2012 Macbook Air VS 2008 MacBook Pro - Engineer's experience?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by mattATK217, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. mattATK217 macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2012
    Hello all,

    I currently have a early 2008, non-unibody MacBook Pro that has served me well for 4 years, but I think it is time to trade "up" to a newer model. I absolutely love the new MacBook Pro with Retina, but like many others it is a bit out of my price range. I have been eyeing the new 13" MacBook Air instead and think It is probably going to be the best fit for me, but I was wondering if anyone else could help me out with the comparison. I found benchmarks for each on GeekBench, the new MacBook Air usually scored twice as high as the old MacBook Pro.

    http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/738960 - Early 2008 Pro

    http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/739364 - Mid 2012 Air

    The one thing I am worried about is the ability of the MacBook Air to handle any kind of powerful application. Such as AutoCad, or any type of 3D game (eg. Diablo 3, Guild Wars 2). I am an engineering student and absolutely hate windows computers (I know that sucks, but macs are just so much better). Anyway, are there any engineers that have experience with a MacBook Air that could shed some light on the capabilities of it. I understand there won't be any experience with the new models, but at least experience with one of the previous models would help.

  2. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    I have a 2011 13in/4GB/i5/128GB and am an electrical engineering student. I virtualize Windows 7 Ultimate via VirtualBox to run various engineering programs (LTSpice, Mathcad, PCSpim, etc). Outside of the VM, I also run Cadence, FPGA Advantage, MATLAB, Microsoft Office, etc. It all works just flawlessly :)

    I'd probably suggest 8GB of RAM if you plan on virtualizing. Don't get me wrong, giving 2GB to Windows (as long as you have an SSD) and 2GB to Lion works just fine, but splitting 4GB and 4GB would be awesomesaunce.
  3. mattATK217 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2012
    I would probably use boot camp anyway, so I would always have 4 gigs for the one, but I may upgrade to 8GB anyway and always have 8 for whatever I am running. Make things super smooth. :)

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