which to buy new MBA 13 or old rMBP 13

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by c-only-man, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. c-only-man macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2013
    First time poster but long time reader.

    I will be buying a new mac laptop by end of first week of July. Time frame is because of out of country vacation and travel.

    I will be using said laptop for email, web browsing, iOS Development(hobby) and light gaming such as Sid Meiers Railroads and Pirates, Tropico 3 and 4, Civilisation 4 as well as gog.com older games.

    My questions are as follows:

    1. Will turbo boost allow me to run some of the games mentioned above albeit at lower graphics settings smoothly?
    2. Will the turbo boost shorten the life expectancy of my processor?

    I definitely like the retina display of the rMBP 13 and if the new Haswell version arrives by the first week of July I will be getting that one. If it does not arrive by then should I get the new MBA 13" with Intel HD 5000 or the slightly older rMBP 13" which has the higher processor speeds but only the Intel HD 4000?

    Thanks for all replies in advance. I have been a fan of MacRumors and its forums for years.
  2. sick z33 macrumors 6502

    Sep 20, 2008
    I say do the rMBP. The retina display is amazing! MBA if you really need the mobility and long battery life.
  3. Jesla macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2013
    Tennessee USA
    I have the 2012 rMBP 13 and MBA 11….. Both do everything I need and more.

    From where I stand you could do better getting a refurbs (better than new)
    Unless battery life is paramount. In that case I'd get a new Air or wait for the
    Pro update(nobody knows when).
  4. lshirase, Jun 13, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013

    lshirase macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2008
    Everyone with a 13" laptop needs / wants mobility and long battery life. It should be the other way around. Get the rMBP if you REALLY NEED the retina display. The screen on the MBA is more than adequate for most users, myself included (I own a 13" MBA + 15" rMBP).
  5. kis macrumors 65816

    Aug 10, 2007
    Wouldn't buy an rMBP at this point - the current model is severely underpowered for the high-res screen. Either wait until the Haswell version comes out later this year or get a new MBA which can easily handle everything you mentioned, has a significantly longer battery life, is not a product that nears its renewal cycle (e.g. that isn't a good investment), is lighter and has a faster UI experience.
  6. hkim1983 macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2009
    This is pretty good advice, but there are some other factors at play that give a rMBP a (slight) advantage:

    -Superior keyboard (imo, the Air keyboards are the worst Apple keyboards I have ever used in my life).

    -Superior trackpad (I want to note that I feel that the cMBPs have a better trackpad and keyboard to either the Air or Retina though, this is all my opinion of course).

    -Superior sound quality when using the built in speakers (I'm not sure if this has been changed in the '13 models, haven't played around with those yet).

    The primary reason between choosing between the Retina and Air should be what you said however, but little things like this can push it one way or the other if you're on the fence (the Retina can also do 2 monitors simultaneously, I'm not sure if the Air could do that?).
  7. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I was under the impression that the 2013 Air has the same keyboard and trackpad as their desktop siblings.
  8. hkim1983, Jun 13, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013

    hkim1983 macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2009
    ? Desktop siblings? Are you referring to the actual bluetooth keyboard and trackpad?

    Like I said, I haven't played around with the '13 models yet, so my experiences are based on the '12 models, and it would be great if they've improved the keyboard and trackpad to at least be on par with the Retina line, and ideally, back to the cMBP line.

    EDIT: I have now messed around with the new models at an Apple store. What I said about the '12 models apply to the '13 models, although the trackpad seems a little better now. The issue at hand though (for me) can't really be fixed in the current form factor, since my primary complaint is the lack of depth (and thus adequate feedback) while typing, which is obviously problematic with the Air's skinny design.

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