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gshocked

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 3, 2019
117
28
Australia
Hi all,

Here is a interesting Vs question:

I have a 2019 MacBook Pro 16” and was wondering if the new 2022 M2 MacBook Air would be faster?
I work mainly with Creative Cloud for video editing and 2d content creation. I sometimes use CAD software also.

Does anything think this would be a downgrade?

Thanks!
 

sleepityme

macrumors newbie
Jun 8, 2022
1
0
Interested to see what others think/say too.

I'm considering going from a 2019 MacBook Pro 16" i7 (base model) to the new 2022 MacBook Air M2 (base model with 8 core GPU).
Usage; usually over a hundred tabs open for real estate research, spreadsheets open, and light video editing + graphic design using CC and Figma.

At first glance, I'm seeing;
- nearly half the weight
- 4-7 more hours of battery life
- return to Magsafe
- fits into many leather sleeves and folios I still own from when I had a 12.9" iPad Pro.
- 3x - 5x - 24x faster based on the Apple website comparing M2 to older MBA and MBP intel processors
- Novelty of new colours (starlight and midnight) compared to the current Pro line up
- The laptop shouldn't sound like an airplane about to take off as it shouldn't heat up as much

EDIT;
I'd lose out on;
- a cooling fan
- two speakers
- going from 16gb to 8gb of RAM
- going from 4 USB-C ports to 2 USB-C ports
- larger resolution

Both have...
- 500 nits brightness
- 60hz retina displays
 

AudiHeel

macrumors member
Apr 22, 2019
80
77
Carolina
I'm likely wrong, but I thought the Intel MBP 15" or 16" had much better graphics switching with like 4GB of designated RAM. Not sure, perhaps the new Apple chips have this too but I wasn't aware of it.
 

Joe23

macrumors 6502
Sep 14, 2007
373
230
I'm in a similar position myself. I'm a full-stack web developer and currently have a 2012 retina MacBook Pro, which is celebrating its 10th(!!) birthday but is really starting to show its age now. I also have a 2017 5K iMac, which I tend to use more day-to-day, but I'd like to replace both devices with a single laptop and the Studio Display.

Before the M2 MacBook Air was announced I was dead-set on the 14" MacBook Pro. However, now I'm wondering if this would be overkill for my usage.

The main hangups I have are similar to @sleepityme. I know either the M2 or M1 Pro are both going to absolutely walk over what I have currently, but the resolution/quality of the Air's display and the lack of a cooling fan keep nudging me back towards the 14" Pro.
 

neo_cs193p

macrumors regular
May 17, 2016
224
269
I'm in a similar position myself. I'm a full-stack web developer and currently have a 2012 retina MacBook Pro, which is celebrating its 10th(!!) birthday but is really starting to show its age now. I also have a 2017 5K iMac, which I tend to use more day-to-day, but I'd like to replace both devices with a single laptop and the Studio Display.

Before the M2 MacBook Air was announced I was dead-set on the 14" MacBook Pro. However, now I'm wondering if this would be overkill for my usage.

The main hangups I have are similar to @sleepityme. I know either the M2 or M1 Pro are both going to absolutely walk over what I have currently, but the resolution/quality of the Air's display and the lack of a cooling fan keep nudging me back towards the 14" Pro.
I think it comes down to whether you value extra mobility and saved cash vs extra performance & better display & more ports. I think either of your imagined setups would be great. The performance should be great for both. The screens should both be great (and the Studio Display is non-HDR and 60Hz just like the Air, but true 2x retina just like the MBP). Personally I will probably go for thin & light this time, especially if I end up liking one of the new colors.
 

Joe23

macrumors 6502
Sep 14, 2007
373
230
I think it comes down to whether you value extra mobility and saved cash vs extra performance & better display & more ports. I think either of your imagined setups would be great. The performance should be great for both. The screens should both be great (and the Studio Display is non-HDR and 60Hz just like the Air, but true 2x retina just like the MBP). Personally I will probably go for thin & light this time, especially if I end up liking one of the new colors.

Appreciate your thoughtful response!

You make a good point about the Air and Studio Display similarities, which may actually complement each other better. I'm self-employed and based at home primarily, so the two devices will spend a lot of time connected. However, portability is definitely a factor when I work from other spaces for the day.

I don't think my web development workflow would be too taxing on either the M2 or the M1 Pro. The most demanding areas would be using the Xcode Simulator, Docker virtual machines, UI design in Adobe XD and some occasional photo editing in Adobe Lightroom.

An M2 Air (8x8x24GB) works out at £1649, vs. an M1 Pro (8x14x32GB) at £2309, so a £660 difference which could go nicely towards the Studio Display.

I've seen a few people complaining about the lack of 2x scaling on the new MBA. Would you mind explaining more about that?
 

jav6454

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2007
22,303
6,257
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
Hi all,

Here is a interesting Vs question:

I have a 2019 MacBook Pro 16” and was wondering if the new 2022 M2 MacBook Air would be faster?
I work mainly with Creative Cloud for video editing and 2d content creation. I sometimes use CAD software also.

Does anything think this would be a downgrade?

Thanks!
Stick to the MBP.
 

mbp17forever

macrumors member
Feb 2, 2021
35
24
Hi all,

Here is a interesting Vs question:

I have a 2019 MacBook Pro 16” and was wondering if the new 2022 M2 MacBook Air would be faster?
I work mainly with Creative Cloud for video editing and 2d content creation. I sometimes use CAD software also.

Does anything think this would be a downgrade?

Thanks!
Are you sure that 13,6 screen is enough for your work? Last year I bought a m1 air but ended up using my late 2011 17-inch MBP for all my work
 

neo_cs193p

macrumors regular
May 17, 2016
224
269
I've seen a few people complaining about the lack of 2x scaling on the new MBA. Would you mind explaining more about that?
If we take the M1 MBA as an example, it has a native resolution of 2560x1600 (pixels). So in order to have the sharpest possible text & images, the screen needs to be set to "looks like 1280x800" (points). Which means that the OS will use 4 actual pixels (in a 2x2 matrix) to draw 1 point on screen. This setting lets the screen look at its sharpest. But many people (including Apple) think that using this "true 2x" scaling on their 226 PPI screens (like the M1 Air has) makes the objects on screen too big, or at least not too many of them fit on screen. So Apple decided to use a non-integer scaled resolution as default (1440x900 points). This means the text and images are not very sharp, even though for most eyes the difference is barely noticeable. Also it means the GPU has to do extra work to sample every screen frame at 2880x1800 (true 2x of the 1440x900 resolution), and then rescale this frame to the real resolution of the display (2560x1600). This negatively affects the performance and battery life of the laptop, but on the latest chips (including M1 and M2) the performance hit is very small.

The M2 Air will also use non-integer scaling by default (1470x956) on a 224 PPI screen. Of course you will be able to set it to 2x scaling, but you may find that objects on screen will appear too big, or not too many of them will fit.

On the other hand, the M1Pro/Max 14"/16" MBP uses higher-density 255 PPI screens which are set at 2x by default. Images and text on screen appear by default the same size as they would on the MBA that uses non-integer scaling, but they look slightly better (sharper).
 

Joe23

macrumors 6502
Sep 14, 2007
373
230
If we take the M1 MBA as an example, it has a native resolution of 2560x1600 (pixels). So in order to have the sharpest possible text & images, the screen needs to be set to "looks like 1280x800" (points). Which means that the OS will use 4 actual pixels (in a 2x2 matrix) to draw 1 point on screen. This setting lets the screen look at its sharpest. But many people (including Apple) think that using this "true 2x" scaling on their 226 PPI screens (like the M1 Air has) makes the objects on screen too big, or at least not too many of them fit on screen. So Apple decided to use a non-integer scaled resolution as default (1440x900 points). This means the text and images are not very sharp, even though for most eyes the difference is barely noticeable. Also it means the GPU has to do extra work to sample every screen frame at 2880x1800 (true 2x of the 1440x900 resolution), and then rescale this frame to the real resolution of the display (2560x1600). This negatively affects the performance and battery life of the laptop, but on the latest chips (including M1 and M2) the performance hit is very small.

The M2 Air will also use non-integer scaling by default (1470x956) on a 224 PPI screen. Of course you will be able to set it to 2x scaling, but you may find that objects on screen will appear too big, or not too many of them will fit.

On the other hand, the M1Pro/Max 14"/16" MBP uses higher-density 255 PPI screens which are set at 2x by default. Images and text on screen appear by default the same size as they would on the MBA that uses non-integer scaling, but they look slightly better (sharper).

Thank you so much for such an informative reply, that makes perfect sense. My 2012 MBP only has 220 PPI and at the native resolution (also the default) the UI is too large for my liking. I couldn’t stand the sharpness loss on the scaled resolutions either though.

This pretty much solidifies my decision to go for either the 14” or 16” MBP. Can’t get one delivered until August now, though. Keeping half an eye on the refurb store in the meantime.
 

Chancha

macrumors 68020
Mar 19, 2014
2,119
1,908
I'm likely wrong, but I thought the Intel MBP 15" or 16" had much better graphics switching with like 4GB of designated RAM. Not sure, perhaps the new Apple chips have this too but I wasn't aware of it.
You are not wrong per-se, the Apple Silicon Macs has no ability to switch because it does not need to. It only has one and the only one cluster of graphic cores which is an equivalent of Intel iGPU. The talk of Unified Memory being an advantage of Apple Silicon Macs is precisely due to the lack of need to split another pool of RAM reserved for VRAM and by extension the lack of need to switch graphics, these all speed up performances.
 

Chancha

macrumors 68020
Mar 19, 2014
2,119
1,908
Thank you so much for such an informative reply, that makes perfect sense. My 2012 MBP only has 220 PPI and at the native resolution (also the default) the UI is too large for my liking. I couldn’t stand the sharpness loss on the scaled resolutions either though.

This pretty much solidifies my decision to go for either the 14” or 16” MBP. Can’t get one delivered until August now, though. Keeping half an eye on the refurb store in the meantime.
The M2 Air is probably not going to just "walk over" the iMac 2017, if you have the top spec it means a 7700k and a RX580, if outfitted with 64GBs of RAM (which is dirt cheap aftermarket compared to Apple's charge on soldered RAMs), even a 24GB upgraded M2 will have some tasks trailing against it.

If I were in your shoes I would invest on a 16":

1) the intention is long term replacement for both the MBP and iMac. If go for Air, it is by definition an entry machine with limitations here and there. Fanless is a pro if you don't like noise but without it you get throttled. And I am sure you have heard of that external display is limit to just one. Getting the Air would make more sense if you keep using the iMac and not buying the Studio Display though, so it only replaces the retina MBP.

2) the 14" spec'ed out is a great machine, but for scenarios where portability is not a top priority, for just $200 more you get the 16", a much larger real estate, audibly better speaker system, a much higher thermal headroom, and larger battery capacity. The miniLED screens are equally nice on both 14" and 16", but on the 14" it feels slightly wasted
 

Joe23

macrumors 6502
Sep 14, 2007
373
230
The M2 Air is probably not going to just "walk over" the iMac 2017, if you have the top spec it means a 7700k and a RX580, if outfitted with 64GBs of RAM (which is dirt cheap aftermarket compared to Apple's charge on soldered RAMs), even a 24GB upgraded M2 will have some tasks trailing against it.

If I were in your shoes I would invest on a 16":

1) the intention is long term replacement for both the MBP and iMac. If go for Air, it is by definition an entry machine with limitations here and there. Fanless is a pro if you don't like noise but without it you get throttled. And I am sure you have heard of that external display is limit to just one. Getting the Air would make more sense if you keep using the iMac and not buying the Studio Display though, so it only replaces the retina MBP.

2) the 14" spec'ed out is a great machine, but for scenarios where portability is not a top priority, for just $200 more you get the 16", a much larger real estate, audibly better speaker system, a much higher thermal headroom, and larger battery capacity. The miniLED screens are equally nice on both 14" and 16", but on the 14" it feels slightly wasted

Just wanted to follow up and say I ended up buying the 16" MBP. Found an online retailer with next day delivery and cheaper than Apple. What a machine! Thank you for your really helpful advice :)
 

MikeDr206

macrumors 6502
Oct 9, 2021
434
277
The MBP 16 i7 is a beast, but the fans can make it loud under load, and it runs hot. Really the only advantage over an M1/M2 MBA is the increased screen size.
 

Mascots

macrumors 68000
Sep 5, 2009
1,665
1,415
Old-ish thread, accidentally stumbled on it and wanted to add my real-world feedback: I am using a M2 MacBook Air as my secondary machine for iOS development and it runs circles around the previous 2019 16" Pro i7 that I was using before.

I am not doing sustained heavy loads, only sprints with compiling/building or live preview updates, and a bit of graphical work here and there so the use-case is a bit different — but some tasks which would spin that pro into a whirlwind execute so fast that I don't think there's much time for residual heat to even build up.
 
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gshocked

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 3, 2019
117
28
Australia
Hi all,

thanks for all you responses! I still haven’t made my purchase.
I work in education and teach CAD and the Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, Lightroom and Premier) software mainly.
I was hoping someone was using a M2 for this purpose.

Maybe I should look at the MBP 14”
 

1BadManVan

macrumors 68040
Dec 20, 2009
3,153
3,289
Bc Canada
Hi all,

thanks for all you responses! I still haven’t made my purchase.
I work in education and teach CAD and the Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, Lightroom and Premier) software mainly.
I was hoping someone was using a M2 for this purpose.

Maybe I should look at the MBP 14”
apple has a no questions asked 14day return policy, so if you can get it from them, take advantage of that and test it for yourself. The m2 air will surprise you
 

IJBrekke

macrumors 6502a
Oct 24, 2009
656
764
Long Beach, CA
Someone else on this forum described this decision with a great summary:

The Air is for people that do light-to-moderate work sitting at their computer. The Pro is for people that walk away from their computer and come back later, having completed some heavier task or tasks.

That has stuck with me as a nice way to frame it.
 

Student of Life

macrumors 6502a
Oct 13, 2020
690
738
Hi all,

thanks for all you responses! I still haven’t made my purchase.
I work in education and teach CAD and the Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, Lightroom and Premier) software mainly.
I was hoping someone was using a M2 for this purpose.

Maybe I should look at the MBP 14”
BestBuy and other stores still have the M1 MacBook Pro on sale for 1599. Considering you are coming from a 16 MacBook Pro this might be the better move than the Air M2.
 

ilikewhey

macrumors 68040
May 14, 2014
3,592
4,639
nyc upper east
Hi all,

thanks for all you responses! I still haven’t made my purchase.
I work in education and teach CAD and the Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, Lightroom and Premier) software mainly.
I was hoping someone was using a M2 for this purpose.

Maybe I should look at the MBP 14”
we use the adobe creative suite at work, on the m2 mba alot of images are bit washed out compare to the mbp's mini led. sometimes we have to change the mba's display profile to match the color profile i get on my 14 mbp. again this is only noticeable if you have them side by side.
 
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Technerd108

macrumors 68030
Oct 24, 2021
2,948
4,152
Where do you live? If you live in the USA then the MBP 14" base model is on sale for $1599. For your use case I think the 14" is a no brainer. I have the new M2 MBA and it is great but I think from what you are used to having the M1 MBP 14" would be a better fit.

The only downsides would be battery life and size and weight but since you had a larger MBP already I think the 14" would still be lighter. For Pro work it just beats the M2 MBA. The difference in screen probably wouldn't be a big deal.

The 16" is much heavier but has an even bigger screen and better battery life and I believe the base model is also discounted and has more GPU cores. It might be an even better fit if weight and size are not an issue.

I would look at the 14/16" M1 MBP as I think they would be the best fit for you and are on sale. There is a new M2 MBP coming out soon but I think in terms of cost and what you are coming from and use case the M1 MBP 14/16" would be the best fit.

The M2 MBA is a great laptop but it is really not designed for your workload. CAD and video editing are more Pro oriented uses for which these new MBP really excel at.
 
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4743913

Cancelled
Aug 19, 2020
1,564
3,713
Hi all,

Here is a interesting Vs question:

I have a 2019 MacBook Pro 16” and was wondering if the new 2022 M2 MacBook Air would be faster?
I work mainly with Creative Cloud for video editing and 2d content creation. I sometimes use CAD software also.

Does anything think this would be a downgrade?

Thanks!

0fc.gif


I kept my 2019 16". When I want a lite tote, I use the MBA. I did it with the M1, sold it, got the M2. You won't get anywhere the 2019's true value if you sell or trade so just keep it. I do the same stuff as you minus the cad, and I like having both as I also have access to Boot Camp on the 2019.
 

chrono1081

macrumors G3
Jan 26, 2008
8,487
4,423
Isla Nublar
Hi all,

Here is a interesting Vs question:

I have a 2019 MacBook Pro 16” and was wondering if the new 2022 M2 MacBook Air would be faster?
I work mainly with Creative Cloud for video editing and 2d content creation. I sometimes use CAD software also.

Does anything think this would be a downgrade?

Thanks!

I have both. The M2 air is significantly faster. I don't have detailed tests between the two because I just don't have the time for that but on my Air I've:

-Ran simulations in Houdini.
-Edited and exported 4k video in Final Cut
-Made music in logic (only 20 tracks because I got bored adding them but this thing handled it no issue)
-Did lots of programming work
-Animated and rendered in Blender (mind you Blender isn't optimized for metal yet, or wasn't on the version I used when testing).
-Played some video games.

This thing handled it all beautifully and only the rendering in Blender was faster, and not by much.
 

CalMin

Contributor
Nov 8, 2007
1,718
3,132
If the software you are using is optimized for Apple Silicon then you will be very happy with the performance. Nothing will feel like a downgrade, even with a base M2.
 
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