can't decide....ughhh...

ThomasNuffan

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 20, 2012
9
0
Macbook Air:

1.8GHz Intel Dual-Core Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 2.8GHz
8GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
512GB Flash Storage
Backlit Keyboard (English) & User's Guide
AppleCare Protection Plan for MacBook Air / 13" MacBook Pro - Auto-enroll
Totsl: $2,348.00

Macbook Pro:

2.9GHz Dual-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM — 2x4GB
512GB Solid State Drive
SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
Backlit Keyboard (English) & User's Guide (English)
AppleCare Protection Plan for MacBook Air / 13" MacBook Pro - Auto-enroll
Total: $2,648.00

would I see a dramatic performance difference between the two?
 

KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,506
3,050
On CPU-intensive tasks, you would notice a bit of a difference. For gaming, likely you wouldn't. It's a close call. They are two pretty evenly matched systems. What applications do you plan to run?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
65,494
31,526
Boston
Do you need the optical drive or the extra ports that are on the MBP? Also from what I hear the MBP's screen better then the MBAs?

All things being equal, if you don't need the optical drive, I'd go with the MBA.
 

ThomasNuffan

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 20, 2012
9
0
It's a new laptop for school.

replacing an old laptop from early 2010.

so It would be used for the usual everyday stuff....with very light gaming...
(minecraft - and various RTS games)

----------

and I don't need the optical drive.
 

oneMadRssn

macrumors 601
Sep 8, 2011
4,899
11,433
New England
It's a new laptop for school.

replacing an old laptop from early 2010.

so It would be used for the usual everyday stuff....with very light gaming...
(minecraft - and various RTS games)

----------

and I don't need the optical drive.
Get the MBA, but what other answer do you expect in a MBA forum.

Seriously though, for school, the lightness of the MBA is it's best feature.
 

jmoore5196

macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2009
749
253
Midwest US
I have both ... not as high-speced as the ones in your quandary, but an MBP and MBA nonetheless.

The question is rather one of weight. If you'd prefer to carry 5 pounds versus 3, or if the extra weight doesn't bother you, the MBP is probably a good pick.

As a student, I learned to prize portability. That's what I love about the MBA ... full-featured, with very few limitations, but extraordinarily freedom-inducing.

On the other hand, I know some guys who genuinely enjoy heavy book bags and backpacks. If that's you, then the MBP will probably suit your purpose, and you've effectively future-proofed it for sometime to come.
 

LYFK

macrumors regular
Oct 24, 2007
139
1
@OP I went from a 15" 2007 MBP to the 13" MBA and definitely am enjoying it. Although I haven't really had the chance to push the machine, it doesn't sound like you're going to either.

I would take the MBA over the 13" MBP hands down. It's more portable, has a higher screen res, and you already said you don't need the optical drive.

Unless for some reason you need the 2.9 or the extra ports, it doesn't sound like this should be a difficult decision. You could bump the MBA to 2.0GHz and call it a day.
 

stchman

macrumors 6502a
Jul 16, 2012
671
2
St. Louis, MO
To the OP:

The MBA Ultimate i7/8GB/512GB is $2200. Me personally I would not opt for the AppleCare as Apple does not cover drops and spills.

If you're going to go MBP, go rMBP. You can get a rMBP with i7 2.6/16GB/512GB for $3000.

The MBA is a better value IMO.
 

Liquinn

Suspended
Apr 10, 2011
3,016
56
To the OP:

The MBA Ultimate i7/8GB/512GB is $2200. Me personally I would not opt for the AppleCare as Apple does not cover drops and spills.

If you're going to go MBP, go rMBP. You can get a rMBP with i7 2.6/16GB/512GB for $3000.

The MBA is a better value IMO.
Who would buy a MBA Ultimate over a retina MBP? :eek:
 

KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,506
3,050
If you're willing to spend that much, I would highly recommend the Retina MacBook Pro.
With a 512GB SSD, the Retina MacBook Pro is $2,699+$349 for AppleCare for a total of $3,048. That's a $700 premium over the MacBook Air with AppleCare.
 

stchman

macrumors 6502a
Jul 16, 2012
671
2
St. Louis, MO
go for the pro. i got 13" over 15" for portability like i imagine you want to.
however, save yourslef $500 and buy this http://www.crucial.com/store/partspecs.aspx?IMODULE=CT512M4SSD2

theyre so easy to fit, and dont void warranty/applecare to fit yourself.
The 512GB SSD for the MBP is $1000.

Not to mention if you buy an after market SSD, you get to keep the 500GB HDD.

Also you can get 16GB of RAM from Newegg for $90.
 

Beanoir

macrumors 6502a
Dec 9, 2010
571
2
51 degrees North
Personally if size and weight isn't an issue, then the Pro will walk all over the MBA there (You WILL notice a huge difference), don't forget the graphics performance is way better, and you have the ability to upgrade the RAM, the SSD and potentially the CPU too, whereas the only thing you'll even be able to upgrade on the MBA is the flash memory.

If weight was more of an issue and you'd sacrifice that over performance, then the MBA is great, it's why I have one but then I have the iMac for the heavy lifting stuff and why I need a bit more performance etc.
 

KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,506
3,050
Personally if size and weight isn't an issue, then the Pro will walk all over the MBA there (You WILL notice a huge difference), don't forget the graphics performance is way better,
That's true of the 15" Pro, but the 13" Pro has the same HD 4000 GPU as the Air. Granted, it has a higher base speed, but a similar Turbo Boost speed.
 

Beanoir

macrumors 6502a
Dec 9, 2010
571
2
51 degrees North
That's true of the 15" Pro, but the 13" Pro has the same HD 4000 GPU as the Air. Granted, it has a higher base speed, but a similar Turbo Boost speed.
Good pick up, bit of an error there on my part.

I'd still be going Pro though if it was my only machine, if it was just a portable and I had something else at home, i'd grab the MBA.
 

ThomasNuffan

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 20, 2012
9
0
wow thanks for some good responses!

as others have stated, the reason why I'd be leaning towards a MBA is to save on weight -- this is for school so they'll also be books in the backpack -- and to upgrade a MBP or a Retina to where I'd want it is close to another $1000. Too rich for a student's blood.

I may have could have stretched for the MBP as spec'd but $2.6k is a bit scary...
 

Born2bwild

macrumors member
Mar 18, 2012
30
14
You do know you could get the MBP retina (base model w/ 512g SSD) for $2699. Since you're a student, you could get $200 off, and then Applecare would cost $350, I believe. So that's $2849. A much better deal than the MBP for 2.6k. If you can't or don't want to pay that much for the rMBP, then go for the MBA.

But the rMBP is excellent; it has an additional discrete GPU (much better gaming performance), in addition to the best screen. Plus it's pretty light, especially for its size.
 

cc2096

macrumors regular
May 13, 2005
199
0
Who would buy a MBA Ultimate over a retina MBP? :eek:
Me. You can see from my sig that I had the mid level Retina and sold it for a 13" MBA Ultimate. The Retina is an amazing machine, but lack of Retina ready apps mean that it's not ready for prime time yet. Next year will be the year that the Retina MBP really shines, and i'll probably end of up getting one again then. But for the OP's uses and mine, the 13" Air is plenty.
 

hrl

macrumors member
Feb 8, 2009
80
13
Pacific Northwest
Personally, I don't think I would ever get anything thicker and heavier than the Air. That includes the rMBP. Unless you are doing heavy production works, there is no need of having a powerful computer.
 

chrisrosemusic1

macrumors 6502a
Jan 31, 2012
693
21
Northamptonshire, England
Me. You can see from my sig that I had the mid level Retina and sold it for a 13" MBA Ultimate. The Retina is an amazing machine, but lack of Retina ready apps mean that it's not ready for prime time yet. Next year will be the year that the Retina MBP really shines, and i'll probably end of up getting one again then. But for the OP's uses and mine, the 13" Air is plenty.
You said it there - it still amazes me with the lack of retina support on the iPad so with the MacBook not having full app support is a big turn off for me.