Macbook Air better buy than new low end Macbook?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
CBR1100XX Senior Member • Posts: 1,027
Re: Macbook Air better buy than new low end Macbook?

1stAde wrote:

You're right as per the last versions screen is brighter and wider gamut on the pro. Pricing is exactly US$= UK£, so comparisons are same (i.e. all deltas and upgrades I believe are still 1US$=1UK£)

Net comparison

Air v Pro at 1299

1.1 Quad Core v. 1.4 Quad Core (Pro Wins)

10th Gen i5 v. 8th Gen i5 (Air wins)

Iris+ onboard graphics v. Iris onboard (Air Wins)

8Gb DDR4 Ram v. 8Gb DDR3 Ram (Air Wins)

Screen Brighter and Wider gamut on Pro (Pro Wins)

Storage 512Gb v. 256Gb (Air Wins)

Standard keyboard v. Touch bar keyboard (You decide!)

Battery life (hard to prove until tested, but in theory could be Air Wins)

Weight (Air Wins).

Ports are both 2 TB3 on these (i.e. 2 lower end MBPs) (Draw).

I am annoyed as I feel that if they hadn't hamstrung with processor on the lower end, I would have accepted the loss of storage at the same price, but both less storage, older processor and slower RAM on the Pro, has to push the Air as the value proposition. Better screen would be good, but the Air's is not bad (IMHO).


A few additional things.

The air actually loses on the 10th gen vs 8th gen i5 in terms of the CPU. There are 2 ways that this happens, in terms of single threaded performance for short bursts they should be similar since the 10th gen while a new architecture is clocked lower. But if you're doing anything that takes longer like say a Lightroom import or export the Air just wont do well with it since it has no direct cooling for the CPU, there is a fan in the Air but there's no attachment to the CPU via heat pipe limiting what it can do. That means it'll quickly thermal throttle while the Pro will have more headroom.

The Air has faster RAM that's for sure but that LPDDR3 is clocked at 2133 MHz which is just below the 2400 which was the initial standard for DDR4 so it's no slouch and Intel CPU's are less dependent on fast RAM. For GPU intensive things this could matter but again with the Air you'd run into the problem that if it's not a quick job that the chip will hit the thermal and possibly power limits since that's much lower than the MacBook Pro's as well.

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