macbook air or macbook with retina for graphics designer

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by davidjacobs21, Jul 18, 2014.

  1. davidjacobs21 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    #1
    My sister is a graphics designer and photgrapher. Shes needs a new mac computer. She has an old 15 inch macbook pro. She doesnt really care if she gets a 13 or 15inch screen so im trying to see if a macbook air would work since its cheaper.

    She tells me she used indesign, illustrator and photoshop programs a lot

    Anybody have experience with these programs and could give me a recomendation on what she should get
     
  2. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2013
    #2
    Based on her uses, she would benefit from the best computer she can get. If she uses those programs on a daily basis, getting a MBA will really hurt her productivity. If you are concerned about cost, get the 2012 15" rMBP. It actually performs better than the 2013 baseline model (graphics wise at least), and is exactly the same externally. I don't know the extent of your knowledge, so just as a basis, there are three components that determine the power of a computer: the GPU, CPU, and RAM.

    GPU: The MBA, the 13" rMBP, and the 15" rMBP all have different graphics cards. The MBA and the 13" rMBP come with stock Intel GPUs which just come as a package deal with the CPU. They are not very good for any graphics or design work. The 650m has over double the graphics power of the HD 5000/Iris 5100.

    CPU: Again, both the MBA and the 13" rMBP come with dual-core processors. The 15" rMBP comes with a quad-core processor. For her photography applications, it will be about twice as fast.

    RAM: All of the computers can get custom RAM, so this is not such a big deal, except the 15" comes with 8GB of RAM stock, whereas the MBA and the 13" rMBP come with 4GB, so consider that in the price.

    You can pick up a 2012 15" rMBP for about $1300 used on ebay or craigslist. If you want to get one in a box with warranty, grab a refurbished 2013 15" for $1660. She will lose a little graphics power, gain a little battery life, have a faster SSD, and have AC wifi for some of the features that are being released in OSX Yosemite. They both come in a stock configuration that is perfect for your sister of 8GB RAM/256GB SSD.

    Based on what your sister is doing, the 15" is really the best choice. Unless she already has a powerful desktop or really needs the portability of the MBA, get her a 15". It might seem expensive, but it will seriously double her performance, and you can get a pretty good deal on it if you look around.

    Best,
    Matt
     
  3. davidjacobs21 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010

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