Help - Deciding on a Air 13'' or Pro 13''

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Lunfai, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. Lunfai macrumors 65816


    Nov 21, 2010
    Hello, I'm in one of those situations where I don't know wither to get a Pro or an Air. I'm starting university this September for Design Media and I'll be using program's such as Photoshop, Flash, Maya, Autodesk, After Effects, Premiere Pro and Illustrator.

    The main reasons I want to get an Air is so that I can transport the machine easily, whilst I move between classes and if I want to go home I can bring it along.

    Basically, I'm not going to be using it to render video files or 3D Projects, but to design different products/leaflets/websites and posters. I won't be doing a lot of 3D Project but will dabble in it and video editing, so I need the machine to be sufficient at these tasks.

    Of course, the machine will be used typical web surfing which will include multiple chrome tabs open and Skype etc. so I'm going to get 8GB.

    So the question is does the Air run the list of programs with no problem? If it does I'll be going with an 8GB 13" base model. BTO. The screen resolution and portability made this tricky for me, and just to put it out there, I don't want a 15".

    I'll be getting an external monitor, but not right away, so I was really disappointed with the 13" pro resolution, and the air got cheaper, so it's currently very very tricky.

    Much would be appreciated if you have your own personal experiences with using these applications and how well they run :) Thanks!
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    nice thing with the pro is that the i5 pro is close to the same performance as the i7 air

    additionally, the pro you can upgrade to at least 16gig of ram (maybe even 32 in future). With the air, you are forever stuck at what you order it with up to 8 max

    I personally went with the pro as I wanted more than 8 gig and the resolution, while not as sharp, is not horrible and can always hook up a monitor
  3. Ryth macrumors 68000

    Apr 21, 2011
    Make sure you use the language MBPro, not Pro because that refers to the Desktop machine.

    You can use the compare tool on their site to see them side by side.

    Well considering the machines are almost identical in specs...and you won't see much of a difference doing what you want in a Air 2.0 i7 vs a MBPro 2.9 i7, it's really then about the SSD in the air vs normal HD drive, Ethernet and Optical Disc Drive in the MBPro .

    If those don't matter, then just get the Air. It will round out to about $1699 but that's without student discount. The MBPro if you were to put a SSD in it via Apple would run you $400 more then the $1499 base.

    That's a 2.0 i7 chip in the Air with 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD.

    They are both laptops and I think the MBPro weighs like 1.5 pounds more. Not sure why you think the MBPro isn't portable..seems odd.
  4. Lunfai thread starter macrumors 65816


    Nov 21, 2010
    Thanks it's not like I'm not saying its portable but I want it to be easy to carry and I can slip it into a slip on case and go. Weight and size is a bonus, ofcourse I wouldn't mind carrying around the MB Pro but if the Air does deliver then I might as well go for it.

    I would be upgrading the MB Pros ram and SSD to the same. I'll be getting a Crucial M4 and 8GB 1300/1600 MHz memory. Ethernet and the optical drive won't be used much, so there small benefits.

    The main reason I create this thread is can the machine run the program's stated above, efficiently?
  5. Ryth, Jun 15, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012

    Ryth macrumors 68000

    Apr 21, 2011
    It should be able to run them efficiently...but again, if you are talking about video or 3D, then ideally you'd want to get a machine with a dedicated GPU like the 15" Pro that has the Nvidia 650 chipset.

    I found this for you...this does a comparison...but's comparing everything on the machines. When you look at many things, it's a draw between the 2 other then the processor which the pro can have a higher one of.

    If you really think you are going to start edition video and doing 3D, then you might want to consider the 15" MBPro.

    Personally, Apple stores are pretty cool about this, ask them if you can install the Apps you want on 2 store machines and compare them so you can get a better decision on what to buy.

    If I was just doing things like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Web, I would go with an Air because it can easily do those things.

    If I was doing also After Effects, Premiers, FCP or FCX, with 3D then I would get a 15" pro. The 13" won't cut it due to no dedicated GPU chip. And I would bar none get a 1GB GPU at the minimum. And 8GB or 16GB if you can afford it. Also, if you were to get a MBPRo15" that doesn't have the retina, you can upgrade the RAM and HDD/SSD yourself and save a ton of money.

    Now mind you, if you just plan on doing simple video and 3D, then a MBAir might just be again all depends on many factors like video formats (SD vs HD), length of comps, etc. Shows, commercials, etc, you want a Pro. Home movies and class projects, maybe just a Air.

    BTW, I do Graphic Design and Motion Graphics for a living.

    It's really if you plan on doing video/3D. Those both take a much more dedicated machine with a dedicated graphics chip.

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