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macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 3, 2009
So lots of people are asking themselves: what should I buy, the MBP or the MBA? Do I really need a more powerful MBP or the MBA is enough?

I can assure you people that the answer is REALLY simple and comes down to two questions:
1. Are you a professional? (Artist, Developer etc...)
2. Do you play video games?

If only of the first answer is "Yes" then choose any of the Macbook Pro.
If the answer to both or only the second question is "Yes", then choose at least the 15" Macbook Pro.
If the answer are both "No", then take the MBA.

The Macbook Air is almost as useful and efficient as the the 13" Macbook Pro, trust me there's no differences, for the everyday use of the vast majority of users, and you get a thinner and lighter laptop.

UNLESS you use your computer for processing intensive task with professional softwares such as Photoshop, Ableton Live or else, in which case you better have Macbook Pro with a better processor.

AND if you plan on really playing video games, and I'm not just talking about recent ones but even 3 or 4 years older games, you absolutely need a Macbook Pro that comes with the AMD Radeon, because otherwise you wont be able to play much, trust me.


macrumors 601
Oct 5, 2003
Dark Castle
The MBA is not upgradable at all. The RAM is fixed and after a couple of years you area stuck with an old OS Mac.
The real benefit of having a MBA is its lightweight portability.
I believe it is aimed for people that have enough money to get a new model every time a new one is released.


macrumors 68030
Jan 20, 2010
trust me there's no differences, for the everyday use of the vast majority of users, and you get a thinner and lighter laptop.

And one without an optical drive. If you need an optical drive, you either need to purchase a separate one or get a MBP.


macrumors 68000
Apr 29, 2011
You forgot about processor intensive apps that aren't related to so-called Professional occupations.
e.g. Moving video files around a network (try doing that without a Gigabit NIC !) and converting video formats (.iso to .mkv).

I started to do the latter on my MBA. Quoted time was going to be 5 hours - HA !
I then did it on my old i3 Win7 PC with a GbNIC - 2 hours.

Look at the Geekbench scores :
13in MBA - 5372
13in MBP - 7049
15in MBP - 9281


macrumors 68020
Feb 28, 2011
Please elaborate.

I don't think he's far off base. In a few years 4gb certainly won't be enough memory, and even with the i7 it'll be a downspec proc. Maybe 3, tops 4 iterations of an OS from release it'll be old hat, and it's clear APL intends to release a new OS on a yearly schedule

replaceable/upgradeable drive and memory on the MBP will buy it more time.


macrumors 65816
Jun 3, 2011
It's commonly known that as a computer gets older, it's specs get outdated to the point that it eventually can't keep up with the newest OS available. A computer that is upgradable can have certain parts upgraded- RAM and HDD/SSD being two examples, to make up for the lack of CPU speed. That is why, to use a computer for optimal years, then you need to get a computer with the best CPU you can safely afford, and upgradable parts.

A MBA will work great for most use cases in the present day, and will not get old quicker, for most users, who don't ever consider opening up their phones to upgrade. However, for a user who is willing to upgrade the internals of their laptop as it gets older, a MBA will get older faster because it can't be upgraded.


macrumors 601
Oct 5, 2003
Dark Castle
Please elaborate.

I mean because you are always stuck with the RAM that came with it, you are stuck with a RAM limitation, therefore the newer OS and Apps will not run very well or at all. Future proof your hardware, unless you are rich or you don't care.
A MBP can have more RAM, therefore will be able to support better future upgrades.

With limited RAM the capability of running other OS is also limited, either Virtual Machines or via Boot Camp.

A Mac is a computer, and a MBA is one that is more limited than a MBP.


macrumors newbie
Feb 28, 2012
I chose the 13" MBP over a MBA simply because of 2 things. The Firewire port and optical drive. I'm a recording studio guy and simply need firewire for my converter. And yeh burning a CD now and then is very handy. So I disagree with your conclusion...


macrumors 68020
Jul 9, 2009
yeah, because the only differences between an Air and a Pro have to do with graphics... :rolleyes:

Forget the ethernet, firewire, ODD, user replaceable RAM, larger capacity HDD that can be replaced by the user, option for larger screens, anti-glare, etc....

Yeah, your ONLY deciding factors should be your "pro" status and whether or not you game.. :rolleyes:
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