I like my 2011 MBP but...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lowonthe456, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. lowonthe456 macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2007
    I have been pondering getting a MBA instead.

    I have an early 2011 MBP 13 base. Great machine. I have no complaints, I just find that I don't work on music anymore, which was the only reason I opted for the MBP over the MBA. I take my MBP with me everyday now to work, which I wasnt before and the thought of a lighter machine is enticing.

    Indulge me here, I know this is the MBP forum, but I guess I wonder if anyone else feels this way. Again, its a great machine and Lion runs very good on it. I had been thinking of jumping up to 8gb or ram and then going to a ssd. I figure these additions would be worth the cash and then was looking into a TBD later this year.

    Obviously, selling/trading the MBP for a MBA would kill some cash and probably push back the purchase of the TBD. And I do like the thin, tapered design of the MBA's.

    When I buy a Mac, I expect getting at least 4 years out of it, and I could go and buy a MBA right now, but I am working hard on saving money so I do not want to do that (I'll be moving this summer).

    Any thoughts?
  2. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    The MBP with 8 GB Ram and SSD will give you 4 years. The Air is limited to 4 GB of ram, which might limit its longevity.

    But, if I was limited to getting a 13'' Macbook, I might still go for the air. There is not much in the 13'' MBP that justifies carrying around 1.5 extra pounds, the screen resolution is higher on the Air, and once you factor in the cost for the SSD, the price difference is small.
  3. ZZ Bottom macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    An air would be a step back in performance. My suggestion is since you already have a 2011 model wait for the next MBA models to make the switch. There is absolutely no reason to doubt it will have 8gb optional which is important for a machine that has RAM soldiered to the board. The only reason I would make a switch like that is if money is really no issue (not the case for me).
  4. rockyroad55 macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    Go for it. It's not fun to have the feeling that you should have gotten the Air instead of the Pro all the time.
  5. BasilFawlty macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2009
    New Mexico
    If it were me, I'd keep the MBP, upgrade to 8GB and drop in a Seagate Momentus 500 or 750GB Hybrid Hard Drive (wither 4 or 8GB SSD Ram on board, respectively). That's what I did and couldn't be happier! The addition of the Hybrid drive (at a fraction teh cost per GB of a pure SSD) really sped up everything! Boot time is now about 15 seconds!

    As pointed out - teh MBA is limited on how much memory it can take, which could really be a limitation in a year or two.
  6. Medic278 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 1, 2012
    New York
    I have both the late 2011 MBP and late 2011 MBA. I don't do any hardcore music/photo/video editing and I much prefer my pro. While I like the slimness of the MBA and the weight of it I still much prefer my pro. My pro is able to handle more intensive tasks and when I do a little of home video editing it is far superior on my pro as I have an optical drive and an SD slot plus the ability to hook up an external display is great. Overall I would keep my pro hands down and give up my Air. (Yes I am aware the 13" air has the ability to hook up an external display)
  7. lowonthe456 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2007
    Thanks all for the replies!

    Definitely a lot to think about here. One thing I'd like to mention is that I basically do nothing taxing on this machine. I havent run Ableton in about 8 months or so, and even then its just to fiddle. I buy all my movies and music from iTunes so transcoding isn't an issue. Honestly, I'm not far from only needing an iPad. Other than very light Adobe Illustrator work (which i caould do at work anyway), it serves movies to my ATV2.

    In fact 90% of what this machine does is serve movies.

    I had been pondering either an 11" or 13" with 128 SSD. Again, I now carry it everyday with me, when I bought the pro it rarely left the house.
  8. Medic278 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 1, 2012
    New York
    I have the 11" 128SSD. It is a really nice machine and is capable don't get my me wrong. But if your pro already serves your needs and leaves you with more ability it would make more sense just to keep your pro. Instead of going threw the hassle of selling it and buying an Air. The Air doesn't do anything that your pro cannot and while it is lighter it is not weightless, and while it is slim it is not invisible so any benefits would be negligible at best.
  9. akdj macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2008
    I disagree...with the SSD in the MBA, even IF you bumped in to the RAM limitations (I have both 2010 and 2011 11" Airs), the SSD page in/out performance makes the lack of RAM for MOST applications, especially now, a non-issue. I routinely use my 11 and 13" 2011 MBAirs for post production, editing and on location recording with Logic, Ableton and Audition. I also use one of the new Lacie ThunderBolt 1 TB drives for storage in the field. These machines are flat out FireCrackers! The SSD makes up for any RAM shortcomings with today, as well as the near future applications. Keep in mind, most apps are just recently (or not quite yet) moving to 64 bit platforms and finally able to take advantage of more than 2-3gigs of RAM. You'll be able to use it for at least 4 more years.

    Here is an excellent chart using GeekBench to show you the "Step back in performance by using an Air vs. a 13" Pro 2.7. http://www.barefeats.com/mba11_04.html
    Notice the improvement of the Airs over last year's Core2Duo offerings. While indeed the Pro is a 10-15% CPU performance boost over the Air...when you take in to account the benefits of the SSD...the lightness, the thin profile, and what you TRULY need...it's a compelling option. I owned a couple of 13s over the years. Last year, I picked my wife up the 11" 2010 1.6/4gig RAM/128 SSD and fell in love! This year, I picked up an 11" ultimate and 13" i5 with 256ssd for our field work. I also own a 17" 2011 MBP...but when it comes time to portability...I can carry external drives and power cords...Air cards and the Air Super drive...WITH both 11 and 13" airs for the same weight penalty as a single 13" Pro with the trimmings:)

    We do a LOT of walking/hiking/climbing for shots...so any ounces saved are huge...and the option to have two computers (redundancy) when we are 250 miles from civilization is a dream come true:)

    You answered the question. For YOU, the Air is a perfect option. Not that you CAN'T pick up Ableton whenever you want...it runs FAST on an Air:) In fact, the software available today...other than gaming software; which will have the same performance essentially on the 13" pro due to the integrated Intel 3000 GPU....will run JUST Fine on the Air line-up. With so much attention by Apple being paid to the iCloud services...local storage will become less and less important...where as mobile comm will become more essential (tethering, 3g radios built in, Air Cards, MiFi, et al).

    Our audio library in iTunes is well over 105,000 tracks. Not all music--Game show audio, presidential speeches, different zings, bangs, and drum rolls...I'm unable to take advantage of iTunes match at this point. However...I've found the external Lacie solutions to be indispensable. Especially ThunderBolt connections. I definitely hope prices continue to come down on the TB peripherals...but for now, time is money in my line of work...and redundancy in storage is paramount.


  10. lowonthe456 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2007
    Exactly, and for me MOVIES are the biggest issue. My iTunes movies run about 150gb or so. My music is in the cloud as I NEVER listen to music on the MBP. I have an iphone which I use that for. Once movies go into iCloud, and I beleive it to be a matter of time before that happens, I will be set.

    But I like your assessment on the performance. I believe performance wise it will be a non-issue. I was concerned about the display, but at the local Apple store I put mine next to a 13 and, though I see a difference, its not a big deal to me.

    May I ask, how do you find the 11" to be when, say, typing a long email or extended periods viewing the small screen?
  11. Kafka macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2011
    IMO while it could be tempting, the Pro is not THAT heavy to justify an instant switch.
    I would hold on to my Pro a bit longer, and wait to see what surprises Apple has in store for 2012.

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