Pro vs Air as desktop replacement - webdevelopment

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by imenica, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. imenica macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2014
    Hello folks!
    I am completely new in the Apple world and i need a little advice :)
    I am a webdeveloper who has been working on Win machines my whole life (currently Win8), and altough new Win8 is pretty great, i decided i want to change and finally step in Apple world and replace my desktop PC with an Apple.Now, which Apple product, thats the question.

    I dont travel a lot, and primarily, i use my computer at work - home, so weight/size isnt the problem.Most CPU stressful thing i do is Photoshop and Dreamweaver, nothing else beside that, so i narrowed my choice to 2 devices:
    1)Macbook Pro 13" from 2012
    2)Macbook Air 13" from 2013
    From these 2, Pro seems like a better option, but then again, Air is a bit cheaper and comes with an SSD (which sure, i can get for Pro, but the price jumps), so i dont know which one to choose.

    Whatever i choose will be hooked up to 22" HD screen and will be used as a primary computer, so my biggest question is what would you guys suggest? Can the Air be used as primary device which would be turned on for at least 12-13 hours a day?
    Main reason i am asking this is overheating...

    Thank you and sorry for any mistakes, not an native english speaker :)
    Take care!
  2. shadow82x macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2012
    New Jersey
    Dreamweaver and photoshop are quite CPU heavy and even a bit graphic heavy. I'd definitely recommend the pro, it will give you the performance you need for web development. I'm going into web development too and choose the pro. Not to mention the color accuracy seems a lot better on the retina lineup.
  3. MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2014
    Depends a lot how much storage space you need and how important portability is. The 13" Pro is great but it is not particularly light. However I personally could not live with the memory (SSD) restrictions in the Air if I want to pack all my data on it. Upgrading the 13" Pro with an SSD can be easily done by yourself and will cost a fraction from getting it done by Apple (check for example prices for a Samsung Evo 840 on Amazon, Newegg, etc.)
  4. guineaphinea macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2014
    Echoing what the others have said, get the Pro...

    Be sure to get the i7 upgrade and then go aftermarket with an SSD and RAM upgrade.

    My mid-2012 13" Pro with the i7/8GB RAM can easily handle 1080p video editing in FCPX and light Motion projects so I'm sure it would handle Photoshop like a champ. Also, you have more options with the Pro in the way of ports and storage.
  5. accountforit macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2014
    He is not considering the Retina. He is looking at the 2012 model as stated.

    My question is why? Why are you not looking at the most current Retina models?
  6. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    I think you will find the 1280x800 res on the 13" pretty constraining, even with masterful use of Mission Control/Spaces.

    Definitely look at picking up an external monitor to go with it.
  7. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Between those two models, I'd get the 2013 MBA over the 2012 MBP. Better better and a nice GPU to boot.

    I know you didn't state the rMBP but that's hard to pass up, so I'd say give that one a good hard look as well :)
  8. imenica, Feb 7, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014

    imenica thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2014
    Thank you all for your answers :)

    Instead of quoting you all, a bit more informations.

    Since this is my first Macbook and i have a limited budget, plus i dont really need the retina display (95% time it will be hooked on 22" display), 2012 MBP and 2013 Air are the only options im considering.

    Pro indeed sounds a bit better option, but the SSD and price of Air makes it quite interesting.But then again, MBP can be upgraded...
    I watched a lot of review videos of 2013 Air, and it looks it would suit my needs perfectly, the only thing i am worried is, can it be a desktop replacement?

    It is awesome machine, yea, but after all, it is just a slim laptop, can it work 13 hours a day without overheating?
  9. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    It makes a good desktop replacement. And it doesnt overheat.
    The baseline models mba 2013 can be gotten here for below 800€.
    I would go down that route.
  10. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
  11. PicnicTutorials macrumors 6502a


    Dec 29, 2013
    Keep in mind you can always just get a desktop to replace the desktop (a iMac) and use Teamviewer or other remote desktop on your iPad to tote around the town. I am very happy with this setup.
  12. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    I don't really think you need a lot of power. I do think you'll need screen real estate, ie a second monitor whether you get the 13" or the Air.

    Photoshop for web stuff is not that taxing.

    Dreamweaver is not too taxing either, though I would look into Sublime Text or Adobe Edge Code which are both pretty lightweight.
  13. imenica thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2014
    That is exactly what i was thinking off :)
    Photoshop CS6 runs perfectly on 4gb, as well as Dreamweaver (altough i also use Notepad++), so that wont be the issue.Those are the most "heaviest" things that i use in daily work.
    External keyboard&mouse and 22" screen and it will work like a charm.

    But, again, i am little woried that it wont overheat since it would be turned on most of the day
  14. simon48 macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    Heat is not an issue.
  15. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Actually I don't know that Dreamweaver uses the gpu at all. Photoshop isn't gpu heavy at all. It draws via OpenGL, but anything in recent history is basically good enough, especially given that he's talking about web development. No matter how many layers go into that, you aren't dealing with the kind of resolution that could slow it down on modern hardware. These things are an unfortunate misconception that came from people misinterpreting benchmarks relative to real world use of the functions being called. I do like the 13" rmbp screen better. While I've noticed quite a few complaints, the only two I've seen looked nice. 8GB of ram is also nice if you don't like having to manage the number of applications open or overly tune photoshop's memory management settings.

    The way you describe your use of these applications, the fans shouldn't rev up constantly or very often. I don't think you'll see too much of a difference between the two in that regard. Like I mentioned prior to editing this in, I like the rmbp screen better based on the units I've viewed. For complaints look at the existing threads. The air has narrower viewing angles and a somewhat limited gamut that is definitely smaller than sRGB. It may also not be as well aligned with sRGB. The cMBP had a much colder white point.
  16. diggy33 macrumors 6502


    Aug 13, 2011
    If you use it at home, and dont travel much anyway, why not get an iMac to replace your desktop? It will definitely meet your needs. Something to consider, anyway. $1099 will get you a late 2013 21.5" iMac from Apple's refurbished section on their site
  17. michaelsviews macrumors 65816

    Sep 25, 2007
    New England
    Macbook Air 13" Maxed Out will work just fine for you.
  18. Naimfan macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2003
    I'd get the Pro as you can upgrade RAM and storage as necessary. It also seems to run cooler.
  19. michaelsviews macrumors 65816

    Sep 25, 2007
    New England
    Why would you need more than 8 Gig of ram and a 512SSD?
  20. esskay macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    Also would suggest you take a look at the ports on the MBP vs MBA to confirm which has what you need.
  21. Rodster macrumors 68040

    May 15, 2007
    Hmm, based on your criteria have you considered a Mac mini? :)
  22. imenica thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2014
    Mac Mini or iMac wouldnt be good since i am using a computer both home and at work, so it must be laptop.But, even if i wanted to get them, they cost as solid gold in my country (im getting a macbook pro/air from australia).

    Yea, but the key word is "Maxed Out", my budget is limited to about 1100 USD.

    That is why i am having such a doubt :D If i buy Air now, its 4GB may be too little for normal use in 1 year, MBP can be upgraded :\

    Yea, Pro comes with a "better" set of ports, but i basically just need 2 USB's and thunderbolt so i can hook up an external display.

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