MBP vs. MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by portlandia, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. portlandia macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    #1
    Hi guys,

    So I'm finally ready to make the switch to Apple from a PC. I use my computer mainly for typing and for Photoshop. Moving to a mac, I expect the photoshop experience to be a whole lot better.

    And so my question: Which Macbook is better?

    I started off with a budget of $1100 but quickly expanded that budget to account for the goodies Apple has.

    My choices are :

    Macbook Pro 13 - i7, 8GB, 750GB HDD - $1,500
    Macbook Air 13 - i5, 4GB, 256 GB HDD - $1,500

    Naturally, I would be swooned over by the specs of the Macbook Pro, but I heard how big of an effect SSDs can have on a system. Like it would be able to turn a sluggish computer to a superfast one. Is this true? Considering a 500MB/s vs about 70MB/s write and read speeds?
    In that case: would the Macbook Air 13 outperform the Macbook Pro 13 in photoshop?

    I'm also considering the MBP15non-retina because of its 10,000 geek bench score mostly for the quad core processor ---- which also makes me consider the "quite reasonably priced" (based on the upgrades - SSD, ram, vcard) macbook pro retina.
    I know. I'm very undecided. But my budget is close to the MBA 13 and MBP 13. Help? Please! :) Thanks, in advance.
     
  2. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    #2
    I would definitely go with SSD, whether you buy a computer with one by default or install one yourself.

    If you go with the Air I would reccomend the 8GB RAM upgrade, since you can't upgrade it yourself later.

    As for how it will perform in Photoshop, I guess that depends on what you do. If you're commonly using processor-intensive filters on large files you might see benefits from CPU power. Otherwise I think RAM and SSD will make the biggest impacts.

    You probably want to compare the screens in person as well. The 13" MBP has a low-ish resolution 1280x800 display, but it's a bit higher quality (color wise) than the Air. The Air's display is 1440x900, which gives you a lot of working space on a 13" display. Also they have different amounts of glare/reflection.

    Personally I find Photoshop to be a bit cramped on the 13" MBP display.
     
  3. Greg M macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #3
    Definitely the Air 13" over the pro 13".

    I went from the Air to the retina. I loved the Air but wanted a bigger screen. I dislike the glare of the glossy screens but the Air and the retina have much less glare then the glossy MBP's. Wanted to get an anti-glare MBP but made the mistake of looking at it next to a retina. I got the retina.

    Downside to the retina is some programs look very bad on it. I had to stop using Word because it looks terrible. I switched to LibreOffice which looks great on the retina.

    If you have to use Word then you might want to save the money and go with the Air.

    ----------

    Excellent advice.
     
  4. portlandia thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 1, 2012
    #4
    Thanks for the reply, guys.

    But what if I can't upgrade to 4GB ram for the air, though?

    I'm buying it through BestBuy because of the perks, the 18-36 month installment, and the discount on it, but they don't have the customized versions. Would the Air still be a better choice than the pro, then?

    Would the SSD give me outstanding results when used in Photoshop? Or will the program just really load faster?
     
  5. Greg M macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #5
    In that case then why not get the base 13" MBP for $1200? Take the $300 saved and buy a 256gb SSD along with 16gb of ram. You can get both for less than the $300 difference.

    The ram and SSD will make the computer far more responsive then the $1500 model without these upgrades.
     
  6. portlandia thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 1, 2012
    #6
    Wow! That sounds mighty tempting! Hmmmm.... Now the question is: Do you think Apple will release a new MBP 13 by fall?

    Take these into consideration:
    1) Apple WILL release new hardware for MacPros this fall.
    2) Apple DID NOT update the MBP 13. They could have easily swapped the magsafe with magsafe 2 like they did with the MBA, but they didn't.

    Or? Are they ready to phase it out to make room for just the MBA and MBP retina?
     
  7. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #7
    Fixed it for you.
     
  8. Slivortal macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    #8
    Considering all the finagling they had to do to get all the pieces into the current RMBP, I don't see them coming out with a 13" in the near future. And if they do, due to the fact that it'll basically have to be a 15" RMBP in a 15" shell, I highly doubt you'd save much - maybe $200-$400, but I don't see the machine going for under $1800.

    EDIT: And the MacPro update isn't until 2013 - the only rumored line updates this year are an iMac update by the end of the summer, and an iPhone 5 update this fall. One source claimed an October 13" RMBP, but I don't see it without some battery life sacrifices at least.
     
  9. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    #9
    They did update the 13" MBP at WWDC. It got a new processor and USB 3. It isn't going to be discontinued this quickly.

    If they do introduce a 13" Retina MBP, it will be in addition to the non-retina model at this point.

    If you have to buy one of the stock models at Best Buy, I would agree that the base 13" is the best value since it you can upgrade it on your own. If you plan to do a lot of Photoshop work you might want an external monitor.
     
  10. portlandia thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 1, 2012
    #10
    Greg M mentioned a 16GB ram upgrade. I checked Apple's site and they said the MBP can only handle up to 8GB of ram. Is this accurate? What will happen if I do put in 16GB of ram in there?

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1270#link1
     
  11. Greg M macrumors 6502

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #11
  12. Abazigal macrumors 604

    Abazigal

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #12
    How crucial is the air's form factor to you? If portability is not that much of any issue, I too recommend the Mbp, and spending a little extra on a small ssd and extra ram, which isn't too hard to install in your laptop even if you are not technically inclined.
     
  13. portlandia thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 1, 2012
    #13
    It was one of the MBA's best selling points for me. Not to mention the increased screen real estate.

     

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