MBA 11" 2015 High end vs Low end 2015 RMBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by macbookair11, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. macbookair11 macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2015
    Hey all,

    I am debating whether I should get the ultra high end MBA 11 inch (want 11inch if I go with MBA) with 8GB ram, 256 GB SSD and upgraded processor or low end Retina Macbook pro 2015 13".

    My use cases:
    0. Lie down on my couch with it
    1. Browse news sites, youtube, social networking
    2. Coding Android apps, nodejs, python (mostly simple apps for learning)
    3. Movies, and occasional gaming at friends and family (civilization, tropico, wow, League of legends)
    4. Control my desktop (windows) through synergy

    For the same price of maxxed out MBA, I can get Retina Macbook Pro 13" which has 4G ram, no SSD, but better processor and perhaps better graphics (not very familiar with RMBP).

    Is maxxed out MBA 11inch a good machine or is that not very common? Would I be better off with low end RMBP? I don't care so much about retina display as for things that I care about (movies/shows), I usually watch them on my tablet or TV.

    Note: For 2015 machines.
  2. MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2014
    You are somehow mixing plenty of things up.

    1. All retina MBPs have at least 8GB RAM and an SSD
    2. A maxed out 11" Air would be with i7 and 512GB SSD, 8GB RAM

    For the usage you are describing even the base 11" Air would be enough by the way.
    If you don't care about the retina screen, there is not much reason to go for the Pro imho. The Air is cheaper and offers better battery life and portability.
  3. Pootan macrumors member


    Oct 28, 2014
    I had a decked out 13" pro but I couldn't justify the cost for the performance so I returned it for the base 11" air, which I can confirm will do all of those tasks you outlined above. It is definitely the biggest bang for the buck machine in the lineup, and you can find sweet sales on it too that makes BTO options look way overpriced.
  4. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Marvin is correct.

    There is no rmbp as the OP is describing and no maxed mba as the OP is describing.

    For the OPs purposes any macbook will work equally fine.
  5. macbookair11 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2015
    Thank you guys! I will now seriously consider getting the MBA
  6. AWgamer macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2010
    Got the 2015 MBA 13" base model and its a smooth machine. I have it for office, email, photos, etc so I'm not using it for any power hungry tasks but its a well built laptop. I had a 2010 MBA and this seems very similar, so I don't even know how much BTO is worth adding money for RAM and processor when its still not gonna be a real powerhouse. The macbook pro 15" was the real beast from what I read so I got the cheapest I could for the tasks at hand.
  7. SmOgER, Apr 2, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015

    SmOgER macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2014
    i7 2015 MBA has roughly the SAME processing power like the i5 13" rMBP 2015.
    With iGPU, rMBP is slightly ahead, but when we consider that it has to deal with retina resolution, it falls behind MBA by quite a bit. So no, maxed out MBA isn't slower, in fact it's the other way around since it doesn't have to render anything in retina resolution. And that's why I still think that in the future rMBA 13" will take over rMBP 13" :p It makes very little sense how the "pro" is slower than the ultra-portable machine.
  8. Rigby, Apr 2, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015

    Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    The major difference between these is not so much the performance, but the screen size. My recommendation would be to take the 11" if you need a highly mobile device (i.e. you often take it with you), otherwise take the MBP. The 11" screen can feel restricting for many things, like e.g. programming and web browsing; it's only worth it if the added portability is important.
    As someone pointed out, there is no Retina MBP without SSD or with less than 8GB.
    The Retina display is not so much a benefit for videos (you'll barely notice the difference in motion), but rather for it's sharper text rendering and for displaying high-resolution photos.

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