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Old Jan 1, 2013, 03:55 PM   #1
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Ultimate MBA 13" - your thoughts?

At present, I have the 2010 'Rev C' MBA, and have been very happy with it. I bought it in September 2010, and have Applecare on it. The specs, impressive for the time, are 2 GB RAM and the Apple 128 GB SSD.

However, I usually consider changing a computer every two to two and a half years, certainly, in this case, before the Applecare runs out.

At present, I am contemplating buying (later this year) the so-called 'ultimate' MBA, the one with 8GB RAM and 512 GB SSD. Does anyone have it and what are your thoughts on the machine? Is it significantly more powerful - and better - than the more obvious 4 RAM GB and 256 SSD? Apart from future-proofing, and (I assume) stunning performance, what are the other advantages to the 'ultimate' MBA?

Having had the advantages of a computer with a SSD drive for more than the past two years, I certainly will not contemplate returning to the world of the HDD. Also, as I travel a lot, the portability of the MBA is a huge plus.

In the long term, I would contemplate buying a rMBP as a desk computer, but only when Apple adds a large SSD drive to it at a price that will not require sale of one's private organs in order to finance such a purchase, and would, in addition, then also buy a powerful 11" MBA for travel. But that is for the future. For now, the best combination of power, speed and portability remains the 13" MBA and I am curious to know what those of you who have the 'ultimate' think of the machine.

Meanwhile, I thank you in advance for any responses.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 04:00 PM   #2
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Well, I've got the "ultimate" configuration in my MBA minus the 512GB SSD. I didn't go for the bigger SSD because I didn't think it was cost effective. It was an extra $100 each to upgrade the RAM and the proc so it seemed like a no-brainer to me. I'm not sure how the i7 compares with the i5, but it does make my code compile way faster than it used to on a MacPro1,1.

Take this for what you will, since I'm only a single data point. However, I do recommend the i7 and 8GB of RAM for sure.
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 12:53 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by SuperJudge View Post
Well, I've got the "ultimate" configuration in my MBA minus the 512GB SSD. I didn't go for the bigger SSD because I didn't think it was cost effective. It was an extra $100 each to upgrade the RAM and the proc so it seemed like a no-brainer to me. I'm not sure how the i7 compares with the i5, but it does make my code compile way faster than it used to on a MacPro1,1.

Take this for what you will, since I'm only a single data point. However, I do recommend the i7 and 8GB of RAM for sure.
Thanks for your input. Much appreciated.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 12:02 PM   #4
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 12:11 PM   #5
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I got a MBA 13" i5 w/ 8GB of memory and the standard 128GB SSD. I only did the memory upgrade cause I enjoy running a lot of apps at once. Not only do I like to code but write up documentation as I do so. Not only that but I like to have my browser open for research. I do sometimes listen to iTunes on my computer (only music only 8GB~).

I never have any performance issues with the i5 when compiling code and doing all of this. I only have ever got up to 4GB of memory used. I went with 8GB of memory cause well... it was $90 more (student discount gets $10 off I believe).

I didn't jump up a model for just the 256GB SSD cause well... I have DropBox, EverNote, 1TB external and an 18TB server. My media is all on my server so I don't ever have trouble finding space on my MBA.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 02:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfpuppies3 View Post
Got it and love it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kage207 View Post
I got a MBA 13" i5 w/ 8GB of memory and the standard 128GB SSD. I only did the memory upgrade cause I enjoy running a lot of apps at once. Not only do I like to code but write up documentation as I do so. Not only that but I like to have my browser open for research. I do sometimes listen to iTunes on my computer (only music only 8GB~).

I never have any performance issues with the i5 when compiling code and doing all of this. I only have ever got up to 4GB of memory used. I went with 8GB of memory cause well... it was $90 more (student discount gets $10 off I believe).

I didn't jump up a model for just the 256GB SSD cause well... I have DropBox, EverNote, 1TB external and an 18TB server. My media is all on my server so I don't ever have trouble finding space on my MBA.
Thanks very much for your responses. Those of you who have the 8GB RAM seem to be more than happy with it.

Most of you seem to suggest that the increased RAM capacity is more important than a larger SSD drive.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 03:11 PM   #7
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The i5 is much, much faster than the old C2D - the extra RAM will be a huge boost too.

You might want to price it along a similar configuration 13" Retina just for kicks.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 03:22 PM   #8
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Just purchased an i7/8GB/256GB MBA 13 for my wife, replacing a 2010 MBP 13 with 8GB and 256 SSD. Her main concern was "not going backwards" in terms of computing capabilities. After a little research I could tell her that similar benchmarks to the types of work she did with this showed that she should be better off. Now that she's used it for a couple of weeks she seems pretty happy with it. Her work includes programming (and testing against a 90GB data set, which took awhile to migrate over) along with the usual Adobe/Microsoft/Apple apps.
The CPU and memory are soldered and not upgradeable, and given the small upgrade price these seemed like a no-brainer. The disk can be upgraded at such time that she needs it, and I expect it will be less expensive then.
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