Considering upgrading my 13" 2011 Air to 13" 2014 rMBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by wayne905, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. wayne905, Jan 11, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015

    wayne905 macrumors member


    Mar 9, 2012
    Maple, Ontario, Canada
    As the title suggests, I'm considering upgrading my 13" 2011 Macbook Air (i5 entry level with 256 SSD and 4GB RAM) to the newer 2014 13" rMPB (entry level with either 8 or 16GB Ram and again 256 SSD) and am wondering if I'll see a significant difference in regards to the overall speed and performance.

    I use this machine with normal use (Youtube, HD Video watching, email, web surfing etc - basically a couch and bed computer)? I don't play many games, but maybe I will given this new machine. I have an iMac for any of the more processor hog types of things (ripping Blu Rays, encoding, etc)

    Has anyone else made the same switch from a 2011 MBA to a 2014 rMBP and seen a significant increase in speed and performance. Don't get me wrong - my 2011 MBA is nice and still has some pep left in her. I'm just trying to justify in my mind if it's worth making the switch (and spending the money). If the increase is really unnoticeable then I may wait it out. I do however like the thought of going to a retina screen. When I use my friends iPad2, I hate the quality of the display and can't wait to get back to my Retina iPad.

    If I do pull the trigger on the purchase, I will check out the current offerings of Refurbs of the same configuration, as it seems there are a lot of people on here who have great things to say about refurbs.

  2. Xeridionix macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2015
    While I haven't made such a switch myself, from the tasks that you've described I'd say that your MacBook Air is still more than plenty capable, so it wouldn't be worth it in my mind to spend the extra money at this point.

    Just my two cents. :)
  3. cbautis2 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2013
    Aside from craving retina, it'll be a waste of money to get rmbp unless your air is already unsupported. I'm typing this on my mid 2011 air and it's been more than enough for everything, including consumer level editing 1080p videos and even watching 2160p YouTube videos. It's still giving me 6-7 hours of battery life with normal usage and 226 cycles.
  4. airly macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2012
    I have done a similar switch 1 years ago (from 13" 2011 MBA, i5, 4GB, 256GB to 13" 2013 rMBP, i5 (Haswell), 8GB, 512GB).

    Web browsing performance: around 25% faster, I reckon mainly due to the RAM
    Battery life: better than the Air (I got around 6-7 hours from the MBA and 10-11 hours from the rMBP)
    Screen real estate: I prefer rMBP (1280x800 retina) than MBA (1440x900)
    Weight: you can tell the different, MBA is noticeably lighter
    Graphic performance (Aperture): rMBP is quicker when it is on native retina 1280x800, I reckon is due to the PCIe SSD and RAM
    Ports: Love the USB3, it makes my backup so easy and quick.

    Ask yourself the following questions before you switch:
    1) Do you need 10-11 hours battery life? (based on your usage, I don't really think so, by the way, you only get 10-11 hours if you use safari as web browser)
    2) Are you ok with 1280x800 screen resolution? (if you prefer 1440x900, there is no point to even bother with the retina display, it still looks good, but no compare to retina native 1280x800)
    3) Do you care about the weight different? (this is very subjective, my friend said can't tell the different but I can definitely tell especially i travel a lot)
    4) Do you need USB 3.0?

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