Macbook Pro or Macbook Air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Tony5787, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. Tony5787 macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2009
    Hey guys I'm looking to buy either the 13" base model Macbook Pro or the 11" Macbook Air with 128GB of flash memory and 4GB of RAM. I'm buying it for photo editing while I'm at school so I would be running things like Lightroom 3 and Photoshop on it. I feel like the Macbook Pro is better in every way except for the storage aspect. The standard SATA drive in the Pro's just seems like it will slow down my workflow when I'm importing files for editing and will cause slower booting as well. Not to mention the SATA drive will also raise the temperature of my computer significantly. Do you think the SATA drive will really be that much worse than the flash memory of the Air?
  2. Liquinn Suspended

    Apr 10, 2011
    I'd go for the Macbook Pro as I don't think the Macbook Air is as upgradable. I'm deffo getting a MBP next year, the Air is tempting but... you know xD

    Go with the Pro, though it's up to you ;D
  3. Philflow macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2008
    It is much worse. 5400rpm hard drives are serious bottlenecks. Check out these benchmarks:

    The Scorpio Blue is a 5400rpm hard drive which performs similar to Apple stock 5400rpm drives.

    If you buy the MBP I recommend upgrading to either: SSD, Seagate's Hybrid drive or WD Black 750GB.
  4. Tony5787 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2009
    Ok so then the real question is will the processor speed of the Air be that much of a problem for Lightroom or Photoshop? I already have a 2008 8-core Mac Pro for serious work but this is just something I want to be able to take with me to class and edit on the go. I'll also use it for taking notes and things like that too.
  5. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    I would still take the pro. More ports, upgradable, more battery life, etc.

    An 11" air would suck to edit anything on. It's more of a netbook with an Apple Logo on it.

    And just to be clear, the SSD in the air is still a SATA drive, just connected slightly differently, and the difference in heat generation is minimal at best.

    Also be aware that once your project is loaded in lightroom or photoshop, most of it is stored in RAM while you work, so the HD speed would be irrelevant.
  6. Tony5787 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2009
    Ok cool thanks. I thought the storage in the Airs was flash memory chips though. Is it not?
  7. solowmodel macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2011
    I would also get the MBP. The Air is great, but for your needs I reckon a MBP and a SSD/RAM upgrade later on will last you much longer.
  8. Philflow macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2008
    I think for your usage the ability to upgrade to 8GB may be more important than the CPU difference.

    Yes, the Air uses SSD a.k.a. flash memory. It uses an unusual form factor but the idea is the same.

    by the way, it might be a good idea to ask the same questions in the Air forum. Here you may find a lot of people telling you to buy the MBP.
  9. Tony5787 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2009
    I did ask in there and my thread got like 120 views and no replies for some reason. Thanks for the help in this forum though.
  10. Naimfan macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2003
    For your usage, the MBP is going to be better--it's faster, has more storage, and has at least some upgradability with RAM and the HD.

    The new Airs are terrific, but they seem to promise guaranteed obsolescence in a couple of years.
  11. Minhthien macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2011
    Hi op, you should pick the MBP! why?
    1. You can upgrade to 8gb@1600mhz RAM, Air can not do this!
    2. You can also upgrade the SSD to 128gb and it will be faster than the Air! I tested this with my wife's 2010 Air and mine is 2011 MBP 13' 2.7 and 8gb ram.
    3. When SSD price goes down you can upgrade to even 512GB, where the air can not be upgrade!
    4. This is just me check out his link . This only make for MBP.
    5. My Geekbench is 7111(thats 32bit the 64bit would be higher score) which smoke the newest air ultimate as well!

    Hope these information help you!
  12. Bob Coxner macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2011
    I have a similar question. I'm trying to decide between the 13" base MBA and the 13" base MBP with 128SSD. With education discounts the final prices to me are $1355 MBA, $1436 MBP. I wouldn't mind saving $81 but it's not critical.

    This will be my first Mac. My needs are not extreme. The usual web surfing, Netflix, YouTube, low tech gaming, email, word processing, etc. I very rarely rip/encode any video. I'm aware that I could probably get by with the 6-year old Pentium 4 I have in the closet, or the C2D that I use now, but I'm in the mood for something modern and fast. I also want to try OS X. Portability is not a critical factor. I'll likely be using it in clamshell mode much of the time.

    I'm leaning to the MBA due to screen resolution and form factor but I don't like the inability to upgrade RAM later if my needs change. Heat problems (perceived or real) do seem to be less with the MBA.

    Any advantages/disadvantages that I'm missing? I think I have a good feel for the differences but I haven't seen many posts comparing apples to apples, as in both units having SSD. Usually it's base MBA vs base MBP. Would the MBP with OEM SSD feel as snappy and responsive as the MBA? Even faster? I can't recall seeing benchmarks comparing this pair.

    I'd love to be able to try them out in person but the closest Apple store is 100 miles away and I don't think they would have the MBP with SSD in stock anyway.

    Thanks in advance for any wise words.
  13. Philflow, Jul 23, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011

    Philflow macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2008
  14. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    Photo editing? Definitely MacBook Pro. You'll need a big, calibrated screen for such applications.
    Make sure you get a decent aftermarket 7,200RPM drive with it, too.
  15. DropKick macrumors member

    Feb 19, 2008
  16. sporadicMotion macrumors 65816


    Oct 18, 2008
    Your girlfriends place
    I sold my 13" '11 Pro for the 13" Air. The processing power is pretty much the same. The quality of display differs from unit to unit but I'd take the higher res of the Air over the Pro any day of the week.

    If you're working in print, then you wouldn't want to do anything critical on either display really and you would at the very least need good hardware calibration. If you're mostly digital content, then I'm sure either will really be ok. Think of what the average display really looks like.

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