For those who switched from MBA to rMBP

MacRazySwe

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 7, 2007
822
507
Hi guys,

I'm currently on a Mid-11 13" MBA. I bought it in 2012 to replace my 5 year old 15" MacBook Pro. The MBA I'm using is the base 13" model, 1.7GHz, 4GB RAM and 128 GB SSD.

I will probably upgrade to the 13" rMBP or the rumored 12" rMBA during this summer, rMBP being the more likely choice as of now (although it may change when I've actually seen the new MBA...)

The MBA has been the best computer I've ever owned, hands down. It's been ultra-silent. Most of the time, I hardly hear it at all. It also stays really cool. Last but not least, the SSD is a game-changer, hence why I much prefer working on my MBA rather than my iMac in most cases. However, times are changing and I'm really interested in having a retina laptop, seeing as I do A LOT of writing/reading on my MBA at Uni. Moreover, I would like more storage and ram, hence why I think that the rMBP 2.4GHz, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD could be the way to go, unless Apple brings out something amazing with the new MBA.

For those of you who have switched from the MBA to the rMBP (13")...

* Does the rMBP run as quiet as the MBA? Reason I ask is the 28W processor in the rMBP.

* Does the rMBP run as cool as the MBA? I've heard that it may actually run cooler thanks to the new cooling system - is this correct, or just marketing nonsense?

* Does anyone know how the battery-life of the 2011 13" MBA compares to the 13" rMBP? Apple claims 7 hours for my 2011 MBA, but I've managed to squeeze out nearly 10 hours of this little guy, while not using Wi-Fi or BT and keeping the brightness set very, very low, normally I get around 7 hours however. How does the rMBP compare in real life usage?

Other than that, how did you experience the transition from the MBA to the rMBP? I get that the Retina Display is the main difference, which is one of the main reasons for upgrading.
 

thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
2,985
7
Switzerland
Not really on topic since I went the other way (15'' non-retina to 13'' retina), but I can tell you that the rMBP runs very quiet and generates only a small amount of heat, nothing in comparison to my 15'' MBP, which feels and sounds more like a blow dryer.

I believe that the 13'' rMBP will be just as quiet as the Air, unless you push it very hard. Battery I guess the new 13'' Air wins, but the rMBP allows me to leave my charger at home and still work on it most day... pretty cool in my opinion.
 

Orr

macrumors 6502
Oct 8, 2013
363
50
For those of you who have switched from the MBA to the rMBP (13")...

* Does the rMBP run as quiet as the MBA? Reason I ask is the 28W processor in the rMBP.
Yes. Both are silent under normal load.

* Does the rMBP run as cool as the MBA? I've heard that it may actually run cooler thanks to the new cooling system - is this correct, or just marketing nonsense?
It's a wash for regular use. The rMBP will in most situations be able to sustain heavy load better due to its higher TDP (although the resolution may have to be turned down to achieve this).

* Does anyone know how the battery-life of the 2011 13" MBA compares to the 13" rMBP? Apple claims 7 hours for my 2011 MBA, but I've managed to squeeze out nearly 10 hours of this little guy, while not using Wi-Fi or BT and keeping the brightness set very, very low, normally I get around 7 hours however. How does the rMBP compare in real life usage?
The Air has the best battery life bar none, but the 13" rMBP is no slouch. Should be able to get 10+ hours easily with your described settings which admittedly isn't very useful. For regular light internet browsing and word documents with 75% brightness, 7-8 hours should be easily achieved.

Other than that, how did you experience the transition from the MBA to the rMBP? I get that the Retina Display is the main difference, which is one of the main reasons for upgrading.
I previously used a 13" Haswell Air when they were first released for several months. The current Haswell rMBP is a superior machine in every single way except for weight (which is insignificant unless physically challenged) and battery life (which is also close enough to be a wash). 'Retina' is now the standard for current upscale laptops and anything less isn't smart money.
 

dmccloud

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2009
991
14
Anchorage, AK
For those of you who have switched from the MBA to the rMBP (13")...

* Does the rMBP run as quiet as the MBA? Reason I ask is the 28W processor in the rMBP.
Both machines are extremely silent. The only thing I've ever heard from my rMBP is the sound of the air leaving the system, but no fan or mechanical noise, even when running games.

* Does the rMBP run as cool as the MBA? I've heard that it may actually run cooler thanks to the new cooling system - is this correct, or just marketing nonsense?
Depending on which configuration of the rMBP you get, it may run a little warmer to the touch (dedicated GPU will do that), but it's not anything to get concerned with.

* Does anyone know how the battery-life of the 2011 13" MBA compares to the 13" rMBP? Apple claims 7 hours for my 2011 MBA, but I've managed to squeeze out nearly 10 hours of this little guy, while not using Wi-Fi or BT and keeping the brightness set very, very low, normally I get around 7 hours however. How does the rMBP compare in real life usage?
The Air series does tend to get a little more battery life, but it's also running lower voltage components across the board. In real-world usage, the systems are close enough that the difference is negligible.
 

kathyricks

macrumors 6502
Nov 26, 2012
265
17
On my late 2013 rMBP the machine is totally silent except during long video renderings when the fans rev up slightly to moderately depending on the length of the render. And even then the fans aren't real noisy.
 

SquirrelGirl

macrumors member
Mar 13, 2014
30
0
I have a late 13 mid level rMBP, completely silent, ice cold. It has only reached room temp (the casing keeps it literally cold to the touch all other times) around the keyboard when seriously stressing it. If those are your concerns you need not worry.
 

dalupus

macrumors regular
Jul 19, 2011
132
0
I have a late 13 mid level rMBP, completely silent, ice cold. It has only reached room temp (the casing keeps it literally cold to the touch all other times) around the keyboard when seriously stressing it. If those are your concerns you need not worry.
I guess it is time for an upgrade. I have an original (2012 I think) 15" rMBP. Thing really really hot. Seems like it was common with that model.

For the OP, whatever you do make sure you go retina. If you read a lot on your laptop you will really notice the difference especially with extended sittings. I personally am going to go with the rumored 12" fanless MBA if it does in fact turn out to be fanless. If not I will simply get another 15" rMBP.