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blythy

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 9, 2005
89
13
UK
The Mac landscape has changed somewhat since I last bought one with the introduction of the Apple silicone - so any advice would be very much welcome!

Full background;

I have used Macs for 20+ years. In my day job, I am a web developer (my work machine is a 2020 13" MBP, 16gb RAM) which meets my needs.

I am looking to upgrade from my 2017 iMac (21.5", 3.4 i5, 8gb RAM) to a new MacBook but even after hours of research I cannot decide. I appreciate this is in-part due to the lack of real world testing of the new M2 Air! I mostly use the iMac for general media consumption, the odd freelance (web) job and casual gaming (mostly Steam - I tend to play less graphic intensive games) but want more flexibility in my home setup.

I am flip-flopping between;
  • The base model M1 MacBook Pro 14" (16gb, 512gb). This represents my maximum budget.
  • M2 MacBook Air (8-core) with 8gb RAM and 512 hard drive
  • M2 MacBook Air (8-core) with 16gb RAM and the upgraded 512 hard drive
I am settled on needing a 512 hard drive, so I guess my question surrounds the RAM and M1 vs M2 processors really! Additionally, would I see much value in getting the 10-core M2 vs. the 8?

I would intend to keep the machine for 3-4 years, so a degree of longevity is needed. The M1's are mid-life cycle too, which does worry me a little that they may soon be upgraded - in an ideal world I would prefer to be buying 'the latest and greatest'.

Thank you in advance!
 

RoadCyclistID

Contributor
Oct 18, 2007
312
104
Idaho
Good Morning
Just search the threads and you will see that there are a ton of opinions on this one way or the other. I was contemplating the same thing and then when I went to the apple store near me 2 weeks ago and looked at the 14" MBP, the screen as well as the "added weight" from my MBA was not enough to move me to wait any longer. Went with the MBP and have no issues or reasons to envy what will be happening tomorrow.

I don't think that with what you are doing with your device, you would notice any difference between the 10 and 8 core.

Your mileage may vary but that is my opinion. Im sure others have one as well.
 

blythy

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 9, 2005
89
13
UK
Good Morning
Just search the threads and you will see that there are a ton of opinions on this one way or the other. I was contemplating the same thing and then when I went to the apple store near me 2 weeks ago and looked at the 14" MBP, the screen as well as the "added weight" from my MBA was not enough to move me to wait any longer. Went with the MBP and have no issues or reasons to envy what will be happening tomorrow.

I don't think that with what you are doing with your device, you would notice any difference between the 10 and 8 core.

Your mileage may vary but that is my opinion. Im sure others have one as well.
Thank you
 

darngooddesign

macrumors P6
Jul 4, 2007
18,183
9,876
Atlanta, GA
The Mac landscape has changed somewhat since I last bought one with the introduction of the Apple silicone - so any advice would be very much welcome!

Full background;

I have used Macs for 20+ years. In my day job, I am a web developer (my work machine is a 2020 13" MBP, 16gb RAM) which meets my needs.

I am looking to upgrade from my 2017 iMac (21.5", 3.4 i5, 8gb RAM) to a new MacBook but even after hours of research I cannot decide. I appreciate this is in-part due to the lack of real world testing of the new M2 Air! I mostly use the iMac for general media consumption, the odd freelance (web) job and casual gaming (mostly Steam - I tend to play less graphic intensive games) but want more flexibility in my home setup.

I am flip-flopping between;
  • The base model M1 MacBook Pro 14" (16gb, 512gb). This represents my maximum budget.
  • M2 MacBook Air (8-core) with 8gb RAM and 512 hard drive
  • M2 MacBook Air (8-core) with 16gb RAM and the upgraded 512 hard drive
I am settled on needing a 512 hard drive, so I guess my question surrounds the RAM and M1 vs M2 processors really! Additionally, would I see much value in getting the 10-core M2 vs. the 8?

I would intend to keep the machine for 3-4 years, so a degree of longevity is needed. The M1's are mid-life cycle too, which does worry me a little that they may soon be upgraded - in an ideal world I would prefer to be buying 'the latest and greatest'.

Thank you in advance!
If you pay attention you can find discounts on the 14" MBP which place it a lot closer to the 16/512 M2BA. I would always choose the 14" MBP over the similarly specced M2BA unless I needed the smaller size.

 

blythy

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 9, 2005
89
13
UK
If you pay attention you can find discounts on the 14" MBP which place it a lot closer to the 16/512 M2BA. I would always choose the 14" MBP over the similarly specced M2BA unless I needed the smaller size.

Thank you. Amazon UK have -9% off the 14" 512 bringing it much closer to the higher spec MBA 👍
 

davidg4781

macrumors 68030
Oct 28, 2006
2,829
407
Alice, TX
Since it sounds like you have an M1 MBP, do you feel that would be best for your use case? Can you just use that for now? Apple's in a weird spot... if you're going for what's out now, I'd say the M2 MBA. The 14" seems overkill for what you need. If you're not worried about money, though, go for it. I'd do 16 GB of RAM. Maybe wait to see if 8 or 10 cores are best.

The main thing to check is if the game you want to play is going to work on Apple Silicon. I upgraded from a 2011 mini running High Sierra to a 2020 MBP on Monterey. I think The Sims 2 was the only game that carried over. You might have better luck since you're coming from a newer Mac.
 

jav6454

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2007
22,303
6,258
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
The Mac landscape has changed somewhat since I last bought one with the introduction of the Apple silicone - so any advice would be very much welcome!

Full background;

I have used Macs for 20+ years. In my day job, I am a web developer (my work machine is a 2020 13" MBP, 16gb RAM) which meets my needs.

I am looking to upgrade from my 2017 iMac (21.5", 3.4 i5, 8gb RAM) to a new MacBook but even after hours of research I cannot decide. I appreciate this is in-part due to the lack of real world testing of the new M2 Air! I mostly use the iMac for general media consumption, the odd freelance (web) job and casual gaming (mostly Steam - I tend to play less graphic intensive games) but want more flexibility in my home setup.

I am flip-flopping between;
  • The base model M1 MacBook Pro 14" (16gb, 512gb). This represents my maximum budget.
  • M2 MacBook Air (8-core) with 8gb RAM and 512 hard drive
  • M2 MacBook Air (8-core) with 16gb RAM and the upgraded 512 hard drive
I am settled on needing a 512 hard drive, so I guess my question surrounds the RAM and M1 vs M2 processors really! Additionally, would I see much value in getting the 10-core M2 vs. the 8?

I would intend to keep the machine for 3-4 years, so a degree of longevity is needed. The M1's are mid-life cycle too, which does worry me a little that they may soon be upgraded - in an ideal world I would prefer to be buying 'the latest and greatest'.

Thank you in advance!
Get the 14" MBP then. Sure it represents max budget, but you'll be treated better by the screen.
 
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tuc

macrumors 6502
Aug 25, 2003
333
67
I'm in the market for a new laptop. I'm currently using a 2017 12" MacBook i5 in its base (8gb/512gb) configuration.

I've decided that an any apple silicon 16gb/512gb machine would suit my needs fine, even the lowly M1 air. I seem to be in the same spot as the original poster, except that I'm not considering 8gb of RAM.

Apple has priced these in such a way that I'm having trouble deciding.
list prices:
M1 Air 16gb/512gb: USD$1400
M2 Air 16gb/512gb: USD$1600*
14" MPB 16gb/512gb (6+2 CPU cores): USD$2000**
14" MPB 16gb/512gb (8+2 CPU cores): USD$2200*

*Or add $100 for more GPU cores, which I don't think I need.
**This base MacBookPro configuration sometimes goes on sale. I believe it's only USD$1750 at Best Buy right now.

Is it worth the $200 premium for the M2 Air over the M1 Air? Almost certainly. (Though current wait times for the M2 are _much_ longer.)

Is it worth the $400 premium for the base 14" MBP over the M2 Air? It really seems like it. (faster CPU and GPU, gorgeous mini-LED screen, more ports, better speakers, active cooling, double the RAM and SSD bandwidth, the extra thickness and weight don't bother me)

Is it worth the $200 premium for the 8+2 CPU 14" MBP over the 6+2 one? I tend to think so. (10% price increase for a 25% increase in multicore benchmark speed)

For that matter, is it worth $400 to bump the MBP RAM up to 32gb from 16gb? I _almost_ think so. I tend to keep my machines forever.

---

So now I'm contemplating spending $2200 (or even $2600) for a laptop where my needs could be met by $1400. Maybe the thing to do is get the base 14" MBP while it's still on sale for $1750.
 
Last edited:

Fatus_Asticus

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2021
281
252
The pricing on the m2 combined with the high cost to upgrade ram and storage is giving me pause. I don’t want to spend almost 2 grand on a laptop. The 14 pro is a much better machine for only a little more but in the end I’m not buying anything because it just doesn’t feel worth it.

The air was a nice machine at 1k to 1200. I’m not feeling it anymore $1600 is a bit much for what amounts to a surfing device.

The m1 screen is an issue for me. I also don’t want to pay for what is basically 2 year old tech.
Thus I’ll keep my money. Maybe buy a cheaper windows unit since those are still in the impulse buy pricing.

Noticed today the m2 ordered now can be delivered in 2 weeks. Seems demand is a little low for what is one if the most popular lines.
 

tuc

macrumors 6502
Aug 25, 2003
333
67
So now I'm contemplating spending $2200 (or even $2600) for a laptop where my needs could be met by $1400. Maybe the thing to do is get the base 14" MBP while it's still on sale for $1750.

This is what I ended up doing. Actually, it went further on sale, so I paid $1700 + sales tax for the base 14" MPB.
 
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