13" Air vs 13" MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by BigCanoe, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. BigCanoe macrumors 6502

    Jan 13, 2003
    I configured these two machines as close together as I could get. They seem pretty similar in price once you put a SSD in the MBP. The fully loaded Air came out to 1799. And the closest MBP I could get to that configuration was 1999.

    The Air said 256mb Flash Drive, and the MBP said 256mb Solid State Drive. Is there any difference?
  2. daleski75 macrumors 68000


    Dec 10, 2008
    Northampton, UK
    No difference just the 256gb flash drive in the MBA is custom made by Apple and is really just an SSD
  3. nylon macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2004
    It's better not to buy a MBP configured with SSD from Apple. Put in an SSD yourself after at a much lower cost and with a much better product. i.e. Intel X-25M.
  4. BigCanoe thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 13, 2003
    How is the price per GB for this drive vs Apple? Amazon has the Intel drive, 160GB for 400ish.
  5. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    The main differences are the following:
    - MBP has a faster processor (2.4GHz vs 2.13GHz)
    - MBP is upgradeable to 8GB
    - MBP has a built-in optical drive (add $79 to the MBA for an apples-to-apples comparison)
    - MBP has a Firewire 800 port
    - MBP has a Gigabit ethernet port (add $29 to the MBA for 10/100MB ethernet)
    - MBP's SSD can be replaced with an aftermarket part

    Other specs (GPU, FSB, etc.) are pretty similar. The bottom line is that the base MBP is a bigger computer that has more flexibility. However, if you aren't planning to upgrade the RAM or storage, and don't need Firewire, the two are pretty close. I opted for a top of the line MBA as well.
    - MBP weighs 1.6lbs more
  6. BigCanoe thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 13, 2003
    I had a previous version MPB, 15". It was hot, and heavy to use on my lap. I am thinking the Air would fix that and give me most of the power I need.
  7. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Apple charges $800 for the 256GB SSD on the MacBook Pro and $350 for the 128GB SSD (compared to the stock 250GB HD). Oddly enough, the price differential on the MBA between 128GB and 256GB is only $300 (vs $450 for the Pro). I wonder if the Pro is using a faster drive? The Air supposedly is using a customized Toshiba controller.
  8. TheAllStar macrumors member


    Oct 21, 2010
    Really depends what you plan on using it for. I realized I hardly ever use the disc drive and my typical usage isn't too CPU or RAM intensive, so MBA is a good choice for me (previous generation, it would irk me to live without the backlit keys and some other features).
  9. Meever macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2009
    The CPU difference is a big deal. On top of the slower clock speed the CPUs in the MBA are ULVs while the ones in the MBP are regular C2Ds.

    Performance for anything CPU related (rendering, gaming, editing, etc) will be very substantial. For checking emails or youtube it won't make a difference though.
  10. BigCanoe thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 13, 2003
    Oh, I didnt realize they were not the same chips, only different clock speeds.
  11. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Actually, there is a little more difference than that. The NAND Flash isn't using the same type of SATA-II drive controller that the SSD uses. Theoretically, the NAND Flash should be capable of much more speed than the SSD, as it's not limited by a SATA-II drive controller's bandwidth/speed capabilities.

    I believe the drivers controlling the NAND Flash will get better and lead to much faster speeds than we're seeing now and much faster speeds than SATA-II is capable of. Just as the SSD in the MBA has had huge speed boosts by most OS X updates, the NAND Flash will too, but it's not going to be limited to SATA-II bandwidth limits.

    This is all theory and speculation though, as only time will tell.

    I would say the MBA will be a lot faster than the MBP, in terms of storage speed/access anyways.
  12. n0de macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2005
    If it weren't for the damn multi-GB MS Access databases I need to open in a VM, I would jump on the 13" with 4GB now.

    Unfortunately I need to be able to run a VM with it's own 4Gb of RAM.

    Outside of that there is nothing I need to do on my MBP that would not work just as fine on a 13" MBA.:(
  13. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    I thought only the CPUs on the 11" model are ULVs. The 13" uses the SL9400m and SL9600m CPUs.
  14. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    Not only that, a loaded 13 inch MBA would cost only about $100 more than the MBA, figuring that the price for an after market 256Gb SSD would be about $500. I really like the 13 inch MBP for what it is but what it isn't is ultraportable. It weighs 4.5 pounds compared to the 13 inch MBA's 2.9. I should add that the MBP's 2.4Ghz C2D processor is less that 13 percent faster than the MBA's 2.13Ghz C2D processor. In the real world, that's a meaningless difference.
  15. miata macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2010
    Silicon Valley, Earth
    I have been doing a maxed out comparison of the 13" MBP and MBA. Really is a mixed bag. I still don't know which will have better performance. BTW, I would replace the SuperDrive in the MBP with the OWC Data Doubler and their 256 SSD. Here is my analysis from another thread.

Share This Page