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Old Jul 24, 2011, 03:18 PM   #1
johnkey
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Is the MBA the right notebook for me?

Hi everybody.
I have read a lot of topics, but I feel to ask this because I need ad hoc advice.

My main tasks are:
Xcode: no rendering, so no need of a powerful video card, but still some RAM
"light" use of Photoshop (not simultaneously with Xcode)
web surfing
writing eassys/notes.

I'd go for the 13" MBA over the 13" MBP because it has SSD memory, a nicer screen resolution, has just been updates and defenitely looks awesome.
I think 4 GB of RAM would be enough. However, the processor speed seems a bit low... And also, I need portability, but not that often.

For my budget, the 15" MBP is too much, but I have an external monitor so that's not a problem.

Will I be happier with a MBP or with a MBA?
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Old Jul 24, 2011, 03:20 PM   #2
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How much storage do you need? That is the only downside of MBA but if you are fine with the 128GB and 256GB SSD offerings, then MBA sounds better for you.
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Old Jul 24, 2011, 03:24 PM   #3
misterneums
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In my opinion, the Macbook Air is superior to the Macbook Pro at the 13" level. When you compare the two, the Air weighs less, has a higher resolution screen, is quicker due to the SSD, has similar processing power to the 13". The only thing that MBP has going for it at this level, is the fact that it has an optical drive.


And for the processor--the i5 and i7 can turboboost their speeds all the way up to 2.9 ghz (for the i7) and 2.5 I believe for the i5.


Get the air, it's just better.
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Old Jul 24, 2011, 03:25 PM   #4
ChristianJapan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnkey View Post
Hi everybody.
I have read a lot of topics, but I feel to ask this because I need ad hoc advice.

My main tasks are:
Xcode: no rendering, so no need of a powerful video card, but still some RAM
"light" use of Photoshop (not simultaneously with Xcode)
web surfing
writing eassys/notes.

I'd go for the 13" MBA over the 13" MBP because it has SSD memory, a nicer screen resolution, has just been updates and defenitely looks awesome.
I think 4 GB of RAM would be enough. However, the processor speed seems a bit low... And also, I need portability, but not that often.

For my budget, the 15" MBP is too much, but I have an external monitor so that's not a problem.

Will I be happier with a MBP or with a MBA?
I would say the MBA is a perfect fit for what you described. Have it myself for mainly XCode (got it last Decmber). Just take 4 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD. You will be just fine.

For rendering I use my iMac; my MBA can't really do that in a good time; but the new one now released should have better performance here too.
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Old Jul 24, 2011, 03:40 PM   #5
johnkey
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First of all, thanks for your replies and your time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellhammer View Post
How much storage do you need? That is the only downside of MBA but if you are fine with the 128GB and 256GB SSD offerings, then MBA sounds better for you.
Storage is not a problem as I won't need to work on big projects all at once.

Quote:
Originally Posted by misterneums View Post
In my opinion, the Macbook Air is superior to the Macbook Pro at the 13" level. When you compare the two, the Air weighs less, has a higher resolution screen, is quicker due to the SSD, has similar processing power to the 13". The only thing that MBP has going for it at this level, is the fact that it has an optical drive.


And for the processor--the i5 and i7 can turboboost their speeds all the way up to 2.9 ghz (for the i7) and 2.5 I believe for the i5.


Get the air, it's just better.
Totally agree.
Can you explain what you mean by "turboboost"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristianJapan View Post
I would say the MBA is a perfect fit for what you described. Have it myself for mainly XCode (got it last Decmber). Just take 4 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD. You will be just fine.

For rendering I use my iMac; my MBA can't really do that in a good time; but the new one now released should have better performance here too.
Yeah, I'd use my iMac for rendering too!
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Old Jul 24, 2011, 03:46 PM   #6
misterneums
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Pulled directly from Wikipedia:

Intel Turbo Boost is a technology implemented by Intel in certain versions of their Nehalem-based CPUs, including Core i5 and Core i7. Turbo Boost allows dynamically increasing CPU clock-speed on demand.


Basically--when you're running cpu intensive program, the CPU will speed up. Of course this generates heat and what not--but that's to be expected; and from the results that theSeb put up on the forums--the heat is not excessive.
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Old Jul 24, 2011, 03:53 PM   #7
scarred
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I'm using my new MBA (base 13) for very similar activities. Xcode, iPhoto, iTunes, web, etc., and have been very pleased so far.

If you don't have an external HD, NAS, or desktop computer with more storage, you will find 128 to be small. I think I had about 90gigs after installing Xcode and a few other 'must have' apps. That isn't a huge amount to play with these days.

On a side note, this thing works really well outside.
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Old Jul 24, 2011, 04:02 PM   #8
johnkey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misterneums View Post
Pulled directly from Wikipedia:

Intel Turbo Boost is a technology implemented by Intel in certain versions of their Nehalem-based CPUs, including Core i5 and Core i7. Turbo Boost allows dynamically increasing CPU clock-speed on demand.


Basically--when you're running cpu intensive program, the CPU will speed up. Of course this generates heat and what not--but that's to be expected; and from the results that theSeb put up on the forums--the heat is not excessive.
That's very interesting, a CPU speeding up if needed. Makes a lot of sense with the 1.7 GHz processor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scarred View Post
I'm using my new MBA (base 13) for very similar activities. Xcode, iPhoto, iTunes, web, etc., and have been very pleased so far.

If you don't have an external HD, NAS, or desktop computer with more storage, you will find 128 to be small. I think I had about 90gigs after installing Xcode and a few other 'must have' apps. That isn't a huge amount to play with these days.

On a side note, this thing works really well outside.
I have an iMac my beloved white one and two external HDs, so I have plenty of space. 90 GB would be perfect for me.
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