Why more Air recommendations over cMBP? aka am I the target consumer for the 13 rMBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ufgatorvet, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. ufgatorvet macrumors newbie

    ufgatorvet

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2010
    Location:
    Savannah, GA
    #1
    I've followed the 13" rMBP threads closely since I really wanted to buy one. The forum has helped me tremendously in understanding the cost of this machine compared to the specs and the reasons why it is overpriced for what it is.

    I find it interesting that, instead of the 13" rMBP, in most cases the 13" Air is being recommended and NOT the 13" cMBP. Why is this?

    I want to replace my 2008 15" MBP (my wife has abducted it and never stops using it- when I complained she told me to go buy a new one for myself so she can have the old one :) )

    The primary use of the new one will be all aspects of management of my small business: accounting (Quickbooks), presentation writing and delivery for customers (Keynote), social media management, email, general internet use, etc. This will not be for games or heavy photos, videos etc. For those things I have an iPad 3 and iMac.

    It will be in the messenger bag everyday to work, on the plane, etc, along with the iPad. Portability is a concern but I am not worried too much about 1/2 pound. It will be used everyday sometimes for a couple of hours at a stretch.

    Will I be left behind soon by not jumping on the retina bandwagon now? I won't upgrade this computer again for 4 years.

    I cannot justify/afford the 15" retina and feel that its specs are way too much for my usage anyway.

    So, based on all this info should I consider 13" cMBP, 13" Air or still consider the 13" retina display since the specs of the machine will certainly handle my "pro" haha needs?

    Am I the target audience for the 13"rMBP being hardly a "pro" user but wanting a nice display in a portable machine?

    Thanks for the collective wisdom of the forum.
     
  2. ender78 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    #2
    FOr me you are an ideal candidate for the Air. Unless 128GB of storage is not enough for you, the Air is the ideal computer. It is 2/3 of weight of a 13" cMBP.
     
  3. pbmagnet4, Nov 3, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012

    pbmagnet4 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #3
    The air trumps the cMBP in two fields. Weight and screen resolution.

    Personally I went with the entry level 13" (2.5ghz i5) cMBP for 999$ (student discount plus best buy price match), because I went into it knowing that I wanted to be able to upgrade my RAM and HDD to a 240gb SSD and 8gb 1867mhz RAM. Which ended up costing me roughly 265$. Leaving me at around 1264$.

    I enjoy the fact that as time goes on I always have the option to upgrade those options more if I so choose. I also like having a ODD. As unnecessary as it may seem I like to have the options to where I can either remove the ODD, instal a second SSD, and RAID the two together if I so choose, or I could instal an internal blu-ray drive.

    Id say if you want a computer that will have everything you need and you dont plan on installing anything yourself, I suppose I would go with the 1,499 air (1539$ after 8gb RAM upgrade and student discount). Even though you are getting a 16gb larger SSD than the one I have you still will only have 8gb 1600mhz RAM (100$ more for 8gb RAM fyi) and a 1.8ghz processor instead of the 2.5ghz that is in my cMBP.

    (Including student discount and upgrade 8gb RAM for the air),
    So for 275$ more than a cMBP you save time that you would spend on installing parts into the cMBP, have a higher resolution screen, and a lighter machine.

    OR, for 275$ less than than the air you get a faster processor, faster RAM, and an ODD drive that you can do what ever you would like with, and optional expandability.
     
  4. Maczor, Nov 3, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012

    Maczor macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Location:
    LU, Switzerland
    #4
    @pbmagnet4: The possibility to upgrade the cMBP so it lasts longer sounds nice on paper, but reality will prove you wrong. You've already upgraded to an SSD which is the only real upgrade you'll ever be able do.

    The important components ( CPU and GPU ) you will never be able to upgrade. Sure, many people would say: "but don't forget about RAM!" ... while upgrading RAM is nice, realistically speaking, it doesn't matter if you have a crap-load of RAM ( 16-32GB ) when the CPU / GPU will be a bottleneck ( no amount of RAM or SSD will fix that problem ). So what if more RAM will let you open more things when the CPU will most likely not be able to keep up?

    @OP: Go with the MBA... as correctly pointed out by others: the reason the MBA wins over the 13" cMBP is weight and screen resolution. Sure, the cMBP has an i5-i7 CPU and an optical drive ( just saying... doubt anyone really "needs" it ), but in the "real world" ( for the waste majority of users - including yourself ), the CPU speed difference will be unnoticeable ( MBA vs cMBP I mean ).

    Also, since you seem to be on a tight budget, the rMBP is clearly not an option for you. Rather do yourself a favor and save some money while also getting a decent notebook ( MBA ).
     
  5. pbmagnet4 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #5
    I could prove you wrong by saying down the road I can always put a 480gb SSD in my ODD drive and RAID the two together, or put my 240gb SSD in a USB3 or Thunderbolt enclosure. I doubt I will be needing any more RAM than 8gb, but I do enjoy the slightly faster RAM (1867mhz) as it does increase the fps during the lite gaming I do. The Intel HD 4000 could use all the help it can get imo. For me 4gb will NOT cut it, so no matter what if I was to get an air I would have to purchase the slower 100$ 8gb Apple RAM. I also have the option of an internal blu-ray if I so choose, but that is for later down the line perhaps. Also the air would be more of a bottlenecking CPU than the cMBP...
     
  6. Maczor, Nov 3, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012

    Maczor macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Location:
    LU, Switzerland
    #6
    @pbmagnet4: Sorry but you're not getting it or you don't really understand the stuff you're trying to talk about... The only thing you solve with an SSD ( or more of them ) is space limitations and improve access / write speed. You already have an SSD, don't expect to be able to double or triple read / write speeds over the years... even so, you will still be stuck with the CPU and GPU the notebook came with. Also, don't make me laugh at your "faster RAM" theory... especially when the MOBO will automatically downclock the RAM that it can't handle / was not designed to use ( but sure... if it makes you feel better about your purchase decision, then keep feeding yourself the same lies over and over again ).

    No matter how fast of an SSD you put into it, CPU and GPU will be a serious bottleneck that you can't fix ( every task that requires the use of the CPU / GPU will be still slow as hell ). The MBA does have a ULV CPU so theoretically it should end up being a bottleneck faster than the cMBPs i5-i7 dual cores, but again, realistically, the CPUs aren't extreme far apart... if the MBA CPU will eventually be the bottleneck, expect the cMBP to fail just as miserably ( or in a "best / ideal case scenario": it will get the job done, but it will get it done extreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeemly slowly ).

    You're just fooling yourself if you think things will play out differently...
     
  7. yanksrock100 macrumors 6502a

    yanksrock100

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego
    #7
    The 13 rMBP is overpriced and underspec'd. It's specs are similar to the MBA, which for the MBA, is fine because it is $500 less, and has less pixels to carry on it's back. For this, I wouldn't recommend the rMBP for a few years, until technology catches up.

    So it goes down to the cMBP and the MBA. I'll tell why which I am choosing to get, and why.

    The cMBP is the same design and looks and weight as my 2008 Aluminum Macbook, which I had for 4 years. I am planning on having my next laptop for another 4 years. I don't want to have the same laptop design for 8 years. The cMBP, although it's internals are good, is quickly becoming outdated because of the rMBP's and the Airs. 1280x800 for a laptop in 2012/2013 is laughable. Also, it will perform very similarly to the Air.

    The MBA is in its prime right now. Mid-design update, thin, light, affordable. In normal use, the MBA will be even faster than a base cMBP because of the fast SSD. The 1440x900 screen is pretty good, and with my eyes, I can't really see the difference between this and the retina display. And, I personally think the Macbook Air design is one of the best computer designs to date.

    Because of this, I, and you, should choose the Macbook Air. Unless you care passionately about upgrading in the future, and CD's, the Macbook Air is the way to go.
     
  8. pbmagnet4 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #8
    I know it wont go faster...
    I am saying I have the OPTION to expand my storage space. As in I could spend 370$ for a 480gb SSD when I want more STORAGE than my 240gb WHEN I need more storage... It isnt that complicated. Apple charges 500$ for their 512gb SSD which is a bit outrageous. The only thing that could possibly "speed" things up is if I did a RAID 0 connection. Additionally by removing the stock 500gb HDD, I now have great Time Machine backup drive.

    I dont understand your logic about the CPU being the bottleneck when an SSD with a SATA 6Gb/s connection will run at just that as long as the internal connections are in order. Never have I mentioned that I would or could upgrade the CPU / GPU. That is usually the limiting factor for a person to get another computer.

    Additionally the Macbook Air being discussed geekbenches at 6039, and the cMBP benches at 6662. All things considering I fail to see your argument on the subject. With the Air you are basically stuck with what you have, while paying Apple's premium on RAM and a larger SSD if you so choose. Since you place so much emphasis on the GPU / CPU why not go with the greater CPU in the cMBP since they have the same GPU. Just cause you can upgrade doesn't mean our computer will stay "current" for longer. All things considered if you are competent enough with DIY mods to your computer the cMBP is the cheaper and more effective solution if you dont care about screen res and a half pound weight difference...
     
  9. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a

    NewishMacGuy

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    #9
    Go with the MBA-13 if you want ultimate portability as the weight differential between that and a cMBP-13 is significant when carried everyday, BUT given it's lack of upgradeability when compared to the cMBP-13, I wouldn't expect to get 4 years out of it necessarily, and especially not if you don't max it out (which gets pretty pricey).

    If you can live with the weight, you can save yourself a lot of money by going with a 2011 or 2012 cMBP-13 off of CL. I bought one for my wife for $725, upgraded it to 8GB RAM and a 750GB hybrid drive, and have less than $900 in it.

    And though the cMBP-13 screen is lower resolution than that of the MBA-13, it is also brighter with a better color balance, and looks significantly better to my eyes.
     
  10. coldjeanzzz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    #10
    With regards to the MBA, is the base model sufficient or would an upgrade to 8 GB RAM make a big difference (especially if you want to keep that same computer for a lengthy period of time)
     
  11. yinz, Nov 4, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012

    yinz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    #11
    To put it simply,

    MBA - targeted towards the market where portability is the focus

    cMBP - targeted towards the market where price is the focus

    rMBP - targeted towards the market where portability and screen resolution are the focus; price is not an issue

    MBA > cMBP in portability and screen resolution
     
  12. ufgatorvet thread starter macrumors newbie

    ufgatorvet

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2010
    Location:
    Savannah, GA
    #12
    Thanks to all those who replied. The info is very helpful.
     
  13. yanksrock100 macrumors 6502a

    yanksrock100

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego
    #13
    Unless you are doing some heavy multitasking, I think 4 GB will be fine. At Best Buy/Amazon, the base MBA is $1099 vs the 8 gb from Apple for $1299. Thats a $200 difference, and to be honest I can't justify that for myself, because I rarely ever go near the 4 GB usage mark.

    However if you are doing heavy work, you should consider it.
     

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