Macbook Air of Macbook Pro Retina 13"?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by C.b, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. C.b macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2013
    I'm trying to figure out which option is the best option for me: Macbook air 13" or Macbook pro with retina display 13". I use photoshop & illustrator on a daily basis (for my study).

    I'm tending towards the retina display but I saw there were/are some problems with photoshop? Anyone who has had any experience with this?

    PS: Please forgive me if my english is incorrect :)
  2. TXAppleUser macrumors member


    Nov 30, 2011
    I went back and forth with this decision for months! I ended up getting a decked out 13" Retina Macbook Pro ("MBP"). I've never looked back and would still make the same decision today.

    Here's why:
    1. There is not that big of a weight difference
    2. The price difference (to me) was negligible
    3. The MBP has MUCH better performance
    4. I will probably get much longer useful life out of the MBP
    5. Better graphics support on the MBP (thinking about 4k displays)
  3. ppenn macrumors regular


    Oct 22, 2013
    First. Your English seems perfect.
    Second. There is absolutely NO reason not to get the MBP. Many people make the mistake of looking at current price tags instead of the future. Both computers would last the average user a while, but you want to use what I call "Power Apps." Down the road you may even expand your work and need that extra power. Better the put up a little more cash now instead of regretting the purchase later. MBP For Sure.
  4. Liquidstate, Dec 16, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013

    Liquidstate macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2012
    Pacific Northwest
    I went throughout the same analysis and came to the same decision: the MBP 13" is a better value. I'll probably buy mine in late January. Since it's a new design with a new processor and a new OS version, I decided to wait a few months before buying it. I am hoping most of the bugs and quirks will be fixed by mid-January.

    As I understand the Photoshop issue, some people have had problems running versions prior to recent PS 6. I Googled the issue to find out the specific version build that is required to run it without issues. I didn't keep the link after I found out my version was OK. Your search terms should include MBP 13" Haswell Mavericks, because that is the combination that has caused some problems.

    BTW, your English is better than many MR members. Most likely, better than mine, heh.:D
  5. dollystereo macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2004
    There are many threads about this issue.
    It depends only wich one you like the most.
    Performance-wise, there is no "real" difference.
    Personally, I prefer the Air. Probably, in the future, both lines will merge, just making a 13" air.
  6. C.b, Dec 17, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013

    C.b thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2013
    Thank you for your replies! :D

    I think I'm going for the MBP.

    dollystereo, I know there are other threads about this decision but the thing that is making me doubt are the photoshop issues. I found multiple issues with photoshop on the MBP retina display (photoshop lag and problems with designing for web) and I haven't been able to find out whether or not this issues have been resolved. I use photoshop quite a lot so if it is going to be a pain I'll have to choose the Air. The reason I posted this thread was to see if anyone who has a MBP with retina display(and who works with photoshop) has had any experience with photoshop issues or if they seem to be resolved :)
  7. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a


    May 19, 2009
    Midwest US
    If your choice is between a 13" MBA and 13" rMBP, I'd echo the thinking expressed thus far.

    However, I run PhotoShop CS6 on my 11" MBA without difficulty and would recommend the 11" version without hesitation.
  8. Pilot737 macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2013

    I had a few days ago the same issue - Air vs MBP/r.
    At the end I carried home the MBP Retina 13 inch, 2.6, 512GB, 8GB.

    For me size matters ;) since I am carrying the device nearly every day to work.
    The Air is a bit bigger and the screen is nice, but once you compare it with the Retina one, you will definitely end up with a nice Macbook Pro.

    Just my 2 cents...
  9. Liquidstate macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2012
    Pacific Northwest
    I have the same doubts. I think the lag issue was with the MBP 13" Ivy Bridge, and it may have been resolved with Haswell due to its efficiencies and better 64 bit capability. As for the web issue, as I understand it, the different resolution of the retina means most people (without retina screens) will see a slightly different design.

    But I don't know for sure. Are there any MBP 13" users out there who are using it for Photoshop and web design? It would be very helpful to get some real world information.
  10. JeffiJers macrumors 6502a

    Sep 12, 2012
    is 2012 the Air won hands down.

    Now, my vote goes to the 13R (better performance, basically same price).
  11. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030


    May 20, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Honestly, here's how I'd slice that dilemma as I feel as though doing it any other way is simply impractical.

    First off, before I get into anything, can you afford the retina over the Air? If not, just get the Air. Otherwise, in terms of under-the-hood muscle; the 13" retina is superior and you might as well go for it.

    Now having gotten that out of the way, the practical consideration that no one seems to note when talking about the "MacBook Pro with Retina Display" is compatibility and optimization for the retina display itself. If you have Photoshop CS6 or CC, good news, it's optimized for your retina display. Same with Illustrator CS6 and CC. If having that display affects the projects you work on (which in Illustrator wouldn't likely matter, but in Photoshop it might), then that's something to seriously consider. If all of your apps are optimized and/or the apps that aren't perform tolerably, then great, I'd go that route. But take note of what isn't optimized and base your decision on that as non-retina display Macs have the advantage of content being optimized for them, whereas there are far fewer computers packing that high a PPI rating and thusly far less content optimized to not look/operate like crap with it.
  12. jpotisch macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2008
    Another vote for MBPr due to RAM

    Sounds like you've already decided on the MBPr over the MBA, but for anyone else considering, I just had to make the same call - 13" MBA vs. 13" MBPr, and went with the MBPr.

    The pluses and minuses of each one are easy to find (weight, battery life, performance, screen, etc.) but I chose the MBPr mainly for the 16GB RAM that was not an option with the MBA. I do software development and am often running a VM, but Photoshop of large files will absolutely benefit from the additional RAM, and Apple no longer reams you nearly as badly on it as they used to. But it's not expandable, so if you will ever need it, you have to buy it with RAM maxed out.

    The retina screen was really not that important to my type of work, but as soon as I used it I was amazed at how much more pleasant it made my work. It in no way lets me do anything I couldn't do with the MBA screen, but it's just so nice to look at that eye strain is zero and I'm just happy to be in front of it. So it was a bonus, not a deciding feature, but it's a really really nice bonus.

    Hope that helps.

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