Considering buying a Macbook Air

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by slipper, May 9, 2009.

  1. slipper macrumors 68000

    slipper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    #1
    I currently have a 2.0ghz Core Duo Macbook and i am considering buying a new or slightly used low end Macbook Air Rev 2 (or Rev 3 if it comes out within a few months). Considering the current low end Macbook Air has a Core2Duo 1.6ghz processor, how much of a difference in performance (positive or negative) will there be? I do a lot of iMovie (AVCHD) and Photoshop editing. And would i be able to swap in my Hitachi Travelstar 7K320 HDD into the Macbook Air?
     
  2. indiecraig macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    #2
    The Nvidia chipset in the Rev B MBA would give you more of an advantage when editing video than the 400 MHz processor deficit.

    Edit: The drive in the MBA is 1.8 inch so no, you wouldn't be able to swap in the 320GB drive. Also, the HDD version of the Air uses a 4200 rpm drive, which is slow. You would be better with the SSD version.
     
  3. aaquib macrumors 65816

    aaquib

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #3
    If upgrades are important to you, the MacBook Air just isn't viable. No you can't upgrade the HDD. No you can't upgrade the RAM. The 1.6GHz processor in the MBA actually has 6MB of L2 cache which is twice as much as the MacBook and base MacBook Pro. L2 cache helps.

    If I were in your place, I'd wait for a Rev.C MacBook Air. It should be equipped with 4GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD option, and up to a 2.13GHz processor.
     
  4. slipper thread starter macrumors 68000

    slipper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    #4
    Im not in a rush to "upgrade" but if i find a used Rev. B for a good price, i'll jump on it. I doubt i would be buying the SSD upgraded model since it is out of my price range.

    OK so the HDD is a 1.8". Is it soldered in? Or is it replaceable with a higher capacity unit?

    What im getting is that for video editing performance will be the same if not a little better but everything else will be overall slower because of the 20% CPU speed deficit.
     
  5. indiecraig macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    #5
    It's not soldered in, but it's not a "user serviceable part", so replacing it is tricky and you will in all likelihood void your warranty. You probably won't even be able to find higher capacity 1.8" 5mm thick drives yet, but if you do and you decide to go ahead with an upgrade, just google "upgrade macbook air hard drive" and you should be able to find a guide easily enough.
     
  6. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #6
    The HD speed is very important in video editing. 4200 RPM drive and lack of FireWire and only 1 USB port is like the worst combo you can get for editing video.

    The CPU should be about as fast as your Core Duo, but the graphics chip is like 5-6 times faster than GMA 950. Not that it will help iMovie or Final Cut Pro, but games should run much much faster on it.

    Any particular reason you want an Air?
     
  7. slipper thread starter macrumors 68000

    slipper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    #7
    Portability.

    I will be using the machine maybe 5-10% for video editing, not too much. The rest would be web surfing, photoshop, email, iweb, etc.

    I guess i dont mind the 4200rpm HDD since i would be using an external.

    A 1.6ghz Core2Duo is just as fast as a 2ghz Core Duo?

    And i thought video editing partially relies on the GPU?
     
  8. Legolai macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    #8
    wouldn't you be better off saving some money and getting the Stock low-end macbook? or getting the higher spec one from the refurb store? my girlfriend has just got a unibody and it is really nice, and its not that heavy, and the 2.4 processor and the bigger/faster HDD would do you nicer (if you got the higher spec) plus you have the advantage of an optical drive.

    Edit: You could probably max out the ram to 4GB too and sort yourself out good and proper for the price of an air
     
  9. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    #9
    with those spec's, I'm in:D
     
  10. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #10
    Unless you really can't carry extra 700 grams I would suggest getting a high-end MacBook instead (highend for kb backlighting)
     
  11. slipper thread starter macrumors 68000

    slipper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    #11
    I realize there is always the option of another Macbook. This discussion is NOT about that.

    I was reading a few xbench benchmarks, it didnt seem that the Macbook Air was too far behind in performance compared to the other notebooks.
     
  12. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #12
    Xbench is terribly inaccurate and doesn't relate to real-world performance.

    Synthetic benchmarks aren't the best in determining the actual speed of a computer. Get some hands-on experience - a far better benchmark.
     
  13. jesterscourt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #13
    Did they finally fix the hinge problem on MBAs?
     
  14. slipper thread starter macrumors 68000

    slipper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    #14
    What other form of comparison would i use??? I dont have the money to keep my macbook and buy a Macbook Air and a Unibody Macbook just to compare.

    If its not an accurate way to compare, why do people here and the magazines compare using benchmarks?
     
  15. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #15
    You've already maxed out your current system in ram and hard drive performance, so save up a little more money and buy a used/refurbed 2nd gen air with the SSD.
     
  16. Nasty Roo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Location:
    WA
    #16
    I would advise going to an Apple store if you have one close by and playing around with the different models. See if the speed difference would be that much of a factor for you.
     
  17. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #17
    Go to the store, duh

    Useful benchmarks are done in real-world apps. Won't you agree that "20 minutes to Handbrake a movie on these settings" or "43 FPS in this game at these settings and while doing these actions" is far more informative then 12538 points in Geekbench?
     
  18. shoppy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Location:
    Hants
    #18
    I would get the SSD version in a heart beat, it makes the air useable.
     

Share This Page