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thecautioners

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 5, 2022
28
67
MBA M2 24gb/1TB apple refurbished plus tax and apple care $2118
MBP M2 Pro 16/512 edu discount plus tax and apple care $2276.85

I am having a hard time 😅 I can’t believe I still haven’t made up my mind after letting this bother me for days. What it boils down to is I’m not sure if I’ll need the fans or not. Extra ram and storage with no fans, less ram and storage with fans. As far as I know, I wouldn’t ever push a pro machine to its limits, I don’t have the kind of talent or workload to do that and I can’t imagine I ever will.

Currently I don’t use a laptop, I have a 10 year old MBP that served me very well but my iPhone replaced all my computing needs. But, I want to find a creative outlet. I would be doing some very light photo and maybe video editing, just stuff of my kids. I also want to play the Sims and Roller Coaster Tycoon. Basic streaming and web surfing, maybe a simple WFH job one day.

I can spec up the MBA a little and spend as much as I would on a base MBP 14” but I don’t want to regret my decision. I can’t afford more ram or storage on the MBP, as it is this is all at the top of my budget. 24gb ram sounds great, but… I really worry about the cooling.

I love the form and look of the MBA, I love the starlight color. Portability is important but it will basically go back and forth from my bed to my coffee table. I might end up taking it places with me, I don’t know yet. I feel like I want the MBA (specs higher, it’s ✨pretty✨) but I’m so afraid I will regret not getting the pro despite not being a pro user. Does apple charge restocking fees for returns within the window? I absolutely can’t buy two at once but I could buy the MBA and see how it does, I just can’t afford to lose money on making a return.

I know any machine is going to be better than my 2013 MBP. I am just trying to avoid mistakes as this is not a small purchase for me.
 

rm5

macrumors 6502a
Mar 4, 2022
637
516
United States
I'm not an adult, but I can still give you information 🤣

I have an M1 MacBook Air with 16 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage. 256 GB is just fine for me because I store most things externally, however, I sometimes run into issues with 16 GB of RAM, where if I have multiple "pro apps" like Logic, Resolve, and Compressor, open at once (which is sometimes necessary), I get into the swap territory, which I try and avoid. But it doesn't sound like your workload involves that, so I wouldn't be too worried.

The questions you should ask yourself:
  • Do you need the extra connectivity of the MacBook Pro? Are you fine with using a dock/hub on your laptop that has HDMI and an SD card reader?
    • You'd probably need a dock/hub regardless, but it'd be more necessary with an MBA
  • Does your workflow involve high temperatures constantly? If so, spend the extra cash and get an MBP.
It's not all that complicated—people overcomplicate it... but really it's your choice in the end. I honestly don't think you can go wrong one way or the other. I'd actually say get the M2 MacBook Air, because if you don't absolutely need the "pro performance" of the MBP, don't get it. I'd call myself a power user, and I work just fine off my M1 MacBook Air!

What other questions do you have? I'm more than happy to help ya out more if need be!
 
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thecautioners

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 5, 2022
28
67
I'm not an adult, but I can still give you information 🤣

I have an M1 MacBook Air with 16 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage. 256 GB is just fine for me because I store most things externally, however, I sometimes run into issues with 16 GB of RAM, where if I have multiple "pro apps" like Logic, Resolve, and Compressor, open at once (which is sometimes necessary), I get into the swap territory, which I try and avoid. But it doesn't sound like your workload involves that, so I wouldn't be too worried.

The questions you should ask yourself:
  • Do you need the extra connectivity of the MacBook Pro? Are you fine with using a dock/hub on your laptop that has HDMI and an SD card reader?
    • You'd probably need a dock/hub regardless, but it'd be more necessary with an MBA
  • Does your workflow involve high temperatures constantly? If so, spend the extra cash and get an MBP.
It's not all that complicated—people overcomplicate it... but really it's your choice in the end. I honestly don't think you can go wrong one way or the other. I'd actually say get the M2 MacBook Air, because if you don't absolutely need the "pro performance" of the MBP, don't get it. I'd call myself a power user, and I work just fine off my M1 MacBook Air!

What other questions do you have? I'm more than happy to help ya out more if need be!
I don’t need the extra connectivity that the MBP offers, honestly, I don’t have a desk so I wouldn’t have any extra monitors or anything. I don’t mind using a dongle for an SD card if I do use my camera (my iPhone is my main camera). As for temperatures, I am not sure that I would do much that would drive it up too high; I don’t know how demanding my games would be, I can’t imagine the Sims is very taxing but I guess I wouldn’t know!
 

rm5

macrumors 6502a
Mar 4, 2022
637
516
United States
I think you'd be better-suited for the M2 MacBook Air then, because it sounds like you don't need the additional connectivity of the MBP, which makes sense.
 

JustAnExpat

macrumors 6502
Nov 27, 2019
298
186
What will you be doing with your computer? Is it really:

"would be doing some very light photo and maybe video editing, just stuff of my kids. I also want to play the Sims and Roller Coaster Tycoon. . Basic streaming and web surfing"

I have no idea what a "simple work from home job" means because work from home can range anything from using cloud based programs to making movies and programs that push the system to the max.

I decided to look at some of the system requirements for the programs you're using.

The Sims 4: An M1 MacBook Air can run easily, 8GB (see https://www.macgamerhq.com/apple-m1/sims-4-m1-mac/)
Roller Coaster Tycoon: Native to M1 (source: https://www.paulthetall.com/rollercoaster-tycoon-1-2-now-m1-apple-silicon-compatible/)

Video editing: I'm teaching myself Final Cut Pro X on a MacBookAir M1 8GB. I don't have any problems using it to make 30+ minute long videos with special effects.

Quite honestly, with your requirements, either one of those systems would work. Or, save about $1,000 and get a MacBook Air M1 with 16GB of RAM.

>Does apple charge restocking fees for returns within the window?

To my knowledge, no.
 
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tis100

macrumors newbie
Jun 27, 2022
26
27
With the new M2 pro computers out, Apple has dropped the price on the M1 pro.

You can get a refurbished Late 2021 MacBook Pro 14" with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD in silver for $1,539.00, which is a terrific deal.


Or you can get it with 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD for $1929.00.


You only need the 1TB drive if you have lots of media (especially video). Are you running out of space on your current Macbook Pro or iPhone? If not, get the 512GB. I think the 1TB may be overkill for you.

Based on the usage you've described, I also don't think you need more than 16GB of ram. If you are a developer or doing more heavy work, then definitely go for the higher ram, but again I think more than 16GB for you is overkill.

If I was you, I would choose between the refurbished Late 2021 MacBook Pro 14" with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD in silver for $1,539.00 or a new Early 2023 MacBook Air with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD in starlight for $1,699.00.

As I said in the previous thread, the MacBook Pro is better for performance longevity because the fan allows the computer to keep working until it gets the job done, even as program demands increase in the future.

Get the MacBook Air if you like the color, the weight and don't mind sacrificing some performance in long running processes like gaming.

With the 2023 MacBook Air you do get an extra year of software support, so take that into consideration as well.

If you are still unsure, get the new Early 2023 MacBook Air. You have 14 days to return and no restocking fees. Load up everything that you would want to do and test it out. If it isn't fast enough, then send it back at no cost and get the refurbished Late 2021 MacBook Pro.
 
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