13" MBA vs MBP for recording/processing

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by windowdrummer, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. windowdrummer macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2010
    I'm looking to get either the base 13" MBA or the base 13" MBP to take with me to uni. Apart from the usual college stuff I plan to be using it for audio production. The main software I'll be using will be Logic and Ableton Live with a small array of plug-ins. It'll be used both for creating music on-board as well as recording instruments. Additionally, throw in some Photoshop use as well.

    Now the two models look pretty darn identical in terms of basic specs apart from the hard drive and the processor speed. If I get the MBP I'll be upgrading the hard drive to a 128GB SSD. My question is whether there will be a substantial difference between the two for my needs?

    I like the Air's form-factor and superior screen resolution over the MBP but I don't want to buy a possibly underpowered machine just because of that.
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I use a 2011 13" i5 MBA 4gb/256gb with Logic and it works just great. The new models should be even better. I have never seen the CPU indicator go any further than about 25% for my own usage. Most of the time it barely registers at all. And with the SSD, the disk activity indicator never shows anything at all. So I can't imagine that you will find the MBA "underpowered".

    The SSD is really great for recording, I get very low latency (preferences say 6.9ms). I'd suggest that you get a bigger SSD than 128GB however. If it had been available in 2011, I would have gone with 512gb. I would also have gone with 8GB RAM if it had been available, although Logic doesn't seem to use a lot of RAM for my own projects, so I am doing fine with a 4GB machine but extra RAM is never a bad thing. :)

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