13" air v black macbook

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by UKmacman, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. UKmacman macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2007
    Ok, I know this kind of thread has been done to death but please help my specific questions! I have a black macbook - 2.4 IC2D with 4 GB ram and 250 hard drive. The button is dying and the cost to replace could be high so I am looking at the 13" air. I do quite a bit of video editing and conversion on my computer and am reluctant to take a step back in processing power - how will I find the difference taking into consideration the SSD etc?

    Also do people really think there might be an upgrade in June? If so I can wait - I know no one knows but always good to ask!
  2. movieboy23 macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2007
    Wow. I'm surprised that the MacBook has sufficed for your video editing needs. I am drooling over the new MacBook Pros because the quad-cores would make my render times significantly shorter and playback a lot smoother.

    That being said, I'm not so sure the MacBook Air is the best machine for your needs. Don't get me wrong - they're TERRIFIC ultra portable laptops that are great for productivity on the go, even with heavy-duty programs such as Photoshop.

    However, the limiting factors in those machines are the graphics card, the processor and the lack port connectors. The new MacBook Pros with the i5s/i7s, especially the quad-cores, really provide a solid backbone for HD video editing along with the dedicated graphics cards. In the MacBook Airs, the older Core 2 and the integrated graphics cards won't leave you much better off in terms of boosts to video editing. The SSD is great for writing/reading to the drive and getting instant access to programs, but once you're in those programs, especially video editing applications, much of the duty is transferred to the RAM, processor and graphics card.

    If you're really serious about video editing and want to start doing some more stuff in HD, I would seriously consider going for a 13" MacBook Pro. However, if it's more of a hobby at the moment, then you might opt for the MacBook Air.
  3. Boston007 macrumors 6502


    Apr 9, 2010
    I highly recommend you do not get the MBA. Get the base model MBP instead
  4. UKmacman thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2007
    Ok, when I say quite a bit I do not mean I am an editor or anything. I mean I do home stuff on imovie etc. I really like the 13"MBP but I love the size of the air! Guess I might have to wait to see if there is an update in june
  5. stockscalper macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2003
    Area 51
    Plus the great thing about getting one of the new quad core MBP's is that you can also heat your lunch up on it. That way you don't have to go out for lunch and can get an extra hour's worth of work in. I saw a guy grilling burgers for the whole office on one last week.
  6. Psilocybin macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    Lol! :D. He's right
  7. fyrefly macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2004
    That might be the best bet - if you can wait.

    If not, the 13" i7 MBP is a hugely powerful CPU (faster than all the 2010 15"/17" MBPs!). For iMovie, you'd be largely CPU dependant, so the tiny (if any) losses from the Intel IGP wouldn't be felt (especially not coming from the X3100 that you have in your MBP right now).

    Look at these results:


    The 2011 i7 MBP screams past the 2010 13" MBP which is a 2.4Ghz Core2Duo (albeit a little bit faster one than the one you have).

    The MBA (even the 2.13Ghz one) in CPU-dependant tests will be slower than the 2.4Ghz Core2Duo 2010 MBP. So for iMovie work, it'll be much slower than the i7 13" MBP.
  8. Scottsdale, Mar 15, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011

    Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    If a 2008 BlackBook with Intel IGP, C2D, low res display, and spinning disk can do the job, why couldn't an MBA with C2D, 320m, hi res display, and fast SSD, do the job?

    I know SB CPUs are faster, but the 13" MBP is otherwise a gigantic trade down. I would say the MBA is more Pro than 13" MBP. And when you're talking 15" MBP you're talking a lot less mobility and a lot more money.
  9. UKmacman thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2007
    So now I am confused - some people say the 13 MBP is simply much faster and others are saying the 13 MBA can keep pace? I love the size of the air but the specs of the pro do seem to suit me better. Is it too much to want the pro specs in an Air? I will pay for it if you make it!
  10. ZombieZakk macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2011
    for general use yes the air keeps pace as the ssd really helps but if you are performing cpu intensive tasks the pro's will destroy the air.
  11. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Wait a minute... the only spec of the MBP 13" that wins is the CPU. The GPU, Hi Resolution display, SSD speed, and mobility of the MBA all dominate the 13" MBP. I really believe the MBA is more professional and would suit more professionals than the 13" MBP.
  12. nfl46 macrumors 604

    Oct 5, 2008
    Definitely get a Pro if you are into video editing!
  13. fyrefly macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2004
    The 13" MBA is not "faster" than the MBP. The MBP's CPU is 2x or more than the LV C2D in the MBA.

    What people are confusing is that the MBA has the 320m, which is a better GPU than the Intel HD 3000 in the MBP. How much better? Well, about 5-10% in games (unless you use Windows 7). So for iMovie, or any other Video editing, the MBP will run circles around the MBA.

    The problem is that the MBA's come with SSDs as standard. An SSD will always make a computer "feel" faster than a computer with a mechanical hard drive. And it doesn't help that the 13" MBPs come with only 5400 RPM Hard Drives.

    Put an SSD in the MBP (or just enjoy the space that the mechanical hard drive affords you - 500gb vs. 128gb) and you'll see that the 2011 13" MBP is even faster than the fastest 2010 15" MBPs - especially CPU-wise, which is what counts when rendering video:

  14. REnergy macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2010
    I used MB Black C2D for 3 years and just changed to MB Air 2.16 GHZ 4GB Ram 256GB early this year.

    Trying to compare my Air with my friend's MBPro 2011, it's totally different.

    You'd better go for Pro if you need to render or edit a video :)
  15. eg2007 macrumors 6502

    May 23, 2007
    I work in the film industry here in LA. I edit in iMovie and use Photoshop CS5 on my MBA 2.13, 4gb ram machine all the time. Had a 15 inch MBP, prefer the MBA now. If I have to one day, it'll be hard to go back. +1 for the MBA Ultimate. All this said, I get a new computer every 1-2 years.
  16. wisty macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2009
    A 13" MBP with a SSD would be *very* good for what you are doing.
  17. stylinexpat macrumors 65816


    Mar 6, 2009
    You forgot about the HD cam that comes with the new MBP's ;)
  18. athletejmv macrumors member

    Mar 19, 2011
    You should also take into consideration that the MBP also gets much better battery life during CPU intensive tasks such as video editing considering the graphics are integrated on the 13"; I'm also using a Vertex 2 SSD. My 2011 MBP screams and out performs the air any day; to include drive response and standby. The MBA wins in boot up time though because it does not need to load the additional CD Drive. The dimensions of the MBP Aren't far off from the dimensional of the MBA; the most considerable difference is roughly 1.5lbs in weight. For the weight and dimensions you can do a side by side comparison at bestbuy.com. I really wanted to keep my 13" MBA ultimate, but even watching streaming video would get the heat sink fan spinning so fast it sounded like a blow dryer and the price difference for performance and ram simply isn't worth it.

    The MBA overall will work if it's a must have for the weight difference, but you are getting much more in performance in all categories (to exclude HDD) for the money. I say get yourself a '11 MBP with SSD and you should be quite satisfied.

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