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Im looking at buying a MacBook over the summer and have been looking at two different models, the Air and Pro models above, does anyone know roughly how much faster (or slower) the Pro will be compared to the Air. My immediate reaction would be to think the Pro would be loads faster due to the much higher spec but having had a go with them the Air certainly seems to benefit from the SSD - any comments appreciated! Thanks =)

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Keep in mind that you can get MacBook Pro with SSD too and it will still be cheaper than MacBook Air. –  AndrejaKo Mar 23 '11 at 11:08
    
Shopping questions are off topic as per the FAQ. –  Wuffers Apr 5 '11 at 0:38
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closed as off topic by Wuffers, studiohack Apr 5 '11 at 0:46

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1 Answer

The 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 in the MacBook Pro (MBP) is significantly faster than the 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo in the MacBook Air (MBA), but the Flash Storage in the MBA (note it's not quite a SSD) is faster that the hard drive in the MBP.

To decide what to get, you must understand where the speed increase will come from. The Flash storage in the MBA will speed up your "experience" in a bursty way - things will load faster. The speed increase from the CPU in the MBP is more "sustained" - tasks such as video encoding will be faster.

Also you have to take into account the MBA has no optical drive, Firewire or Thunderbolt. Ethernet is present, but it requires a USB NIC. However the MBP is heavier, bulkier but with a better battery.

So if speed is the deciding factor for you, get the MBP and possibly spend the extra on a SSD for it, then you will have the ultimate 13" configuration (if you really want speed then get the 15" MBP with an i7). However for most people, buying the MBA is more of a lifestyle choice - it's lighter and more trendy and most people don't do that much encoding/compiling anyway.

If you let us know exactly what you want it for, I could be a bit more specific.

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the optical drive is definitely a plus - but ive also been hearing the 15" and 17" MBPs have been having some issues due to the AMD graphics cards. It would be majorly for travelling - i.e. work videos photos (maybe some editing) and videos. Does the MBP take a 2.5" HDD/SDD and is it easily exchanged? –  Sammy Mar 23 '11 at 11:44
    
Yes, MBP's use standard 2.5" hard drives. Here's Apple's service manual for the MBP's, see chapter 3: manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/MacBook_Pro_13inch_Mid2009.pdf –  peelman Mar 23 '11 at 18:56
    
perfect - thank you very much i think Ive decided now - Im gonna get a basic 13" MBP and upgrade the HDD to an SSD - any recommendations for a midway SSD? –  Sammy Mar 23 '11 at 20:46
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