Late 2008 MBP vs 2011 MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by i0Nic, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. i0Nic, Jul 21, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011

    i0Nic macrumors 65816

    May 17, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    Hey guys,

    Would like some advice on this.

    I'm looking to upgrade my aging 15" 2.4ghz c2d MBP w/Geforce 9600M (the first unibody MBP) to a new machine. I was originally planning on getting an iMac + laptop (MBA) to replace it, but if I can get away with just getting the one new machine I'd rather do that.

    I'm looking at the 11" top spec MBA, or possible the 13".

    I'm a fairly light user but I do some photo editing in Aperture and play the odd game such as starcraft 2.

    Would I be seeing any improved performance from the MBA at all, or potentially worse performance? Remembering my MBP has a dedicated 256mb graphics card.

    If I won't see performance increase in photo editing or gaming, then I guess I'll have to go to the iMac + laptop setup, or just hang onto my MBP for another year.
  2. i0Nic thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 17, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
  3. Peter Harrison macrumors 6502a

    Peter Harrison

    Dec 24, 2009
    I'm curious too, because I have a late 2008 MBP as well, but mine is 2.66GHz and 512MB dedicated memory. I assumed it would be a step down getting the new MBA, but a bunch of people have been telling me that the new MBA is performing better than the top range 2010 MBPs!!! I find this a bit hard to believe, but if true means I'd definitely be upgrading seeing as my MBP is two years older than them!
  4. Strobe macrumors member

    May 28, 2009
    I'm going from early 2008 MBP to the 2011MBA with 256GB ssd and i5. I'm expecting a slight downgrade in gaming performance, but rarely game anymore. More or less looking for better battery life, and a smaller computer that still has a punch. I would say even my 8600GT M out performs the Intel 3000 in games. Dedicated cards, even old ones really make a difference in gaming.
  5. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    The SSD and the Core i5 would make a noticeably difference in Photoshop and Aperture. I believe they are mostly CPU-intensive rather than GPU-intensive, so the Intel HD 3000 shouldn't be much of a hindrance. As for gaming, the HD 3000 is somewhere in between the NVIDIA 9400m and 320m, so I'm guessing that if you leave your MPB in 9600M mode you'll notice a drop in frame rates. WoW works OK in low-detail from the reports I've seen. The MacBook Air isn't really a gaming machine.

    I haven't seen any tests involving StarCraft 2. Perhaps wait for the Anandtech review, since he usually does a thorough job testing graphics performance. It isn't like Apple is going to run out of these machines any time soon.

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