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Old Feb 19, 2013, 04:34 AM   #1
SlickShoes
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Another Buying Advice Post!

Hi, I have recently built myself a pretty powerful desktop PC so now have little need for the power of my macbook pro. I have a buyer lined up for the macbook pro so my original thought was to buy a macbook Air with the money from the sale of the pro.

Now that I have a powerful desktop I want my laptop to be very portable so I can just take it where ever I go without feeling like im lugging something about in my backpack.

All I will be doing with the computer is web browsing, reading kindle books, some hobbyist level photo editing, occasionally playing Counter Strike or Diablo 3 (probably once a week at most), general word processing and listening to music.

For this I am looking at the top spec 11" air, the native resolution being less than the 13" version should benefit me when playing those games, I don't NEED the extra screen real estate of the 13" for any of my uses.

What I was wondering is the processor upgrade to the 2.0Ghz i7, how much of a performance increase is this over the i5 1.7Ghz? This upgrade is 100, I am buying through the education store so will get 3 years of applecare and that is how long I intend to keep this machine so would that processor upgrade be worthwhile?

The spec I am looking at is :

2.0GHz Intel Dual-Core Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz
8GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
128GB Flash Storage

970 or 870 without the processor upgrade.

I noticed I can now get a 13" retina for 1070 but as tempting as that is it would probably just be overkill for my needs as nothing I do actually needs the retina resolution.

So I guess my real dilemma is i5 or i7?
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 04:45 AM   #2
Macman45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlickShoes View Post
Hi, I have recently built myself a pretty powerful desktop PC so now have little need for the power of my macbook pro. I have a buyer lined up for the macbook pro so my original thought was to buy a macbook Air with the money from the sale of the pro.

Now that I have a powerful desktop I want my laptop to be very portable so I can just take it where ever I go without feeling like im lugging something about in my backpack.

All I will be doing with the computer is web browsing, reading kindle books, some hobbyist level photo editing, occasionally playing Counter Strike or Diablo 3 (probably once a week at most), general word processing and listening to music.

For this I am looking at the top spec 11" air, the native resolution being less than the 13" version should benefit me when playing those games, I don't NEED the extra screen real estate of the 13" for any of my uses.

What I was wondering is the processor upgrade to the 2.0Ghz i7, how much of a performance increase is this over the i5 1.7Ghz? This upgrade is 100, I am buying through the education store so will get 3 years of applecare and that is how long I intend to keep this machine so would that processor upgrade be worthwhile?

The spec I am looking at is :

2.0GHz Intel Dual-Core Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz
8GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
128GB Flash Storage

970 or 870 without the processor upgrade.

I noticed I can now get a 13" retina for 1070 but as tempting as that is it would probably just be overkill for my needs as nothing I do actually needs the retina resolution.

So I guess my real dilemma is i5 or i7?

For your purposes you really don't need the I7...The I5 will be more than enough. I would advise the 13" if you can though....I tried both and found that the 11" screen was just too small for me. I have a 2011 13" ultimate with the I7, but apart from occasional photo edits I really don't need the extra power....I sold my MBP 17" as it just wasn't getting the use any more, bought a new Imac 27" max spec to replace my 2011 27" which is now for sale. I'd say the I5 13" is where you should look...If you can, get to a store and compare the screen sizes....There is a big difference IMO.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 05:02 AM   #3
SlickShoes
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Thanks, my wife has the 13" one just now but I will be going to the store today to take a look anyway.

If I do think the screen size is OK I will probably save myself 50 and get the 11" one but I know a lot of people just can't get used to the really small size.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 08:15 AM   #4
designs216
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I don't think the processor bump is worth it for your uses but consider the 13" rather than the 11" for the reason you mentioned.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 09:34 AM   #5
SlickShoes
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I went in to the store at lunch and had a look at them all including the rMBP 13".

The air 11" is really nice, the screen size seems fine and the weight is amazingly light. One thing I thought from picking up both 11 and 13 when open was the 13 feels a bit more back heavy whereas the 11 feels like the weight is more even distributed.

The rMBP is really nice, but I don't see the point in such a high res display powered by a HD4000, sure it will be nice for general day to day use but as soon as I try to do anything intensive I will have to drop my res and scale it down which just seems pointless.

I am leaning towards the 11" now, but will keep the 13" in mind while I am mulling it over. Still considering the processor bump but so far not convinced by anything I have read about its performance increase to spent ratio.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 11:32 AM   #6
Mrbobb
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Do u read ebooks hours on end? 11" has 5 HR batt life, and if u spend a hour on game I imagine that's going down to 3 HR.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 03:37 AM   #7
SlickShoes
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Originally Posted by Mrbobb View Post
Do u read ebooks hours on end? 11" has 5 HR batt life, and if u spend a hour on game I imagine that's going down to 3 HR.
I will only play games when it is plugged in to the adapter, I am a light reader just now maybe 1 or 2 hours maximum. The majority of my evenings are spent on my gaming PC, so the battery life should be OK, it's the one thing that's currently making me over think the whole thing though.
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