MacBook Pro vs. Air - which one of these would you choose?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by xheathen, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. xheathen macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2010
    Hey all... in the market for a new laptop as mine is dying.

    My needs are pretty basic and involves coding for the most part, client interaction and potentially a little graphic design work (nothing heavy though).

    So I'm kind of looking at getting an older refurb to save some money. Looks like BHPhoto is having a deal on the Core 2 Duo 13" air models, so these are kind of in the same ballpark cost wise.

    I'm considering the MacBook Pro 13.3" - Core i5 2.3 Ghz when it comes on the refurb store for $929, or the the 13" 1.86GHz model Core 2 Duo (2GB RAM) 256GB HD with the vVIDIA GeForce 320M for $999. The Air ends up being cheaper as it's free shipping and no tax, but it's relatively close.

    Anyone have experience with both that might offer their opinion on which one might be a better long term investment?
  2. MarkMS macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2006
    The Core i5 is a better investment compared to the Core 2 Duo in my opinion. The Air may be faster because of the SSD, but you can easily add one in a MacBook Pro later when the HDD gets sluggish.
  3. xheathen thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2010
    Oh hey I didn't even consider that... could I potentially grab the previous year (the 2009) and stick a SSD in it? Might be worth saving that extra 150 for the core 2 duo MBP and put it into a 128gb SSD, or is that a lot of work for the same result? :)
  4. Nielsenius macrumors 6502a

    Apr 16, 2011
    I think that either the MacBook Air or Pro will work fine for you. If you're trying to save money the Pro will be a better choice. It has greater future upgradability and is cheaper right off the bat. I agree that going the refurb route is the thing to do. But, do NOT get anything with a Core 2 Duo. Those processors were good a few years ago, not now. Going Core iX is better because the technology is much more advanced. Your looking at higher efficiency and speed than a Core 2 Duo. Plus, Core i5s and i7s have Turbo Boost (proc overclocks itself under high workload but stays within heat limits) and Hyper-Threading (virtual cores for better workload distribution).
  5. MarkMS macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2006
    I would stay away from Core 2 Duos if you can. Apple has a habit of holding back some machines whenever a new OS comes out even if they can handle the new features. With Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) coming out this year, Apple has already killed off many Macs made before 2009. (Source:

    So it's possible that by the time OS X 10.9 or 10.10(?) come out, Apple may not support Macs that aren't based on the Nehalem or Sandy Bridge micro architecture (e.g. the Core i3/i5/i7 processors). Core 2 duos will last you a long time if you use the machine lightly, but in terms of having a supported version of OS X, you only have maybe 2-3 years tops before it becomes outdated. And if you code (using Xcode) or need the latest version of OS X for those graphics programs, you will want something that is i3/5/7.

    I still write code (for iOS) on my 09 15" MBP (2.66GHz C2D) and it got a bit slow last year. I installed a Intel SSD and now it's extremely speedy. But I'm already saving up for a new MBP and will buy refurb again when the next version of OS X doesn't support my current MBP.

    TL;DR: If you can, go for the i5 MBP. The $150 you spend on the i5 is worth it. Also wait a few months since SSD prices are always falling.

    I really hope this helps you.
  6. xheathen thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2010
    Awesome thanks so much that definitely helps clarify everything! Definitely a huge piece I hadn't considered also was the OS support. I think I'll snag that MBP then. Appreciate all the help!

Share This Page