Macbook air or mac mini

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by albcoder, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. albcoder macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2016
    #1
    I am trying to decide on whether to buy a macbook air 13" 2015 (4gb ram, 128gb ssd) for $749 or a Mac Mini 2.6ghz 1TB 5400 hd and 8 gb ram for $599. This is a one time discount that I can use. My concern with the air is the 4gb or Ram. How long will this last with new OS releases in the future. My concern with the Mac Mini is the 5400 rpm hard drive. I have a feeling with the slow hard drive it will create a bottleneck. Is 4gb enough ram on a MBA? I know the Mac OS takes about 2GB ram to run. I looking to use this machine to primarily learn Xcode. Right now, the MBP is not an option due to cost.
     
  2. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a

    jmoore5196

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Location:
    Midwest US
    #2
    The two are vastly different machines, as you know ... your choice is between an apple (literally!) and an orange.

    That said, the MBA will run rings around the mini and 4GB ought to sustain you for the next year or so. That's the direction I'd go if I were faced with a similar decision.
     
  3. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Aarhus, Denmark
    #3
    The Air with 4 GB will run the next many OS releases. Consider that the Late 2008 Air with 2 GB is still supported with El Capitan. That said, 4 GB isn't a lot.

    If your only concern with the mini is the HDD (a very very valid concern), you can easily upgrade it to an SSD and still keep the price well below that of the Air.
     
  4. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a

    jmoore5196

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Location:
    Midwest US
    #4
    I don't mind breaking out screwdrivers and had an FCC 2nd in my younger days, so I consider myself fairly adept at upgrades. I'm not sure, however, that the mini would be considered an 'easy upgrade' to an SSD.

    I'm also not sure there's much cost savings to be found. If you're paying $150 less for the mini, then paying, say, $65 for the SSD, you're saving a whopping $85 ... which ought to about pay for the time you spend upgrading the mini. The MBA, on the other hand, is ready to go out of the box.
     
  5. techwhiz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Location:
    Northern Ca.
    #5
    Get the Air. You don't need to be tied to one place.
     
  6. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Aarhus, Denmark
    #6
    - I suppose it depends both on your technical prowess and on which model mini we're talking about. But I can see the argument that it wouldn't generally be considered easy.

    I'd still say $85 less is well below. It's closer to the price of the un-modified mini than that of the Air, and it makes up 11% of the Air's price. And financial concerns seem to be important to the OP.
    Anyway, I wasn't arguing for or against either option. I was just addressing the OP's major concerns with each option, namely lack of RAM and lack of SSD.
     
  7. albcoder thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2016
    #7
    Thank you everyone. I really appreciate the advice.
     
  8. toddzrx macrumors 6502a

    toddzrx

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    #8
    I would think your first question would be: do I need to be portable, or not?
     
  9. wickedpapercut macrumors member

    wickedpapercut

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    #9
    I agree that the above is the very first question to ask. In fact, it may be the ONLY question to ask yourself.

    If your answer to the above is "no", then the additional questions would be: do you have a monitor for the mini? do you have a keyboard and mouse?

    You're comparing two very different computers. While the MBA will work fine on your desktop, the mini won't give you any portability.

    Personally, I have a late-2012 mini as my primary computer and I love it. But, I also have a MBP, an iPad, and/or iPhone for when I'm not at my desk.

    Good luck with your new computer... whichever you choose!
     

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