Should I get Air or Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Syvere, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. Syvere macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2008
    I'm selling my gaming PC and all my games, but I do need a computer for web browsing, movies, music as my main computer so I have been thinking of getting either a 13" Air or 13-15" Pro. How much is the speed difference between the three variants? I have a Dell U2711 screen that has 2560x1440 resolution. How does the Intel 3000 chip handle higher resolutions?
  2. EljayWasHere macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2010
    I got the MBA 13", with the 27" Thunderbolt display.

    I am very pleased with it, two thumbs up. Way up!

    If you are also interested in gaming -- like World of Warcraft, or Diablo 3 -- I don't think this machine is very suitable for that kind of use.

    But for web browsing, streamed movies or DVD movies (with the external optical drive), running Microsoft Office, email, Xcode... fantastic!

    Music, hmmm... well it ought to work great. I use an iPod for music, so your mileage may vary.
  3. SDAVE macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2007
    Gaming PC? If you plan to game a bit, then for sure a 15" MBP (HiRes) is your best bet and your monitor is fine for it. It has a displayport so you don't have to get a mDP > Dual Link DVI adapter. Just any MiniDisplayport to DisplayPort will do.

    Remember that only the MBP 15 and up has a dedicated GPU. Also they are the fastest, CPU wise.

    Intel 3000HD is ok, but you will notice lagging when doing things at, YouTube clips, swiping with mission control, etc...basically anything that uses the GPU.

    The Air is nice, I just don't see it as a viable option until Intel makes the GPU better and/or Apple adds a discrete graphics card to it.

    Also if you get the 15", pop in an SSD yourself and the thing's a beast, honestly.
  4. GuitarG20 macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2011
    if you want to game, a MBA will not suit you very well. They are fast in everyday operations because of the solid state storage, but when it comes to gaming, the CPU will become a bottleneck instantly.
  5. Syvere thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2008
    No, I'm not trying to game. I'm getting away from gaming. If I wanted to game I wouldn't even consider Apple products.

    However MBA not being able to handle 2560x1440 is a bit worrisome.
  6. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    i suggest the mbp 15" its the most power of the 3 you listed and since you listed it you obviously already are considering it?

    I normally dont try to convice people to spend more money than they intend but if your listing it is an option than that would be my suggestion.

    Sure the 13 MBA and MBP might be powerfull enough for you needs but if your needs change in the next 6 months to a year why not have they extra power
  7. lxylxy748 macrumors member


    Nov 18, 2009
    Go and buy a Macbook Pro if you ever think about go back and play game.

    It is impossible to play any game on Air with a pleasant experience.:cool:
  8. Boe11 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 12, 2010
    Couple comments regarding your situation, and I don't want to project too much. But, I've tried the whole 'pulling a geographic' method with gaming too. if I get rid of my gaming pc and get a mac, I won't be able to game so I'll be super productive! Doesn't happen. You'll still want to game and probably just end up spending more money in the long run. If you're done with gaming, that's fine. But if you're buying a mac as a way to stop gaming, it'll probably backfire (especially when diablo 3 comes out in a couple weeks.)

    In terms of the air and 1440p, I had an air and a thunderbolt display with the same resolution. It's a cool combination, no doubt, but it's not quite there in terms of performance. Netflix was like a powerpoint. Any sort of flash was a laggy mess. If you can wait for the new airs with the 4000, you'll probably be fine.

    If you're convinced that this is the way to go, get a macbook pro (15/17). You'll have plenty of power to push that monitor and if you want to do some light gaming, you'll still be able to.

    Best of luck.
  9. iCole macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2010
  10. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    Here's how I see it: if you're planning on using the computer in a very mobile fashion and/or need to save money, the Air may be worth it. The Macbook Pro is less portable than the Air, but it's still very portable. (Why, I still remember the days when laptops were eight pounds...)

    Otherwise, get the Pro. You'll have more power, more ports, more options. My old boss had a Macbook Air that would overheat and need a cool-down rest after 30-40 minutes' worth of a videoconference, so I don't have a particularly high opinion of them for heavy usage. It may have just been her machine (and I'm sure there will be some Air users who chime in to tell us about how they run encode after encode with no problems), but I'd certainly find it believable that the Air can't cool as efficiently as the Pro.
  11. xkmxkmxlmx macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2011
    Eh don't listen to the guy that says you won't be able to stop gaming. What does that even mean? I decided a while back to stop gaming because I needed to focus on other things. I made steps to not fall back into old habits (such as you changing machines and such), and I have never looked back.

    That said, the MBA will suit you fine for what you need it for. I imagine you're going to be running HD movies to that monitor? I output to my HDTV full 1080p with no problem at all.

    I would also consider the MBP 13 (or possibly the 15 - but I think it is overkill for what you need it for). It is a nice machine. A bit cheaper for the base model and a lot of the parts are upgradeable (such as if you decide to get more ram down the line, or swap out the HDD for SSD). Plus it comes stock with 500GB HDD compared to the stock 128GB on MBA. 128 is good, 256 is better, but load up just a few HD movies and you will already be scrambling around for disc space.

    My only problem with the MBP's are that they get a bit hot. After working on my 15 for a couple of hours, my wrists would be burning and sweating. The MBA seemingly never even got warm. Especially not on the area where my hands were going to constantly touch.

    In the end, if you can, wait a couple more months. Refreshes should be announced at least for one or the other (or both) anytime now.
  12. macrominnie macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2010
    +1 what xkmxkmxlmx said. If superportability is needed, go MBA. The upgradeable option of the MBP is handy. If you can't wait, buy a low end refurb something. Even the 11" MBA will do what's listed. Then upgrade when you see the 2012 choices.
  13. abhinav7333 macrumors member

    May 5, 2012
    I would wait for ivy bridge air. There is a huge difference
  14. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    MacBook Air or Mac Pro?

    Wow, that's some jump. Super portable notebook or a heavy duty desktop supercomputer.

    Maybe consider something in the middle like a 15" MacBook Pro. You'll get reasonable portability, coupled with pretty good performance. Gaming is fine in Windows and battery life is good. My 2011 MacBook Pro is almost as good as 2009 Mac Pro. That's pretty good in two years time.

Share This Page