MBA vs MBP- Noticeable Differences?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by bassx, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. bassx macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2014
    #1
    So just yesterday most of the keys on my 13" mid 2010 MB Pro (2.4GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB Ram) all of a sudden stopped working. Instead of getting it fixed (which I'm guessing will cost a considerable amount of money for uppercase replacement) I'm thinking of getting a 2013 Macbook Air 11" baseline mostly cause I don't feel like spending much money right now. Just like my MBP, I'll be mainly using it for heavy browsing, Youtube, listening to music/watching movies, word processing and Photoshop (making gifs).

    Will the baseline spec model be adequate for the usage that I listed? Is the screen size comfortable enough? Also, how much difference in performance should I expect between my MBP and the 2013 MBA?
     
  2. Alphabetize macrumors 6502

    Alphabetize

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2013
    #2

    Surprisingly enough, I've owned both the 2010 MBP and the 2013 MBA! (although I have the 13-inch) The MacBook Air is a fantastic machine and will be more than enough to handle what you are wanting to do with it.

    There is a noticeable difference in performance between these two machines in certain tasks, the MacBook Air does stuff much faster (e.g. video encoding, exporting photos). The MacBook Air also has flash storage, so starting the machine up is very fast, also apps, like Photoshop open very quickly as well (I clocked in at 4 seconds for Photoshop CS6).

    The 2013 MacBook Air has been my favorite MacBook so far, and I am quite pleased with how it functions.
     
  3. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #3
    And you didnt just press the Num lock button?
     
  4. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #4
    I went from a 2008 15" MBP with the same CPU as yours (2.4ghz c2d) to a 2011 MBA and the speed difference was considerable. Almost twice as fast for CPU and way, way, way faster for anything that uses the disk. Now I have a 2013 11" MBA and it is probably another 30% faster.

    The MBA will be a big upgrade from your MBP, and you will also get an all-day battery in the deal. :)
     
  5. Dave245 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    #5
    I currently own a MacBook Pro 2011, it is a great machine that works well. I've been thinking about getting a MacBook Air when I return to univeristy after the summer holidays, mainly because of the long battery life, but I also think the Flash storage would be faster than the 2011 MBP I already own, not to mention the fact that it will probably be lighter. However I've never used a MacBook Air so I don't know.
     
  6. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    #6
    Well you have to be careful when selecting a MBA as the disk is not a standard format and changing it may prove impossible. Insufficient disk space, despite being flash-fast, is a major concern for anyone looking at an air.
     
  7. Louis Wu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto
    #7
    well, changing the flash disk is expensive, but possible. (check OWC) upgrading memory, however, is impossible so order that at the time of purchase if you need it.
     
  8. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    #8
    Oh, I thought most recent MBA had soldered SSDs. But soldered RAM is surely an inconvenience.

    Depending on what kind of work the OP expects to do on the Mac, the built-in RAM amount may be insufficient, even if he upgraded it at time of purchase.
     
  9. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #9
    OWC does not have any SSD upgrades for 2013 MBA. See this: http://blog.macsales.com/19008-performance-testing-not-all-2013-macbook-air-ssds-are-the-same

    I have the i7/8gb/512gb 11" MBA and it's truly the best Mac I've ever owned - and that goes all the way back to my 1985 512k "Fat Mac" :D

    ----------

    The OP said
    I don't see any reason why 4gb wouldn't be plenty for that. My 2011 MBA was 4gb (that was the largest available in 2011) and I was happy with it for more intense use than that (Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, VectorWorks, Photoshop). As mentioned above, I was coming from a 2.4ghz core 2 duo MBP with 4gb, just like the OP, and the MBA just ran circles around it.

    My 2013 MBA has 8gb, and I really don't see much speed difference unless I'm rendering video or looking at latency stats in Logic.
     
  10. ZombiePete macrumors 68020

    ZombiePete

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    #10
    My 2013 MBA has 4GB of RAM and it's never been an issue for me. I use it mostly for school/writing and a lot web browsing/media consumption. I do some light gaming on it too; World of Warcraft primarily. I've never regretted not opting for the 8GBs for my needs.
     
  11. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    #11
    So is the SSD soldered or not?

    Heavy browsing ? This is one task where 4GB clearly isn't enough. Unless "heavy" means at most 10 open tabs.
     
  12. randombite macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    #12
    4GB allows me to have 50+ tabs open, which many people would consider "heavy".

    The Air will just swap out to the SSD, which is many times faster than a HDD so it'll feel like the MBA has a lot more memory than it does.
     
  13. michaelsviews macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    #13
    I think you maybe mistaken, reason why I say this is I used a friends MBA w/4GB Ram, 256, I5 ran Vmware and Xcode at the same time with NO problem's at all, along with Safari, iTunes, and chat open. No fan's kicked on at all.
     
  14. bwat47 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    #14
    I can easily browse with significantly more than 10 tabs open with my 4gb mba... you are being hyperbolic.

    ----------

    And with mavericks it will usually compress memory before it has to swap out.
     
  15. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    #15
    That surely reduces the performance hit taken. I never had a daily driver with SSD included. Still, the SSD is much slower than the RAM.

    Care to share how you can achieve this kind of magic? Currently have 30 tabs open in Safari (a notorious memory hog, admittedly), iTunes, Transmission, Calibre, SpiderOak, and my 16GB are used almost completely. You underestimate the average web page RAM requirement, it seems. Currently kernel_task uses 1.1GiB, Safari 6.5GiB, and a few hundreds for the others. Fan is running fast, I keep it to a decent level with Macs Fan Control. SpiderOak takes its toll.

    That's one trick only available to Mavericks.
     
  16. michaelsviews macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    #16
    What's too share it works is all, how many programs are you running to tweak your system? And 30 tabs ? Really ? I've never had any problems with Safari being memory hog at all. Maybe its your configuration not sure. All I know is it works.
     
  17. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    #17
    No system-level tweakers. I like to keep my machine as stock as possible (though not possible with versions post-10.6 since they removed so much in the way of power user needs). Safari got this reputation as a memory hog a long time ago, as can be seen on Apple's official forums.

    Sure my configuration isn't stock, with RAM and HDD upgraded, but that's pretty much it. Of course I'd like to know why it uses so much resources, but no application or person seems to be able to do just that.
     

Share This Page