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View Full Version : Exchange 13" Ultimate for "Lesser" Model




LostAggie
Aug 6, 2013, 10:12 AM
I bought the ultimate model and I do like but I feel like a may have spent more than I needed to...

My thought is to exchange for the 8gb/256gb/i5 model and save $500 when you include tax.

I do light photo editing with Aperture, some video with iMovie, and play SC2/Civ 5/going to play new SimCity. Mostly email, web, etc...

Will I regret on the performance side? How about going to the 11"?



maflynn
Aug 6, 2013, 10:14 AM
You may find the screen size too limiting with the 11" MBA for Aperture.

I think you have a fine machine and that you didn't over buy - just my $.02

DisplacedMic
Aug 6, 2013, 10:17 AM
I bought the ultimate model and I do like but I feel like a may have spent more than I needed to...

My thought is to exchange for the 8gb/256gb/i5 model and save $500 when you include tax.

I do light photo editing with Aperture, some video with iMovie, and play SC2/Civ 5/going to play new SimCity. Mostly email, web, etc...

Will I regret on the performance side? How about going to the 11"?

have you gone to the apple store and played with them?

LostAggie
Aug 6, 2013, 10:21 AM
have you gone to the apple store and played with them?

Yes I have...

Just wondering if I would notice any performance drop. Probably keep the 13" size.

maflynn
Aug 6, 2013, 10:23 AM
If you have the i7 now, I don't think you'll notice any appreciable difference with the i5

Boyd01
Aug 6, 2013, 10:26 AM
What is the "ultimate" model? i7 8gb 512gb? If you bought from Apple, I believe that would be considered "built to order" and you can't exchange it.

I had a 2011 13" i5 4gb 256gb model for about two years and loved it. I could edit professional HD video (XDCAM EX) with my old version of Final Cut Pro and run Logic Pro with no problems on the old machine. Could even run them both at the same time without issues in 4gb.

I just upgraded to a 2013 i7 8gb 512gb 11" model and love it. Mainly, the 512gb SSD gives me some breathing room. I think that's worth the cost definitely. I never had an issue with 4gb RAM on the old machine, but I'm sure I won't regret getting 8gb.

After almost a week of use however, i don't notice much performance difference between the old and new machines. Video renders faster, and USB 3 is a big upgrade though.

I really like the size of the 11" model though, and since it is used mostly at home connected to a keyboard and big screen, the size doesn't matter. But on the road, the 11" is definitely a plus for me and the smaller screen is a reasonable compromise. I don't really notice a difference in keyboard sizes.

LostAggie
Aug 6, 2013, 10:33 AM
What is the "ultimate" model? i7 8gb 512gb? If you bought from Apple, I believe that would be considered "built to order" and you can't exchange it.

I had a 2011 13" i5 4gb 256gb model for about two years and loved it. I could edit professional HD video (XDCAM EX) with my old version of Final Cut Pro and run Logic Pro with no problems on the old machine. Could even run them both at the same time without issues in 4gb.

I just upgraded to a 2013 i7 8gb 512gb 11" model and love it. Mainly, the 512gb SSD gives me some breathing room. I think that's worth the cost definitely. I never had an issue with 4gb RAM on the old machine, but I'm sure I won't regret getting 8gb.

After almost a week of use however, i don't notice much performance difference between the old and new machines. Video renders faster, and USB 3 is a big upgrade though.

I really like the size of the 11" model though, and since it is used mostly at home connected to a keyboard and big screen, the size doesn't matter. But on the road, the 11" is definitely a plus for me and the smaller screen is a reasonable compromise. I don't really notice a difference in keyboard sizes.

Thanks for the feedback. I am thinking I wouldn't miss the i7 or the 512gb drive. I have all my stuff loaded - games, pics, music and I am still under 100gbs now.

The Apple store here in AZ told me i have 14 days to decide.

w00d
Aug 6, 2013, 10:35 AM
The i7 cpu is something like 20% faster. Personally I find it noticeable for photo and video editing. I wish my 2013 i7 mba was faster yet.

I could certainly get by with the 1.3 (I had one for a week before exchange) but for me the price difference for the upgraded model was worth it.

I spend a lot of hours using my laptop though...

Boyd01
Aug 6, 2013, 10:40 AM
So they stock the 512gb SSD models in the store there? I checked in NYC and surrounding area and they don't carry them. It would be BTO on Apple's website, and their policy is that BTO can't be exchanged. Maybe it's handled differently if they order it for you at the store?

I went for two years with the 256gb model and only had about 130gb of files on the SSD. I had to do regular house-cleaning of Logic Pro files though and would have liked to have a larger iTunes library.

Then I did a couple video projects again after a hiatus of a few years. After several days of editing, I got a warning about lack of capture scratch space and had to reduce the free space setting in FCP. After a week of doing video, I was struggling to keep 60gb free on the SSD.

I can use an external drive of course, but it's so nice to have your current projects on the SSD from both a performance and convenience perspective. The 512 is definitely worth the cost difference to me, but I could live with an i5 and 4gb.

LostAggie
Aug 6, 2013, 10:51 AM
So they stock the 512gb SSD models in the store there? I checked in NYC and surrounding area and they don't carry them. It would be BTO on Apple's website, and their policy is that BTO can't be exchanged. Maybe it's handled differently if they order it for you at the store?

I went for two years with the 256gb model and only had about 130gb of files on the SSD. I had to do regular house-cleaning of Logic Pro files though and would have liked to have a larger iTunes library.

Then I did a couple video projects again after a hiatus of a few years. After several days of editing, I got a warning about lack of capture scratch space and had to reduce the free space setting in FCP. After a week of doing video, I was struggling to keep 60gb free on the SSD.

I can use an external drive of course, but it's so nice to have your current projects on the SSD from both a performance and convenience perspective. The 512 is definitely worth the cost difference to me, but I could live with an i5 and 4gb.

They stock both the 11 and 13 in 8gb/512gb/i7 configs here in AZ.

AXs
Aug 6, 2013, 10:57 AM
It all comes down to opportunity cost.

Just because something is affordable, doesn't automatically make it a good buy.

There are definitely uses for i7 and 512gb of SSD. Plenty.

But is it something that YOU need? It doesn't sound like it from what you're saying.

This is what I would do- I would get the $500 back and put it towards a time capsule and Apple care.


A lot of people talk about "future proofing" all over the board. They need to realize that the best way to future-proof is to buy a new machine.

Spending $500 extra on an Air will not stop it from being old in the 3rd year, when 14nm chips and DDR4 are mainstream.

Rather use it for 2 years, sell it for what you can get out of it (or pass it on to gf/fam), and drop this $500 on the 2015 model. (just my personal opinion, and also exactly what I'm going to do).

goodluck.

magbarn
Aug 6, 2013, 10:58 AM
If you have the i7 now, I don't think you'll notice any appreciable difference with the i5

Depends on the user. For me, even heavy websites have an appreciable difference in scrolling between the i5 and & i7. When editing photos, the i7 finishes noticeably faster...

DisplacedMic
Aug 6, 2013, 12:01 PM
What is the "ultimate" model? i7 8gb 512gb? If you bought from Apple, I believe that would be considered "built to order" and you can't exchange it.

I had a 2011 13" i5 4gb 256gb model for about two years and loved it. I could edit professional HD video (XDCAM EX) with my old version of Final Cut Pro and run Logic Pro with no problems on the old machine. Could even run them both at the same time without issues in 4gb.

I just upgraded to a 2013 i7 8gb 512gb 11" model and love it. Mainly, the 512gb SSD gives me some breathing room. I think that's worth the cost definitely. I never had an issue with 4gb RAM on the old machine, but I'm sure I won't regret getting 8gb.

After almost a week of use however, i don't notice much performance difference between the old and new machines. Video renders faster, and USB 3 is a big upgrade though.

I really like the size of the 11" model though, and since it is used mostly at home connected to a keyboard and big screen, the size doesn't matter. But on the road, the 11" is definitely a plus for me and the smaller screen is a reasonable compromise. I don't really notice a difference in keyboard sizes.

you have 14 days on all purchases.

----------

It all comes down to opportunity cost.

Just because something is affordable, doesn't automatically make it a good buy.

There are definitely uses for i7 and 512gb of SSD. Plenty.

But is it something that YOU need? It doesn't sound like it from what you're saying.

This is what I would do- I would get the $500 back and put it towards a time capsule and Apple care.


A lot of people talk about "future proofing" all over the board. They need to realize that the best way to future-proof is to buy a new machine.

Spending $500 extra on an Air will not stop it from being old in the 3rd year, when 14nm chips and DDR4 are mainstream.

Rather use it for 2 years, sell it for what you can get out of it (or pass it on to gf/fam), and drop this $500 on the 2015 model. (just my personal opinion, and also exactly what I'm going to do).

goodluck.

i agree with this. future-proofing is a bit of a silly term - especially with a machine that is clearly not designed to be upgraded on the user-end.
a macbook air isn't "future proof"

what you need to decide is if and when your "future" is going to change. as in, will your needs change? because a laptop like the MBA is not designed to be cutting-edge spec-wise.

in my opinion, if a computer serves your needs well today it will serve your needs 3 years from now, so if i5 4ram works now, it will have a nce working lifespan.

it will just be slower relative to whatever comes out 3 years from now.
but look back, how did "future proofing" work for people who bought the "ultimate" 1st gen Air?

unless you need/want it now more than your $100 - why upgrade?

maflynn
Aug 6, 2013, 12:05 PM
i agree with this. future-proofing is a bit of a silly term - especially with a machine that is clearly not designed to be upgraded on the user-end.
a macbook air isn't "future proof"


Sure it is, say you get the base model with 4GB of ram and 128GB SSD but two years down the road because of software (and operating system updates) that 4GB is rather constrained and you're now dealing with page-outs. Likewise with the application bloat and you're finding the 128GB rather small.

Now take the 8GB/256SSD under the same conditions - you have a machine that will last a few more years thanks to that configuration. That certainly sounds like future proof to me.

Mike in Kansas
Aug 6, 2013, 12:16 PM
I bought the ultimate model and I do like but I feel like a may have spent more than I needed to...

My thought is to exchange for the 8gb/256gb/i5 model and save $500 when you include tax.

I do light photo editing with Aperture, some video with iMovie, and play SC2/Civ 5/going to play new SimCity. Mostly email, web, etc...

Will I regret on the performance side? How about going to the 11"?

I'd still stick with the 13" particularly for Aperture and iMovie. Unless you value portability above all else, the extra 2" of real estate is good to have.

I have an older iMac that only had 4GB of RAM, and when I ran Aperture even with nothing else running I'd get page outs like crazy. I updated to 6GB (the max for that machine) and the page outs were dramatically reduced, but are still there except particularly when I am using brushes, healing/cloning or zooming into 100%. Having since installed an SSD over a year ago, the page outs are less noticeable but they are still there. My opinion is that 8GB should pretty much eliminate the page outs. The good thing with the new MBAs is that even if you still had page outs, the SSD is now so fast that they would probably not even be noticed. However, I think the 8GB is a smart decision if you are doing anything creative and don't want to have to kill all other apps to do so.

When running Aperture on a 2012 MBA with an i7/8GB/256GB, it is VERY smooth most of the time EXCEPT again when using brushes or a lot of cloning/healing. The main users of this machine are my wife and at-the-time-high-school-senior; neither of them were hardcore users. I may have been able to get away with the i5, but I never ran Aperture and iMovie on an i5 extensively to verify that. Plus when we travel on vacation (2X - 3X a year) I tend to take a lot of pictures & video and use this machine a lot, so having the extra power has been nice.

I was just in the market for a 2013 MBA for the then-high-school-senior who is now going off to college in less than 2 weeks. He had been using the 2012/i7/8GB/256GB quite extensively with iMovie and Aperture; recently he's started shooting a D300 in RAW, so the Aperture usage will continue to grow in college. With the 2013 MBAs having slower base processor speeds than the 2012s, I was concerned that the i5 would be a step too far in the wrong direction, particularly with his usage of the 2012 for a year. We also wanted to minimize any need for external drives (he has a fairly large music and movie library, and shoots a D300 in RAW) as he'll be out of his dorm 8 hours or more a day, so I went with the 2013/i7/8GB/512. It's probably overkill, especially with the additional cost of going to 512GB from 256GB, but I wanted as light, powerful, and elegant a solution as possible. He'll be taking up almost 150GB of the SSD right away, so I wanted to make sure he had some breathing room. Even if the rMBPs had been refreshed before he went off to school, we'd still go for the MBA as it's a great combination of lightness, power and simplicity. For that, it was worth the premium. Plus, the education discount, a tax free shopping holiday, and the iTunes card being repurposed as a Christmas present made the cost a little easier to swallow!

DisplacedMic
Aug 6, 2013, 12:18 PM
Sure it is, say you get the base model with 4GB of ram and 128GB SSD but two years down the road because of software (and operating system updates) that 4GB is rather constrained and you're now dealing with page-outs. Likewise with the application bloat and you're finding the 128GB rather small.

Now take the 8GB/256SSD under the same conditions - you have a machine that will last a few more years thanks to that configuration. That certainly sounds like future proof to me.

i hear you and i understand what the term means - maybe i should say it's less applicable to the MBA?

if your needs aren't likely to change in the next few years (starting school, have a set toolbelt of software for work etc) then i don't think the lifespan of the 4gig and the 8gig MBA is going to be demonstrably different. This is even more true for the i5/i7.

i'm not at all saying there's no reason to get the upgrades - i'm just saying that "future proofing" isn't as good a reason for more people than i think we would like to admit.

LostAggie
Aug 6, 2013, 04:31 PM
I agree that 8gbs RAM should be a definite but my real question is the i5 vs i7?

Boyd01
Aug 6, 2013, 05:03 PM
I really doubt you'll notice much if any difference. Had my 4gb 2011 i5 and 8gb 2013 i7 sitting right next to each other, using both on and off for a couple days.

The only real difference I noted was the rendering speed in FCP, and even that wasn't enough to make me go "wow". I always believe in buying the highest spec machine you can afford however - can't imagine ever saying "I wish my CPU was slower" at some future date. :D