Macbook Air recommendations

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Jailbr3ak, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. Jailbr3ak, Oct 23, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014

    Jailbr3ak macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    #1
    I am looking into purchasing a MacBook Air for school. The model I'm looking at is the 2014, 13', 256gig, 8gig RAM. Im having trouble decideing wether or not the I should upgrade for the i7 prossessor or stay with the i5, any suggestions?

    Note: Ill be using this computer for Light gaming(Minecraft, tf2 ect...), iTunes and backups, Light Photoshop, Xcode, Netflix, Writing paper and presentations, and either boot camping or running Parrells windows7.
     
  2. joshlalonde macrumors 6502

    joshlalonde

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    Jul 12, 2014
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    Canada
    #2
    If you're running VMs and games, then i7 is the way to go. I have the i5 and it does well, but I think the i7 would have been nice.
     
  3. motrek macrumors 68020

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    Sep 14, 2012
    #3
    If you look at Geekbench scores, the i7 is about 15% faster than the i5. I would argue this is barely noticeable and it's probably unjustified for anybody to spend money on the i7 upgrade.
     
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

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    Nov 23, 2011
    #4
    It may be worth thinking about upgrading the SSD to 512GB or higher. The reason being that the Flash chips work parallel on the Macs which basically means the higher the storage, the faster the read/write speeds.

    Regrettably I can't stipulate which one will give you better real-world performance but for future-proofing/maintaining the MacBook Air's value, I'd personally go for more storage than a slightly better CPU.
     
  5. joshlalonde macrumors 6502

    joshlalonde

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    #5
    But, the i7 is better than the i5 if you're virtualizing. He's already opted for 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD. It will make enough difference.
     
  6. motrek macrumors 68020

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    Sep 14, 2012
    #6
    I don't think it makes any difference if you're running VMs or not. The i5 has the same virtualization features as the i7 as far as I can tell from the Intel ARK pages.
     
  7. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2013
    #7
    A similarly speced 13" rMBP will cost about the same, and it will have better performance. No reason to get the MBA unless you are getting a baseline model or if you need the extra battery life.
     
  8. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    Jul 29, 2008
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    The Far Horizon
    #8
    Very good point.

    Actually, I'd recommend thinking about upgrading to 512 GB SSD as well (I did) if this option is available. More RAM and a larger SSD seem to me to have a greater influence on increased performance than an increase in the Core speed.
     
  9. Saturn1217 macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 28, 2008
    #9
    I have the 2013 i7 with the specs you are looking for. Besides the game playing my usage is similar. i honestly can't tell how much the i7 has effected my usage but I would say if I had to do it all over again I might spend the money on an increase in storage rather than a faster processor. You'll probably need the space if you are going to use bootcamp and do developement etc. I definitely wish I had the 512gb of storage. I think as long as you have 8gb of ram performance will be ok (not sure about games but everything else should be good)
     
  10. AustinIllini macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

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    Oct 20, 2011
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    Austin, TX
    #10
    I kind of assume that as a student buying a portable, he would want the Air for mobility.
     
  11. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 21, 2013
    #11
    Considering the difference in weight between the rMBP and MBA is about half a can of coke, I kind of assumed a student would still deem a rMBP portable, but to each his own. The MBA is lighter, but I think the costs outweigh the benefits in this scenario. A baseline MBA can be found for as little as 750$, but if he is going to be spending enough to buy nearly two of them, I personally think a rMBP is a better choice for the money.
     
  12. motrek macrumors 68020

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    Sep 14, 2012
    #12
    Agree. Don't really see the point of the 13" Air myself. I have the 11" and would never buy a bigger laptop. I have a friend with the 13" and it seems like a beast. If I was going to get something that big anyway I would just get the rMBP.
     
  13. Obi Wan Kenobi, Oct 26, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014

    Obi Wan Kenobi macrumors 6502

    Obi Wan Kenobi

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    Mar 9, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK
    #13
    I suspect, The faster chip will eat more battery, without much real-life advantage. You are already going for the maximum RAM. That should do it.

    To me, MBAs are about portability. That requires longer battery life.
     
  14. JoelBC macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 16, 2012
    #14
    Exactly...

    I travel a lot and i) I greatly value the larger form factor of the MBA 13 over the MBA 11 (i.e. I do a lot of spreadsheet work and the bigger screen is a HUGE bonus) and ii) I wanted the lighter weight and longer battery life of the MBA over the rMBP, no contest for me at all.

    I could have purchased the more expense rMBP but after spending 3+ hours comparing the MBA to the rMBP over numerous visits to the Apple store I went for the MBA and have never looked back...in point of fact, a few people I know have moved from the rMBP to the MBA who have similar needs (some with fewer travel needs) and they too have not looked back...one has even said the MBA is best computer he has ever owned, and he has owned a lot of computers...
     
  15. AustinIllini macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

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    Oct 20, 2011
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #15

    When I was looking to replace my MBP, I was pricing it out. The reason for the 13" Air is to be a more budget friendly MacBook that still has 256 GB SSD.

    The 13" MBP with retina is expensive with 256 GB storage. If you can live without the retina but need space, the 13" MBA is the way to go.
     
  16. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 21, 2013
    #16
    If you just purchase the 256GB upgrade, then sure. But if you get the i7 and 8GB of RAM, which the OP is planning to do, a rMBP is about the same price.
     

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