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webitorgal
Jul 22, 2011, 01:16 PM
I've decided to get a 13" MBA - my first Mac in over 12 years. However, I'm not sure whether to get the 128 GB or the 256. And if I get the 256, should I upgrade the processor? The MBA will act as a "second" computer, mostly for me to use for blogging (I'm a style blogger). I also edit photos and sometimes, video. What do you think would be ideal for me?

Thanks!



Apple Expert
Jul 22, 2011, 01:21 PM
If you need the space, go with the 256. I did. However I'm going to exchange for the i5 instead of the purchased i7. The heat and fan noise are not worth the extra small spec bump. Besides I don't do any heavy work on this. Just mainly web, email, iTunes and small photo edits.

cpnotebook80
Jul 22, 2011, 01:44 PM
I just got my 11" mba . Went to the store picked it up and came back to work.
1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
processor
4GB memory
128GB flash storage1
Intel HD Graphics 3000

first thing i did was geekbench.
32bit - 4491
64 bit - 5002

PaulWog
Jul 22, 2011, 01:52 PM
I've decided to get a 13" MBA - my first Mac in over 12 years. However, I'm not sure whether to get the 128 GB or the 256. And if I get the 256, should I upgrade the processor? The MBA will act as a "second" computer, mostly for me to use for blogging (I'm a style blogger). I also edit photos and sometimes, video. What do you think would be ideal for me?

Thanks!

It's going to really be impossible to know for certain whether you should get this or that, in terms of upgrades.

128GB is sufficient enough for lots of programs, and a bit of storage. You could carry around a 64GB USB flash drive (they're not too expensive, can be had for about $1.25 per GB if you find one on sale). Or you could upgrade to a 256GB SSD.

What I would personally do, if I were buying the 13-inch, is I would buy it as-is. 128GB storage, 4GB RAM, and i5 1.7GHz processor. But what you may want to do may differ.

Here's some universal advice: Don't underbuy, making you kick yourself for not spending a tiny bit more. If you overbuy, you may feel like "oh, I wasted some money" <-- not such a horrible feeling since you'd already be spending $1300+ anyways. If you underbuy, you will feel much worse, going "oh, I wasted a TON of money" <-- horrible feeling, since you will feel like the purchase on a whole wasn't as satisfying as you'd have liked it.

I'm not saying you should go for it, nor am I saying that you shouldn't go for it. But it has to be up to you. The i5 should be more than sufficient, however going for the i7 will probably be better if you're getting a 256GB SSD: the main reason is that will improve your resell value by a better amount. I'm betting anyone who wants a 256GB SSD on a used Macbook Air in a year or two might want it to be decked out with the i7. It's always a good idea to keep your resell value high... it gives you options incase you decide you really love one of the newer Airs down the line.

gp1699
Jul 22, 2011, 01:54 PM
are the fans really sooo bad on the i7? or are they just like any other laptop? i have searched youtube for a example but none found

df2gadgetman
Jul 22, 2011, 01:56 PM
I opted for the larger 256gb ssd, 4gb ddr3 ram, 1.8ghz i7. Maxed out its capacity so I wouldn't have to worry down the road.

Do you plan on loading Bootcamp so you can use Windows 7? If so, go for the 256gb ssd.

GL,
Darren

KPOM
Jul 22, 2011, 01:57 PM
are the fans really sooo bad on the i7? or are they just like any other laptop? i have searched youtube for a example but none found

It didn't seem any different from the one on my 2010 MacBook Air. It just might kick in a little more often since the i7 can generate more heat.

df2gadgetman
Jul 22, 2011, 01:59 PM
are the fans really sooo bad on the i7? or are they just like any other laptop? i have searched youtube for a example but none found

I've heard a lot of hear says on the constantly running fans. Another thing to note, if you purchased from an Apple Store, you can return it for the i5 before 14 days with no restocking fees.

Apple Expert
Jul 22, 2011, 02:04 PM
As someone who owns both the i7 and i5, i can tell you the i7 fans are noiser. Also I've yet to see a difference in speed. The i5 runs just as fast and not as hot or loud.

webitorgal
Jul 23, 2011, 08:23 PM
I'm mostly using the computer for blogging/writing and minor image/video editing. I have a desktop with an external drive for most of the "big" work. Since it's not my main computer, should I even spend the extra money on a 256?

df2gadgetman
Jul 23, 2011, 08:26 PM
I'm mostly using the computer for blogging/writing and minor image/video editing. I have a desktop with an external drive for most of the "big" work. Since it's not my main computer, should I even spend the extra money on a 256?

IMO, an i5, 4gb Ram, and 128gb SSD would suffice. If you need a larger HD, use an external HD.

I'm thinking about downgrading my 2011 MBA 13" to the i5, 4gb Ram, and 128gb SSD.

Regards,
Darren

tom vilsack
Jul 23, 2011, 11:35 PM
default i5 1.7,4gb,128

why?

-will be instock np and if buy from apple store you have 14 days to take back no questions
-seems a few to many posts about fan noise and i7
-$300 extra for 128gb is a bit hard to take

kis
Jul 23, 2011, 11:56 PM
As someone who owns both the i7 and i5, i can tell you the i7 fans are noiser. Also I've yet to see a difference in speed. The i5 runs just as fast and not as hot or loud.

I went with the i5 because of the lower temps. I also have a 15" Macbook Pro - there I went with the i7 and am still regretting it. It was BTO and I had to wait 4 weeks to get it back then so I didn't exchange it for the i5.
To be honest, though: the fans on the Macbook Air are WAY less annoying than the ones on the MBP. That thing almost literally sounds like a vacuum cleaner every time I do something a bit more CPU-demanding than browsing the web (but even that can cause the fans to spin up insanely if the website contains some animated content).

My i5 MBA is dead silent. Perfect in every way except for some dead pixels which bug me immensely - will get it looked at tomorrow.

kis
Jul 24, 2011, 12:00 AM
IMO, an i5, 4gb Ram, and 128gb SSD would suffice. If you need a larger HD, use an external HD.


I personally think the 128gb SSD is too small. 15gb are gone right away for the OS. If you have a semi-decently sized music library, scratch another 30gb off the list. Also, movies and TV shows off iTunes fill up the drive very quickly. Since the MBA is an ultra-portable, it's there to be with you when you're on the go. And "on the go" (train, airplane etc.) is when you'll want your media library to kill time.

I know it can be worse: I tried a Lenovo Thinkpad e420s before the MBA. That one came with a 128gb SSD. Out of the box, only 40gb were available, the rest was taken up by the system + the recovery partition :-/

But still - considering the sizes of today's camera JPEGs and RAWs, movie files etc. 128gb is not enough.

AZMacFan
Jul 24, 2011, 12:33 AM
Another vote here for the 13", i5, 128GB - a "best buy" in my book. The i5 is speedy, cool, and quiet!