Early 2014 13" MBA vs 13" cMBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by comics addict, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. comics addict macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 16, 2013
    #1
    I just purchased a new Early 2014 13" MBA by taking advantage of Best Buy's promotion. I am moving over from having a 13" cMBP with a 2.5GHz CPU. I mainly used mine for web browsing, HD video playback, casual gaming, microsoft office & dual monitor setup. I tend to play games like the Batman Arkham series, Civilization V and the like via Steam on either OS X or Windows. I know for a fact that the new Air's integrated graphics are slightly improved from my Pro but the CPU clockwise is basically cut in half. Can anyone familiar or that has had experienced with both devices tell me what I might be in for ? Anything else ?
     
  2. yosemit macrumors regular

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    Jul 19, 2013
    #2
    About 2-3 times faster. Every component is improved, the processor, memory, and the SSD (big difference). The processor turbo boosts to 2.7GHz and has an optimized microarchitecture (that means better performance when running at the same frequency).

     
  3. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 21, 2013
    #3
    Clock speed is irrelevant between generations. Within a generation there are better comparisons. It may have half the clock-speed, but it is about 7% slower. Here are benchmarks below. Considering the SSD and the HD 5000 graphics, the real-world performance is actually better. I would have upgraded the HDD in your MBP to an SSD instead of getting a MBA, but even then it would not be as powerful as the MBA.

    http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks

    Matt
     
  4. comics addict, Jul 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014

    comics addict thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Actually I did upgraded my cMBP to an SSD but beyond that, the fact that I only need 4GB of memory for my typical uses and hardly use the optical drive than when I bought it since I buy almost all my media digitally now (specially in iTunes), and valued the insane battery life and improved portability of the MBA as the ideal balance between my current Pro and getting an iPad for lighter uses. Hence why I decided to try out this machine. I just got it on Friday so I still have well over a week to do a proper test drive and see how it works for my purposes. It wasn't an decision I took lightly. Plus with me selling my Pro with the upgraded SSD & AppleCare it might fetch me the amount of money that I used for this one if I decide to stick around with it.
     
  5. comics addict thread starter macrumors 6502a

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  6. Groovemaster17 macrumors member

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    Aug 7, 2012
    #6
    All about flash

    Honestly, it's all about the flash storage here. It's not the CPU or RAM that's making the current MacBook line so fast, but the PCIe based flash storage (the other specs are nice, don't get me wrong, but there not where all that "zippiness" is coming from.)

    While a cMBP can get pretty snappy with an SSD upgrade, there's very little left that's appealing about it. Trust me, I held out a long time until I let go of the ethernet, firewire, and optical drive. I've been using a 2012 15" anti-glare MBP as my daily driver with an SSD upgrade, not ready to jump into the new, "Non-Upgradable" waters. But now, after moving to a 2014 MacBook Air, I can tell you I should have done it sooner.

    The portability and battery life (OMG the battery life) are worth the trade offs alone, and while it's not retina, I really like the high res of 1440x900 on a 13" display (the classic is only gonna get you 1280x800). The only things to consider with a machine you cannot open up, are Applecare and RAM. Applecare is usually a no brainer to extend the life of this machine. I would also highly recommend jumping to 8GB of RAM. It's true, most folks are fine with 4GB, but it's the one thing you may end up wanting that cannot be added by any means in the future. And at $100 for the upgrade, it's pretty fair.

    Other than that, I'm very happy with my new air. It comes with me everywhere, drives my 27" external display, and lasts for the better part of 10-13 hours when I'm out and about. Good luck
     
  7. comics addict thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 16, 2013
    #7
    Thanks for your help. I got mine from the recent BB sale where I got the base 4GB, 128GB model for $750 before taxes. So far my biggest gripe is the screen quality where I feel that even with the higher resolution the color quality and viewing angles are more washed out than on my cMBP. Makes it for me a deal breaker but since I currently don't have my Pro with me to do side by side comparisons I am on the fence about sticking with this one.
     
  8. Ronnoco macrumors 68030

    Ronnoco

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    Oct 16, 2007
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    United States of America
    #8
    First thing I noticed in my 2013 13" Air (i7/8GB/512) was the absolute LIGHTENING FAST PCIe SSD. As Steve would say "INSANELY FAST". You can't help but notice the speed. Then, the battery life...incredible. I think the screen is fine when I'm mobile (coming from a 2010 i5 MBP 15" and a 2010 MacBook Air 11".
    I too use a 27" ACD when at home. Great setup. This new Air is twice the computer either of those were for me.
     
  9. comics addict thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 16, 2013
    #9
    To be fair you got the 512GB flash storage. The one I got is the 128GB and the write speeds are lower than even the ssd I have installed on my MacBook Pro. So even with PCIe connection I haven't seen the performance to be noticeably faster than my ssd-equipped cMBP.

    To be fair to the MBA I love how light and thin it is and the comfortableness of typing when compared to the pro. But that display isn't convincing me. I think the current MBA is not for me even with the fantastic battery life.
     
  10. Ronnoco macrumors 68030

    Ronnoco

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    #10
    I love everything about my 2013 MBA. Best Apple computer I've ever owned. :)
     
  11. electronique macrumors 6502

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    Aug 27, 2008
    #11
    Good read..

    Im on an early 2011 MBP and wanting to upgrade. Im set on an Air, but thought it may not compete with my current.. I always look at numbers - Because its easy to compare..

    Ive got to realise that in over three years there have been major advances in processor, graphics and SSD and simply comparing numbers is not going to get me anywhere.
     
  12. comics addict thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 16, 2013
    #12
    You got a point. In my case I am running off a cMBP with an Ivy Bridge CPU from 2012 so the gains from moving to Haswell is negligible besides the gains on battery life. Doesn't help that I am switching to a lower clocked ULT version of the Core i5 processor.
     
  13. capathy21 macrumors 65816

    capathy21

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    Jun 16, 2014
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    Houston, Texas
    #13
    For some the screen is indeed a deal breaker. It really depends on the individual. The MBA is a great machine. If it had a high quality display, it would pretty much be perfect.
     
  14. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #14
    the screen is an advantage and disadvantage at the same time.
    The mbas are noticably snappier than the rmbp because they do not need to run the retina.

    Its portable and if you hook up the mba to a screen its awesome. For photos the retina is much better!
     
  15. comics addict thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 16, 2013
    #15
    I concur. Guess I'll look at it when/if the make the jump to retina displays.
     
  16. Ronnoco macrumors 68030

    Ronnoco

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    #16
    I keep my MBA connected to a 27" ACD while at home...awesome is the perfect word to describe it.
     

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