Going from MBP to MBA - help!

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by limesmoothie, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2009
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    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?
  2. macrumors regular

    May 26, 2011
    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
  3. macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2010
    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


  4. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2009
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    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.
  5. macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2012
    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.
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2009
    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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