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  1. #1
    New Macbook Air v. Macbook Pro (non-retina)

    Member Since
    Jul 06, 2008
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    Cool New Macbook Air v. Macbook Pro (non-retina)
    It's time. The 2006 white Macbook needs to be put down.

    I'm a teacher, so I mostly use the computer for documents, web browsing, email, netflix, some light photo display and editing, and itunes. No gaming.

    It won't travel very much.
    It can be plugged in frequently.

    So here's the match-up:

    A) Newly announced 13" Macbook Air ($1050 edu. price)
    - 1.3 Ghz i5 dual-core
    - 4 GB *soldered* RAM
    - 128 GB *soldered* Solid State HD
    - 12 hour battery

    B) Non-retina 13" Macbook Pro ($999 edu. price)
    - 2.5 Ghz i5 dual core
    - 4 GB *upgradable* RAM
    - 500 GB *removable* platter HD (*strongly* considering +$200 for 128 SS HD upgrade)
    - 7 hour battery

    Considerations:
    - Looking to make it last a few (3-4) years
    - Solid State HD is nice for speed and durability (I'm a jostler)
    - Looking to migrate files to cloud storage (already using External Drive)
    - Am fearful of Macbook Pro Buyer's Remorse if new one comes out in ~4 months (I need something now)

    Any thoughts out there?

  2. #2
    New Macbook Air v. Macbook Pro (non-retina)
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
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    Specs:
    27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, Yosemite
    If you consider buying the MBA, get it with the maximum amount of memory it can hold - 8 GB. The solid state flash drive will likely be upgradeable as soon as Other World Computing has one available. The MBA SSD is not soldered in.

    My choice would be the MBP 13". More bang for your buck. However, if you consider buying it, I would wait. New models are coming soon.

  3. #3
    New Macbook Air v. Macbook Pro (non-retina)

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    Thanks, but unfortunately, I need it now.

    If the MBA SSHD is upgraded with something from OWC, does that void the Apple warranty?

  4. #4
    New Macbook Air v. Macbook Pro (non-retina)
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
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    45,190
    Specs:
    27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, Yosemite
    If the MBA SSHD is upgraded with something from OWC, does that void the Apple warranty?
    It doesn't void the warranty on the non retina MBP when the hard drive is changed or upgraded. I can't say for sure what Apple's warranty policy is with the MBA drive or the retina MBP drive. It would definitely be something to look into before doing the upgrade yourself.

  5. #5
    New Macbook Air v. Macbook Pro (non-retina)
    Dwinguel's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 14, 2013
    Location
    Geneva, Switzerland
    Posts
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    Specs:
    MBP Retina, 2.3 GHz i7, 16GB RAM, GeForce GT 650M
    I would go for the MacBook Air, potentially upgrading the RAM to 8GB since you want to keep your machine for 3-4 years. By then the 4GB will be limited and you won't be able to upgrade since the RAM is soldered to the board.

    The advantage of the Air is that you get a better graphic card (a bit snappier when using the OS, iPhoto, iMovie, etc.), you don't have to change the SSD, it's already there (and it can still be upgraded later on, when the SSD is cheaper).

    I don't think you will see much difference in terms of CPU.

    Battery life is not that important to you, but still a nice bonus in the MBA.

    So the Air has the edge for your needs.

  6. #6
    New Macbook Air v. Macbook Pro (non-retina)

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    Thanks!

    Does anyone think that the 500 GB platter is better than the 128 GB SSD?

  7. #7
    New Macbook Air v. Macbook Pro (non-retina)
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    Quote Originally Posted by antipode View Post
    Thanks!

    Does anyone think that the 500 GB platter is better than the 128 GB SSD?
    The 500gig HD is certainly better if you need more internal storage. But you can only get the 500gig HD with the MacBook Pro. Thus if you opt for the 500gig HD...then you must get the 13" MacBook Pro.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  8. #8
    New Macbook Air v. Macbook Pro (non-retina)

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    Right -- 500 is bigger than 128. But...

    A) Given my pretty conventional needs, is there a future benefit to a 500?

    B) Is there a hardware benefit between platter vs. SSD?

  9. #9
    New Macbook Air v. Macbook Pro (non-retina)
    Dwinguel's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 14, 2013
    Location
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    Specs:
    MBP Retina, 2.3 GHz i7, 16GB RAM, GeForce GT 650M
    Just to add to my previous post, I checked the iFixit teardown of the Air and can confirm that the SSD will surely be upgradable later on (it's not soldered on the board unlike the RAM), OWC will come up with a specific form factor model later on as they have in the past. The SSD in the new Air is not compatible with the old ones so you need to wait if you want to upgrade.

    But if you don't need that much storage right now you can stick with the 128GB and maybe upgrade in 2 years (if needed). At that time the price of an SSD drive should be a quarter of what it is now, so you could get a 512GB SSD then, which will have a much better performance that the hard drive in the MBP.

  10. #10
    New Macbook Air v. Macbook Pro (non-retina)
    Dwinguel's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 14, 2013
    Location
    Geneva, Switzerland
    Posts
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    Specs:
    MBP Retina, 2.3 GHz i7, 16GB RAM, GeForce GT 650M
    Quote Originally Posted by antipode View Post
    Right -- 500 is bigger than 128. But...

    A) Given my pretty conventional needs, is there a future benefit to a 500?

    B) Is there a hardware benefit between platter vs. SSD?
    A) One benefit if you swap the drive for an SSD in the MBP is that you can then use your 500GB hard drive as an external drive for backup and storage.

    B) SSD are silent, less prone to break down and loss of data, have greater shock & impact resistance, produce almost no heat and tend to consume less power, among other things. So there is a difference, but to the advantage of the SSD.

  11. #11
    New Macbook Air v. Macbook Pro (non-retina)

    Member Since
    Jul 06, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dwinguel View Post
    Just to add to my previous post, I checked the iFixit teardown of the Air and can confirm that the SSD will surely be upgradable later on (it's not soldered on the board unlike the RAM), OWC will come up with a specific form factor model later on as they have in the past. The SSD in the new Air is not compatible with the old ones so you need to wait if you want to upgrade.

    But if you don't need that much storage right now you can stick with the 128GB and maybe upgrade in 2 years (if needed). At that time the price of an SSD drive should be a quarter of what it is now, so you could get a 512GB SSD then, which will have a much better performance that the hard drive in the MBP.
    Thanks for clarifying the permanence of the HD.

    SO, if the HD size isn't that much of a sticking point, what of the method? Platter or SSD? Is one better than the other? Speed, battery, stability, etc?

    Also, does the processor difference seem to be a big deal? (1.3 seems half as slow as 2.5)

  12. #12
    New Macbook Air v. Macbook Pro (non-retina)

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    you read my mind!

  13. #13
    New Macbook Air v. Macbook Pro (non-retina)
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    Quote Originally Posted by antipode View Post
    Right -- 500 is bigger than 128. But...

    A) Given my pretty conventional needs, is there a future benefit to a 500?

    B) Is there a hardware benefit between platter vs. SSD?
    If you're seriously thinking about the 500gig internal HD...then you shouldn't even be thinking about the MacBook Air.

    And if the MacBook Air option is "off the table"...then your decision is easy...get the 13" MacBook Pro!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  14. #14
    New Macbook Air v. Macbook Pro (non-retina)
    Dwinguel's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 14, 2013
    Location
    Geneva, Switzerland
    Posts
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    Specs:
    MBP Retina, 2.3 GHz i7, 16GB RAM, GeForce GT 650M
    Quote Originally Posted by antipode View Post
    Thanks for clarifying the permanence of the HD.

    SO, if the HD size isn't that much of a sticking point, what of the method? Platter or SSD? Is one better than the other? Speed, battery, stability, etc?

    Also, does the processor difference seem to be a big deal? (1.3 seems half as slow as 2.5)
    For your usage, I don't think you will really notice a difference between the 2 CPUs. And if you are really worried, you can always upgrade to an i7 for $150. But for light to medium load tasks, it won't matter much.

  15. #15
    New Macbook Air v. Macbook Pro (non-retina)
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    Quote Originally Posted by antipode View Post
    SO, if the HD size isn't that much of a sticking point, what of the method? Platter or SSD? Is one better than the other? Speed, battery, stability, etc?
    The SSD is definitely faster. That's one of the main advantages of an SSD.

    Quote Originally Posted by antipode View Post
    Also, does the processor difference seem to be a big deal? (1.3 seems half as slow as 2.5)
    The architecture of the MacBook Air makes it faster then the cpu speed would indicate.

    Factually speaking...cpu benchmark tests on the two computers you listed show that even though the cpu speed of the MacBook Air (1.3ghz) is almost half that of the MacBook Pro (2.5ghz)...the MacBook Pro's cpu benchmark scores are only appox. 10% better.

    So if it makes a difference to you...the cpu scores of the MacBook Pro are about 10% better...but since the MacBook Air is newer...it has the better graphics hardware.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

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