Macbook Air with 8 GB RAM vs Base Macbook Pro with Retina?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by GreyMatter22, Feb 27, 2014.

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  1. GreyMatter22 macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2014
    I was initially thinking of getting the Macbook Pro without the retina, as the 128 SSD is too low even with it's benefits, but I think I'll go with it, and just buy an external hard drive later on.

    My question is which one is better when it comes to performance, I may also run Civilization 5 on it, and would also like to see it's overall features considering if I buy the 8 Gig RAM MBA or just the base [4 Gig] rMBP?

    Is the MBA with the 8 Gig RAM better than the base rMBP? Might be a silly question but I'd like to know.

    Also another silly-ish question, since the 128 SSD is just too low, and upgrading the solid state is pretty pricey, is it convenient to get an external hard drive later on in order to manage space well?

    I'll also use to do lots of student work, downloading a ton of TV shows/Movies, browsing multiple tabs and all that.

  2. Crimsoncrusade macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2014
    The MBA air is pretty powerful...I run CFD code on it. and i have the i5/4GB model

    Since you are confused between rMBP and Air and want to play games the key difference you will face is the graphics ... Iris(5100) vs (5000)
    that is just about a 20% performance boost in theory. Real world not more than 5 FPS.

    My advise:
    Get MBA 8 GB + 256SSD minimum maybe i7 but i5 will do just can enjoy civ5 at moderate settings. You wont see much gains on rMBP base model (Iris) anyway because the GPU has to output to a higher resolution. Mybe if you get the 15 inch(Iris Pro). But I dont think its worth the money.
  3. GreyMatter22 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2014
    Hmm this is interesting to read, what I am getting on the rMBP is faster processor but in theory MBA's 8 GB RAM is a better performer than the rMBP.

    Is this right? At least for a non-graphic designer like me?

    The only edge is see is better resolution on the rMBP than on MBA, but since it is only the base version, the difference in performance and resolution is only minimal?

    Ofcourse the better, more-powerful version on the Pro are best, but that is too freakin' much $, at least for me.
  4. Crimsoncrusade macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2014

    I am a student of CFD and the extra battery life of air helps me a LOT. If you are a student at Uni you will appreciate the battery life.
    the HD5000(MBA) and Iris(also known as HD5100, rMBP base) have basically the same GPU just that rMBP has a higher clocks. The real Gold is Iris Pro with embedded ("special", high performance /dedicated) 128 MB of eDRAM to boost band width. But thats on 15" models. and it eats battery.
    The processor in rMBP is faster but has a higher Wattage so will eat wont need the power anyway.
    So yeah I would personally trade the resolution for Higher Ram / SSD any day.
  5. acastic macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2004
  6. Crimsoncrusade macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2014
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