How to Choose MBP 13" vs. MBA 13"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kramden88, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. kramden88 macrumors member

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    Jul 14, 2008
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    NJ, USA
    #1
    I have a four year old iMac that I'm looking to replace. I'm a teacher so I get education pricing. I'm having trouble figuring out the better buy based on performance. Is there a significant difference between a $999 MBP 13" and a $1049 MBA 13"? My main concern is the spinning drive in the MBP so the only upgrade I'd be willing to consider is for a solid state drive, even though I'd lose a lot of capacity. I don't need to do a lot of heavy lifting but I'd like the machine to last at least four years. The MBA's are brand new so how do I decide? Any suggestions?
     
  2. duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    #2
    If performance is your main concern, then the new MBA with the PCIe-based SSD is going to be faster than any aftermarket SSD you could put into the 13" cMBP. Given that, I would go with the new MBA.

    For increased longevity, seriously consider going with the 8GB RAM option.
     
  3. kramden88 thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    Performance, price and battery life are better on the MBA so what's the appeal of the MBP beside HDD?
     
  4. B... macrumors 68000

    B...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    #4
    The Superdrive, more storage, more upgradeability. For me those pluses don't outweigh the cons (outdated tech and slow drive) and can't compare with the appeal of the Air in terms of speed and weight.
     
  5. duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    #5
    Right now? It's the expandability by being able to yank out the optical drive and add a second drive for additional internal storage. Apple doesn't support those configurations, though, so it's all DIY, and if you run into issues with your system related to any mod's done to it, you will have to remove those mods before Apple will help you.

    There's also the wired ethernet port as well.

    Some consider those two things to be extremely important, and as such they carry a lot of weight in their decision making. If you're not concerned about them, then there's not much reason to the get the 13" cMBP these days.

    Also, although the 13" MBP processor is clocked higher, it's Ivy Bridge-based (previous gen) so the CPU in the new MBA diminished the performance difference somewhat on that front. In fact (and this is where it gets really interesting, IMO) the 2.9GHz 13" Retina MBP got a 64bit Geekbench score of 8298, while the latest 1.7 GHz 13" MBA got a score of 8172. This means that talking real-world, you're probably not going to notice a performance difference based on CPU alone.

    So, I'd go with the 13" MBA if I needed to buy now and was choosing between those 2 systems.
     
  6. kramden88 thread starter macrumors member

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    NJ, USA
  7. l0gikb0mb macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2012
    #7
    I've went through both extensively and always come out preferring the MBP.

    Besides the screen quality being far better on the MBP, the keys don't feel cheap and shallow like they do on the MBA. The rigidity is still nice but could be a lot better on the MBA. You can bend it in a different shape. Actually, you'll most likely have to as most come out of the box wobbling because the bottom is warped.

    MBP is far more rigid and the upgradeability will come in handy once SSDs drop in price even more.

    I personally got a MBP for just under 1k and added an SSD and 8GB ram after switching back and forth between the two last year.
     

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