MacBook Pro 2010 user. Is getting a 2013 MacBook Air an upgrade?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by spica42, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. spica42, Jul 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2013

    spica42 macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2007
    I poured red wine over my trusty 2010 15 inch mbp i5 2.54 ghz last night so I'm forced to buy a new Mac. :(

    So after a few hours reading benchmarks online, I decided to buy a mba i7 with 8 gig of ram. Called the apple number and ordered but the sales person tried to convince me that I'm making a mistake; it would be a downgrade because the air only has a dual core.

    She advised me to buy the rmbp 15 inch instead as the maxed out mba is only a few hundred cheaper than the 15 mbp. However with the specs bump just round the corner, it doesn't seem like a good idea.

    So should I get the mba? Would it be slower than my current mbp?
  2. Code.Red macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2010
    Yes, you should get the Air. No, the 2013 Air will NOT be a downgrade from your 2010 Pro. Looking up the specs, even your Pro is "only" a dual core CPU, so that rep didn't know what they were saying.

    The Air is actually a bit faster, in both CPU and GPU performance. Plus, you get the ultra fast speed of an SSD which makes boot and load times much faster, and the more efficient components, which produce less heat and use less battery. It's an upgrade all around.

    Basically, if your old MBP was never too slow, you'll enjoy the MBA which will be faster and much more portable. If you want more substantial increase in performance and don't care about it being any more portable than what you've had for the past couple years, get a MBP (though I'd recommend you wait for the Haswell MBPs to come out in that case).
  3. jksu macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2009
    unless your 2010 has a ssd drive the MBA will definitely be faster for regular use, even with a technically less powerful CPU.
  4. geeeek macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2013
    I just received my new 2013 MacBook Air. It replaced a 2010 MacBook Pro, so I was in your shoes a little while ago.

    It is absolutely an upgrade. Much faster and smoother than the old 2010 Pro. Obviously, it's not the most powerful laptop out there, but it is more than enough for my needs, and it performs so much better than my old laptop..

    Both the new Air and retina models will be an improvement over your current laptop. Don't choose based on the concept of getting the biggest "upgrade" possible in the eyes of that employee. That's a very subjective term. Upgrade for me didn't mean more power or a better screen. I needed portability, a little more speed, and all day battery, which I got with my new Air!
  5. larry918 macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2013
    I too come from a 2010 MBP. I don't know what that sales person was smoking, but the MBA is definitely not a downgrade. Everything is so crisp and quick with the new processors, the SSD inside makes it a breeze opening/closing files.
  6. spica42 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2007
    Gee, thanks for all the comments! I really appreciate them.

    The thing is, my 2010 15" MBP (lion) is strangely slow even after I re-formated it. Safari or Chrome takes up 500Mb of ram each and pages sometimes shows a white screen for 30 seconds before loading. I had attributed it to Lion as Snow Leopard never give these problems. (I have around 50,000 emails on mac mail due to work though..)

    I'm typing this on a 2009 iMac (Leopard) and it seems to be faster than anything I've ever used. Even though I have parallels running winxp open, nothing freezes. I'm trying to migrate the data from my mbp harddrive to this machine but I can't find a snow leopard installation anywhere.

    If the Macbook air is faster than this iMac, I'll be happy. I just need a way to migrate my data over to try to see if it's anything in my data that is causing the lag!



    My MBP is the 15" version. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
  7. Code.Red macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2010
    Yes, this one: The i5 in that is a dual core CPU with hyperthreading, which means it shows four cores in the OS, but it is not a true quad core CPU. The i5 in the Air is also dual core and does the same thing. Also, even though the GHz speed is lower, it is much more efficient so it is able to get more processing done while using less power. Everything I said still applies :).

    In fact, I want to put less emphasis on the CPU and more on the SSD. Solid state drives are just so much faster than conventional hard drives, especially when loading files and programs that are spread across the drive. So boot-up time is greatly improved, and apps are going to load a ton faster than any Mac with a HDD inside.

    It does sound like something weird is going on with your MBP, though. Make sure your files on it are backed up safely - the hard drive inside might be starting to give up.
  8. dljeffery macrumors regular

    Aug 9, 2011
    Issaquah, WA
    Even if the OP had an SSD, the 2013 MBA will be faster. I just moved to one from a mid-2010 15" MBP with an SSD (Intel 320 series) and the Air is definitely faster. But even more than that I value the lightness/portability and incredible battery life.

    EDIT: Oh, and now when I use the old MBP (while finalizing the migration), I find I definitely prefer 1440x900 on a 13" display over the same resolution on a 15" display.
  9. kahkityoong macrumors 6502


    Jan 31, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
  10. spica42 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2007
    Anyway, thanks for all the comments. I called back to the same apple salesperson and placed my order for the mba. :) (She gave me her extension)

    She insisted that getting the rmbp is the right advice and she even verified with her senior technical people at Apple though. She was really helpful actually and even wanted me to call back and let her know how the mba turned out for me!
  11. kahkityoong macrumors 6502


    Jan 31, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    It's the early 2011 MBP which is quadcore - going to MBA would be a downgrade. Not the 2010 MBP.
  12. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
  13. beautifulcoder macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2013
    The Republic of Texas
    My understanding is the 2013 MBA is more fluid than the 2012 rMBP. You have to start with your workflow and your needs then work your way back to the technology. Fast flash storage, soldered RAM, data bus and chip design along with the software running on top. These things matter when considering a fluid experience.
  14. cookies! macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2011
  15. tann macrumors 68000

    Apr 15, 2010
    Nottingham, England
    I received my MBA 2013 13" i5/8gb/256gb today in the mail to replace a 2010 2.66 i7 8GB ram (and ssd) and when I was researching I found that the MBA should be more powerful CPU wise (but not by a lot).

    The GPU I believe is also more powerful now.

    I didn't really get near to maxing out the 2010 so this is a beautiful upgrade in terms of portability and to some extent speed (can't tell the difference so far between the ~200mbps write/read ssd in my 2010 to a 700+ in the air).

    I can say that it doesn't get anywhere near as hot, and I haven't heard the fans yet (doing everything I would normally be doing on my 2010 - by now that would be whurring away!).

    The i7 version is definitely more powerful than the 2010 i7 too.
  16. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
  17. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    why not replace your 15" MBPro with another 15"?
    the 15" rMBPro has quad-core processor, 8 gb memory and 256 gb SSD standard and is one beautiful, fast machine.

    I was dubious about going from a 13" Air to a 15" MBPro but having made the move, I doubt very much I'd ever go back

    my $2 worth ;)
  18. Spock1234 macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2007
    Guys (or Gals), thanks for sharing your views on the mid-2010 MBPro versus the 2013 MBAir. I was hoping you could help me with the choice I have to make.

    I am planning to switch from a mid-2010 MBPro (2.4 GHz) to a top-of-the-line 2013 MBAir (i7, 8 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD). This will be my only computer.

    Typical uses: iPhoto, Safari and word processing.
    Most demanding uses: Ripping DVDs and encoding the video into iTunes. Occasional iMovie use for editing home movies.

    Will the MBAir handle Handbrake and iMovie as well as my old MBPro? Will it be better?

    Or, would you say that the MBAir is not powerful enough for this work, and recommend getting a new mid-2012 MBPro instead?

    FYI, the top-of-the-line MBAir is $1849 versus $1799 for the MBPro.
  19. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
  20. throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Yes, it is an upgrade in pretty much all respects, unless you have 16 GB of RAM in your Pro (which i'm not sure it supports?)
  21. portishead macrumors 65816

    Apr 4, 2007
    los angeles
    My only beef with the Air is the display. It's just not that great. Of course I use a RMBP so it's night and day. Other than that, the Air is nearly a perfect machine for my home usage. rMBA and I'll be happy.
  22. larry918 macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2013
    The speedy new SSD's in the MBA's will make video editing a breeze :)
  23. rabidz7 macrumors 65816


    Jun 24, 2012
    For me it would be a downgrade.
    For you, first I must know what you do on the notebook.
  24. tann macrumors 68000

    Apr 15, 2010
    Nottingham, England
    It will most certainly be an upgrade. While I haven't personally ripped and encoded anything with Handbrake on mine yet, it is definitely a good amount more powerful than the 2.4 i5 from 2010.

    Looking at geekbench results, the i7 2013 MBA gets 8100 points vs the 2.4 i5 2010 MBP which gets 5500.

    Not sure how much you care, but the Air is also a hell of a lot more portable (I think) than the 15" Pro. The battery life is also incredible.
  25. Zaphyrus macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2013
    Recently bought a MBA 11" 2013 and gave my old cMBP 13" 2010 to my mom. I struggled with the decision not knowing if it was an upgrade at all as well but but went with my gut and bought it anyways. Had I read this post by you earlier/had you posted this a month or so earlier, Code.Red, it would have made my choice much easier lol.


    Absolutely agree with geeek. As stated to my post above, like the both of you I was in that boat. I got the run around from Apple Store employees when I went in to inquire, but I knew I really wanted a more portable device with better battery life. At this point, almost everything on their 2013 MBA/rMBP/cMBP line is an upgrade from our 2010 cMBP so this made my decision a bit easier. Oh, how fast technology advances.

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