13 in. rMBP i5/i7 vs. 13 in. MBA

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Yeezus, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. Yeezus macrumors member

    May 20, 2013
    Hello everyone!

    I am ready to purchase a new macbook, which will be my first mac ever! However, I need help with deciding on the "perfect" laptop for my budget and uses. In the section below, I have listed my budget, product considerations (w/ price), uses, and expected longevity.

    $1600 maximum so the higher end rMBP 15 in. is out of the question

    Product Considerations:
    *new* rMBP 13 in./2.9GHz Dual-Core i7 8GB/256 GB Flash HD
    $1399 w/ tax + $9.99 shipping (university pricing)

    *new* rMBP 13 in/2.6GHZ Dual-Core i5 8GB/256 GB Flash HD
    $1099 w/ tax + $100 Gift Card (marked down Best Buy pricing)

    *new* MBA 13 in/1.3GHZ Dual-Core i5 8 GB/256 GB Flash HD
    $1349 w/ tax + $100 Apple Card (Apple store)

    Watching/streaming movies (Netflix + iTunes)
    Casual web browsing (Macrumors, ESPN, Youtube, Facebook)
    Casual gaming -- low/med graphics setting is fine (NBA 2k13, Assassins Creed, Minecraft)
    Programming (Python, Ruby, C++, etc.)
    VM (Parallels, VMware)
    Final Cut Pro X
    Logic Pro 9
    Documents (iWork, Microsoft Office)

    4-5 years, must last at least 4 years of university (I will be a college freshmen in the fall

    So should I purchase the rMBP 13 in. i5 or i7? MBA 13 in.? or should I wait for the rMBP Haswell (University starts late August)? On a personal level, I value performance over portability. I am fine with sacrificing a little portability for better performance. Any suggestions or comments will be highly appreciated.
  2. gabe. macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2013
    Could you please explain how this is marked down to $1099? What discounts are in place? Is this at your local BestBuy, online, etc.? This is very appealing to me, I am also in the market for a MB. It seems a little too good to be true.

    Based on your uses and budget, I'd say you can't go wrong with any of them. As long as you are looking at an i5/8GB RAM, you should be able to handle all those tasks, MBA or rMBP. The i7 may have a slight increase, but unless you are a speed freak I'd say the i5 is fine.

    I would recommend the 2nd option if it is legit, otherwise it's just a preference of rMBP or MBA. Do you really want the retina? Do you want the slight boost of the i7? Do you want the latest Apple laptop? etc.
  3. sperry1988 macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2011
    I would highly recommend you wait as long as possible for haswell, not for the processor per say but the graphics. the 4000 struggles often with the 13 as there is no dedicated chip. sure would be nice to get one today, but you will be kicking yourself when the new ones come out
  4. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    Depends how you define performance - the SSD is in the new MBA is faster than the one in the current rMBP (obviously it will catch up when the new one is released) and the battery life is much better (and will likely remain (guess) 25-30% better.

    So you're definitely better off waiting for as long as you can in hopes of a new rMBP coming out. If you end up having to buy before then, I'd be leaning towards the MBA13 over the current rMBP, but that price is pretty damn impressive.

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