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xc runner

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 2, 2009
Hello everyone:

I am a full time employee but recently returned to school for forensic accounting. Currently I have a 2009 MBP, which I love, and aside from the SSD upgrade I gave last year and a few of the work tasks I use it for it has began to show it's age. Since I took several classes over the past year I got to expense quite a bit and my tax refund is looking to be significantly larger than I would have imagined so like any good American I plan to 'stimulate the economy' with some of the refund. My plan is to buy a new MacBook and give the old one to my parents who don't do anything more than browse the internet.

The most important tasks the computer will need to do are:
-Remote into my work computer using employer's software
-Excel (aka an accountant's best friend)
-Video and Photo editing
-All the other stuff like email, internet browsing, etc...

I was looking at both the 13" MBA and rMBP. I have been leaning towards the retina since I do have an iPad for all my smaller tasks. Also, could you recommend a processor for the tasks I do? It is a pain that I can't upgrade the storage, yet, but I can't imagine I will be using more than 256GBs.

Thanks in advance!


macrumors 68020
May 28, 2009
Montreal, Canada
The MBA will have a better battery life. Other than that, it's lighter, but both are light enough that I don't think it should be a significant factor.

I personally think the 13" rMBP is well worth the extra over the Air if you don't mind the slightly lower battery life. The display alone is a massive difference that's worth the price IMO, and the extra CPU/GPU power are just a sweet bonus.

I'd go for the base model CPU, which I think is fast enough for most of your needs. The only exception would be video editing, so if you do that often, go for the i7. If it's something you only do a couple times a year however, the i5 is a better value since you probably won't even put it at full load 99% of the time.

The storage actually can be upgraded later on, but upgrades are expensive so it's always better to take the right capacity right away. What can't be upgraded however is the RAM, so I don't think going with only 4GB is a good idea.

I think the Core i5/8GB RAM/256GB model is a very solid choice. Look for either the refurbished version or educational pricing to save a little.


macrumors 6502
Jan 3, 2008
Anyone have thoughts or experience on the real life difference in battery life between the rMBP13 and MBA13? For example, my cMBP13 is supposed to get around 7 hrs IIRC but never lasts that long.


macrumors G5
Jul 29, 2011
Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
I can vouch for the 13" rMBP...The screen is a joy to use and battery life is good.

I do a lot of heavy duty's music etc. so opted for the top spec"

Retina screen

You might not need the extra power, so could drop down the GPU, but the 500GB SSD is a must have In my opinion...even with it, I use a 2TB WD HDD in a CIT enclosure for use with it.

It's never missed a beat, and 11 months in I'm glad I bought it..I initially thought the 13" screen would be too small, but it isn't.


macrumors newbie
Feb 19, 2014
I'm sure you heard that many times, but belive me - Retina screen is amazing and you'll love that. I had MBA 13 (2013) and replaced it by rMBP.
Now I'm thinking what should I do with my iMac 27" (my previous conf: imac + mba). Considering to stay with rMBP + ATD. But I know how hard is to make a right decision (sometimes). Good luck!!!


macrumors newbie
Feb 18, 2014
The MBP is for $999 (student), whereas the MBA and rMBP although much, much better comes with only 128 SSD, and this is too low.

Sure the memory is SSD, but 1200$ + tax for only 128 GB and 4 GB RAM is too basic for that price, which is why the older MBP with an upgradable RAM seems an economical choice, the better bang for the buck.

The 256 Gig, 8 RAM configuration comes around 1500$ for the new ones, and this is simply too much to invest.

Aww man, decisions...


macrumors newbie
Feb 11, 2014
The Retina MBP has a full mobile processor while the MBA has an underclocked ULV processor. Depending on how intensive your video and photo editing is the Retina may be a better choice.
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