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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:42 PM   #1
AdrainSingapore
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Help with configuring MBA

So I wanted to buy a brand new Macbook this year as my windows laptop is getting old.
Here is a list of what I do on the Macbook
-Browse the web and read the news
-Watch YouTube videos
-Play mine craft and other flash games on websites
-Stream HD movies from websites
-Facebook
-Twitter
-Store and listen music and photos (at most 16GB)

Most of the times I do most of these simultaneously.
I am planning to use it to replace my desktop and laptop at home. Should I get the 11" or the 13"? Should I bump the processor or RAM up? Do you think i should only have 128GB of flash storage? I do not download too many games or content. Can I view a full website on the 11 inch model? I do not own an iPad. I do not plan to carry the MBA out too often. When the processor gets bumped up to 2.0 GHz, how does it affect the battery? I am not an annual upgrader.

So after sorting out I have these choices:
MacBook Air 11 inch 2.0 GHz 8GB 128 GB flash
MacBook Air 13 inch 1.8 GHz 8GB 128 GB flash
MacBook Air 13 inch 2.0 GHz 8GB 256 GB flash
Macbook Pro 13 inch 2.9 GHz 8GB 128 GB flash
Which do you think is ideal for my needs? My main question is whether I should get 11" or 13"?
Deciding to get a which mac has lead to a daily headache. After I decide whether to get the 11" or 13" MBA. I look at the 13" MBA and 13" MBP. Then I thought of getting a MBP, then I thought it was not as portable and I didn't need that power, and then the whole cycle starts again.

Last edited by AdrainSingapore; Dec 3, 2012 at 06:27 PM. Reason: BUMMER
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:52 PM   #2
phoenixsan
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Post I would say.....

multitasking can need some screen real state and RAM. So I would lean toward the BTO with the 8 GB of RAM, 13 inch one

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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:57 PM   #3
AdrainSingapore
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Originally Posted by phoenixsan View Post
multitasking can need some screen real state and RAM. So I would lean toward the BTO with the 8 GB of RAM, 13 inch one

Oh and btw I forgot to mention I'm new to macs. Can we switch windows in macs very fast just like how you alt+tab in windows? I don't mind doing something extra because I want to spend less and get the most performance.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 12:08 AM   #4
Mrbobb
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Get the 13" which happens to be the more popular of the 2, 11" is for people who are traveling with it all the time. Your requirement is standard basic, no prob.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 05:25 AM   #5
jetlagged
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i bought a macbook air 13", and i will use this for traveling around the world for a year or two. i thought about 11" since its most ideal for traveling around the world with a backpack, but when all is said and done i'm glad i went with 13" 256 gb/ 8 gb ram/ i5 2012 model.

get #2 because its the best bang for your buck. avoid the i7 because it will have 1 hour to 90 minutes less battery life, and will run hot under heavy load and will make a loud noise. but then again its a matter of personal preference. i would have gotten i7 if it werent for the fact that I will be traveling next year. that extra 1 hour of battery life might be worth it, and i dont really want a noisy machine when i'm in a hostel dormitory with oher people who are sleeping.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 05:37 AM   #6
AdrainSingapore
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Originally Posted by jetlagged View Post
i bought a macbook air 13", and i will use this for traveling around the world for a year or two. i thought about 11" since its most ideal for traveling around the world with a backpack, but when all is said and done i'm glad i went with 13" 256 gb/ 8 gb ram/ i5 2012 model.
get #2 because its the best bang for your buck. avoid the i7 because it will have 1 hour to 90 minutes less battery life, and will run hot under heavy load and will make a loud noise. but then again its a matter of personal preference. i would have gotten i7 if it werent for the fact that I will be traveling next year. that extra 1 hour of battery life might be worth it, and i dont really want a noisy machine when i'm in a hostel dormitory with oher people who are sleeping.
Thanks for your reply! May I know how much load does the i7 handle before it emits heat and noise? How loud will the noise be if the i7 produces sound? Do you mean the i5 can handle the same load as the i7 without emitting heat or noise? I don't mind losing 90 minutes because I do not plan to bring it around that often and even if I bring it around I would only use it for at most 4 hours. Do you think the 13" inch feels too thin or fragile?

Last edited by AdrainSingapore; Nov 30, 2012 at 05:45 AM.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 07:41 AM   #7
jetlagged
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Originally Posted by AdrainSingapore View Post
Thanks for your reply! May I know how much load does the i7 handle before it emits heat and noise? How loud will the noise be if the i7 produces sound? Do you mean the i5 can handle the same load as the i7 without emitting heat or noise? I don't mind losing 90 minutes because I do not plan to bring it around that often and even if I bring it around I would only use it for at most 4 hours. Do you think the 13" inch feels too thin or fragile?
i read this before coming to a decision:

Part 1:
http://michael.olivero.com/post/2012...-analysis.aspx

Part 2:
http://michael.olivero.com/post/2012...on-Part-2.aspx
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 07:56 AM   #8
AdrainSingapore
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Dammit you have made me even more confused. So they said the fan only comes on if I do heavy tasks like encoding and stuff on the i7. Do you mind running minecraft for 10 minutes and see whether it heats up?
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 10:02 AM   #9
jetlagged
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i received my mba this week, i just opened my macbook air yesterday and i dont have any games installed. if i do, the only computer game that i've played in my life is world of warcraft on a pc laptop, i stopped playing that nearly 2 years ago.

If i were you, i would just go with 13" 1.8/8 gb ram/128 ssd because like others have said, its the best deal you can it for that price.
i only with with 256 ssd with mine coz i wanted that extra storage. it cost me $300 USD more than the 128 ssd, and its the worst deal possible. i mean apple charging me an extra $300 just to go from 128 gb to 256 gb. its a ripoff!!! but i gotta just swallow it and hopefully it pays off down the line having that extra space.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 05:48 PM   #10
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go with the 13 inch 8gb 128ssd and apply for a student discount on top of that
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 06:23 PM   #11
AdrainSingapore
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go with the 13 inch 8gb 128ssd and apply for a student discount on top of that
What about the processor?
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 08:16 PM   #12
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Honestly, I think the baseline 11" MBA will serve you just as well. None of the activities you are suggesting are particularly resource-intensive (though flash may burn through your battery life in a jiffy).

If you check the online apple store, you will find refurbished macbook airs on sale, which I feel is no inferior to the stock version (and the discount is even sweeter if you do not currently enjoy educational discounts). The base 4ram/64gb flash is just $1178, and the 128gb version is $1258.

You will get almost 50gb out of the 64gb storage, more than enough to install a few games, and move your entire media library over.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 09:26 PM   #13
AdrainSingapore
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Originally Posted by Abazigal View Post
Honestly, I think the baseline 11" MBA will serve you just as well. None of the activities you are suggesting are particularly resource-intensive (though flash may burn through your battery life in a jiffy).

If you check the online apple store, you will find refurbished macbook airs on sale, which I feel is no inferior to the stock version (and the discount is even sweeter if you do not currently enjoy educational discounts). The base 4ram/64gb flash is just $1178, and the 128gb version is $1258.

You will get almost 50gb out of the 64gb storage, more than enough to install a few games, and move your entire media library over.
Does the processor affect the performance of minecraft?
And does the size affect the web browsing experience much? I have decided on the specs except the processor and the size, I will go to the store to try the two sizes when I have the time.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 12:29 AM   #14
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Dang it some says the i5 is quieter and some says the i7 is, because it is more efficient, my main concern now is the amount of noise and heat the i7 produces when playing games like diablo 3 and Starcraft as compared to the i5. Is the a noticeable difference (speed, heat and noise) between the i5 and i7 when I browse the web and watch 720p videos from YouTube
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 05:03 PM   #15
n2deep
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I have a 2012 13" 256g I7 and have zero problems with fan noise. Only when I playing games and the fan is running full speed can you hear the machine. Sitting here typing this and surfing the web there is zero fan noise.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 06:34 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by AdrainSingapore View Post
Dang it some says the i5 is quieter and some says the i7 is, because it is more efficient, my main concern now is the amount of noise and heat the i7 produces when playing games like diablo 3 and Starcraft as compared to the i5. Is the a noticeable difference (speed, heat and noise) between the i5 and i7 when I browse the web and watch 720p videos from YouTube
Speaking from experience, I have a friend running diablo 3 on a 2011 baseline air (i5/2gb ram/64gb sad) with no issues. Fans don't really come on, and the game runs very smoothly (albeit at lowest settings). Starcraft shouldn't run with any issues either, try searching on youtube for playtest videos.

A bit of heat is perfectly okay, I wouldn't be too particular about that.

Personally, I don't like paying extras for apple upgrades because I dislike how they gouge you for the extra specs, so I typically go with the basic model wherever possible.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 06:39 PM   #17
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Based on the usage scenario you described, and the fact you now only need to decide on size and processor, I'd say stick with the i5 and get the 13" version.

I say i5 because the performance gains of the i7 are very minimal in the grand scheme of things unless you very specifically need a faster processor for video edit renderings. Yes, the i7 would help render Minecraft stuff a tad faster, but IMO not enough to be worth the loss of one hour of battery life.

I also say 13" because multitasking is easier with a bigger screen (two windows side by side, etc.) and because watching videos on a bigger screen is always preferred.

As for fans, I'd say they are pretty much almost always silent unless I'm rendering stuff in Photoshop/After Effects.

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Originally Posted by AdrainSingapore View Post
Can we switch windows in macs very fast just like how you alt+tab in windows?
Yes you can. Command+tab in OSX works pretty much exactly the way alt+tab does in Windows.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 08:34 PM   #18
AdrainSingapore
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I have a 2012 13" 256g I7 and have zero problems with fan noise. Only when I playing games and the fan is running full speed can you hear the machine. Sitting here typing this and surfing the web there is zero fan noise.
How long do you surf the web without noise with the i7? And how long does it take for the fan to quiet down let's say after you finish playing games and resume browsing the web?
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 06:30 PM   #19
AdrainSingapore
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Deciding to get a which mac has lead to a daily headache. After I decided to get the 13" MBA. I thought to myself that I might need some power and the fans might be noisy. I compared the 13" MBA and 13" MBP. Then I thought of getting a MBP, then I thought it was not as portable and I didn't need that power, and then the whole cycle starts again.
I can afford all of these and I don't mind spending extra money on performance. I would also love to save money as I'm not those kind of people who have a pocket full of money but nothing to do with it.
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