Macbook Pro 2011 w/ SSD vs Macbook Air 13 2010

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by teknobrat2003, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. teknobrat2003 macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2011
    The MacBook Pro 2011 with stock 128 SSD option appears to be about the same price as the Macbook Air 13. Which one would you choose? It appears besides the size difference and a bit higher screen resolution for the Air that the Pro is a better option.

    Also, has anyone purchased a MacBook Pro 13 with 128 gb SSD option? Opinions?
  2. Verix macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2010
    Air<->Pro: do you want a lightweight computer with a mediocre CPU that can do normal tasks, or do you want more of a powerhouse (minus the GPU that's pretty crappy on either side)?

    I personally think that if you use your laptop *all* the time I'd advise for a Macbook Air if you have the money: the screen is much nicer to look at. Higher resolution, less reflection, ...

    Also, I STRONGLY advice against going for Apple's SSDs (only the 512GB one is correctly priced, but is VERY expensive none the less), it's much better to go for an OWC/OCZ/Intel SSD and place it yourself. NO technical skills are required (I'm a total technical noob, I just followed the OWC tutorial and replaced HD's in 10 minutes)
  3. moosaur macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2011
    Depends a lot on what you do. I was debating the same thing with myself a couple weeks ago, and I went with the MBP. Why? I work at a desk full-time, and don't carry my laptop around a ton -- it goes from my bedroom, to the kitchen, to a friends apartment sometimes. The power vs weight trade-off wasn't worth it for me.

    Also, I do a lot of photo-editing and management (Photoshop + Lightroom) and, for these tasks, could use the added power. I'll be upgrading my ram to 8gb (Less than $90 off Newegg) for even more multitasking power -- max ram on an Air is 4gb, and since it's soldered you're stuck (that's my understanding, anyway).

    It really depends on what you do and what you're looking for! :) If I was still a student, I would have gone for the decreased weight in a heartbeat.
  4. Abyssgh0st macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2009
    The Air will be snappier overall than the MBP, but overall the MBP obviously packs more power and is more of a powerhouse machine; unless we're talking graphics and the MBA wins.

    I love MBAs, IMO 13" MBP are a bit of a waste for the money. Get the $999 MBA or the base 13" MBA.
  5. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    What would make the Air snappier if the MBP has an SSD?
  6. kobyh15 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2011
    Nothing. It wouldn't be.
  7. Verix macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2010
    The Intel 3000 is about the same as the 320M. Barely noticeable difference.
  8. teknobrat2003 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2011
    Where do you have proof that the Apple SSD is such a poor performer? Have you used the Apple made SSD in a MacBook Pro?
  9. kjos8035 macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2011
    Reasons? Sources? I'm sitting on the 512 gig apple ssd and it screams...
  10. iRez macrumors member

    Feb 19, 2004
    sounds like buyers remorse (after mbp's were updated) covered by bad advice to me...

    but he does have a point, if you need portability then go 11" as i'm in the 13" MBP > 13" MBA camp. I can't imagine a situation where the "portability" of the 13" MBA will give a clear advantage over the MBP.

    Back when they shared the same processor, my advice would be drastically different and in favor of the air but advising to buy a 6yr old processor vs one that just got released recently is just plain silly if you ask me. yeah, the airs do look pretty sweet but the pro's are nothing to scoff at either.
  11. neteng101 macrumors 65816

    Jan 7, 2009
    Screen resolution is a KILLER on the 13" MBPs.

    It is also 1.5x heavier than the 13" MBA.

    But has 2x the CPU performance.

    If CPU matters that much to you, just wait for a 13" MBA refresh. The 13" MBP is basically nothing more than a starter Mac.

    Apple SSDs (Rev Cs) that are shipping now are not bad at all, unlike the benchmark snobs who seem dead set against them.
  12. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    I have both of these. A top end Air, and a 13" 2.7ghz. (I also use a 17" 2.2ghz quad BTW) These are family machines we all use.

    The MBP with the new i7 is VASTLY more powerful. It's ridiculous really. So much so that i've got a hunch they will refresh the Air line soon with an i3 maybe.

    The hard part is that everything else on the Air (major things like screeen and casing) are VASTLY better than the MBP :D

    Good luck with this ;)
  13. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    There are a number of benchmarks out there that show this.

    I'm of the opinion that just having an SSD is the big jump that everyone can appreciate. Beyond this, buying the top performer is kind of like upgrading from a car that does 200mph to one that can do 250mph. Sure it's better but it's not something that is going to matter to most, unless they are benchmarking for sport.

    As such, I worry more with reliability and support. For this last gen I was in the Intel camp. Folks seem excited about the upcoming Vertex 3, but I think it's wise to sit back and see how the next generation fairs. In the meantime, the Apple choice is solid and currently not a badly priced upgrade (esp the 128).
  14. jrichie macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2003
    These are all the same questions I asked myself recently.

    The answer came down to portability and how much would need to move the computer together with power.

    It was a fully specced 13" MBA vs 15" MBP.

    I have an ssd already so that argument was null.

    The MBP won in the end as I thought about the situations I would need a super lightweight computer together with upgradability, power and storage options.

    Maybe in a years time when the MBA is off the C2D I may get one, but until then the choice was actually quite easy in the end.

    If you do basic stuff go MBA if not MBP.......
  15. adnoh macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2010
  16. Verix, Mar 14, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011

    Verix macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2010
    Did either of you actually read my post? I said the 512 GB is the only one worth the money, since the price is okay. The performance is about on par with others.
    For the rest, though, 3d party manufacturers offer better SSD's ECONOMICALLY AND PERFORMANCE-wise.
    (exception: the MBA SSD's are pretty good. But there's even upgrade kits available for these: Aura Pro SSD's. They're pretty expensive though. But if you're going for lots of GB on an 11 incher it's cheaper going for the Aura's).

    And finally, you can't know for sure (which revision) of the Apple SSD they're going to install in your macbook. You might end up dissapointed.

    This pretty much sums up everything imo.
  17. Jiten macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2008
    You also may need more RAM and Hard Disk space in the future. Especially when better, faster and cheaper RAM/Storage comes out in the future. The MBP gets tons more options.
  18. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I don't think the argument against the Apple OEM 128GB SSD is so clear cut. It is a $200 upgrade on the 13" MBP. The Intel G25 in 120GB is $229 now at Newegg, plus shipping. With the OEM you get TRIM support and it is guaranteed to work. The forums are full of people who bought aftermarket SSDs and have nothing but troubles.

    Like others mentioned, the OEM SSD is not the fastest SSD out there, but it is not bad. See this test. I really doubt anybody could tell the difference in real usage between the OEM and the newest/flashiest SSDs.

    That said, I went for the Intel 510 SSD in my 2011 13", but others may not want to deal with the hassle. I was partly driven by sales tax saving on a stock purchase from Amazon.
  19. Tapiwa macrumors member

    Jan 3, 2011

    @Verix: Don't assume people buying an SSD from Apple are misinformed. You might not agree with that choice but that's a different story. :p
  20. rjbruce macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2011
    St. Louis, MO
    I would personally still buy aftermarket, since the price is the same, and buy an enclosure for the shipped HDD. It's like getting an external HDD for free. TRIM could be an issue for an aftermarket, so just buy the right drive. OWC seem to be the manufacturer of choice around here, but OCZ (and others) also uses the sandforce controller.

    I would (did) choose the MBP over the MBA. Would have loved an HR option, but the processor/memory was more of a deciding factor. The thin factor of the MBA is cool but really the MBP is pretty slim.
  21. Abyssgh0st, Mar 14, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2011

    Abyssgh0st macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2009
    I have no buyers remorse. My hackintosh is 5x more powerful than your 13" MBP. I love my MBA; I've owned a 13" MBP twice and hated it. The new NAND flash in the MBA's is faster than the stock SSD from Apple on the 13" MBPs. Please stop trying to justify your purchase of a laptop with a much larger screen with lower resolution, and an immensly useful optical drive.
  22. applefanDrew macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2010
    Love my 13 i7 with 128 ssd. It may not be the fastest benchmark, but it is fast and I don't have any problems. Nor did I have to install it myself and load the os. Well worth the $200. Got a good ssd and I didn't have to install it myself.
  23. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    So a desktop PC can be more powerful than a 13" notebook? Good to know.
  24. Abyssgh0st macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2009
    Cute. Don't brag about your machine like it's hot **** when it's really just a subpar laptop.
  25. elpmas macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2009
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    I like the MBA, but overall...I would get a MBP just because there's more you can play with.

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