I'm looking to buy my first macbook and I am unsure which one to buy. I will use my laptop while travelling mostly next year on my working holiday visa for general purposes (web browsing, watching movies etc), photo editing (Photoshop), occasional video editing (premiere) and android development.

I cannot decided which model to buy:

13" MacBook Air full upgraded ( 2.2GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz, 8GB 1600MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM, 256GB SSD)


13" MacBook Pro (2.7GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz, 8GB 1866MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM, 256GB SSD)

both are priced at S$1,968.00 - might even go for the 512GB - also same price for both (S$2,388) but I'm not sure yet as I'll carry a 2TB external with me.

  • I'm frustrated why Apply still use Dual core CPU when there are so many quad cores available

My questions:

Could a full upgraded MacBook Air match/exceed the Pro in terms of performance? Would a fully upgraded MacBook Air have shorter battery life than the quoted 12 hours?

  • 2
    "I'm frustrated why Apply still use Dual core CPU when there are so many quad cores available" — both MBA and MBP13" use ULV chips. There aren't any ULV quad-cores. – vartec May 7 '15 at 22:04
  • Welcome to the site. Please edit this to have one question per question. Asking if model X has the same battery life across all the CPU/RAM/Storage configurations is great. Similarly, asking how to measure the performance difference between two machines and/or asking how to measure your existing workload so you can choose is also fine. Just not both together – bmike May 14 '15 at 1:15

Go for the MacBook Pro.

It'll handle better video editing and photo editing software, and it's more powerful speaking about CPU. It's built for professional worker and who need performance.

Another good point is that you will be able to upgrade RAM and SSD in the future, which is not true for the MacBook Air (they are soldered).

I've got a MBP 13" mid 2010, Core Duo 2.66 GHz, 8GB RAM, and it's very good and able to run all the software provided by Adobe.

  • The MBP 13" has a better CPU than the first 15" right? – rikket May 14 '15 at 9:10
  • MBP 13'' has 2.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz versus MPB 15'' 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz. Definitely the 15'' has better CPU. See benchmark attached. – Matteo Guarnerio May 14 '15 at 14:02
  • even if both i7 and i5 are dual cores? – rikket May 15 '15 at 10:12
  • Yes, go with the i7, it has also Hyperthreading (8 thread vs 4 thread of i5). Interesting comparison here. – Matteo Guarnerio May 15 '15 at 11:00

I would go with MacBook Pro for the better CPU, GPU (iris vs HD), and screen resolution since you are going to work with photo and video editing.

  • @Mark Thanks for the edits, I will pay more attention to capitals and grammar in the future. I do not have enough reps to comment but I was hoping you can add an edit to the accepted answer that the current gen MacBook Pro's RAM are also soldered on as well as their SSD being at a special form factor. – tom May 14 '15 at 16:00

I currently use a maxed out 11" MacBook Air which gets 10+ hours out of browsing with Chrome, with music playing from iTunes or YouTube most of the time. It can handle GIMP and Photoshop, video editing (tested with iMovie) and development with Xcode, Eclipse, Komodo and Brackets. I have experienced no problems with running games on High graphics settings both on the Mac OS and a Windows dual boot. Animation Rendering takes a little while, but nothing ridiculous. I am extremely happy with it's portability and charging time (roughly 3-4 hours). The only thing I would say is if you are planning to use it at home a lot, consider investing in a Thunderbolt display, because it adds more ports for things such as DVD drives and it gives you a bigger workspace when at home.

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