What is faster Old Pro vs New Air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by supham, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. supham macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2010
    I'm in the market for a new rig.

    I primarily use my Macbook Pro for application (java) development professionally and photo editing as a hobby using Aperture .

    My current machine is a 2.53 Core 2 Duo with 4GB.

    Aperture is a little slow but manageable. I'm thinking about moving to a Air -- 1.8 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 with 4GB memory.

    So what is faster? the 2.53 Duo or the 1.7 i5?

    I have a 22" external monitor so screen size is not really an issue, I just like the extra portability of the the Air.
  2. Schtumple macrumors 601


    Jun 13, 2007
    The Air will be faster pure and simple, the jump from Core 2 Duo to the i series is noticeable. I had pretty much the exact same machine to you and got a replacement 2.6Ghz i7 MBP, and the speed difference is immense.

    That and the Air's SSD will also give a noticeable boost to app's loading and boot times etc.
  3. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    The Air will be significantly faster than your MBP at just about anything. The only thing your MBP might give it a run in is graphics if you have a 2.53 with a discrete graphics card - but that's not a given either.
  4. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Well on the graphics card issue, the integrated graphics and their drivers can be pretty dismal. A couple people complained about bugs with these and OS animations under Lion. I haven't personally seen these bugs so I can't comment. I can't remember if Aperture benefits from the gpu. If it does OpenGL is dismal under OSX in recent versions anyway, and OpenCL is not supported by the Air's card (not sure on the other card, but it's old enough to where I wouldn't worry too much). Either way I wouldn't worry about it. The Air is definitely a bit limited on ram, but the core2 models were as well. The SSD helps a little in that regard. The display used by the Air is not very suitable for photo editing. Some people on here have commented on the limited gamut, but I'm not sure that's the real/entire issue. LED backlighting in general is bad for color and it throws color temps off a bit. If the ultrabook form factor takes off, I imagine we'll see more development time poured into display panels suitable for ultra thin form factors.
  5. jterp7 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2011
    are you planning on working offsite at all? It'll likely necessitate an external drive at which point the 15" quad core's could be better suited with more horsepower.
  6. longofest Editor emeritus


    Jul 10, 2003
    Falls Church, VA
    Let's break down your question by machine component:

    CPU: From a raw horsepower perspective, it's a draw. The i5 is a much better chip than the Core 2 Duo, but the significantly better clock speeds of the Core 2 Duo pretty much wipe that out. That being said, if you do any kind of virtualization, the Air gets the edge due to Extended Page Table support in the i5.

    RAM: MacBook Pro. Even though both will be configured with 4GB (unless you get the base model Air, which has 2GB), the MacBook Pros are configurable to 8GB.

    HD: Air - an SSD is quicker than a HD any day.

    Video: Unknown - Unfortunately, you didn't tell us what model of MacBook Pro you have. If you have a 13", then video isn't really an issue because it already has an integrated card, so moving to another model with an integrated card isn't a big deal. But if you are moving from a 15/17" with discrete graphics down to integrated graphics, you will definitely feel it.

    Verdict: In my opinion, unless you are really dead set on getting that extra amount of portability, it doesn't seem cost-wise like there's enough benefit to the Air to justify the expense at this point.
  7. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    He has a 22" external display.

    Longofest - The i7 Air CPU is roughly 1.8 times as fast as the 2.53 C2D per Geekbench and Cinebench.
  8. Boe11 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 12, 2010
  9. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    I'm an Aperture rookie here, but Aperture on my 13" Air runs (for me) with significantly less beach balls than it did on my i7 15" MBP.

    Seems like the way Aperture puts all photo edits in separate files, and then renders them on top of the original photo (each time that you look at a photo), the extra speed that comes from the Air's solid-state drive can really make a difference.

    In that respect, I think the Air would make a better machine for using Aperture than a MBP with a traditional spinning HDD.
  10. supham thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2010
    Thanks for all the info guys.

    I'm definitely going to upgrade, our family is in need of another computer in the house. I thought I would take this opportunity to do the trickle-down-method.

    My current Pro is a 15" with NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256 MB. I travel a lot, thats why I was leaning towards the Air. I'm not too worried about exact color on the photos, it is just a hobby with 75% of the photos taken of the family then processed with auto-correct. (I don't spend much time on the snap-shots) The other 25% would be on a color corrected monitor.
  11. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    Given the graphics unit on your MBP, the Air will be an improvement. You might also consider, as others suggested, the base 13" MBP - it's expandable, particularly with RAM and HD, and those may or may not matter. If not, run with the Air.
  12. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    I know, but I have to assume if he's buying an Air, he'll be using the Air display sometimes. The point of the air design is extreme portability.
  13. motorazr macrumors 6502


    Oct 24, 2006
    The Frozen Waste...wait. Duluth, Minnesota.
    Having owned a generation newer pro than you're talking about, the Air will beat that model pro flat out. I remember looking at the benchmarks (after being very impressed with my air putting my macbook pro to shame), and the current i7 Air scored only 2 points lower than the 2.66 i7 macbook pro --- both being in the 5000s for a score, as opposed to the previous generation air with the core 2 duo scoring something in the 2800s I believe. Unfortunately I don't feel it necessary to support my point to go lookup the actual numbers.
  14. M-5 macrumors 65816


    Jan 4, 2008
    I upgraded from a 2009 13" MacBook Pro 2.53 GHz Core 2 Duo to my 2011 11" MacBook Air 1.6 GHz i5.

    From my experience, the MacBook Air is significantly faster at everything. It loads apps much quicker, iPhoto runs much smoother, videos render really fast in Final Cut Pro X, Photoshop CS4 runs great. During this past year, my 2009 Pro would constantly be getting the beach ball, but I rarely ever get it on my MacBook Air. It was a very noticeable upgrade for me.

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