Going from Pro to Air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by afrocleland, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    Location:
    Glasgow
    #1
    Hey,

    I've currently got a Early 2011 MBP 13" with 8GB RAM. I'm toying with the idea of buying a base model 13" Air (Current 1.3GHz Haswell, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD). I'm not too bothered about losing on the HD space as I have an old Mac Mini I use as a server for media, but I'm not certain about whether or not I'll see any drop in performance due to the 4GB RAM as opposed to the 8GB I've gotten used to. I've no option to upgrade as it's second hand (less than 6 months old).

    Any opinions or advise?

    Cheers,

    Kieran
     
  2. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    #2
    nope, the mba's 4gb of ram manages really really well. i use a base model, and i came from three years of having 8gb.

    then again, it matters what you do. there are a few, infrequent programs i have that are ram intensive, but as soon as i am finished with them, ram is freed up. on the rare occasion that i have paged out, i discovered it only afterward. ssd is so fast, you won't notice.

    so far i have no regrets about going with 4gb.
     
  3. macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #3
    Well your machine can easily take up to 16 gb RAM and can be upgraded to a nice, new SSD (or even a DIY fusion drive) cheaply and easily.

    A modern 256 or 512 gb SSD can give your 13" its new car smell back for a relative pittance.

    If you get another machine later on, the SSD would then make a fast and bullet proof external drive.
     
  4. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    Open activity monitor. If you're actually using over 4GB I wouldn't recommend going back to a 4GB machine.
     
  5. NMF, Oct 7, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013

    NMF
    macrumors 6502a

    NMF

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    #5
    I recently went from a maxed out 2012 MBP (i7 2.9 GHz, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD) to the base model 2013 MBA.

    I haven't noticed any performance decreases whatsoever. If anything, the MBA is feels faster than the MBP because of the PCIe SSD. That coupled with the superior 1440x900 resolution make the new MBA unquestionably superior to any model cMBP that exists. Seriously. With it being so light I find myself carrying it around the house all the time now. iPad hasn't been used since I took the MBA home. It's an incredible little computer.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    Location:
    Glasgow
    #6
    I think I'm gonna go for it... I really like the size and weight... And to be honest, it's only costing me £100 after the great price I got for my MBP. Let's just hope it isn't sold by the time I finish work! To be honest, the most intensive thing I do at home is Lego Batman, watching movies and the occasional bit of coding... I like going through my photos, but I'm not one for editing.
     
  7. NMF, Oct 8, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013

    NMF
    macrumors 6502a

    NMF

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    #7
    You'll be fine. That's a really light workload, this machine will be more than capable for you. Just download Memory Clean and set it to auto clean when your available RAM dips below 512mb. I'm really surprised at how effective that setup has been for me. Couple that with the upcoming memory compression stuff in Mavericks and 4GB should be able to hold its own for another couple of years at least.

    The battery life really is something else too. I used to dock my MBP to a TB display and work from a desk. Now I tend to keep the MBA on the couch... all day long. I charge it at night while I sleep. This stupid little thing gets better battery life than my iPhone 5! So dumb. I really can't overemphasize how awesome it is to use a real computer from the couch (without feeling burdened by its size, weight or battery draw). Borderline life-changing. LOL! :D
     
  8. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    #8
    that's not true... the operating system is designed to use whatever ram is available. so if you have 8gb, your system will allow take up more space than it would doing the same tasks with only 4gb of ram. this is not a new and startling notion... it's well documented and can easily be observed firsthand if you have some extra ram modules laying around.
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #9
    I would suggest getting an 8gb ram Air. I got one recently while moving up from a 2010 17" MBP w/ 8GB ram. Performance wise it's about 33% on encoding video with handbrake but of course for regular tasks they always feel the same. The power is there in the light, cool (temperature wise), small form factor. I'd recommend it! The hard part for me is adjusting to the storage space, screen real-estate and lack of anti-glare.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    Location:
    Glasgow
    #10
    I got it! Couldn't get a higher memory as this was getting bought used. But the price was the reason I was going to get it in the first place. Very happy with it. The boot time is horrendously quick. It's great. I actually realised how few of the apps I had I really used. Only disk space issue will be my iPhoto library, its like 90GB. Will look into storing it on an external disk attached to my Mac Mini.
     
  11. macrumors 65816

    BenTrovato

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Location:
    Toronto
    #11
    Congrats! I went from Pro to Air and haven't looked back once. Despite what many people say, I can't say I've ever need 8gb. I do get some page outs if I look at activity monitor but I have a ton of apps open all the time and do not notice any lag. Enjoy the Air.
     
  12. macrumors regular

    P0stalTek

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    #12
    Congrats! Personally I have a 15" 2011 that I put 16gb of corsair vengeance memory and a 256gb crucial SSD in. It boots into Mountain Lion in 17 seconds and Windows 7 Ultimate x64 even faster.

    I had a MBA for 6 months right before that which I absolutely loved, but found I had need of the discreet gpu.

    Either way, I hope it works out for you!
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    iAppl3Fan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    #13
    Good move. How much did you get the MBA for?
     
  14. Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #14
    4GB is manageable in MBA for most tasks but 8GB would be better, but since that's not an option since you're buying it second hand, It should work. Personally I'd look at upgrading your MBP but it appears that the form factor/weight are high on your list.

    I like the new MBA models and I think they're superior the 13" MBP so I can understand the desire to go with the MBA, though you give up the upgradability of the MBP.
     

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