13inch i5 128ssd or 13inch i7 256ssd for a designer

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by fireworksdesign, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. fireworksdesign macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2011
    Hi guys, its me again. Waited a long time to buy a mac laptop and the time has finally come. Was reserving my hard earned $$$ for the mbp but i like the new air.

    I mainly use it for Adobe Fireworks, Photoshop , some coding , watching movies, videos, trading. No 3d or video editing, if I can play some games, like the ones they show in youtube ( i think its mw2 or something ) the better although not necessary.

    My existing windows pc is a pentium 4 xp , with 1.5ghz of memory ram and 40gigs of ram. Yes I was able to squeeze a lot of my files with the limited space and still have plenty more. Dont have big photoshop files so size is manageable.

    I'm planning to hook up the macbook air with this samsung monitor that i own.


    1.) So what kind of cable do I need to connect with an external monitor ? Im also planning to buy an external mouse and the wireless keyboard. Does editing on the external monitor cause some problems ?

    2.) Im pretty much satisfied with only 128 gb ssd , i can save my files only or use my usb drive but my concern is of the i5 or i7 processor. What is the advantage of having a 4mb L3 Cache ( i7 ) from the 3mbl3 cache ( i5 ) ?

    Based on this video, if the user used an i7 and not an i5, will there be increased frame rate ? Will the i7 make the laptop hotter?


    Hope you guys can help me out =) Im so excited
  2. Obscurelight, Jul 23, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011

    Obscurelight macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2011
    I think if you are interested in gaming you will be much better off getting the 15 inch mbp with a dedicated video card. The MacBook air was designed for ultra portability and has to sacrifice some performance. My listening to your needs I am assuming you don't really need ultra portability I might be wrong of course. Too many videos and games will totally shred through the MBA's battery life.

    Also I think you mean 40gb hard drive

    As for the keyboard and mouse it shouldn't be a problem hooking it up to MacBooks and editing.

    For that display you'd use a minidisplay to dvi cable. Even though the new MacBook line has thunderbolt ports the minidisplay cables will still work since thunderbolt is based on the minidisplay

    I'm not good at explaining L3 cache since I'm not even sure if I myself fully understand it. What I think it is, is it's a CPU imbedded super RAM. It will perform much faster than conventional RAM. It's function is similar but since it caters directly to the microprocessors it can deal with data requests much faster. I hope I got that right
  3. Adamo macrumors 6502

    Apr 23, 2006
    Sounds like the 13" Air would be good for you, no idea about processor - that's up to you - you have one chance to get it right, so may as well get the faster one..

    Obscure - he's hooking it up to a Samsung monitor so I imagine he'll have a power socket nearby..
  4. Lord Appleseed macrumors 6502a

    Lord Appleseed

    Nov 7, 2010
    Apple Manor
    From your described tasks i would say you'd do fine with the i5.
  5. fireworksdesign thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2011
    I need to be portable since I want to live the true "freelancer" lifestyle, and would use the laptop for trading and business too. I wanted the mbpro but its too heavy for my bag + other documents + few clothes. If gaming won't be as good as the mbpro or previous air, then its okay for me , i have the xbox for that.

  6. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Since you seem to confuse CPU, RAM and HDD:

    What is a Hard Disk Drive? - measured in Bytes (B), MegaBytes (MB), GigaBytes (GB) and TeraBytes (TB)
    What is a CPU? - measured in MegaHertz (MHz) and GigaHertz (GHz)
    What is RAM? - measured again in MB and GB
  7. fireworksdesign thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2011
  8. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    I knew what you meant, I was just pointing it out, thus you may know better in the future. :)
  9. philhyde macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2007
    If you have the money, I would go for the best spec'd machine you can afford.
  10. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    Keep the base config, and spend the extra cash on items that are far more essential to a designer such as a decent wacom.

    We know gaming is possible on the MBA, but it's not the most ideal laptop to game on - stick to your xbox.
  11. fireworksdesign thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2011
    I really like the 256 gb ssd i7 13inch version , but people here say there is only a small improvement of the i7 over the i5 on basic to advance tasks ( no gaming ).

    I wished there was a 128gb ssd i713inch version.

    I think i'll go for the i5 126gb ssd 13 inch version .
  12. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    There's a lot of noise about heat, fans, etc. Bottom line is no one ever complained about their computer being too fast or having too much storage. I know not everyone is made out of money, but I always suggest getting the most computer you can afford. These "bang for the buck" discussions are amusing, and if $200 is going to break someone's bank, them maybe a MacBook Air is not the best choice.

    These computers are not upgradable (by mere mortals). They are sealed, so what you get is what you have to live with. So think long and hard, consider your finances, and once you pull the trigger don't look back. Good luck!
  13. Apple Expert macrumors 65816

    Jan 31, 2010
    Well I have the i7 and my wife has the i5. I've yet to see any benefit the i7 is suppose to have. Bootups and shuts downs are the same. Safari, Mail, iTunes, iPhoto all run the same. Photoshop the same. I'm leaning towards exchanging for i5 since I haven't noticed a difference at all. Hope this helps you guys. I know there is a lot of debate on which model to get. If one does a lot of video edits, then maybe the i7 would help out. As for my daily programs I've just mentioned - not one diffrence.
  14. nebulos macrumors 6502a


    Aug 27, 2010
    it's unfortunate that you can only upgrade the CPU on the 256GB model.

    in any case, the difference between i5 and i7 on the 13" is not dramatic and for your purposes, it may not even be noticeable.

    you also said you're fine with 128GB, good!

    i think you're very safe going with the i5 + 128GB, but look at the reviews and benchmarks to help convince yourself. look them up. look up 'geekbench' scores too, (and note that these are somewhat controversial).

    anyways, my vote: i5 + 128 and put the extra cash towards something else!
  15. vijayvasa macrumors member

    May 28, 2010
    am in the same confusion. I bought the 256gb 13inch air, and i would like to install windows as well.Am so confused since yesterday whether if i should exchange it for 128gb ssd. I also got a pc, so thats why in dilemma.

  16. fireworksdesign thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2011
  17. Apple Expert macrumors 65816

    Jan 31, 2010
    This is true. I have the i7 and my wife has the i5. Photoshop does import faster and render faster than i5. Not by much. I would say about 2-4 seconds faster.

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