Should I get rid of my MBP for a MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by AmericanDreamer, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. AmericanDreamer macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2011
    Greetings everyone,

    I have a question that I am sure that a lot people have asked themselves lately.

    I currently have a 15'' MBP i7 Quad Core processor. I primarily use the computer to run GNS3, which is a pretty CPU intensive emulation program used to emulate Cisco Routers, checking email, surfing the web, and listening to music.

    Even though my MBP is fairly new, I travel a good bit and a little computer would be awesome.

    My question is, is the 15'' MBP Quad Core i7 that much powerful than a 13'' i7MBA and will the MBA be able to handle a cpu intensive program such as GNS3?

    If so, I am going to sell my 15'' and get a 13'' MBA today!

    Thanks for any insight on this!
  2. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

    Nov 3, 2009
    The 2011 MBA is as fast or faster than any 2010 MBP made. Dual core plus hyperthreading which is much more efficient than it used to be. My guess is you would be fine as I have no issues converting video using apps that use a lot of processor and are designed to take advantage of multiple processors or cores. But since you have a specific use, somewhat niche app I would find a way to run it on a MBA to see for yourself. Or ask the manufacturer.
  3. 2IS macrumors 68030

    Jan 9, 2011
    People have been running cisco (IOS) emulation software for years with processors much less powerful than what's in the MBA. I think you'll be fine. Besides, you have what? A 2 week return window to test it out and see if it's adequate? Get the MBA but don't get rid of the MBP just yet and see if it meets your needs.
  4. phyzics101 macrumors regular


    Jul 13, 2009
    I just did they same thing on Monday and I don't notice a difference. I got the i7 13" 256GB
  5. Fernandez21 macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2010
    yes, your quad core i7 with graphics chip is much more powerful than the dual core i7 with integrated graphics found in the air. Whether that will affect your usage however is unknown. Try to see if you can load it up on an air and see how it performs.
  6. Mlrollin91 macrumors G5


    Nov 20, 2008
    Ventura County
    I got rid of my 2009 MBP 13" for a 2011 MBA 13" and so happy that I did. This machine is a night and day difference. I can't believe how much faster this computer really is.
  7. Maschil macrumors 6502a


    Jun 19, 2011
    Isn't this mainly because of the processor.
  8. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    That and probably the SSD vs. the older hard drive...
  9. 2IS macrumors 68030

    Jan 9, 2011
    Yep, a computer with a faster CPU and a much faster storage solution is going to be faster... Go figure.
  10. xkmxkmxlmx macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2011
    I would say yes, but those two inches can make a big difference.

    I love my 13", but as an only computer, you will be wishing for a larger screen for certain tasks.
  11. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    The quad is much more powerful. These things have been spec'd a million times. Just google.
  12. supercharge, Aug 19, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011

    supercharge macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2011
    Maybe this will help

    I was in the opposite boat, perhaps my experience could help you.

    I bought an MBA almost exactly a week ago. I got the 13" with the 128GB SSD.

    I have to say, I really do love it. I like the size, I like the weight, it doesn't have a DVD drive, but so what, I bought a Superdrive incase I need one. It comes with the HD Anti-glare screen, less ports, but it's portability makes up for it. It's my first Apple non-handheld.

    Unfortunately, I'm returning it and getting the 15" (quadcore) MBP, strictly for the updated proc, and the discreet graphics. Intel's HD3000 graphics is good, but it's also coupled with the proc, which will cause it to further degrade over time. Not to mention, the MBA runs hot when doing anything compute intensive, which besides viewing some YouTube videos, I haven't really. The heat is why they can't use the higher clock procs. I plan on writing some apps and maybe plugging my guitar into, so I don't expect the MBA would be used for that.

    On the other hand, if I weren't doing that, and I traveled a lot, I would much rather the MBA. I go to some software conferences, where you need laptops, the MBA would be perfect for those - it's even more fun doing the gestures in Lion.

    Though, if you don't do that and switch to the MBP, as I am, you have to at least get the quad core 15"+. This will help ensure that you will be able to keep up with updates, at least a couple years from now, which is a concern with the MBA (it's great now, but do you want to dish out $1.5k every 2 years).
    Also, you will want to get an SSD to plug in to the Pro. I recommend as they have a decent SATA3 (6Gbps) SSD called the Mercury Electra, which is a cheaper version of the Mercury EXTREME, still it's well worth its value (probably the best performance per GB/$).

    Anyhow, the MBP is more expensive, but if you're doing a lot of compute intensive stuff, it'll probably be worth it. If not, and youre doing travelling, or just want to be more comfortable laying on the couch and typing (my case), then get the MBA.

    hope this helps,

    one other important note: Apple says the MBA can only take 4GB(2x2GB) and the MBP can only take 8GB(2x4GB); OWC, though, claims the MBA can take up to 8GB(2x4GB) and the MBP can take 16GB(2x8GB). This might be something to think about, since compute intensive tasks may also demand lots of additional memory.
  13. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    To the OP, since a lot of us here were already users of previous MacBook Airs, we came from Core 2 Duos and thus the Sandy Bridge i5/i7, even in dual core form, were significant boosts, and we might not be in the best position to advise you. To me, the best way is for you to purchase one before you sell your MacBook Pro, try running it as your sole computer for a week or so, and then if you like it, keep it and sell the Pro, and if not, return the Air before the 14 days runs out.
  14. njsa04playa macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2010
    new joisey
    i agree with you
  15. xraydoc macrumors 604


    Oct 9, 2005
    The MacBook Airs all have glossy screens, but less glossy than the MacBook Pro's as it's missing the second pane of glass over its bezel.

    Degrade over time?? No, it won't. The HD 3000 is no barn-burner, but it won't slow down as it ages. Nor will a discrete chip.

    The MacBook Air's memory is non-user upgradable. 2GB or 4GB are the options on the 11". 4GB comes on the 13". There are no RAM upgrades possible beyond the point of purchase. Period. OWC does not sell RAM upgrades for the MacBook Air. They do sell SSD upgrades for the MacBook Air. Perhaps you are confused.
  16. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
  17. Dairyman macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2008
    you will be surprised how powerful the 11" MBA is i absolutely love mine i sold my 15" MBP with an intel x25 drive

    yes it isn't AS fast but close you will find yourself "grabbing" your machine when you would have not thought about bringing your 15"+ MBP

    just get the ultimate since you will be doing CPU intensive tasks obviously
  18. supercharge macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2011
    You are misinformed, at that point in time all Airs come with the more expensive HD screen, which is not glossy. This is on Apple's website and verified in person

    Again, you are misinformed as it seems you do not understand how electronics/hardware degrade over time. There are metals in the circuitry, which go bad as they get hot (and as electricity flows through). This is a fact. All devices will deteriorate over time, the amount of time is dependent on quality of build (breadth and type of material) and wear. This is true for hair dryers, but even more true for computer components.

    The Intel HD3000 is integrated onto the Intel processor, which localizes a lot of heat in one small area (heat is very bad in computers). Again, all chips will deteriorate over time. This is true for processors as well for memory (long term and short term). What manufacturers do is over-provision the transistors (registers) and silicon, so that as it goes bad you won't see the errors they generate. Instead, it'll borrow from the spare area, but over time those will go bad as well. If you use your device for 5-10 years you will definitely notice a difference and if you did any forensics, you would know why. This is also a partial explanation of how data gets corrupt over time, though, poor voltage regulation (spikes, troughs, and flooding) is generally more likely the reason.

    It's been a while, but you are right. The truth is it is not easily upgradable - it is upgradable though. In order to do that, you would either need to replace the logic board entirely, or de-solder and re-solder new ram (generally not easily acquired and extremely difficult to do). I believe the OWC reference was to a statement they made about the controller and its capabilities, not what they had for sale. So the slots could take up to 4GB per slot that the computer would recognize, but Apple decided not to give that option for whatever reason. Just like you can install more RAM in your desktop than what is generally rated. Again, it's been over a year since that post, so I apologize for not having the references.
  19. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2011
    Yes you should if you want portability but borrow one for 14 days to make sure it suits your needs. More than likely it should.
  20. hajime macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    What about in terms of running 3D stuff? I am also considering of switching.

Share This Page