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MacBook Air i5 vs MBP Base

eddiexhart

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 13, 2008
214
19
North Hollywood CA
So I’m currently having a dilemma that I’m trying to decide what’s the best choice. I’m trying to buy my partner his very first MacBook so I want to make sure its perfect him. Now he’s definitely not a power user, he’ll mostly do YouTube, Pages & Numbers, Internet, maybe some games from Arcade And I think he plays Starcraft 2 every now and then. Now right now I’ve opted to buy from Best Buy the Gold MacBook Air i5 512GB model for $1199. But now I’m having second thoughts on if I should have really done the Base MacBook Pro. I originally went with the Air because the Gold is perfect and he once said he loved how it looked.

I wanted to see if anybody has the MacBook Air i5 and if they have had any issues with it as to speed. And if they ended up going with the Base MBP. Thoughts?
 

Magnificent

macrumors member
Nov 19, 2018
55
7
Have you reached any conclusion? I am having the same dilemma as you.
Also, there are some complaints about overheating issues on mac air i5.
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
7,154
1,040
Poole, England
There are complaints about overheating issues on every mac and every generation, apart from the non iBin Mac Pros and I believe that iMac Pro users are mostly satisfied too. Don‘t let that drive your buying decisions too much.
 

eddiexhart

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 13, 2008
214
19
North Hollywood CA
So I decided and went to upgrade to the i5 MacBook Air Gold. And thank god I did. I also decided to give him his birthday present a week early and he was SO EXCITED. I think this was the best money spent, he loved the color, the speed and loved the weight of the Air. So this was a definite win for me and him. Honestly the MBA is a beautiful machine and I would recommend the i5 model over the i3 and to those that don’t need a powerful machine.
Have you reached any conclusion? I am having the same dilemma as you.
Also, there are some complaints about overheating issues on mac air i5.
 
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lambertjohn

macrumors 65816
Jun 17, 2012
1,298
1,242
I've owned them both: a 2020 i3 Air and a 2020 i5 Air. Couldn't tell a bit of difference in them speed-wise. Both were snappy and loaded programs almost instantly. And both are great little machines! Bought them to potentially replace my 2018 Air, but ironically, my 2018 Air is also a great little machine and not much slower than the 2020 Air. So I just kept the 2018 Air and couldn't be happier.
 

Jack Neill

macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2015
1,036
773
San Antonio Texas
I am enjoying the i5/8/512 I got right at launch. The 512 is awesome for my photo library and the extra 100$ for the quad i5 was worth it to me. I think the i3 will show its age faster that the i5. Gold looks awesome, I went with Space Grey on my since it was a open box deal.

I also put a thermal pad in it and get an average of 30-50C normal use temps. very easy and worth the 12$ I paid for the pad.
 

Jack Neill

macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2015
1,036
773
San Antonio Texas
Have you reached any conclusion? I am having the same dilemma as you.
Also, there are some complaints about overheating issues on mac air i5.

Mine does not or did overheat, but I put a 12$ thermal pad on it and I get 30-50 normal use temps. I hardly ever hear the fans. At launch 15.3 had some thermal issues but it was resolved for me in .4/5 and its a solid performer now.
 

Magnificent

macrumors member
Nov 19, 2018
55
7
Mine does not or did overheat, but I put a 12$ thermal pad on it and I get 30-50 normal use temps. I hardly ever hear the fans. At launch 15.3 had some thermal issues but it was resolved for me in .4/5 and its a solid performer now.
Nice to hear that. Good for you. Thank you for your replay.
 

LED

macrumors member
Oct 23, 2008
74
25
I have the i5/8/256. I did do the heatsink shim mod, and thermal pad with positive results. The fan rarely comes on and the temps stay pretty low with normal use. Before I did the mods, a Webex teams video call would cause the temps to hit around 90 with fans near max. After the mod, the temps hit about 70 with fans kicking on at 2700rpm tops. It's a significant difference. I'd say for normal use though, even before the mods, that there really isn't a heat issue.
 
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