MBP or MBA

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Rhodan, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2007
    #1
    I'm not sure what to get, a 15" Macbook Pro or a 13" Macbook Air.

    This would be to replace a 2007 iMac. We use it for editing holiday video's and photo's primarily.

    Would 16gb RAM make a big difference vs 8gb if we are not doing anything hardcore like Final Cut for example?
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #2
    I replaced a 2008 15" MBP with a 2011 13" MBA (1.7ghz i5, 4gb RAM, 256gb SSD). The MBA runs circles around the old MBP, about twice as fast for CPU bound tasks and much, much faster for anything involving disk.

    I am doing fine with 4gb running pro applications like my old versions of Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, VectorWorks and the newest version of Logic Pro. I would have gotten 8gb RAM but that wasn't an option in 2011, and really I am not seeing any problems with 4gb. I can't imagine that you would need 16gb for what you describe (although extra RAM isn't bad :) ). I would put the money into a large SSD myself. 256 was the largest available in 2011, today I would go for 512.

    But the 15" MBP is a very different animal from the 13" MBA. You need to decide what fits you personal needs first based on size, weight, screen, additional ports, internal DVD drive.

    Personally I didn't mind giving these up for the MBA. I still use my old 15" MBP to watch DVD's, but that's about all. :)
     
  3. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Location:
    Montreal
    #3
    I also had concerns regarding performance 2 years ago choosing the 13" Air over the 15" Pro. After using it, I found that the Air can handle everything a normal consumer can throw at it (besides gaming). And this was when the Air was using a processor from 2008.

    Any of the two will run much faster than your old iMac. The extra ram won't be used very often - 8gb is plenty. In terms of purely crunching video, the better processor will do it faster.

    To me, the form factor, battery-life, and whether you're in need of dedicated graphics (gaming) should be the main determining factors.
     
  4. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    #4
    I had a 2012 MBA (which is going to my father, or he's buying it I should say) and just bought a souped up 15" MBP. The MBA will be plenty for what you need and 8GB more than enough. I do quite a bit of coding, some big data stuff as well as run 1-2 VMs from time to time.

    I loved, LOVED the MBA form factor and weight. I had a 23" external monitor connected and used that quite a bit. Don't get me wrong, I really like my MBP, but the MBA is awfully nice..

    Just my $.02



    ----------

    Agreed.
    Well stated, but remember, the retina MBPs don't have the DVD drive either. Or mine didn't. But - I don't miss it either...
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    designs216

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Down the rabbit hole
    #5
    Sounds like you'd be fine with the Air and would probably appreciate the lighter weight if you take it on the road. I would consider getting 8GB RAM to insure you'll get the most longevity from the new machine.
     
  6. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    #6
    I moved from a 2010 MBA plus 2010 MacPro-8core to one 2012 rMBP where, apart from the usual stuff, I do financial simulations (Java) and video-editing (Final Cut). The rMPB is much faster, obviously, than the MBA, but the MBA always handled everything I threw at it with aplomb, despite is having 4Gb ram. So for casual video-editing a 2012 MBA is more than enough. 16 Gb is not needed, 8 seems wise.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2007
    #7
    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    I'll go in store today to have another look over both of them before deciding.
     

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