RMBP, MBA, or WAIT?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by MacRunner68, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. MacRunner68 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #1
    Hey everyone this is my first post with MacRumors so go easy on me ;) !

    I've been a PC user my whole life and the past few years I've been wanting to swap over to a mac for TOO MANY reasons (DELL).

    A little about me and my uses: I love computers and technology. I'm in college and bring my laptop around campus with me all the time. I'm a business major so i frequently use Word/Excel/PowerPoint and all of that. I play computer games occasionally (Diablo III). I stream movies and videos on my laptop all the time. I don't do any video editing or anything like as of right now, but I've been debating on buying a GOPRO and making some videos with that so i want to have the possibility to in the future. I normally use my laptop for FB/Email/School/games/movies/presentations.

    I've been looking at the 13" MBA 2.0 I7/8GB/256 or 512 SSD
    15" RMBP 2.3 I7/16GB/256 SSD

    I love the size and portability of the MBA, but it doesn't have the Retina display, HDMI port, or 16GB RAM

    The Retina Display is awesome, but for the difference in price weight and size i don't know if it's worth it? Also i heard there were some issues with the display?

    The third option would be to wait for the alleged 13in RMBP

    Also on the topic of SSD's is 256 enough room? I have 3000ish songs in itunes, and 1500+ pictures that i add to every day

    I know that was a lot of jumbled info, but let me know your opinions and questions! Thanks!
     
  2. GREEN4U macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    #2
    You add 1500+ pictures everyday? You must be a professional photog.

    I rarely say this but go with the rMBP. It will be a great first Mac for you.

    The 15" PowerBook was a great first mac for me, but now I desire something lighter and more portable in a Macbook Air. You'll be very happy with the rMBP.
     
  3. Blackened Apple macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #3
    He has 1500+ photos, to which he adds some every day. Even a professional photograph I doubt would shoot 1500+ pictures everyday ;)
     
  4. charlieegan3 macrumors 68020

    charlieegan3

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    Location:
    U.K
    #4
    1500 per day would be more than one per minute when working 24hrs in a day...
     
  5. MacRunner68 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #5
    Hahaha no no no, i have around 1500+ and I'm always taking more on my Iphone and uploading to the computer, nothing professional !
     
  6. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #6
    Personally, I'd opt for neither and I'd go with a 15" non-Retina MacBook Pro because, quite frankly, while Apple is doing a good job of pushing the death of the optical drive, they're still useful to have and while externals cost half (if not a fourth) as much to replace as internal ones (out of warranty), it's convenient to have integrated. I also feel the same way about FireWire and Gigabit Ethernet, but I recognize that between those three, perhaps I'm in the minority. Same with the freedom to have a hard drive with higher capacities instead of SSDs, or replaceable RAM (albeit only half as much as you can have on the Retina MacBook Pro for whatever stupid reason). I like that I can remove the bottom plate and replace a component easily and without necessarily voiding my warranty.

    But I recognize that's just me. You didn't ask what I would do for myself, you asked what I'd do if I were you.

    I'm going to assume that all of the reasons that would make me opt for a non-retina MacBook Pro (be it 13" or 15") are not important to you. I'd say that if you're going to play any games, or even if you're JUST going to play Diablo III, occasionally or not, you should not get a MacBook Air. The mobile Intel HD 4000 will run the game, and better than any IGP Apple has ever put in their products before, but your experience will not be optimal. Diablo III is optimized for the retina display, so in addition to looking better by way of having discrete graphics, it will look that much better on the Retina MacBook Pro. If you weren't going to do gaming or if you weren't a computer person, I'd tell you to get a maxed out 13" MacBook Air (Core i7, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD) and be done with it. The low-end retina MacBook Pro would be a great value if you could customize it with more than 256GB of SSD. If you have a desktop machine and you don't need more than 256GB of storage, then go with the low-end 15" retina MacBook Pro, spec it with 16GB of RAM as you are already considering and call that a day. Otherwise, go for the higher-end model. SSDs are sadly pricey, and even more sadly, on the MacBook Airs and the 15" Retina MacBook Pros, upgrading them voids your warranty.

    As for whether or not to wait for a 13" Retina MacBook Pro, if one is released before the next refresh of the 15", it will likely be still based on Ivy Bridge and will likely not be superior in tech specs and overall muscle to the current 15" rMBP. Toward that end, given that we're still in the beginning of the MacBook Pro rev/refresh cycle, there's no reason to wait unless you think you'll specifically want a 13" Retina screen...but really, today, there isn't much of a point to that.
     
  7. GREEN4U macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    #7
    Oh ok, then I suggest the MBA. The MBA is just Apple's all-around best value for consumers.

    Even 128gb would be adequate for 3000+ songs and 1500+ photos.
     
  8. MacRunner68 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #8
    Do you guys think that an external hard drive will effectively supplement an the 256 SSD?
     
  9. mrs1986 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Location:
    Uruguay
    #9
    I dont own the air yet, but i plan on getting the base... 128Gb and an external hdd to put the not most common music and pics, and for the movies that is not need to have them in the hdd, with the supossed usb 3.0 speeds you shouldnt have any problems using it like this...
     
  10. Zarkizon macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    #10
    I think you might be happy with a 13-inch MacBook Pro and replacing the HDD with a 256 SSD and upgrading the RAM to 16 GB.

    I did this with the 13-inch mid-2012 MBP and I am very happy with its performance. I got it all for about $1400 (with an educational discount).
     
  11. MacRunner68 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #11
    Those options are not available form apple, did you go third party?
     
  12. Zarkizon macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    #12
    SSD and RAM were third party. I got them from Crucial.
     
  13. MacRunner68 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #13
    Also I WILL BE RUNNING Parallels with WIN7 for some of the office programs/possibly some games... does that influence this decision? Can the MBA effectively run Parallels and run SMOOTHLY?

    Thanks ;)
     
  14. pgiguere1 macrumors 68020

    pgiguere1

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #14
    Welcome to MacRumors!

    For your needs, a MacBook Air should suffice, maybe except for gaming.

    It all depends on the performance you expect when gaming. Some casual gamers are fine playing on Low at 20FPS while some hardcore gamers expect a constant 60FPS at the highest settings.

    The MacBook Air's gaming capabilities will often be limited by its integrated graphics (Intel HD 4000). You can find its average gaming performance here (just scroll down until you see games).

    Based on those results, you should expect around 27FPS when playing Diablo III on medium, which can be a bit laggy when there will be a lot of action going on, or play on Low with around 55FPS which should be pretty fluid at all times. I think the best setting should be a mix of Low and Medium.

    If you expect better settings in Diablo III, such as High or Ultra, you will need a laptop with a dedicated graphics card, such as the 15" MacBook Pro or 15" Retina MacBook Pro.

    As for the HDMI port, mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapters are available for the MacBook Air. However you can't get 16GB of RAM with it.

    256GB of storage should be enough for storing your music and photos. However if your library gets significantly bigger over time (twice as big), you may need more. With the price of the 512GB SSD option, it may be good to consider a USB3 drive if you don't mind external drives.

    If a 13" Retina MacBook Pro ever comes out, I personally doubt it will have dedicated graphics. It will probably still share the same integrated graphics as the MacBook Air but offer a Retina Display, a slightly faster CPU and a couple more ports while being thicker and more expensive.

    I don't think it would be possible to put a graphics card significantly better than the Intel HD 4000 in a 13" chassis as thin as the 15" rMBP's without impacting battery life significantly. Another factor to consider is the price, that would make the 13" rMBP almost as expensive as the 15" rMBP. There is a huge price gap between MBAs and the 15" rMBP if you remove the cMBPs which are expected to be discontinued soon, and something needs to fill that gap. I personally wouldn't wait for the rumored 13" rMBP if what you want is better gaming performance, the main difference will probably be the screen and CPU. However that's just my personal prediction and who knows what Apple will do.

    To sum this up, the MBA should be enough for your needs. However needs and desires are two different things and you may enjoy the luxury of the better screen and better gaming performances on the rMBP. Buy the one that fits your budget.
     
  15. Vulcan macrumors 65816

    Vulcan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #15
    How long are you planning on keeping the computer? Sure, the MBA's Intel HD 4000 will struggle through today's games, but it won't be able to keep up nearly as well as rMBP's dedicated card will.

    I had the same problem. I wanted to get a MBA because of the size, but I needed the power of a dedicated graphics card. Lucky for us, the rMBP isn't all that much bigger than the 13" MBA and actually weighs less than the 13" MBP. There might be a 13" rMBP, but I doubt that it will have quad core or a dedicaed gpu. Anyway, I ended up going with the rMBP and have no regrets.
     
  16. MacRunner68 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #16
    MBA:
    2.0GHz Intel Dual-Core Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz
    8GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
    512GB Flash Storage
    Apple USB SuperDrive
    Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
    Moshi Mini DP to HDMI Adapter with Audio Support
    $2,221.95


    RMBP:
    2.3GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz
    16GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
    256GB Flash Storage
    Apple USB SuperDrive
    Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
    $2,287

    It's narrowed down between these two... I could consider taking the MBA from 512 flash down to 256 flash for a little $ savings, but otherwise it looks like they're VERY close in price (w/o applecare).

    What do you guys think?
    Again:
    >I will be running virtual Windows 7 with parallels
    >MS Word/PPT/Excel
    >Music/Videos (Streamed/Itunes/DVD)
    >Diablo III (Not a hardcore gamer)
    >Possibly eventually minor video editing
    > Play movies on my tv through HDMI (hence external HDMI adapter for MBA)
    >I'm in college and bring my laptop around with me
    >I <3 technology ;)

    Any and all input/questions would be great!
     
  17. GBlansten macrumors regular

    GBlansten

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Location:
    Thick Ascending Limb
  18. MacRunner68 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #18
    You haven't posted an answer in either thread... Thanks for being rude :)
     

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