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crabman

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 26, 2020
1
0
Firstly I'm not that tech savvy so please dumb things down I'm very happy to be spoken to like a 6 year old!

So I've never had a mac but am looking at upgrading my crappy laptop and finally get a macbook. I've been looking at the new M1 macbooks and I'm really impressed. But I need help with whether I get the Macbook pro or Macbook Air. Price wise I'd either be looking at the 13" Macbook pro, 512gb ssd, 8gb ram or the 13" Macbook air, 612gb ssd, 8gb ram (however happy to get it up to 16gb ram as it's then a simialr price to the 8gb ram Pro).

From what I've read it seems like the Air can finally run a lot of the programs I use well. Such a photoshop, audio editing software like Reaper and now some video editing software.
As far as photoshop goes, I don't do anything crazy. It's more of a hobby and most of the psd files I work with are under 100mb and the largest I work with are around 100-200mb. In regards to audio recording, I record and edit a weekly podcast through Reaper, using a Focusrite interface.The project files are around 60kb with the mp3 file being around 140-160mb. I don't currently edit any video but I may be looking to do basic video for the podcast in the future but again I'm not looking for anything ridiculous quality wise. It'd just be simple editing of 1-2 cameras with the podcast audio file to put on youtube.

My main questions are with the m1 chip is the Air going be able to handle what I want to do with it or is it worth going for the Pro. Then secondly is the 16gb ram Air going to be better than the pro and is it worth going for that instead as it's pretty equal price wise.

The only other question I have is I'm aware as it's early with the M1 Chip that a lot of apps aren't compatible yet. Because it's early is it also worth just waiting for the 2021 macbook range for the apps to be compatible and for the laptops themselves to most likely be better with the new tech.

Super long so I appreciate anyone who has read it all and can help!
 

ruslan120

macrumors 65816
Jul 12, 2009
1,414
1,130
Computing needs: MacBook Air is more than enough! MacBook Pro has the same chip but marginally better performance and (I think?) a slightly brighter screen

It’s a few extra hundred dollars for the extra oomph of performance, mostly for those who need to squeeze out that small extra performance when working with many projects

App compatibility: if you make a list of the apps you need, you can check them with https://isapplesiliconready.com/ to determine whether it’s a good time to get M1 or wait for app updates

RAM: MaxTech on YouTube made a few good comparisons and it seems like Apple optimized for less RAM well, so 8GB is probably enough and will be for at least a year or two. I would get 16 GB but that’s a personal choice because it would suck to get capped by RAM two or three years down the line.” Spend more now, spend less money upgrading later”

TLDR: Sounds like processing wise MBA is the right choice. I would max out the RAM at 16GB and get whatever storage option fits best

hope that helps :)
 
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pmiles

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2013
743
609
Why question to the OP is, why now? Holidays and the massive media blitz has turned otherwise normal human beings into M1 or die zealots. There are issues with the new M1s that still need to be ironed out. Like bluetooth connectivity dropping out. Wake from sleep issues with external displays. The list is only just starting.

These new machines will still be here a month, two months, or 6 months from now so there is no rush to purchase one now. In fact, it makes more sense to wait it out a bit more to see just where Apple is headed with their SoC. We haven't exactly seen proof of scalability just yet... meaning, how does this closed architecture scale up to their pro-end machines. This is important to see because if it can't scale up, it means it's stuck where it is. They will be releasing more machines over the next few years and it is likely one of them is a far better fit for you than these 3 currently are. We're not talking 10 years down the road here, we're talking as soon as next year for some.

So, if your current setup isn't broken, I would wait until the dust settles a bit more. Switching from a PC to a Mac can be quite expensive... you have to get Mac versions of all your software. Some of your peripheral devices may not play nicely with the Mac architecture and need to be replaced. The sticker price may seem cheap, but when you start adding up the other things that you will need, it can become much more expensive. Macs have never been known for being cheap. These new Macs are completely non-user upgradeable, so what's in it the day you buy it is the only thing that will ever be in it. So only one bite at extra RAM, larger SSD, internal cooling, additional ports built in.

The M1 Macs are pioneer territory systems... there is far less known about them than known. You will be discovering their benefits and their woes right along with the other pioneers. Much of what is learned on these machines will be modified on the next machines... learn from their mistakes as they say.

Not trying to be a Debby Downer here, but to someone switching from a PC to a Mac, you have to look at the bigger picture because your footstep into the Mac ecosystem is very different than someone who has been in it for a very long time.
 

applefan19

macrumors regular
Sep 26, 2019
121
32
Firstly I'm not that tech savvy so please dumb things down I'm very happy to be spoken to like a 6 year old!

So I've never had a mac but am looking at upgrading my crappy laptop and finally get a macbook. I've been looking at the new M1 macbooks and I'm really impressed. But I need help with whether I get the Macbook pro or Macbook Air. Price wise I'd either be looking at the 13" Macbook pro, 512gb ssd, 8gb ram or the 13" Macbook air, 612gb ssd, 8gb ram (however happy to get it up to 16gb ram as it's then a simialr price to the 8gb ram Pro).

From what I've read it seems like the Air can finally run a lot of the programs I use well. Such a photoshop, audio editing software like Reaper and now some video editing software.
As far as photoshop goes, I don't do anything crazy. It's more of a hobby and most of the psd files I work with are under 100mb and the largest I work with are around 100-200mb. In regards to audio recording, I record and edit a weekly podcast through Reaper, using a Focusrite interface.The project files are around 60kb with the mp3 file being around 140-160mb. I don't currently edit any video but I may be looking to do basic video for the podcast in the future but again I'm not looking for anything ridiculous quality wise. It'd just be simple editing of 1-2 cameras with the podcast audio file to put on youtube.

My main questions are with the m1 chip is the Air going be able to handle what I want to do with it or is it worth going for the Pro. Then secondly is the 16gb ram Air going to be better than the pro and is it worth going for that instead as it's pretty equal price wise.

The only other question I have is I'm aware as it's early with the M1 Chip that a lot of apps aren't compatible yet. Because it's early is it also worth just waiting for the 2021 macbook range for the apps to be compatible and for the laptops themselves to most likely be better with the new tech.

Super long so I appreciate anyone who has read it all and can help!
Pro. I'm currently using a mid-2012, 13" MacBook Pro (8 GB RAM). For reference, the base model in 2012 had 4 GB RAM. This is my only computer. I'm considering upgrading because it is no longer supported for software upgrades.
 
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