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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MacBook Pro vs MacBook Air


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tls5164

 
Member Since: Oct 27, 2013
Posts: 1
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I'm going to be getting a Macbook, and its going to be either the air or the pro, and I need some help from people that understand computer peripherals better than me.
Here are the details. They are based on student pricing, with the original price in parentheses.

MacBook Pro * price: $999 (normally $1200)

2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz
4GB 1600MHz memory
500GB 5400-rpm hard drive1
Intel HD Graphics 4000
[1280 x 800 pixels


MacBook Air $1049(normally $1100) * 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor
Turbo Boost up to 2.6GHz
Intel HD Graphics 5000
4GB memory
128GB flash storage
1440 x 900 pixels

MacBook Air advantages
Better graphics (Intel HD graphics 5000 instead of 4000 on the pro)
Flash storage
better screen resolution


MacBook Pro advantages
Faster processer
I'm just not sure how much each of these plays into the speed of the laptop. Do the Intel HD 5000, flash storage, and screen resolution make up for the slower processor or not? The only thing the MacBook Pro wins in is the processor. I'm hoping for an answer from someone who understands the factors well.

Or would it be worthwhile to buy the retina for $1200?
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iTz inThezone

 
Member Since: Sep 28, 2013
Location: Chicago, Illinois
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Mac Specs: Mid-2012 MBP 2.9GHz i7, 16GB RAM, 256 GB SSD not retina xD

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Hey,

It really depends on what you are looking to use the computer for. Are you going to be using it for just Internet, and basic programs. Or are you occasionally going to be using programs that require more RAM, and more processing power?

In July I purchased the Mid-2012 MBP 2.9GHz i7, 4GB RAM, 256 GB SSD not retina. Since then I have upgraded the RAM to 16GB. And most recently, I have upgraded to OS X Mavericks. Mavericks compresses RAM, so 4GB (from what I hear) might not be able satisfy your needs. I have heard of people with 2 year old Mac's having trouble running Mavericks on their machines, because of the low RAM. So getting either the MBA or the MBP I would highly recommend getting maybe 8GB of RAM.

--The Macbook Air
-The reason that I didn't get the air was that I just wanted something bigger. I really dont have anything against it, it is just a little too thin for my liking. Plus, I needed something that could handle video/music production a lot better.

-For simple tasks, this computer is a great choice, and is a well priced item for what you are getting. The hardware and build qualities are great.

--The Macbook Pro
-Power is power. The processor is faster, but the HD not so much. My MBP was the first computer that I owned with a SSD. This type of drive, especially with Mavericks, will blow your socks off. It is just quick. The MBP is a powerhouse.

-It handles everything that I throw at it. People say that the intel 4000 cant put up to certain things... Here is a list of what I use my MBP for.
-Pages, Numbers, Keynote
-Minecraft
-Call of Duty 4
-GTA 4
-Logic Pro X
-Final Cut Pro
-GoPro Cineform
-Adobe PhotoShop CS5

It can handle everything just fine. Im sure the i5 can run things just as well.

I might have a slight bias, but trust me, the MBP is the way to go. You did not specify your budget so I might have just been rambling on here for no reason.

The Retina Macbook Pro is also a good computer, the reason I did not get one was because a friend of mine had gotten one right when they came out, and there was problems with the screens.


If I was in your position, I would pickup the new base model Retina MBP.
-2.4GHz i5 with TB up to 2.9GHz
-****8GB RAM**** (+$100)
-128GB SSD
-Intel Iris graphics.

Once again it comes down to what you need. I have learned that it is better to get it upgraded up as much as you possibly can. Later you wont regret having that extra power, if you come across something that will need it.


(If you do go for the Retina, make sure you are positive about the configuration that you are getting, seeing as the parts are permanently attached to the motherboard, you can't change things yourself.)


-iTz
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McBie

 
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Member Since: Apr 26, 2008
Location: Belgium
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I bought a maxed out 2013 MBA some time ago ( 13" / i7 / 8GB / 512 GB ) to be used for my everyday productivity tasks ( document handling / E-mail / Internet / and some light photo/video work )
It is running Mavericks and I am very happy with it.
I take it to the office in the morning and it will last me whole day on a single battery charge.

Obviously, I can not tell you which one to choose, all I can say is that I am happy with the MBA.
( I had a 17" MBP before this one. )

Cheers ... McBie

A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.
The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude towards the problem. You understand ?
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bobtomay

 
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Mac Specs: 15" MBP 2.33 C2D 256 4GB, MBA 13" i7 1.8, MB 2.0 2GB, Nano 4th, 3GS, iPad 1

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A "computer peripheral" = things outside the computer: mouse, keyboard, printers, routers, external hard drives, etc...

None of those other things make up for a slower CPU.

SSD will speed up boot time, application launch times, anything related to retrieving and writing data to the drive.

Anyone planning on doing any encoding work should be paying for the fastest CPU they can afford.
With today's CPUs, for all the normal stuff people do, not nearly as important as it was in times past.

GPU, while the HD5000 is apparently vastly superior to the HD4000, I wouldn't recommend either one of them to someone planning on doing any hardcore 3D gaming, graphics or modeling. The developers of most of the high end games, still are not writing for those cards.

My '11 MBA with the HD3000 has handled games like WoW, B&W, CoH, Civ 5, TF2 adequately.
I am not the hardcore gamer that had to build a new rig (or at least upgrade the GPU) once every 12 months any longer.

For a young person in school and not having any clue how much data they're going to want to put on the drive over the next 2-4 years, I would recommend the MBP, primarily for the larger drive, ability to put in a much larger drive at a cheaper price and additional ports available.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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Dieter3

 
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The biggest complaint I hear with the Air is the 128GB of flash storage - runs out quickly! It really depends on what you need to do, how much you need to store. Yes, the flash storage makes up for the slower processor, ONLY in boot times, and launching applications, read/write - as has already been stated.

In either case, I'd put a minimum of 8GB of RAM into what ever you decide.

Depending on how much you REALLY need to store, you might consider in the case of the MBP - removing the HDD, and replacing it with a smaller SSD, say a 240GB - figure about $1.00/GB or so, and then buy an external case for the 500GB factory drive - use it as a backup disk. Just a thought.
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VAMountaineer

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dieter3 View Post
The biggest complaint I hear with the Air is the 128GB of flash storage - runs out quickly! It really depends on what you need to do, how much you need to store. Yes, the flash storage makes up for the slower processor, ONLY in boot times, and launching applications, read/write - as has already been stated.

In either case, I'd put a minimum of 8GB of RAM into what ever you decide.

Depending on how much you REALLY need to store, you might consider in the case of the MBP - removing the HDD, and replacing it with a smaller SSD, say a 240GB - figure about $1.00/GB or so, and then buy an external case for the 500GB factory drive - use it as a backup disk. Just a thought.
ditto...

i'd personally go for the 'pro' every time.. the airs are nice and thin and portable, but upgrade options are very minimal, and with the pro you can do a lot of upgrades... personally i prefer to have ALL ports available when traveling (the airs have only a couple ports and no drive)... but that's me.....
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