Is MacBook Air best option?

Peder44

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 25, 2012
1
0
So I am having trouble deciding what computer to get. I currently have the base 2009 MacBook Pro but its becoming slow and a hassle to bring places. I need a computer that can run large excel files, run Microsoft project, basic photo editing, and is portable enough to fit in my crammed backpack. My current budget is less then $1300 (preferably $1200, and I can get a student discount). To summarize it could someone help me answer the fallowing questions:

-Would the MBA run faster then my current computer?
-Can it run large excel files?
-How would running my music (115gb) and photos (25gb) and several older games(no more then 10gb each) through an external affect the performance?
-If I do get a MBA what one would you recommend/upgrades?

Please help me! Thanks
 

filmbuff

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2011
807
141
So I am having trouble deciding what computer to get. I currently have the base 2009 MacBook Pro but its becoming slow and a hassle to bring places. I need a computer that can run large excel files, run Microsoft project, basic photo editing, and is portable enough to fit in my crammed backpack. My current budget is less then $1300 (preferably $1200, and I can get a student discount). To summarize it could someone help me answer the fallowing questions:

-Would the MBA run faster then my current computer?
-Can it run large excel files?
-How would running my music (115gb) and photos (25gb) and several older games(no more then 10gb each) through an external affect the performance?
-If I do get a MBA what one would you recommend/upgrades?

Please help me! Thanks

1. Not much
2. yes
3. yes
4. Not at all, if you use a USB3.0 external drive
5. Since you have so much music get the 256GB SSD option
 

chazh

macrumors newbie
Jun 17, 2009
3
10
I have just upgraded from a 2009 13" MacBook Pro (Core 2 Duo), and the performance improvement is off the chart - it's WAY faster, both in terns of the CPU performance, and more importantly, in overall usage due, clearly, to the SSD.

I couldn't be happier.
 

Mrbobb

macrumors 601
Aug 27, 2012
4,987
192
1. Not much
I dunno why u would say that. From '09 to '12 APPRECIABLE performance difference. Just going from '11 to '12 Air, 20% overall improvement.

For portability, cannot beat an AIR, I walk around with my 11" and it's like carrying an iPad, the dang thing is so thin. :) The only downside for me are the thin sounding speakers.
 

stchman

macrumors 6502a
Jul 16, 2012
671
2
St. Louis, MO
For $1300, you could get the 13" MBA with 8GB RAM (a MUST upgrade). With all the files you have a 128GB SSD is going to be way too small unless you carry around a 1TB USB 3.0 portable hdd with you.

Your other option would be to do some upgrades to your 2009 MBP. I don't knw the specs of your 2009 MBP except that it has a Core 2 Duo processor.

You can upgrade the MBP RAM (8GB) for ~$100 and put in a 256GB SSD for ~$200.

After that I would do a FRESH not upgrade install of Mountain Lion. With the upgraded RAM and SSD, your 2009 MBP should be MUCH faster than it was before.

This will still not solve your issue of portability though.
 

wolfpuppies3

macrumors 6502
Jun 26, 2012
413
0
Virginia, USA
Tons faster

1. not much

WHAT??? My 2012 13" MBA is fully eight times faster than my 2010 15" MB Pro, four times faster than my 2011 11" MBA.

Echo comment above about SSD size. I have 360 GB of images alone so I opted for the 512 GB SSD on mine.
 

stchman

macrumors 6502a
Jul 16, 2012
671
2
St. Louis, MO
1. not much

WHAT??? My 2012 13" MBA is fully eight times faster than my 2010 15" MB Pro, four times faster than my 2011 11" MBA.

Echo comment above about SSD size. I have 360 GB of images alone so I opted for the 512 GB SSD on mine.
From a drive access standpoint that is true, from a computational standpoint, no.
 

seek3r

macrumors 6502
Aug 16, 2010
458
129
From a drive access standpoint that is true, from a computational standpoint, no.
While it's not quite as extreme as the guy you're replying to made it sound, it's still nearly twice the speed of the 2009.

Mactracker shows the 2012 base MBA (the 1.8ghz IB model, like mine) with a geekbench score of 6105. It shows the base 2009 MBP 13 (2.26ghz Core2, which I assume the OP has) with a geekbench score of 3140.

Also, as an aside, I went from a maxed 2006 15" MBP (2.33ghz core2) [which benched close to the base 2009 13" MBP at 2970, and mine had an ssd so disk speeds were likely better day-to-day (random access is where you notice the biggest hit in general use, so the limit on peak on SATA 1.5gbps compared to SATA 3gpbs isnt as significant in "feel" of the machine) than the 2009 the OP is talking about] to my 2012 MBA. The difference is night and day.