Need help deciding which model to get


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 8, 2012
Ok, I'm planning to get a 2012 MBA for iOS development - however, I'm planning to use it mainly as a desktop (basically closed and attached to an external monitor, keyboard, and trackpad).

Before you guys/gals say anything, yes, I know it may seem a bit weird, but I've actually been waiting forever for the new Mac Mini (and no, I don't want to get the 2011 version knowing that they're well, parts from a generation back). So instead, I've opted to go for the MBA (where in addition, I can still use as a laptop every if needed).

Ok, now to my choices:

  1. 11" + 128Gb SSD + 8Gb RAM + 2.0Ghz CPU*
  2. 13" + 128Gb SSD + 8Gb RAM

* With regards to the 2.0Ghz CPU upgrade, is it worth it (in the context of my expected usage)? If not, I'm willing to drop it to save up for something else.


Barna Biro

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2011
Zug, Switzerland
Getting the fastest CPU possible in my opinion is always worth it when it comes to programming... every second counts at compile time ( since you'll be compiling a lot / often... every second saved can save you - theoretically speaking - a lot more time on the long run ) and not only there. I for one would go for the 2.0Ghz upgrade ( even if it's not a huge speed boost, it's a boost nonetheless ).

Since you'll most of the time be using an external monitor, I'm not sure if getting the 13" would be that big of a thing... at most, it would be nice because of the SD card slot and the possibility of extending it if needed ( but you can of course also use some external HDD for that running USB 3.0 ).

SSD size-wise... personally, I'd get at least the 256GB SSD, but if you are going to use the machine in a really focused manner ( only development and not clunk it up with other stuff ), then the 128GB SSD should be enough... one thing to keep in mind is that if the SSD is starting the fill up, it might become slower.


macrumors newbie
Jun 28, 2011
Vancouver, BC
My question to you is..

How do you work with the resolution and how much portability do you need with MBA?

11" resolution is 1366x768 (16:9) - (a bit smaller than 13" MBP resolution)
13" resolution is 1440x900 (same as 15" standard MBP resolution)

+ weights + size.

It really won't matter with either one, exception for the sd card slot if you are connecting it on larger display, kb, and mice set up. However if you are connecting to use it on the desk most of time then you may as well go with USB card reader.

You're paying more than Mac Mini for the portability too.