Buy MBA or MBP-R

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Tech198, Jun 15, 2014.

  1. Tech198, Jun 15, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2014

    Tech198 macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #1
    Hi all ...

    In the market for either MBA or Macbook Pro with Retina display..


    Heading for 13' with 256Gig SSD either or 128 wold be fine for me.

    Mainly would use it for light stuff.... Web/Email, a bit of Virtual Machines here and there, but mostly remaining usage..

    Since i already have an iPhone 5s and iPad 4th gen, i'm kinda feeling left out since Mac is the only non-retina..... So display would be good.

    However. I'm not really going to be using/targeted for photos at all, so also pushing for battery life, so BTO MBA (upgrade to 8 gig, i7) would be ok.. MBA: $250 difference in Australia, MBP-R $350 different with i5 2.4

    Otherwise its an extra $370 for the i7

    Although with the 13' MBP-R, id be downsizing the performance to an i5, and both machines being dual-core, not quad (unless i opt for the more expensive 15' Retina. although in all cases i'd save about $100-200 by getting the configured MBA.

    Since i do allot of multitasking, i fear i would loose performance with a dual-core though..... Aside from that, SSD would be great improvement over spinning HD, i currently use.

    Which way to go?
     
  2. Lunfai macrumors 65816

    Lunfai

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Location:
    Sheffield
    #2
    Hi, great choices. I have a 11" inch air and 13" rMBP. If you want the retina screen then go for the better screen, but if you're happy with non retina, then I would definitely recommend the 13" Air. I had the 2012 model before I sold it and I upgraded it to 8gb ram and it flew. I used an occasional VM from here and there and it was fine.
     
  3. Zwhaler, Jun 15, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2014

    Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #3
    The retina 13" has a good screen for future proofing the computer. They probably won't be getting any more hi-res or better for awhile. The $100 processor upgrade to the 2.6 i5 is pretty solid, as well as the 8GB RAM upgrade. Keep in mind that these processors have hyperthreading which gives you 4 processing threads per processor. If you're weighing the processor upgrades, I'll break them down for you in single-core and multi-core 64-bit performance.

    Single Core 64-bit (Source: Geekbench 3)
    Baseline: 2.4GHz i5 ------- 100%
    Upgrade 1: 2.6GHz i5 ----- 106.73%
    Upgrade 2: 2.8GHz i7 ----- 112.43%

    Multi Core 64-bit (Same source)
    Baseline: 2.4GHz i5 ------- 100%
    Upgrade 1: 2.6GHz i5 ----- 107.1%
    Upgrade 2: 2.8GHz i7 ----- 109.76%

    Conclusion: The $100 i5 upgrade is a pretty decent price. I'm not sure what it costs in international markets, but that gives more "bang for your buck" to be sure. 8GB of RAM is plenty for what you are doing, but remember that it is a one time upgrade, so if you can afford 16GB it will prolong the usability of the machine for future operating systems and more intensive usage. The 15" Macbook Pro is significantly more powerful in the Multi Core category because it has 8 processing threads. When it comes to things like opening applications, you're talking mostly single core and the SSD plays the biggest role in speed. Multi Core really only matters in rendering and similar applications where all CPU threads are being utilized. Rendering in Final Cut, for example. Since you're not doing this, you will not notice a big difference. If you are considering the 15", I would get the highest processor upgrade as it is very, very powerful for a laptop and also has a high end mobile GPU. These don't sound like things you need but just so you know your options. Hope you find this helpful. Peace!
     
  4. blanka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #4
    The resolution is not the problem of the MBA, the TN panel is. It is the last Mac/iThing remaining NOT having an IPS panel with good colours and viewing angles. That is the Major Crap Thing about a MBA, not its 1440x900 resolution, which is fine for its size (the 13 inch MBPR defaults at 1280x800 workspace, at 1440x900 the display looks even softer than the MBA!).
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #5
    I'd opt for the rMBP over the MBA. You get a great battery with the MBA, to be sure, but I think the screen, the CPU and GPU all are better on the rMBP.
     
  6. 960design macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    Location:
    Destin, FL
    #6
    Bought a MBA 13" maxed out about a month ago. The MBA runs perfect, very snappy, the screen just is not good enough. My eyes have become so used to the MBP I currently use, that the MBA screen looks tiny and blurry. So, I purchased a MBPr maxed out yesterday, should be here next week.
     
  7. AaronM5670 macrumors 6502

    AaronM5670

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012
    Location:
    London
    #7
    Try out both in an Apple Store or other retailer, feel how heavy they both are and see if you can live with the MBA's comparatively poor screen. If you need ultimate portability, nothing can beat the MBA, however the rMBP is unquestionably going to be more powerful as it has a superior CPU and GPU etc etc.
     
  8. Tech198 thread starter macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #8

    Sold ...

    Just ordered myself a BTO Retina Macbook Pro 2.6Ghz, 256SSD.
     
  9. AaronM5670 macrumors 6502

    AaronM5670

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012
    Location:
    London
  10. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #10
    If you really want, need, desire - or, as some posts on this thread have already made clear - have become very used to - the retina screen, choose the MBP.

    If, on the other hand, you value portability, and an impressive battery life, nothing beats the MBA. I have the MBA (a 2013 CTO - with 8 GB RAM, 512 SSD, and i7 Core) and find it simply fantastic. However, I travel a lot, and portability is an absolute must for me.

    Re SSD size, I would recommend getting 256 GB SSD over 128 GB if finance is not an issue; the SSD is wonderful, but the larger one is faster and more stable. It will also give you more peace of mind, as 128 GB fills up rapidly these days. Good luck with whatever you decide to buy.
     
  11. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #11
    Congrats and good luck :)
     

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