MBA 13 inch top of the line vs MBP 13 inch basic

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by wanamaca, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. wanamaca macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2011

    i am contemplating buying:
    MBA 13 inch with the faster (1.8 i7) processor and 256 gigs
    MBP 13 inch with 8 gigs ram 750 gigs storage and 2.3 i5

    the macbook air will be about 100€ more expensive.

    i would mainly use it in school but wana play some new games aswel.

    my first preference would be the MBA but i am not sure about a couple of things.

    1. Is the graphics card the same in the MBA and MBP ? (and thus are they both equally powerful)

    2. how does the battery of the MBA hold up against the MBP when you are doing heavy gaming (or watching you tube). (is it realy the same ?!!!?!??! i would think the mbp would hold up better)

    3 is the MBA sturdy enghough for daily use ? compared to the MBP ofcourse :)

    this will be my first mac, I CANT WAIT!!!!!!

    thanks for your answers
  2. Yumunum macrumors 65816


    Apr 24, 2011
    I want to know the same about the GPU. The Air's processor uses a lower amount of volts, does that mean the GPU, though the same as the MBP, will be weaker? And if so, HOW MUCH weaker?

    Btw OP, I love how our usernames are both kinda similar ;O
  3. unknown mr T macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2009
    I currently have a base 13 inch mbp with SSD hard drive. next year I am going to college and I don't know what to do, buy myself a new base 13 inch mba or keep my mbp. my biggest question is how those intel HD 3000 graphics compare... hope to see some graphic benchmarks soon ;)
  4. Roman2K~ macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2011
    So the two candidates:
    13" MBP: i5 2.3 Ghz (2410M)
    13" MBA: i7 1.8 GHz (2677M)

    Both only have a processor including CPU and iGPU (both HD 3000), no discrete GPU.

    Looking at the comparison of both processors:

    CPU-wise: you should get about identical performance in all kinds of tasks. Same maximum single-core Turbo Boost frequency. The MBA has more L3 cache (4 MB vs 3 MB), but the MBP has a higher base frequency, so multithreaded apps should run faster as Turbo Boost will overclock both cores higher than the MBA's.

    GPU-wise: same model (HD 3000), so identical number of execution units (12). Identical maximum clock speed, but the MBA's idles lower.

    Given that CPU + iGPU and battery life are roughly equivalent, it comes down to screen resolution (superb on the MBA, not so much on the 13" MBP), weight and SSD.
  5. Philflow macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2008
    One of the key differences: the screen. MBA has higher resolution but poor viewing angles. MBP has lower resolution but wider color gamut and better viewing angles.
  6. Roman2K~ macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2011

    Now, for having had both, to me the higher screen resolution prevails over viewing angles. The 13" MBP is only 1280x800, that's just too low. I can clearly pixels on edges of text (and icons), about like on an iPad. Video is enjoyable on both, but 720p+ looks distinctly sharper, crisper on the MBA.
  7. Daniel97 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2011
    the MBP is the faster more powerful machine - geek bench scores it higher and real world tests prove it faster.

    that is also a standard MBP

    the configuration you have selected is faster still - the MBP is user upgradeable so you can bump it to 8GB of RAM & SSD.

    It will fly MUCH faster than the Air.

    If you upgrade the MBP to 8GB RAM it also boosts the GPU to 512mb instead of 256 or 314. - The air can't do that. So the MBP yes is better.

    As for resolution. Are you having a laugh?! - I have an iMac and a 13'' Pro & access to a ''13 Air .. the Pro looks no different to the others? - And I'm a photographer editing photos pixel peeping.
  8. ipodlover77 macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2009
    gotta disagree with you there. when i had my MBP and than moved to the 13", i realized how gross the 13" mbp's screen really is. you have to be lying when you say you don't see any difference.. :)
  9. marmiteturkey macrumors 6502a


    Aug 27, 2005
    I agree. Was one of the things that swung me to a new air instead of a new pro. The higher pixel density makes a noticeable difference on the Air.
  10. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Get the MacBook Air. You won't regret it.

    As for game play, it'll handle games fine, but you won't be able to crank things up. Battery life might be better on the Pro.

    The Air has a higher resolution screen, SSD standard, no glass over the screen (just glossy) so a huge decrease in glare and reflections, and is extremely light.
  11. podsorcerer09 macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
    Gross being a completely subjective term of course. The macbook pros screen is still a good resolution and still has some pop just not quite as much. It's probably only noticeable if you've used an air for a while and then switched over. To someone looking at a pro screen only, it won't look 'gross'
  12. fyrefly macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2004
    The Intel HD3000 is not a screamer for games, especially if you plan to play them in Windows (for some reason the Intel HD 3000 performs worse in Windows than in OSX when gaming).

    It also depends on what you mean by "new" games, OP? Barefeats tested Portal and it runs decently:


    Slightly faster on the MBP, which has a higher idle clock speed for the Intel HD 3000.

    Re: Battery life - It should generally be a wash. The MBP (2.3Ghz) has a 35W CPU but a more powerful 63 W/hr battery. The MBA has a 17W CPU, but a smaller, 50 W/Hr battery. So the more powerful processor will suck more juice, but it has more juice to suck (so to speak!) :cool:
  13. ipodlover77 macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2009
    yeah, i apologize for my wording. its all subjective. i personally prefer the smaller crisper screen but i understand how some may find it uncomfortable! :D
  14. unknown mr T macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2009
    Do you guys have any idea if the intel HD 3000 is capable enough to be used for 3D CAD programs? Or to be specific, solidworks ;) would like to know because of college requirements :p
  15. stevenpa macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2011
    If cost is an issue, buying 8GB of ram and a 750 WD Scorpio drive is about $55 and $100 in the US. Much less than buying from Apple.
  16. stevenpa macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2011
    I do not really edit photos, but there is a clear difference in the screens. Subjective or not, someone who is "pixel peeping" should notice a difference.

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