Macbook Air 2013 or older Macbook Pro

I am trying to decide between a macbook air 2013 13" computer which I would upgrade with 8gb of ram. Or a 13" w/e year macbook pro that also has 8gb of ram. From what I have seen in terms of performance the air mops the floor with the older pro.
What I will be using it for
Essay writing
Some gaming (Dota 2 mostly)

I have a nice 1tb hard drive that works well so I was thinking with an air I could use it to increase my storage space for non-crucial items.

I really want to know what other people think, is the air worth it? It will be around the same price. Is the performance that much better? Am I really going to notice the difference at all.

1 Answer from the Community

  • Answer

    I have a mid-2009 MBP with the 2.53GHz C2D and 8 GB of memory. It's an amazing machine and more than enough for multi-tasking using Adobe CS4, FTP and multiple web browsers - perfect for building, editing and debugging web sites so I would imagine it would be perfect for writing essays. I also upgraded the HDD to a 512 GB Samsung 840 SSD so the MBP really rocks. I've used it for netflix and recently finished up writing a novel on it. Gaming is hit or miss; I've played Eve Online and Starcraft 2 on it. Eve ran ok with settings turned down but Starcraft had issues. But, as I have a PC for gaming and I didn't purchase the MBP for gaming, I still love it.

    That being said, I just purchased the 1.3GHz Haswell 13.3" Macbook Air with the 256 MB HDD and standard memory (4 GB). This thing is a monster and does beat the snot out of my 2009 MBP. PCI-E-based SSD storage is amazing and when combined with the new wifi standard, Thunderbolt and 12+ hour battery life, the MBA comes out on top in almost every category. Granted it isn't as upgradeable and I'm currently limited to 256 GB of internal storage (I believe that OWC sells 512 GB SSD storage for this) but I plan on purchasing a Thunderbolt external HDD and between that and 2ea USB 3.0 ports, expanding my storage should be a breeze.

    So to summarize, get either one. The older MBP will still likely fulfill your expectations; they are great machines and are very upgradeable. Keep in mind that the Haswell (4th Gen Intel Core) processor Macbook Pros are right around the corner. You can still buy the 3rd Gen Intel Core MBPs and swap out the optical drive with another internal HDD and they also have Thunderbolt. Or if you want a similar form factor but with less weight and tremendous battery life, go with the Haswell MBA. Basically, you can't really go wrong with either. Good luck!

    • Answered by David J from Surprise
    • Sep 12, 2013