Absolute fastest surfing laptop....? Pro/Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Turnpike, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. Turnpike macrumors 6502

    Turnpike

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
    Location:
    New York City!
    #1
    Thanks to the iPad and iPhone, I'm now an Apple guy (and the great help of this forum/site helped a lot too!) and now I'm switching my laptop too...

    Given that I select a model with an SSD drive, can anyone tell me from experience or serious technical knowlege the fastest laptop to browse the internet with?

    I realize I will be limited by my internet connection/provider faster than anything else, but in my (extensive) upgrading of all my laptops (both SSD's, and RAM) I know that there are little things that really make a difference.

    I spend ALL DAY (litterally 16++ hours a day) surfing sites doing research and every single itty bitty tiny bit of difference adds up. Trust me, any speed improvements possible are completely worth the cost to me. Both in productivity and the experience.

    So my question is, would a SSD in a Macbook Air be EXACTLY just as quick as an SSD in a Macbook Pro Retina? Given that I would just be going to text-and-picture content sites? I'm not so concerned about startup times, or running CS6 or heavy programs, just the light, fast ability to browse...

    If there is anything specific that really makes a difference (regardless the cost) or doesnt, I would love to hear from those in the know, by either experience or technical background. I'm tempted to get a Macbook Pro retina, but for the same price I can get 2 Macbook Air's, which also come with the great benefit of being easy to carry.... but speed is my ultimate ultimate ultimate concern...

    Thanks!
     
  2. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

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    #2
    An SSD has little to no effect on browsing speed, except when you run out of physical RAM, therefore choose a laptop with plenty of fast RAM, especially if you have lots of open tabs, 8 GB would do but you might opt for 16 GB so it won't get you into trouble.

    Oh, by the way, the rMBP still has some troubles, some people don't have lag in Safari, others do, but webkit nightly seems to be much better.
     
  3. B... macrumors 68000

    B...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    #3
    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120104101228AA6YGBu

    So they both would be exactly the same since they have the same antenna, etc. However, the Air might appear to be faster (in default configuration) since it will launch Safari faster due to the SSD. Do you have any other criteria for the laptop? Just going on Safari speed in not enough since that is handled by the service providers.

    However, the Pro does have an ethernet port for faster browsing if you don't need wireless--that could be an issue if you get the Air.
     
  4. lobeyonekenobi macrumors regular

    lobeyonekenobi

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    Mar 18, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #4
    Hi Turnpike,

    I have a 15" rMBP and an old 2010 13" MBP, surfing the net isn't much different in either of them the big difference is the screen.

    A million people have said this but until you get a retina screen you don't know as every time I use my old MBP the screen just sucks in comparison, it looks all pixelated like an old 80s computer even though it is still a good screen.

    Basically the Air's screen in my opinion is pale and washed out as I thought very hard about getting one before picking this bad boy up :):) and as you'll be doing alot of reading on the net you'll notice the difference trust me.

    If you're close to an Apple Store play with both and see what you think, the difference is night and day, whatever you choose good luck :cool::cool:
     
  5. Turnpike thread starter macrumors 6502

    Turnpike

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
    Location:
    New York City!
    #5

    There is no "play" at the Apple store! That's the FIRST thing I learned after switching to Apple. If you try it at the store, sooner or later you WILL buy it! :p

    But yes thank you.... that's helpful, and also how I found it, while messing around at the Apple store. For me the hard part was attempting to get used to the keyboards on the Apple laptops, but I'm just going to get one and learn to get used to it. So from what everyone else says speed/RAM will probably be the largest factors, and while I too really really fell in love with the Retina display, having an easy to carry laptop (I walk a long distance to/from work with it everyday) is huge too. not to mention me being able to have TWO for the price of one... it's a definite struggle. That's why I was checking to see if the MBP had any speed benefits.


    So no one thinks the 2.3 MHZ or 2.6 MGHZ or whatever those numbers are have that big of a difference when I'm only surfing? Everyone is mostly in agreement that it's about the RAM when just browsing...?
     
  6. B... macrumors 68000

    B...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    #6
    Are you talking about the 15" MBP? No, CPU speed won't help browsing speed. 2.3 GHz vs. 2.6 GHz won't make a difference at all for web browsing.
     
  7. nissan.gtp macrumors 6502

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    Virginia
    #7
    I agree. The Air screen isn't bad, but it's not nearly as good as the Retina (or even my iMac).
     
  8. ColdCase, Apr 20, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    NH
    #8
    I have a 2013 15 in rMBP and my daughters have the 2012 MPA in various configurations.

    Large amounts of RAM benefit browsing more than RAW CPU and disk type. You can get 16GB of RAM in a rMBP (with 8-12 tabs open RAM gets used up pretty quick). I think the Air maxes out at 8GB. You will notice it. rMBPs and Airs only come with SSD drives.

    There are statements here that have been overtaken by events. There is no longer screen lag or other issues with the rMBP other than the usual rare defect. The rMBP 13 is just as portable, maybe even more than the Air. The rMBP 15 screen blows away the Air, much easier on the eye, more pleasing. The rMBP 15 is much more portable than the classics of the past, now easy to carry with on hand, seems to float..

    There is no ethernet port in any of these, but an inexpensive Thunderbolt adapter is available. There are only two USB3 ports. The rMBP has HDMI and an extra TB port.

    The subjective value vs cost judgment is yours. Want the least expensive go with the Air, if you want better performance there is no question the rMBP is much better.
     
  9. Mercmanman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #9
    When the 13" rMBP came out, I upgraded from the i7 / 8 GB RAM / 512 GB SSD 13" Air. One thing people consistently fail to understand is how different Wi-Fi is on the 13" rMBP. It uses a better antenna design and gets up to 450 Mbps on Wi-Fi. The Air's 2 antenna design only gets 300 Mbps. Along with that, the signal strength in tough areas is far superior on the rMBP.

    So with larger cache and faster processor, and way better wi-fi, I find the rMBP to be superior.
    I use Chrome and Safari all the time, and they both run flawlessly, with no lag that people talk about.
    I use Google Hangouts and GotoMeeting software for video conferencing and shared screens, and the faster better signal Wi-Fi allows me to do that in far more places than I could on the 13" Air.

    Also, the retina screen cannot be underestimated. When I video conference, I put the 13" screen to 1680x1050, so you get a lot more real estate to multitask. For reading documents or other finely detailed work, I switch back to Retina resolution. Either way the display is far superior and more flexible if you have a lot of windows open.

    I loved my Air, but the rMBP is better in every way, except the extra 1/2 pound of weight.
     
  10. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
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    #10
    Have to politely disagree with two statements.

    I have 8 GB in my mini and it never uses all 8 GB when just browsing.
    16 GB with 8-12 tabs open, no way.

    There are still people having issues with lag on rMBP, if you're on MR the whole day and read a lot you'll come to the conclusion that it is not solved for all people.
     
  11. LeeM macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 1, 2012
    #11
    i vote standard mbp with a self installed ssd and 8gb ram, for reliability. i have one of those and its about the same as my air for browsing, starts up from sleep marginally quicker though
     
  12. gngan macrumors 68000

    gngan

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    #12
    Go for Air. 8gb RAM is more than enough for web surfing.
     
  13. UBS28 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 2, 2012
    #13
    Surfing the internet on a MBA will never utilize 100% CPU power (unless you are playing badly scripted Flash games I guess in your browser). So it should be just as fast as a MBP.

    Even surfing the internet on my iPad 3 is fast ( since it uses little CPU power ).
     
  14. pgiguere1 macrumors 68020

    pgiguere1

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #14
    That's not necessarily true.

    Browsers cache a lot of the content of the sites you visit so that they load faster the next time.

    For example, if you visit MacRumors often, chances are that that logo on top (and various other assets like CSS or scripts) are loaded from your HDD/SSD rather than directly from MR's servers.

    Honestly, SSD has an effect on almost everything I can think of. I highly recommend it.
     
  15. swerve147 macrumors 6502a

    swerve147

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    Jan 12, 2013
    #15
    OP you may want to consider waiting for the next generation of MacBooks which should have wireless 802.11 ac.
     
  16. pgiguere1 macrumors 68020

    pgiguere1

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    Montreal, Canada
    #16
    802.11n is most likely already limited by his internet connection (unless he has Google Fiber or something), 802.11ac will mostly give improvements for local file transfers, stuff like AirDrop or a Time Capsule backup.
     
  17. hockeyplayr macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    #17
    I'd go for the air. 13 in retinas seemed a little laggy in the apple store to me.
     
  18. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

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    #18
    Well, maybe, I think the reading of the HD is faster than downloading and rendering the content.
     

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