2012 MBA -> 2017 MBP 13" worth the upgrade for screen/graphics?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by filmbuff, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. filmbuff macrumors 6502a


    Jan 5, 2011
    I've been tempted lately to get a new 13" MBP with touchbar. However, my current 2012 13" MBA is basically fine for most tasks. Even though it's 5 years old I have no problem doing routine photo editing, watching movies, etc. Where it really lags is in gaming, especially GPU performance. I'm not a heavy gamer but even 'light' games slow it down. If I get the MBP will it be enough to handle running modern games on high graphics settings? X-Plane 11 for example?

    I'm also wondering how the glossy retina screen performs in bright conditions such as next to the window on an airliner. Movies still watchable?

    It's hard to decide if it's worth the money or if I would be better off giving it a couple of years until my computer is actually obsolete and/or Apple comes out with something even better.
  2. dollystereo macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2004
    I am also thinking on getting the 13" MBP, but is so damn expensive... My old 2011 MBP is holding well, but I would really like to have a smaller machine. But, €2200 for the 13", it looks really overpriced. I can get a top of the line XPS15 for less than that.

    Going back to your question, the new MBP is a huge upgrade compared to your 2012 machine, but it comes at a price. Anyway, the integrated GPU (intel 640 or 650) is not powerful enough to play XPLANE at full settings in the retina display. I don't even think the 15" with discrete graphics is powerful enough.
  3. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    Facing a similar dilemma. My 11" 2012 MBA still works, but feels quite slow, screen is getting quite cramped and the battery life isn't all that fantastic. Looking at a 13" nTB MBP with 16 gb ram and it seems quite compelling, but price isn't cheap.
  4. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2016
    Truthfully yes, but it depends on your uses.

    Personally I do a lot of graphics work, and was desperate to get away from my 2011 (Waiting for Skylake...) as the resolution made it a nightmare for stuff like front-end web development. The new screens are very well balanced, 4K would've eaten battery life and provided only a small increase over the current '3Kish' resolution. The graphics are often not good enough to run latest games at full resolution, however the same is true of most desktop GPUs trying to push 4K pixels onto a screen at 60fps. I have had no issue turning down the resolution however and running things on high. 1080p is still more than ample for me and whilst 4K would be better, the difficulty in pushing that means the computer would be bigger, hotter, louder, heavier etc. All for the brief times I play a game on it. So for the balance, it is perfect in my view. I buy them to work on, being able to play a game is a bonus but in no way essential. I would say though that these seem the most capable of gaming I've seen from Apple.

    And that balance is something Apple have always done, you're not going to wait 2 years and they suddenly come out with an 8K gaming laptop. So if the current machines suit your needs then consider it. But, if your needs are fully met at the moment and all it's providing is a better screen and that's not something crucial to your work then maybe keep the money until you do need it.

    It's worth noting though that you're 'gaming' on a 6 year old MacBook Air, which was a computer designed for ultra-portable low powered use. So going to any MBP which is the opposite end of the sales pitch will be a huge leap. And if you can game on a 6 year old Air, you could easily game on a brand new MBP with plenty of room to spare.
  5. vatter69 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 4, 2013
    Get a refurbished 2016 - 10-20% performance difference which you will not notice but 15% Discount.
  6. smallcoffee macrumors 65816

    Oct 15, 2014
    North America
    Do you need a new computer? If not then, no
  7. andreyush macrumors 6502


    Oct 24, 2015


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