Considering MacBook Air but Concerned about Power

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by robjulo, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. robjulo macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    I have a MBP 13 inch (I think a 2011). I considering giving that to my daughter and replacing it with a new MPA, likely a 13 inch.

    I am concerned with the punch it has, most notably the 4 or 8 gb of memory. I used Aperture on my MBP and it struggled with it until I added memory.

    I will not be using Aperture on the MBA as I'm doing most of my photo collection on my iMac. I would probably use iPhoto on the MBA occasionally and potentially do some small home video work with iMovie. It would largely be used for Office, viewing PDFs, web surfing, email and basic business tasks.

    How well does the MBA handle light to moderate tasks like above. Any recommendations on 4g or 8g and the 1.3 vs 1.7 processor or should I hold out and get a MBP when the new ones come out.

  2. chabig macrumors 601

    Sep 6, 2002
    Get 8GB. The i7 will be faster than your previous MacBook Pro. The i5 probably just a hair slower.
  3. jadAce macrumors regular


    Aug 10, 2013

    In my humble opinion, 8 GB RAM / 256 GB SSD / i5 is one of the best configs for light to moderate use in terms of cost-effectiveness.

    The 8 GB RAM enables great multitasking. With the 256 GB SSD, you don't worry as much about space.

    As for the the i5 vs i7, You will find many varying opinions on these forums; prices will be mentioned and benchmarks will be quoted. But at the end of the day, what matters is what you use your MacBook Air for. And for the use you mentioned, i5 sounds great.
  4. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    The MBA is going to be hella faster and more powerful than your MBP
  5. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    The 2011 13" i5 MBP has a Geekbench score of 6600. The 2013 13" i7 MBA scores 8200. It will seem a lot faster than that though, coming from a machine with mechanical hard drive.

    I have a 2013 11" i7/8gb/512gb MBA and it's a speedy little machine. :)
  6. robjulo thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
  7. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    save your $ by sticking with the i5 and spend it on 8gb memory instead.
    personally I find 128gb storage is more than adequate and any excess files such as movies, rarely looked at photos, older music, etc kept on an external 1tb hdd for way less cost that upgrading the Air to 256gb or even 512gb
  8. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    SSD size is a really personal thing - look at the other long threads here on the topic. Personally, I disagree with halledise. I had a 2011 i5/4gb/256gb and really liked it, but the MBA is my primary computer and I had to do constant housecleaning to keep free space on the SSD. I do professional video work sometimes, so that can really eat up a lot of space in a hurry.

    With 512gb on the new machine, I feel like I have some room to breathe. Personally, I would get the larger SSD before the i7 or 8gb upgrades. My 2011 i5/4gb never had any problems, even running stuff like Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro.
  9. Ronnoco macrumors 68030


    Oct 16, 2007
    United States of America
    Once I witnessed the jaw-dropping speed of the new Apple PCIe SSD in my MBA (512), my external USB drives seemed slow. I'm glad I opted for the larger PCIe SSD as I do like to keep large video files on my local drive. If you don't plan on transferring large files, then I would go for the smaller 256. You will be AMAZED at how fast these new Apple SSD drives are (particularly the 256 and 512). I have never seen anything this fast in a portable computer.
  10. ItHurtsWhenIP, Aug 28, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013

    ItHurtsWhenIP macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2013
    Definitely 8GB for RAM. Definitely at least 256GB for the SSD. (I went 256, but did buy a 32GB USB 3.0 stick and a 32GB microSD card to store music and videos on. Amazon has a WD Passport 1TB portable for $70 if I really want to expand)

    i5 or i7 is up to you. I don't do any video editing and only on occasion any photo editing, but I still wound up going with the i7.

    I do occasionally wonder if the 512GB SSD would have been the better choice, however I haven't once wondered if I made a mistake upgrading the RAM and processor..
  11. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Yes, get the most computer you can afford. :cool:
  12. AXs macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    you may want to consider waiting for the Pro-line refresh. shouldnt be more than a month now.

    You may prefer the haswell retina mbp, but the air will be plenty enough for what you highlighted.
  13. Chandler583 macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2005
    You can save some money by getting the air, as the pro will be more expensive, but more powerful. I understand that your MBP was used as a primary computer? Now you have your iMac, so you only need a secondary for light work? I think the i5 will be fine, but definitely get the 8 Gb of RAM. Minimum of 256GB SSD. I splurged and got the top of the line MBA, but that was just because I could.
  14. Suraj R. macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2013
    Looking back I probably should have gotten the top of the line MBA (or at least one with a larger SSD) but the setup that I have now is pretty much perfect. I have the i5/8/128 model. I realized the 128 GB size was very limiting, so I went and got a 64GB SD card that I keep in the SD slot permanently. It does protrude out slightly, but that isn't an issue really (I just have to remember that when I'm putting the MBA in a sleeve and taking it somewhere). The 8GB of RAM is perfect. I could have gone with the i7 but whatever.

    But with pretty much 200GB of storage, I feel satisfied.

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