MBA or 13" MBP for college student?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by green-apple, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. green-apple macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2012
    The new school year is almost there for me and I'm thinking of buying a new macbook. My current one (2008 macbook) is still ok for daily use, but I still prefer to upgrade for the new year. So for my needs:

    -surfing/video streaming
    -some Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign
    -I'm having a CG class this year, so I'll have to do some 3d programming too!

    Do you think an MBA will be sufficient for my needs, especially last point? I'm kinda worried about the integrated graphics, but neither the MBA nor 13" MBP have dedicated graphics, do you think that will be enough?

    I'm kinda leaning towards the Air as some ppl say the MPB is dead, the Air has SSD + better screen + portable + battery. I have no use for the CD/DVD and I can live without the ethernet port too. But the Pro is upgradable... (although I'm not really planning to, but the option just seems nice)

    And continuing with the MBA, do you think a base model with 8gb of RAM would be ok? Is there a big of a difference between i5 and i7 or can I live without the i7 model? I'm also going to use it for at least 2-3 years to come...

  2. Tankmaze macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2012
    get the MBA with 8GB, both have the same gpu and fairly same performance.
  3. Corrosive vinyl macrumors 6502

    Corrosive vinyl

    Sep 22, 2006
    True, they have the same GPU (intelHD 4000), which isn't that wimpy. The new Guild Wars 2 game minimum GPU requirement is the HD 3000; you will be a step ahead there.

    The main and most crucial difference is in the lack of disc drive. I personally like the Pro models because of my affinity to burn cds/dvds. I never realized how useful it was until I used it all the time to burn movies we own to put on itunes via handbrake.

    As for the upgrading idea, I agree totally. Whatever the specs of the MBA, it will always be those specs. When I first bought my 2009 MBP I basically got the bare bones (later disliking the decision because of the lack of CPU/GPU power). I had since gone from the stock RAM to 8 GB with basically no hassle (a decision that has helped me 100 fold).
  4. green-apple thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2012
    Thanks for your reactions!

    After some research I think I would go for the Air, I barely used the DVD drive of my macbook anyway. As far as upgrading I think I'd still want to buy a new one in 2 years when I finish college and give it to someone else who'd be happy with it!

    My biggest question now is: i5 or i7? The price difference is quite large, and I'm leaning towards i5 unless someone has good reason not to?
  5. Jazper macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012
    If your using it for college stuff, the i5 will be fine - unless your doing some serious work.

    I'd get the 8gb of ram and i5 processor! Have fun!

Share This Page