Decision time

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by zetosan, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. zetosan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    #1
    Well like the title says I need some help deciding. I will be getting my first MacBook either air or pro. But kinda stuck between the two. Would like to spend no more than $1500. I have read a lot of articles and writes on the forums and google but still cant really make my decision.

    MacBook pro retina 13
    •2.4GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 2.9GHz
    •8GB of ram
    •256GB Flash Storage

    or

    MacBook air 13
    •1.7GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz
    •8GB of ram
    •128GB Flash Storage

    I'll be using it for school mainly, I do some photography as my hobby, watching movies on free times, and maybe a little gaming. Which one do you guys think is more suitable for me? Size or weight doesn't really matter to me, battery life I don't really care as long as I can get more than 4 hours(I get 2 and a half on my hp), and I do plan to use it 4+ years but I do plan to get an imac down the road.

    Thank you all!!
     
  2. mpantone macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    #2
    Get the MacBook Pro Retina since you don't care about size, weight, or battery life (the major plusses for the Air).

    The Retina Pro has its superior display, plus more storage space to boot.

    This is a complete no-brainer if I've ever seen one in the MacRumors forums.

    Enjoy!
     
  3. skaertus macrumors 68030

    skaertus

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    #3
    Get the retina MacBook Pro. It is faster and overall better. And the display is just gorgeous.
     
  4. aperantos macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    #4
    Having destroyed my MBA I faced the same decision. But as much as I loved its size and shape, I have to agree that the two being so close in price that the retina display is impossible to turn down.

    I had the same configuration for my MBA, and found 128GB storage to quickly become a problem. Remember you lose 8GB as an image file is needed to store the memory when it goes to sleep unless you reconfigure system settings. And eventually it will start using swap space or creating temporary files so the available disk space starts to go down the longer you use it between reboots.

    It also means you cannot use Bootcamp as there is not really enough space for a working Windows partition. This may not be important, but depending on what games you play it may be something you would want to use.

    Something I read afterwards that never occurred to me at the time of purchase is that with the speed of SSDs the swap performance is so much better than traditional hard disk that in the same situation now I would seriously consider 256GB storage and 4GB of RAM rather than a 128GB and 8GB configuration. Although I believe it is fairly easy to get a third-party upgrade to your storage but not the RAM so that is a decision you need to get correct at time of purchase.

    But having previously used MacBooks (and PowerBooks) with optical drives and not having any problem with the weight, the rMBP now being only a half pound extra over the MBA seems a minor quibble unless you need to carry it in an already heavy bag. Size is overall not too dissimilar, the tapered design of the MBA is much better, but at its thickest point you are not saving anything. And while the MBA battery life may be better, unless you are someone wanting to work on long haul flights again it seems a minor quibble when the rMBP battery is still great.

    In reviews I have seen the MBA i7 buts is roughly on a par with the rMBP i5, with the latter benefitting in processor intensive tasks as the boost on the MBA cannot be sustained for as long as it cannot dissipate the resulting extra heat as well. The rMBP also has a better graphics processor and I believe, though not certain, the flash storage is faster. Although I may be confused by Apple referring to the rMBP as having the faster "PCIe-base flash storage" while the MBA as just having "flash storage." If you want the machine to last four years, then the rMBP being faster and with better graphics and screen means it should cope better as software becomes more demanding.

    I would be happy to trade the performance of the rMBP for a retina MBA as they are wonderful machines. But sadly that is not yet an option. Given your are not concerned with the weight and battery benefits of the MBA, which along with the ergonomics are the only reason to favour it, but do want the "less obsolete in four years" benefit of the rMBP it seems the latter seems easily the best option for you. And if you want to store an iTunes library on it, work with RAW files stored locally, or just install a few big games then the added storage space will be a huge difference. It is scary how quickly you can use up 128GB, iPhoto uses up more than 1.28GB for the application alone.
     
  5. jamesjanzen macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2013
    #5
    Close in price? Here in Canada the difference between his two specs are $200, in the states I believe it's $150... doesn't feel that close to me?

    Maybe I'm just so lacking in $ that it seems like a lot.
     
  6. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #6
    I was thinking the same. The MBP is $1500 and MBA is $1350. But if you increase the SSD to 256gb on the MBA, it is $1550 which brings it in line with the SSD on the MBP. Also note that the 256 and 512 SSD's are much faster than the 128 (although maybe not a factor for your kind of use).
     
  7. yosemit macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2013
    #7
    If weight and battery life are non-issues, then it seems rMBP 13" is a better choice for you. The retina display is a beauty.

    The i7 in MBA is slightly faster than the 2.4GHz i5, but the difference is negligible in real life. The 256GB SSD is faster than the 128GB SSD.

     
  8. NDefer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    #8
    buy the rMBP if you can afford it over the MBA.
     
  9. aperantos macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    #9
    Sorry, yes that is what I meant. The closeness is price of the models, not zetosan's specific specs and processor upgrades to roughly match performance as well as capacities. In the UK the base MBA with 256GB storage and upgraded to 8GB memory is £1,209 while the rMBP with the same is £1,249. The dollars (well, pounds) definitely matter to me too!
     
  10. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #10
    another thing to keep in mind is that a 256 upgrade on MBA is 200$ extra, but is only $100 on a MBP. I wonder why is that :confused:
     
  11. Dweez macrumors 65816

    Dweez

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Location:
    Down by the river
    #11
    I'll second this.
     
  12. zetosan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    #12
    Well if I get the air with the set up I posted it would be 1279 and the retina is 1399 with the student discount:D

    well I decided to get the retina, thank you all and merry Christmas!!
     
  13. Dweez macrumors 65816

    Dweez

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Location:
    Down by the river
  14. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #14
    Wait, I thought you were Turd Ferguson.
     
  15. Dweez macrumors 65816

    Dweez

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
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    #15
    And?
     
  16. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #16
    And what? Isn't that enough?
     
  17. lagisibuk macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2013
    Location:
    Always Somewhere
    #17
    yupp, agree with this
     
  18. Dweez macrumors 65816

    Dweez

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Location:
    Down by the river
    #18
    Absolutely. And BTW - "threeve".
     

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