Graphic designer for MBA 2015

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by chx_chx, Jul 16, 2015.

  1. chx_chx macrumors newbie

    chx_chx

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2015
    #1
    Hi Guys,

    Im thinking of buying the MBA 13" 2015 with i7 and 8gb ram.

    I will be using Adobe AI, PS, FCP and multi-tasking between PS, AI and web browsing. Is the above spec enough for this kinda use?

    (Most will say get rMBP, with the better screen and trackpad - I'm contemplating the above as I need the portability.)

    Thanks!
     
  2. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #2
    There won't be much difference in terms of speed and storage between the MBA and rMBP.

    Depending on the graphic design work you do, you might value the better screen for its better color gamut and accuracy. But again, that's depending on the kind of work you do.
     
  3. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a

    jmoore5196

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Location:
    Midwest US
    #3
    I have a fully-loaded 2013 11", which performs very well with CC apps. It chugs a bit with heavily-layered PS projects, but AI is very smooth. You might find the dual-core lagging a bit with FCP.
     
  4. newellj macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
    #4
    Quoting for emphasis. Gamut and gamma on these TN panels is distinctly worse than on the IPS panels used in the retina machines. If color accuracy matters, you actually need the retina panel.
     
  5. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #5
    You'd have to move up to a 15" rMBP to get more than a dual core. The OP seems focused on portability.
     
  6. BrettApple macrumors 65816

    BrettApple

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Heart of the midwest
    #6
    13 rMBP would be optimal. It is far from unportable. Only half a pound heavier and it actually has a smaller footprint. Coming from a 2008 13" and a 2010 15" it's amazingly light and portable.

    I own both a 2015 13" 8GB/256GB MBA and a (late) 2013 13" rMBP 8GB/256GB. The performance isn't that much different. The rMBP is a little faster overall, but not by much. The glaringly obvious advantage is the display.

    I took some pictures at night (like my profile pic) in RAW and went to edit them in Photoshop. I opened up both of them full screen on my MBA and rMBP next to each other (with a 2009 13" MBP for good measure) and it was a night and day difference (no really, the night looked like night on the rMBP and on the MBA display it was much more washed out and lacked contrast). In fact the old 2009 13" MBP screen beat the pants off the 2015 MBA. And this is after making sure the MBA's display was calibrated. That made a big difference itself.

    Yes it is a little lighter and I highly value that on the go and for work around campus, but for serious photo/graphics work I'd go with the rMBP. Though you do get a little more real estate on the 13" MBA at default settings, but you can scale up the rMBP to match it.

    The only reason I'd recommend the MBA is if you need battery life and weight more than color accuracy and extra ports. Or if you use an external display that is pretty good when you're doing work. Otherwise, rMBP all the way.

    Edit: Both are powerful enough in my experience. I have Final Cut Pro X, Compressor, Logic Pro X, Adobe CC 2015 (AI, PS, ID, PR/AE) and CS5, Mainstage and more on both the MBA and MBP. They handle it all very well. The MBA is actually surprisingly quick even when editing large 1080p files thanks in part to the SSD getting over 1GB/s R/W speeds even with the 1.6GHz Core i5 and the HD6000. Obviously 15" would be preferable, but that's outside of it's main workflow.
     
  7. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a

    jmoore5196

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Location:
    Midwest US
    #7
    I'm not sure where I inferred that the dual-core processor in the MBA wasn't enough! I own both a 15" rMBP and an 11" MBA, so I clearly understand the portability distinction.
     
  8. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #8
    Sure just replying to your comment about FCP lagging with dual core.
     
  9. chx_chx thread starter macrumors newbie

    chx_chx

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2015
    #9
    Thank you guys, Ive taken all your advice into consideration. Seeing that I'm doing arts management, I may not really be that focused on graphics anymore. I've decided to get the MBA and upgrade it to i7 and 8gb ram.

    Appreciate the help!
     

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