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Old Nov 29, 2012, 04:46 AM   #1
limesmoothie
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Going from MBP to MBA - help!

I've been reading the Air section of the forum for months now, planning my next purchase. At the moment, I have a mid 2009 MBP Core 2 Duo 2.26, which I have bumped up to 8GB. Its running fine if a little slow compared to my 2012 i5/16GB Mac Mini! Am going to replace the battery and pass it on to my nephew as it should see him through the next couple of years at school as a workhorse.

However, I cannot decide on my MBA spec. I'm getting an 11" for portability, as I commute to work and use my MBP when travelling to conferences etc. I'm not video editing or pic editing, as I have the Mini with Aperture on it connected to a 24" ACD.

So, my options are:

Base Air 4/64 - nice and cheap, but I'm back to the age old question - do I need 8GB? The storage is fine, my iTunes library is <10GB. Most stuff is on the Mac Mini.

Air 8/64 - is 8GB needed for 10.8? It definitely is on my current machine, but can any 2012 Air users help?

Air 8/128 - would be a luxury but I don't really need the extra storage.

Main usage: Safari with multiple tabs on the go, much Evernote, Dropbox, MS Office work (esp. spreadsheets), Keynote, streaming Spotify.

If Haswell (whenever it comes) brings a big boost in battery life, then I'd be very tempted to upgrade. Hence this machine might only be for 18 months, should I just stick with the Base Air 4/64?
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 05:26 AM   #2
medi.freak
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I don't think 8GB will be necessary. That said, I have a 2011 11" Air with only 2GB RAM, and while you do notice it, for the things I do with it (music streaming, multiple Safari Tabs, preview for pdfs and lots of evernote) it is enough....

my advice: Purchase the one with 4GB and don't think about if it will still be enough in 5 years because you probably end up upgrading until then anyway
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 05:27 AM   #3
1000
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4GB is fine, but 64GB HDD is NOT. Do not settle for 64GB model .. you will run out of space too quickly. I run a bare-bones install and a couple XP virtual machines for some of my mixing software and 128 is the minimum I would go for

1000

Quote:
Originally Posted by limesmoothie View Post
I've been reading the Air section of the forum for months now, planning my next purchase. At the moment, I have a mid 2009 MBP Core 2 Duo 2.26, which I have bumped up to 8GB. Its running fine if a little slow compared to my 2012 i5/16GB Mac Mini! Am going to replace the battery and pass it on to my nephew as it should see him through the next couple of years at school as a workhorse.

However, I cannot decide on my MBA spec. I'm getting an 11" for portability, as I commute to work and use my MBP when travelling to conferences etc. I'm not video editing or pic editing, as I have the Mini with Aperture on it connected to a 24" ACD.

So, my options are:

Base Air 4/64 - nice and cheap, but I'm back to the age old question - do I need 8GB? The storage is fine, my iTunes library is <10GB. Most stuff is on the Mac Mini.

Air 8/64 - is 8GB needed for 10.8? It definitely is on my current machine, but can any 2012 Air users help?

Air 8/128 - would be a luxury but I don't really need the extra storage.

Main usage: Safari with multiple tabs on the go, much Evernote, Dropbox, MS Office work (esp. spreadsheets), Keynote, streaming Spotify.

If Haswell (whenever it comes) brings a big boost in battery life, then I'd be very tempted to upgrade. Hence this machine might only be for 18 months, should I just stick with the Base Air 4/64?
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 05:50 AM   #4
limesmoothie
Thread Starter
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Quote:
Originally Posted by medi.freak View Post
I don't think 8GB will be necessary. That said, I have a 2011 11" Air with only 2GB RAM, and while you do notice it, for the things I do with it (music streaming, multiple Safari Tabs, preview for pdfs and lots of evernote) it is enough....

my advice: Purchase the one with 4GB and don't think about if it will still be enough in 5 years because you probably end up upgrading until then anyway
Thanks. That's what I need to know. I definitely won't keep the machine 5 years, I normally take the 3 year Apple Care and then upgrade when it has expired.

Its just quite hard to judge between 4/8 because I'm using 8GB now out of necessity on an ageing Core 2 Duo processor. However, I've no direct comparison of the performance of the i5 vs the old 2.26 C2D, other than benchmarking which doesn't really help me judge my low-mid user needs.

Also, loads of folk on here will pile in and tell me 8GB is completely essential but they are doing much more graphically intensive work than I am. Multitasking of web/streaming and MS Office type programmes is the most I'm likely to ask of the MBA.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 09:43 AM   #5
hutch34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1000 View Post
4GB is fine, but 64GB HDD is NOT. Do not settle for 64GB model .. you will run out of space too quickly. I run a bare-bones install and a couple XP virtual machines for some of my mixing software and 128 is the minimum I would go for

1000
I definitely agree. I have a 128gb Air, and I have no idea how I would have gotten around using a 64gb.

System files, apps, and a Windows 8 VM take up more than 64gb itself for me. I'd say get the 128gb and then an external if you have a large itunes, movie, work files, etc.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 04:56 AM   #6
limesmoothie
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
I've had just about every config in my basket on the Apple Store over the last 24 hours...

Finally decided on 8/128/i5. Need the most battery life and the i7 seems to reduce it. 8Gb is a safety net for ML, Safari seems to be hogging RAM really badly on my present machine running ML. 128GB will store everything I carry around very comfortably. My current MBP has about 90GB on it and that's after 3.5 years of accumulating stuff.

Thanks for all advice! Big purchase, so I want to get it right...
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