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Old Feb 9, 2013, 12:08 PM   #1
katch-22
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Macbook: Air vs. Pro vs. Retina.

Hello fellow proud Apple fans/users/consumers/customers/admirers etc.

To elongate a short question long -

I recently dropped my second hand (don't know how many hands it changed but it is/was the first ever Apple notebook I bought and got it from a very dodgy African guy) Macbook Pro 2006. I was pulling a chair with the chord wrapped around it and the magsafe, on this occasion , did not disconnect and *THUD* it took the Pro down, on to the bare wooden ground, and a massive dent appeared . Since then it sounded clunky and eventually stopped responding which concluded in the HDD giving up and is now RIP. It had been previously upgraded and lasted me 2 years. I've bought a new one and will be selling it on to partially fund my first new Apple notebook...

So, now that I want to invest in a notebook. I'm definitely going to have it future-proof. Whatever it'll be, it'll be 8GB RAM definitely and will have SSD. I don't mind the SSD being relatively small as I have a 1TB portable drive to go with it for movies, music, edited photos and videos.
I will also in the near future get a very high spec Mac Mini too (really underrated little genius machines) to be my main computer, but for now...

The warfare going in my head is (after chatting to an Apple CS rep on IM online who told me it isn't worth getting the Retina right now), which notebook to get.

My usage (Most of these apps will be open at once):
-Browser with multiple (10+) tabs open ranging from YouTube to Tumblr
-Music client (i.e. iTunes or Spotify) open
-Word and/or Excel open
-Downloading client open
-Photoshop open and Adobe Audition (might not be open at the same time)
-Possibly VLC
-FaceTime/Skyping
-.pdf files open


My requirements:
-Light gaming
-Photo editing
-Video editing (Final cut)
-Music
-Watching HD movies and videos (playback wise)
-Watching stuff off of websites like TV project etc
-Portability as I'll be carrying it around alot and investing in the appropriate gear/kit for it.
-DJ software editing
-Skyping

As you can see I have lots of things going at once. Is it possible you could help me with your wisdom?

I've been considering Air 1.8Ghz 256GB 8GB RAM or a Pro but with 128GB SSD?

SSD and 8GB Ram have to be bare minimum...
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 02:35 PM   #2
hkim1983
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This depends on how "serious" you are with the photo and video editing. I don't know anything about dj software, so I won't comment on that.

Otherwise, an Air can do all of that. If your mini is going to be your main machine though, you can offset all of the heavy work onto that and just use the air for everything else.

I personally don't believe in "future-proofing" computers, since you tend to experience serious diminishing returns around the 4-5 year mark unless you are the most basic of users (components also tend to start breaking down around that time frame). I think it's better to spend less and just replace every 2-3 years instead, this way, you'll always be happy with performance and your productivity isn't compromised.
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 03:12 PM   #3
designs216
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Get the 13" Air and max it out. You may well find you can skip the Mini.
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 03:35 PM   #4
katch-22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkim1983 View Post
This depends on how "serious" you are with the photo and video editing. I don't know anything about dj software, so I won't comment on that.

Otherwise, an Air can do all of that. If your mini is going to be your main machine though, you can offset all of the heavy work onto that and just use the air for everything else.

I personally don't believe in "future-proofing" computers, since you tend to experience serious diminishing returns around the 4-5 year mark unless you are the most basic of users (components also tend to start breaking down around that time frame). I think it's better to spend less and just replace every 2-3 years instead, this way, you'll always be happy with performance and your productivity isn't compromised.
I'm thinking about investing but reselling. Most well specced out Macs have a good resell value. Reselling every 2-3 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by designs216 View Post
Get the 13" Air and max it out. You may well find you can skip the Mini.
That's for having a good dock station to work with at home and not use of the battery cycles for the reselling of the Air. (That's if I'm definitely persuaded to buy one)
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 03:44 PM   #5
thekev
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katch-22 View Post


The warfare going in my head is (after chatting to an Apple CS rep on IM online who told me it isn't worth getting the Retina right now), which notebook to get.
This is a really myopic statement both on your end and the CS rep. It's what you want, and nothing from Apple is future proof. They only support the latest OSX for so long. You should just compare models assuming they meet minimum performance specs. I wouldn't touch anything below 8GB of ram. The latest PS and FCPX don't run that well on less. Most people don't need multiple machines. A 2012 15" is $1529. Bump ram. That is probably all you'll need, and its specs are higher than the mini. SSD is whatever. If you wanted one in the mini, you'd need to budget for that too. May as well buy your own. It's a cheaper solution overall with more power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by katch-22 View Post
I recently dropped my second hand (don't know how many hands it changed but it is/was the first ever Apple notebook I bought and got it from a very dodgy African guy) Macbook Pro 2006.
Really?
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 04:20 PM   #6
Spink10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katch-22 View Post
I'm thinking about investing but reselling. Most well specced out Macs have a good resell value. Reselling every 2-3 years.
When you resell a Mac - upgrades do not translate to better resell value. I might buy the argument that they resell for the same % of original price. But that means the more you spend on a Mac the more you lose. This is true - just check out eBay completed listings.

Ultimately get what you can afford/want/need.
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 10:34 PM   #7
Abazigal
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The 13" entry level macbook air upgraded to 8gb ram is more portable, but even 8gb ram seems like it is barely meeting your needs.

I am tempted to say 15" macbook pro, but I am still not a fan of the retina version. The 13" macbook pro is more portable, and can be further upgraded to have 2 storage drives (1 SSD + 1 HDD) and 16gb of ram, which would help with your multitasking needs. Only problem is its resolution isn't the most stellar.
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 07:37 AM   #8
gnasher729
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Big question: Would you ever consider upgrading your MacBook or do you know someone who could do it for you in the future, and is that of value? In that case consider the Pro's. You can buy them with little RAM / small hard drive today, and upgrade to 16 GB, 2TB hard drive or 1.25 TB Fusion drive quite cheap yourself. So for tons of memory and storage cheap, get a Mac Pro.

Retina: Huge difference between 15" and 13". The 15" is luxury but fully worth the money. It is substantially cheaper than the 15" Pro upgraded to the same specs. The 13" Retina on the other hand is substantially more expensive than the 13" Pro upgraded to same specs. If you can afford the 15" Retina, and 256GB SSD is enough, it is one hell of a machine.

MBA: The perfect portable computer, and cheap. Just make sure that it is powerful enough for you.
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