Welcome to the iMore Forums Create Your Account or Ask a Question Answers in 5 minutes - no registration required!
Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. Thread AuthorThread Author   #1  
    Samuel Ellicott's Avatar
    iMore Nanite

    6 Posts

    Default Which MacBook should I get? The MacBook Air or the MacBook Pro?

    Hey please help me!! I'm looking to purchasing a new laptop. I like the size of both the 13" Air and Pro but not sure which one to get. I'm a full time med student so will need to have lots of tabs open and some complicated programmes. I don't play games other than football manager. I would like it to run quickly but not sure what upgrades to choose ie ram or proccesor or perhaps both. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
  2. #2  

    Default Re: Air V Pro

    Either will be sufficient for your needs. All you need to do is pick the one you like best...
  3. #3  
    mikeo007's Avatar
    iMore Specialist

    936 Posts
    Global Posts
    5,367 Global Posts

    Default Re: Air V Pro

    If you're talking about the non-retina Pro, it's actually a generation older so probably not worth buying at this point.
    If you're comparing the Air to the Retina pro, then it's basically: do you want to pay a bit more for a much better screen, but slightly more weight.
  4. #4  

    Default Re: Air V Pro

    Either one should work fine, good luck on your choice.
  5. #5  
    Flow39's Avatar
    iMore Elite

    2,487 Posts
    Global Posts
    2,591 Global Posts

    Default Re: Air V Pro

    Either model will be great, but I would recommend 8 GB of RAM
  6. #6  
    Algus's Avatar
    iMore Pro

    533 Posts
    Global Posts
    801 Global Posts

    Default Re: Air V Pro

    Depending on what you mean by "complicated programs" the ULV CPU in the Macbook Air might give you some trouble. The Macbook Air uses what is called a "low voltage" CPU. Basically this CPU draws less power but as a result is much less powerful overall. This is fine if all you are doing is web browsing, office work, etc. but becomes an issue when you want to run more complicated programs. Now, a ULV CPU has the ability to "turbo clock" which basically means it ramps up its clock speed and functions as a non-ULV CPU...so basically if the computer needs to draw on that extra power to run something it can do it. This isn't as efficient as a regular CPU though and it is fairly power intensive, so you'll experience quick battery drain. If you are using CPU-intense apps frequently, you may get considerably more mileage out of the Macbook Pro.

    As far as CPU upgrades go, I don't recommend the ULV i7 in the Macbook Air as it doesn't provide significant performance gains for the cost. The 2.6 Ghz i5 in the Macbook Pro is a decent upgrade that will help the MBP perform much better than the MBA. The 2.4 Ghz i5 that it ships with stock is fairly comparable in overall performance to the MBA CPUs so if you aren't planning to spend the extra money on the i5 upgrade for the MBP, you will get about the same performance overall, albeit with the battery life issue on the MBA (though the Macbook Pro has a much shorter battery life overall anyway so you're still losing that juice regardless).

    For RAM, I highly recommend a minimum of 8 GB and, ideally if you go with the rMBP 16 GB. This is because the RAM in MacBooks is no longer user replaceable so what you get stock is what you have. RAM is the #1 area that you can upgrade for faster performance and the #1 thing you will want more of as your machine ages. 4 GB of RAM is acceptable in an Apple computer right now, especially for entry level tasks, but 8 GB is a ~significant~ upgrade in terms of speed, multiple apps being able to run, etc. You should consider purchasing as much storage space as your budget will allow for this reason as well, though IMO 128 GB of storage is adequate on a laptop and there are good external storage solutions. If the Macbook is your only computer though, you may want that extra storage space built into your system.

    The rMBP has a much better screen and better graphics capabilities compared to the MBA with base features but other than that is fairly comparable in terms of overall performance so if you don't plan to spend to much on performance upgrades it really comes down to choosing between battery life and screen quality.

Similar Threads

  1. Video Downloader Pro for iOS - HD Videos are Supported [Free]
    By thaidv in forum iPhone Apps & Games
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 05-07-2016, 09:34 PM
  2. Tapatalk Pro update
    By pr1nce in forum iPhone Apps & Games
    Replies: 77
    Last Post: 07-29-2014, 11:09 PM
  3. iPad Pro Rumors, Leaks, and Release Date
    By KingBuick in forum iPad Pro (12.9-inch)
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-17-2014, 12:09 AM
  4. How can I remove a password from an iPad Air when it starts up?
    By iMore Question in forum Ask a Question
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-15-2014, 11:34 PM
  5. Up for auction: Lunch with Eddy Cue and MacBook Air Package
    By iMore.com in forum iMore.com News Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-14-2014, 03:50 PM

Posting Permissions