Worth upgrading my MBA or go for MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by OneSon, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. OneSon macrumors member

    OneSon

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    #1
    I currently have a 2012 MBA with 4GB RAM and a 1.8 GHz Intel Core i5. Generally it's ok but I've noticed 3 things: (i) battery life is down to under an hour, (ii) serious fan issues and slow down when I have multiple apps and Chrome tabs open, (iii) it can't stream some 1080p video at full screen.

    I've absolutely loved owning this machine and adore the keyboard, trackpad and Mac OSX. I'm wondering whether it's worth buying a new MBA with 8GB RAM and perhaps the i7 processor or should I get the 2015 MBP while I still can? I don't like the keyboard/lack of ports in the Macbook and the 2016 MBP.
     
  2. predation macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    #2
    I'd wait and see what happens tomorrow with the MBA.
     
  3. Pugly macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2016
    #3
    When upgrades are considered the MBA starts to be hard to recommend. With 256GB and i7 the Air is $1349... not too much less than $1499 nontouch MBP. Unless you absolutely love the MBA design/keyboard/battery life/USB ports/magsafe/sd card slot...

    Anyone needing $256GB probably should look at the nontouch model first...

    Of course in 1 day all these recommendations could completely change...
     
  4. Mac-lover3 macrumors 6502

    Mac-lover3

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Location:
    Belgium
    #4
    1 thing to consider that it is not the MacBook Air's fault that you cannot stream 1080p video's. I'm doing that on my 2011 model so for the 2012 model it shouldn't be any problem. But indeed wait till tomorrow, if nothing news shows up then you could get the older MacBook Air but as said before in this thread it's starts to be difficult to recommend it.
     
  5. Stefan johansson macrumors 65816

    Stefan johansson

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    Apr 13, 2017
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    Sweden
    #5
    Guess anything with i7 performance and at least 8 GB RAM could solve your problem.
     
  6. kiwipeso1 Suspended

    kiwipeso1

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2001
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #6
    You'd be better off with the 2015 MBP, as they did not upgrade the MBA significantly, and it only had a few extra megahertz on the same broadwell cpu.
     
  7. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a

    ApolloBoy

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    Apr 16, 2015
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #7
    Now is a good time, the refurb store's selling the 128 GB model for under $1K at the moment.
     
  8. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #8
    It depends on what you want it for and whether weight is an issue for you.

    If you would like to buy another MBA, I'd suggest that you purchase a far higher specification machine (say 8GB RAM, and a minimum of 256 GB SSD) and, furthermore, I'd recommend that you buy it refurb, that way, you'll get a reasonably decent discount on the computer as well.
     
  9. OneSon thread starter macrumors member

    OneSon

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    #9
    I noticed that. That going to be better than one of these updated MBAs then? Bo
    If I buy a current refurb MBA I won't benefit from the updated processor on a 'new' one. I get education discount too so would get 10% off new.

    Tempted to pick up a refurb 2015 MBP.
     
  10. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a

    ApolloBoy

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    Apr 16, 2015
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #10
    It's a no-brainer, the rMBP gets better performance and has a much better screen than the MBA, and you only give up a little bit in battery life.
     
  11. ShufromChina macrumors member

    ShufromChina

    Joined:
    May 23, 2017
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    #11
    The i7 processor in MBA is not a real i7 processor, it's an ultra low voltage one. In reality it will perform worse than an i5 base model MBP, because the i5 in the MBP is a more ramped-up version of the U-series intel processor, pretty close to a normal voltage one. So in the performance category, you are gaining instead of losing if you go with MBP.
     
  12. Melrose Suspended

    Melrose

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #12
    I have a 2016 Air, maxed out, and while I'm not sure about your workload I can say it's a surprising powerhouse. The Air is such an underrated computer these days.

    Oh please let's not dig this up again. The rMB is NOT a work machine and does not get better performance. The Mac rep even warned me off it for doing anything above minor photo editing, email, and music.
     
  13. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a

    ApolloBoy

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    Apr 16, 2015
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #13
    I wasn't talking about the rMB, I meant the rMBP. Plus as an rMB owner I know better LOL
     
  14. Melrose Suspended

    Melrose

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    Dec 12, 2007
    #14
    I stand corrected, Mr. Savage :D
     
  15. thewap macrumors demi-god

    thewap

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    #15
    I agree, I just got a maxed out MBA, and am also surprised at the little powerhouse it is, and the screen withHD graphics 6000 is way better than what I was expecting after reading so much criticism on MR. form factor it is a classic perfect design, lightweight, great keyboard, outstanding trackpad, so far I'm very impressed after 2 months of use - and the 12hr plus battery time is a big plus.
     
  16. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #16
    I don't see geekbench scores for the brand new MBP, but the 2016 non-touchbar i5 base 13" MBP shows a Geekbench3 64-bit score of 3383/7060 while the 2015 i7 13" MBA scores 3220/6836. So the MBP is about 3% faster... not much difference. I suppose the new ones might make the gap a little wider.

    http://www.everymac.com/systems/app...e-2016-retina-display-no-touch-bar-specs.html

    http://www.everymac.com/systems/app...book-air-core-i7-2.2-13-early-2015-specs.html
     
  17. ShufromChina macrumors member

    ShufromChina

    Joined:
    May 23, 2017
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    #17
    Have you considered thermal throttling? Under a longer-period usage the MBP will indeed outperform an MBA by a larger margin.
     
  18. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #18
    I don't know, is the cooling actually better on the MBP?... would not want either of these for a demanding application. I have a 2013 i7 MBA and have been impressed with the performance, the newer ones are a little bit faster. But I also have a 2012 quad core i7 2.6ghz Mini that is dedicated to video/audio editing.

    Just going by the geekbench scores, the Mini should be about 1.5 times faster than the MBA. However, in real world rendering the Mini is about 2.5 times faster than the MBA. So I think that is an example of throttling on the MBA due to heat, where the Mini keeps going at full speed due to a better cooling system.

    I also tested the quad i7 mini vs. the base i5 Mini and the rendering times were almost exactly proportional to the geekbench scores, which also suggested that the MBA was throttling. However, I don't see where the OP has any especially demanding needs such as video editing.
     
  19. Pugly macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2016
    #19
    I haven't found much research on the throttling of a MBA vs MBP. At worst I think it'll add some time to exporting/converting/batch processes... or those torture test programs.

    As further evidence of the 15W CPUs being good enough for mobile use: the nontouchbar 13" MBP uses these CPUs and that's classified as a "pro". I haven't seen people complaining about the performance.

    Both 13" Pros and Airs are using mobile dual core cpus that are designed to throttle up to do something and then back down. The difference is not that drastic.
     

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