2012 MacBook Air 13in vs 2012 MacBook Pro 13in

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' 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. (BTW this computer will be my primary computer). 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?
    Than
     
  2. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #2
    Well, the Air has a slower CPU, but you are unlikely to notice that at all if you don't do computational-intensive tasks (like video encoding or large photo editing) on a regular basis. The GPU is also slightly slower, so you will have some troubles if you want to play latest demanding games in good quality on the MBA (to be fair, the 13" MBP won't play them well either). Also, the Air has a very fast SSD included as default, while the MBP is user-upgradeable.

    In your case, I'd say get the Air. Its much more mobile, has a fast SSD already, more screen estate and the performance loss won't be noticeable for tasks you do.
     
  3. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

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  4. soccerfan5667, Jul 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012

    soccerfan5667 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Thanks for the quick replies :D.

    I was always leaning towards getting the macbook air, but my dad and a guy at the Apple store sparked my curiosity about the pro. Couple things I'm worried about this computer is speed, storage space, and if it will be able to last 4-6 years. Do you think those are reasons for concern?

    One more quick question. How much would it cost to get the 8gb memory instead of the 4gb?
     
  5. NMF macrumors 6502a

    NMF

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    #5
    If you want 4+ years out of it then make sure you spend the extra $90 for 8gb RAM. The speed is fine, though I imagine a 2GHz dual-core will be pretty sluggish in 4 years. So will the 13" Pro though since it's also a dual-core processor.

    In my personal opinion, the 13" MBP is a terrible thing to buy in 2012. It's twice the weight as the MBA with hardly any more power. It has a lower resolution screen (though colors do look better) and the same Intel 4000 graphics as the MBA. If 13" is the size you want then the MacBook Air is really the only choice. External hard drives are only going to get smaller and cheaper. ;)
     
  6. Rockoar macrumors regular

    Rockoar

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    #6
    Sure they are things to be concern about. I'm also debating which one to buy myself. I think that while the Air is better in many ways (SDD, weight, screen resolution, future-proof, etc.) the Pro is way cheaper and upgradeable which makes it win the Air v/s Pro 'battle' for me. I mean, for the same price you'll pay for a 13'' 2012 Air with only 128 SDD HD you'll get 500 GB of HDD in the Pro which you could easily upgrade by removing the optical drive and inserting there a third-party SDD and later upgrade the RAM yourself too, all that a LOT cheaper than what Apple offers.

    In conclusion, it all comes to the money you have. You could also pay more and get the 13'' 2012 Air with upgraded RAM and storage space, and in that case -where money isn't the problem- I'll stick with the Air. But money is not an easy thing to come by these days... at least for me.
     
  7. soccerfan5667 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Thanks again for the replies. Right now I am leaning towards the MacBook Air, but about the storage space. Is it possible to upgrade the storage size of the Air after having it for a couple of years?
     
  8. 007bond macrumors 6502a

    007bond

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    #8
    OWC sells MacBook Air SSDs that can be installed. You can always connect an external hard drive for storage, though.
     
  9. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

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    #9
    Neither OWC, nor anyone else, sells SSDs compatible with the 2012 MBA.
     
  10. asting macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Hd4000>HD4000?
    They will in due time. They've already announced they're working on them.
     
  11. soccerfan5667 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    Just to be clear, the more desirable 13 inch MacBook is the Air? Also, for general use, is the Air slower then the Pro? Does it lag if you are watching a movie on Netflix or videos on Youtube?

    Another quick question: 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. 007bond macrumors 6502a

    007bond

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    #12
    True, they aren't compatible. But I am sure they will release compatible SSDs soon.
     
  13. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #13
    The Air uses ultra-low-voltage CPUs, their iGPU is clocked lower and throttles more quickly.

    Anandtech explains it here: http://www.anandtech.com/show/5878/...ation-realtime-igpu-clocks-on-ulv-vs-quadcore

    The Air is likely to perform better than what they tested in the article though. It seems that Air has a better cooling solution than many other 'ultrabooks' and does not throttle that eagerly. I don't have any solid evidence to back this up though, just my impression from some reviews I seen. We still need someone to run solid GPU tests on the Air and not just Cinebench...

    ----------

    No, it won't be slower for general use

    There is no pat answer to that. Again, it depends on what you want to do. There are no If you use lots of computation-intensive tasks like video encoding, then the MBP will be faster. But the Air is almost as powerful and is more portable, in addition to having a larger screen estate. As you only intend to use your computer for light workflows which mostly involve text editing and browsing (yes, programming is a light workflow in my book), I think that Air might be a better choice overall.
     
  14. asting macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Ah thank you very much.

    I can't agree more on the second part. Also, if you're going to get the more expensive 13" mbp, compare it to the more expensive 13" air.
     
  15. soccerfan5667, Jul 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012

    soccerfan5667 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    On the apple website it says the 2012 Air has 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 with 3MB shared L3 cache while the 2012 Pro has a 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz) with 6MB L3 cache. Does this make a big difference in the computers performance? Also, isn't the only thing different about the more expensive 2012 Air is that it has a lot more storage?
     
  16. Figo macrumors newbie

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    #16
    The Air is also great for travel or just slouching in front of the TV
    :)
     
  17. DaDalle macrumors member

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    #17
    I switched from a 2010 MBP to the Mid-2012 MBA.

    I felt like the SSD will give me some nice power in all day tasks and I didn't really do any CPU intense tasks. So the MBA was better for me.
    I can just say, that I LOVE the new MBA it feels so smooth with the SSD and the boot time is just wow...

    However, the biggest tradeoff for me was the Small SSD capacity. I got the 128GB vernon because I can't afford a bigger one. But with USB 3 I think I can get myself a nice external drive once my SSD is full.
     
  18. rye1205 macrumors newbie

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    Jul 2, 2012
    #18
    I'm in the exact same situation as you, (going into 9th grade and all that jazz) only I don't do programming and I've already made my purchase.

    I got the 13" Air w/ 8GB/128GB/i5. I can tell you with assurance the Air is the way to go, no questions. My sisters both have MBPs, and they're pretty good, but nowhere near as practical as the MBAs. (For me at least.) AppleCare included, it ran about $1,650. If you're not looking to get AppleCare, though, I'd recommend upgrading your storage. Hope I could help!
     
  19. saintforlife macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    The only thing you should be concerned about these days when buying a computer is that it should come with an SSD and not a traditional hard disk drive. If you decide to get the Pro, make sure you get it with an SSD. Personally I'd go with the Air. It will do everything you want to do with it and will do it more stylishly than the Pro with a lot more portability.
     
  20. asting macrumors 6502

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    #20
    That's the very highend mbp. The base has a dual core i5.
     
  21. soccerfan5667 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 6, 2012
    #21
    Thanks again for the replies.
    If I get a Pro, I'll probably get the highend 13in one. I'm not sure about the Air though. Is the higher-end 13in Air worth it as the only thing it does is add space?
    I've been leaning towards getting the Air, but then I read some comments that say the Air performance isn't as great as the Pros and I get indecisive again. Can someone clear that up for me? Is performance of the air (for general use: browsing the web, writing documents, watching videos/movies) not as great as the performance of the Pro?
     
  22. Rockoar macrumors regular

    Rockoar

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    #22
    For what you want to do, both the base models of the Air and the Pro are sufficient. There's no need to pay extra for the little improvement from the baseline 13'' Pro in comparison with the next model.
     
  23. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    #23
    The Air will be faster for those tasks because of the flash storage. The Macbook Pro has a spinning mechanical hard drive, which has lots of storage space but is slow compared to the Air's solid state storage.

    Rebooting the computer, launching applications, and opening and saving files will all be faster on the Air.

    As for which model to get, that depends on how much storage space you want/need. The good thing is that since the 2012 Air has USB 3.0, you could always get a USB 3 external hard drive if you needed more space for things like music and movies.
     
  24. asting, Jul 7, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2012

    asting macrumors 6502

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    #24
    A few fantastic points. You can get an ssd on the pro also, but then the "advantage" of the standard hdd capacity and slower speed is lost.

    I picked up a 1TB USB 3.0 external that reads around 90MB/s and writes about the same for $90.
    You can then set that up as your TM backup. I then disabled local TM storage, and saved an additional 10gb in data.
    Code:
    sudo tmutil disablelocal
     
  25. soccerfan5667 thread starter macrumors newbie

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