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macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 27, 2009
hey everyone,

This is a common topic but since everyone has a different set of circumstances and needs, I thought I'd ask.

I think I'm about to get a job as a high school teacher. I'm already on my Mid 2009 13" MBP all the time, surfing the net, downloading movies/music, playing games sometimes (CIV 5 mostly), and the poor thing is slowly dying. It's not very quick or smooth, CIV 5 is really slow and jumpy. SimCity is unplayable. The trackpad is cracked but works 100%. The battery needs replaced. But in general, for internet and DL, it still works fine.

I want to buy a new laptop since now I'll be even more glued to it for work, and my wife needs a laptop just for surfing the net, DL, some Rosetta Stone, so I'll just give her my old one.

Based on my needs and what I use my MBP for, should I opt for the MBP or MBA?
Either way, I'll get the 13". I want something snappy. I won't ever play games like Call of Duty or sports or shooter type games. I rarely even play civ or simcity, but I'll go through little 2 week spots where I'm obsessed with it sometimes and I want a machine I can play either one on with the Max settings. Even my old machine now downloads quickly, so I imagine either would be satisfactory in those regards.

I guess it comes down to is Retina really that worth it and is the MBA powerful enough to run strategy games like Civ 5 or SimCity smoothly at max settings

thanks all


macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
Elkton, Maryland
The rMBP is a beautiful and powerful machine! The Iris graphics in the rMBP are more powerful I believe than the Intel HD 5000 in the Air. I would personally take a trip to the Apple Store and decide what you want as you get to experience both!


macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
Canada, eh?
It basically boils down to weight, and a bit of cost. The 13" MacBook Pro is pretty lightweight at about 3.4 pounds, but the Air is a half-pound lighter than that, at a little under 3 pounds. The Pro is also a bit thicker (no wedge shape).

If that extra weight is a deal-breaker for you, or if you really need to save the $100 difference between the Pro and the Air, then get the Air.

But otherwise, the 13" Pro looks like so much more computer for that $100. It's faster, has an IPS display, not to mention retina resolution, has a better GPU (possibly a wash since it is driving the retina display), and comparable battery life to the Air (8-10 hours, up to 15 hours if you're really careful, according to Ars Technica).


macrumors newbie
Dec 30, 2013
i would say a used 2012 retina 13 mbp! you can find them maxed out 13" 2.5ghz i5 512ssd and 8gb ram sometimes as low as $1500... the video card is enough to run light gaming... just not as max settings.. but even with the iris graphics it cannot run max settings, you would need the 15" rmbp with dedicated video card to... so that is not really light gaming..


macrumors member
Mar 23, 2013
I'd place my bet on the air. Only because if you're teaching you want something light (even if the rmbp isn't much heavier) to carry to classes. It won't add much to the book pile etc. School teachers in my area are getting the air for these reasons. If its going to be your school machine best aim it for that purpose and game elsewhere.
You could think about getting a base 11 inch and maybe a 21.5 iMac for home...? But I'm sure that might be a bit of a far fetched suggestion if there is a budget.
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