Help Deciding between 2 MBA's

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by qtrim, May 8, 2014.

  1. qtrim macrumors regular


    Oct 7, 2011
    Looking for a non-retina Macbook Air 13". I have these two choices, mainly looking for good video editing on the go. Choices are:

    Refurb Mid 2012 i7 2.0Ghz, 8GB, SSD 256GB, Intel HD Graphics 4000 $1,079 from Apple


    New i5 1.4Ghz, 4GB, SSD 128GB, Intel HD Graphics 5000 $800 with student discount at BestBuy (MD760LL/B)

    Essentially, is a newer i5 1.4Ghz better than an older i7 2.0Ghz? Or is the i7 worth $280?

    Thanks for the help.
  2. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    The newer one is the better unless you need the storage.
  3. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    The newer one is far better, so that would be my recommendation.

    However, while I'm not sure that i7 makes such a difference, I do recommend that you consider increasing your SSD from 128 GB SSD to 256 GB SSD. These days, 128 GB is not a lot of space.

    Indeed, my old 2010 MBA (which came with 128 SSD) was certainly showing some strain and had become quite a bit slower by last year, when I upgraded to a 2013 model and gave the 2010 MBA to my brother.
  4. Dweez macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2011
    Down by the river
  5. midwestfisherma macrumors 6502


    Jul 25, 2012
    S.E. Mich
  6. MrGimper macrumors 603


    Sep 22, 2012
    Andover, UK
    It's a toss up between faster processor, more disk space and more RAM, vs faster SSD and longer battery.
  7. Dweez macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2011
    Down by the river
    Color me slightly embarassed... :D
  8. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    I would get the Haswell i5 over the Ivy Bridge i7. Also all MacBook Air's as of today are non retina.
  9. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    Not sure what you're doing or what you expect, but I have edited video (full HD Sony XDCAM EX HQ) on a 2011 13" i5/4gb/256gb MBA and currently a 2013 11" i7/8gb/512gb MBA. I use an old version of Final Cut Pro (6) and it runs fine on both machines. The 2011 MBA was almost twice as fast for CPU intensive tasks as my 2008 15" MacBook Pro (2.4ghz c2d). My 2013 MBA is about 30% faster than the 2011 MBA.

    I see faster rendering on the 2013 machine but otherwise they feel quite similar, in spite of the better specs. But the 2013 machine is certainly better for other reasons, such battery life and the fast AC wifi.

    I agree about getting a larger SSD - go with the 512gb if at all possible. Put your current project on the SSD and it will be a pleasure to work with. The large SSD benchmarks at over 700MB/s. :) The 128gb SSD is much slower.
  10. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    Get the 2013 model! The i7 2012 model definitely has a better processor, but it doesn't have the battery life of the 2013 model. Personally, if you are looking for portable power, I would get a 2013 13" rMBP. It is 0.5 pounds heavier, but it will be worth it, and the screen will be better for photography work.

    Here is a geekbench 64 bit multicore benchmark comparison:
    2013 i5 MBA: 5024
    2012 i7 MBA: 5905
    2013 i7 MBA: 6171
    2013 i5 rMBP: 6201

    The only reason I would recommend the MBA over the rMBP is if you need more battery life, but the 2012 model has worse battery life. Anyways, just something to think about. You know what will make you happy more than I do.

  11. qtrim thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 7, 2011
  12. Isamilis macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2012
    2012: faster processor, bigger storage, bigger RAM and (possibly faster storage speed due to 256gb). The only downside is battery only 5-6 hours.

    It depends your needs, mobility versus usability. If I were you, I would choose 2012 model for better usability. Most of the time, I should bring charger anyway to charge my iPhone and USB modem.

  13. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    I would spend the extra $300 and get the model with 8 gigs of ram and 256 gig ssd....think about how this will future proof your computer and also add resale value one day.
  14. jjhoekstra macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2009
    I would go for the newer model, but with at least 256 Gb SSD. One of the reasons being that it has a far superior GPU. The GPU is where most of the heavy lifting is done during video-editing. It will be a joy to work with!
  15. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd go with the newer model, better GPU, better battery. You'll not really notice the lack of i7 vs. the i5.
  16. Mac.User macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2013
    Is that a shade of red?

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