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RaphaZ

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 2, 2021
252
76
Hello!

For MS Office 365 intensive use (Word, Excel and Power Point), and for large pdf’s view and editing, I’m considering replacing my 2013 MBA (which is struggling in some cases, even with 8 Gb RAM and a SSD). for a MB M1. For your experience, would your recommend the Air over the Pro, and 16 Gb RAM over 8 Gb?

Thank you.
 

MandiMac

macrumors 65816
Feb 25, 2012
1,431
882
For MS Office 365 intensive use (Word, Excel and Power Point), and for large pdf’s view and editing
The Air will be completely sufficient, and silent at that as well.

As for the RAM, I'd go with 16 GB just because it's not upgradable down the road. And more RAM is always good.
 
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chrfr

macrumors G5
Jul 11, 2009
13,591
7,133
Hello!

For MS Office 365 intensive use (Word, Excel and Power Point), and for large pdf’s view and editing, I’m considering replacing my 2013 MBA (which is struggling in some cases, even with 8 Gb RAM and a SSD). for a MB M1. For your experience, would your recommend the Air over the Pro, and 16 Gb RAM over 8 Gb?

Thank you.
An M1 Air would be completely fine for this. I generally avoid buying 8GB models personally, but it would likely be sufficient here.
 

mfbo

macrumors newbie
Jun 14, 2022
3
1
I bought the MBA 8GB/512 within the first days after the announcement because it was the only one in stock. Was sceptical about the 8GB but 1.5y later I am still using the same MBA running Office, Teams (dev channel is arm64), OneDrive, Browser with 10 open Tabs on average (using AutoTabDiscard extension). Also spinning up a Win 11 or Linux VM in Parallels from time to time and never had issues with the RAM. Even with compression turning yellow no problem at all. I am not using any Rosetta apps, all universal and native arm64.
My idea when I bought it back then was to quickly upgrade to 16GB when available and sell the 8GB but never did the upgrade. And I would always prefer the MBA over the MBP13 but if you want to spend the extra $$ I would get the base MBP 14.
 
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terminator-jq

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2012
689
1,405
Hello!

For MS Office 365 intensive use (Word, Excel and Power Point), and for large pdf’s view and editing, I’m considering replacing my 2013 MBA (which is struggling in some cases, even with 8 Gb RAM and a SSD). for a MB M1. For your experience, would your recommend the Air over the Pro, and 16 Gb RAM over 8 Gb?

Thank you.
The MacBook Air is more than good enough for what you need. The extra thermal headroom in the MacBook Pro won’t really be utilized with the type of work you are describing. As for specs, the base 8gb M1 should be plenty but as others have said, upgrading to 16gb will give you some “future proofing” as that becomes more standardized. That being said, these Apple silicon chips handle RAM very well so if you just want the best deal possible, 8gb of RAM should be okay.

If you’re not in a hurry, it might be worth waiting for the M2 MacBook Air to release. The M2 chip (while not a major upgrade over the M1) will give you better single core performance which may come in handy down the line. There are also various improvements to the chassis, sound, screen and other aspects of the new MacBook Air design.
 
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w5jck

Suspended
Nov 9, 2013
1,516
1,933
I’m using my MacBook Air M1 2020 16GB RAM 1TB SSD for Office 365 tasks as well as Lightroom, Photoshop, and Final Cut Pro tasks that require a lot more than Office. I have no issues at all. Like the others here, I do recommend getting the 16GB RAM model because more RAM will future proof it a few years beyond the base RAM. Every year developers add new features to the software and many of those features require, or at least benefit from, more RAM. By paying a bit more now for 16BG RAM you will have a few more years of usage before the newer apps start to demand more RAM than you have.
 
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Darkseth

macrumors member
Aug 28, 2020
50
89
M1 Macbook Pro 13,3" user here.
I don't know your exact workflow, but without Benchmarks or anything like that i wasn't able to get the Fan tu turn on at all.
You can do Office Applications with PDFs, while working inside a Windows 11 VM, and the Fans never turned on for me. I was using some Microsoft SQL Applications, PowerBI etc inside the VM, wasn't even warm.

Get the Air, it's perfectly enough, and you probably won't even get it to throttle a tiny but. You'll notice the Ram more than the Fan.
 

RaphaZ

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 2, 2021
252
76
M1 Macbook Pro 13,3" user here.
I don't know your exact workflow, but without Benchmarks or anything like that i wasn't able to get the Fan tu turn on at all.
You can do Office Applications with PDFs, while working inside a Windows 11 VM, and the Fans never turned on for me. I was using some Microsoft SQL Applications, PowerBI etc inside the VM, wasn't even warm.

Get the Air, it's perfectly enough, and you probably won't even get it to throttle a tiny but. You'll notice the Ram more than the Fan.
I do transcriptions, meaning working with large pdf's (originally photographed and compiled as pdf's) for my thesis. Not a big deal for M1, I assume, for what I've read here.
 

jav6454

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2007
22,303
6,258
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
Hello!

For MS Office 365 intensive use (Word, Excel and Power Point), and for large pdf’s view and editing, I’m considering replacing my 2013 MBA (which is struggling in some cases, even with 8 Gb RAM and a SSD). for a MB M1. For your experience, would your recommend the Air over the Pro, and 16 Gb RAM over 8 Gb?

Thank you.
The Air is thermally limited, so if you value sustained performance look at the 13" MBP. That said, for any model, always go with the highest memory capacity you can as memory isn't upgradeable down the line.
 
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chrfr

macrumors G5
Jul 11, 2009
13,591
7,133
The Air is thermally limited, so if you value sustained performance look at the 13" MBP. That said, for any model, always go with the highest memory capacity you can as memory isn't upgradeable down the line.
The point here, though, is exactly that the user isn't doing sustained work. An Air is completely appropriate for their use and there will be no performance difference between that and a Pro. It's not even certain that 16GB offers any advantage.
 

kp98077

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2010
4,175
2,671
I think for the standard user the 8gb is just fine! If its for work, yes 16... also supply chair will be a bit issue with the M2 AIR, i dont think they'll even be available widely until September. you cant even get a 14" pro where I live until late Aug!!
 

RaphaZ

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 2, 2021
252
76
I think for the standard user the 8gb is just fine! If its for work, yes 16... also supply chair will be a bit issue with the M2 AIR, i dont think they'll even be available widely until September. you cant even get a 14" pro where I live until late Aug!!
This is about ensure longevity on their device. While right now they won't need it, down the line when programs get updated or more memory is demanded, they'll be glad to have it.
The point here, though, is exactly that the user isn't doing sustained work. An Air is completely appropriate for their use and there will be no performance difference between that and a Pro. It's not even certain that 16GB offers any advantage.
Guys, this is my Activity right now, using a 300 hundred pages' Word, Preview (with heavy pdf's) and ofc Safari. I could even use Excel and Power Point. My Mac is a bit warm... What do you think?


Captura de ecrã 2022-06-15, às 20.52.50.png
 

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jav6454

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2007
22,303
6,258
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
Guys, this is my Activity right now, using a 300 hundred pages' Word, Preview (with heavy pdf's) and ofc Safari. I could even use Excel and Power Point. My Mac is a bit warm... What do you think?


View attachment 2019624
A Word document is usually less than 100MB, so memory wise, it's the lightest task out there. However, yes you usage practically states you do not need more than 8GB in memory.
 
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