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Old Oct 1, 2013, 09:41 AM   #1
radicaldog
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Question Clock upgrade on MBA 11' - worth it?

So I'm considering buying a 2013 MBA (11' model) to use alongside my aging MBP. I'd use the Air mostly for writing and surfing, and the only somewhat demanding software I plan to use is Mekentosj Papers, a PDF archiver/reference manager (I'm an academic). Is the clock speed upgrade from 1.3 to 1.7 worth the 100 it costs? Would I even notice the difference?

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Old Oct 1, 2013, 09:43 AM   #2
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I would say no. Unless you are deep into Photoshop or any high end adobe program you would be fine with the 1.3!
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Old Oct 1, 2013, 09:46 AM   #3
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Doubtful, unless the app you spoke of is particularly processor intensive. You'd probably be better off with the increased battery life of the i5 over the i7 with your use case.

I think a general rule of computer upgrades is that if you have to ask if you'll need it, you probably don't.

BTW, what kind of MBP do you have? A RAM and SSD upgrade is usually the most cost effective measures if your system will allow it. The two together if possible, along with a battery exchange, may well be half of what you'll be spending on even the base 11" Air.
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Old Oct 1, 2013, 10:22 AM   #4
radicaldog
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Originally Posted by clyde2801 View Post
BTW, what kind of MBP do you have? A RAM and SSD upgrade is usually the most cost effective measures if your system will allow it. The two together if possible, along with a battery exchange, may well be half of what you'll be spending on even the base 11" Air.
13'' from 2011. I could upgrade, but I really want portability. Also, I don't want to keep lots of personal stuff on a computer that I carry around a lot, so I'd keep my old MBP as a home computer.
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Old Oct 1, 2013, 04:11 PM   #5
clyde2801
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13'' from 2011. I could upgrade, but I really want portability. Also, I don't want to keep lots of personal stuff on a computer that I carry around a lot, so I'd keep my old MBP as a home computer.
Hear what you're saying, but the 2011 is a pretty good computer for an upgrade. Stick 8 or 16 gb of RAM and an SSD (or an SSD AND a HDD to make a DIY fusion drive) in that puppy, and it will fly!
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Old Oct 4, 2013, 11:16 AM   #6
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Hear what you're saying, but the 2011 is a pretty good computer for an upgrade. Stick 8 or 16 gb of RAM and an SSD (or an SSD AND a HDD to make a DIY fusion drive) in that puppy, and it will fly!
I think I'll do that as well, later on, to prolong the life of the MBP as a home computer (I've already got 8gb of RAM, didn't know it could take 16). It just isn't portable enough. Meanwhile I'm pretty sold on the MBA.
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Old Oct 4, 2013, 02:31 PM   #7
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I don't think the i5 vs i7 will matter for you. I also think you would be fine with 4gb RAM. I just upgraded from a 13" 2011 MBA to an 11" 2013 MBA. The old machine was i5/4gb and the new one is i7/8gb. I see faster video rendering and less latency in Logic Pro. And I have the 512gb SSD on the 2013 machine which is really fast, so I'm guessing that's the main factor.

But for web surfing, e-mail, MS Office, even basic Photoshop, I don't notice any big difference between the 2011 i5 and 2013 i7. And I never notice any issues with RAM on the 2011 machine, even using Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro and other professional applications. 4gb was the max available in 2011. Since 8gb is available now, I decided to get it since you can't upgrade later.
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