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View Full Version : Looking to buy MAC today, Need help!!!




bwsteg
Aug 14, 2013, 07:07 AM
Hello, I am looking to purchase a MacBook Air (???) today but need some advice. Looking at the specs on the Air and Pro, I notice the difference in processor speed but am aware that the Air has new Hardware.

Ok, I will use the laptop for normal browsing, not much else but I do care about speed (how long it takes to power up, open up folders, etc). I love the current speed of my desktop PC (specs = Intel core i5-2500k 3.3GHz with 8.0gb ram.

So basically is the mac air base (lowest price) comparable with my PC, specs wise or how quick it will be? I have a standard harddrive, not sure if 5400 or 7200. I know the air has SSD.

Any ideas or help will be much appreciated. Or should I go with the Pro?



sonicrobby
Aug 14, 2013, 07:12 AM
the 13" air and 13" pro will essentially be the same. The only difference would be the weight and graphics (air having the better of both).

If you go for the air, I would say get the base i5 model. You could get by with 4GB of RAM, but I would suggest getting 8GB just in case, since you cant upgrade it later.

If you would like to personally upgrade the hardrive and RAM of your macbook, then go with the pro.

Mr Rabbit
Aug 14, 2013, 07:14 AM
The MacBook Air's SSD will more than likely make up for any speed differences between the processors in both your PC and the MacBook Pros you're comparing it to. It would be wise to configure it out to 8GB of RAM though since you cannot change this later on and since your current system has 8GB of RAM.

Truth be told though it sounds like you won't be pushing the machine at all even in it's base configuration. Boot / shutdown times are typically less than 10 seconds with MacBook Airs, closer to 25+ seconds with the MacBook Pros. Beyond that the MacBook Air will still either outperform or match the speed of the MacBook Pro for typical activities such as browsing, iTunes, iPhoto, etc.

bwsteg
Aug 14, 2013, 07:21 AM
I'm not worried about size or weight since it will mostly be in the house 95% of the time. As far as upgrading myself, not looking to do that as well.

I am more concerned about the speed. I want the mac to be comparable to my current PC. The Pro has the better processor speed but its older and the HD isn't SSD.

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The MacBook Air's SSD will more than likely make up for any speed differences between the processors in both your PC and the MacBook Pros you're comparing it to. It would be wise to configure it out to 8GB of RAM though since you cannot change this later on and since your current system has 8GB of RAM.

Truth be told though it sounds like you won't be pushing the machine at all even in it's base configuration. Boot / shutdown times are typically less than 10 seconds with MacBook Airs, closer to 25+ seconds with the MacBook Pros. Beyond that the MacBook Air will still either outperform or match the speed of the MacBook Pro for typical activities such as browsing, iTunes, iPhoto, etc.

Exactly the type of info I was looking for. So the SSD should make up the difference in speed between the Air and my current PC. I am not too interested in the PRO since its the older model. Thanks for the reply.

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My processor is Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core

Mac Air is 1.3GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 2.6GHz

Numbers wise, seems like a big difference to me although I am not computer savy

jwjsr
Aug 14, 2013, 07:54 AM
Buy refurb

Mr Rabbit
Aug 14, 2013, 08:06 AM
My processor is Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core

Mac Air is 1.3GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 2.6GHz

Numbers wise, seems like a big difference to me although I am not computer savy

On paper it does sound like a big drop but in real world use you won't see a dramatic difference unless you regularly perform heavy tasks that require loads of calculations per second, real time rendering, etc... For the majority of what you do you will see speed increases from the much quicker read/write times that the SSD offers.

For what it's worth we just had several in house developers at work replace their older MacBook Pros with MacBook Airs. The lead developer had switched several months ago and sung such high praises of the SSD speed benefits that the others decided to make the switch once their upgrade time arrived.

sonicrobby
Aug 14, 2013, 08:06 AM
My processor is Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core

Mac Air is 1.3GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 2.6GHz

Numbers wise, seems like a big difference to me although I am not computer savy

Ohhhhh, well I will stop you now and say you may still notice a speed difference between the quad core and dual core; but IF you are only going to be browsing, you probably wont really notice it since its not really processor heavy.

Number wise:
dual core at 1.3Ghz -> 2 x 1.3 = 2.6GHz
quad core at 3.3GHz -> 4 x 3.3 = 13.2GHz

so yeah the quad core would be about 5 times faster than the air number wise. But unless you are working the processor, which browsing wont really do, you wont ever notice.

Best advice I can give is to go the the Apple store, or a bestbuy or something with macbook display models, and do what you would normally do on your computer. Open a browser, open a lot of tabs with different websites, and see how it handles.

ohbrilliance
Aug 14, 2013, 08:23 AM
Number wise:
dual core at 1.3Ghz -> 2 x 1.3 = 2.6GHz
quad core at 3.3GHz -> 4 x 3.3 = 13.2GHz


For 'Total Ghz' (whatever that's worth), you'd be better off comparing turbo speeds:
dual core at 2.6Ghz -> 2 x 2.6 = 5.2GHz
quad core at 3.7GHz -> 4 x 3.7 = 14.8GHz

So that's less that three times the 'Total GHz'. That's further reduced with the generational difference. Then you have to consider that unless you're working on specific tasks that can take advantage of all four cores, you'd struggle to ever even use that capacity. At the end of the day, there's no effective difference in processing power for general computing tasks.

Mike in Kansas
Aug 14, 2013, 08:26 AM
Number wise:
dual core at 1.3Ghz -> 2 x 1.3 = 2.6GHz
quad core at 3.3GHz -> 4 x 3.3 = 13.2GHz



It doesn't work that way.

OP - here is a head-to-head comparison.

http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core-i5-4250U-vs-Intel-Core-i5-2500K

For most tasks, the blazing fast SSD will compensate for a slower processor speed, unless you are doing video rendering or other tasks that just chew up processor time.

newdeal
Aug 14, 2013, 09:21 AM
Hello, I am looking to purchase a MacBook Air (???) today but need some advice. Looking at the specs on the Air and Pro, I notice the difference in processor speed but am aware that the Air has new Hardware.

Ok, I will use the laptop for normal browsing, not much else but I do care about speed (how long it takes to power up, open up folders, etc). I love the current speed of my desktop PC (specs = Intel core i5-2500k 3.3GHz with 8.0gb ram.

So basically is the mac air base (lowest price) comparable with my PC, specs wise or how quick it will be? I have a standard harddrive, not sure if 5400 or 7200. I know the air has SSD.

Any ideas or help will be much appreciated. Or should I go with the Pro?



For basic uses especially the air will absolutely destroy your PC to the point where it won't even be a contest at all. The PC would win on things that need a fast CPU but you dont do any of those things. The air would destory on things that need a fast disk which is basically everything. The pro won't be any faster than the air (retina pro that is) for what you do. The standard pro would be the slowest of all by far

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For 'Total Ghz' (whatever that's worth), you'd be better off comparing turbo speeds:
dual core at 2.6Ghz -> 2 x 2.6 = 5.2GHz
quad core at 3.7GHz -> 4 x 3.7 = 14.8GHz

So that's less that three times the 'Total GHz'. That's further reduced with the generational difference. Then you have to consider that unless you're working on specific tasks that can take advantage of all four cores, you'd struggle to ever even use that capacity. At the end of the day, there's no effective difference in processing power for general computing tasks.

even that doesn't work, generational changes, changes in bus speeds, hyperthreading of the air vs no hyperthreading of the PC

bwsteg
Aug 14, 2013, 09:29 AM
Thank you all for the help...I just purchased the MacBook Air via Best Buy. I selected the base model with 4GB Ram. I will give it a try, if anything will return within their 15 day return period.

For my basic browsing needs, is 4GB sufficient using Chrome? I understand that by getting the 4GB, its not upgradeable but should I have gone for the 8GB?

mxidis88
Aug 14, 2013, 09:51 AM
Thank you all for the help...I just purchased the MacBook Air via Best Buy. I selected the base model with 4GB Ram. I will give it a try, if anything will return within their 15 day return period.

For my basic browsing needs, is 4GB sufficient using Chrome? I understand that by getting the 4GB, its not upgradeable but should I have gone for the 8GB?

You made a great decision. Remember to do any software updates immediately after you get it. Also, you may notice a bit of sluggishness while the system indexes for spotlight search. After that you're going to have a blazing fast machine that will last forever on battery!

P.S. (4GB is fine, you'll never use up that RAM and if you do the system will take memory from the new PCI flash storage(128GB) which is fast enough that you'll never ever worry about things dying because of lack of memory.)

imjoee
Aug 14, 2013, 10:06 AM
if you are a student, go with the student plan.

base model 2013 13" 8GB ram MBA 1,139 for students

and for non students it will cost you i think 1200

bwsteg
Aug 14, 2013, 10:24 AM
You made a great decision. Remember to do any software updates immediately after you get it. Also, you may notice a bit of sluggishness while the system indexes for spotlight search. After that you're going to have a blazing fast machine that will last forever on battery!

P.S. (4GB is fine, you'll never use up that RAM and if you do the system will take memory from the new PCI flash storage(128GB) which is fast enough that you'll never ever worry about things dying because of lack of memory.)


Thanks...How exactly do I do the updates? Also I noticed that the OS X Mountain Lion is available for upgrade, do we need to pay for all updates pertaining to operating system?

Also, as far as security goes. Does the Air have something pre-installed? I usually use Norton 360 on the PC.

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if you are a student, go with the student plan.

base model 2013 13" 8GB ram MBA 1,139 for students

and for non students it will cost you i think 1200


Unfortunately I do not qualify since I am a non student. I will give the base model a try and go from there...

mxidis88
Aug 14, 2013, 10:36 AM
Thanks...How exactly do I do the updates? Also I noticed that the OS X Mountain Lion is available for upgrade, do we need to pay for all updates pertaining to operating system?

Also, as far as security goes. Does the Air have something pre-installed? I usually use Norton 360 on the PC.[COLOR="#808080"]


Click the Apple icon on the top left corner and choose "software update." That'll kick you to the App Store where it will show you all of the updates you need. As far as upgrading your OS, if you bought this new it should come with Mountain Lion preinstalled(minus any updates) so you won't have to pay for anything until Mavericks comes out in a month or so($20-$30).

Security: I've never ever used any type of anti virus software on my macs because I've found they tend to slow the system unnecessarily/hog system resources and act like viruses themselves. What I do instead is keep important files backed up on a secure disk that isn't connected to the web or my computer longer than it takes to offload important files and once every six months I reinstall a fresh copy of OS X. It's sometimes a pain to set up my computer again, but I've found that this keeps everything running smooth and I don't hang on to files or programs that I never use(because I'd have to actively redownload them). If that's not your cup of coffee, I've not heard bad things about Mcafee for mac.

bwsteg
Aug 14, 2013, 10:38 AM
Is reinstalling a fresh copy of OS simple?

mxidis88
Aug 14, 2013, 10:41 AM
P.S. If you only have Lion/Snow Leopard and you bought new, bring the computer and your receipt into an Apple Store and they should update it for you.

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Is reinstalling a fresh copy of OS simple?

Quite, Restart your computer and while it's booting hold down the "option" key. Choose the recovery disk, and you'll see the reinstall OS X option.

LaDirection
Aug 14, 2013, 10:49 AM
''Ok, I will use the laptop for normal browsing, not much else but I do care about speed''

Reality check: a 10 y old computer would be enough for you.

Primus84
Aug 14, 2013, 10:54 AM
Is reinstalling a fresh copy of OS simple?

Absolutely no need to be doing this with Mac OS. I'd question why someone is giving someone who has little experience of Mac OS advice such as this. Chances are down to his inexperience he'll end up losing something important.

Mike in Kansas
Aug 14, 2013, 12:08 PM
Thanks...How exactly do I do the updates? Also I noticed that the OS X Mountain Lion is available for upgrade, do we need to pay for all updates pertaining to operating system?



You already have Mountain Lion; this is an "update" to a version of Mountain Lion that is more recent than the version that your MBA may have shipped with. These are free.

bwsteg
Aug 14, 2013, 03:27 PM
Been using the MBA for about an hr now and I can certainly tell the difference in speed. I would say my PC is a 10 and the MAC is a 7.5. It's still quick considering its a small unit.

mxidis88
Aug 14, 2013, 04:16 PM
Been using the MBA for about an hr now and I can certainly tell the difference in speed. I would say my PC is a 10 and the MAC is a 7.5. It's still quick considering its a small unit.

Have you finished indexing on spotlight search? (hold down command+space or click the magnifying glass on the toolbar top right?)

bwsteg
Aug 14, 2013, 04:22 PM
Have you finished indexing on spotlight search? (hold down command+space or click the magnifying glass on the toolbar top right?)

when i hold down command and spacebar, a search bar appears

mxidis88
Aug 14, 2013, 04:25 PM
when i hold down command and spacebar, a search bar appears

type something in...if it shows some results+a queue that shows indexing then it's gonna be slow while that's happening. If it just shows search results I'm not sure what would be slowing down your new mac.

mxidis88
Aug 14, 2013, 05:03 PM
weird, it won't let me go to the second page of this thread...

bwsteg
Aug 14, 2013, 05:17 PM
it just shows searches. By no means am I saying that its slow. Its just a bit slower than my PC.

Another question I have is how do I remove some of the icons on my dock? For example, I clicked activity monitor and now I see it on my dock. I want to remove it.

Also when I downloaded opera and flash, it also shows on the top right hand corner. Can I remove those icons?

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Also, how do I get my tabs to stay. Every time I close the browser either on opera or safari, I lose all my tabs when I reopen.

mxidis88
Aug 14, 2013, 05:20 PM
it just shows searches. By no means am I saying that its slow. Its just a bit slower than my PC.

Another question I have is how do I remove some of the icons on my dock? For example, I clicked activity monitor and now I see it on my dock. I want to remove it.

Also when I downloaded opera and flash, it also shows on the top right hand corner. Can I remove those icons?

1. Okay good to know
2. If the program is not running, Click and drag the icons away from the dock. Hold it out there for 1 sec. or so, then let it poof away. If the program is running it will stay in the dock until you quit it completely(if there is a light mark underneath the icon, it is still active and needs to quit with the command+Q.)

in windows if you X out of a program it quits it, os x let's the program run even though there are no windows

3. If they are the install drives you used to install them just right click(double tap) and select eject.

bwsteg
Aug 14, 2013, 06:35 PM
Thanks, got everything to work..

How do I keep my tabs open when I close and reopen the web browser such as opera or safari. They always close. On my iphone, they would always keep open, as well as on my PC.

Also, lets say I find a wallpaper picture online. How do I apply it as my background?

Sorry for so many questions, I do appreciate your help...

mxidis88
Aug 14, 2013, 06:50 PM
Thanks, got everything to work..

How do I keep my tabs open when I close and reopen the web browser such as opera or safari. They always close. On my iphone, they would always keep open, as well as on my PC.

Also, lets say I find a wallpaper picture online. How do I apply it as my background?

Sorry for so many questions, I do appreciate your help...

No worries, glad to be able to help.

1. If you go into Safari preferences(menu bar: Safari, preferences) go to the General tab and select "Safari opens with: All windows from last session"

2. Right click on the image and you should see the option "Use image as Desktop Picture" as an option.

bwsteg
Aug 14, 2013, 06:53 PM
My right click doesnt work on anything. Basically nothing happens when I right click.

mxidis88
Aug 14, 2013, 07:04 PM
My right click doesnt work on anything. Basically nothing happens when I right click.

Are you talking about the "2 finger click," If that's not working go to System Preferences, trackpad, "Point and Click tab, Secondary click. From there you should be able to set it how you would like. I use the 2 finger click...