Macbook Air powerful enough to replace Macbook Pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by mdude85, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2010
    Hi everyone,

    I have been using a refurbished 13" Macbook Pro since September 2010. It has 4 GB RAM, 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo chip and a 250GB drive. It's beginning to slow up (I mainly use it for pretty heavy Photoshop and Lightroom work) and is suffering from some battery and screen issues. Since I now have an iPad mini I plan to use the MBP only for major computing and content creation tasks.

    So I am thinking to replace it with a 13" Macbook Air but was unsure whether the Air is sufficiently powerful or whether I should wait six months for refurbished Retina Macbook Pros to come on the market.

    In a Macbook Air I would be looking for 8GB of RAM and an Intel i5 chip. I've seen that the i5 chip benchmarks significantly faster than the Core 2 duo chips, and I'm sure the 8GB of RAM is an improvement over the 4GB I currently have, but I wonder if this will translate to a real-world difference. A MBA would cost $1200 with my employer discount and customization. A 13" Macbook Pro Retina would cost $1600 (may be too much to spend given that in a few years Retina displays will cost much less).

    Anyone use Macbook Airs for photographic work? What do you think? Decent replacement for an older 2010 Macbook Pro?

  2. macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2012
    Virginia, USA
    I am a photographer as well and use my 13" MBA on the road, it does fine for all photographic tasks but note my configuration is different that you are looking at. At home I use a 2010 14" MBP with the 27" apple monitor. I have 8 GB memory and a very fast 512 GB SSD that replaced my 500 GB 7200 RPM HDD. The Air speced out at 8x faster than my Pro using Black Magic before the drive swap which made my MBP 3x faster than before. MBA is still a faster machine than the MBP.

    The Air is fine, I just miss the large monitor on the road.
  3. macrumors 6502


    May 20, 2006
    Any modern system, MBA included, with an SSD will absolutely cream a standard platter hard drive system. Also the processor is much much faster. You'll be fine.
  4. macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2012
    I went from MBP to MBA and I love it. I find the MBA more than capable for the vast majority of tasks. I think only a small number of users would really need the MBP over the MBA.
  5. macrumors 604

    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Yes, and I'll probably be getting an Air next :)
  6. macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2007
    Agreed! Love my new MBA over the MBP that I had.
  7. macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2010
    Sweden & California
    My 2010 1.86Ghz/320M 4GB Ram MBA handles everything I throw at it. But I don't throw Aperture at it and expect it to render photo's at the same speed as my quad core i7 ;)

    If you have a modicum of patience then a newer MBA will be great and definitely faster than that 13" MBP (with HD3000 graphics) your lugging around for sure.
  8. macrumors 68000

    Mar 29, 2009
    Depends on what you do - if you hit 100% CPU on your quad-core i7 15" Macbook Pro, the Air will leave you wanting more. But if you have an older dual-core Macbook Pro you will be fine.

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