Macbook Pro 13" Base+ SSD or 13 inch Macbook Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by SisterRay, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. SisterRay macrumors regular

    May 25, 2006

    I know a lot of people are asking similar questions, but none of them exactly match what I need. So bear with me...

    I need to buy, I have a 6 yr old MacBook Core Duo, whose wifi is broken, the battery has a service warning and the trackpad is on its way out.

    So I need a new machine

    I do all the general things, surf, watch 1080p videos. I also want to run a windows 7/8 VM with visual studio and also possibly sql server. This is mainly used to keep up my development skills and tryout new features when they arrive. So it's not a build machine in constant use running large development projects

    I also expect when I spend about £1000, that the computer will last over three years, I would prefer the same lifetime as my trusty 2006 MacBook.

    I accept shortly that Apple will start rolling out retina, such is life, I can't wait any longer

    So with a discount through my employer approx. £60 I can afford

    A. Base 13" MacBook Air +8Gb upgrade
    B. Base 13" MacBook Pro +128Gb SSD option

    I have specced the SSD from Apple as it slightly more tricky to change it than it used to be. I just don't want the hassle of having to do this as soon as I get it. I will live with 4Gb until I need more, I'm more comfortable about changing the RAM, and its a lot cheaper elsewhere

    I'm currently favouring the MacBook Pro option as I'm assuming that having an SSD that I will get all the speed benefits that the Air gets from it's SSD ,but with the added advantage of a bigger processor. Is this a correct assumption?

    Also I will be able to change the SSD as the tech improves and the price gets cheaper. Additionally I will be eventually be able to add 16Gb of RAM. All of this seems to suggest it will last me longer.

    On the other hand the Air is very nice and pretty, but is also very speedy

    I really appreciate your advice and help. Spending approx. £1000 is a big deal for me
  2. azentropy macrumors 68020


    Jul 19, 2002
    I'd go for the 13" MBP in your case. You seem to like holding on to machines and simply put the 13" MBP is upgradeable and the 13" MBA isn't.

    The 13" MBP has over the 13" Air:

    - Faster processor options
    - Much larger RAM capacity and user upgradable - Up to 16gb RAM (Air is now 8gb max but you have to get it at purchase).
    - Much larger Storage capacity and user upgradable - to 1tb of storage or even more with optibay. (256gb SSD max on Air)
    - Firewire
    - Security Slot
    - Optical Drive (or additional bay for another drive if preferred).
    - GB Ethernet
    - Higher quality although lower resolution screen

    The 13" MBA has over the 13" MBP
    - Thinner
    - 1.5lbs lighter
    - Sexier (subjective of course)
    - Higher density screen (but lower quality)
    - Great standby time and that new Mountain Lion feature Power Nap.

    I'd pass on the apple 128gb SSD option and put one in yourself. For less than what Apple charges for the 128gb "upgrade" you can get a good 256gb drive (like samsung 830) and still have the original drive to use for backup or put into an optibay if you want. It is pretty simple on the 13" MBP. Also you can upgrade the memory yourself to 16gb for ~ $100 now.
  3. SisterRay thread starter macrumors regular

    May 25, 2006
    Thanks for that really comprehensive answer.

    One thing you said struck me - Power Nap not available on the 2012 non-retina MacBook Pros.

    This is a bit shocking, they have only released these models and some features are not being supported. I tried to find more information, and it seems to only work with SSD equipped laptops.

    Does anyone know whether if you add an SSD this will start working
  4. urbanrenewalpro macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2012
    I'm in the same boat as OP, deciding between MBP and Air.

    I am kind of perplexed however. How is it that the Ram on the new 13" MBP maxes out at 8 GB? Wasn't the 2011 MBP maxing out at 16 GB???
  5. CosmoPilot macrumors 65816


    Nov 8, 2010
    South Carolina
    Apple advertises 8GB, however, 2011 can use 16GB.
  6. Chief Pilot macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2012
    That' the big question.
    I have the same Problem concerning decision making.

    If the new 13" MBP can handle 16gb it would be awesome!
    But is it worth?
    I mean I'll use stuff like Visual Basic, Video edit programming, Windows (either bootcamp or Parallels)
    But will I need 16gb RAM???
    Would 8gb not be sufficient???
  7. SisterRay thread starter macrumors regular

    May 25, 2006
    I'm hearing more worrying news that the SATA III connection is being limited to 300Gb/s rather than 600Gb/s. So there a possibility of SSD being throttled

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