MBA 13'' Ultimate($1799) vs 2011 MBP 15" ($1799)

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by keviikev, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. keviikev macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    #1
    I purchased my MBA ultimate for $1691 with Government Discount in Delaware in December 2010 (no tax):D

    My debate for the longest time was weather to wait and get 15inch 2011 MBP i5 or get the 13" MBA Ultimate

    Both are priced at $1799 contain 4GB ram and have 1440 by 900 screen resolution. Since I use the computer as my primary computer to process images these were minimum specs I wanted. My plan is get an ACD with tax refund for larger photo editing screen. The graphics card and quad core on the new MBP i5 are very fast but the weight is almost double compared to MBA ultimate (2.9 pounds vs 5.6 pounds). I can't even remember the last time I burned a DVD so optical drive is not factor. (cheap drives under $50 on amazon)

    MBA Ultimate 13" :Great for Web, MS Office, Photo Editing, Minor video editing (iMovie), 256GB SSD drive
    Benchmark Test Primate labs: 3003

    MBP 15 i5 : Everything MBA ultimate does plus Advanced Video editing for Final Cut Pro and major graphics upgrade (AMD GPU ) i5 quad core. OS on SSD
    Benchmark Test Primate labs:8804 (higher than all 2010 MBP models)

    I am happy with MBA Ultimate but I am blown away by speed of the base MBP 15" that I would consider the MBP. It is trade off between weight and speed.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. shawnjan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #2
    Is the MBP $1799 including the price of the SSD? Really it just all depends, what do you really need your computer for? If you have applications which warrant those benchmarks, then by all means go for the one with the better score. But if those scores aren't that important to you, then you should also consider portability, it might not seem like a big deal but it is. I had a MBP for about 4 years, 15", and it was heavy. When I borrowed my bosses MBA, it was like a dream come true. Plop it in your bag and off you go!

    I personally would go for the MBA with lower specs. Going from 2.13 to 1.86 is not a big jump, and the SSD can be upgraded in the future incase you decide you need more space. Although 4GB of RAM is essential.
     
  3. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #3
    do you want a portable computer or not?

    if you do a lot of photo or video editing, SB is much better than Core 2. if you want portability, there's the 13" MBP. if you don't care, why'd you buy an MBA in the first place?

    1.86 to 2.13 is a 15% difference. that's a big jump in clock speed.
     
  4. whichaone macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #4
    Me too!

    I'm trying to decide EXACTLY this too.

    The only thing I might need the extra power of the Macbook Pro for is gaming (Starcraft II etc.) If it weren't for that, I'd probably go with the Air hands down. But I'm worried about it not being able to keep up with that and a couple of other games. Or it just becoming outpaced and really underpowered really fast.

    Don't know if it's worth paying for the obscene amount of power on a Pro just for some gaming though.
     
  5. Psilocybin macrumors 6502a

    Psilocybin

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    Jan 16, 2011
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #5
    air has a better gpu for games..the 1799 mbp has intel hd 3000
     
  6. .Max. macrumors member

    .Max.

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    United Kindom
    #6
    Not the 15" tht has an ATI card.

    MBP I reckon... Its quad core =O


    Sent from my HTC Vision
     
  7. Psilocybin macrumors 6502a

    Psilocybin

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2011
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #7
    ah missed that..standard theres no ssd though keep that in mind aswell...and my air runs sc2 pretty decently
     
  8. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #8
    pretty much my exact situation. SCII is the only game I play, but I do want it to run well. I've seen MBA owners saying it runs well enough on medium settings, so I guess that'd work. It just seems crazy to pay as much for a machine with so much less power. Might do the 1.83 13" air with 4 GB of RAM for $1400...
     
  9. whichaone macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #9
    I think you're thinking of the 13-inch MBPs. I was considering one of those over the Air until I found out their graphics cards were pretty gimped for gaming.
     
  10. Psilocybin macrumors 6502a

    Psilocybin

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    Jan 16, 2011
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #10
    ya lol...my mistake
     
  11. whichaone macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #11
    What graphics settings, and is there any stuttering/lag at all?
     
  12. Psilocybin macrumors 6502a

    Psilocybin

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    Ontario, Canada
    #12
    I've ran on high with no problem yet. I haven't gotten into the game hard though
     
  13. whichaone macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #13
    OK, thanks. I appreciate the info.
     
  14. Psilocybin macrumors 6502a

    Psilocybin

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    #15
    And your reason is why? That's great to say get the mbp At least back it up with something
     
  15. kx22 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    #16
    There is NO SSD for the OS. That was a Rumor.

    The Macbook Air is faster in loading programs en saving things. For the rest the MBP is better in each way. Just buy the 15" its more bang for bucks.
     
  16. Psilocybin macrumors 6502a

    Psilocybin

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    Jan 16, 2011
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    #17
    There is no ssd for the os? :confused:
     
  17. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #18
    Its quite simple.

    If you find yourself annoyed by waiting for your Air to do your tasks then get the MBP. If you don't find yourself waiting for your computer to catch up then the MBP won't make a difference.
     
  18. Tabudrummer macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    #19
    Firstly, the 2011 15 inch has a quad core i7, at 2.0ghz. It has a radeon 6490m, and intel hd graphics 3000. (just to clear up some confusion I noticed).

    Secondly, here is my answer. If you want a notebook that feels really fast, and is incredible portable, go for the air. But if you want a laptop that really is fast, and is still portable (though not as much so), go for the macbook pro. The pro will seriously outperform the air on anything that requires cpu power, such as video editing, photoshop and so on. The air will be really fast on everyday stuff due to such things being held back mostly by HDD speed in computers.
     
  19. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    #20
    I hardly ever took my 15" off the desk. My Air goes everywhere with me and has replaced my iPad, 15; MBP, and iMac. I didn't expect it to do that it just did.
    The Air and a Verizon iPhone with tethering are all I need. i would love the power of the new high end 15" but if its sitting on my desk all the time then all the power in the world doesn't make much difference.
    I cannot go back to a slow hard drive after the SSD in the Air so I would have to buy an SSD MBP or put one in myself.
     
  20. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #21
    I think the OP needs to think long and hard about whether his desire to replace his 13 inch Ultimate MBA with a new 15 inch MBP because of its i7 chip makes sense. Except for those who frequently run apps that are extraordinarily CPU intensive, they know who they are, the MBA is the better choice, it seems to me. Despite the speed of the MBP's quad core i7 chip, it still has a mechanical hard drive. This tells me that for most apps most users run. the MBA will run them at least as fast as the MBP because of the MBA's flash storage. Better yet, the MBA is smaller and weighs little more than half as much as the 15 inch MBP. In short, my unhesitating advice to the OP is to save his money.
     
  21. halledise macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Location:
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    #22
    +1
    as soon as he sells the Air, $ drop, then to spec up the MBPro to at least same size SSD more $ drop.

    early experiences seem to say the 15" MBPro runs rather warm whereas the Air runs cool under almost all circumstances.

    that said, for 'heavy lifting' tasks it may just be there's a need for the MBPro but the $ would be the killer
     
  22. pukifloyd macrumors 6502a

    pukifloyd

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Scottsdale
    #23
    he's not required to give a reason. OP asked for a suggestion and he gave one.
    chill :)

    OP, i would also suggest that you get a MBP...its a really powerful machine and you'll learn to live with the weight.
    cheers.
     
  23. Buck987 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 16, 2010
  24. neteng101 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #25
    A large premium in the MBA is the SSD storage. Try pricing out 256GB SSD drives, they aren't cheap (even non-Apple). A 240GB OWC SSD is like $500. The 500GB 5400rpm drive in the base 15" is less than $100.
     

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