MBA (fully upgraded) vs. MBP 15" (+ hi-res, 128 GB SSD)

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by malexander, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. malexander macrumors newbie


    Mar 4, 2011

    This is my first post, though I've been reading this site for a few years now. I'm trying to decide on my own first computer, although I'm definitely above an average user, and not new to Macs (family's first computer was iMac G3 circa Summer 2000.) In short, I'm really torn between the MBA Ultimate and MBP 15" with a 128GB SSD and glossy hi-res screen.

    I like the idea a friend gave me, which is to run the OS and apps on an SSD, and replace the optical drive with a hard drive in a bay (this is what he did with his older non-uni 15" MBP.) He thinks the MBA is pretty "lame and bourgeoisie," which I can somewhat agree with, but it's hard giving up the portability. I read about there being a new optical drive part number, and that there is a potential issue trying to replace it with an HDD, looking at the Sandy Bridge/SATA problem. I also don't want to void my warranty.

    I went to an Apple Store a week ago, and the guy reasonably recommended the 15" MBP to me. He said that it would be good since I game a little, but definitely not hardcore. Watching YouTube videos of people running high-end games on the MBA has me second guessing though.

    I made a post on the Apple Discussion forums a few days ago describing my situation in detail; so it may put things in perspective:

  2. comper macrumors regular

    Feb 27, 2011
    There's no way you are playing GTA IV on the MBA. The other games you listed included a couple of newer ones which may be playable* on the MBA.

    You also didn't specify which MBA you are looking at. I'm assuming the 13"? If so, the 15" won't seem THAT much bigger as the 13" MBA still has about as big of a footprint as the 13" MBP. However, it is much thinner and lighter, no doubt. But in terms of how it feels on a desk/in your lap it feels almost as big as the 13" MBP.

    When it comes down to it, no one can tell you what's right for you. You have already done enough research (as I can tell by your questions) to know the pros and cons of each device. I recommend trying them both out at the store. If you can't decide, buy one and use it for a week. If it works, then awesome. If not, just take it back and get the other. Only your own personal experience can determine which one is right.

    * Playable - maybe around 30fps on low settings. To me, this isn't playable, as I have my desktop to play games with any real comfort and with a high resolution/eye candy turned on. This is just my personal opinion, though.
  3. Hands Sandon macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2008
    Definitely the Air. It's nothing like having a 13" MBP on your lap and even less so like the 15" MBP. Try it and you'll see. Comfortable, quiet and cool is understating it.

    I play cod4 from the app store and it runs very well with most things set on high and native 1440 x 900 resolution.

    If you want all that weight and heat, just to save a few seconds over the course of a few years, get the 15" MBP.

    And obviously 256 GB is much better than 128 GB, especially given how fast it is.

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