rMBP 13" or MBA 13"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by AdrainSingapore, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. AdrainSingapore, Dec 4, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012

    AdrainSingapore macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2012
    I have been deciding on these 2 laptops and can't decide on which to buy. I do not care about much about how light it is as I could easily carry the rMBP around with a sleeve. I do not do any intensive things on the MacBook. I browse the web A LOT, stream hd movies (720p and 1080p). What I consider are the displays and efficiency in gaming. Lets say we run minecraft on both computers on on render distance far and fancy graphics off on single player, which will have more fps? I actually want to consider the rMBP cause of the shape, I don't seem to like the wedge shape that much.
    What I consider are the screen, noise of the fans, efficiency in gaming. But I don't plan to use it as a primary gaming machine, just some casual fps games. So here are the 2 laptops configured if I want to buy either one of them. I am still deciding whether to get the i5 or i7 on the MBA. I don't mind paying extra for the screen quality and performance but I would also like to keep my spendings minimum. Here are the 3 configured MacBooks that I am deciding to buy.(Prices have been converted from SGD to USD)
    MacBook Air 13 inch 2.0 GHz i7 8GB RAM 256 GB flash USD$1945
    MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2.9 GHz i7 8GB 128GB flash USD$2190
    What is making me confused between the two is performance and price. Will there be any noticeable speed increase? I have seen the benchmarks but I don't trust them. I have went to an apple store and taken a look at the displays, both look super sharp because im coming from a super low res notebook. I really need a Mac urgently and I'm a first time Mac buyer coming from a pc. If I get either one of the MacBooks I am planning to trade it in for the 2013 haswell MacBook Pro retina if I see a noticeable increased in performance compared to the 2012 retina MacBook Pro.
  2. CirrusPilot macrumors member

    Nov 30, 2012
    MBA sounds like the way to go if you want to save money. I played COD Black Ops on my late 2010 perfectly fine. It also handles Civ 4 with no problems.

    If money is an issue, don't even consider the rMBP. I want one really bad, but it is hard to justify that "early adopter tax" Apple puts on its gadgets. In a couple of years the price will fall. Right now it is so new they can get away with charging that much, but is it really worth the difference in price?

    And 128GB is way to small for most people unless you are using the laptop as a netbook or something.

    Also, don't the programs/games have to be designed to take advantage of the retina's high resolution? That may be something to look at for the programs you plan on running.
  3. crowbar77 macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2012
    Both of them use the same integrated graphics, so they will be pretty horrible at any recent games. It's hard to say without knowing what specific games you plan on playing though. You will have a slight advantage with the retina as it has a faster processor and seems to do better with dispersing heat.

    As for the display if thats a big decided factor for you, there really is no comparison. You won't be able to go back after a couple days of use. Storage shouldn't be an issue unless you plan on dual booting, than it may get tight.

    Honestly this haswell buisness happens every year, Intel promises big and you maybe see a 10% increase in actual performance. There is a very good chance you won't see the need to upgrade.
  4. AdrainSingapore thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2012
    I play minecraft. And might buy other games when I save up, so I am actually "game-proofing" my computer as much as possible. Might consider borderlands, battle field, cod. And I play minecraft very often.
  5. InlawBiker macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2007
    Well bro I don't know how else to say this, but you're buying a $1200 laptop to play Minecraft, then upgrading in a year to see pretty much no improvement. There is no difference, any of the newer Macs will play games and surf the web like a champ. I fail to see the problem here.
  6. AdrainSingapore thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2012
    Lol I'm buying the rMBP for web browsing, streaming hd videos, medium amount gaming, some word documents and presentations. And for those 2 it is a USD$245 (converted) difference in my country. And the configured 13" Macbook Air is more expensive then the BTO 13" non-Retina Macbook pro with 128GB of SSD so I have edited the thread.
  7. AdrainSingapore thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2012
    I have since decided that I do not need the portability of the MacBook Air since I'm paying more for less. Now I'm down with these 2 MacBook pros.
    MacBook Pro retina 13 inch 2.9 GHz 8GB RAM
    MacBook Pro non-retina 13 inch base higher end mode, buy the separate SSD and ram upgrades to same as the retina MacBook Pro.
    MacBook Pro non-retina 13 inch 128 GB SSD and 8GB RAM BTO from apple store
    Which do you think is ideal for me, I don't need those ports and I am ready to spend my money on the retina MacBook Pro. I have no experience in changing computer parts. Or might I just be better off buying the retina MacBook Pro 2.9 GHz 8GB RAM 128 GB flash storage. Don't worry, I can manage my storage very well and 128 GB is more than enough.
  8. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

    Nov 3, 2009
    It's a $200 difference for the screen. Well worth it.
    You get 8 GB of ram out of the box too with a rMBP.
    You can get it with a 256GB SSD but that ups the price so much you might as well get the 15 inch.
    Apps and games run just fine depending on what resolution you set them at.


    The non retina 13" screen is pretty low res. By the time you up it to 8 GB ram and ssd you might as well get the rMBP.

  9. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

    Nov 3, 2009
    This. Everything else looks like crap after a retina display just like on the iPhone and iPad.
  10. AdrainSingapore thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2012
    Erm I currently own the iphone 5 and I have been using my htc wildfire s (old low resolution phone) as an international phone and the low resolution didnt seem to bother me that mich but of course i would like the retina display.
  11. crowbar77 macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2012
    For me anyway the difference is much more pronounced on the larger screen. Use it for a week, than try going back to an older display you'll see what i mean.
  12. AdrainSingapore thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2012
    I'm still trying to sort out time to go to an apple store to ask whether they have the configured options. If it doesn't I'm gonna buy the higher end non-retina MacBook Pro and upgrade it to SSD 250 GB.
  13. AdrainSingapore thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2012
    Oh ya and should I go i5 or i7 on the MacBook pros? I heard that they have heating issues and tend to overheat.
  14. fskywalker macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2009
    Would suggest you the retina over the regular MBP, well worth for the better screen
  15. AdrainSingapore thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2012
    Should I go with 2.5 GHz i5 or i7 on the rMBP 13"? How does it help the system and how doesn't it? Do you think the i7 will heat up significantly easier. I forgot to mention, I might be running windows through boot camp. The primary question is whether the i5 is enough for the rMBP 13"?
  16. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    The i5 is fine. If you're going to spend money on an upgrade, i5 model either the 256GB SSD is ok.
  17. AdrainSingapore thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2012
    Now I have decided to either get the higher end base rMBP or the i7 8GB RAM 13" MBA... Still confused
  18. AdrainSingapore thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2012
    So yup I have been looking at these 2 for a long time.

    Oh yes, forgot to add. When will the next generation MacBooks come out? If it is march I can wait till they come out but if not I'm going straight to buy either one of these.
  19. 0x000000 macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2011
    I suppose it's more like autumn 2013?

    I doubt that? I had the 2010 MBA and it wasn't even able to play Diablo 3 properly. I had like 15fps with low everything and frequently it got so choppy I almost had to throw up (literally). Also the mac got insanely loud and hot. Even SC2 was only bearable if you set it up to look like a Nintendo 64 game. I'm exaggerating, but only a bit.

    I currently have the 13" rMBP and would not (!) recommend it for gaming. It is very very very quiet in every day use and does most things perfectly fine. A real workhorse with a great display.

    Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 are well playable, but not beautiful, as you have to turn all the things off that make the games look great. I haven't tested in bootcamp yet, but even a 400$ PC should be able to outperform the 13" rMBP by far.

    Whether the display is worth the money... I don't know. It is great, a real blast, a game changer maybe. But it's also expensive and the retina display sucks away so much performance, that a 13" MBA might actually perform better (though only slightly) in every day use.

    I don't regret my decision and would always do the same again (because I had the MBA before and needed a "change"), but the difference between the MBA and the rMBP is marginal.
  20. AdrainSingapore thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2012
    What I want to know now is since they have the same graphics card, does that mean the performance in gaming is almost the same? Or does the retina resolution make the retina pro slower?
  21. Essenar macrumors 6502a

    Oct 24, 2008
    Dude don't get the Air.

    I have a 13" MBP with the Core i5. I upgraded my ram to 8GB 1333 and I have an SSD primary hard drive. This thing is fast and it cost me less than $1300 total (student discount plus buying ram/hard drive from Newegg/Amazon).

    The games I play:
    Borderlands 2 (Medium settings, no lag, over 40 FPS, sometimes I can set high settings)
    AION Online (Medium settings, no lag, over 40 FPS)
    League of Legends (iLoL, medium settings, no lag, over 40 FPS 3x3 or 5x5)
    Heroes of Newerth (again medium settings, no lag over 40 FPS)
    Fallout New Vegas (Medium-High settings, no lag over 40 FPS)

    But the MacBook Air has the low voltage Core i7. Sure it's 'slightly' bulkier, but it's still a very light machine, very powerful and if you remove the optical drive (don't really need it) then you'll have a very light machine. But you'll also have a much faster processor, a FireWire 800 port, potentially two hard drives.

    All three machines have the same GPU but the best one bang for buck is clearly the cMBP.
  22. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    Definitely get the 13 inch retina MacBook Pro the screen is worth the extra money.

    It's something you're staring at for hours and you'll appreciate it every second, for that reason it's worth it. The screen on the classic MacBook Pro is horrible.
  23. Ploki macrumors 68030

    Jan 21, 2008
    The only thing worth anything on the 13" retina is the screen.

    Everything else is terribly overpriced, and the computer itself is a glorified macbook air, with no real performance.

    They would have done it better if they'd just cram a retina screen on the air.

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