Update new 13" Air to i7 or spring for Pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by VR16710, Jul 11, 2016.

  1. VR16710, Jul 11, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016

    VR16710 macrumors newbie


    Jul 11, 2016
    Oregon, USA
    I've been tossing around which Macbook configuration to get and am hoping for some advice or opinions.

    I want a 13" Mac, (this screen size seems a good compromise for me for screen space and portability), but I'm unsure which processor to get, or if a pro might be better. I'm replacing an aging iMac so it will be my go to computer. I recently retired but want to start doing some programming in the future as I really enjoyed this in school many years ago but got sidetracked with another career direction. The point here is I really have no idea what types of compilers I might start using, or languages for that matter, but I want the machine to have the capability, at least on a beginners level. I'm also considering running a 24" 4k monitor at 60 Hz.

    I know a lot of folks might disagree with me but I'm thinking a 128 SSD will probably be enough, I currently have my photos and music in the cloud and I'm thinking I could always get a jetdrive or even thumb drive or such if needed leaving the majority of the SSD pretty much available for hard work. Honestly I currently use a chromebook and actually love it for the basic tasks, such as email and web browsing so I've learned to do without much drive space.

    Anyhow, right now I see BB has a 1.6 i5, 8, 128 for $849 which seems decent to me but I worry if that processor is up to the task of driving a 4k monitor. For $1149 I could upgrade to the 2.2Hz i7, but that's an extra $300, (Unfortunately I rarely see nice prices on the upgraded processors, perhaps I'm not looking in the right places?).
    Alternatively, the rMBP with 2.7 i5, 8, 128 isn't much more at $1179. I wonder which benchmarks better, the 2.7 i5 in the pro or the 2.2 i7 in the Air?

    I really don't care to spend a lot more and if I'll be running a 24" 4k the Air's lesser display won't matter as much to me. In fact last year I bought my 7 yr old a 4GB Air and I love the form and lightness, though the Pro isn't much heavier, (Capt Obvious, ha ha).

    Add to that the threat of new Macs coming out in a few months...
    --- Post Merged, Jul 11, 2016 ---
    Well, after a bit more research, I think I answered some of my own questions. According to the buyers guide, the 2.7 i5 in the 13" rMBP benches at 6161 on Geekbench whereas the 2.2 i7 in the Air benched at 6251 meaning that the upgraded Air actually performs better, albeit not by much and also not sure how much the iris 6100 graphics adds over the 6000, at least as far as running a 4k monitor.
    Huh, at first I was thinking well then, the Air it is, but jeez, for only a $30 difference one does get the retina display and force touch trackpad, (thinking the air doesn't have the upgraded trackpad?), oh and a few extra ports as well. So now, the question might be would the base model Air with the 1.6 i5 be up to the task. At $300 less that's a significant difference and almost pays for the 4k display right there.... it's considerably slower though, benching at 5094.
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Yeah the 4K support on the air will not be nearly as good the 6100 graphics are a fairly big boost over the 6000. You may want to wait for the new ones though as the new skylake top level graphics should run 4K smooth as butter no problems at all.
  3. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Yeah, you get a lot more with the rMBP, if it's similar price. Better GPU, faster RAM, more ports, quicker Flash storage, better trackpad, better display.

    Agreed with Sam though, best to wait for the new ones to come out in September.
  4. VR16710 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jul 11, 2016
    Oregon, USA
    Yeah, the waiting is the tough part especially not knowing how new pricing will be. As it stands now, for the money I'm willing to spend, it seems the base model rMBP would be the way to go, as long as it's on sale that is.
  5. cincygolfgrrl macrumors 6502


    Apr 2, 2012
    Somewhere In Time
    Ain't retirement grand? Every day is Saturday.

    For the uses the OP has listed, an MBA, even an older one, would do the job without breaking a sweat. However the lure of "big iron" burns deep, doesn't it? If you were asking my opinion (oh, wait, you did…) I'd say if you can hold your horses wait for the next MBP. It will do everything you ask of it, and more, just like the MBA. But it will provide a pride of ownership that a mere "low-powered, entry-level, non-retina" notebook could never match.

    I'm serious about this. Why get a Toyota when you can afford a Lexus, right? There is nothing wrong with holding out for "top-of-the-line." I only ask that when you have your fancy new machine you don't come back to the MBA board to tell us what losers we are for not taking the same path you have. :)
  6. VR16710 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jul 11, 2016
    Oregon, USA
    Yep cincygolfgrrl, retirement is awesome! Definitely good points you make, it's the wait that is hard for me, along with current sale prices that are tempting. And no worries about any harassment if I do go with a pro, promise.
    I guess I will try to stick it out a few months more and see what the new pro's look like or if any updates might be in the works for the Air's. I fear they will be a bit expensive but then again, the older models will probably have even better sales around that time to clear inventory.
    One other confession is I really do like the portability of the new MB's. Except for the price, weaker processor, lack of ports ha ha. But, rumor has it the new machines (either Airs or Pros) are going to be a bit lighter so yeah, probably best to wait and give those a look.
  7. kiwipeso1 Suspended


    Sep 17, 2001
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Please don't cue Blut Haus ;)

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