Macbook Air or Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by macbookairgirl, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. macbookairgirl macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    #1
    I have a Macbook Air and iPad but thinking of getting a Macbook Pro to upgrade my Macbook Air. My boyfriend thinks it's a good way to go. I am an artist and musican and use my computer to for both.
     
  2. wolfpuppies3 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2012
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    #2
    Need a lot more information

    Which Air do you have and how is it equipped? Which Pro are you looking at?
    My 2012 13" Air does everything my Pro does but does it quicker than the pro.
     
  3. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #3
    But a 2012 MBP would be quicker than a 2012 MBA, if the MBP had a decent SSD installed. This is certainly true for CPU and GPU related tasks. The CPUs are self-explanatory. When it comes to the GPU, even though the IGP is the same, the HD4000 running on a ULV CPU, like in the MBA, is slower than the HD4000 in the MBP.
     
  4. tiwizard macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    #4
    This isn't necessarily true to the extent that you may think. I posted a comparison with GeekBench data, as well as some info on benchmarks vs. real world usage with the MBP and MBA.

    Yeah, the SSD will help in the real world and you should note my comparison does not take a MBP with SSD into account compared to the Air. The GeekBench data is based on CPU and memory speed, however, and therefore won't be significantly affected by the SSD.

    But in summary, the 13 inch Pro is really not that much faster. If you need a faster computer, get a 15 inch Pro or 15 inch Pro with Retina Display (or 17 inch, if you want a computer that big). Of course, you have to remember how much larger the 15 inch Pro is than the Air you currently have.
     
  5. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #5

    I am not sure what you mean, but I kind of have a little bit of understanding about this stuff. A synthetic 3 minute benchmark only tells us a small part of the story. A standard voltage Ivy Bridge CPU, like in the 13” MBP, will be faster in all CPU bound tasks in comparison to a ULV Ivy Bridge CPU found in the 2012 MBA.

    The differences in the IGP performance between HD4000 on a standard voltage CPU and HD4000 on a ULV CPU are very noticeable and have been well documented at anandtech.com. Having said all that, I have an MBA and a 15” MBP, because it makes more sense for my needs, but a 13” MBP is a good compromise between the two.
     
  6. tiwizard macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    #6
    Yes, the MBP's processor is faster-- I don't disagree. But it isn't that *much* faster in a lot of cases, if at all. There are numerous articles on the internet supporting that, including synthetic benchmark tests like the ones I have referenced (both GeekBench and XBench).

    With an SSD, some of those benchmarks will be closer and will beat the Air, but you have to figure out if the significant size and weight increase will be worth the marginal performance improvement. The quad core 15 inch, while huge compared to the Air, also will beat the 13 inch Air and Pro by a landslide.
     
  7. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #7
    There are very few benchmarks in the articles that you've just linked to that compare pure CPU power in real world use - most of the tests are disk-bound. Obviously a 13" MBP with its crummy 5400 RPM HDD will lose out.

    The Handbrake test shows us the benefit of extra CPU power. In a short encode, 20 seconds is quite significant. Far more significant than the Geekbench scores would make one think the difference in performance is. As I said, a 3 minute synthetic benchmark only tells us a small part of the story. What it does not show us is how the CPU handles the load over time. The ULV chips are great at short bursts under turbo boost, but throttling will occur much quicker in an MBA when compared to a 13" MBP using standard voltage CPUs. This is why a 13" MBP is a better choice for those needing CPU power, but are restricted in budget. I am not trying to argue with you; I am simply showing that there is more to measuring CPU performance than quick, synthetic benchmarks.

    [​IMG]

    The one that was interesting though was showing the significant difference between the HD4000 IGP performance, which I mentioned already. (for comparison, HD3000 gets around 11-13 fps in the Cinebench OpenGL test)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    11 fps - MBA
    12 fps - Mini Server with 1333 MHz memory
    13 fps - Mini Server with 1600 MHz memory
     
  8. ClearCoat macrumors newbie

    ClearCoat

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #8
    For what it's worth, our office has previously been running on Macbook Pro's for the past several years. We've been wanting to move over to Macbook Air for a while due to form factor, but never did so for a few reasons:

    - SSD from 2010 - 2012 was way too expensive

    - Performance vs. price on MBA was way out of line - just didn't make sense.

    - Most importantly, I think, is that Apple was putting decidedly crummy SSD's in their MBA's, even though you were spending serious $$$. From what we were seeing, the norm was: 1) Buy your MBA with base HD, and then 2) Replace it with OWC SSD.

    With the latest 2012 release of the MBA, it seems these issues have been fixed, at least from our perspective. We're doing a lot of graphic work - Adobe Suite + some other random programs, but Adobe is doing the heavy lifting. The new MBA has an awesome SSD, and overall seems to just scream. It beats my Macbook Pro from 2010. It seems to have performed on-par with a 2010 i7 Macbook Pro with an SSD.

    We're now slowly transitioning over - my next daily use computer will be the latest MBA 13" - from what I've seen here, it screams. Here's my only disclaimer - it's definitely slower with video. Can't comment on gaming. Photoshop, Illustrator, etc - does great.

    I have no benchmarks - this is completely anecdotal from having a MBA and two MBP's running side-by-side for a few weeks. I've just been using Macs since 2003, and I would have not gotten an Air as a daily workhorse...until this latest 2012 release. There's my two cents, hope it helps!
     

Share This Page