Advice on MBA 13" for a training doctor

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by franceschino, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. franceschino, Jul 13, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013

    franceschino macrumors newbie

    Jul 13, 2013
    Dear all,

    I have spent a lot of time investigating apple and I am finally convinced to make the big step of switching from PC to mac! I have come to the conclusion that MBA 13" 512 gb would be best for me as my only computer because I am always on the go (hospital, conferences, etc).

    I need your advice because I am uncertain whether the upgrade RAM (to 8) and/or CPU (to i7) is really required considering my basic requirements. I use the computer A LOT (sometime I spend all day because of the need to type in data for my research) mainly for email, internet, word, powerpoint, excel, adobe reader and iTunes. I might very occasionally use it to edit images with photoshop or create website (previously I only used notepad and explorer on PC).

    I might also add that if these upgrades are not required I'd rather not spend the money.

    I need the extra space but what should I do regarding RAM and processor considering my basic requirements? Should I not upgrade, or upgrade only 1 of the 2 or both?

    Many thanks in advance for your help!
  2. Jesla macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2013
    Tennessee USA
    I suggest the Ram upgrade to 8mb and NOT upgrade the CPU….

    1) You will likely never need more RAM with the upgrade.
    2) The upgraded CPU will only waste battery power and not needed for your use.
    3) upgrade to 512Gb hard drive for a little extra speed over the 128Gb.
  3. coldjeanzzz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2012
    Pretty much this

    8 GB RAM
    i5 processor
    512 GB SSD

    You're good to go
  4. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Definitely go with the 8gb of ram. I just got the I5, 256 and 8GB due to running virtual environments for the times I need to remote access in to look at films and place orders. OS X doesn't seem to get along with a lot of remote login apps from my experience.

    I don't see the need for the I7 unless you need the processing power which it doesn't seem like you do.

    Good luck.
  5. iterva macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2013
    As already said,
    8GB Ram
    You´ve already decided on the storage (512 GB), but i agree, since it will be your only computer, i think it is wise to go with the max available.

    Good luck and enjoy your new mac :)
  6. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Well, I am going to go the other way and say 8GB/i7. Given the amount of money you will be spending, the extra few $ may come in handy for some software. My wife is a doctor and she ended up needing Windows for some software that was not Mac compatible (can't remember what it was from the top of my head now). It's better to have the extra horsepower in case you need it.

    i7 > i5. Simple math.
  7. PittAir macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2008
    Either the i5 or the i7 is fine. Most of the VPN software and front end clients (i.e. Citrix receiver and Epic, for example) that allow you to communicate with medical information systems (which is what you will need to look up patient histories, scans, labs) is available in Windows as well as OSX at this point (that is, if the hospitals allow med student access, which many do not). A better question is why the 13 inch? If you are running around a lot, an 11 inch is more portable. For research, it depends on what you are doing, but either an i5 or i7 with 8GB of ram should be OK.
  8. johnjey macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2013
    Northern CA
    Exactly what i did = a winner combination :)
  9. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Given what you say you may need to do with the computer, I'm not sure that the price difference between i5 and i7 justifies the extra speed and power you obtain. I have just bought an 11" MBA (refurb) with 8 RAM, 256 SSD and i7; I wasn't pushed about the i7, it came as part of an excellent deal, but I would cheerfully have paid the same sum for a computer with an i5 core. My old computer, which I used happily until last week, was a 2010 MBA, with 2 RAM, 128 SSD and I cannot recall what the processor was; it travelled the world with me, and only recently began to show small signs of increasing age (the dreaded beach balls made more frequent appearances).

    Re RAM, the standard advice is get the most you can afford without wincing. This will both future-proof your machine, ensure it is blazing fast for a while, and mean that it won't show signs of strain (the dreaded beach balls) for ages. It will also mean that it should be able to take the memory hogging energy gobbling new advances in technology in its stride when they are released over the next few years.

    Reading your post, a 13", 512 SSD, 8 RAM and i5 strikes me as an excellent combination; you should easily get several years out of it.
  10. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    it would be perfect for you. however if you're a resident you can't afford a mac

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