MacBook Pro 13" or Air 13" for web development

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by leotan, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. leotan macrumors newbie

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    Sep 3, 2013
    Location:
    Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines
    #1
    hi guys, which would be best for web development? i'll be using PS CS6, almost all kinds of browsers, windows 7 (VM) with browsers also for testing. development tools like netbeans, eclipse, ftp softwares and etc.

    option 1 (MBA):
    1.3GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5
    8GB RAM
    256GB Flash Storage

    option 2 (MBP):
    2.5GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5
    8GB RAM
    256GB Flash Storage

    thanks!
     
  2. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #2
    Take option 2. Better. Why? Thermals of the MacBook Air will throttle you when too much CPU power is used. Plus, the clock difference will definetly make a difference in a WM setup.
     
  3. leotan thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Location:
    Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines
    #3
    ah! got it! thank you so much for your advice and replying quickly. i think i'll go for option 2 then. :)
     
  4. robvas macrumors 68020

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    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    Our devs have either 15" Pros or 13" Air because of the higher resolution. With a 13" you're going to want an external monitor most of the time

    I'd go with the 13" rMBP - you can run two or three monitors and you can scale the display to 1680x1050 or 1920x1200!
     
  5. ehfz macrumors member

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    Jul 24, 2013
    #5
    You might want the retina if for no other reason than to ensure your web designs work well on hidpi displays (retina) in general.
     
  6. esskay macrumors 6502

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    Jan 3, 2008
    #6
    If you plan to work on the laptop a lot, I would also encourage you to look at 15" models, and even better if you can get to an apple store or a macmall etc, look at them side by side. Check out the real estate on the screen.

    I do some light coding (Drupal) and the screen real estate on an MBP13 feels claustrophobic. I try to stick to my external monitor when coding on it.

    Maybe it won't bother you but check it out first.
     
  7. Atomic Walrus macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    #7
    The thermal performance and the display scaling options are definitely big points for the rMBP. I was really impressed by some of the thermal numbers I've seen from the rMBP line during load testing... certainly way better than anything you'd get from the older MBPs or the Air.

    The Air is 1440x900, which means more UI area to work with, but not by a lot. The rMBP can scale to higher resolutions that still look pretty decent, so if you want more than 1440x900 it's really the only option.

    I'd second looking at the 15" if you're okay with the price. It's not the right choice at the moment for me because I'm seriously focused on portability, but 4.5lbs isn't really that bad (in fact it's the weight of the pre-retina 13" MBP). Certainly not bad compared to the 17" MBP I've been using since 2010 (6.6lbs). It is a notably larger profile object though.

    As far as coding... yeah, not a lot of space to work with on a 13" screen unless you scale, at which point things can get pretty small. It's hard for me to seriously compare the 15" vs 13" (only 100 pixels difference vertically) because at home I do most of my coding on a dual monitor set up with one display turned on its end (lots of displays have stands that do that these days). There's not going to be a laptop that compares to that option for coding.
     
  8. mslide, Sep 3, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013

    mslide macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 17, 2007
    #8
    I do coding and web development all day long on a 2012 13" cMBP but I did install an SSD. I'm really happy with it but it does stay plugged into an external monitor, either at home or at work, most of the time. When it's not plugged in, the screen size doesn't bother me. Full screen apps makes the limited resolution more than useable enough for me. As long as I can get 2, 80 character screens in a vertically split window, I'm pretty much happy.

    I bought it over the 13" MBA because I wanted the option for 16GB RAM (running multiple VMs at once for testing eats up RAM really fast), a second HD and normal sized HDs. Having a built-in ethernet port is also sort of a big deal for me but I know it's only a matter of time before Apple won't offer any laptops with them. I might have went with a MBA if I could get it with 16GB RAM.

    I bought it over a 15" MBP because a 13" laptop is a lot more portable IMO, web development and coding doesn't require a dGPU or quad core, I don't play games on it and to save money. Portability was the biggest reason.

    I didn't consider a 13" retina MBP because I wasn't willing to pay extra for a fancy display especially when I'm looking at an external monitor most of the time. Plus, the same RAM and HD reasons I listed for the MBA.
     
  9. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #9
    It is impressive, but this is in part due to the reduced power consumption from the SSD (instead of a regular HDD) and the more solid state driven system.
     
  10. Memole macrumors member

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    Jun 26, 2013
    #10
    13inch is ok if you have a external monitor

    i would go for cMBP anytime over MBA

    because you can upgrade your laptop anytime like you can have 16GB of ram while on MBA u can have only 8GB

    also you can get more storage with cMBP and if u dont need optical media to replace with SSD so u have HDD for storage and SSD where u put OS :)

    also you have a ethernet port which is a great thing :)

    also for guys who suggest you rMBP please don't fool your self as i do own rMBP 15" and i dont find anything special with hi resolution display the actual wow factor of this display compare to old TN panel is that rMBP has the IPS display...

    now if u have enough $ i would personally go for refurb 15" cMBP base model or if u can get with anti glare display... so with base model you could sell 4GB of ram on ebay and add 16GB of ram, add SSD or have a combo HDD+SSD :)
     
  11. Atomic Walrus macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 24, 2012
    #11
    I don't think that's accurate. CPU proximity sensor heat in the 80's does not come from the HDD (which would fail entirely at those temperatures), though I suppose it's true that an HDD does increase the internal temperature of the case. My 17" MBP didn't change its average operating temperature in any notable way after replacing the HDD with an SSD.

    The airflow in the rMBP is massively improved. Distinct input and output is going to make a huge difference, and clearly does in testing. The actual exhaust output is much less obstructed as well.
     
  12. leotan thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 3, 2013
    Location:
    Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines
    #12
    thanks for the additional infos guys. i live in the Philippines and right now most istores have only the MBA 11" and MBP 13" and i think it had only the 128GB SSD. $1,600-ish is almost way above budget for me but trying to reach it. so the 15" is too much for me at the moment. :(

    im sorry to ask this here but is there really a big advantage on using a retina MBP 13" 2.5GHz 8GB 256SSD than just to build(for now) a pc like $1,300 - $1400 range? been searching all over for days maybe you guys have some advice about this.

    thanks to all
     
  13. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

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    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    Rialto, CA
    #13
    The main reason you buy a high-end laptop like a Macbook Pro is to have power on the go. If you are fine with an immobile desktop PC, just build the PC.
     
  14. AXs macrumors 6502a

    AXs

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    Sep 7, 2009
    #14
    For the love of reason, please don't go with last year's MBP under any circumstances!

    Get the new Haswell Air. No questions asked. It outperforms even last year's 13" rMBP.

    -Lighter
    -Faster
    -Newer technology

    It has HD5000 which is big improvement over last year's HD4000.

    It has the new PCIe SSD which means double the speed from last year's SSD.

    It has 12 hours of battery easily, and fans run constantly at 1200rpm so you never hear the fan, and the machine rarely ever gets hot.

    Always get newer technology VS Older technology.


    However, MBA VS MBP aside, I don't think either of these machines are suited for tasks you have stated. You need much more power, and at least a dedicated graphics cards.

    Don't get the cMBP - it is absolutely and out of date machine for 2013. Spinning drives, optical drives... horrible. And the screen is even worse than the Air (like how is that even possible).

    If budget is an issue, I'd say go for what you can afford. Wait a month for the Haswell Pro line to be released.
    But if you need a machine right away, get the Air and upgrade to i7/8.

    Still think you should go for 15" machine with 16GB and more power... for your tasks. Or maybe even a non-apple laptop that will offer the same for much less.

    You should take it to the Macbook Air forum to ask others who are in your situation. There are people that code and use photoshop with the Haswell Air.

    Too many biased responses here. How anyone can recommend a cMBP over a new Air is beyond me. Those things are obsolete. I'll be amazed if Apple continues their production.
     
  15. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #15
    Trust me, the switch from HDD to SSD saves power and heat output is reduced.
     
  16. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

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    Rialto, CA
    #16
    Hold on there, not so fast. Keep in mind that the 13" cMBP is offers more performance for the same price over the 13" rMBP, can be upgrade to via 3rd Party to an SSD AND 16GB of RAM, or fact that the Optical drive can be replaced by more storage.

    Obsolete? Hardly when it uses the same internal hardware as the rMBP. Also, a cMBP doesn't magically stop working if it is discontinued.

    I have a 250GB SSD in my 15" cMBP and trust me, if you plan to do bootcamp(like the OP says he wants to do, but with VM) 256GB is WAY too small.

    I DO agree that right now the Air is THE best value mac right now. It has all the newest tech, as a well as an integrated GPU that significantly more powerful than the current line MBPs. ALL of that WITH the price drop.

    I also disagree about always getting the newest tech. Many times the newest tech is only 10% faster but costs 30-50% more. Intel processors come to mind.
     
  17. AXs macrumors 6502a

    AXs

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    Sep 7, 2009
    #17
    so somehow buying an older tech new machine for the same price, and upgrading all the components inside to the latest tech makes more sense?

    Part of Apple's appeal is their customer service. Are you really going to pay $1000+ for a laptop to sacrifice warranty off the get-go by replacing the parts inside?

    Or your plan is to run the warranty out THEN change the parts inside?

    Yea, that's not so efficient.

    But an Air, and you get he latest tech off the bat.

    I agree cMBP has the advantage of being customizable. But, by the time you customize it after 3 years (Assuming you get applecare, which you should) - technology would have moved a long way and your motherboard is probably outdated by then.

    Especially now where Apple is likely to migrate to 14nm chips in the near future.
     
  18. m98custom1212 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 20, 2013
    Location:
    Toledo, Ohio
    #18
    You don't sacrifice warranty
     
  19. AXs macrumors 6502a

    AXs

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    Sep 7, 2009
    #19
    please do continue
     
  20. xPurpleblob macrumors regular

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    Jun 29, 2011
  21. leotan thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 3, 2013
    Location:
    Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines
    #21
    thanks for the insights guys.

    so, again my budget is not too big but for me, the MBA has a good price also. mostly maybe will be using this inside my house but i dont have any laptop also to bring out when needed in meet-ups with fellow devs.

    would the MBA 1.3Ghz 8GB 128SSD be ok compared to the MBP Retina 2.5Ghz 8GHz 128SSD? i also thought most PCs people buy has 128SSD for their OS and thats for games so i thought that a VM windows 7 for testing browser compatibility wouldnt take too much space? am i on the right track?

    for now all i need is dev IDE, PS CS6, Office, mac updates, some files and VM windows with upadtes and browsers(maybe with some small software) to be in the 128SSD.
     
  22. m98custom1212 macrumors 6502

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    Toledo, Ohio
    #22
  23. AXs macrumors 6502a

    AXs

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    Sep 7, 2009
    #23
    So we've figured out from unofficial sources (other forums) that it doesn't void warranty, let's take it for face value.

    Still, you're buying an old design with old components - you 'can' replace everything inside but how feasible is it?

    Buy your own SSD - sure, for how much $200 for 256GB?
    Get 16GB more Ram for another $100?

    Can't change the horrible display though.
    Plus?
    +2kg
    Half battery life
    Much higher fan speeds and a hotter system
    Less than half the wifi speed (ac vs n)

    Yea I'm going to stop. Get what makes you happy.
     
  24. MajkJaro macrumors member

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    Apr 2, 2013
    #24
    I bought yesterday a retina 13. Its astonishing. Works very fast.

    Was thinking about 15 but it is a little bigger. For portability - only 13 inch.
     
  25. leotan thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines
    #25
    ok. maybe i'll wait for the haswell pro but any ideas if the price of haswell pro be cheaper than the old macbook pro?
     

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