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kp98077

macrumors 601
Original poster
Oct 26, 2010
4,160
2,664

Just curious what current owners think of the 14" M3 with 8GB base model?​

The good, bad and ugly!​

Asking as my kids needs new college laptops, not engineering, bio/pre med. And these are basically $400 cheaper right now...
 

mdhaus72

macrumors regular
Dec 29, 2018
222
299
$400 cheaper than what? Another model? Or do you mean they are on sale for $400 less?

Does your kids’ workflow require a Pro device? Would the M2 Air work for them, for example?

The Air is a great machine that works well for a lot of tasks. If you are going to spec it up really large, then at some point it makes more sense to move to a base Pro model. But if their workflow doesn’t require it, the Airs would be a good machine and would save you a fair amount of money.
 

kp98077

macrumors 601
Original poster
Oct 26, 2010
4,160
2,664
$400 cheaper than what? Another model? Or do you mean they are on sale for $400 less?

Does your kids’ workflow require a Pro device? Would the M2 Air work for them, for example?

The Air is a great machine that works well for a lot of tasks. If you are going to spec it up really large, then at some point it makes more sense to move to a base Pro model. But if their workflow doesn’t require it, the Airs would be a good machine and would save you a fair amount of money.
Yes, I'm citing the Best Buy sale of $1399 USD vs. $1799 USD for 16 RAM, true about air... thx
 
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ssong

macrumors 6502a
May 3, 2015
675
463
London, UK
An M2 Air 15 inch would probs be a better call as I’d imagine there’d be limited space in a college dorm for a dedicated monitor and that extra inch of screen space does surprisingly make a fair bit of difference. That said, depending on the courses and the programs they may need to run towards the latter half of the degree, it may or may not cap the 8GB RAM out but I’d imagine there would be cloud / uni labs available for those edge cases.

Probs should be able to handle 90% of the workload.

Also, I dunno if this is still the case but I think there used to be some cases where the authorised Apple resellers at unis sometimes had better deals so wouldn’t hurt to shop around.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
14,854
21,609
No one doing undergrad work needs a “powerful” computer for their coursework. Buy whichever one the kid likes best, it’s going to be with them for a very long time.
 

macduke

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
13,257
19,960
No one doing undergrad work needs a “powerful” computer for their coursework. Buy whichever one the kid likes best, it’s going to be with them for a very long time.
LOL, the 3D animation majors would like to have a word with you.

Back in college in the late 2000s I took 3D animation as an elective and I remember so many kids in my class had Mac Pro towers in their dorms and apartments and they still complained about render times and we were only rendering 640x480. That class murdered my 2008 15” MBP which was one of the highest specs at the time and I had to get my work done well in advance so I could render out my sequences or spend all day in the lab workstations. With how realistic and high resolution things are expected to be nowadays, I could see these kids still needing a pretty beefy system. Especially something with a good chunk of unified memory and a decent amount of GPU cores.
 
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kp98077

macrumors 601
Original poster
Oct 26, 2010
4,160
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biology students run very complex programs, data sets, etc. that's why I get so annoyed when apple says the "pro" is just for artist... lol.. the one I am referring to is the base M3 8 gig (everyone dislikes basically), I do feel that a sweet spot between an air and a pro.. esp. onsite for 1399
 

maerz001

macrumors 68020
Nov 2, 2010
2,441
2,325
biology students run very complex programs, data sets, etc. that's why I get so annoyed when apple says the "pro" is just for artist... lol.. the one I am referring to is the base M3 8 gig (everyone dislikes basically), I do feel that a sweet spot between an air and a pro.. esp. onsite for 1399
If the programs are so complex i guess a M1/2 Pro wich comes with 16GB makes more sense. I see them 30% discounted
 
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ebispojr

macrumors newbie
Dec 20, 2023
1
0
I bought for $1399 MacBook Air M2 512 gb and 16 of Ram. I having the same headache now for the same price I could go back and switch it for a pro but 8gb of ram is a ridiculous it will be a sort term device; strategy from apple to make you jump to a $ 2000 laptop. I wish I could like windows but I can't !
 

AHDuke99

macrumors 68020
Nov 14, 2002
2,303
111
Charleston, SC
Unless your kids are majoring in some high end computer engineering work, they could buy any Mx Macbook and be fine to run Microsoft Office and watch youtube videos.
 
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