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m00min
Aug 6, 2012, 07:08 AM
I've been lurking around this forum for quite a while catching up on the various notebook threads. So, now I have a question of my own.

Currently I have an MBP 2010 i7 / 8GB RAM / 256 SSD, I use it for web design / dev. At any one time I have Photoshop and Illustrator (CS6), Parallels running Windows 7 and Espresso running. It's a great laptop but it's just too damn big. I've been eyeing up the MacBook Air 11 inch (i7 / 256 / 8GB) which I would run through an external display when sat at my desk, so screen space on the Air wouldn't be a problem.

What I'm concerned about is the integrated graphics of the Air. The MBP has an NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M 512MB (that burns a hole in my knee quite frequently so I'm assuming the apps mentioned above make extensive use of it). Where does the HD 4000 sit in relation to the perfomance of the NVIDIA? I don't mind it being a sidegrade in perfomance since I'd be gaining the potabilty but I'm worried that it'd be a downgrade in real-world usage.

I also play the occasional bit of Black Ops on Bootcamp. Anyone got any thoughts?



Wokis
Aug 6, 2012, 07:31 AM
The HD4000 is a little worse than the 330M if you are to believe notebookcheck.

I haven't put much research into this myself yet but it's my impression that starting from CS6, Adobe is moving away from CUDA acceleration (which is nvidia only) and into OpenGL/OpenCL, which the Intel iGPUs can support.

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/979969
Intel HD4000 is supported, it seems.

I'd guess it's a slight downgrade. Someone using specific filters etc might notice a difference. Maybe! I'm somewhat of a light photoshop user myself so I may not notice something a power user might consider a serious flaw.

KPOM
Aug 6, 2012, 07:37 AM
Gaming would be an issue on the 2012 MacBook Air. Sure the HD 4000 is better than past Intel efforts, but that isn't saying much. The SATA III SSD should be a step up from what you have. The CPU would be similar. Apart from gaming and very intensive Photoshop, the 2012 would be a lateral move to a slight upgrade.

Have you considered a Retina MacBook Pro?

m00min
Aug 6, 2012, 07:47 AM
The HD4000 is a little worse than the 330M if you are to believe notebookcheck.

I haven't put much research into this myself yet but it's my impression that starting from CS6, Adobe is moving away from CUDA acceleration (which is nvidia only) and into OpenGL/OpenCL, which the Intel iGPUs can support.

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/979969
Intel HD4000 is supported, it seems.

I'd guess it's a slight downgrade. Someone using specific filters etc might notice a difference. Maybe! I'm somewhat of a light photoshop user myself so I may not notice something a power user might consider a serious flaw.


I did see that thread over on the Adobe site, I wasn't sure whether their listing of Intel HD Graphics P4000 is the same graphics hardware as the Air. Apple's specs list Intel HD Graphics 4000; no P.

I'm not really a user of filters, my Photoshop usage is more low-res 72dpi stuff with loads of (sometimes hitting 100) layers.


Gaming would be an issue on the 2012 MacBook Air. Sure the HD 4000 is better than past Intel efforts, but that isn't saying much. The SATA III SSD should be a step up from what you have. The CPU would be similar. Apart from gaming and very intensive Photoshop, the 2012 would be a lateral move to a slight upgrade.

Have you considered a Retina MacBook Pro?

I could live without the gaming (it might help the productivity), it's a bit of a luxury really. My main worry is the CS6 support/perfomance.

The Retina Pro would be another 15 incher, something I'm trying to move away from. Also I don't like that everything is glued into such an expensive laptop. I'll tollerate it on the Air because it's a sacrifice to the size, the rMPB not so much.

vodkaPT
Aug 6, 2012, 08:01 AM
My opinion is that since your MBP 2010 is handling the work fine, I don't see why you should spend money in a notebook that will have more or less the same behaviour, or even worse in some cases.

The MBP may be "big", but if you survive until now, you can survive a little bit more.

Wait a year, and then buy the new air, with Haswell that should be a real upgrade compared to your MBP in all ways. You will not regret the waiting time.

m00min
Aug 6, 2012, 11:20 AM
The MBP may be "big", but if you survive until now, you can survive a little bit more.

I've gone from working for a company (so I generally moved the laptop around my house) to freelance web design/dev. This is where the machine is letting me down, it's a pain dragging its heavy ass around. The cost isn't really a consideration, I'm more concerned with Photoshop. If I have to sacrifice games for ease of portability I'm happy to do that.

dixido
Aug 6, 2012, 11:40 AM
Wait a year, and then buy the new air, with Haswell that should be a real upgrade compared to your MBP in all ways. You will not regret the waiting time.

Can you please enlighten me about Haswell? Sounds interesting.

mobilebuddha
Aug 6, 2012, 01:42 PM
here's an wiki article on the intel tick/tock:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Tick-Tock

for people that buy machines every few years, buying the "tock" model is better than buying the "tick" model. Haswell is the "tock year" model.

for those that buy updated machines every year, well it doesn't matter. :)

Can you please enlighten me about Haswell? Sounds interesting.

dixido
Aug 6, 2012, 07:12 PM
here's an wiki article on the intel tick/tock:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Tick-Tock

for people that buy machines every few years, buying the "tock" model is better than buying the "tick" model. Haswell is the "tock year" model.

for those that buy updated machines every year, well it doesn't matter. :)

Got it, thanks. I was considering to buy the current gen of MBA but I guess this is enough reason to wait. :)