is MBA 11 good for me?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by vladster, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. vladster, Apr 26, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012

    vladster macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2011
    I'm having white (2009) MacBook and doing some software development. This hardware is good for me given I upgraded memory to 4Gb recently. I'm using at least 90% of memory all the time.

    I'm looking at MBA 11 primarily with its mobility in mind - i.e. using it for development purposes while on the go. If I dismiss mobility requirement, then if I want more power - go MBP with more battery life, power and upgrade-ability, or even stay with my white... although white's case is not durable enough.

    My concern is, while MBA's SSD and battery are replaceable, RAM is not.... so in a couple of years I may end up having mobile notebook that is not up to my tasks.

    MBA 13 is too big to have on the go.

    So, MBA 11 owners... what do you think? Will SSD compensate for lack of RAM? Any other concerns \ suggestions?

    I think I might need to wait to see what the new gen MBP\MBA will offer.
  2. xkmxkmxlmx macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2011
    If you're already pushing 90%, I would say no. Wait to see what they offer in the revision, if any bump at all.

    Otherwise, it is a great machine for most other on the go tasks.
  3. vladster thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2011
    If no RAM bump - I could go current MBP 13, but replace HDD with SSD. Its case it better than white plastic, but the thing is still heavy.

    I guess I have to wait next MBP which is rumored to be slimmer.... or MBA and see what goes.
  4. eric/ Guest


    Sep 19, 2011
    Ohio, United States
    Could always go within iMac and iPad combo.

    The problem with any laptop is that it will eventually become obsolete.
  5. vladster thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2011
    iPad does not deal with software development at all. So, while it's very mobile, I wouldn't be able to use it for development.
  6. Medic278 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 1, 2012
    New York
    I have a 2011 11" MBA and I would said its not enough for you. If your using 90% of 4GB then I would say go MBP where you can upgrade to the unofficial max of 16GB. The SSD will not compensate for a lack of RAM so while SSDs are awesome it won't help you if you don't have enough RAM.
  7. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    Agreed, we own 3 2010 MBA's, all with OWC 480 GB SSD's,wicked fast,with
    NVIDIA Graphics to boot.I am waiting for a MBA, with real graphics, not Intel 3000/4000 graphics. That said, I'd love to see Apple dump Intel, and go with a
    Special chip/Graphics from AMD.Especially since Intel has "sponsored", Ultra Books" which are a direct competition with the MBA's, move on, join forces with AMD.All this is happening, but way to slow with my tastes.I have to listen to myself, when I say, "Patience Grasshopper"
  8. bogatyr macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    You can do all the work in Textastic, keep files saved on the iMac and use SSH to compile.

    Granted when I was doing that, all my scripts and code were for console apps. Plus after a month I wanted to throw my iPad out and get a laptop... Ok never mind.

    (I did get a laptop but I didn't throw my iPad out)
  9. bogatyr macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    Actually the SSD does compensate since paging is very fast. I run a couple VMs on mine without memory issues.
  10. Nova Sensei macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2012
    Surely the refresh will at least have the option for 8gb RAM? Apple treats RAM like it is unobtanium... The reality is that it's cheap and we want more more more!
  11. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Without knowiung what type of software development you do, I do have one bit of advice before going to a smaller screen. Go in to an Apple store and play with an 11" Air. see how things look on the screen to you. Also, try the keyboard, it's a good keyboard, but make sure it feels okay under your fingers. I do think your best course of action is to see what the new models bring in terms of memory and weight.

    That depends on the size of the VMs in question. Are you compensating for a little bit of ram or a lot of ram with the SSD?

    One could hope for more RAM for the AIr. The big things for Apple in the Air is battery life and the weight. Although doubling the RAM won't be much of a hit on battery life.

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