Buying a mba or mbp?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Dantrey1, May 5, 2013.

  1. Dantrey1 macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2013
    So im buying either a macbook air or macbook pro , will be using it for general stuff aswell as making youtbe videos and games now and then like minecraft etc. i want to get the mba but not sure how well it will play out when doing these things especially gameing , how will the games run ? Or would the mbp be better with the graphics card ? Overall whitch macbook would be better for all around use?
  2. numbersyx macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2006
    Only reason to buy an Air is if you are constantly carrying it around. Otherwise the MBP beats it pretty much everywhere on performance. If you are going to be playing games, I would go with the MBP without hesitation.
  3. Dantrey1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2013
    Do you have a mbp or mba? Also i like how light the mba is , heard the mbp is heavy
  4. arctic macrumors 6502a


    Jun 18, 2008
    It is heavy. The Retina models have slight decrease in weight compared to the classic ones but it's still significantly heavy compared to the Airs especially if you've got books and stuff in your backpack. YMMV but my friends love the weight of the 15" rMBP standalone while I swear on the portability of an Air since I travel a lot and it's always paired with an iPad not to mention the power bricks (I own a new Air max'd and a 4 year old MBP). The 13" rMBP is the middle ground. In fact, if my speculations are right, I see the Haswell 13" rMBP to have a slightly better iGPU than the Haswell Airs (HD5000 vs HD5100). So if you can wait 2 or 3 more months and get a Haswell machine, you might be able to install modern games and play them in High settings. Otherwise, if you think you won't need higher graphics gaming content above Minecraft, the current Airs will be more than adequate and pretty stable at that. Happy shopping and welcome to MR.
  5. AnorexicPig, May 5, 2013
    Last edited: May 5, 2013

    AnorexicPig macrumors 6502


    Dec 12, 2012
    Winnipeg,Canada/New Delhi India
    False,my dad has a mid-2012 MBP 13" and I have an MBA,and because of the SSD, the MBA feels way way faster in all the daily tasks,is much lighter and thinner--I say go with MBA. MBA also has significantly higher resolution screen.

    Gaming performance is not different, they both have an integrated GPU.
  6. itsOver9000 macrumors 6502


    Mar 29, 2013
    B.F., KS
    I found this video awhile ago of a guy running BF3 on 2012 i5 1.7 GHz Air:

    I think in the video he mentions he gets 20-40 fps. That's with running Windows on his machine. A bit of an extreme example but the fact that it can even run BF3 I think is impressive.

    I've only tried one game, Day of Defeat:Source, on my Air so far. I just run OS X on my 2012 13" Air with 2.0 GHz i7, 8 GB RAM and it handles DoD:S no problem. framerate dips to 30 for a few seconds only when I happen to be standing right in the middle of someone's smoke grenade. The fan in my MBA kicks in a little loud after playing for a few minutes but it never seems to get very hot. After an hour of playing earlier today I felt the bottom of the MBA and barely noticed any heat.

    DoD:S is a fairly old game so it's to be expected that it should run well on new hardware. But awhile ago I tried DoD:S on a 2011 MBP with 2.8 GHz i7 and HD 3000 graphics, all settings I think I had to the lowest and it was struggling. Like 30 fps. at most.
    HD 4000 makes all the difference. The Air is an impressive little machine!

    No clue about Minecraft but I found this thread ---
    Minecraft on MacBook Air 2012 :
  7. stchman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2012
    St. Louis, MO
    What's your budget? If you wish to do a few upgrades on the MBA I would recommend getting the 13" rMBP.
  8. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    I bought a NIB 2011 MBP and upped the RAM to 8Gb (already had it from my 2011 iMac so both machines now have 8Gb using the laptop RAM in the iMac) and installed a 512Gb SSD (Amazon lightening deal $310) to hold me over until Haswell/Broadwell hit the 11" MBA line = for < the cost of a 13" MBA I got a machine that was leaps and bounds better than my mid 2009 whitebook with plenty of internal SSD storage and a battery that can keep up with my mobile usage for a day...I also think the GPU in the MBP 3000 (2011 model) is on par with the ULV 4000 GPU (2012 model)?

    Hears hoping that the next intel chips can deliver on their battery usage promises so I can get the 11" MBA that I've always wanted:D
  9. jaduff46 macrumors 6502


    Mar 3, 2010
    Second star on the right....
    Just went through the same discussion with my daughter. Her 7 year old MBP had a fried logic board. She wanted the Air.

    I looked at a fully loaded 13" MBP in comparison to a fully loaded MBA. With the MBP you get the Retina graphics, a faster processor, much earlier in the product lifecycle. And it only weighs 1/2 pound more, which is barely noticeable.

    Priced out at about $125 more for the MBP but she loves it.
  10. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    In this case, the product lifecycle is misleading since the last update was a minor performance bump. I would expect the Air and rMBP to probably get updated within a month of each other and most likely updated at the same announcement.

    Having said that, both machines are fine to get if you need a new machine. After all, it doesn't sound lihe you are going to run out and replace it with the next announcement whether it's in 4 months or 9 months.
  11. stchman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2012
    St. Louis, MO
    Agreed, with the introduction of the 13" rMBP, only get a MBA is more base form. When you start adding features to a 13" MBA, it quickly approaches the 13" rMBP price.
  12. noahmateen1234 macrumors member

    Oct 2, 2008
    I gave my mom my 15" MBP and got the new 13" Air. I will never go back. I even put an SSD in my old MBP and while it definitely made it faster, the Air's lightness/sleekness is enough to convince me that I made the right choice. I am a college student and always have to carry it along with some notebooks/textbooks and it makes a huge difference to have a lighter computer.

    Go MBA all day.
  13. XoFu macrumors regular


    Apr 8, 2013
    I leaned towards MBA

    I was in the same spot MBA/rMBP? and played around quite a bit with them in the Apple store. In the end I decided to order a maxed out 13 MBA (anxious to get hold of it!).

    Either the MBA or MBP are far superior machines than my 2009 MBP that handles everything I do, but struggles sometimes when I'm crunching a lot of data.

    In the end, and since I do not need video/photo editing in my everyday work with the computer my take on was that the retina display looks good, but it doesn't mean very much (at least for my daily use).

    Decisions, decisions....:)
  14. Isamilis macrumors 6502a

    Apr 3, 2012
    MBA for sure. You asked in MBA forum anyway :)

    Seriously, cMBP is heavier than MBA. rMBP is still 1st iteration compared to MBA already become matured product. Also, what drive you really need retina display for 13" except you have special needs (i.e. photographer)? MBA screen is already much better than cMBP. I would recommend get 8GB RAM, and if you still have budget then order 256GB SSD/8GB.

  15. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    The MBA is a very nice computer and I've had several in the past. But to be honest I got the 13" rMBP. My main reasons were:

    1.) It's actually smaller than the 13" MBA in length and width. Go check it out if you didn't know this, I'm actually more comfortable with the rMPB on my lap than the 13" MBA.
    2.) Awesome screen on the rMBP. Besides resolution it's IPS so better viewing angles and colors than the MBA.
    3.) The .5 lbs more weight wasn't enough of a difference to matter to me.

    Your needs may vary but the size and screen were way more important to me than the small weight difference.
  16. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    I must admit that I love the screen of the retina (what a beautiful, clear resolution) and of course, its sheer power.

    However, I travel a lot, and for me the sheer portability of the MBA cannot be beaten; the screen is also excellent (and, until the advent of the retina MBP, the MBA had the best screen in an Apple laptop), as is the SSD drive, which is wonderful and blazing fast.

    Ultimately, it really depends on your needs. If power, and a super screen, are the priority (and possibly value for money), choose the retina MBP. If, however, weight matters, as you are mobile and need to carry that device around a lot, or travel a lot, then the weight, portability and sheer speed of the MBA cannot be beaten. My MBA has quite literally travelled the world with me; while I can see myself purchasing a retina MBP of some description in the future as a main, or desk, computer, I can never see myself without a MBA for travel.
  17. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    well, there's also the price. personally i think, pound for pound, the MBA is a better deal! funny considering it was the opposite when it first came out.

    For me the big choice is between the 11" MBA and the 15" rMBP

    ultraportable vs workhorse... and considering the upgradability of the MBA and how much it can handle, i think that's the choice for my needs. I can live without the the graphics...

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