2011 MBAs, oh my..

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hyphz, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. hyphz macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2011
    So.. I've been using an MBP5,1 (2008) happily for a few years now and am just missing out on having a machine I can easily take to work with me. The MBP pretty much sits on its iLevel stand in my room all the time and I don't like the idea of carrying it around because it'd only just fit in my work bag and it's plumbed-in as my "home Mac" by now. As it's also getting on a bit I'm wondering if I should take advantage of this hardware refresh but I'm wondering what the best way is:

    - Get one of the new MBA's coming out this year. I like the look of them but I don't know what they'll be like as far as performance.

    - Wait and get a new MBP whenever they're refreshed. Problem is, I might hit the same carrying problem, plus it seems a bit goofy to have my portable machine be more powerful than my in-place one. Is there going to be an hard-disk-less MBP at some point?

    - Get an iMac and carry the MBP5,1 around as a portable. I'm just not sure about iMacs, though, mainly due to the surprisingly low graphics performance. As I've seen others say it seems daft to have a machine with such a nice high resolution screen and then drive it with a mobile graphics card.

    Any suggestions?
  2. czeluff macrumors 6502

    Oct 23, 2006
    I have a 2010 MBA and a 2008 24" iMac. Of all the Macs I've ever owned, they've all been portable except the iMac. Yet, without question, the iMac has been the single greatest Apple product I've had.

    NO PC runs this quiet.
    NO screen is this beautiful. (except 27" iMac now)
    I love having 0 cable clutter.
    I love using it for Netflix streaming.

    I bought mine with a 8800GTS 512mb card. Still plays everything 60+ fps for me: SC2, League of Legends, etc.

    The MBA is a fantastic programming machine. That's what I use it for. Everything else, it's the iMac.

    All 3 of your solutions are awesome. As a MBA owner I'd say: It is gerat UNLESS you want to put Windows on it and play games. Otherwise, it's a fantastic little machine.
  3. FrankHahn macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2011
    I think that your best option is the one you listed first: Get an updated MBA. First of all, MBAs are convenient to carry and to use and they have a certain computing power that satisfies ordinary demands. Secondly, it appears, as some people have already said, that MBAs represent the future of the mobile computing.
  4. hyphz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2011
    Mm, this is another place I'm torn. I'm not bothered that much about games, I have a desktop PC a few years old that runs everything I want to play, but there's a few gotchas. One is that running Unity3D is part of my job, so I need some 3D oomph. Another is that it feels bad to be spending the cost of an MBA for a machine that I already know cannot possibly function as my main if I need it to. This is especially the case given that there have been reports of Lion betas chugging a bit on MBP5,1.

    SC2 is probably the most graphically intense game I play.. not the only one, but SpaceChem and TF2 will run on a machine with a hamster wheel attached with string these days. So just to add to the confusion several fora have said that SC2 suffers low performance under MacOS because its OpenGL support is crappy compared to DirectX. I don't want to put Windows on it though.

    My current best bet option is to go to an Apple Store when the MBAs come out and sneak Cinebench and Geekbench onto them, but even that doesn't really resolve things..
  5. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Why can't you just play games on the MBP when you're home? If you do that, you can just get the new Air when it's released and have a fast, functional machine when you're out.

    As for performance, I don't know what you've read but people have stated with standard MBs with 2 gigs of RAM they saw no performance hits when using Lion. Thinking rationally on the matter, no macbook with 2 gigs of RAM is going to have a performance hit, that just doesn't make sense seeing how 2/3s of the MBs come with a baseline 2 gigs of RAM.

    I just sold my blackbook and when the money comes in I'll probably get a new MBA.

Share This Page