Base rMBP vs Maxed MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lightuser333, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. lightuser333 macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2014
    So I can't decide between the maxed out 11" MBA or base model 13" rMBP...
    I will be programming with unity or Xcode, and playing light games such as cod 4 or minecraft. What do you guys think I should get?

  2. yukyuklee macrumors 6502


    Jan 4, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Depends if you plan on traveling with it. I only ask because you were thinking about getting the 11" mba. I think coding with the screen size of 11" is going to be tedious
  3. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Portability vs screen quality. Take your pick!
  4. AppleGoat macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    13" rMBP.

    I wouldn't buy an Apple device without a Retina display these days. Heck, even the 27" iMac has a Retina display. Unless you're getting an older used model at a bargain price, go Retina.

    If you're patient, a Retina MacBook Air will likely arrive sometime in 2015.
  5. skaertus macrumors 68040


    Feb 23, 2009
    Get the rMBP. But not the base model. Get the mid-range. It's a waste to buy a rMBP with 4 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD. Get 8 GB and 256 GB at least.
  6. AppleGoat macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    The base model has 8GB of RAM now.
  7. student_trap macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2005
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    I used to have a retina mbp 8/256, and replaced it with a maxed 13" air.

    The retina screen was nice, but if I'm honest I find the 1440x900 air display more comfortable on the eye.

    In terms of speed, from benchmarks there is virtually no difference between the two, but in real world usage the air definitely feels snappier, and it hasn't missed a beat yet using photoshop cs5 with some pretty large files.

    Then you have the battery life to consider too.

    As for the size, remember that the rmbp actually has a smaller footprint than the 13" air, but the wedge chap is more comfortable on the wrists.

    At the end of the day though, I'd say that in any comparison, forget speed differences, because they are pretty much the same. And with that in mind, the best thing to do is just go into the store and see which one you like the feel of most!
  8. slipper macrumors 68000


    Nov 19, 2003
    I currently own a 11" MBA and 13" rMBP, and just lost my 13" MBA. I can't see any advantage a maxed MBA would have over a standard rMBP other than weight. And even then, the rMBP is already quite light.
  9. CarreraGuy macrumors regular


    Jan 15, 2013
    I have both the old cMBP and the rMBP in the 13" variety. Yes the rMPB has a smaller footprint than my cMBP and was surprised of its smaller footprint compared to the 13" Air.

    I'm a developer too and would vote for the rMBP simply for the horsepower. Unless you really need that weight savings I'd go retina.

    You can also consider the cMBP which Apple still sells and what I love about that machine are the upgrade options. Get the smallest hd and lowest ram and upgrade later. Also the keyboard on the cMBP is more comfortable in my opinion.

    Another thing comes up is how often will you be attached to an external monitor and keyboard/mouse?
  10. skaertus macrumors 68040


    Feb 23, 2009
    Yes, you are right. My fault.
  11. SlCKB0Y macrumors 68040


    Feb 25, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Fail. The base model has 8GB.
  12. capathy21 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    Some are fine with programming on an 11 inch but for some it's a pain. Play with a display model before committing to the smaller display. I used to also tell others not to buy a Mac without a retina display but after going from a retina pro to a 13 inch Air I've changed my mind. Is the retina better? Of course, but the display on the Air is still good and it does not suffer from any UI choppiness. I have not used the 2014 retina models and they may not have any UI issues but my 2013 would stutter from time to time.

    In my opinion the form factor of the 11 and 13 inch Air models is perfect. I prefer the wedge and added battery life. Of course if you are comparing the 11 inch Air and the 13 inch retina battery life is the same so that is a wash. I'd say it comes down to portability. If you want something that is extremely light and can be easily used in places like an Airplane or waiting room then the 11 inch Air is your machine.

    Either way you will get a great machine.
  13. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2009
    You know you can set 1440x900 as one of the HiPI modes on the 13" rMBP?

    Surprised the air is snappier

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