Waiting for 13" Pro update before deciding between Macbook Air or Pro!

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by andygabriel, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. andygabriel macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2009
    I currently own a Early 2008 WHITE Macbook 2.4ghz, 4GB Ram, 320 HDD, Graphic-GMA X3100 (Reason i want to upgrade). I'm really tempted to get the air and i'm sure it's gonna be faster than my macbook but i've decided to wait until Apple upgrades the 13" macbook pro.

    I really think buying a C2D machine in late 2010 is a bad decision. Technically my 2 year old macbook is faster than the ultimate macbook Air and even though i really like the machine i feel like it wouldn't be an upgrade.

    I'm looking at the 13 inchers coz portability is important and i'm hoping Apple will get rid of the optical drive or at least make it optional.

    I don't think the macbook air is future proof and i tend to keep my computer for >3 years.

    No offense to those who got the macbook air. I think it's an amazing machine but i think most common users tend to keep their computer for a long time and i don't think it's wise for anyone to buy 13" macbook air as a primary computer.

    If i had an imac at home then i'll def get one. But since my macbook is my sole computer, i need something that's future proof and right now neither the Macbook air nor the 13" pro is.

    Both still using tech that will be obsolete in 2 years.

    Just my 0.02
  2. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    No offense to you, but you have no idea of what my current needs for a primary computer are, or what they will be be in three years. I do, and the 13" Air more than meets them. ;)

    The Activity Monitor Dock Icon (showing CPU history) almost always looks like this. I'm nowhere near even beginning to use the C2D, much less in jeopardy of it becoming a bottleneck.

    Technically, the processor on yours is able to crunch numbers faster, but with its slow HDD, the overall speed of the new Air runs CIRCLES around your machine. So if you're encoding videos, yours may win. If you're doing day-to-day tasks, the Air wins.

    Attached Files:

  3. BENJMNS, Nov 12, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2010

    BENJMNS macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2005
    i'm pretty entertained and curious how the american auto culture that loves to focus on 0-60mph and top speed has hemorrhaged over to the land of computing.

    i read too many statements like... oh the MBP with SSD is just as fast if not faster than...

    well you can't shove in more than 4 gigs on an MBA so for upgradeability purposes the MBP...

    look brothers and sisters, please consider taking a step back and looking at the entire picture. there's a reason why a porsche boxster is a lot more fun to drive than the more powerful ford mustang.

    if outright go power (i.e. 0-60 times) is your thing, then def don't even look at the MBA. but if a combination of sustainable portability (weight/size --> HUGE), good power (MBAs have come a LONG way to improve on this front with the 2010s), and pleasing looks (Apple speaks to design lovers) is your thing, then there is no question even if an MBP can be outfitted to be outright quicker, the MBA is more than good enough in the power dept to make it an absolute #1 stunner in the market that makes the MBP sit like a ton of bricks in your briefcase/backpack.

    not one laptop will give you all that you wish for, at least not yet.

    but finally the MBA ushers in a new era of clamshell laptops that gives you a compelling combination of thinness, lightness, and prettiness without sacrificing all that much in the ability to handle a heavy workload.

    so if you're a cubicle king doing the 9 to 5 tasked with heavy computing, then why get an MBA?if your computing needs are that demanding, then by all means you can step up to the i5/i7 beasts and also get along with it the massive hit on portability relative to the MBA. if you're a travelling pro where you run thru airports cityto city or you're a researcher doing cross-continent trips or you're a drug sales rep driving from one appointment to another in your company car... the MBA is a gift from Jobs where the price tag is like... whatever just give it to me.

    for me personally, my life is too busy to wait for Godot. I get what i want now and if something better comes along then i'll go get that. work hard, play hard. tech hardware is the last thing im' waiting for.

    i, for one, am a porsche driver. i leave the fords to avis.
  4. ayres macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2010
    good decision

    i too am curious what will happen to the thirteen inch in the next round or two of updates. though, i will not be buying one. you can only assume that for just over $1000, the mbp 13 inch will get better.

    that thirteen inches sure is the sweet spot in mobile computing...
  5. NativeOSXboy macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2010
    Funny thing when people assume that individuals buy the MBA for a primary computer. Thats similar to the argument that the iPad is a laptop replacement. I view the MBA as a step up from the iPad, but not an actual primary computer replacement. I have a mac mini as my primary, when I need to encode a DVD it does fine. When I want to do some Hulu watching, or Netflix streaming to my living room LCD, my primary mini does the trick for me.

    My MBA is meant for office applications on the go, or mobile browsing. I don't believe this product is meant to replace the primary, but it sure does the trick for what I need on the go.

    I am satisfied with my purchase, and I know I payed for portable. If I wanted a primary machine that could be portable I would have chosen one of the other laptops Apple offers.
  6. andygabriel thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2009
    I totally undertand what both of you mean. I'm just wondering if the C2D is not old tech and that maybe in a year it won't be able to handle some software as efficiently as an core i processor.

    Please don't think it's an attack on anyone. I'm just worried to get a c2d machine because when i bought my macbook, it had the intel GPU GMA 3100 and a few months later apple added the Nvdia and change to unibody.

    I used my laptop for basic use and light photo editing in Aperture. and i'm not like a lot of ppl here who can upgrade their computer every 1 or 2 years. and i think core i is the future.

  7. kdoug macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2010
    Iowa City, IA USA
    Your first 2 sentences contradict each other Andy. You say the MBA IS faster than say technically it wouldn't be faster.
    Which part of the MBA will be obsolete in 2 years?
  8. Bluehinder macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2009
    Tru dat.
  9. Truffy macrumors 6502a


    May 9, 2005
    somewhere outside your window...
    Agree entirely. Next month I'll be replacing my PM G5 with a Mac Pro and my 15" PB with a 13" MBA. The MBA will be a pleasure to carry on trips compared to the PB, but hands-down the MP will do the grunt work.
  10. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    The MBA's 4GB of RAM and ultra fast flash storage have changed the game. I bought my loaded 13 inch MBA to replace my 17 inch MBP, although the MBP had 6GB of RAM. My MBA, like the MBP before it, handles running Windows 7 and a couple of Windows apps in VMware Fusion's Unity mode simultaneously with at least six OS X apps. I have been pounding the MBA hard in this configuration for two weeks and it has handled it well. That makes my loaded 13 inch MBA seem a lot like a primary computer, to me at least.

    Don't make the mistake of equating any of the new MBAs, or the old ones for that matter, with an iPad. The MBAs are full featured computers that have full size keyboards, USB and Ethernet connectivity, and run OS X. In stark contrast, the iPad has no capability to exchange data through a physical connection except via iTunes. The iPad runs iOS 4.X, the same OS that is used on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Although the iPad is good at what it does best, data consumption, it is slow and primitive at anything else. For obvious reasons, I have hardly used my iPad since I got an MBA.

    I haven't used a desktop machine regularly for 5 years and don't plan on going back to it. I still use my 17 inch MBP and its optical drive to copy CDs into iTunes but I don't use it for anything else, nor do I want to.

    On another point, those who decry Apple's decision to continue using C2D processors in 13 inch MBPs and 11 and 13 inch MBAs because the C2D is "obsolete" are showing their ignorance. Only by sticking with the C2D was Apple able to incorporate the integrated, and outstanding, NVIDIA 320M graphics processor in its smallest laptops. In the real world, this combination works far better than would one of Intel's i series chips. The i chip's license would have required Apple to use the woefully inadequate graphics processor Intel incorporated into the i series rather than the far more capable NVIDIA graphics processor. A discrete graphics processor of the sort used in the 15 and 17 inch MBP was not possible in Apple's 13 inch and smaller laptops because there wasn't enough room. The moral of this story is this: learn the facts and don't be a "spec whore."
  11. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    May 13, 2010
    What is so difficult to understand about MBA will be the future of notebooks?

    This MBA is good for next many many years to come. I would say at least 3 years and beyond.
  12. Mr. Savage macrumors regular

    Mr. Savage

    Jun 11, 2010
    Funny thing is, you are the only one I've seen who, repeatedly in thread after thread, somehow manages to work in references to cars and 0-60mph blah blah blah. And then to turn around and insinuate that it is other posters who are doing it is quite curious and entertaining indeed. I understand though; How else would you manage to squeeze in the fact that you drive a porsche into a discussion about computers?
  13. eyespii macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2008
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    "future proof" should be abolished from the computing lexicon.
  14. OSMac macrumors 65816

    Jun 14, 2010
    If Apple drops the DVD drive from the 13 Pro
    they would have a lot of space to use for a i5 / 330m config,
    and extra battery life.

    Will that happen with the January update?
  15. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    It is older tech, plain and simple.

    Apple had a choice, they could use a ULV (for the 11" MBA) or a LV (for the 13" MBA) core i3 or core i5 processor but they'd be tied to using intel's crappy integrated GPU. Clearly apple's been wanting to give users a more powerful GPU then what intel can offer. While I question the wisdom of using 2006 era technology, just so you can get a faster GPU.

    Will it last 3+ years, who knows. For many buyers it doesn't matter, they always buy the latest and greatest. For other buyers it fits their needs and it will last. The real question is will it fit your needs. From what you wrote, I'd say you'd be better served with a 15" MBP that's using a core i5 processor or wait until apple refreshes the line and hope that the core i5 makes it into the 13".

    Because of lawsuits and lack of cross licensing, you'll not see a nvidia Integrated GPU tied to a core i5 processor. Just won't happen. So apple opted for a better GPU and an OK processor, albeit prior generation
  16. Mac Composer macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2010
    There will be no January update. They wouldn't have put out the small speed bump in the i7's if a new product was coming in January.

    You'll see it happen in the spring.
  17. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    No it shouldn't. Buying technology speced out a certain wait will future proof you from buying another machine sooner. Yeah some people get a hair across their butt when they see that term, but the logic behind such a move is sound.
  18. Wicked1 macrumors 68040


    Apr 13, 2009
    New Jersey
    Personally I just looked at both he new 11" and 13" MBA's and they are extremely nice, however since I can not upgrade the drive space it puts the Ki-Bosh on it for me. I would love a new MBP especially for the battery life but my 2009 uMB 2.4 with 4GB/500GB works perfect for me, and all I need is a new battery so for $129 it will be better for me then to sell this on eBay and then start out buying another new 13 MBP.

    I think everyone has a specific need and fit for what is best for them, as for me, I like my Mini for most things, and maybe when the 256 Solid States drop in price I will buy one and then maybe my uMB will get more battery time and last longer, then I will be good to go, I am still running OSX 10.5.8 did not see the reason to go to Snow as I will not see much of an improvement.

    Just can't see dropping thousands each year on a new MBP just because it is the latest and greatest, but my personal opinion only.
  19. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    wow, these spec enthusiasts really cheat themselves out of an incredible computing experience with these beliefs don't they?

    What is "Future Proof" other than a fallacy?

    I have a Mac Pro, an 15" i7 MBP 256ssd / 8gb ram and my Air(s).

    My 13" MBA has now become my primary computer, second to that is the 11" I can hook either up to my 27" ACD as I please. My 13" flies and I haven't been able to make my 11" choke yet either.

    So while you're talking about spec's and speed and future proofing I'm enjoying the hell out of my MBA - best computer I've owned to date by far.

    Buy it, you will be glad you did.
  20. lasuther macrumors 6502a

    Feb 13, 2004
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    If you want a 13" without a optical drive, you might as well buy the Air now. The 13" MBP will have a optical drive for the next revision. Another option would be to buy a 21" iMac now and keep your white MacBook. But if you want to stay with one computer, I would go for the MBA.
  21. BENJMNS macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2005
    cuz again and again peeps are being "specced" to death so im staying consistent with my use of the car analogy. ez to relate.

    it's as if some of us live in a world where each deliverable we produce has a stopwatch attached to it. outside of lance armstrong not sure how that all plays out in the real world.

    real world users of the mba have stated again and again that it's friggin quick married to its best of breed portability in the mac laptop line-up.

    and about the porsche thing, never hurts for someone to know what you're dealing with. at a minimum it should show folks that i have great taste and we share a common bond - we like our MBA. :D makes you look good too, no? haha love it. love the ones that can't handle it.
  22. Scottsdale, Nov 12, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2010

    Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Intel's marketing department does an incredible job, as people think the only upgrade to a computer is a new CPU.

    In reality, Apple has shown the fact that where the computer will benefit the user the most is by reducing the constraints and minimizing the bottleneck. The bottleneck on today's computers is the drive controller and drive system. Apple has tackled that issue head on with the MBA showing that there's a better way and made NAND Flash standard in MBAs.

    In addition, software is another place to make up performance for users and Apple did it there to with an instant on feature. Apple is furthering software improvements with Lion. Memory is also another point, but given the current OS and needs 4GB of RAM seems to be optimal, but if anything this will be the one factor that needs updating three plus years down the road as apps use more and more RAM.

    Apple also has improved the user experience by providing a thinner more lightweight MacBook Air. Let's also discuss the displays. Other manufacturers are providing lower resolution displays, but Apple improved the 13.3" MBA to produce same desktop space as a 15.4" MBP. This is a huge upgrade to users. Apple doubled the USB ports (but here is another place where Apple could have improved the MBA by using USB 3.0 and this will cause more delays to users in future than a Core i-Super X CPU).

    Apple also added an SD card slot in the MBA again adding capabilities. Apple also made Facetime interact with Macs now too, so people can connect from any Apple device to any other Apple device (Mac & iOS 4 products). Apple also eliminated the need of an optical drive entirely from the new MBA.

    In addition to these features, Apple used a glass trackpad that makes the user interaction with the computer simpler. Also, the MBA now has 256GB of NAND Flash storage available.

    Also consider the 320m Nvidia GPU; if we believe SJ and Apple cannot fit a discrete GPU in an MBA with a Core i7 LV CPU, and the alternative is Core i7 with only Intel's NON-graphics solution of its IGP, we would have an inferior system to C2D and Nvidia 320m GPUs. The biggest factor/problem with Core i-series CPUs is Intel is playing bully and forcing Nvidia out. This is bad for consumers because Nvidia is providing 4X + the graphics performance of the Intel IGP included with Arrandale.

    We could go on and on, but the problem is when people use marketing to analyze their product buying decisions rather than facts and real world scenarios. Is a Super Core i-series CPU faster, SURE, but there are much better ways to introduce faster Macs for users and Apple did it with the latest MBA updates!
  23. BENJMNS macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2005
    You are one of those that get it. Thx for your thoughts. I'm learning a lot.
  24. Jiten, Nov 12, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2010

    Jiten macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2008
    Just get it now, enjoy and be productive. Future proofing your specs is a fight you will always loose. You want a guarantee you stay updated for the future? Sell your old laptop and purchase a new one every year or so. Apple hardware retains it value anyway so the the write offs wont be as big as selling PC gear.

    This. Well said.
  25. Truffy macrumors 6502a


    May 9, 2005
    somewhere outside your window...
    In that respect you're right. But 'future proof' means different things to different people. In part it reflects changes in technology, even Apple policy, that we have no foresight of.

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