hard with the upcomming update to the MacBook Pro line. With my needs, if i'll pick the MacBook Air, i will need 8GB/256GB and an i7. About the same price as a 13" retina MacBook Pro and, if the prices stay the same, even the same price as a 13" hashwell rMBP.

This is where i can't make a decision. With the prices of these models so close to each other the upcomming hashwell 13" rMBP seems to be the better choice. Even if i don't need the power, the prices are the same. But what about battery life for example?

I am hoping some of you can help me make my decision
The 11" MBA is great, but I just don't see the point in getting the 13" MBA. It is about the same size and weight as the rMBP, but with inferior specs in every regard (with the possible exception of battery life, although you can also expect comparable [i think] to the 11" MBA).

Wait for the new rMBP.
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 05:41 PM   #19
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The 11" MBA is great, but I just don't see the point in getting the 13" MBA. It is about the same size and weight as the rMBP, but with inferior specs in every regard (with the possible exception of battery life, although you can also expect comparable [i think] to the 11" MBA).

Wait for the new rMBP.
I don't expect Apple to just let the new 13" rMBP "beat" the 13" air. It will really hurt the 13" air sales it it is same price but just better. Some plusses of the 13" air should be kept right ;O
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 07:02 PM   #20
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But than it would make more sense for every person buying a new mac to just buy the 13" rMBP instead of a 13" MBA since the prices are the same. That can't be right, i'm sure Apple still wants to sell the 13" MBA and doesn't want the 13" rMBP to take in the place.
Prices are not the same. The lower-end 13" rMBP is US$ 400 more expensive than the lower-end 13" MBA. In addition, the 13" MBA is thinner and lighter than the 13" rMBP. And I guess the 13" MBA sells more than the 13" rMBP, mainly because of the lower price.
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Old Jul 29, 2013, 12:10 AM   #21
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$400 2013 MBA Base 13" vs 2012 rMBP 13"

MBA comes with 4GB so that's $100 more to get to same 8GB ram as the rMBP.

Difference is now $300.

Considering Apple dropped $100 in 2013 MBA, last year's models would have only $200 in difference. This would remain true if Apple dropped $100 in their 2013 MBP releases as well.

So for $200 - you get a much faster CPU, Retina display, more ports (which means less Apple converters). rumors suggest the new MBPs will come with Iris/Iris Pro... which means better graphics. And also thunderbolt 2.0 which will allow you to run 2 external displays simultaneously.

But what you WILL lose, is battery life. Probably around 3-5 hours, depending on what clockspeeds Apple put in their Pros. Iris and Iris Pro also draws more power consumption.

There is also the portability advantage.

Factor in the $150 cpu bump to i7 that a lot of users are getting on their Airs, the price is the same. And the i7 on MBA likely won't be as fast as the base rMBP in terms of CPU. Or, maybe just the same. But then i7 Air users also take a battery hit which while closing the performance gap between the Air and rPro, it will also closen the battery gap from the retina to the Air.

Get the Air if you value portability and Battery life. It's amazing for someone like me who has to to travel a lot daily from point to point to meet customers, or between factories located in different cities... or esp for international trips where space on the carry-on luggage is critical.
Having not to carry a charger along in my daily suitcase is something I never expected, but will be golden. That's the real catch. Can't wait for it to arrive this week.

However, if you need performance, or love gaming... get the retina. Don't even doubt it.

Last edited by AXs; Jul 29, 2013 at 12:31 AM.
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Old Jul 29, 2013, 12:52 AM   #22
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It all boils down to what you do with your machine, how much you value the retina display and how much you value battery life. For all my uses (typical office docs, web surfing, web development, Photoshop, email, etc.), the MBA handles everything with aplomb. The screen is more than good enough for me. Yes, a retina display would be nice, but not necessary. The kicker is battery life. I love that I get at least 10+ hours on this thing. Absolutely amazing for a full blown computer. I get better battery life on my MBA than on my iPad and I can do so much more with my MBA than my iPad.
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Old Jul 29, 2013, 03:09 AM   #23
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It all boils down to what you do with your machine, how much you value the retina display and how much you value battery life. For all my uses (typical office docs, web surfing, web development, Photoshop, email, etc.), the MBA handles everything with aplomb. The screen is more than good enough for me. Yes, a retina display would be nice, but not necessary. The kicker is battery life. I love that I get at least 10+ hours on this thing. Absolutely amazing for a full blown computer. I get better battery life on my MBA than on my iPad and I can do so much more with my MBA than my iPad.
I do value battery life and portability. And at the times i work at home with my MacBook Air i will connect an external monitor to the machine. Because of this reason i also don't "need" the retina screen. But even if i wouldn't connect a external monitor and just use the 13" retina screen on a rMBP, it would probably be too small to work on all day long.

I think that the MBA is the better choice for me. It still is hard because the retina screens are so beautiful...
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Old Jul 29, 2013, 08:43 AM   #24
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I do value battery life and portability. And at the times i work at home with my MacBook Air i will connect an external monitor to the machine. Because of this reason i also don't "need" the retina screen. But even if i wouldn't connect a external monitor and just use the 13" retina screen on a rMBP, it would probably be too small to work on all day long.

I think that the MBA is the better choice for me. It still is hard because the retina screens are so beautiful...
I agree. MBA for your usage pattern.
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