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fswmacguy
Dec 9, 2010, 07:18 PM
Hey everybody,

I am hoping to start college soon and I need a notebook.

I am looking at the 13-inch MBA. I'll be doing pretty basic stuff: Internet, email, web development, and a little Photoshop (no editing 9000x9000 images or anything like that though).

I like the portability of the MBA as opposed to the MBP. Is there anything I should be aware of?



RRmalvado
Dec 9, 2010, 07:34 PM
Based on the general usage you stated, the Macbook Air will be a good purchase for you.

In terms of being aware, if you do get the Air I would immediately apply the firmware fix that came out recently.

fswmacguy
Dec 9, 2010, 07:42 PM
Based on the general usage you stated, the Macbook Air will be a good purchase for you.

In terms of being aware, if you do get the Air I would immediately apply the firmware fix that came out recently.

Perfect. :)

Also, it is rumored that the MBP is due for an update, whereas the MBA was updated just recently (in October). I try to buy the most recent Apple product because I know how dirty it feels to get left in the dust when it comes to Apple products.

Thank you for your input.

KPOM
Dec 9, 2010, 07:43 PM
I think the Air would be sufficient for your purposes. I'd suggest getting the 4GB model. If nothing more, the extra RAM will reduce page outs to the SSD, which will keep the write performance on your drive better a little longer. More likely, 64-bit programs and multitasking programs will work better with more RAM.

Also note that an SSD performs better if you don't fill it up all the way. Until OS X supports TRIM, having some free space is probably the best way to maintain higher performance for a longer period of time, based on the way SSDs write to the disk. It's complicated, but basically, it takes longer to overwrite pre-written space than it is to write to "fresh" space.

SteinMaster
Dec 9, 2010, 08:10 PM
I think the Air would be sufficient for your purposes. I'd suggest getting the 4GB model. If nothing more, the extra RAM will reduce page outs to the SSD, which will keep the write performance on your drive better a little longer. More likely, 64-bit programs and multitasking programs will work better with more RAM.

Also note that an SSD performs better if you don't fill it up all the way. Until OS X supports TRIM, having some free space is probably the best way to maintain higher performance for a longer period of time, based on the way SSDs write to the disk. It's complicated, but basically, it takes longer to overwrite pre-written space than it is to write to "fresh" space.

Check out this test Macworld did on the SSD's:
http://www.macworld.com/article/156227/2010/12/macbookair_torturetests.html

fswmacguy
Dec 9, 2010, 09:04 PM
Check out this test Macworld did on the SSD's:
http://www.macworld.com/article/156227/2010/12/macbookair_torturetests.html

I am somewhat familiar with the state of SSD right now. I helped a friend build a new PC (yeah, yeah, shush), in which he added a 128GB SSD alongside a 1TB spinny drive. Lo and behold the SSD failed to show up in BIOS and had to get sent back as DOA.

Though the numbers do not lie. SSDs are incredibly fast, and I think that's a major selling point for anyone, including myself.

fswmacguy
Dec 9, 2010, 10:07 PM
Update

I have purchased the baseline 13-inch MacBook Air (with 2GB RAM). Thank you all for your help. :)

I wasn't concerned about the RAM. I currently run on a Mac Pro with 5GB RAM (on twelve sticks, no less) and I've been monitoring the RAM usage over the past week. Never have I exceeded more than ~1.6GB, and even then I was doing some work in Logic.

Thanks again, guys. :apple: