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AndreasM

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 22, 2012
33
3
I really like the form factor of the Air and have a 2018 version today. I was really happy to see tht they upgraded to quad core but is now a bit confused around the thermal throtteling since I plan to use it for work which means web/javascript development in IntelliJ IDEA and then also a lot of projet management, video calls and so on. No video or image editing and no gaming. Strictly a professional software development laptop.

Do I need to worry that it's not enough power(since it's y and no u processor) and what config apart from 16GB should I pick? I did see some review which basically showed that if you pick the i7 then you're fairly close to the performance of MBP 13 inch but maybe i5 is enough?

I would like to avoid to pick the MBP 13 inch but it also need to be functioning as a professional software development laptop.
 

throAU

macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2012
8,724
6,877
Perth, Western Australia
I did web development with a 486 back in the day.

Faster hardware is faster, but if you like the MBA form factor it will do the job.

Having a slower machine is probably better anyway so you have a baseline for how your site will perform on lower end hardware. If your site/code runs like trash on a 2020 macbook air, it will run a lot worse on 90% of the internet.
 

AndreasM

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 22, 2012
33
3
IntelliJ IDEA is fairly resource intensive, so you are right to consider the thermal situation.

There are a few differences in the thermals between the new 2020 MBA and your 2018 model.

According to some benchmarks, single-threaded performance can be better on the i7 MBA, but multi-threaded performance can still be higher on the MBP 13.

I had watched Gregs benchmarks and it might be a stupid question but is IntelliJ IDEA work normally single or multi-threaded work? And do you need to worry about the cpu being at 100 C degrees when maybe buildning and compiling code?

My conclussion is that the MBA 2020 i7/16 GB RAM is a much better buy then the old MBP 13 inch even for web development. Maybe even i5/16 GB RAM?
 

s1lent

macrumors newbie
Mar 25, 2020
3
0
I'm in the same boat as you, I'm thinking about getting the MBA 2020 i7/16GB. I'm mostly worried about the temps, I guess running at 100º for a long period of time is not a good thing...
 

AndreasM

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 22, 2012
33
3
I'm in the same boat as you, I'm thinking about getting the MBA 2020 i7/16GB. I'm mostly worried about the temps, I guess running at 100º for a long period of time is not a good thing...

Yes, so that's why we need to understand when it will be overheating and throttling. Might be that it's only happening when editing 4k video or playing games which I will never ever do. I really want to avoid having to buy an old MBP 13 inch with old gen processors, bad keyboard and slower memory just because I partly in my work need to code now and then.
 
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jgorman

macrumors regular
Jul 16, 2019
186
108
I cannot speak for the plugins, but IntelliJ IDEA is generally multi-threaded.

If temperatures stay at 100 degrees C, it should technically be safe for the CPU. All the CPU options for the MBA have the same maximum temperature at the die: 100 degrees C. Runaway thermal events and undefined behavior generally happen above 100 degrees C. However, another consideration is what happens over the long term to the case, the battery and the logic board.

As a side note, I did have an older MBA that got so hot the two rear rubber feet fell off. The heat had liquified the glue between the case and the feet. So, I am a bit worried too.
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If you will be doing web development and testing against Chrome, there seems to be a bigger difference in heat generated in Chrome vs. Safari.
 
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