$1626 for 15" retina or $1399 for MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Stealth777, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2013
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Hi, I recently received my 2nd 2013 MBA, i5, 8g, 256g. This second machine has the volume fluctuation and photoshop problems just like the first one did. I do however really love the form factor of the machine and can live with the screen.

    At Best Buy yesterday they had an open box 15" 2.4g retina w/ 8g, 256g for $1626 which I bought on the spot. The 15" is definitely larger, but doesn't feel much heavier.

    So, which one do you all think is the better deal? To get the retina with quad core, retina screen and discrete video card for a little over $200 more seems like a pretty good deal. Battery had 7 cycles on it. It also has the Samsung panel which I guess is supposed to be the better one.

    Oddly enough, for many operations in just using the two machines, the Air feels faster! I did load windows 8 on both and Fary Cry 3 and that does play a lot better on the retina though...as would be expected. I'm still not getting super high frame rates or anything though.

    Anyway, just thought I'd see if anyone had opinions on what they would do for the cost difference in these two machines.

  2. macrumors 68040

    Jan 8, 2013
    If you like some gaming too....id say that 650M is better than HD5200 and that is better than HD5000...so i would recommend the 15" MBP
  3. macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2011
    would you rather have the 12 hour battery or extra processing power and nicer screen?

    I personally don't game or video edit, so I don't need the power. Many of my programs are not yet retina-spec, so I dont need the nice screen either (I just read longform stuff on my Kindle). So I got a new MBA.

    If you have the money, what matters most is whether the laptop fits your lifestyle. I seriously LOVE that extra 5 hours of battery life.
  4. macrumors 68020


    Oct 16, 2007
    United States of America
    The speed difference you are seeing with the Air is most likely due to the PCIe SSD. It is nearly twice as fast as the previous SSD's Apple used in the MBA's and MBP's. It was the first thing I noticed when I demo'd one in the Apple Store and now that I own one, I can honestly say this is the fasted SSD I have ever used (or even seen). It is lightning fast. Applications and programs literally open in the blink of an eye and the boot and shutdown times are insane (my Air booted up to login screen in 7 seconds and was ready to rock in another 2 after login. Stunning, really.
  5. macrumors 68000

    Oct 21, 2009
    I sold my retina (16gb and 512gb ssd with 2.7 i7) and bought and air. The screen on the air is terrible but the form factor and battery are killer which to me makes it a far better computer. I do wish it had a second thunderbolt port or hdmi like the retina does though
  6. macrumors 603


    Aug 5, 2010
    The air probably loads stuff from disk faster. They only go to 8GB of ram, so any extra ssd performance may be appreciable in photoshop too. The discrete graphics will mainly help with gaming. Do not expect a noticeable difference in photoshop. A few things that most people never touch benefit greatly, but if you tried to play with a huge huge file, you would lose more performance to only 8GB of ram than you ever would the gpu. 2D OpenGL just isn't really a big deal, and OpenCL computation is only used in a few things. They make a bigger difference in a 3d program, but what 3d program chokes on a single flat plane in an orthographic view?
  7. MT0227, Aug 12, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2013

    macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2009
    The screen was the most noticeable difference between the 2 and was the deciding factor for me when I bought my 15" rMBP released last year. I paid way more +$200 for the rMBP even against the Ultra MBA at the time. However, I was getting more computer as the rMBP was new and the MBA was in need of a refresh.

    On another note, a properly calibrated MBA screen is still very good. It's not a retina and a bit less than what you may get else ware, however still very good when calibrated properly.
  8. macrumors 68020


    Oct 16, 2007
    United States of America
    I concur about the MBA display...very good, indeed.
  9. AXs
    macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    15" Retina Any day.

    That's the price of a 13" Retina Where i'm from.

    15"Retina base blows ultimate Air out of the park twice, except battery life.

    Or what I would do if I was offered a 15" Retina at that price, I'd buy both...and shelf my Ethos.
  10. M0V3M3N7, Aug 13, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2013

    macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2013
    London, UK
    - I am amazed every time I boot up my MBA how fast it goes. as you say, its 6 or 7 seconds to the login screen - and depending how fast you type you can go from pressing the button, full boot, login, to open applications within about 10-12 secs. I dont bother to put the machine sleep any more - just power down!


    - Are there threads here on how to properly calibrate the screen? or can someone be generous enough to point me in the right direction?

  11. macrumors newbie


    Aug 13, 2013
    I think 11 inch Macbook Air with 1.3G HZ i5, 4G, 128G is far more than enough!!!:D:D:D
  12. macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2009
    Your best bet would be to purchase a calibration tool. Every display is different and will calibrate a little differently. Go to X-Rite's website, there are several options depending upon your needs.

    I've posted my 11" MBA profile for its LG display. If you have an LG you may want to give it a try.


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