MBP 2011 + SSD or MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by aiuL, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. aiuL, Feb 24, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011

    aiuL macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2011

    I am in a dilemma here, and would really like som help from someone with knowledge.

    I am a first time buyer of Macs, and I was ready to order the new MBP. But then we were presented with the problematic Intel HD3000. Dissapointed about the low resolution. Now I am not sure anymore, and I consider going for the MBA.

    I mostly use my computer for surfing, writing, twitter,etc. And often many of these programs are running at the same time. I want it to run fast. But i play Football Manager too, so I at least need to be able to play this on my new Mac. It is an advantage if it can run som other games too, but not a necessity.

    I can't deside between the new MBP 13 basic with a 128GB SSD or a MBA with 4GB RAM. What will suit my needs best?

    Thanks for your help!
  2. EnzoAmata macrumors regular


    Dec 5, 2010
    I'm wondering how Football Manager 2011 will run on the new 13" MBP's too.
    I play it on the MBA right now and it is sluggish and the 3D engine from time to time slows down a tiny bit but still noticeable. I play FM2011 on my iMac i3 and move my save to the MBA and it's still playable like I've mentioned.

    I'm only running English League with Premier and Championship, with a medium database of the top clubs from Europe and South America.

    It's your call! I'd like to wait and see tests of FM2011 on the new 13" MBP's.
  3. gullySn0wCat macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2010
    There is NO reason to get a Macbook Air over the new MBP, unless you really need a thin, light computer. (And you sound like a man, so...:D)

    1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo / 4GB 1066 RAM / 128GB SSD / Macbook Air Superdrive / Ethernet Adapter
    = $1,507.00

    2.3GHz Sandy Bridge i5 / 4GB 1333 RAM / 128GB SSD / Ethernet and Superdrive built-in
    = $1,449.00

    Looks like you're actually saving money on a MUCH more capable computer. The C2D chip is over 5 years old now (they don't even make them anymore, lol), the i5 will literally run circles around it.

    The graphics performance is essentially the same; however, having a better processor more than makes up for that. The MBA is yesterday's technology.
  4. zub3qin macrumors 65816


    Apr 10, 2007

    But isn't the SSD faster on the MBA as it is built into the board as opposed to the modular SSD that the MBP has?
  5. amt2002 macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2008
    The difference is negligible, as I understand it.

    You'll also get the backlit keyboard with the pro!
  6. gullySn0wCat macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2010

    That's kind of like comparing an F1 car to a Ferrari. :D
  7. Chosen macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2011
    arg im on the same boat as you man i want something light and thin and also have some power just incase i need it but mostly i will be using it casually i just cant decide which to choose
  8. skidmarc macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2011
    The SSD in the MBA is not soldered into the board, it still connects similar to a memory slot.

    You can always upgrade to an aftermarket SSD in the MBP 13" after purchase for under $200 for a 128gb.

    Personally I can't speak for the integrated Intel graphics in the new MBPs but I have never liked Intel's integrated graphics (starting years back). Maybe this time it will be better.

    My suggestion is wait a little bit longer until an outlet performs a full test on the new 13" and compare that to the MBA and go from there.
  9. 1BadMac macrumors 6502


    Jan 27, 2010
    No, it isn't faster. Benchmarks I've seen make it a competitive SSD, but there are far better 2.5" aftermarket ones (Vertex 2 - non 25nm drives) that will beat it.

    It will feel as fast as any SSD, but it (the one in the Airs) isn't the best. The ones you can throw in the 13" 2011 can be better if you shell out the right $.
  10. stockscalper macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2003
    Area 51
    Wrong on both counts. Graphics is not the same. The Nvidia card blows the Intel graphics away. Do a Google and read for yourself. And no the faster GPU doesn't make up for slow sucky graphics. The best overall speed gains will be realized from the new MBP with SSD. But if you are doing something graphics intensive you might want to consider the high end previous model that had teh superior graphics card.
  11. axu539 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 31, 2010
    The SSD in the MBA is connected to the board through a SATA connection just like the MBPs. It's just a different shape, and the SSDs are smaller, but in terms of connection speed, it's the same.
  12. skcrane macrumors member

    Mar 24, 2009
    dayton, oh
    the only question I would add is do you need the extra processing power most people don't. We have two airs absolutely love them the ssd's are amazing for what I do which is not processor intensive really enjoy the air.
  13. gullySn0wCat macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2010
    256mb onboard... what are you going to use that for, playing Crysis 2? Rendering Toy Story 4? :eek:

    Sandy Bridge alone is enough reason to take a (slight) performance hit, have fun with your C2D :rolleyes:
  14. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    I got an MBA in October and it is the best Mac I have owned. As another poster noted, the MBA's NVIDIA 320M graphics processor is outstanding and provides a resolution of 1440 X 900, which is significantly superior to the decidedly inferior integrated GPUs Intel foists on its customers who buy computers equipped with its i series chips. The 13 inch MBP weighs 4.5 pounds, which is more than 50 percent heavier than the 13 inch MBA which weighs only 2.9 pounds. Don't underestimate the advantages of a sleek form factor and light weight, they are big deals, it seems to me. In short, it seems to me that the 13 inch MBA is more cost effective than the 13 inch MBP with a SSD drive.

    If you want the absolute best bang for the buck, I think the $1,199 entry level 13 inch MBP is the answer. But if you want solid state storage, then the MBA seems to me to be the way to go. Ultimately, though, only you can decide.
  15. MoodyMedStudent macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    MBA is 1.6 lbs lighter if that makes a difference for you (to me, that's pretty significant when I have to lug a 1,400 page textbook around...) Games are mostly GPU intensive so the extra processor speed probably isn't going to help all that much (of course there are exceptions, but just look at MacWorld benchmarks for CoD4: the 1.86 and 2.13 GHz MBA got the exact same framerate at max settings -- which is pretty good at 40).

    A big thing to consider is the extra screen resolution in the MBA. 1440x900 gives you ~30% more pixels on the screen which translated to that much more working area.

    Not a lot of people seem to be aware of this, but the charger for the MBA is actually smaller and lighter, at least compared to the old 2010 MBPs (I'm not exactly sure if this is the case for the new ones).

    During day to day use you're unlikely to see any difference the processor makes (except maybe the extra heat). You need to ask yourself if you need the extra processor to do the things that you do, or if you just want something with the latest chip in it. If you're only taking advantage of that processor 5% of the time is it really worth carrying the extra weight around?

    Also, the MBA is much more unique than the MBP (tons of people have the 13" pro, for good reason). So if you want to stand out from the crowd a little, go with the Air.

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