Debating on picking up the new Macbook Air 2013

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Zaphyrus, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. Zaphyrus, Jun 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013

    Zaphyrus macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2013
    Hey guys! It's my first post and I was hoping to get insight on computer tech specs and what would be suffice for my intended use. I'm aware that though a Mac Pro would ultimately be the best option, and a new Macbook Pro would be the next choice, I'm burdened by a small budget since I'm a fresh college graduate.

    I'm currently using a Macbook Pro 13 inch (April 2010) 2.4 ghz dual core with 4gb of RAM. Seeing as though It's only 3 years old, the hardware seems to be ancient in today's world and it's no longer able to handle the workload I throw at it.

    The main programs I use are Photoshop CS6, Capture One 7.1, Zbrush 4, and Blender. I shoot tethered to a Medium Format Digital back and work with extensive mulit-layered files sizes as large as 3gigs in Photoshop.

    The main reason I look towards the MBA 11 inch is primarily because of my on-the-go lifestyle. I can see the battery life, improved graphics and thunderbolt being a benefit when it comes to shooting tethered on the field and the SSD would be a step up. I have a basic understanding on this machine's limitations but get confused with CPU chipsets/clock speeds/turbo boost/etc when trying to compare the new MBA 2013 release with my current machine. I will also note that if I do pick up one of these little guys, I intend to go with the 1.7ghz i7 processor with 8gigs of RAM.

    I guess my main concerns is, will this be a significant upgrade from my current Macbook Pro setup and will it be able to handle my workload?

    Sorry for the long-winded post and questions! :D
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I'm also a studetn, again after 25+ I'm back in grade school full time. I have the 13" MBP and yes it is heavy and I look at the others students how have iPads and 11' MBAs and think they woud be much better to cary around all day.

    So from the studetn lifestyle point of view you are right, the 11" is good if your eyesa are still good, i'd need the 13" MBA with my older eyes.

    No for the use case. If yue MBP with 4GB is not up to the task is you think it is slow the MBA will also be slow. Yes it has flash but the big deal is the 8GB RAM limit. 16GB is better

    Your best option, and you will save money, is to (1) buy a 512GB SSD Flash drive and swap it for the current hard drive in the MBP and at the same time to maximize the RAM. The old computer will be much faster, still as big and heavy but much faster

    OWC has their own brand of SSD that is very fast as well as the RAM kit.

    Then with the money saved buy a large LCD monitor and Wacom tablet.

  3. Zaphyrus thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2013
    Thanks for the fast reply. And I totally hear ya! I worked at a contemporary photography museum and I've been around grad students in the same position.

    I know RAM is key and 16 is now the new desirable number for Photoshop. I'm just curious to see how it holds up with SSD being used as the scratch disk instead of an old HDD. That and if turbo boosting helps as well. I've heard of people over clocking their ram to 16 with previous versions of the MBA since those ones were able too, though Apple didn't recommend or support it and voided the warranty.

    Guess I'm just optimistic and know I can't really shell out for anything higher. And I've got solid eyes still which is surprising with how much time I spend retouching, and do have a 27" external monitor.

    Funny thing you mention the Wacom Tablet. I've got the Intuos 5 and for times when I absolutely positively can not bring it with me on trips, AND if the project I'm retouching isn't the most time sensitive, I've resorted to using my iPad with Air Display monitoring. Makes dodging/burning and making selections more bearable than the trackpad.

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