MBA performance vs iMac

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by mox358, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. mox358 macrumors 6502

    mox358

    Joined:
    May 22, 2002
    Location:
    Indiana
    #1
    I'm looking at replacing an old white Core Duo Macbook with a new MacBook Air and am looking for some thoughts on the speed. I'm a graphic/web designer using a 2010 iMac as my main design computer and the speed is great. The Macbook I have now, as you can imagine, is getting very slow in it's old age. Does the current MBA have the horsepower to tackle Photoshop, InDesign and the like? I love the battery life and size (I'm looking at the base 13" model) but wondered if anybody using a MBA for design could comment as to how it handles these programs? Thanks!
     
  2. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, Florida
    #2
    You're going to see a drop in performance compared to the iMac, INO. the iMac is quad core right?

    If you want a laptop to do rendering or editing on, get a MacBook Pro. If it isn't fast enough stock, buy 8gigs of RAM online and a SSD as well and you'll come out to maybe 100 more than a baseline 13 inch Air. Plus it will be faster and more powerful.
     
  3. warfed macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    #3
    But the 13" pro also has a lower resolution screen which IMO is the #1 spec when doing any kind of design work.



    Unless your iMac has an SSD photoshop will feel quicker on the Air (except when doing some rendering that requires more CPU power). I don't do very complex things in PS mostly web design and the Air flies.

    If you need more than 4GB ram and more accurate colors (according to others, I have no idea as I never compared them side by side), and don't mind a lower resolution go for the Pro. Else get the Air.
     
  4. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, Florida
    #4
    1) It is common knowledge that the MBP screen is of higher quality than the MBA screen, regardless of resolution. I would think quality is better than quantity in this case, don't you agree?

    2) Not if he is rendering. Rendering and applying edits themselves is going to load the CPU; the SSD will help but with large projects he might feel the difference. I fail to see why that point is important as I suggested a SSD in the MBP, which make it better in ALL regards aside from weight. And resolution. But the screen is noticeably better in quality, again.

    3) He'll probably need the RAM. For my daily use I maxed out the 4 gigs stock easily and since I have added 8 for a total of 50 dollars (40 ram, 10 screwdriver) I would say it's also an easy and very effective upgrade.
     
  5. warfed macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    #5
    No, I disagree.

    Like I said depends on what he does with PS regarding the CPU. I'm not a very heavy user therefore I see 0% difference. And the SSD I compared to his iMac not the MBP as he asked how the Air will compare to the iMac. And again, for me Res>Quality and it's not like the quality of the Air screen is bad... in fact better than most laptops.



    Again, depends on use that's why I said "if you need more than 4GB of ram". I don't use much over 2GB so don't assume everyone uses the same amount of ram as you do.
     
  6. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #6
    I also disagree that the 13" MBP screen is better than the 13" Air's. I find it, in truth, to be a lot worse.

    It's mostly a matter of calibration, there are some excellent profiles available here on Macrumors that have improved the colour on my Air screen 100 fold.

    I use an iMac and Air, and I notice very little between them - in terms of speed - for what I do. Which is pretty much the same as the OP.
     
  7. BadaBing!! macrumors 6502

    BadaBing!!

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    #7
    Don't want to hijack the thread but I searched the forums for a Samsung calibration profile and can't find it (only LGs) .. Anyone has a link ?
    Thanks
     
  8. mox358 thread starter macrumors 6502

    mox358

    Joined:
    May 22, 2002
    Location:
    Indiana
    #8
    Thanks!

    I'm doing mostly web work and the occasional print job - which are usually just magazine or newspaper ads. I don't do any sort of 3D rendering or professional video editing.

    My iMac now is only dual core - 3.06 C2D. Speed-wise I'm not having any issues with it, but I'm also still on CS4.

    Thanks everyone for your opinions - this was a very informative thread for me. I think by what I've read that for the work I do, the MBA will do fine performance wise. I'll have to just goto the Apple Store when I buy and compare the screens on the Air/Pro and see if I really notice one being significantly better than the other. Thanks again for your help guys.
     

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