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Thinking of trading in 2011MBP for MBA need advice

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by dannyr, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

    hello everyone I currently have a 2011MBP 15" 2.0ghz 4GB ram 128GB ssd hi-res antiglare screen

    This is the second 2011MBP I have got from apple this month, i returned the first one because the harddrive began clicking, i opted for the ssd on the second go around...but I've noticed now that this machine gets pretty hot even when I'm not doing anything too processor demanding, just streaming internet radio, and watching movies.

    I never do anything like gaming, photo editing, or video editing. The computer would primarly be used for surfing, watching movies, word processing, and possibly some autocad.

    I feel like my current machine is way more than what I need so I'm curious about the MBA...would it get as hot as my current macbook pro? would i really miss this current screen (I heard air screens are fantastic with little glare), would I miss the performance from this machine - or better yet would I even realize the difference in specs?
  2. macrumors newbie

    watching movies off an external drive, and streaming radio can't be that demanding can they? I just feel like this thing shouldnt be so warm over applications like that
  3. Moderator


    My 13" MBA is the coolest laptop I have every used. In normal usage (no Flash or other CPU intensive), it doesn't even get warm. Right now I have used my MBA simultaneously for about two hours and the bottom is as cool as it was when I opened it. CPU is running nicely at 43°C. It has been on my lap and on my bed (more or less buried under blanket and other stuff). No excessive heating when watching videos either, especially if they are non-Flash.

    For your tasks, MBA would be more than adequate. The only task that might not run that great on MBA would be AutoCAD but if that is just a maybe, then MBA should be fine. In your usage, you wouldn't even notice the difference in CPU and GPU.

    I find the 1440x900 screen to be great. While it's less than 1680x1050, it's a lot for 13.3". Since there is no glass on top of the display, it's not as glossy as the MBP's screen, which is also a good thing IMO. Colors may not be as crisp but I haven't found any reason to complain.
  4. macrumors 604


    I wonder why the MBA is cooler than the MBP... It doesn't make sense :confused:
  5. macrumors member

    With the exception of AutoCAD, it sounds like you don't need much processing power. And yet you chose the 15" MBP rather than the 13". Since you don't need the power, I'm guessing you chose the 15" purely for it's extra screen size and didn't mind paying a bit more and sacrificing some portability to get it.

    Sounds to me like the screen size is the biggest thing to think about. The biggest MBA is only 13" - something you already avoided by going with the 15" MBP. The only real practical advantage advantage of MBA over MBP is portability. If portability is so important to you that you are prepared to sacrifice that valuable extra couple of inches on the screen, then go for it (but then why did you go for the 15" in the first place?). Otherwise, I'd say you were better off sticking with the Pro.

    My guess is that something you are doing (possibly something to do with streaming videos from a USB drive cooking the chipset? Try copying the video to the laptop drive before playing, or streaming over a network...) is causing the Pro to run too hot. The Pro is a powerful machine - if it's struggling with seemingly basic stuff, something is not right. "Get it sorted" would be my advice...
  6. macrumors newbie

    I essentially chose the 15" for the anti-glare screen...however from my understanding the MBA screen is pretty comparable even though its not labeled as an anti-glare screen. I would love to save a few bucks if the MBA makes more sense for me. My real concern is will the MBA cook in my lap if I'm watching a movie, will it heat up if I'm streaming internet radio, and would the 2.13ghz processor make a big difference compared to the 1.86ghz with the type my extent of usage?
  7. macrumors 6502


    Haha, I see now ...
    <rant on>
    That's the hoops users have to jump through to get what they need - because Apple doesn't let us configure Macs the way we want them
    (Where is my 8GB/SXSHiRes 11" MBA :mad:)
    </rant off>

    I came from exactly the same place - owned two MBPs with Matte/AntiGlare screens ...
    Was in love with current ('10 is same as '11 I believe) HiRes 15" screen ...
    When I switched to 13" MBA (which I've lusted after since '08) I'd miss that screen - for about a week ... :eek::confused:
    now I can't even think about looking back :cool::D

    I'm much more satisfied with MBAs temps vs. 15"MBP (I had 2010 Arrandale one but it wasn't cool machine either)
    I'm in NorCal, and for me CPU is mostly at 120-130F (enclosure sits at 79F right now)

    When it crunches something it does get hot faster than MBP, and hotter.
    But when crunch is over it cools down faster as well, and sits cooler :rolleyes:
  8. macrumors newbie

    what do you mean by crunches? I don't see streaming radio, or even watching a movie as too intensive applications? Are they? Right at this moment I have Safari open and I'm streaming some radio and I can feel some heat radiating from the keyboard, and the bottom of the laptop is hot...could I expect the same thing with the air?

    Reply's are much appreciated :)
  9. macrumors 68020

    Cheffy Dave


    I would go with Hellhammers assessment, I never had the level of computer you have, so I can't speak to that, BUT, I did and do haves C2D 2.2 BMB with 6 GB RAM, so while unlike yours, it was no slouch, the 11" MBA runs circles
    around it, I am totally in love with it:cool:
  10. entatlrg, Apr 22, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011

    macrumors demi-god


    I do design work on my 13" MBA, that works the machine and it handles it fine. AutoCad won't be as speedy as it is on the Quad's of course but I don't recall my MBA ever lagging.

    I ALWAYS seem to end up back at the 13" MacBook Air, I've gone from the older version Air's to the 13 and 15" MBP's ... only to come back the the Air ...

    More recently I had a 17" MBP that I bought so I could have a large yet portable screen ... after a few days with that I'm back to my 13" MBA again. The large mobile screen was nice but doesn't come close to outweighing the portability and weight of the Air ... the MacBook Air is an enjoyment and fun to use, in my experience the MBP's ... not so much.
  11. macrumors 6502


    No, absolutely not (though it depends on what you do with Safari atm)

    Crunches is what iPhoto loves to do when it launches/connects with iPhone full of photos.
    Then temps shoot to 180-190F and fan is at 5+K

  12. macrumors newbie

    So just to clarify...the MBA would run noticeably cooler? I'm just a little frustrated at the moment having received 2 laptops in the last month, and spending over 2600$ applecare & tax incl. on the one I'm using right now and not being completely satisfied with it. Perhaps I'm just looking for imperfections, but I have read on the forum about MBP's getting hot under simple applications. $2600 just for a screen preference and had to upgrade to an ssd to avoid harddrive noise :confused: and from what I understand I could expect the same performance from the MBA.
  13. macrumors 6502


    If by "performance" you mean - serve you pages, music, videos, etc - then Yes.

    As for temps I remember my MBP being warmer (not exactly hot, but uncomfortable enough) but it was Arrandale i7 of 2010.
    SandyBridge is developed from Arrandale, uses same die tech (32nm) but is supposed to be better
    .... Oh I forgot you now have double the cores I had :confused::eek::rolleyes:

    So the bottom line - MBAs run cooler - but you still have to do your homework - weed out demons/daemons which might be plaguing MBPs operation for you.

    It might be more reliable/less subjective to test it: yank away power cord and report your battery life rating then ....
    (if it's significantly less than 5 hours you have demons ;))
  14. Moderator


    At least I have never had any heat issues. I often watch videos on it and it never heats up so much that it would be uncomfortable on my lap. The fan is quiet too unless I'm watching something on an external screen (in this case it does not matter because MBA is meters away from me so I hear absolutely nothing).

    Give MBA a try. If it cannot satisfy you, then return it and think about something else. Maybe a full refund and PC route is what you have to do then
  15. macrumors 6502

    Mine 11 inch air never gets too hot, but it does get warm when I use flash. Sometimes it is pretty want. And I still wonder if autocad will perform at an acceptable rate. Aperture and CS work ok for me in a pinch, but i have a desktop for real work (ignoring the screen size issue).

    I am a bit surprised the mbp gets that hot with the ssd. Is it really uncomfortable--like you can't put it on your lap--or just warm.
  16. macrumors 6502


  17. macrumors newbie

    Install gfxCardStatus and switch to integrated. if you're playing internet radio, you're probably using flash and it's switching on your ATI card.
  18. macrumors 6502


    MBPs always had heat issues ... it's inevitable with slim profile and aluminum construction ....
    My gen3.1/'07 MBP was better than previous gens ..... due to perfected CPU (Penryn, next to last of Core 2 Duos)
    ... then 6.1/'10 was bit worse than that because it had new, not yet optimized architecture - Arrandale.
    And I hear that SandyBridge is bit warmer still :eek: well that's understandable, architecture is getting better/refined, but they pack now double the cores :eek:

    It was warm with '10/AR MBP (i7@2.66) not hot, but uncomfortable enough to keep it on your lap ....
    ... I have to remind myself sometimes how great it is with Air - no lap issues whatsoever :D:cool:
  19. macrumors 6502


    I'm unsure why an MBA would remain cool and an SSD MBP would be warm or hot in comparison, but I wanted to second what Hellhammer said: This is the 'coolest' laptop I've ever owned.

    I think I've had one of every iteration of Apple laptop since the PowerBook 100 - which probably shows my age - and I can remember some being genuine lap-toasters. My Air, in comparison, is rock-solid and cool.

    I flirted with an "ultimate" 11" for about a week before deciding to be satisfied with my base 13" ... at least, until the refresh. I do enjoy the larger screen, and the form factor is still small enough. I also own a 15" i5 MBP, but I find that I use it less and less as the weeks go by.
  20. macrumors 6502a


    SandyBridge. Those chips turn a laptop into a cookout grill. Aside from the crappy graphics issue I'm not looking forward to SandyBridge making its way into the Airs, even at lower wattage. With the thin form factor the Air is still going to heat up like a 4th of July BBQ. Hopefully Apple will pass on SandyBridge and wait for the next generation of chips to upgrade the Air. There are a lot of reasons as to why Apple stayed with the Core Duo for the 2010 Airs.
  21. macrumors demi-god


    Well said. This is the truth
  22. macrumors 6502a


  23. macrumors member

    i would probably say the main difference is to get used to a 13 inch if you are fine than id say u r all good

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