Macbook Air (2011) to replace Macbook Pro (2009) - Bad Idea?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by urkel, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    Anyone planning on using the updated Macbook Air as a "Pro" machine?

    I'm coming from a 15" MBP 09 that is apparently a lemon so Best Buy is giving me $1800 for it. While I loved the Pro a few years ago, even todays lowest end i5 machines can handle Aperture than most C2D machines. So I'm probably getting the updated Macbook Air and save the change for some other Apple treats.

    I know the Air isnt a Pro machine, but with the i5 13" Macbook Pro I had temporarily it ran Aperture infinitely better than my old MBP. So in terms of power I'm not worried and I kinda have the storage thing figured out because I will still "work" with my 24" monitor and 2TB FW drive on the desk. But what am I overlooking? I know im justifying things because I prefer the 13" Air over the 13" Pro, but is it foolish to expect too much out of the Air or is an updated (presumed) i5 Air simply the direction computers are heading.

    Thanks for any advice
  2. PaulWog Suspended

    Jun 28, 2011
    Assuming you can get an one of the 17W i7 processors in the 13-inch Macbook Air on the refresh, you should be good-to-go. It should rival the Macbook Pro from 2009 and come out ahead. Note, though, that hard drive space is where it will likely fall short; hard drive speed is another thing entirely.
  3. sporadicMotion macrumors 65816


    Oct 18, 2008
    Your girlfriends place
    Don't worry. So long as they get the slated CPU's, then you'll be completely happy. If it counts for anything, I'm going through the exact same lineup change. '09 15" -> '11 13" -> Waiting for Air. My apps have similar requirements to yours.
  4. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    I went from an '09 i7 15" MBP to a '10 Ultimate 13" Air and am loving it.

    I'm a light-weight Aperture user and the Air's slower processor speed (C2D vs i7) hasn't been an issue for me. The Air's SSD is significantly faster than the 7200 RPM HD that my i7 MBP had, and that seems to make a *huge* performance difference for Aperture. I very rarely see beachballs in Aperture on the Air, whereas I saw them all the time on the i7 MBP (presumably because of all of the disk I/O Aperture does because the edits are stored separately from the photo). When I do a big photo import, the Air's C2D processor takes a little longer to do the initial processing, but that's a background task in Aperture, so it's nothing that slows me down any. My Aperture library is on my Air's SSD, so if yours is external, YMMV.

    None of my daily stuff (Mail, Safari, iTunes, Microsoft Office, Quicken Essentials, VMWare Fusion) regularly uses even 20% of my Air's C2D processor, much less pegs it to where the processor is a bottleneck.

    Unless you frequently do processor intensive stuff, or need more than 4GB of RAM, I think you'll be very happy with the current Air (and hopefully the '11 Air too)!
  5. Lagmonster macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2007
    All depends on if it will have Thunderbolt, for me anyways. Fingers crossed.
  6. ri0ku macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2009
    I thought about doing this but the graphics are important to me for what I use my portable machines for. So ....looks like I will be waiting a long time until the GPU in the airs are significantly better.

    The 9600 in my current mbp although is old... is miles faster than whats in the newer models with the intel 3000
  7. urkel, Jul 10, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011

    urkel thread starter macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    Thanks for the input everyone. Its nice to know I'm not the only one wanting to be "Pro" but also wanting to use the Air. And its even nicer to know that things like SSD can compensate for the older Air C2D so I'm imagining that IF we get whats expected (Faster SSD + i5/i7) then the Air will be a VERY capable machine.

    The only things that worry me now is:
    1) Reports of the 3000 chip being slower on Lion GM than on 10.6.8
    2) 11 vs 13. Id prefer 11 but until specs come out then i worry it may be given the barest minimum specs for Lion. Or it may miss out on things like a better FT camera or backlit keyboard.
    3) How managing data on remote drives will be like since I'll be very limited on onboard space. (My Aperture library is on another disk, but the aplibrary file takes a whopping 40GB for some reason)

    Also, I bought a Time Capsule 2011 and after taking 14hrs to transfer 1.3TB of data over a wired connection then I'm starting to worry about wireless disk access and what happens if it fails since theres no FW or TB ports. I had a 500GB TC that failed and this new one seems to run just as hot even with the lower powered drive they use.
  8. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    for what it's worth, I'm actually considering doing the opposite - awaiting the rumored new look MBPro due in a few months.
    mainly because I want the grunt of a decent standalone graphics and also a hi-res 15" screen.
    I'm kinda over the 13" and rumor has it the refreshed MBPro will be slimmer and lighter than at present

    one of the sweet spots with the Air for me had always been the lightness and portability, but if they can drop the weight of a 15" MBPro to around 2kg or less, that'll do me.

    all that said, the current RevD with 4gb handles most tasks easily but working Aperture (according to a friend) and CS5 seriously exposes some Air limitations.

    my other Mac - an early 15" MBPro with 4 gb memory - still handles most Photoshop work albeit with and earlier version than CS5
  9. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    In regards to Aperture, I'm curious as to what those are.

    It seems like the Air's limitations are max RAM (4GB) and CPU (C2D), but I've never seen Aperture use more than 2GB of RAM or become CPU bound.

    Is he talking about the combination of using the two at the same time?
  10. iTiki macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2007
    Maui, Hawaii
    I run Aperture on my 13 inch ultimate and have no problems at all. I can't recall ever seeing the "beach ball". I wish my aging iMac did as well....
  11. Apple Expert macrumors 65816

    Jan 31, 2010
    Hopefully th new MBA is a good one. I sold my blackbook and looking to go to MBA. Just hesitant if the specs are low.
  12. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Haha I did the exact same thing; with working for my grandparents a little and selling my BlackBook + old Netbook, I should be able to purchase either the new Air or a baseline MBP. I'm going towards the Pro right now as it's more of a full featured computer but the Air is very appealing as well.
  13. SteelWheel macrumors member

    Apr 16, 2008
    I have a May '08 MBP 15" here. It's still kind of my workhorse machine, and will probably stay that way for some time to come. However:

    I just absolutely love the 11" Air. Two of my friends got them when they first came out, and I just fell in love with them. I couldn't justify buying one though--how could I do that when I have an iPad, iPhone, MBP, and a Mac Mini?

    My attitude now is the heck with it. I'm getting an 11" MBA after the product refresh/Lion rollout. I might wait for the 10.7.1 Lion release, but that's about it. It just looks like too much of a "fun" machine, and can much more easily be taken around town, on short trips, used in bed while the spouse is sleeping, etc. Better still would be if it shipped with a Verizon or AT&T radio built in--but I don't expect that until the next refresh, at the earliest.
  14. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    both at the same time apparently.
    I'll ask her and get back to you …
  15. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Apple would never ship a notebook with a built in 3G card.
  16. dagaz macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2006
    What are you going to be using Thunderbolt with?
  17. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Err, for starters, it's unlikely the Air will get Firewire anytime soon; if you depend on it, the Air is out of the picture.
  18. NutsNGum, Jul 12, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011

    NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Pegasus 4TB RAID configuration!

    For me, it's gonna get hooked up to the iMac via thunderbolt, and I'm sure a few peeps are likely to be the same. It's not going to be my main computer.
  19. urkel thread starter macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    Your right. I forgot all about the Air lacking FW. But I guess thats not a major problem if it at least gets a thunderbolt port because I use a GoFlex drive and Seagate claims they'll be making a thunderbolt module for it.

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