MacBook Pro or MacBook Air?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by adder7712, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. adder7712, Jul 14, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2012

    adder7712 macrumors 68000

    adder7712

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    My current late-2008 MacBook requires a replacement (justified as Apple pulled the plug on Mountain Lion support). For the moment, I have two options.

    13" MacBook Pro or maybe the low-end 15" MacBook Pro (rMBP is out of the question)
    13" MacBook Air

    Which should I go for? I may only need the DVD drive to pop-in Windows and I get most of my music digitally. The few CDs I have are already ripped.

    Requirements:
    Some minor gaming, mainly TF2 but the HD 4000 is no slouch isn't it and maybe with good heat circulation as I live in the tropics and I'm not alien to high humidity and >30C temperatures.

    Mainly general web browsing, music, movies, some MS Office and maybe video transcoding.
     
  2. Lance-AR macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 7, 2012
    Location:
    Little Rock, AR
    #2
    It all sounds like Air to me until you said transcoding. If you don't have to do it all the time I think the air would be perfect. If you have 200 movies to do, you might as well get the pro. I'm not familiar with TF2 though.
     
  3. adder7712 thread starter macrumors 68000

    adder7712

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    Not often. I would also like to do some HD editing on iMovie. Will the MBA suffice?T

    Oh and TF2 = Team Fortress 2.
     
  4. h4cky0u macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    #4
    Don't listen to anyone else, the 13" Macbook Pro is the perfect fit for you. If you're going to be doing HD video editing and want to consider gaming once in a while, you will not be happy with being stuck with only integrated Intel HD graphics. The 13" Macbook Pro not only has a dedicated graphics card, but in case you feel like you ever need more RAM for video editing or gaming, you have the option to upgrade. The 13" Macbook Pro is the one for you.
     
  5. johan.k macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Location:
    Malaysia
  6. noteple macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    #6
    If you had a pro at least look at the Air. Expand the RAM and you should be good to go every where without lugging the extra weight, and adapter for extra battery life.
     
  7. ramzijw macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    #7
    The 13" pro does not have a dedicated graphics card! It runs on intels 4000 chip!
     
  8. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Location:
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    #8
    I just picked up a 2011 "last item" from our base PX and with its Samsung screen and SSD if feels fast but I use my 21.5" 2011 iMac for heavy stuff (or my AMD X6 win7 self built machine)...I wanted to wait for a Haswell 11" MBA but this Sandy Bridge 13" MBA was a good deal that I'm trying to decide if I want to keep coming from my HP DM4 Arrandale win7 machine and my whitebook (both with SSD's) in my signature...

    So far I really like the 1440x900 display on the MBA but I've played with this for 3 days now and I still have that 11" form factor desire calling me...
     
  9. h4cky0u macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    #9
    :O Good catch. It listed the 15" Macbook Pro graphics card when I selected the 13" model in the Full Comparison Tool. Thank you for the correction.

    If that is the case, it's all about RAM and an optical drive. If you feel you might need more RAM in the future or an optical drive, get the Macbook Pro. Otherwise the Macbook Air will be satisfying.
     
  10. jaguar451 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2002
    #10
    Check out http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/06/faceoff-13-macbook-pro-vs-13-macbook-air/ - good summary of the differences. I have a unibody 2008 MacBook. I'm leaning to get a 13" MBP early August.
     
  11. mayuka macrumors 6502a

    mayuka

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    #11
    If you could wait a little longer. Apple is planning to release updated MBP 13" due in september... At least that's macrumors is telling us. ;) I think I'll wait for october. I don't mind missing the first buggy month with Mountain Lion. :)
     
  12. jaguar451 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2002
    #12
    This the fabled rMBP 13"? :) I assume would loose the expandibility I like. Seems like it would make more sense as the rMBA 13"....

    Generally don't like to early adopt new OS releases, but need another computer, and for $$ reasons, August-ish is my timeframe. Maybe I'll go with a 2011 15" MBP (decisions, decisisions), but that would be a different thread...
     
  13. adder7712 thread starter macrumors 68000

    adder7712

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #13
    If I decide to settle for the 15" MacBook Pro, should I go for the baseline model or the high-end model? I doubt extra graphics memory would be noticeable and at least I can a bit of gaming as discrete GPU > integrated GPU, in most cases. :)
     
  14. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    #14
    Is portability a factor? the regular 15inch MBP weighs over a kilo more than the 13 inch MBA.
     
  15. adder7712 thread starter macrumors 68000

    adder7712

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #15
    Not really, I don't travel often but when I do, I usually bring my laptop. But usually, it sits on my desk most of the time.
     
  16. mayuka macrumors 6502a

    mayuka

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    #16
    If you take the rMBP then max it out. It needs all the power it can get, especially graphic power.

    I really believe that when Apple releases the rMBP 13" it will also update the other MPB 13". Hopefully the line-in will come back...
     
  17. adder7712 thread starter macrumors 68000

    adder7712

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #17
    As stated in the OP, the rMBP is a no go. I may need the upgradbility of the non-Retina models and the built-in SuperDrive.

    The HD4000 seems satisfactory. How does its stack up to the GeForce 9400M?
     
  18. bf2008 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    #18
    mmm, you're a bit confusing. If you may need upgradeability and superdrive then the air is certainly out of the question. You don't want to spend more on the 15 inch MBP so that leaves the 13 MBP as the only option.
     
  19. adder7712 thread starter macrumors 68000

    adder7712

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #19
    I'm referring to the Retina MacBook Pros. I may be able to squeeze in a little bit more for the baseline 15".
     
  20. Dave00 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    #20
    I'm in the market for a macbook as well, so I've been researching.

    I believe this quote is wrong - both the MBA and 13"MBP have Intel HD4000 only. Plus, the MBA has 1440x900 native, while MBP is 1280x800.

    I'm trying to decide the best machine, and I do mostly photo and video work, often converting HD video formats so they can play on the iPad. I really am at a loss being able to tell the relative contribution of graphics card, processor, and RAM to the video encoding process. All I know is I'm tired of getting heavy fan use and long waits every time I do so on my old 2007 Macbook.
     
  21. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #21
    The cheapest 15" MBP should be fine for your uses, if you don't mind the larger size. Also, if you check the refurbished section of the online Apple Store, you might be able to find one with a substantial discount.
     
  22. TheGenerous macrumors 6502a

    TheGenerous

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    Location:
    I'm an Austronaut
    #22
    None, I'll wait for the next revision of 'lower-end' Macbook Pros.
     
  23. mayuka macrumors 6502a

    mayuka

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    #23
    This is exactly where mobile processors perform significantly better than ultra-mobile variants found in the MBA.
     
  24. bf2008 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    #24
    The rMBP is miles better than the 15 inch MBP, so I wouldn't get the latter. It will also keep its value much better, so it may be cheaper than what you think. I wouldn't consider this machine at all.
     
  25. adder7712, Jul 21, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2012

    adder7712 thread starter macrumors 68000

    adder7712

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #25
    The rMBP is waaaay above my budget. Therefore, I'm constrained to the MBAs, the 13" MBPs and the low-end 15" MBP.

    Again, will the Intel HD 4000 be a noticeable improvement over my GeForce 9400M?

    Or...I can jump over to the dark side (I don't really mind what OS I use, I take good care of my computers)...You know what it is.
     

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