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Thinking of "sidegrading" my MacBook Pro 16" and getting an M1 Air

jafico1

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 7, 2018
93
30
Maine
Hey everyone,

Like most Apple users, I have been seriously impressed with the M1 MacBook Pros, especially after getting the chance to try my brother's MacBook Air M1. Right now, I own a MacBook Pro 16" with 5500M/16GB RAM/1TB SSD/i9, and while it's been a great machine, it's starting to feel quite laggy when using Big Sur, and the main issue with the i9 is that it can run extremely hot. I've also built a Ryzen desktop recently to complement my Mac (and because Mac gaming sucks), and so I can potentially use that for any "heavier" tasks, though I don't do particularly heavy tasks on the MacBook Pro anyway (mostly productivity with some light software development; anything that a CS major at college does)

Right now, I'm thinking of getting the MacBook Air to replace the Pro - I can sell the Pro and make some money to boot! Apart from screen size and a hit in graphics performance (which I can use the desktop for anyway), are there any other downsides? Part of me just feels that M1 would be a far smoother experience than the Intel Mac, which would complement the desktop a lot better. Does anyone have any thoughts? 🤔
 

jafico1

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 7, 2018
93
30
Maine
I think you're getting caught up in the hype... that is, unless you truly have no legitimate need for the 16".

Laggy with Big Sur? Did that start after the M1 based benchmarks started being published?
Nope, that's from actual experience with both machines. I literally reinstalled my machine with a clean copy of macOS yesterday because I was having some issues and wanted to start fresh, so apart from the files from my TM backup, it's a clean install. After trying my brother's machine side by side with my Pro for a couple of hours, the Air generally feels quicker: animations are quicker, apps are quicker to launch, and it's faster in benchmarks to boot. Therefore, it feels empirically faster than the Pro as well as through many benchmarks too, as well as running cooler. I've also got a desktop with a Ryzen 7 3700X and GTX 1660 Super now if I wish to do any heavy lifting.
 
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G5isAlive

macrumors 65816
Aug 28, 2003
1,097
1,654
Hey everyone,

Like most Apple users, I have been seriously impressed with the M1 MacBook Pros, especially after getting the chance to try my brother's MacBook Air M1. Right now, I own a MacBook Pro 16" with 5500M/16GB RAM/1TB SSD/i9, and while it's been a great machine, it's starting to feel quite laggy when using Big Sur, and the main issue with the i9 is that it can run extremely hot. I've also built a Ryzen desktop recently to complement my Mac (and because Mac gaming sucks), and so I can potentially use that for any "heavier" tasks, though I don't do particularly heavy tasks on the MacBook Pro anyway (mostly productivity with some light software development; anything that a CS major at college does)

Right now, I'm thinking of getting the MacBook Air to replace the Pro - I can sell the Pro and make some money to boot! Apart from screen size and a hit in graphics performance (which I can use the desktop for anyway), are there any other downsides? Part of me just feels that M1 would be a far smoother experience than the Intel Mac, which would complement the desktop a lot better. Does anyone have any thoughts? 🤔

I own both. The base model M1 MacBook Air and an i9 MacBook Pro 16”. I swapped my M1 at work to use as my daily driver on Thursday and it is undeniably snappier at some things, the general UI just seems quicker. No fans is a plus. I do miss having 4 ports and I tend to use 2 external monitors and right now 1 is okay, but will i eventually miss my 2? Probably. But in general i dont really feel a difference between the two, which when you think about it is pretty amazing giving the cost difference. What i KNOW I will miss is the larger SSD with my 16” pro.

Would I ditch my 16 for the M1? I would rather have both. Shrugs. At only $999 why not. If i really really really had to chose only 1... give one back.. i would probably stick with the 16 pro. There are just too many long term unknowns right now with the M1. The 16 pro seems sturdier, the keyboard in particular.
 
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pmiles

macrumors regular
Dec 12, 2013
183
65
I own both. The base model M1 MacBook Air and an i9 MacBook Pro 16”. I swapped my M1 at work to use as my daily driver on Thursday and it is undeniably snappier at some things, the general UI just seems quicker. No fans is a plus. I do miss having 4 ports and I tend to use 2 external monitors and right now 1 is okay, but will i eventually miss my 2? Probably. But in general i dont really feel a difference between the two, which when you think about it is pretty amazing giving the cost difference. What i KNOW I will miss is the larger SSD with my 16” pro.

Would I ditch my 16 for the M1? I would rather have both. Shrugs. At only $999 why not. If i really really really had to chose only 1... give one back.. i would probably stick with the 16 pro. There are just too many long term unknowns right now with the M1. The 16 pro seems sturdier, the keyboard in particular.
I just wanted to say, that was an awesome answer. It's not making the M1 out to be the second coming but a rather informative real world comparison. We need more real world comparisons and fewer bench marks IMHO.
 
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tonyr6

macrumors 65816
Oct 13, 2011
1,472
471
Brooklyn NY
I am thinking about the same thing. What worries me is that I am use to 16" 2048 resolution but going to the Air at 13" which is a bit bigger than 13" 1680 might be too tight. I will welcome no fans and lighter macbook.
 
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jafico1

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 7, 2018
93
30
Maine
I own both. The base model M1 MacBook Air and an i9 MacBook Pro 16”. I swapped my M1 at work to use as my daily driver on Thursday and it is undeniably snappier at some things, the general UI just seems quicker. No fans is a plus. I do miss having 4 ports and I tend to use 2 external monitors and right now 1 is okay, but will i eventually miss my 2? Probably. But in general i dont really feel a difference between the two, which when you think about it is pretty amazing giving the cost difference. What i KNOW I will miss is the larger SSD with my 16” pro.

Would I ditch my 16 for the M1? I would rather have both. Shrugs. At only $999 why not. If i really really really had to chose only 1... give one back.. i would probably stick with the 16 pro. There are just too many long term unknowns right now with the M1. The 16 pro seems sturdier, the keyboard in particular.
Yeah, I see where you're coming from definitely. Though, to be honest, in my use case, I don't really see the need for the MBP16 any more: I have my desktop (it is Windows but it's a lot faster than the MBP) to do heavy lifting and act as the more "proven" system.
 
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psingh01

macrumors 68000
Apr 19, 2004
1,519
543
Starting to feel laggy after one year? Come on :D

16” -> M1 is a downgrade! At least wait for them to replace the 16” with an arm version. Realistically you should be good for another 4 years at Least with what you have...
 
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