From Air to Pro - performance?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by 3dflyboy1, May 17, 2012.

  1. 3dflyboy1 macrumors 6502

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    California, USA
    #1
    I have been considering trading my current computer (11" MBA, i5 4/128GB) for a 2011 i5 13" MBP. Mainly, I'm wondering if the relative processing power increase is significant. If someone has both to compare, is the 1.6GHz i5+SSD combo just as powerful as the 2.3GHz i5+HDD? I may end up installing a small boot SSD later on, but for now I'm just concerned with the stock configurations' comparison.

    I found a similar thread, but that did not mention gaming, which is something I would like to do. My 11" Air can run COD4 and Minecraft just fine, but stutters when I throw something like skyrim at it (in bootcamp of course).

    Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks :)
     
  2. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

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    #2
    The 13" will be more powerful in processor heavy tasks like video encoding. But the Air will be much faster in every-day usage.
     
  3. MOKHAN macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I would imagine you would see slight gains running those games on the MBP.
     
  4. 3dflyboy1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Yeah, but I'm wondering if it's actually worth it to trade if the pro only provides minimal performance boosts...but I have also read that the pro is more future proof as far as upgrades...I'm really indecisive as this point, and as a student it's one of the most expensive things I own...I can't exactly take this lightly :D
     
  5. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #5
    This.

    It depends what you're doing.

    General use (browsing, word processing, etc) the air will be faster than a pro with a HD.

    Transcoding, rendering, etc - the Pro will smoke it.

    Put an SSD in the pro.

    Performance wise teh pro is superior in all respects with an SSD.
     
  6. Medic278 macrumors 6502a

    Medic278

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    #6
    I have both and I prefer my MBP hands down. I feel its considerably more power than my MBA. I install a 240GB Intel 520 SSD and 8GB of RAM and now it flies faster than my MBA. There are many comparison videos on youtube if you care to look. A MBP outfitted with an SSD beats the MBA in every test generally. I would say go for the trade, you can upgrade the RAM and HDD unlike the MBA so its more future proof for sure. You'll be really happy with the MBP its a great machine and its powerful you won't be disappointed.
     
  7. 3dflyboy1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Thanks! I will most likely end up throwing a 60GB SSD in with an optibay, to run the OS and store a game or two that would benefit from the increased read speed.
     
  8. MOKHAN macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Oh man. Go a little bigger, trust me! I had a 50GB Vertex 2 Optibayed, the SSD slowed to a crawl as I was right at capacity, I had to constantly delete files.

    Ended up selling it.
     
  9. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    NYC
    #9
    In day to day use, I find my MacBook Pro (15") doesn't seem any faster than my MacBook Air. Sure the screen size is different, but overall the usage is very similar.

    That said when it comes to gaming, the MacBook Air sucks and the MacBook Pro is pretty good for the games I play.

    I don't think the 13" is worth upgrading to since the GPU is the same, whereas only the processor is slightly faster.
     
  10. 3dflyboy1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Well I'll have to see what my wallet will allow. :D If I keep it from getting too full I shouldn't have a problem, right? Like make sure it always has 5-10GB free.

    Unfortunately that is my only option...it would cost me too much to go to a 15" pro. I also can't help but think that if I sold my air I could buy a quad i5 desktop with 8GB RAM and 2GB VRAM for $600-700...then find a used iPad for portability...
     
  11. MOKHAN macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Yeah, it wouldn't be a problem. But 128GB drives are already sub $100, maybe by the time you get a Pro, they'll be even cheaper. If not, I'd suggest getting at least 80GB.

    If you really want to game, the second option you just mentioned would be your best bet.
     
  12. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

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    Dec 21, 2011
    #12
    Fact: If you go to a MBP from an Air without putting an SSD in the MBP it will indeed appear slower for everyday things as others have implied. (Just as long as your willing to live with this).

    The nice thing is you can actually upgrade the MBP line at your leisure. (Unlike the Air).
     
  13. myrtlebee macrumors 68020

    myrtlebee

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    #13
    Eh, I have a 64GB SSD in my 13" and it's sufficient. Never had to delete anything (yet). And, the poster said it would be a second drive, in addition to the HDD, so I don't see the downside.
     
  14. MOKHAN macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Well, there's a big difference between 50GB and 64GB. I was also using my SSD with a HDD, it still filled up. Though, that may have been partially due to Premiere.
     
  15. myrtlebee macrumors 68020

    myrtlebee

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    #15
    He said 60 GB not 50 GB....4 GB isn't really a difference. Again, especially since the OP clearly stated that it will be a secondary drive. He likely will have a total of 560 GB (500GB HDD + 60 GB SSD). That is a crap ton of space for most people. Hell, I'm using my 64 GB as my only drive and I'm okay. He'll be fine, and actually adding space to what he already has. Much ado about nothing.
     
  16. MOKHAN macrumors 6502

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    #16
    I wasn't talking about his 60GB, I was talking about my 50GB vs your 64GB... a difference of 14GB (possibly why I experienced shortages and you didn't). Yeah, that is a lot of space, but he also said he will be storing a game or two on the SSD, and that can add up.
     
  17. danpass macrumors 68020

    danpass

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    Miami, FL
    #17
    if the MBP has (or will have) SSD then it will be faster.

    Otherwise overall performance will be similar. There may be one or two things where you'll notice the MBP as being faster.

    There will be a somewhat noticeable improvement with 8gb in the MBP that still has an HDD.
     

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