2012 MacBook Air 13in vs 2012 MacBook Pro 13in

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by soccerfan5667, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. soccerfan5667 macrumors newbie

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    Jul 6, 2012
    #1
    This weekend (or maybe next) I am planning on purchasing my first MacBook. I am currently debating whether to get the 13 in. MacBook Air or the 13 in. MacBook Pro. I am going into 9th grade and I am planning to be taking my computer to and from school but not on a regular basis. I am also planning to do quite a bit of programming and some of the regular stuff such as school work, browse the web, etc. What do you guys think I should get and what are the pros and cons for both computers?
    Thanks!
     
  2. G5isAlive macrumors 6502

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    Aug 28, 2003
    #2
    Do you plan on doing any 3D work (games)? If so, think carefully about the air, it doesn't handle those as well as the Macbook Pro.

    Do you want to carry a lot of movies and music with you? Ditto. Get the Macbook Pro.

    Want to have a dvd drive? Macbook Pro.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my macbook air. But I do not use it as my primary machine (my mac pro with TB's of storage is and a great graphics card is). The Air is hands down the winner for transportability. I put it into my briefcase and hardly notice carrying it.
     
  3. soccerfan5667 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 6, 2012
    #3
    Thanks for the reply :D

    No I do not plan to play any games on it or carry a lot of movies on it. I plan to have music on it, probably around 200 songs, and I plan for the MacBook to be my primary computer. Is the macbook air you're talking about the 2012 version? Because I remember reading somewhere that with the new version, the macbook air matches the pro performance wise, allowing it to be be peoples' primary computer.
     
  4. Jb07 macrumors 6502

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    #4
    You're what, 14? The Air will more than suffice for your needs. I doubt you will be doing serious programming.
     
  5. soccerfan5667 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Well yeah I'm 14, but i'm going to AP computer science next year and have no idea what the level of programming I'll be doing. Also, what are your guys thoughts on storage space. I'm not sure what my parents plan to buy for me, but I'm pretty sure it is the 128 gb one. Also, will the Air last me 4-6 years?

    ----------

    Well yeah I'm 14, but i'm going to AP computer science next year and have no idea what the level of programming I'll be doing. Also, what are your guys thoughts on storage space. I'm not sure what my parents plan to buy for me, but I'm pretty sure it is the . Also, will the Air last mee 4-6 years?

    Oh yeah sorry, one more quick question. How much does it cost to change the memory to 8gb?
     
  6. portlandia macrumors newbie

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    Jul 1, 2012
    #6
    If you buy one from Apple Store or Apple Online Store, it only costs $100. The 2012 macbook air RAMS and SSDs are SOLDERED onto the board. Which means that they are NON-UPGRADABLE/NON-REPLACEABLE. This is currently my deciding factor.

    I'm trying to think if a core i5, 256GB, 4GB macbook air would be a good substitute from what I'm thinking as a 2.5GHz core i5, 16GB DDR Ram, 250GB SSD macbook pro. These two sets would cost $1,500 either way.
     
  7. brentsg macrumors 68040

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    #7
    SSDs are not soldered to anything.
     
  8. soccerfan5667 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    So this means if I use all of the 128 gb, I can't upgrade it and get more space?
     
  9. portlandia macrumors newbie

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    Jul 1, 2012
    #9
    Oh. My bad. It seems that the SSDs are not soldered after all. They do, however, have a totally new proprietary connector. So cheap upgrade options are gonna be a far cry, for now at least.

    http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook-Air-13-Inch-Mid-2012-Teardown/9457/1
     
  10. G5isAlive macrumors 6502

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    #10
    the 2012 macbook air's processor and graphics capabilities are not as good as the macbook pro. anyone who says differently is wrong. what makes them feel as fast for most operations is that SSD's are much faster than HD's.

    your current needs are quite low and the Air would fit fine. but you mention you want the computer to last 4 or 6 years? and would only have 128 gb storage (which is NOT easy to upgrade on an Air)?

    I would get the fastest processor, the best graphics I could. and build up your arm muscles a bit with carrying the macbook pro. you can add a SSD in a few years if you really want it.

    either way you will be happy for the first couple of years.
     
  11. soccerfan5667 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    Wait what is the difference between SSD and whatever the MacBook Pro currently has? Also I heard there was a problem with the Pros fan and there was an overheating problem also. Do you know if this is true? Also, if I get a Pro, I will most likely get the more expensive one that has the i7 processor and a much bigger storage space. Is there a big difference between the two Macs? And if your choice was between the Pro with i7 processing and the basic Air, which would be a better buy?
     
  12. Vampire5003 macrumors 6502

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    Texas
    #12
    Simple Explanation

    Okay let me make this simple, an SSD reads around 400MBs and writes at about 350MB (if you have faster SSD drives then it will be around 500MB for read and write), while a regular hard drive, rarely has reads above 100MB and writes never over 100MB. A normal HDD (like the MBP) will probably read and write at around 50MB which is around 1/10 the speed of an SSD. Another difference is the graphics potential, between the two (which both use Intel HD4000 integrated graphics). Honestly the biggest difference between the two computers will be portability, upgradability, and screen resolution. You can't go wrong with either unit, but you MAY get a better deal with a 13 inch Macbook Pro, but honestly neither is really going to last 4-6 years. Right now I upgraded to a RMBP (retina display macbook pro 15 inch model), but I will probably keep it for less than 3 years, why? Simple. Technology is always changing, and 4GB of RAM used to be a lot, and now 8GB is normal. My point is go with what you need and want. Do you need a optical drive (CD/DVD drive)? Do want to be able to change the RAM down the road? Do you want to be able to remove the optical drive and have two hard drives? For example, a friend of mine has the base 13 inch model and will probably remove the optical drive to install an SSD (128GB or 256GB but it supports up to 768GB I believe) but will keep the 500GB drive too for files, perhaps music and things he doesn't want on his SSD.

    Well this turned out to be a long post, but why don't you go in store and play with the different models and see which you prefer?

    PS: You have some really awesome parents, when I got my first mac my dad financed it in his name and I paid for it. I ended up paying the computer off and kept it for almost three years till my sister broke it lol. Now I'm almost 19 and have this beloved Retina display macbook pro, the result of saving up my money and working hard. :D
     
  13. mcarling macrumors 65816

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    #13
    Based on your description of your needs, I recommend you get a Macbook Air with 8GB of RAM.
     
  14. Vampire5003 macrumors 6502

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    #14
    I disagree, the OP stated that the computer needs to last him 4-6 years. Therefore, the best bet would be a Macbook Pro that away he can add a SSD down the road or upgrade RAM etc. Although no computer will probably last 4-6 years.....see above.
     
  15. gnomeisland, Jul 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012

    gnomeisland macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Intel 3000 vs 4000?! The graphics on the Air will be better. However, the processor may make up all or most of the difference. I would go for the Air as the 2011 13" Pro is NOT OpenCL compatible. You'll need a 2012 model (AKA Intel 4000 graphics for that). If you don't think weight is a factor the 2012 13" is about the same price as the 13" Air with the 8Gb RAM upgrade. That would probably be your best bang-for-the-buck and last you ~4 years. That said, I just bought my wife a 2012 Air and I'm sure it will last her 4-6 years if nothing breaks.
     
  16. Vampire5003 macrumors 6502

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    #16
    I disagree, I feel the Macbook Pro is better for him. But the OP still hasn't answered my question on what he needs, but if he doesn't care about upgradability, cost to performance ratio or a optical drive than the Macbook Air will be better. Why? Mostly due to the superior resolution, portability and weight.
     
  17. soccerfan5667 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #17
    Sorry for not answering your questions sooner-- I haven't used an optical drive for a very long time and I doubt I will need it. To be honest, I'm not so good with all the technical stuff about computers so I don't really know what two hard drives will do? Will it make your computer faster or just give it more space? And about the upgradibilty. I guess that would be useful if I wanted to have more storage space, but couldn't I just use an external hard drive? What other upgradibility options would there be? Also, I just want the computer which will run the fastest and will have the best performance
     
  18. Jb07 macrumors 6502

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    #18
    I think you should get a 13" Air with the fastest processor and 8GB of RAM. Keep the 128Gb SSD and use an external hard drive and Dropbox.
     
  19. Vampire5003 macrumors 6502

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    #19
    If your looking for performance, than get a Macbook Pro. The Pros are made for performance, the air is made for....well....I guess portability and light work. To answer your question about two hard drives, having two will have more space and when 1 TB SSD (1024GB) drives come out next year, your macbook pro will most likely support one. Since you have user upgradable parts you have the freedom to change your parts. Like lets say your macbook pro comes with 4GB of RAM and in a year or 2 you start gaming (light gaming) and maybe photo editing, well in that case adding more RAM to get to 8GB might be a good choice. Like 8GB, that would be 2 4GB chips) would cost right now about $40 dollars which is cheaper than apple charges. My point is the MBP (Macbook Pro) will last you longer due the upgradability and it has the most performance and even has a core i7 option. IMO you will not be good with a MBA, you will prefer the Macbook Pro over the Air.
     

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