Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by barbz41086, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. barbz41086 macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2011
    Hey dudes

    So I'm in the market for a new MacBook.

    This has probably been covered before, but anyway.

    Does the flash memory make the MBA faster than MBP? I'm comparing the highend 13 inch varieties. The size and shape of the air is a nice feature but not mission critical and a optical drive is not important. I guess I'm fairly much sold on the air but I don't want to regret after the first weeks novelty wares off!

  2. seared.ahi macrumors regular


    Aug 5, 2012
    I got my Air today and it's amazing. My brother got a 13" MBP yesterday and I can't help but think he's a little jealous. I mean the MBP just looks so antedeluvian. I have to be careful not to make fun because that's mean, but he made his choice. Hey, I told him!!!

    Go with the Air.
  3. Wokis macrumors regular

    Jul 3, 2012
    Stockholm, Sweden
    The Air will be "faster" in some usage scenarios due to the SSD. At least it will be perceived that way since applications start up faster.

    At the same price point, the Pro doesn't offer much more when reading the tech-sheet. CPU is a little faster, and of course you got the optical drive as well as some more ports on the sides.

    But there's more to it. You can cram in 16GB RAM and it supports normal 2.5" drives meaning you can get in a fairly cheap SSD if you want one. This upgradeability is worth a lot to some.

    The deal breaker for me would be the 1280x800 resolution in the pro. I find the workspace to be too small, but what is and what isn't is this field is up to each person to decide. Though it's worse in color accuracy, the Air does weirdly enough have a higher resolution panel than the pro.

    Though Pro wasn't even on the table for me. Wanted a powerful ultraportable and that's what the Air is :)
  4. Steve121178 macrumors 601


    Apr 13, 2010
    Bedfordshire, UK
    Let's just forget that the SSD based MBA is much, much faster. The MBA has a much better screen with a higher resolution. This alone makes the MBA an infinitely better choice than the 13" MBP.
  5. Ksh macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2012
    +1 :)
  6. ixodes macrumors 601


    Jan 11, 2012
    Pacific Coast, USA
    I have current models of each. The MBA is hands down the best!

    In fact I have the full compliment of MBP's as well, and if not for the resource intense engineering work I do, I'd use my 13" MBA for everything.

    If you wish to keep it for some time, my suggestion is to buy the most highly optioned (SSD size & memory) you can afford, and enjoy!

    Cheers :)
  7. Calot macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2012

    My i7/8/256 is just out of this world.
  8. dkersten macrumors 6502a

    Nov 5, 2010
    I'll put it to you this way. I'm not even sure why there is still a 13in MBP in Apple's lineup. It only serves a very small niche market because of its size and the MBA offering at the same size. Unless a 13in rMBP comes out soon, I don't think there will be a 13in PRo in Apple's lineup for much longer.

    So to make a long story short, unless you plan on upgrading the internal components of the Pro, the Air is by far the better choice for you.
  9. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    I think Apple themselves have no idea why the 13-inch MBP is their best seller. Yes, the advantages over the MBA are clear - optical drive, ethernet, firewire, upgradable memory, upgradable hard drive and better colour. And the MBA's advantages - way faster for anything people actually use a 13-inch MBP for, much easier to carry and looks way cooler.

    It's just as clear that most people buying one (not talking about the folks here) will NEVER take advantage of any of those advantages. They're never going to do a single upgrade and they're going to use it exclusively for tasks the MBA would perform much better. They don't even know what firewire is, let alone use it and they don't know why anyone would ever use ethernet.

    But as long as people keep buying it in droves, it makes sense for Apple to keep selling it.
  10. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    Higher resolution, Yes. Better screen? No.

    A big issue I had in going from the Air 13 to the Pro 13 is the ridiculous 1280x800 resolution of the MBP. But despite its lower res, I get much better color accuracy so, as someone who does photo work, that is a bigger benefit for me personally.

    BTW. The Crucial M4 SSD I got is slower than the MBA 2012 in write speeds but ha the same read speeds. And in terms of real world usage the difference is unnoticed. Where I do notice a benefit for my photography is replacing the super drive with a 750GB 7200 drive and the ability to upgrade it to 8GB. The MBP weighs more but returning my air saved me $500 an gave me a more versatile machine. (Oh. And the MBP is uglier. I definitely miss the sleek look of the Air and will probably get one when they go retina)
  11. barbz41086 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2011
    ok so I'm sold on the air well nearly...

    going to upgrade the ram and processor to try and it make it a 3-4 year machine.

    this puts it at about $A2100 (with apple care) which is fine. i have a budget but its flexible.

    now I'm only 400 bucks behind the rMBP (without applecare). should be be considered? it will stretch the budget, but if its going to be a better machine for the duration is it worth it?
  12. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    It makes it faster in some things, which are disk bound. The MBA is slower in graphics and CPU performance.
  13. Alameda macrumors 6502a


    Jun 22, 2012
    You can't upgrade the RAM in an Air. Don't think you can upgrade the processor, either.
  14. seared.ahi macrumors regular


    Aug 5, 2012
    I think they mean upgarde as in BTO.
  15. mototriu macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2012
    I think you should go for the RMBP.If you're already going to spend 2100 I don't see why 400 extra dollars wouldn't be worth it.The RMBP is essentially taking the SSD and sleek form factor from the air and combining it with the processor power and the power of the discrete graphics card on the MBP.Not to mention the added screen realistate and Retina screen on the RMBP.So at the end of the day the RMBP would surely last you 4+ years and it would also be future proof for a while.
  16. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    The mac pro is the only machine where you might upgrade the processor in the mac lineup. It will not make sense in any of the others, even if they are by some chance socketed. Ram can't be upgraded in an Air. If it was possible, you'd see options to 16. I don't think you'll ever see options for 32 that fit into a package this small while being compatible with this hardware generation (maybe compatible with the one next year or the year after). The drive is also an issue. Being proprietary, replacement would be costly. OWC has some, but they cost much more than 2.5" ssds.
  17. Alameda macrumors 6502a


    Jun 22, 2012
    The downside to my MBA is storage. It's a pain that I can't store all of my digital photos on it, but it's not a necessity, either.
  18. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    If portability isn't critically important, you should definitely consider an rMBP. And frankly, at 4.5 lbs, it is hard to talk about rMBP as not being easily portable. You would be getting a computer that is quite a bit more powerful, has a much better screen, and offers more screen real estate. This is coming from the guy who loves his MBA.
  19. Beanoir macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2010
    51 degrees North
    If you want outright speed the the MBP wins, it's not all about SSD and even if it was there is always the ability to upgrade a MBP with one easier and cheaper than doing it on an MBA.

    If you want future proofing then again the MBP wins hands down, it's possible to upgrade the RAM to 16GB, the hard drive (or SSD) and also the processor.

    The MBP has better connectivity also.

    The MBA is more portable, well it's lighter and thinner and the screen is a bit nicer.

    Its horses for courses as they say, neither one is better than the other (and you'll spot the fan boys on here a mile off by the way), it all depends on the application.

    I've got an MBA (my second) because I like to lug it to work everyday and it's cheap and light just like a netbook should be, but I can't do much serious video and photo editing on it but I leave that for the big screen at home.
  20. barbz41086 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2011
    Ended up getting a rMBP, thought it was the ultimate compromise. It did stretch the budget a lot but very happy with my purchase.

    Thanks for the input.
  21. Vyruss macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2012
    The Air has a higher resolution screen but it is worth it to note that it has a significantly lower color gamut of 42% aRGB (something like that according to anandtech) while the the Pro's have around upwards of 70% aRGB.

    So if you are looking into editing photos with accurate color reproduction the Air may not be for you. Otherwise the high resolution is fantastic.
  22. Titanium81 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2011
    Yes the MBPs do have a few things going for them... The screens are absolutely beautiful with the higher color gamut, but still I prefer the MBA. The screen real estate definitely allows me to be more productive.
  23. stchman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2012
    St. Louis, MO
    I'm assuming you're talking about a legacy MBP and not the Retina model.

    The MBP has a faster processor, a built in DVD burner, lots of HDD space, and upgradable RAM.

    The MBA has a super fast SSD, higher resolution display, and is thinner and lighter.

    With all this being said, I prefer the MBA over the MBP. In a side by side comparison at Best Buy the MBA was the superior machine IMO. The user can buy a SATA SSD and replace the internal spinning HDD in the MBP.
  24. bembol macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2006
    Comparing the 13". Weight/Portability & Screen Resolution was THE reason why I went with Air.

    As a basic user I don't see what Pro offers, the difference isn't that far off.

    Right now, I can't go any lower than 1440x900 when it comes to Mac/NoteBooks.
  25. iMacFarlane macrumors 65816


    Apr 5, 2012
    Adrift in a sea of possibilities
    I recently bought a 13" MBP, and can't help but think back to what computing must have been like prior to the great flood. I think Apple was based in Gomorrah, back then (lot's of free thinkers there).

    In retrospect, I probably would have gotten the Air if I knew at the counter what I know now. I never would have thought that the PRO model would have a lower screen resolution than the model BELOW it in the hierarchy.

    I don't know. I do plan to upgrade my RAM and put in an SSD soon. That'll at least bring performance up to better than the Air can achieve (slower CPU), and upgrading just isn't an option for the Air.

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