Macbook Air for me?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by camerabbit, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. camerabbit macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2008
    Right now I am using a AMD 64 3500+ 2.2Ghz, with a nVidia 7600 GT, 1Gig RAM, and Vista Ultimate (32-bit), and I'm wondering how a Macbook Air would compare if running Photoshop. I know the Macbook Air doesn't match up to the Pro in benchmarks, but all I care about is that I don't see too much of a performance drop compared to the system I am used to now. Also, will my perfomance with the applications suffer if I attach my 19" widescreen minitor?

    I'm thinking of getting the SSD model because it seems to open applications so much faster.

  2. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    If you don't care about weight but do care about performance, you will do better buying a regular Macbook and adding RAM.
  3. camerabbit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2008
    Like I said, I know how well the Air compares to other Macbooks, but I'm more interested in how well it compares to what I'm using now, and what kind of affect adding an external monitor will have.
  4. iToaster macrumors 68000


    May 3, 2007
    In front of my MacBook Pro
    You'll notice a small difference due to the amount of RAM, and the processor should be fast enough for you to not notice a change, it might be faster in all actuality but I'm not familiar with AMD vs Intel. The thing that will hurt you is the lack of expandability with one USB port (I suppose you'll have a memory card in here) which being so close the micro-DVI port might interfere with the operation of an external display. As well, the lack of expandability in storage capacity (photoshop probably means you have a nice sized library of photos, not to mention other things) and the 64 Gb SSD will certainly be a pain with that, especially if the DVI port is used and/or you have a larger USB cable to an external HD. Most painfully for future expansion is the 2 Gbs or RAM soldered to the logic board, seeing as photoshop likes RAM, this will soon be inadequate in a while, whereas the MacBook and MacBook Pro can be upgraded well beyond 2 Gbs of RAM. I would suggest that you save some money by buying a MacBook or MacBook Pro... heck, if you were going to spend the extra cash on the SSD model, go for a 17" MacBook Pro to give yourself more technical screen space than the 19" display you have to offer.
  5. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    You should notice a reasonable performance increase, despite the lower clockspeed (megahertz myth etc.), + its dual core. Attaching the monitor will be fine, it comes with all the necessary cables. The SSD will also make the system boot and load apps much faster.
  6. camerabbit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2008
    Sadly I live with 40GB right now due to my last drive failing :p. So even 64GB is an upgrade.
  7. wordy macrumors regular


    Feb 26, 2008
    Just so you know the performance difference between the SSD and HDD Airs is pretty much nil (see Ars reviews, etc) - compared to what others in this thread have suggested (note that none of them actually own an Air?). I had a chance to extensively test both, and ended up buying the HDD Air.

    If you're willing to buy the SSD Air, I'd highly suggest you go with a Macbook Pro, especially if portability isn't your #1 requirement.

    Basically, if you have to ask if the Air is for you, it most likely is not!
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Don't get an SSD MacBook Air.

    Just get the normal one. Personally, I can live with only 1 USB slot, as a bluetooth mouse would be just fine for me. Beyond that, I only need USB for my flash drive, and my Western Digital Passport (external HD). I know others who can't live with that, but since you know the specs of the MBA, don't let others convince you that one USB port isn't enough. It may be enough for you. :)

    You won't notice a speed decrease. In fact, the MBA will be faster. The processor is much more advanced, so don't look at clock speed. If you get the fastest processor for the MBA, you'll be more than OK. You'll also have no trouble with an external display.
  9. camerabbit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2008
    Yeah, it seems like anytime I say "I'm thinking of getting a new Macbook Ai--" someone interrupts me to make sure I know it only has 1 usb port, I can't remove the battery, etc etc. "Really? Stop the presses! Cancel my order!" I can't seem to find a review that doesn't focus on telling me of the same drawbacks I've already heard about form a million other places.

    I still want the SSD, because of a video I saw where a all the applications on an SSD Air were launched at once and they loaded in a fraction of the time they did on an HDD. I hate waiting for a applications to load, and I hate whole-system slow downs.
  10. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Feb 9, 2005
    The good side of the grass.
    Get the standard as Abstract suggested. You'll be able to easily upgrade to the SSD in a year at greater capacities and less cost. It's an easy swap. That's a whole lot of money for marginal performance and less GB. Have you been to a store and checked them out side by side? The SSD is faster at launching app's but once the app is launched, the speed diff. is negligible.
    One bounce vs. 3-4 (once cached) at the hefty cost of $1300. That's a whole new iMac!!
  11. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Did you see the video after that one where they closed the applications and reopened the same 17 applications again and there wasn't a performance difference between the SSD and HDD (because OS X had them cached in memory)? Ugh. I was sold on the SSD model before I saw that.

    I plan on doing what NC MacGuy suggested, which is wait wait for the SSD prices to drop and do the upgrade myself.

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