First Portable mac (well first mac!) help!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Walshy, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. Walshy macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2012
    Hi all,

    Ive been scouting a laptop since i moved house in June/July and had to ditch my hefty desktop, i got an ipad to tie me over.

    I originally would never consider a macbook air/pro as i just assumed they are overpriced for me. (i was aiming for a 6-700£ laptop windows)

    However looking online i saw amazon are selling the base 2012 13inch MBP for £885 for the airs for around that price. And i thought maybe the extra squeeze on my finances might pay off in the long run. I mean i now have a iphone, ipad atv3 etc so ive been slowing going apple without knowing it lol.

    The more i have looked into it tho, the more confusing apple products seem! Constant trade offs and add ons and different prices! :confused:

    My primary use would be for itunes/ripping DVDs to play on ATV3, playing SC2+WOW+CS:GO and general usage(with my ipad being used to watch stuff when travelling around). I loved the look of the 13inch air in the store, but couldnt afford the 8GB Ram version easily and the MBP i could update whenever!

    How does the base 2012 MBA play sc2(dont care about settings just FPS, so all low at native res, just looking for smoothness)? ive seen wow played on a HD3000 quite well and i understand the Ivybridge HD4000 is quite a leap? Or should i gofor the i7 version of the 13inch? My issue with the i7 version is the cheapest i could get that is for £1170~ which is a step up, and if i spend that much i could get the 15inch base for £ see how quickly my initial payout range has doubled lol.

    TLDR: Will i still love a base 13inch MBP as my main laptop and first dive into mac and be able to achieve my needs?
  2. Iamcardboard macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2011
    Hello Walshy!

    Not sure how much help I can be, as I don't understand some of the acronyms you use, but I have however played a fair few games on my 13" base model Macbook Air 2011, including WoW, which runs quite well, and TF2 which runs, fairly well on low settings, and have watched youtube videos of CS:GO Beta playing really well on the same model. Keep in mind that it's a tiny machine, and heats up very quickly, therefore expect a lot of fan noise.

    I couldn't tell you FPS as I never really check that, but they do run rather smooth.

    It might be worth your while searching youtube for performance videos. Here's the one I mentioned for CS:GO

    a 2012 model would do much better with its superior HD4000 graphics chip.

    I myself never play games on my mac anymore. The main reason being the lack of SSD space, even with my music library on iTunes Match, the space is so limiting.

    Also, I hope you realise that the Air doesn't have an optical drive, so you'd need to buy one separate for ripping DVDs.

    As for loving Macs. For my University work, browsing the web, keeping a journal, keeping myself organised, and using universal apps across all my apple devices... I could never go back to Windows. I bought my Air after owning iphones and iPads, just like yourself, and I have never looked back.

    I hope you find something here helpful.
  3. LaunchpadBS macrumors 6502a

    Nov 11, 2008
    I just bought an entry level 13" 2012 MBP after owning an old unibody 15" MBP for over 4 years and can honestly say it's fast enough to do all the things you're after and more.
    I got mine at a good price to boot and bought 16GB ram on amazon for £69 and an SSD which is yet to arrive, the ram makes a huge difference.

    It's easy to install yourself so not work paying apple the extra, plus I've sold my old ram to recover some of the cost of upgrading.

    My advice, buy the entry level MBP 13", upgrade it yourself, 16GB ram and a 256GB SSD will do the trick and it'll be fast.

    My Battery lasts well over 7 hours, which compared to my old work Compaq at 3 hours is AWESOME!

    Don't forget apple customer service is one of if not the best.(In my experience)

    You'll get the usual "Oh the screen's too small for games" comments but even a 15" is too small, if you wanna game on it get a cheap external TN panel monitor for like £100.
  4. Walshy thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2012
    Thank you for the reply ! Yes those videos do show the airs as very capable for the level of gaming I need. I mainly play on my Xbox and use a computer for blizzard and valve games.

    Does the temperature of the air damage it over time? Or does it start slowing down to protect itself? I might get the base MacBook pro over the base air as i just finished uni so don't need it to be ultra portable, tho I might take it to work as I'm starting a Job in web admin so it might come in handy!

    Will go down to the apple store to look at both base models, from what I saw on the weekend was I loved the look of the air but if i got a pro I can upgrade to 8gb ram when I can afford it.

    I'm sure either model will be a great system and feel worth the extra money . Just don't want to fall short on what I need it for!
  5. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I'd go with an MBP over the Air too...More storage space...I have the 13" MBA ultimate from last year, but 256GB does limit you somewhat if it's your only computer.
  6. Walshy thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2012
    Thanks mac man and launch pad too , Internets been knocked out at work do having to do this mobile ha:)

    Im not too fussed bout screen size as when I was in pc world the 15inch and above look too big to me . Looking at videos the he 4000 seems to run the games I play so can survive without the dedicated Gfx. As I recent graduate I think I will resist going for maxed out pros until next year when I've been in employment long enough . Funny how my 700 quid budget nearly turned to 1500 as you start looking into apple addons.

    Never used a mac os but if it's anything as useful as my other apple products I don't think I will regret the move'
  7. LaunchpadBS macrumors 6502a

    Nov 11, 2008
    I spend all day coding on windows machines, I can't wait to get home to Mac, you won't regret it.

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