Going from old MBP to MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by xciteboy, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. xciteboy macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2006
    I'm kind of obsessed with the Macbook Air. Intellectually, I realize that it is probably overpriced for its power. And yet... I am dreaming about the thing. Literally.

    I've got a kick-ass iMac I bought a few months back. It's my primary machine, and it's great. No need for the Air to do much heavy lifting.

    I also have a 15-inch Macbook Pro with a 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo processor, 2 gig of RAM, and x1600 Radeon 256MB graphics. 100 GB 7200rpm hard disc. It's in great condition, still has more than a yr left of Apple Care.

    I've always bought close to the top-of-the-line spec laptop. This despite the fact I use it only for web browsing, instant messaging, MS office work, lighting photo viewing and music.

    Looks like I can still get around $1000 for my MBP if I sell it on eBay...

    So a few questions:

    1) Is a 1.8 gig Core 2 Duo processor faster than my current 2.0 gig Core Duo processor?
    2) How much worse is the integrated graphics chip than what I've got now?
    3) The 4200rpm hard disc worries me. I'm not worried about the lowish capacity, as I'm not storing a ton of stuff on my laptop. But for what I use the system for, am I going to notice the slow drive? Enough to warrant an SSD?

    Thanks for your opinions. I feel kind of crazy for fixating so much on the Air when I never even gave the non-Pro Macbook a second look... but it's so thin and beautiful. :)
  2. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    You sound like me! Today I just sent a PM to a friend (not on this forum, another one) offering my MBP for sale because I have fallen in love with the MBA after playing with them last night at the local Apple store. I, too, am a little concerned about the HD speed and such but certainly last night when I used three of the display MBAs they were all perky and speedy enough. I'm more concerned about the solitary USB port and really wish that Apple had managed to include a second one....however that's not a deal killer for me. The minute I gently closed the lid on the first MBA I saw and picked it up in one hand while admiring its thinness and sleekness I was in love. That was it....
  3. iSee macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    My take on it:

    1) They will be very, very close. If you say a C2D performs about 10% faster than the same clocked CD, then they are almost exactly the same.

    2) It's a bunch worse for gaming. But for everything you said you'd use the MBA for, it won't hold you back. It's really only a problem for gaming.

    3) I'd say try the 4200RPM drive unless money is no object. It is only really slow at random reads (sequential read/writes are fine, and random writes aren't that great for both drives). However, OS X uses free RAM as a big hard drive cache. With 2GB of RAM for the apps you've described, a lot of that RAM will be available for the disk cache. So you'll be hitting the cache a lot and the 4200 drive won't hold you back too badly. Of course, not everything can go through the cache all the time, but you should be fine with the apps you typically use.

    So, I'd say go for it.
    You've got the powerful iMac for when you really need performance. And then you'll have portability when you really want that.

    The only way I'd say forget it is if you really don't need a laptop at all now that you've gotten your iMac. In that case, just sell the MBP and spend the money on something else (or, *gasp*, save it!)
  4. aiongiant macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2006
    i agree with iSee it should be more than capable to do whatever you want
    and everyday programs.. however def not for games or like crazy video editing or anything like that..

    i ended up going with the 1.6 over the 1.8
    just casue i don't think the $300 is worth the upgrade in speed
    rather spend the $300 on accessory and such like the superdrive option

    i also just sold my old 2ghz mbp to a friend of mine
    haha ive been laptop less a whole week now waiting for my mba
  5. whenders0n macrumors member

    Jan 8, 2004
    in the same boat. sold by 1.83ghz MBP and now waiting on MBA. unlike OP, I don't have another machine so i'm stuck using library computers!
  6. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    Yeah I've gone from a 15" MBP to a MBA too, because all i use it for is similar to you, email, browsing, office and occasional bit of work in freeway, photoshop & painter (not much) if I'm away from the studio.

    I love the MBP aesthetic, and the MBA is perfectly keeping that aesthetic. The standard Macbook just doesn't do it for me.

    I went for the 1.6 as I couldn't justify €300 for 200mhz difference. I highly doubt I am going to see that difference in entourage or safari.

    I also went for the 80GB drive. Again €1000 was too much of a price difference. Whilst I realise boot times and launching applications wont be as nippy, I think people are being really negative towards the 4200RPM drive. I have a mac mini G4 and that uses a 4200RPM drive and isn't as bad as you would be led to believe.

    Also I don't feel the €1000 extra will pay-off when it comes to resale value in a year or twos time. I may upgrade the HDD when the warranty runs out assuming it has fallen in price (significantly).
  7. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    I tried one, and I'm sold. Ultraportables always have compromises, but at the end of the day an Air can still DO anything, one way or another--except import directly from a DV camcorder.

    Now that I've tried the Air, OTHER laptops--like a MacBook Pro--have their compromise too: heavy and bulky in comparison. The Pro is 80% heavier! (To say nothing of the ulrathick beasts of Windows laptops out there.) I'm not willing to make that compromise. The Air is simply a better machine for me. I'd rather work a few % slower than not at all. And I can't do a thing if my laptop was left behind due to bulk and weight and hassle. But an Air in a simple sleeve with handles is something I can grab and take anywhere without much thought.

    And it's not overpriced. Look at the prices on Sony subnotebooks sometime! The TZ uses a slower processor, worse graphics, smaller screen, smaller keys... and is still bigger by volume and more expensive (though comparing like models is difficult). And at the same time has some nice things, like tons of ports so your "ultraportable" can be accompanied by a sack of peripherals. Unlike the Air, which would require an $8 hub for that ;)

    Ultraportables cost more. Even the ones that don't have a specially-designed Intel processor like the Air uses. They're worth it if you want portability. I do :)

    But I'm NOT getting the ethernet or the superdrive. Wastes of money, when I realize how little (never in a year or more) I've needed either of those on my current laptop.
  8. whenders0n macrumors member

    Jan 8, 2004
    btw my MBA will be my primary work machine for software development.
  9. rsbell macrumors regular


    Jul 5, 2007
    Murrieta, CA
    I'm in the exact position as the OP. I figure performance will be very similar to what I have, so I won't be giving anything up there to switch.

    So I will have about the same performance in about half the thickness and 2 lbs. less.

    That's a win-win for me!
  10. r00 macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2008
    I'm almost in the same situation as some of you guys. I originally bought a Black Macbook in June and a week later the SR MBPs were released so I exchanged for one of those. After one month I realized I don't nearly use the amount of power it had so I sold it (and made a $100) and went with a nc2400 HP because of the 12.1" 1280x800 widescreen display and how thin they were. Ever since then I've been missing OSX and I really want to get back into Macs again.

    It seems hard to justify a $1700 laptop that has mediocre performance, especially when I could spend just $100 more to get a beast of a laptop. I'm afraid if I get the MBP again I'll be upset I've spent so much or a laptop that I don't use and would rather much have a 13" ultra portable with more battery life. For some people it's a no brainer but it's a very tough decision for me. It will be my ONLY machine, yes, people would think I'm crazy for getting a 1.6GHz C2D laptop as my only machine but I also have a 20" dell monitor with wireless apple keyboard and mouse sitting at my desk not being used.

    A 13.3" LED backlit display with backlit keyboard and aluminum case that is insanely thin seems worth it to me...

    Anyway, I can go all day listing the pro's and con's so that's why I'm going to the Apple store in Delaware where it's tax free and I just might come home with a new MBA.
  11. whenders0n macrumors member

    Jan 8, 2004
    you mean a spend-win-win
  12. bjdraw macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2008
    Tampa FL
    The PC laptop I had before my MBP was an ultra-portable so I'm accustomed to paying for a smaller form factor.

    As for power, I don't expect the MBA to be faster than my MBP (I have the same one as you). But I almost never peak my CPU and I never play games. I do like to watch HD videos, so it looks like I'll be stuck with 720p which should look great on the 13-inch screen.

    Hopefully we don't all have ours on ebay at the same time.
  13. rsbell macrumors regular


    Jul 5, 2007
    Murrieta, CA

    I'm fortunate enough that I can "spend-win-win" without too much thought about it! :)

    At least occasionally.
  14. whenders0n macrumors member

    Jan 8, 2004
    use craigslist. i got significantly more on CL for a lot less hassle (plus, no commission!)
  15. chrislee macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2008
    i had the macbook pro 17" and im switching to mba because i have my mac pro for all of the intensive work... i only really used the mbp for internet surfing while laying in bed, iweb or itunes and ichat. i originally bought the mbp for my only computer... then realized i wanted the mac pro, along with 2 mac minis i use for my media playes/dvd/internet through my 47" LCDs.

    for me, the mbp was WAY TOO HEAVY to travel with and with my bad back was bothering me when i used it on my lap in bed. also, the case would heat up and practically burn me.

    im waiting for the retail stores to get them in, and ill get one. i sold the mbp on ebay for $2500 and it was purchased in aug 06. LOL, so, im springing for the mba with 1.8 and SSD. i like the speed (i demo'd both configurations) and i think the faster one will have better resale, who knows. i bought the belkin 4 port usb hub and a western digital pocket drive (320gb 5400 rpm) from best buy.

    i know this computer isnt for everyone but i love it!

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