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Old Jun 15, 2013, 06:41 AM   #76
Writergirl7
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Yes, I have the same question. Doing the dance in my mind between the new Air, a 13" r MBP and the iMac. I do most of my productive work (writing) at my desk in my study so as I have an iPad I was thinking of getting an iMac. But after reading this discussion I'm leaning towards the Air plus a monitor again . Wondering whether the slightly slower but more efficient Haswell 1.3 GHz processor would make much of a difference to productivity (especially re photography) given the other gains.

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Old Jun 16, 2013, 09:22 AM   #77
VaeVictis
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Originally Posted by Writergirl7 View Post
Yes, I have the same question. Doing the dance in my mind between the new Air, a 13" r MBP and the iMac. I do most of my productive work (writing) at my desk in my study so as I have an iPad I was thinking of getting an iMac. But after reading this discussion I'm leaning towards the Air plus a monitor again . Wondering whether the slightly slower but more efficient Haswell 1.3 GHz processor would make much of a difference to productivity (especially re photography) given the other gains.
I am with you, been thinking the same thing...

Should I wait for a rMBP or should I purchase new Air and to be honest the answer is not that simple anymore.

I am leaning more and more to AIR and a DELL 27'.

Has anybody tried running WM Fusion with Windows 7/8 on Air 2013 i7, is it running OK or should I wait for rMBP (Haswell edition)?
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 12:47 PM   #78
floobie
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Huh, found this thread with a Google search. And, apparently it's still active.

I'm currently in transition. I've owned a 15" Macbook Pro (non-retina) for the last 1.5 years now. I love the thing. The most demanding of my tasks is Logic, where all the plugins I use can quickly push a machine with a lesser processor beyond its limits. The i7 in this machine handles it just fine.

So, to say those quad core i7s are overkill: Usually, yes. But, there are definitely cases where they make all the difference. Even with an i5 in the 15" Pro (back when that was offered), the performance suffers quite dramatically for this use case.

That said, I'm trying something new now. It's a two-pronged approach.

I just picked up a refurbished 27" iMac, with the 3.4ghz i7, 8gb of RAM, 1TB Fusion Drive, and the 2gb Nvidia Graphics. In terms of raw performance, this isn't a HUGE step up from my 15" Pro. But, in terms of some general... comforts, it's a lot better. Specifically, even under a decent load, this thing is SILENT. For me, this is one of the biggest negatives associated with laptops in general. If I'm mixing in Logic on my 15" Pro, the fans are always going full speed. If I'm editing photos in Aperture, the fans are going full speed. On the iMac, unless I'm playing a game... it's silent. Some day, when I work up the balls to start recording vocals, this will be essential. And, frankly, sitting in front of a computer with a fan that's screaming at you for hours on end... it's stressful! Of course, that's not to mention the insane screen real estate the 27" screen affords. I've never really minded working on 13" or 15" laptop screens, but I can't deny the benefits of having this much space to work with.

So, prong two? I realized quite quickly after picking up the iMac that my Macbook Pro is completely overkill as a laptop now. While having that much processing power on the go is nice, it's just unnecessary now. I use my laptop for work, more casual computing (ie. not at my desk), and obviously whenever I don't have access to my iMac. I bring it to the office everyday and hook up to a 27" Thunderbolt Display. The most demanding part of my work basically involves using Adobe CS6 (mostly Illustrator, inDesign, and occasionally Photoshop). I'm not a graphic designer, but I do use the software fairly often. And, well, for the kind of work I'm doing in these applications... a quad core i7 and dedicated graphics just isn't necessary. So, I've ordered myself a shiny new 13" Air with the i5, 8gb of RAM, and the 256gb SSD. That whole "12 hour battery" thing is extremely appealing. I may finally feel like I don't have to tether myself to a wall outlet. And the prospect of hauling around 2.5 fewer pounds of laptop every day... yeah. Where the iMac is my new heavy lifter, the Air shall be my trusty sidekick. And, the Pro is posted on Kijiji.

I'm not knocking the "one workhorse laptop for everything" approach. I used to hate having to keep multiple computers more or less in sync, to the point that I opted for a single laptop. But, Dropbox has largely solved that for me. I have access to a giant dropbox account thanks to work, and I have literally ALL OF my files on it (Logic projects, Aperture Library, work files... everything). Now, keeping my iMac and Macbook in sync is completely effortless, and I can easily opt for two highly optimized machines, instead of a single compromised machine.
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 01:05 PM   #79
raftr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Writergirl7 View Post
Yes, I have the same question. Doing the dance in my mind between the new Air, a 13" r MBP and the iMac. I do most of my productive work (writing) at my desk in my study so as I have an iPad I was thinking of getting an iMac. But after reading this discussion I'm leaning towards the Air plus a monitor again . Wondering whether the slightly slower but more efficient Haswell 1.3 GHz processor would make much of a difference to productivity (especially re photography) given the other gains.
I have the 2012 i7 Air with 8GB RAM, it is more than capable when it comes to photo editing on a 30" display. It doesn't feel like it is not a desktop computer at all, I forget it is a laptop most of the time. I am of course tempted to upgrade to the 2013 model but I don't think real-life speed gains would be noticeable enough to justify it, other than the improved battery life.

I suppose the 2013 model having twice as fast SSD could be a nanosecond faster when quick-browsing large previews in Lightroom, but they are real quick already.

For writing, you don't need much computing power, you'd likely be happy enough with a 2010 Air. Being able to unplug at any point and write from anywhere for 12 hours sounds like a liberating option to have.
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 09:14 PM   #80
danthespaceman
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After reading this thread I'm thinking about a 2013 MBA with 256GB / 8GB flash hooked up to a 24" or 27" dell. I do mostly Photoshop, InDesign and short interviews in Final Cut Pro. Can anyone a reason why the new Airs wouldn't be enough?
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Old Jul 7, 2013, 05:15 AM   #81
Pjotter
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Fan noise when with heavy .psd and .ai files?

First of sorry for the bump. Second, thanks for sharing your stories about using the MBA as a graphic designer. I'm currently looking to buy a new work station. And I'm really looking at the 13" MBA to replace my current 15" Pre retina MBP. But I'm still not completely sure if the 13" MBA is the way to go (i7 512Gb / 8Gb or maybe step up to the 13" MBP retina.

The one questions still on my mind is: "When using programs like Photoshop or Illustrator how is the fan noise if used with large files? And how is the heat?"
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Old Jul 7, 2013, 11:54 PM   #82
antjefferson
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Originally Posted by tcuguy View Post
Myth: If you are in the professional world, you need a Macbook Pro.

Two months ago, I had two computers. A triple monitor 2011 27" i7 iMac, and a 2010 11" Macbook Air. For obvious reasons, my reasoning was to use the MBA for going to coffee shops, sitting in front of the TV, and playing games. The iMac, on the other hand, kept food on my table... or so I thought.

75% of the time I ended up using my 11" MBA for doing all of my design, not because it was faster (of course its not), but because it was far more convenient. This a 2010 base model 11" Air, mind you. Not exactly a speed freak. However, unless I was working on a 10 foot poster, it would run just as fast as my iMac. The main problem, the tiny screen.

This led to my current configuration.

I realized that even a 2010 MBA had the power to run Photoshop, Illustrator, and inDesign all at the same time. Working in Aperture was a drag though. The problem was the screen size. Fast forward to 2012, and the new Macbook Air's are FOUR times as fast as in 2010. Aperture, I thought, should not be a problem now. Screen size? Well use an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse for that matter when sitting in a desk.

So here I am, a full time graphic designer, working to keep food on my plate (not using photoshop to make memes). And I can re-assure you, ALL YOU NEED IS A MACBOOK AIR. I chose the 13" this time, for slightly more real estate and longer battery life, without much added weight AT ALL. I went with the i5, because it is more than enough to run everything, I promise. Upgraded the ram to 8GB (DO THIS), and called it a day. Most storage I keep offsite in a 1.5TB enclosure, since I don't use much when working on a single project. I couldn't ask for more. Portability is there, power is there, and a giant screen is there when I need it (connected to my external monitor in my desk).

If you do ANYTHING less intensive than Graphic Design [surf the web, use it for school, play games (to a certain extent)], I promise you, don't spend the money on a MBP. You will loose portability and a whole lot of cash - only to gain nothing. The only reason I see anyone buying a MBP or iMac these days is to do HEAVY video editing. Because even now, with my i5 8gb MBA, I can do all the photo editing in the world [even in a power hogging application such as Aperture].

Needless to say, my iMac is gone and I have consolidated into a single computer. The 2012 Macbook Air's are beasts, despite what all 16 year old boys who only look at benchmark tests tell you.
Thanks for posting this. Super helpful. I have been on the fence trying to decide between the i5 and i7. Your comments are quite helpful since it sounds like we do very similar work. Thanks!
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Old Jul 8, 2013, 05:29 AM   #83
throAU
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Today's $6000 workstation is 2015's $1500 laptop.


Todays $1500 laptop was 2009's $6000 workstation...


(and so on for the last few decades)


Hardware gets smaller and more powerful. Photoshop isn't really a demanding package by modern standards any more. High def / 4K video is where its at these days, in terms of workload.

That said...

The bigger thing the rMBP has going for it is the screen. I'm sure your MBA is nice and all, but if you're trying to do work without a nice fat 27" screen sitting next to you, 1440x900, or worse, 1366x768 is just not enough for many people.

Which rules out the air, unless they're planning to use it exclusively on a desk.

In which case, just buy a Mini instead for less money (and maybe step up to 4 cores, to boot).
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Old Jul 8, 2013, 04:27 PM   #84
Pjotter
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After some more reading and hearing the experiences form other people I ordered myself the i7 8Gb 512Gb model today

i7 for the extra power over battery life. 8Gb for the no brainer and 512 Gb because I'll be putting on the Time Machine backup from my MBP on it and 256 doesn't cut it, also a little extra SSD space is never bad.

Hope to get it in the beginning of next week. Can't wait!
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Old Jul 8, 2013, 04:56 PM   #85
raftr
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Originally Posted by Pjotter View Post
512 Gb because I'll be putting on the Time Machine backup from my MBP on it and 256 doesn't cut it, also a little extra SSD space is never bad.
Good choice. Going from a 2011 Air with 128GB to a 2012 Air with 512GB felt like moving from a laptop to a proper standalone computer.

I had enough juggling large files, iTunes library, photos, etc. with external drives and worrying about how much space I still had left on the SSD all the time.
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Old Jul 8, 2013, 08:19 PM   #86
Suraj R.
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I'm a high school student and without a doubt the 2013 13" Air (i5/8/128) was the best choice for me. Has all the power I need and more, and I got a 23" HP 1080p LED IPS monitor on my desk to accompany it. Perfect setup for me, light gaming, lots of web browsing and word/presentation processing, occasional video and music production, it has everything.
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Old Jul 8, 2013, 09:57 PM   #87
throAU
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Originally Posted by Pjotter View Post
i7 for the extra power over battery life.
This is such a misnomer. if you do the same total amount of work on both an i5 and an i7 the i7 will get better life.

it can potentially drain the battery slightly faster, but it will get a fair bit more done whilst draining it.

When it ISN'T running flat out, it will "race to sleep" faster than the i5 which will offset any potential additional power draw.


In other words: the i7 is better, end of story.
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Old Jul 9, 2013, 01:22 AM   #88
Suraj R.
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Originally Posted by VaeVictis View Post
I am with you, been thinking the same thing...

Should I wait for a rMBP or should I purchase new Air and to be honest the answer is not that simple anymore.

I am leaning more and more to AIR and a DELL 27'.

Has anybody tried running WM Fusion with Windows 7/8 on Air 2013 i7, is it running OK or should I wait for rMBP (Haswell edition)?
I ran a Windows 8 VM (in Parallels, not Fusion) and gave it only a gig of RAM and it still ran FINE. I'm going to give it 3 or 4 gigs and see how it runs, but its only going to get better.

A 13" rMBP is essentially a retina Air without an ULV processor. It may Geekbench slightly higher but in real usage its the same as the Air. Integrated GPU and a dual core i5. Get the Air now, why wait (haha) and a 23" or greater monitor and you'll be set.
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