MacBook Air for GarageBand/iMovie?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by cleanup, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. cleanup macrumors 68030


    Jun 26, 2005
    So I want to pick up another Apple laptop... getting kind of tired of the iPad.

    I used to have a 13" MBP and loved it. Found it a bit hefty for my tastes (I like notebooks and ultraportables) but it was a full-featured laptop and very comfortable. It did iMovie and GarageBand satisfactorily but it didn't win any races of course.

    Now there's the new MBA, particularly the 11.6" one, that I'm interested in. While it's zippy doing normal things thanks to its SSD, I'm not sure how it holds up to actual CPU and GPU-intensive processes like media production. All the speed tests on YouTube are just of booting up, launching iTunes, pedestrian things like that which don't really matter.

    My audio won't be complex. Just acoustic recordings with 3-4 tracks max, videos will not necessarily be HD, and only be about 6 minutes max. YouTube performances is what they are.

    This will NOT be my main computer and thus storage capacity is not really a concern. Should I spend the extra $200 on the MBP despite the larger size or go for the portability? At the moment I'm leaning toward the MBP, but if an MBA can cut it for me, I'd rather have the portability than the optical drive/8 hour battery.
  2. applefanDrew macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2010
    Generally, for CPU intensive stuff (like recording/editing) the MBA is not a good choice. You need a stronger processor for that stuff.
  3. The Samurai macrumors 68000

    The Samurai

    Dec 29, 2007

    You may want to have a look at the speed tests and gaming tests which i've done on youtube (see sig). Done an entire series on the MBA 13". Worthwhile looking.

    p.s. i've done iMovie tests/comparisons on there too.
  4. sunrisemusic macrumors member

    Dec 18, 2010
    I've just ordered an 11" for on the fly recording/editing (all my 'heavy duty' needs are catered for with my late 2006 white macbook). I'll be using GB, Pro Tools 9 and maybe occasionally Logic Express.

    For sure it'll be fine for your lightweight GB needs, but make sure you get 4gigs RAM. I'm also going for the bigger SSD, but decided against the slightly faster processor, for my own needs I don't think it will make much difference.

    Don't take my word for it, google "macbook 11 and Logic", or "(same) and Pro Tools" and you'll find people are running basic tracks just fine. And if those are fine then GB will also be fine. The main issue will be plugins, if you're not stacking them up like crazy on many more tracks than you state you'll use it should be fine.

    Since it's not going to be your only computer and lightweight portability is important to you, you should be fine, it might run a little slower on CPU intensive things than the MBP (then again, it might not make a major difference, in my case I don't think it would be anywhere near enough to be a dealbreaker).

    I'm sure I read somewhere that lightweight iMovie editing was fine too, but don't quote me on that, best to do your own research, google is your friend if people don't chime in here.

Share This Page