Mac book Pro or Mac book air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Alexa2370, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. Alexa2370 macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2011
    Hi everyone. It's been awhile since I've posted here.

    Anyway, I've been thinking about purchasing a laptop so I can do freelance work and use it to apply for jobs without the pressure of the time limit that the public library has. I thought it was a waste of gas to be driving to the library everyday only to use it for 2 hours. I am thinking of a Mac book pro or Mac book air, the problem is I simply can't decide. Please I need reasons why I should buy or why I shouldn't. I pretty much don't want to waste my money. Thanks.
  2. RolandNights macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2011
    What kind of freelance work would you be doing? What would your other computer activities be? Where would you be taking your laptop? How important to you is it to have a built-in optical drive? How much hard drive space do you need?
  3. seong macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    Basically what RolandNights said. You should consider if having an option to upgrade your HDD or RAM, need for Optical drive or not, do you use it for CPU or GPU intense work, etc.

    Macbook Pro:
    Generally a portable 'desktop-like' computer.
    Has options for upgrading HDD and RAM.
    Optical Drive (I really see no use of it anymore.)
    SD Card/Firewire (which not everyone uses.)
    Faster CPU, and more GPU power.

    Macbook Air:
    No options to upgrade RAM, but SSD is possible.
    No optical drive (but you can pay around $50 to get one)
    No SD Card/Firewire (SD Card can be used by buying an extra dongle)
    Slower CPU and less GPU power, but still stronger than Macbook Pro 13" 2009/2010 benchmark-wise.
  4. Rasan macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2011
    Is this because of the SSD? I didn't find any Benchmarks where the Pro has an SSD built in, but i guess the Pro with an SSD would be faster than the Air? I'm just asking because i am too deciding between those two machines.
  5. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    No. CPU and GPU benchmarks are not affected by any other components.
  6. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    Search is your friend--there are dozens of threads asking this exact question.

    In short, if you don't mind paying more and getting less, buy the Air. If you want to spend less and get more, get the Pro.
  7. HussamRaed macrumors regular


    Jun 12, 2011
    The Macbook Air Do have an SD Card Slot
  8. MrJolly macrumors member


    Aug 15, 2011
    I live next door, England
    Only the 13".
  9. Rasan macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2011
    Are there seperate CPU and GPU benchmarks out there for the two machines?

    I dont see the Air benchmarking higher than the pro in any of those, the CPU is better for the pro, and if im not mistaken the Pros GPU has a base speed of 650MHz to the Air's 350MHz.

    I think only the overall Benchmarks are higher for the Air, and that would be because of the SSD i guess.
  10. greygray macrumors 68000


    Oct 22, 2009
    Thanks for that useful summary of the differences. OP, it depends on your needs. If you favor portability over features, the MBA is for you. Vice versa, the MBP is for you.
  11. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    Well, there's geek bench scores for CPU and memory performance.

    What seong was pointing out was that the 2011 Air's are matching the performance of last years high-end MacBook Pros CPU-wise. I believe the benchmarks they were referring to were overall rather than CPU/GPU only, my apologies, I didn't comprehend that when I was it last time, and yes the SSD in the air would contribute.

    Basically, if you're looking at last years Pro and this years Air, you'll get similar performance CPU wise. You can see benchmark results here. Obviously the 2011 Sandy Bridge Quad-Core MBPs are completely owning the dual cores.
  12. KohPhiPhi macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2011
    And somehow you forgot to mention that MBA is MUCH more portable, higher screen resolution, gets less hot, weights significantly less...
  13. Gen macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2008
  14. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    Much more portable? Can we please put that canard to rest? It's 1.5 lbs lighter--if you have trouble with that, you have physical issues.

    The fact remains that you simply get more for your money with a Pro, including a higher quality LCD panel. The Air commands a significant price premium to give you less, in exchange for losing 1.5 lbs.
  15. KohPhiPhi, Aug 29, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011

    KohPhiPhi macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2011
    Unless you've traveled with both machines (I have), you should no be that quick comment on whether the weight difference is significant or not. The MBP is double the weight, and it IS indeed noticeable when you carry it around through airports, or through the city, etc.

    And still you forget to mention that the MBA runs a lot cooler too, and that also means a lot less fan noise.

    And, once again, you forgot to mention that with the 13" MBP you get a 2006-standard resolution... whereas you get a high resolution screen with the MBA... and THAT's a deal breaker for me for the MBP.
  16. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    I hope you're not paid to do math--the Pro is 1.6 lbs more than the 13" Air--4.5 vs. 2.9. That is not double. ;)

    I have travelled extensively with both--why would you assume otherwise?

    And you forget that the Pro has a higher quality panel--for me, the color gamut and accuracy is an automatic disqualifier. I don't care about the higher resolution of the Air.

    The fact remains that the 13" Pro offers more capability for less money than does the Air.
  17. GuitarG20 macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2011
    the point is not to argue about which one is better, the point is to figure out which one is better for the OP.

    OP, we need to know more about what you're going to be doing with this machine to give you a good recommendation.
  18. Rasan macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2011
    As said, i am about to make the same decision between these two, what keeps me from buying the Air is the lack of Ports. Do you need firewire, more than 1 USB Port or an Ethernet Port? Thats something to consider too IMO. (Because i for example absolutely need firewire) Carrying an USB hub would cost you mobility again.

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