MBA or MBP w/Retina. Same Price, Can't Decide!

John Adams

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 22, 2012
180
4
Fort Worth, TX USA
I've been waiting for the new Airs, but now that they're out, some great deals can be had on the 2012 Pros w/retina because the 2013s are coming with slightly faster (0.1ghz) processors.

I priced a 13" Air with 512 SSD/8gb/1.7ghz i5 for $1849.00 and was ready ro pull the trigger.

Now here comes B&H selling the 13" Pro w/Retina/512 SSD/8gb/2.9ghz i7 for the same $1849.00.

Am I missing something or is this a no-brainer in favor of the Pro w/retina and 2.9 i7? I'm never unplugged for more than two hours so I don't care about the 12-hr battery life of the Air and the 10oz weight difference wont bother me at all.

Again, Am I missing something? Some great advantage to the Air I'm not seeing? Bothewith 8gb ram and 512 SSD. Pro with much faster processor and retina.
 

r6mile

macrumors 6502
Feb 3, 2010
437
92
London, UK
The MBA has better graphics, especially because it doesn't have to deal with a retina screen. But if you don't care about the battery life, then obviously the Air isn't for you, and at that price, the rMBP is a very good deal.
 

pickaxe

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2012
760
266
If these are your requirements, you aren't missing anything. However

1) A retina MBP 13" refresh is almost certainly right around the corner. That's why B&H are discounting it. In my opinion it's a bad idea to buy non-refurbished laptops that are a year old.

2) Current-gen 13" rMBPs have crappy GPUs.

3) I wouldn't personally get the i7 and 512 update. An i5/8GB/256 SSD is 1400$, a full 450$ less than the configuration you are going after, and it's fairly uncompromising. The i7 wouldn't get you significant performance boosts but will generate more heat. Also, the cost for the 512 upgrade is downright outrageous in my opinion, but knock yourself out.
 

sonicrobby

macrumors 68020
Apr 24, 2013
2,377
396
New Orleans
3) I wouldn't personally get the i7 and 512 update. An i5/8GB/256 SSD is 1400$, a full 450$ less than the configuration you are going after, and it's fairly uncompromising. The i7 wouldn't get you significant performance boosts but will generate more heat. Also, the cost for the 512 upgrade is downright outrageous in my opinion, but knock yourself out.
I wouldnt personally agree with this point. Ive noticed a significant performance difference between the i5 in my 13" MBP and my i7 in my 15" MBP. My iphoto library (about 16GB large) would take about a minute to fully load with the i5 (and still be a little laggy when changing albums), and only about 3 seconds to load under my i7 and seeing no lag. But indeed the i7 does get much hotter than my i5 mac.

But you are spot on with the prices, those are just outrageous for such a little improvement. But sometimes we have no choice. My itunes library alone is 280GB :[

To the OP, regarding your topic, i would personally choose the retina one (unless for some reason you do need better graphics, then go with the air). I would definitely take a quad core i7 for the same price as dual core i5 processor.


EDIT: actually, looking at the link, for some reason they list it as an i7 dual core. If this is the case, then you probably wont see a big performance difference. Now I retract what I say and think its a tossup as to which to get.

And do keep an eye on the Apple refurb stores, they may have better deals
http://store.apple.com/us/product/G0PW2LL/A/refurbished-macbook-pro-26ghz-dual-core-intel-i5-with-retina-display
 
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gt94

macrumors member
Jun 21, 2013
61
0
Benchmarks show very little difference. I think the main different is in the screen (retina for pro) and battery life (air).
 

DoctorK4

macrumors regular
Jan 31, 2011
133
1
I was looking at the same decision myself and decided upon the i7 13" MBA. Benchmark tests have the MBA outperforming the rMBP slightly, so on the infrequent occasions when I need the power, it'll be there. The other times it'll be lighter and the battery will last longer.

Because most of my use of the machine will be at home, I decided to buy an external 24" HD monitor which I'll plug the MBA into. It's not as nice as a retina display, but it's much larger than the screen on a 13" rMBP and 1080p is good enough for me.
 

cmanderson

macrumors regular
May 20, 2013
161
0
I was looking at the same decision myself and decided upon the i7 13" MBA. Benchmark tests have the MBA outperforming the rMBP slightly, so on the infrequent occasions when I need the power, it'll be there. The other times it'll be lighter and the battery will last longer.

Because most of my use of the machine will be at home, I decided to buy an external 24" HD monitor which I'll plug the MBA into. It's not as nice as a retina display, but it's much larger than the screen on a 13" rMBP and 1080p is good enough for me.
Which benchmarks and how in-depth were they?
 

John Adams

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 22, 2012
180
4
Fort Worth, TX USA
The MBA has better graphics, especially because it doesn't have to deal with a retina screen. But if you don't care about the battery life, then obviously the Air isn't for you, and at that price, the rMBP is a very good deal.
Better graphics as in a better GPU? Surely you can't compare the crispness and detail of a retina to that of an Air.
 

Stetrain

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2009
3,548
17
Air:

- Better battery life
- Better GPU (HD 5000 vs HD 4000)
- Lighter Weight
- Faster SSD

rMBP:

- Better screen
- Faster CPU

For the best of both worlds you should probably wait for the 13" rMBP refresh. It will use the new Intel 28W CPUs which have the better HD 5100 Iris GPU and should also use less power than the current CPUs, resulting in better battery life. It will also presumably have the same faster SSD that the Air just got.
 

ronton

macrumors newbie
Jun 23, 2013
20
0
Air:

- Better battery life
- Better GPU (HD 5000 vs HD 4000)
- Lighter Weight
- Faster SSD

rMBP:

- Better screen
- Faster CPU

For the best of both worlds you should probably wait for the 13" rMBP refresh. It will use the new Intel 28W CPUs which have the better HD 5100 Iris GPU and should also use less power than the current CPUs, resulting in better battery life. It will also presumably have the same faster SSD that the Air just got.
I would agree as well, if you don't care about the battery life and portability of the air, I would just wait for the rMBP refresh
 

John Adams

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 22, 2012
180
4
Fort Worth, TX USA
I would agree as well, if you don't care about the battery life and portability of the air, I would just wait for the rMBP refresh
I've been using a 2010 MCP for over three years now so I don't mind being one "refresh" behind if I can save $350! Plus $150 in tax buying from out of state. That savings paid for the upgrade to 512gb SSD and the 2.9 i7. Without the CD-ROM and the HDD, it's about a pound lighter and very "airlike" anyway.
 

neiltc13

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2006
3,116
6
Do you really need the extra ram and CPU speed? All the reviews say the base model is plenty fast enough.

There is a big price difference if you stick with those as stock.