Is a MBA enough to power the TBD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by blanket86, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. blanket86 macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2012
    Hi all.

    Now that the 13" RMPB is announced I am doubting about a new macbook. I find the 13RMP to expensive and not relevant for what I want

    The 13" white macbook 2.1 core2duo, 4 gb ram I have now is showing its age. Since I have got a Apple laptop (my current one is my first one) never used a external display

    The MPB 13" has got a 2.9 Ghz cpu while the 13" MBA has got a 2.0 cpu. ( as it max) So gpu is on paper about 1/3 faster.

    I want to buy a new macbook now ant within the year the display/
    I will upgrade the RAM to 8 GB no matter what model I buy. So the laptop for on the road, the TBD for at home

    I wil use the laptop for Aperture, internet and word.

    So my questions

    1. Does the cpu matter when connecting it to the Apple thunderbolt display?
    2. When choosing the MBA am I going to notice a speed bump in aperture or is it then smarter to go for the MBP 13" compared to my current macbook?
    3. For the TBD is the Air enough in combination with my other uses and powering it?

  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    I use a 2011 MBA with a Thunderbolt with no issues whatsoever
  3. pgiguere1, Nov 4, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012

    pgiguere1 macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    1. Yes, CPU load will be slightly higher with a higher resolution since you will have to fill a bigger frame buffer and a lot of animations and effects in OS X are CPU driven. Some stuff is starting to get GPU accelerated using Core Animation for stuff like scrolling in Safari but most stuff is still mainly CPU-dependant. However, even if the TBD's resolution is quite high it isn't as hard do drive a rMBP screen since it doesn't need to use the HiDPI scaling algorithm which seems to be poorly optimized and cause problems.

    2. Both will be considerably more powerful than your current MacBook. You will notice a speed difference for sure. As for MBA vs MBP 13", difference is negligible though. The clock frequency is higher on the MBP but if you go for a MBA with i7, it will have a higher TurboBoost clock and more L3 cache than an i5 in a 13" MBP. Geekbench results for an i7 MBA are actually better than for an i5 13" MBP. Go for the one you think has the best form factor/screen/price, but performance shouldn't be a deciding factor IMO since they're almost identical.

    3. Yes, just don't expect to game at native resolution.

    Oh and one more tip: If you buy a Mac and TDB at the same time, you can buy a single AppleCare and it will cover both.
  4. A Hebrew macrumors 6502a

    A Hebrew

    Jan 7, 2012
    You might get a few OS hiccups with HD 4000 when running a few graphic intensive programs at that high of a resolution, it will not be very noticeable though.
  5. blanket86 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2012
    I am not planning to do any gaming. I have got a gaming console for that.

    is it worth the extra money to get the I7 CPU instead of the I5 CPU for the TBD?
  6. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a


    May 19, 2009
    Midwest US
    I've had both a 2011 i5 and a 2012 i7 connected to my TBD. The i7 does seem to make a small difference ... the machine is snappier, response time is probably a tiny bit faster. IMO, the i7 is worth the extra $$$.
  7. TheRealDamager macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2011
    I use a TBD with a 2011 Air (which has a poorer integrated graphics chip than the 2012 models) and its works just fine with the TBD.

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