Macbook died.. Pro 13" w/ retina vs Air 13"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jbrady3324, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. jbrady3324 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    #1
    My macbook pro 15" from 2009 just bit the dust (motherboard/logic board is toast). It looks like it will be 300-500 to fix it and at this point, I rather just upgrade to a new laptop. I am trying to decide between the Pro 13" w/ retina and the 13" air.

    The laptop will mainly be used for everyday browsing, document work, and adobe lightroom which will include moderate multitasking between tabs, browser sessions, and apps (word, adobe, thinkorswim, itunes). The only hard requirement for the computer is 256gb of disk space min.

    I am a display snob (own two Pioneer Kuros and a Panasonic VT50).. so while i love the retina display to fullfil my display needs, I'm not sure the 13" retina MBP's shortcomings (no dedicated graphics, disk/ram configurations) are worth the price over the 13" air
     
  2. robvas macrumors 68020

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    USA
  3. Grmnracing macrumors regular

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    Nov 19, 2011
    #3
    The 13 rMbp is great! Now that I have one, all other displays look crappy. I know the Air's display is not junk, but after seeing Retina my eyes just prefer Retina.

    I was in the same spot as you trying to decide. Go test both out. After the price drop of the rMbp, it's really not a bad deal! Don't make my mistake though. GET THE 256Gb version. 128 is NOT enough.
     
  4. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #4
    The retina MBP is only $300 over an Air (both 256Gb SSD). I think the faster CPU/GPU and a vastly better screen are worth that money...
     
  5. jbrady3324 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #5
    Is the ram and SSD drive upgradeable in the new pro models?
     
  6. Spink10 macrumors 601

    Spink10

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    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #6
    Retina?

    RAM - no

    SSD - yes - but need "Apple" designed drive - cannot use a normal SSD.
     
  7. jbrady3324 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #7
    That stinks about the ram. Unless I am mistaken, it appears the 8gb/256ssd versions of both the 13" air and rMBP are just about the same price
     
  8. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

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    Salt Lake City, UT
    #8
    And again, and again, and again :(
     
  9. Sean76 macrumors 6502

    Sean76

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    Feb 10, 2013
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    NYC
    #9
    That's my take...And pretty much the reason I wound up going with the rMBP with 256GB
     
  10. onthecouchagain macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

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    Mar 29, 2011
    #10
    Unless money is of zero concern, the Air is the better value.

    I have both the 13" Air and the 13" rMBP, and while the Retina is obviously nice, the difference isn't worth it unless, again, money isn't any sort of issue.

    At this point in time, the Air is the better value. You could also try your chance at refurbished rMBP's.
     
  11. CarreraGuy macrumors regular

    CarreraGuy

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    Jan 15, 2013
    #11
    If you use it with an external monitor >50% of the time I would save the $ and get the Air. Or get a stripped down 13" non-retina and upgrade the ram and ssd.
     
  12. hkim1983 macrumors 6502

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    Feb 5, 2009
    #12
    I think this depends on if you're planning on getting a stock Air v. a stock Retina, and also, if you're willing to accept refurb prices.

    For example, the lowest I can find a 13" Air with 8 GB of ram (which would be the minimal I would accept) is $1,269.99 (no tax, free shipping).

    However, I can find a refurbished rMBP 13" from Apple for $1,269, although you would have to pay sales tax if applicable. Since sales tax obviously fluctuates, let's assume a range of $75-150 for the additional tax expense.

    Considering the superior screen, superior speakers, marginally superior keyboard, and the built-in HDMI port + 2nd TB port, I think the rMBP is a far superior value for your money with the additional tax expense being worth the cost. The only issues of concern are the EFI bug, some U/I issues, and some image retention issues that still currently exist on the rMBP line, but the Air has "creaking" issues of its own.
     
  13. onthecouchagain macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

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    Mar 29, 2011
    #13

    Yeah, the refurb rMBP definitely puts it on far more equal value footing.

    What is the EFI bug?
     
  14. hkim1983 macrumors 6502

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    Feb 5, 2009
    #14
    You can read more about the EFI bug at these two threads:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1452267
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1544516

    Although the 2nd thread doesn't have any new information, just that it's still present.

    I also forgot to mention that there seems to be issues with connecting the rMBP to some external monitors, although there doesn't seem to be any kind of consistency with that.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1390034

    It's been noted in the thread that someone also had this problem with an Air though, so it could be across the board issues.
     
  15. jbrady3324 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #15
    Since I need at least 256gb of disk space and 8gb of ram, the prices of the Air and rMBP are actually pretty much the same at the 8gb/256ssd configurations. Unless I am missing something, the choice to go with the 13" rMBP is a no brainer unless I want to go with the 15" rMBP which I am starting to consider since the laptop will be nothing more than a laptop that I use on the couch. I will almost never travel with it and the longevitiy of the 15" will be greater than the 13"
     
  16. hkim1983 macrumors 6502

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    Feb 5, 2009
    #16
    If you never travel with it (especially significant if you never plan on using it on a plane) and the additional cost of the 15" is not a problem to you, than the 15" is the no-brainer IMO because of the dedicated gpu alone. The 15" will also offer a more comfortable native for retina resolution than the 13", and allows you to push your res higher if necessary, than the 13"
     
  17. Spink10 macrumors 601

    Spink10

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    #17
    15" rules - little painful to use on this last flight - was in exit row though :)
     
  18. makaveli559m macrumors 6502

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    Apr 30, 2012
    #18
    Classic MBP much better you can upgrade the RAM when you want to and you upgrade the harddrive up to 1TB or so if you please. You dont have those types of options on the Retina versions.
     
  19. jbrady3324, Feb 18, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013

    jbrady3324 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    #19
    Aside from games, what kind of performance impact will I see by going with the 13" rMBP over the 15" rMBP? Consider adobe lightroom, tons of browser and app (itunes, apps, word) multasking, etc

    Also how much more real estate is their really on a 15" vs the 13"? My current mid-2009 macbook pro is a 15" and my work laptop is a 13" and I can live with my 13" work display but not happily..

    I the 15" rMBP ram upgradeable to 16gb if I were to buy the 8gb version? The answer appears to be no since the ram is soldered.boo
     
  20. mtntrance macrumors member

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    May 2, 2008
    Location:
    Palm Desert, CA
    #20
    Streaming video on he 13 rMBP?

    Does the 2.5 with integrated graphics handle streaming video? For streaming is dedicated graphics preferable?
     
  21. hkim1983 macrumors 6502

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    Feb 5, 2009
    #21
    The Air can handle streaming 1080p video, at least on twitch.tv, so I'm pretty sure the rMBPs could too.
     
  22. jbrady3324 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #22
    Is the Mid-2009 models (nvidia chipset) covered by any kind known issue warranties? I remember hearing about a 4 year plan for 2008/2009 models?
     
  23. jbrady3324 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #23
    After learning that my brother works for a business reseller, I decided to go with rMBP 15" 2.7ghz, 16gb, 512ssd for an insane price
     

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