MacBook Air 13" or MacBook Pro Retina 13"

LUIGg23

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 23, 2014
4
0
Hi, I'm replacing my Sony Vaio VGN-SZ55TN because it's already 6 years old and I'm starting to feel it getting slower and slower. I am thinking about replacing it with the Air or Retina and these are my requirements & concerns.

Requirements, Concerns, and What I am going to use it for:
1. I will be using it as my main computer.
2. I will do basic word processing, web browsing and watching movies.
3. I will also play games occasionally like LOL, DOTA 2, Cod, Crysis 3, etc. I am willing to play them in the lowest settings possible if I have to.
4. The display isn't really that much important to me so the retina having a 2560 x 1600 display is not a pros to me.
5. The weight is a bit more important for me. I will use it for school and will carry it around most of the time.

Questions:
1. Which laptop has better cooling system (which has the larger fans)? If both, can the Air play less-demanding games?
2. Do I have to worry about the screen of the Air getting cracked up because I read in a forum that the screen of the Air easily cracks if you put a little bit of pressure?
3. Does the Air easily bend when used recklessly? But when used with care, will it still bend at some point?

Sorry in advance if I'm repeating the same questions from other forums. I just can't find the answers I'm looking for. THANKS btw for those who will reply :)
 

jkim3691

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2011
532
10
I can't necessarily help you with the gaming because it's not something I do anymore (although I would like to get back into Dota) but I've had a Mid-2011 Macbook Air for almost 3 years now and it's still in perfect condition. It may seem flimsy due to it's thin frame, but it's a sturdy machine. I do take care of things and would suggest you do the same when carrying it around. I have a padded velcro sleeve for it from Incipio and place it inside the padded laptop compartment in my backpack whenever I take it somewhere. The lid/screen is very thin. On a sunny day when the screen is turned off, you can see the apple logo through the screen.

As for the fan, I'm a casual user just browsing the web and watching videos and I never hear the fan unless I'm watching something full screen with a bad video player online. Most of the time though I don't hear anything.

I have a feeling the current Macbook Airs should be powerful enough to power your games, but you might want to wait for other opinions from people who actually game. Mine from 2011 is still running extremely smoothly like the day I bought it. Very satisfied with it.
 

Crimsoncrusade

macrumors newbie
Feb 26, 2014
25
0
Hi, I'm replacing my Sony Vaio VGN-SZ55TN because it's already 6 years old and I'm starting to feel it getting slower and slower. I am thinking about replacing it with the Air or Retina and these are my requirements & concerns.

Requirements, Concerns, and What I am going to use it for:
1. I will be using it as my main computer.
2. I will do basic word processing, web browsing and watching movies.
3. I will also play games occasionally like LOL, DOTA 2, Cod, Crysis 3, etc. I am willing to play them in the lowest settings possible if I have to.
4. The display isn't really that much important to me so the retina having a 2560 x 1600 display is not a pros to me.
5. The weight is a bit more important for me. I will use it for school and will carry it around most of the time.

Questions:
1. Which laptop has better cooling system (which has the larger fans)? If both, can the Air play less-demanding games?
2. Do I have to worry about the screen of the Air getting cracked up because I read in a forum that the screen of the Air easily cracks if you put a little bit of pressure?
3. Does the Air easily bend when used recklessly? But when used with care, will it still bend at some point?

Sorry in advance if I'm repeating the same questions from other forums. I just can't find the answers I'm looking for. THANKS btw for those who will reply :)
As someone who's in UNI himself I would recommend the Air 2013 model.
Answers to your questions:-

1.Both the computers have processors tuned to different wattages. Pro has them at 28W and air has them at 15W. So one cannot compare their cooling systems directly, as the processors have different thermal characteristics. They are sufficient for their user cases.
as far as gaming is concerned macbook Air can play most game at low to medium settings. From your list I see crysis as the most demanding. See this video. It shows Crysis 3 running on a 2012 model, and the graphics has been substantially updated since then.
The new HD5000 on the MBA13 is upto 4x faster.
2. No. There is no screen cracking upon introduction of pressure. Thats just hogwash.

3. I dropped my air for a height of 5 feet. No scratches / dents here. Its pretty solid.

Based on your requirements I can suggest you this config:-
MBA 2013, 8GB RAM, atleast 256GB HDD, i5 will do fine but if you have the cash get an i7.
If you are going to be gaming , not every game will be on OSX, so you will need the extra space to install windows in bootcamp/ parallels. I would not recommend parallels for Gaming though. This will take a lot of space.
 

No-Me

macrumors 6502a
Jul 3, 2011
574
31
Rotterdam
1. Which laptop has better cooling system (which has the larger fans)? If both, can the Air play less-demanding games?
The rMBP has asynchronical fans, this means they are more quiet.

2. Do I have to worry about the screen of the Air getting cracked up because I read in a forum that the screen of the Air easily cracks if you put a little bit of pressure?
Wouldn't worry about that, both screens are great

3. Does the Air easily bend when used recklessly? But when used with care, will it still bend at some point?
When used with care it doesn't bend.

If you want to play games too, than it's quite easy, go for the rMBP. If you want the most compact one, get the rMBP, it actually will be smaller in your bag. If you want the one that is the lightest, go for the MBA :)
 

LUIGg23

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 23, 2014
4
0
Thanks for the info, it really helped me make my decision. I think I'm going with the Air because portability and build quality is my main concern. Really excited buying the Air this July.Thanks guys!!!!:)
 

majkom

macrumors 65816
May 3, 2011
1,371
659
Wait for air update, should be june/july and then make decission. I would recommend you rMBpro if you dont mind playing hit or miss game with image retentions displays in retina MBs
 

Steve121178

macrumors 601
Apr 13, 2010
4,975
4,027
Bedfordshire, UK
Thanks for the info, it really helped me make my decision. I think I'm going with the Air because portability and build quality is my main concern. Really excited buying the Air this July.Thanks guys!!!!:)
Build quality is high on both., but the rMBP vastly superior, inside and out.
 

majkom

macrumors 65816
May 3, 2011
1,371
659
I thought that was fixed. They're still having that issue?
approx 3 months ago, i tried 2 13inchers, both had IR, went back to mb air... but there are many people saying that their machines do not suffer IR... so, I call it hit or miss game:)
 

crzdcolombian

macrumors 6502a
Nov 16, 2010
756
113
Buy a air and use the rest of the money saved on a PS4. You get a gaming system and a bluntly player. Macs really aren't gaming machines
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,049
1,106
NYC
The MBA is more portable and sounds like the computer you want.

The iGPU on the rMBP is faster, but you also have a higher resolution display to drive. Cooling on the latter should also be better, but overall it doesn't really matter much.
 

dalupus

macrumors regular
Jul 19, 2011
132
0
4. The display isn't really that much important to me so the retina having a 2560 x 1600 display is not a pros to me.
Your eyes would tend to disagree. Once you go retina you will never go back. It is a lot easier on the eyes. If money is not an obstacle I wouldn't even consider the MBA. Either wait for retina MBA or get the rMBP.
 

Agent69

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2005
105
2
Middleburg, Florida
Your eyes would tend to disagree. Once you go retina you will never go back. It is a lot easier on the eyes. If money is not an obstacle I wouldn't even consider the MBA. Either wait for retina MBA or get the rMBP.
I don't know about that. Like the OP, I am trying to decide betweent these models, so I compared both models at BestBuy yesterday. I personally didn't think the rMBP display was really that much better, although it did seem to have better contrast. There are also some other things that concern me with the rMBP:

1. An effect resolution of 1280x800 displays less than the MBA does.
2. Graphics performance issues from pushing all of those pixels.
3. Image retention (appearently still an issue for some).

I also like the MBA's design a little bit more. But I also appreciate that the rMBP has a HDMI port.

So basically, I am undecided, although I think that there really is no wrong answer: both a great computers.
 

robE89

macrumors regular
Oct 9, 2011
166
58
Yes, still don't forget that rMBP has 2 mini dp ports + hdmi where air has just one mini dp...maybe it matters in some cases maybe not in other but it's good to take that into consideration
 

stevo88

macrumors newbie
Mar 11, 2014
11
1
I just went through this decision a few weeks ago.

I ended up buying a mid level 2013 MBA refurbed from apple first. I thought I'd be happy with it but after a few days I regretted not getting the new 13" rMPB at the same price point.

I knew I had 14 days to decide if I wanted to keep the MBA so I ended up buying a late 2013 rMPB as well to try them both out for a few days before sending one back.

Didn't take me much more than a day after having both to decide the MBA was going back.

Screen on the rMBP is just flat out awesome and the battery life is just a step below the greatness of the MBA. Typing this on the rMBP now and the battery is at 68% saying 8:08 time remaining. Not problems averaging 7-10 hours of battery life just like apple states.

Don't get me wrong the MBA is a great laptop with a great battery but the screen is just ok in my books. I also prefer the form factor of the rMBP to the MBA. Smaller footprint that feels more durable and solid compared to the feather-lite MBA.
 

LUIGg23

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 23, 2014
4
0
For those of you who has and plays on their 2013 Air and Pro Retina 13", how long do it last until it gets uncomfortably hot.
 

chrisrosemusic1

macrumors 6502a
Jan 31, 2012
693
21
Northamptonshire, England
I've got the 2012 rMBP and it NEVER gets too hot to handle. The cooling system works amazingly well.

I had the same toss up you did, but ultimately went for a refurbished rMBP at the same price as the mid range Air. The display is simply gorgeous and it's a nice balance in weight vs solidity. Got many friends with Airs and they are beautiful but the display just doesn't cut it for me anymore.

You'll enjoy either though, I am sure of that - I haven't been back to windows for a long long time bar a quick flirt with an Alienware gaming rig in 2012 but Windows 8 drove me mad. OSX is fast, functional and well supported now. You will pay more money for Windows games though, a lot more. Enjoy.