MBA'12 to MB - light dev/design work

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by joewillmott, Mar 29, 2017.

  1. joewillmott macrumors regular

    May 22, 2012
    I've read these sort of threads a LOT over the years and know I'm not gonna get a completely reliable answer to all my questions, needs, problems etc.

    So I've been using my 2012 MBA base model with 8GB RAM for almost half a decade now, wowzers. It's no longer light and beautiful. It's feeling dated in many ways. I've taken it to places I shouldn't have, causing sand to get inside and hardware to dislodge. It's time to upgrade... sort of. It doesn't freeze or fall over, but the sluggish moments are becoming slightly more frequent these days and I don't think it's because my demands are rising; I think my machine is just getting worn out from all the crap I've put on it over the years.

    I'm looking at the rMB because it's small and light - perfect for my "work anywhere" life. My main question is: will it be capable?

    I don't need a powerhouse. My days of video editing, 3D game design, virtual reality development and all the heavy stuff are behind me. I do a lot of UI/UX design using Illustrator and Sketch - so a lot of 2d vector stuff. I play around with code and app development but never anything demanding - I only tend to create the prototypes or beta versions of apps before hiring real developers to do all the heavy lifting. I do a lot of web development but it's simple stuff - usually landing pages and small business websites done in Wordpress. Imagine switching between these tasks all day with Spotify, Skype and Slack open in the background. That's me.

    I've heard people say the rMB floats around the old MBA models in terms of performance, which could be okay. My MBA right now isn't doing so well, but I don't know if that's due to specs or age so anyone that knows more about how this stuff works, fill me in?

    I'm on the fence - come and push me over or grab my legs because I'll probably just hang here forever if nobody interferes.

  2. minton macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2004
    While updating your O.S. (if you're not already yet on Sierra) would technically clear out some of the crud, nothing resets the slate like updating to new hardware. All the usage patterns with your various apps that you've settled upon are ingrained with how you interact with your particular MBA. Buying a new machine allows you to bring along the apps / settings that were most useful to your new machine while reevaluating the more marginal ones. And the updated hardware will allow you more 'headroom' - better CPU, more RAM (rumored 16gb option on the next update) - to play with new technologies and apps as it sounds as if you like to try out new stuff.

    I have the same model MBA, but with only 4gb of ram. My main reason for (soon) upgrading to a MB: no more fans. I get psychologically stressed every time I hear them, so it's basically doctor's orders for me ;)
  3. viperGTS macrumors 68000

    Nov 15, 2010
    Like I tell others on here who are debating whether the m3 suits their needs: I have an m3 and do quite a bit of Xcode development, run a VM for my OS class, usually have some PDFs open and Safari/Messages open constantly, and I pretty much have never experienced a slowdown. Granted, I usually never use Xcode and my VM at the same time, but I'm confident it can handle both simultaneously.

    For your uses, the m3 sounds more than sufficient to get your work done. 2D vector work? The m3 handled Unreal Editor just fine for me, so I think you'll be okay.

    Also remember that these machines are probably going to be updated this month, so you're considering buying one of these at the right time!

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