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View Full Version : About to buy my first MacBook, HELP!




imjoee
Sep 10, 2012, 05:41 PM
I don't know what to get. I WANT MY MACBOOK AIR TO LAST ATLEAST 5 YEARS. I have no problem getting a external harddrive. A 128gb 8gb RAM or i7 256gb MacBook air? I will be editing tons of photos, no game playing but I will have 4 to 5 apps for editing my photos. I use the Internet an write school papers in iWork. Which one should I get? Will he buyin one before the month ends.



dbdynsty25
Sep 10, 2012, 05:53 PM
If you want it to last 5 years, you may as well max it out from a processor and ram standpoint.

i7 2.0 & 8gb Ram...then pick a hard drive size. 256gb is way more affordable obviously.

Spink10
Sep 10, 2012, 06:13 PM
Max it out if you want 5 years!

asting
Sep 10, 2012, 06:44 PM
Rather than max, buy a new base model today, and then put the remaining money in a CD. sell the old and buy a new one three years from now. You'll end up with a better experience by far.

But seriously, buying a computer to last 5 years if it has to be the max isn't saving money. There are strong diminishing returns in high end computer hardware.

fireworksdesign
Sep 10, 2012, 10:31 PM
I don't know what to get. I WANT MY MACBOOK AIR TO LAST ATLEAST 5 YEARS. I have no problem getting a external harddrive. A 128gb 8gb RAM or i7 256gb MacBook air? I will be editing tons of photos, no game playing but I will have 4 to 5 apps for editing my photos. I use the Internet an write school papers in iWork. Which one should I get? Will he buyin one before the month ends.



Since there's no game playing the gpu won't matter that much I think. What 5 apps are you using ? And what's your current system specs now and does it get the job done?

Steve121178
Sep 12, 2012, 04:39 AM
I don't know what to get. I WANT MY MACBOOK AIR TO LAST ATLEAST 5 YEARS. I have no problem getting a external harddrive. A 128gb 8gb RAM or i7 256gb MacBook air? I will be editing tons of photos, no game playing but I will have 4 to 5 apps for editing my photos. I use the Internet an write school papers in iWork. Which one should I get? Will he buyin one before the month ends.

i5/8GB/256 is the best option.

Spending extra cash on the i7 isn't worth it.

imjoee
Sep 13, 2012, 07:36 PM
If you want it to last 5 years, you may as well max it out from a processor and ram standpoint.

i7 2.0 & 8gb Ram...then pick a hard drive size. 256gb is way more affordable obviously.
What would the i7 do?

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Max it out if you want 5 years!

Thanks for the feedback

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Rather than max, buy a new base model today, and then put the remaining money in a CD. sell the old and buy a new one three years from now. You'll end up with a better experience by far.

But seriously, buying a computer to last 5 years if it has to be the max isn't saving money. There are strong diminishing returns in high end computer hardware.
I have a Mac now an it's lasting a good amount of time. It still has 80gb to go an it has 256gb

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Since there's no game playing the gpu won't matter that much I think. What 5 apps are you using ? And what's your current system specs now and does it get the job done?

Photo studio pro, Snapheal, colorstrokes an Lightroom. Not at the same time like 3 times a week tho

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i5/8GB/256 is the best option.

Spending extra cash on the i7 isn't worth it.

I could buy an external hard drive too

asting
Sep 13, 2012, 08:05 PM
I have a Mac now an it's lasting a good amount of time. It still has 80gb to go an it has 256gb

You miss the point entirely. I was saying that you could split the amount you would spend on a ludicrously overpriced system and spend half now and half later and end up with a much better product cycle that will provide you a greater total lifetime.

fleawannabe
Sep 14, 2012, 01:53 AM
If you really want the computer to last why don't you buy a MBP 13"? You can upgrade the RAM in the future to 16GB possibly to 32GB. You also get a bigger processor.

Mike in Kansas
Sep 14, 2012, 09:49 AM
I don't know what to get. I WANT MY MACBOOK AIR TO LAST ATLEAST 5 YEARS. I have no problem getting a external harddrive. A 128gb 8gb RAM or i7 256gb MacBook air? I will be editing tons of photos, no game playing but I will have 4 to 5 apps for editing my photos. I use the Internet an write school papers in iWork. Which one should I get? Will he buyin one before the month ends.

If you want to try and get 5 years out of it, focus on 1.) what you need now to do what you want to do, as well as 2.) getting now the things you can't upgrade later which you may need to - which means RAM and processor. Based on what you want to do (photo editing), I'd go with the 8GB of RAM. I run Aperture on my 2008 iMac and 2012 MBA - you need at least 6GB of RAM to have a good user experience with Aperture. I would imagine that LR is similar. Otherwise, it bogs down when you are using brushes, working at 100%, cloning out stuff, etc. I upped the RAM in my iMac from 4GB to 6GB and saw major improvement in photo editing. So for me, 8GB is a must on a machine that you'll use for photo editing, unless you are only using iPhoto.

Next is the processor. The i7 probably isn't totally needed now, but 3-4 years from now it may be getting slow as image sizes will increase, apps will become more sophisticated, etc. The faster processor also speeds up importing/preview generation of photos, especially if you are shooting RAW. This is a good review for reference that compares the different processors as well as benchmarks against MBPs, older MBA's, etc.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6063/macbook-air-13inch-mid-2012-review

Finally is the SSD. I have the 256GB SSD in mine, and it has about 160GB left. Granted, there's 40GB of photos in various users' iPhoto libraries on it, but this will be your biggest issue. If you want to keep your iTunes library on it, or your various photo libraries on it, you will start to eat up SSD space FAST. If you don't mind keeping an external drive handy, you can keep some of that off of your SSD, but I would have trouble with only having on 126GB of drive space as a photographer, even if you were judicious in your image storage. The good thing is that over time you can increase your SSD size as that IS a replaceable part, and at least 1 reseller (OWC) has them for the 2012 MBAs now.

What I have also done is to move my iTunes library to a drive attached to my Time Capsule. It's available wherever I am in the house, and the connection speed is fine even for streaming movies. I haven't tried moving an iPhoto library there yet, but I will in order to try it. I would think that for shooting in jpeg it would probably be OK, but it may bog down a little it with large RAW files over my wifi network (which is b/g/n).

You could definitely get by now with the 4GB/126GB model, and may never even need the i7. But if you DO want to keep it for a while (versus getting on the "buy cheap, resell soon before outgrowing, buy cheap again" carousel), AND ensure a good user experience with large files in LR, I'd seriously consider at least bumping up RAM now.

wolfpuppies3
Sep 14, 2012, 10:04 AM
Keeping it for 5 years? Max it out. My photos alone are over 360 GB so I have the 512 GB SSD in my 2012 13" MBA and store the photos on external drives. I do need space and memory to process photos.

imjoee
Sep 15, 2012, 04:22 PM
If you really want the computer to last why don't you buy a MBP 13"? You can upgrade the RAM in the future to 16GB possibly to 32GB. You also get a bigger processor.

i feel the mbp will come out of style quickly. i love the design on the air but im willing to buy 8gb ram an keeping to processor the same at i5. i dont knoww if it will last me 5 years or not.

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If you want to try and get 5 years out of it, focus on 1.) what you need now to do what you want to do, as well as 2.) getting now the things you can't upgrade later which you may need to - which means RAM and processor. Based on what you want to do (photo editing), I'd go with the 8GB of RAM. I run Aperture on my 2008 iMac and 2012 MBA - you need at least 6GB of RAM to have a good user experience with Aperture. I would imagine that LR is similar. Otherwise, it bogs down when you are using brushes, working at 100%, cloning out stuff, etc. I upped the RAM in my iMac from 4GB to 6GB and saw major improvement in photo editing. So for me, 8GB is a must on a machine that you'll use for photo editing, unless you are only using iPhoto.

Next is the processor. The i7 probably isn't totally needed now, but 3-4 years from now it may be getting slow as image sizes will increase, apps will become more sophisticated, etc. The faster processor also speeds up importing/preview generation of photos, especially if you are shooting RAW. This is a good review for reference that compares the different processors as well as benchmarks against MBPs, older MBA's, etc.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6063/macbook-air-13inch-mid-2012-review

Finally is the SSD. I have the 256GB SSD in mine, and it has about 160GB left. Granted, there's 40GB of photos in various users' iPhoto libraries on it, but this will be your biggest issue. If you want to keep your iTunes library on it, or your various photo libraries on it, you will start to eat up SSD space FAST. If you don't mind keeping an external drive handy, you can keep some of that off of your SSD, but I would have trouble with only having on 126GB of drive space as a photographer, even if you were judicious in your image storage. The good thing is that over time you can increase your SSD size as that IS a replaceable part, and at least 1 reseller (OWC) has them for the 2012 MBAs now.

What I have also done is to move my iTunes library to a drive attached to my Time Capsule. It's available wherever I am in the house, and the connection speed is fine even for streaming movies. I haven't tried moving an iPhoto library there yet, but I will in order to try it. I would think that for shooting in jpeg it would probably be OK, but it may bog down a little it with large RAW files over my wifi network (which is b/g/n).

You could definitely get by now with the 4GB/126GB model, and may never even need the i7. But if you DO want to keep it for a while (versus getting on the "buy cheap, resell soon before outgrowing, buy cheap again" carousel), AND ensure a good user experience with large files in LR, I'd seriously consider at least bumping up RAM now.

thank you for the feedback, really appreciate it! while reading your decision on what i should look towards more; i think i might go for the i5/8ram/256ssd mba.

fleawannabe
Sep 16, 2012, 11:56 PM
i think i might go for the i5/8ram/256ssd mba.

That is a good choice, no need for the i7. You will enjoy your new MBA!