New To Mac-Forums?

Welcome to our community! Join the discussion today by registering your FREE account. If you have any problems with the registration process, please contact us!

Get your questions answered by community gurus Advice and insight from world-class Apple enthusiasts Exclusive access to members-only contests, giveaways and deals

Join today!

 
Start a Discussion
 

Mac-Forums Brief

Subscribe to Mac-Forums Brief to receive special offers from Mac-Forums partners and sponsors

Join the conversation RSS
Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Which is best for me: MacBook Pro Retina vs MacBook Air?


Post Reply New Thread Subscribe

 
Thread Tools
steph19h

 
Member Since: Nov 28, 2013
Posts: 4
steph19h is on a distinguished road

steph19h is offline
I've been an owner of a Dell Inspiron 1525 for 5 years, and need a new laptop. Long story short - it's falling apart and I no longer want to deal with it (there is penguin duct tape everywhere due to a breaking hinge).
Anyway, I went to Best Buy to browse laptops. Initially I researched PCs, but a Best Buy associate convinced me to go with Mac.

I wish to have a nice laptop last me a good amount of time, 8+ years. I'm looking at MacBook Air 13" or MacBook Pro Retina 13". I've been doing some research and see they are extremely similar.

Air: 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB memory, 128GB flash storage
$1,099.00

Air: 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB memory, 256GB flash storage
$1,299.00

Pro: 2.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 4GB 1600MHz memory, 128GB PCIe-based flash storage
$1,299.00

Pro: 2.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 8GB 1600MHz memory, 256GB PCIe-based flash storage
$1,499.00

Air is .5lb lighter, 12hr battery life - pro has 9hr battery life, great display.
At first I was only comparing the base air and pro. Essentially, for $200 I'd have a better processor and greater display. Now since I'd like it to last a good amount of years, I started thinking that maybe I should increase my memory and/or hard drive, but don't exactly know if I need to or how much. Specs on my current laptop: 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB memory, 90GB used out of 220GB hard drive (I was a bit surprised by only 90GB used in 5 years...) it's starting up slower but afterwards still running quick (with occasional freezing).

So my grand question is how much power I need to make my computer last well a few years. I use it for movies, tv shows, internet browsing, YouTube, e-mails, storing some pictures and music.

As far as budget, I'm willing to purchase any of these, but obviously would like to save if I can. I would rather not spend for extra ram or hard drive if I don't need to - but if it helps make the laptop last longer, than that's a good reason for me.

Thanks in advance.
QUOTE Thanks
chas_m

 
chas_m's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jan 22, 2010
Location: Victoria, BC
Posts: 16,238
chas_m has a reputation beyond reputechas_m has a reputation beyond reputechas_m has a reputation beyond reputechas_m has a reputation beyond reputechas_m has a reputation beyond reputechas_m has a reputation beyond reputechas_m has a reputation beyond reputechas_m has a reputation beyond reputechas_m has a reputation beyond reputechas_m has a reputation beyond reputechas_m has a reputation beyond repute
Mac Specs: 2009 MBP, Black speakers, Black Benq second monitor, black(ish) iPhone 5s, Black 2012 iPad, etc.

chas_m is online now
I think it's very unrealistic to expect a computer -- any computer -- to last "8+ years." The machine itself might hold out that long, but with the changes in processors, technologies and other standards that we can't really foresee, a useful life cycle of about four to five years is more realistic (unless your needs are incredibly basic, perhaps).

There are two fronts that accelerate the obsolescence problem:

1. Mac users tend to explore and develop new skills, so buying a computer based on your current basic needs may turn out to be short-sighted.

2. You can reasonably expect, as the world and the Internet increasingly focus on a visual (as opposed to text) orientation, that requirements for graphics/videos/etc will continue to go up.

Of the four you listed, I'd have picked the $1299 MBA for you based on your listed needs, but before we take that as final, I should ask -- are you sure you need a portable? Again based on what you listed as your needs, my first thought was that you'd probably be quite happy with an iPad and BT keyboard actually.
QUOTE Thanks
pigoo3

 
pigoo3's Avatar
 
Member Since: May 20, 2008
Location: U.S.
Posts: 25,784
pigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond reputepigoo3 has a reputation beyond repute
Mac Specs: 13" MB 2.4ghz, 2gig ram, OS 10.7.5

pigoo3 is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by steph19h View Post
I wish to have a nice laptop last me a good amount of time, 8+ years.
I think that hoping to get 8+ years out of an Apple laptop purchased in 2013 is asking a lot.

As an example...I don't think that there are many folks still using an 8-year-old 2005 Apple laptop as their main computer today. I'm sure there are some...but the vast majority are not.

And one BIG strike against this goal (8+ years of use from an Apple laptop) is that Apple has gone the way of non-expandability/upgradeability. Almost all (if not all) Apple laptops sold in 2013 have very little in the way of upgradeability after the sale.

Which means...if someone wants to get the maximum life out of an Apple laptop purchased in 2013...maximizing the ram would be the first priority, then probably the cpu speed, then the storage. If someone only purchases the "basic" model (especially when it comes to ram)...the useful life of the computer will most likely be reduced.

Bottom line. Around 5 years out of an Apple laptop purchased in 2013 may be a better goal.

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
QUOTE Thanks
steph19h

 
Member Since: Nov 28, 2013
Posts: 4
steph19h is on a distinguished road

steph19h is offline
Yea, the non upgradeability on them is too bad..

I thought 8 years was doable because I'm basing it off of my current Dell. If it wasn't falling apart because it's made out of plastic, I could see it lasting 2-3 more years. It starts up a little slower, as in maybe 2 more minutes (not a big deal to me), but after that it runs veryy smoothly. There's no wait time on streaming videos - movies or shows. Internet pages load within seconds even when multiple tabs and windows are up. There's an occasional lag or freeze but nothing lasting more than 30seconds to 1 minute. So I thought if my Dell could make it this far doing so well (besides the cosmetic downfalls) then I was assuming a Mac would.
I mean, when you guys say they don't very much last more than 5 years, what are saying happens to them?

Chas, I'm not a huge fan of the iPad for an extended time of use. iPads are cool to browse on for a little while, or play music with while in the kitchen or something, but if I'm sitting or laying on the couch, I don't find it comfortable to balance an iPad on my lap for an extended time.
QUOTE Thanks
chappers

 
Member Since: Dec 11, 2008
Posts: 108
chappers is on a distinguished road

chappers is offline
I suppose it relates it what you want to do with it on how long it will last. I've got a Compaq running running windows XP. Comes out once in a while. It's about 8 years old. It runs Firefox and Thunderbird fine. You Tube is OK. but would I do my photo editing on it. Well not now. It did run Lightroom 1.1 but then my image files were half the size they are now.

My 5 year old MBP with 4 GB of RAM will also do all those things, but again photo editing is slow ( not as slow as the Compaq.) Yes machines that old will run some tasks without any bother. If I still had my Dell desktop ( Got to be 10years old ) again with XP I'm sure that would do all the non processor/memory intensive tasks just fine.

Bear n mind though everything breaks eventually so you could find that although you have a good machine, it may just give up with old age at sometime.

Best advice I can give is buy "the best you can afford"
QUOTE Thanks
McBie

 
McBie's Avatar
 
Member Since: Apr 26, 2008
Location: Belgium
Posts: 2,290
McBie is a name known to allMcBie is a name known to allMcBie is a name known to allMcBie is a name known to allMcBie is a name known to allMcBie is a name known to allMcBie is a name known to all
Mac Specs: 2013 MBA 13" - 10.9.3 & iPad - iOS 5.1

McBie is offline
I asked myself exactly the same question last September when my MBP died on me.
I quickly realised that comparing machines is endless and confusing, so I went for a maxed out MBA.
Why the MBA ? , ..... because I liked the look and feel more than the 13" MBP.
Why maxed out ? .... because I want to have all my options open when a new OS comes along.
I love this machine.

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 ?
QUOTE Thanks
steph19h

 
Member Since: Nov 28, 2013
Posts: 4
steph19h is on a distinguished road

steph19h is offline
Thanks for the input, guys. I seem to keep naturally deciding on the mbpr, the base model....so I'll go with that.. I seem to like the look and feel of it more than the air.

I do have a friend who recommended the air with an SSD. He stated "it will last far longer, will be more durable than MBP and will stay consistently faster than an MBP for longer, even when the HD is full. For word processing, internet and general use, a machine with 1Ghz processor 4Gb ram and an SSD HD will actually perform 'faster' than a machine with a 2Ghz processor 4Gb ram and a standard HD."

Just out of curiosity, how does that work/what is an SSD? I tried to research it and not quite understanding. It doesn't seem like it's something one can customize/add to the air when buying it?
QUOTE Thanks
chscag

 
chscag's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jan 23, 2008
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 38,488
chscag has a reputation beyond reputechscag has a reputation beyond reputechscag has a reputation beyond reputechscag has a reputation beyond reputechscag has a reputation beyond reputechscag has a reputation beyond reputechscag has a reputation beyond reputechscag has a reputation beyond reputechscag has a reputation beyond reputechscag has a reputation beyond reputechscag has a reputation beyond repute
Mac Specs: 27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, 3 iPods, OS X Mavericks

chscag is offline
Quote:
I do have a friend who recommended the air with an SSD. He stated "it will last far longer, will be more durable than MBP and will stay consistently faster than an MBP for longer, even when the HD is full.
That depends on which MacBook Pro he's talking about. The Air and rMBP machines are not upgradeable while the 13" standard MacBook Pro still being sold by Apple is. You can always add more memory and a larger hard drive or even a SSD to the standard MBP to lengthen its life.

Quote:
Just out of curiosity, how does that work/what is an SSD? I tried to research it and not quite understanding. It doesn't seem like it's something one can customize/add to the air when buying it?
A SSD is solid state drive (no moving parts or platters) containing flash memory. As stated, the Air is not upgradeable. You can order the Air with either the basic configuration or the more expensive customized configuration. But whichever you buy, that's what you have to live with.
QUOTE Thanks
RadDave

 
RadDave's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jan 20, 2012
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 980
RadDave is just really niceRadDave is just really niceRadDave is just really niceRadDave is just really niceRadDave is just really nice
Mac Specs: MBP 13" (2013); 2.6 GHz i5; 8 GB RAM; SSD 256 GB; OS 10.9.4

RadDave is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by steph19h View Post
............................
Just out of curiosity, how does that work/what is an SSD? I tried to research it and not quite understanding. It doesn't seem like it's something one can customize/add to the air when buying it?
Hi Steph19h - you've already received some excellent comments from a number of 'veteran' members here. As to SSD = Solid State Drive, i.e. flash memory which is used in all of the laptops you listed in your OP; a SSD vs. HD is certainly faster, requires no defrag, and is more reliable, but flash memory per GB is expensive.

In March, I replaced an old Dell laptop w/ a rMBPro (8 GB RAM & 256 GB SSD) - not cheap but what was stated previously, I should survive the next few OS X upgrades. But keep in mind that these SSDs are smaller because of the cost, so upgrade or max out the RAM & SSD size relative to your budget. Good luck in your choice & let us know! Dave
QUOTE Thanks
steph19h

 
Member Since: Nov 28, 2013
Posts: 4
steph19h is on a distinguished road

steph19h is offline
Thank you all. I'm set on the base rmbp. I think for what I use a laptop for, it'll last me a good while. I shouldn't be doing any heavy work on my laptop in the future either, so I think I'll be ok with that. I actually like the design/look of the mbp vs the air anyway. So, might as well get what I like since they're both pretty similar.

Thanks again! Happy holidays x)
QUOTE Thanks

Post Reply New Thread Subscribe


« Return key not working on MacBook Pro | Air Question »
Thread Tools

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
MacBook Pro vs MacBook Air tls5164 Apple Notebooks 5 10-28-2013 02:09 AM
Macbook Pro vs Macbook Air + External Storage thistlecush Apple Notebooks 2 09-11-2012 09:24 PM
MacBook Pro (Last 2011) or Air (New 2012)? hector-rosas Apple Notebooks 7 06-12-2012 08:34 PM
Deciding between Macbook pro or air j2011 Apple Notebooks 2 08-25-2011 11:32 AM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:21 AM.

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
X

Welcome to Mac-Forums.com

Create your username to jump into the discussion!

New members like you have made this community the ultimate source for your Mac since 2003!


(4 digit year)

Already a member?