i5 vs i7 on 11" or 13" MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by nizmoz, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. nizmoz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #1
    What do you guys recommend? I will only use it mainly for Email, Internet, some web page building, and some photograph editing. I have a gaming machine (powerful i7) at home so I don't need this to be anything. It will most likely sit most of the time. I just need something on the go.

    So I was considering the base i5 with 128gb of space with 4gb of ram. Do you guys think this will be all I would need? I want portable usage, and I will even consider the 13" base too for only $100 more. Let me know your thoughts!
     
  2. scarred macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 24, 2011
    #2
    I wouldn't bother with the CPU upgrade. What I would strongly consider is the SSD. I got the 128, and feel a bit limited by it. I am also in your same shoes (have a powerful desktop).... I love the Air so much, I use it for everything but games. I think I would have been happier with 256gigs
     
  3. nizmoz thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jul 7, 2008
    #3
    True, but $300 for the SSD additional is a bit much to me. Especially when I can carry a 500gb WD HD with me when I need it. :/
     
  4. jamesr19 macrumors 6502

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    Nov 7, 2009
    #4
    I have to agree with Scarred - I didn't think i would need the 256GB but as I wanted the i7 it was standard, but i definitely couldn't deal with 128GB. Likelyhood is you will use it as your main machine because they are sooo good but consider the 256 option.

    Alternatively consider the OWC SSDs. They're faster than the samsung and they do a 6G option which is twice as fast! You could then sell the 128 for $150 so it's less of a hit and you get a faster drive

    And the i5 will suit you fine. Photoshop and Dreamweaver run so easily on the i7 they will on the i5 too
     
  5. nebulos macrumors 6502a

    nebulos

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  6. Neolithium macrumors 6502a

    Neolithium

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    #6
    I just picked up a new 13" MBA for myself last night. Core i5, 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD. I pretty much do everything you described and it easily meets my needs. For space I just have an external portable USB drive and I'm looking at grabbing an SDXC card soon to have on hand for where I can't lay my drive out.
     
  7. nizmoz thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Good point. I think I will stick with the 128gb for now, and update later to the SSD that OWC has. :)
     
  8. molala macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 25, 2008
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    Cambridge, UK
    #8
    I cancelled my custom 256GB order because it was a long wait. Also, in the UK the price difference is about £250. I got the 128GB and bought a £70 1TB external HD instead. I don't use the external much, I have another Mac which holds my iTunes and a bigger iPhoto library, I use my MBA mostly for work. I would consider an SSD upgrade but not at the current prices.
     
  9. N0ddie macrumors 6502

    N0ddie

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    Oct 23, 2011
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    Glasgow
    #9
    How long were you gonna have to wait. I ordered a 13" MBA with 256 GB of SSD last weekend and delivery (Along with our new iMac) is penciled in for next Friday?
     
  10. molala macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 25, 2008
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    Cambridge, UK
    #10
    About 10 days. But the 128GB was delivered next day.
     
  11. N0ddie macrumors 6502

    N0ddie

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    Oct 23, 2011
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    Glasgow
    #11
    A thats cool. Will be about 12 days from ordering that we get both delivered so hopefully shouldnt need to worry.
     
  12. joe1946 macrumors regular

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    Mar 11, 2009
    #12
    I purchased the 13.3" i7 256GB because in three years it should still run ok compared to what will be out by then. When i purchased my Mini and iPod Touch 4G I ordered them with maximum cpu, HD and RAM because I plan on using them for a long time.
     
  13. barebackbadger8 macrumors 6502

    barebackbadger8

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    Mar 23, 2009
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    #13
    didn't think the SSD on the MBA could be replaced/swapped?
     
  14. nizmoz thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jul 7, 2008
    #14
    The SSD can, just not the memory itself.
     
  15. wouwout macrumors member

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    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sydney
    #15
    I just got the 13 inch MBA / 256 / i7 yesterday. i7 upgrade was €80 for me, so naturally I used this upgrade.

    I agree with others in this thread that the 256 SSD is a necessity. I've moved all my music and photos to my imac, and I still have 130 GB in use at the moment on the new Air.
     
  16. Confuzzzed macrumors 68000

    Confuzzzed

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    #16
    I think prevailing wisdom on the specs is i5 for the 13' (the i7 only gives you 8-9% additional kick) but probably worth going for the i7 (c25% uptick compared to the i5) on the 11' if battery life is not an issue for you.

    I have had the 2010 11' and now the 2011 13' models (both 128GB). I really miss the iPad-like portability of the 11' BUT for me the additional battery life of the 13' was a big deal so had to go for that.

    And don't think you will be giving much in real estate if you go for 11'. With Lion's full screen, you simply won't.

    Great machines
     
  17. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

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    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #17
    I feel the 128GB is quite comfortable. I was a bit worried in the start, but having most music and photo on my desktop made a huge difference.

    With the apps i need, Office/Adobe CS stuff/virtualBox with win XP and I even have some games (actually 20GB with games..) and I still have 18GB free.

    I do have a 2.5inch external drive when I need more space on the go.

    I really can't justify using $300 on 128GB more space, when I already have an external HD and i find myself use that quite rarely too
     
  18. M-5 macrumors 65816

    M-5

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    Jan 4, 2008
    #18
    I was seriously considering the 11" Air with 256GB SD and the i7. I ended up buying it but with just the i5. It was $150 less, and while it is going to be my main computer, I feel that the i7 would only have really benefited if I was doing some serious video encoding work rather than the typical iMovie edit every once in a while where I could handle the extra few seconds/minutes it would take to complete the task.

    I do often use photoshop to edit some personal pictures, but I rarely do anything with very large file sizes. My current 2009 MacBook Pro Intel Core 2 Duo with 250GB Hard Drive, 4GB Ram, and 2.53GHz is surfing me fine, so I suspect I'll get a good speed bump in real use with the SD. It'll also be nice to have something smaller and lighter to take with me to lecture. I'm excited; should be getting here sometime next week!
     
  19. al0513 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 28, 2011
    #19
    I have a 13" i5 with 128GB...

    I dont feel "limited" because everything is saved on an External HD. 2TB of external bliss.

    For portability, I Have a 320GB portable HD.
     
  20. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

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    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #20
    I hear people saying this, but it's not my experience.

    The 11" felt very small, and although I loved it for its portability, Photoshop, or any applications that require a decent amount of screen space and don't support Lion's full screen mode, really felt quite awkward to use.

    Nevertheless, it's one of the greatest little computers I've ever owned - though, unfortunately, I couldn't see myself using it as a primary machine.
     
  21. Confuzzzed macrumors 68000

    Confuzzzed

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    Liverpool, UK
    #21
    I only use Office that doesn't support full screen so not really an issue despite some big spreadsheet action at times. But Iimagine if I was doing fiddly photoshop type work that requires large images in high res, I'd share your frustration
     

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