Air or pro for a web designer

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by xayx, Oct 7, 2014.

  1. xayx macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2013
    To state my usage are mainly photoshop, illustrator, after effects, and coda. Portability is not that of a big issue since i'm going to buy a 13.3". I would like know if an air can handle all my required needs or if i need to buy the pro retina. Also i would like to know the specs i would need to buy to last for about 3-4years without buying another. I already have a imac for my main computer. This is for my second option when i'm outside. Thank you.
  2. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    The Air can run all that software. Your requirements will come down more to how big the files are that you're working with. If you're satisfied with your iMac's performance then get a laptop with similar specs. Only you know exactly how well your computer performs for your needs and how much storage space you need.

    I wouldn't expect software in 3-4 years to take significantly more resources than it does now.
  3. Neodym macrumors 68000


    Jul 5, 2002
    As the machine is intended to be used primarily mobile, the significantly longer battery time on the Air (12 hrs vs. 9hrs on the rMBP) may be a deciding factor.

    Performancewise it should be up to the task (but I would opt for 8GB Ram).
  4. bjet767 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2010
    If you purchase a "new" Mac of any sort it will serve you well for at least 3 years and most likely almost 5.

    When you say "web design" do you mean actual coding or the graphic side?

    Coding can be done well on any MBA, but if you want the best graphics display get a retina. If performance (CPU, HD) is an issue it really doesn't matter which one you get. I know people who use both the 13" Air and the Pro as their primary computer for web design (both coding and graphic work) and love em.

    My motto is to buy the one you want or you won't be happy.
  5. xayx thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2013
    File sizes can go up to 1gb but rarely. I just need a machine i can go travel with that can handle creating, and editing. I was wondering if the standard ones would handle all these. I can afford to boost up the ram to 8gb but not the cpu.
  6. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    Again, all you have to do is look at the specs. What are the specs on your iMac, and are you happy with that?

    There's no point to giving us these vague descriptions of what you do when you have a perfectly good data point to base your decisions off of.
  7. xayx thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2013
    Mainly on the graphic side but i do coding as well from time to time.

    So you are saying the 13" air and pro retina doesnt have much of a difference?

    And also would it be ok if i just upgrade the ram to 8gb and leave the cpu as standard? I dont really mind the disk space to be 128gb as i won't be storing files in there but just for the adobe softwares.


    I'm sorry if i wasn't clear my imac specs are i7-3770 cpu @ 3.40ghz 8gb ram 3tb hdd. All i want to know is does cpu matter very much on the tasks i will be doing(photoshop, illustrator, after effects) i would like to know i really need to upgrade to i7 processor in terms of performance(i mean in a big difference in eye)
  8. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    If all you're wondering about is the processor I would say no. After Effects might stress out a laptop processor but what's really going to matter for video effects processing is the number of cores you have. Going from a dual-core i5 to a dual-core i7 is going to make a certain percentage of difference but it's not going to be twice as fast, not by a long shot. You need a quad-core for it to be twice as fast and at that point I believe you're talking about a $2000 15" Retina MacBook Pro.
  9. xayx thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2013
    Thanks!! Thats all I wanted to know :)
  10. bjet767 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2010
    I have an iMac special built with an i7 2600K 3.6 MHz (I believe because I'm not at home right now) and it runs everything as well as my 2014 11" Air with the i5 processor.

    Now for rendering really big video or complex photoshop files you might notice a difference but in reality the newest Airs and Pros really work about the same for most normal uses. Go to Geek Bench and compare their speed scores if you want the best data on the subject.

    The only place you may see a slow down is when you are running multiple high memory use programs at the same time. and I believe this will be a rare occurrence. With my 11" Air I normally have at least three programs running at the same time; Word, Firefox, and XCode or some similar combination.

    Short answer; no you will only notice the size, weight and retina differences not the CPU speed.

    As I said before; what computer do you really want? Buy that one or else you will always be wishing you had.
  11. capathy21 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    As someone else mentioned, the extra battery life on the Air will be a big plus for when you are outside. I would recommend the Air with 8GB of ram for your needs. However, if you are looking for a superb display, the retina pro will serve your needs as well. The Air's processor has turbo boost so I think you'd be fine with the base 1.4 processor.
  12. Agent47 macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2014
    Look at both screens before you buy. The screen on the RMBP is incredible, but the Air isn't even IPS-it's a TN screen and to me looks washed out with more limited viewing angles. I have an air myself since I need the battery life, but dearly wish Apple would put an IPS screen on the Air.
  13. SimonUK5 macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2010
    Air is more than powerful enough.

    I mean, i'm running 30 track ProTools sessions on mine, with little to no issue at all, with plugins running. Make sure you bump it up to 8gb of RAM, and you will be fine.
  14. kage207 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    What kind of web design do you do? You don't ever want your files to go up to 1GB.

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