MBPro vs MBair decision

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by gr4v1ty, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. gr4v1ty macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    #1
    Hello

    This is about making a decision of which macbook I should buy

    Here's the dilemma

    Air 13' (early 2014): 8Gb RAM/ 1.4Ghz/128gb SSD used 4 mth for 900$
    Only the RAM has been upgraded

    Pro Retina 13' (late 2013) : 4Gb RAM/ 2.4Ghz/ 256gb SSD used 1 year for 1000$
    Only the SSD has been upgraded

    Which one would best suit the long-term user. Say another 3 years at least?
     
  2. geoelectric macrumors 6502

    geoelectric

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    #2
    Well, it's kind of the obvious answer, but I think disk space and the CPU will be a problem for one, and the memory will be a problem for the other.

    That said, if you're a light user, 4GB will probably be barely OK for the next 3 years. I think the Air will hit its limitations sooner. I'd go for the Pro.
     
  3. gr4v1ty thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
  4. geoelectric macrumors 6502

    geoelectric

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    #4
    Lower-end CPU, a very small SSD, and the screen will be noticeably coarse once everything moves to Retina (probably within the next year or two). They aren't awful or anything, but I think the Pro will feel more modern.

    The SSD is really the biggest issue, IMO. My first Air had a 128GB SSD. It's my tertiary computer, behind my work laptop and my iMac, and it still wasn't enough disk space to be comfortable, given that you have to leave 10-20% free for the OS to work with or performance degrades.

    OS X runs fairly well with 4GB as long as you're not doing pro work. Worst case, don't upgrade major OS versions and you'll be fine. I don't think the Air will be any better on that front.
     
  5. gr4v1ty thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    #5
    What do you mean by prowork? Light video editing with FPC would be considered that? Like family videos and trips?
     
  6. geoelectric macrumors 6502

    geoelectric

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    #6
    Though I didn't think to check battery life. 9 hours on the Pro vs. 12 on the Air. Neither is bad, but that's probably part of your decision. Also depends on how many recharge cycles they've already been through.

    ----------

    By pro work, I meant heavy lifting that you're doing every day. For that you want it to always have a lot of headroom or it's a major hassle. I think it'll probably run OK for basic family video stuff. But if it does drag a bit, and it's an occasional task, no big deal.

    I just looked at late 2013 Pros, and the 256GB SSD version comes with 8GB. You sure on that memory, or was it upgraded aftermarket? I don't think you could upgrade the 128/4 version to 256 from Apple.
     
  7. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    #7
    If you're going to be using FCPX regularly, more RAM will be a benefit. If you're able to go with a new rMBP, get one with 16gb of RAM. If not, the MBA with 8gb of RAM should handle FCPX a bit better.
     
  8. geoelectric macrumors 6502

    geoelectric

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    #8
    More info on that combo here:

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/6524105

    It does mention 4GB of RAM being a limitation--also mentions the MBA's CPU being a limitation too, though. And like I said, I don't see how you could have a Late 2013 256GB rMBP with less than 8GB short of an aftermarket SSD.
     
  9. wolfboy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    #9
  10. gr4v1ty thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    #10
    Oh this is a thing I didn't know. So the SSD is 100% after market? How would this affect MBP overall?
     
  11. geoelectric macrumors 6502

    geoelectric

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    #11
    Well -if- that's what it is, it means someone other than Apple has been mucking about inside your prospective MacBook Pro, which would drop the value way down as far as I'm concerned.

    The other options are:

    * I'm wrong, and there was a 256GB upgrade for the entry-level late 2013 4GB/2.4 version--but I don't think I am. As far as I know, they've only ever offered storage upgrades on the high-level versions.

    * It's not a late 2013. But that seems unlikely because that's the only year with a 2.4Ghz offering.

    * It's actually 8GB and you're mistaken on the RAM.

    If it's the last, I'd go for the Pro in a heartbeat. Otherwise, I'd go with the MBA or at least ask some questions as to how that 256GB drive got in there.

    Edit: looks like there was a Mac Pro SSD from OWC that was a popular hobbyist upgrade for that year of MBP. It's entirely possible that's what you have in there. It's apparently a nice drive, but my issue would be that you never know whether whoever did it put it back together right, etc.
     
  12. capathy21 macrumors 65816

    capathy21

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    #12
    I'd go with the Air but that's because I've used both and prefer the Air's battery life, lightness, cooler operation and overall speed. Sure the display isn't as good but unless you have them side by side, it's not a huge deal. I even use my IPad Air 2 as a second monitor for my MB Air and while I can tell a difference in display quality, it isn't like the Air is terrible.

    If ram is a concern then the Air with 8gb is your winner. It's easy to come up with a storage solution (external drive, flash drive, sd card etc) but if you sell yourself short on ram, you're screwed.

    That being said, 4gb of ram goes a long way on a Mac but as someone else stated, Apple didn't offer a 4/256 configuration on the rmbp so the previous owner must have swapped out the ssd for a 256. Not necessarily a bad thing but you may be leery of someone having opened up the machine.
     
  13. maflynn, Mar 14, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015

    maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #13
    I'd opt for the rMBP over the MBA for the following reasons.
    The MBP will have better performance, because of the superior (read faster) CPU, and GPU. It has a larger SSD meaning you'll be able to store more data. It has more ports and has a better screen.

    The MBA has going for it, is a better battery, that's about it (and a slightly lower price on your configuration).
     
  14. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68020

    Ulenspiegel

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2014
    Location:
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    #14
    To answer your question: I would choose the rMBP for the reasons Mike already has said.
    Apart from this, I would consider the new MBA 13" it is 999 USD.
     
  15. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #15
    It's a tight decision, but overall I have to agree with Mike and Ullenspiegel.
     
  16. gr4v1ty thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    #16
    Thanks all for your input. I have decided to go with rMBP but it seems I found myself a deal for the air at 850$. Same specs, waranty until Sept 2015. What do you guys think?

    I'm Canadian so it ls CA dollars
     
  17. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    #17
    I'd spend the extra $$ and get something like this:

    http://store.apple.com/ca/product/F...-26ghz-dual-core-intel-i5-with-retina-display

    Because you get a retina display, a faster CPU,GPU, and a full years' warranty which you can later down the track get AppleCare for.
     
  18. newellj macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
    #18
    I literally just returned an MBA that I really liked. The problem is that I really can't work with a TN panel at this point. That's a purely personal perspective and YMMV but I had a great deal on it and just couldn't get to a decision to keep it. I really tried...
     
  19. gr4v1ty thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
  20. newellj macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
  21. gr4v1ty thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    #21
    How long before a Macbook needs some repairs to be done? Thinking of a late 2012 model that has been bought in early 2013.
     
  22. newellj macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
    #22
    If it hasn't been dropped, baked or used in a dirty environment, maybe never. Batteries don't last forever, though. I think the general rule of thumb is 2 years/1000 cycles, off the top of my head. That doesn't mean that the battery will roll over and die at that point, though. I have a 2007 Dell XPS M1330 (basically, the earlier XPS 13) that is still doing pretty well on its original battery, which is 8 years old.
     
  23. gr4v1ty thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    #23
    Is there some kind of test to be done at an Apple store?
     
  24. gr4v1ty thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    #24
    MBPro vs MBair decision

    Ended up buying the mid 2014 pro base model (8gb RAM, 128gb SSD, 2.6Ghz) for 1050$. Bought in October 2014. Battery cycle is 160. Is it a good buy?
     
  25. Jeff R macrumors 6502

    Jeff R

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    #25
    This model is only $979 at Apple's Refurb Store.
     

Share This Page