MacBook Air 11" 8GB/256GB or MacBook 12" 8GB/256GB

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jeddouglas, Sep 2, 2016.

  1. jeddouglas macrumors regular

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    Inverness, UK
    #1
    I know announcements on new Macs are due soon but am considering one of the above. The MBA is £979 here in the UK but I can get the MB for £899. Is there much difference in performance of the CPUs between the two? I believe the Core M in the MB is not as fast. I am also aware of the lack of ports on the MB compared with the MBA. Looking to use for web browsing and productivity mainly. I am not too bothered about the retina screen but am attracted to the MB because of the lower price

    Would appreciate advice on this please.
     
  2. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

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    #2
    if you want performance get an i7 MacBook Air. but you should wait for a week or two and see what gets announced. if a new Air drops, current models will get even cheaper.
     
  3. jeddouglas thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Thanks. Just found a 512GB MB for £949. The additional storage is tempting, especially given it is still £30 cheaper than the MBA. Think I will wait until after 7th September before I decide.
     
  4. lambertjohn macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Good decision. Why waste your money on old technology?
     
  5. Floris macrumors 68020

    Floris

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    #5
    If you want design, go for the underperforming macbook.
    If you want design and some power, go for the air.
    If you want design,and power, but don't mind a bit heavier machine, the 13" macbook pro is the one.

    Just make sure any of them have at least SSD and 8gb ram, and you're set.
    Stick to your budget, and wait for the Sept/Oct updates, and go enjoy the options of current + newer models to pick from.

    This is how I tell it to my family:

    If you are a facebooker, writers, or not tech savvy, then macbook is affordable, and great all in one that's easy to take everywhere and you look great.

    If you are that, but you want a bit more out of it, and a bit bigger screen, go with the Air.

    If you want to play some games, do video editing, or real photoshop work etc. Then go with the ssd solution of the 13" macbook pro.
     
  6. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

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    #6
    Not really. I keep seeing here this idea that the 13" Pro is better than the Air.

    The reality, configured with the best available CPU (dual core Broadwell i7) for each, those chips are the same architecture and generation, same cache: the chip in Pro is slightly faster, the chip in the Air is better at conserving battery.

    They each have the same integrated graphics processor with both borrowing the same amount of slow memory from system RAM: its the same except the Pro has to work a lot harder driving 4 times as many pixels in the retina display.

    The Air is thinner, lighter, has a longer lasting battery and configured similarly, costs less. the only real advantage the 13" Pro can have performance wise is if you spring for the 16GB of RAM. what it really has, if that is something you want to pay for, is the retina screen. and that comes at the cost of performance and battery life.

    If performance is truly the goal, the quad core 15" with discrete graphics (with it's own un-shared memory) is actually the machine you want.

    the 13" Pro is what Apple sold as the MacBook before the MacBook was re-birthed as a fashion accessory.
     
  7. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

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    #7
    Don't buy MacBook: terrible keyboard and no ports.
     
  8. Floris macrumors 68020

    Floris

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    #8
    Well, for what I want out of a laptop, that's my experience and opinion. What you perhaps want or need is different. Just sharing my point of view. The macbook - if I would buy it - is because I want to have a bit more than an iPad, and still be stylish and mobile. But I don't expect myself to do any serious work besides basic photoshop retouching of stuff.
    The air is great, if you want more battery life and some of the other perks, but.. Personally a bit bigger screen and more serious hardware that the pro offers fits my lifestyle more.
     
  9. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

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    #9
    okay. yes, a 13" screen is bigger than an 11" screen. but you can get a 13" Air. can you please explain which hardware is "more serious"?
     
  10. Pugly macrumors regular

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    Jun 7, 2016
    #10
    The 13inch Pro is really only slightly faster than the Air. The Pro name is there to convince you it's for getting serious work done... well in the 13inch. The 15 gets a quad CPU which is much more capable than either computer.

    I think for the best compromise of portability and power the 11 inch i7 is amazing. The MacBook with the m7 may be close, but I haven't seen convincing benchmarks on long term thermally constrained tasks. And that model is very expensive. If style and a quality screen are your main concerns, then the MacBook is the way to go. After the 8GB ram and 256GB SSD upgrades are factored in, the MacBook is only $100 more expensive than the Air. But you lose out on performance and connectivity.

    For me I don't think the MacBook is viable as a computer until it can charge and connect to things without a dongle. It really needs two USB-C ports. I sometimes connect peripherals so having only the 1 port is a real downside to me. If that doesn't matter to you, then the MacBook is a great portable computer.

    I'm really happy with my 11inch MBA. The only thing I really don't like about it is the screen bezel. If the screen was just a smidge bigger It'd be perfect. The dpi is pretty high for a non retina though, so I'm finding the screen pretty usable.
     
  11. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #11
    Just started a large video project that involves a lot of SD footage I shot almost 15 years ago. Have been using my 2013 11" i7/8gb/512gb MBA and surprised at how well it works. Main limitation is needing to put the timeline on the 11" screen, but that is manageable. And if I want to spend a little money there are ways around that (like a Thunderbolt dock or Thunderbolt display).

    Was thinking that a Mini might be a better choice, but after looking at benchmarks the current top of the line Mini is only about 10% faster than my three year old MBA. So I'm not going to spend $1200 to $1700 for that. If I continue with some other video projects I will eventually get another machine that is better suited, but am quite impressed by what this little 2013 computer is capable of. And the portability and battery life are terrific.
     
  12. ignatius345 macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 20, 2015
    #12
    If you can tolerate the keyboard and aren't going to really be plugging peripherals in, the Retina Macbook is probably fine.

    If you need a bit more power, a better battery, want a keyboard that doesn't feel like you're typing on a piece of metal -- or if you want the flexibility to charge your machine and plug in any peripheral at the same time, get the Air.

    I write a lot, and the Retina MacBook's keyboard just killed me, so I gave it to my girlfriend and went back to my 11" MBA. The screen on that thing is lovely, but I liked nothing else about it.

    Last note: you won't realize how much you liked Magsafe until you lose it. Being able to attach your power cord with one hand seems trivial, but it's seriously a great design and grabbing your laptop with one hand and your USB-C cord with the other gets old really quick.
     
  13. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

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    #13
    Not sure why you quoted me for your post, but since you did.

    External monitor, no need for Thunderbolt anything. that port also carried Display Port and can be adapted to any current monitor interconnect standard.

    There must be a name for this, but I don't now what it is. the idea that everything that is current is also new. that where we are is the pinnacle and we only just got here. but things just don't change that fast. Power windows, power seats, air conditioning and automatic transmissions showed up in cars in the 50s. That a current computer can edit stand definition video well is not impressive because I was doing that 14 years ago, on this. That is not a demanding task. And as far as processing power goes, we are several major iterations beyond that, so any computer from the past several years will be fine with that task, including the one in your phone.

    It like that all too regular post of, 'is this computer powerful enough for grad school?' 'No, it's not. It's only been in the last couple years that there are computers powerful enough for grad school'; is not a true statement.

    So, to you, I wish you happy editing. and to all of you, how about some love for those older machines still banging away (typed on my 4 year old Air) and realize that for the vast majority of uses it's fine. but also realize there is a bleeding edge and there are plenty who push it while paying a lot to be there with machines that cost significantly more for real reasons. and having a discussion of which dual-core, integrated graphics computer is better for Photoshop is like arguing which Burger King location makes the best hamburger (the answer is, none of them (and they are all the same)).
     
  14. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #14
    I quoted your post since you mentioned that the i7 MBA offers good performance, and I was recently surprised by just how good it is while working on a video project. Some people seem to have the idea that the MBA is an underpowered netbook.

    I know you can connect a monitor to the thunderbolt port, I have HDMI and DVI adapters and use them frequently. But I need firewire to connect a Sony DV deck to my computer to capture video. I use a thunderbolt to firewire adapter for that and cannot connect my monitor since there's only one thunderbolt port. I think there are docks that would let me do this, but don't really want to make the investment at the moment.
     
  15. jeddouglas thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    Had a look at both the Air and the MacBook at my local Apple reseller on Saturday. The keyboard is a bit strange on the MacBook for the brief time I tried it. I have always loved the MBA design and definitely not interested in the Pro as I value portability higher than performance. It would be great if the 11" Air got 8GB of RAM as standard at the upcoming event.
     
  16. tentales macrumors 6502a

    tentales

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    #16
    I'd be seriously surprised to see another MBA update. The current 8GB 11" is the same price as the 13", with the basic 128GB SSD, at least in my neck of the woods. I chose the 13" because it's a portable device and I wanted longer battery life for 10% more weight and to insert permanent extra storage in form of a flush mounted SD card, which is absent on the 11".

    The new Macbook keyboard is annoying and I'm afraid will be carried over to any new MBA or MBP. If they'll add more travel to the keys, then I'll reconsider.
     
  17. jeddouglas thread starter macrumors regular

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    #17
    I have thought about the 13" MBA, which in the 8GB/256GB configuration is £999 compared with £979 for the 11", but I still think the 11" would be better for me from a portability perspective. I have been looking into expanding the storage for the 11" in the future and was thinking about a USB to SD converter with a JetDrive Lite. Would that work okay in your opinion?
     
  18. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #18
    I had a 2011 13" MBA and switched to the 11" MBA in 2013. I like the 11" so much better. Since you say portability is important, I think you definitely want the 11". Looking at the specs you might not think they are so different, but they really are. Regarding storage, have never used a JetDrive, but any kind of flash drive is going to be no match for a larger SSD. If you need more than 128gb, IMO you should get a larger SSD even if you have to sell something or work a little overtime for the additional cost. :)
     
  19. jeddouglas thread starter macrumors regular

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    #19
    I am looking at going for 256GB, but am thinking ahead to a few years when I might want to increase the storage to more than that. I can't justify the extra money now to go for 512MB.
     
  20. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #20
    Well I have a USB stick with a bunch of movies on it and use it every now and then. But I wouldn't want that to be a way of life. IIRC, having a flash drive mounted will prevent the computer from going into "deep sleep" and may also run your battery down faster. Regardless, it's awkward to have something sticking out of the port and I generally need both USB ports for disk drives, mice, audio interface, etc. I think you could make a better case for this if it were the 13" MBA with an SD card. But either way, a flash drive is only going to operate at a fraction of the speed of the SSD. According to their site, the JetDrive Lite has a write speed of 60MB/sec. The MBA SSD has a write speed of over 700MB/sec.
     
  21. edhchoe macrumors 6502a

    edhchoe

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    #21
    The rumor says this week's apple event will not present a new notebook.
     
  22. tentales macrumors 6502a

    tentales

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    #22
    Sure it would work, but why pay extra for an adapter. Just get one these: https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-128G...id=1473125977&sr=8-5&keywords=samsung+usb+3.0
     
  23. jeddouglas thread starter macrumors regular

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    #23
  24. tentales macrumors 6502a

    tentales

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    #24
    Short answer, no. not when you plan on plugging the sd card into an adapter.
    I think you have ample online resources to do your own research on that subject.
     
  25. Osty macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    Main benefit is you can gain more storage without sacrificing a USB port, assuming you need them to plug in peripherals.

    According to Apple, SD card readers top out at USB 2 speeds so the USB 3 ports will be faster.
     

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