My own rMBP vs MBA delima

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by qawsed, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. qawsed macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    #1
    Similar thread to many,

    but I need advice on the i7/8GB/256 MBA vs the i5(2.4)/8GB/256 rMBP.

    I will use the computer as my main machine, but for basic enough stuff. Don't take it out much because I have my iPad for the road.

    I love the design of the air, but I love the screen of the pro.

    Would the i7 in the air offer significant performance improvements over the pro? I know it's clocked lower but can increase... I haven't seen any benchmarks yet comparing the two...

    Is retina really all that? Is it worth sacrificing the design and battery life of the air for?

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  2. AlecMyrddyn macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Location:
    Southern Maine
  3. qawsed thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    #3
    Thank you.

    Hmm, tough decision! I have both ordered and will return one when I decide. Crazy!
     
  4. terzinator macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #4
    Interesting. We were gonna get my wife (graphic designer) the 13" Haswell MBA, but I insisted we wait until the rMBP was upgraded. It looks from this that it's really kind of a toss up (assuming we'd upgrade the processor).

    Here's my question: When you say "the rMBP wins in multi-core speed," what does that mean to a user in the real world? Do you "force" apps to use multi-core? When does the computer use single- vs multi-core?
     
  5. AlecMyrddyn macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Location:
    Southern Maine
    #5
    You as a user cannot force an app to use a single core or multiple cores. It all depends on how to program was written.

    What this means as a user is that the rMBP, with the right processor, is faster when multiple threads are running at the same time. This means you can have multiple CPU intensive threads running at the same time via separate programs (watching an HD video while encoding a video in iMovie, etc.) or a single program that uses more than one thread at a time. Most modern apps will automatically take advantage of multiple cores, splitting CPU intensive tasks up across them automatically, to a point.

    http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/103866/ok-so-what-software-handles-multi-threading might help explain the difference.

    Keep in mind the difference in performance is only in the single digit percentages...

    The 1.7 i7 MBA and 2.6 i5 13" rMBP are roughly equivalent in performance. So when choosing between the MBA and 13" rMBP you should focus on the screen, battery life, RAM, SSD, form factor and cost to make your decision. Rank those attributes in terms of importance, and decide which model suits you best based on them.

    The 2.8 i7 rMBP will give a slight performance improvement over the MBA, but not a significant amount for most users.
     
  6. terzinator macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #6
    So, was the Haswell MBA a big improvement over the previous MBA? Or was that not much of an upgrade, either?
     
  7. neteng101 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #7
    Yes it was - basically the old gen HD graphics wasn't very good at all, and Iris is a nice bump up in that regard. Plus power savings means much longer battery life for the Haswell MBAs. Those were the big differentiators.
     
  8. AlecMyrddyn macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Location:
    Southern Maine
    #8
    The Haswell MBA has the new PCIe SSD, which is ~40% faster than the previous generation.

    It also has the new HD 5000 iGPU. I'm not sure how much faster that is than the HD 4000 in the previous version, but some. I've yet to find any good benchmarks comparing the HD 4000 with the 5000, Iris and Iris Pro...

    The biggest gain of the Haswell MBA was the hours of extra battery life.

    If you are only asking about processor speeds, comparing the 2012 2.0 i7 MBA with the Haswell 1.7 i7 MBA, the Haswell version is between 4 and 13% faster.

    Haswell is able to do the same amount of work (or more) as Ivy Bridge at a lower clock cycle, this is a big part of why it's more power efficient.

    ----------

    Technically, the Haswell MBA has Intel HD 5000 Graphics.

    Iris refers to the 5100 that appears in the Haswell rMBP.

    The differences aren't huge mind you...

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/6993/intel-iris-pro-5200-graphics-review-core-i74950hq-tested/2 compares them.
     

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