Which Macbook Choice? '10 C2D vs '11 SB vs '11 Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by SickSix, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. SickSix, Jul 19, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011

    SickSix macrumors newbie


    Jul 19, 2011
    I've been reading through these informative forums in preparation to purchase my first computer ever which is going to be a Mac. (beat out a Sony Vaio SA) The question becomes which one.

    The main decision I have to make is which way do I want to go.

    The three choices are 2010 Refurb 2.66 C2D MBP 13" or New 2011 MBP 13" i5 or New upcoming MBA 13" i5 2011

    In terms of cost I have found on Apple's site a refurb 2010 2.66 C2D for $1019. The main reason I have considered this is due to the marginally better GPU as compared to the 2011 and possibly slightly longer battery life for my usage.

    I am able to get a 2011 from the local Microcenter for the well known $999

    The last of my choices is the 2011 MBA. I suppose we should see it within a the next day to a week and I am going on a limb to say it will have the same or similar HD3000 gpu to the 2011 MBP. CPU similar but lower voltage. Higher resolution screen vs MBP. Let's assume the price stays the same to a base 2010 MBA 13".

    From the beginning my plan was to upgrade the HD to a 128 SSD and possibly the max the RAM to G Skill in any MBP. I have been following the "OCW is worth it?" and other ssd threads deciding on which.

    These are price estimates of the three tax not included. SSD is average prices of many I have considered not brand specific yet. RAM is G Skill

    2010 MBP $1019 + $220 SSD + $50 RAM = $1289

    2011 MBP $999 + $220 SSD + $50 RAM = $1269

    2011 MBA 13" = $1299 Assuming no price change and at least i5, 128SSD and Back lit keyboard. If need be, I have access to student pricing.

    My usage will be internet, music, mail, Adobe product (PDF creation and some light Photoshop maybe start video editing as a beginner), work stuff mainly which is internet based. In terms of portability as long as I have a 13" I'm happy and weight is not gonna cripple me as I am a home office/ couch user. I am curious to which will be the best return value given speed, value, longevity.

    Given these choices which would you choose and why? Your thoughts as to which and why will be appreciated greatly!
  2. pezasied182 macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2011
    I would go for the 2011 MBP over the 2010 every time. Since you mainly use your computer at home and the office, the slight battery usage difference between the i5 and C2D will not be an issue, and the gpu difference is a wash IMO. The i5 will also keep its resale value better of the two.

    That being said, between the air and the MBP, it really depends how into photoshop and video editing you are/are getting into. If it's anything that you would like to develop, I would start with the MBP and move up according to your need. Also, upgrading the RAM in the Air will be costly if you plan on doing that.

    I have a 2011 13 inch MBP and while I love it, I still really want an Air, for various reasons. So for MY preference, I would probably chose an Air, but for you, I'd recommend the MBP.
  3. murdoc158 macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2007
    West Bend, WI
    Sandy Bridge all the way. I can't believe battery life would be worse with a SB versus a C2D. :confused:
  4. seong macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    Saaaaaaaaaaaandy Bridge :) Best CPU available on Apple computers:apple:
  5. pezasied182 macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2011
    I've heard it's a little worse, but it's negligible.
  6. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Since you're going to be dong some editing here and there (photo and video), I would suggest getting a baseline MBP. The MBA will give you the most portability and allow you to do all of the things you sated, however, the machine might struggle a bit when doing some more intensive editing later in the future.

    They will all be able to do what you want, however, the MBP will last you longer in terms of fending off upgrades in the future.

    The new Air isn't out yet though, so people aren't posting their reviews or benchmarks in terms of performance. I'd say wait a bit until they come out and se what people are saying.
  7. SickSix thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jul 19, 2011
    Thanks for the responses so far. So it seems that the most all of the suggestions are for the 2011 MBP.

    To be honest the C2D was a last minute thought but the arguments of resale value is a strong and legitimate one.

    Ut seems like the Pro would give me more options to upgrade and give me better value. For instance I can max the ram and have some HD options (if I can decide on a SSD). I could start with a smaller SSD for programs and if I zero out the drive use, I could RAID the second bay when price per GB for SSD falls from the sky and even keep the drive for an external burner. If only the 13" had higher screen resolution like that of the Air. :mad:

    The air seems to have all but potential power and options of the pro.
  8. Ladybug macrumors 68000


    Apr 13, 2006
  9. NZed macrumors 65816


    Jan 24, 2011
    Canada, Eh?
    Why? SB is a more powerful CPU than the C2D. And its not power efficient like the C2D. Its obvious why the powerful CPU is also more power hungry.
  10. nfl46 macrumors 604

    Oct 5, 2008
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/9A5259f Safari/6533.18.5)

    2011 MBP. One thing it has over the Air is the fact that you can upgrade it whenever you like.
  11. Driver8 macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2011
    The core 2 duo is 2 generations behind the SB processor. Also, I the battery life think is a myth. Apple changed the way they calculate battery life in 2011 to reflect a more realistic usage pattern. That is why the battery life is shorter (it's all marketing). Don't expect to get longer battery life with the core 2 duo.
    the only reason to get the 2010 is if you are a gamer
  12. Driver8 macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2011

    Cnet found the 2011 battery life to be 1 hour more than the 2010.

    "For the second year in a row, the 13-inch MacBook Pro has made another leap in battery life. Matching the promises made by Apple, the 13-inch Pro's integrated battery lasted 6 hours and 58 minutes using our video playback battery drain test. That's far and away the best battery life on any laptop--Netbooks included--and is so good that you'll probably be able to carry your MacBook Pro for the day and leave your charger behind, if you're so bold. It's also an hour better than last year's 13-inch MacBook Pro.

    Read more: http://reviews.cnet.com/laptops/apple-macbook-pro-winter/4505-3121_7-34512748-2.html#ixzz1SckE5NzB
  13. mrklaw macrumors 68020

    Jan 29, 2008
    13" MacBook air

    People on here are sometimes too quick to push power over everything else

    for photo editing I'd want more space than 1280x800. The 13" MBA is the same res as my 15" MBP and that is a decent advantage over the 13" MBP

    You say ' beginner video editing', the air should be fine. Worst case it takes a while to render when you finish a project, so just leave it overnight.
  14. murdoc158 macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2007
    West Bend, WI
    More power =/= less efficient. C2D was 45nm (based on 65nm), and SB is 32nm. Smaller chip = more efficient.

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