New Air vs 2014 Pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ajf.350d, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. ajf.350d macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2010
    Location:
    Worcestershire, UK
    #1
    Looks like my Mid 2014 MacBook Pro may be in need of replacing as touchpad has completely failed.
    I was looking at the Geekbench performance of it versus the latest i5 Air and in fact the new Air seems to come out on top, along with the graphics can support up to 5k externally.

    Would this really stack up as a viable replacement to the older Pro?

    I am not a heavy user as I also have a high end Windows laptop, but would like it to manage Lightroom on occasion , which the old Pro was OK with.

    Would this be a sensible option or should I go for a new Pro?
    I like to keep a Mac for learning purposes as there are some Macs at work which I have to support.
     
  2. icloudUser macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 20, 2019
    #2
    I got an MBA 2018 (8G/128) as a replacement for the 10.5 Ipad Pro. Its a good replacement for what I do but the resource limits are quite small before it starts beachballing. Some examples:
    > Firefox starves the MBA. Period. Drains the battery like anything if you are watching a video. Safari is the best option
    > Itunes is another hog
    >if you open other 1srt party apps along with any of the above your MBA is in trouble

    In hindsight I now think MBP might have been a better choice for my usage which is medium heavy for media consumption. A faster processor might have been helpful even with 8 GB of RAM

    Go for at least 16GB of RAM if it is going to be a MBA for you but at the same time also compare the price of 16GB RAM model with the nearest MBP
     
  3. ajf.350d thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2010
    Location:
    Worcestershire, UK
    #3
    Thanks.
    I was looking at one of the basic i5 8Gb models so I might reconsider.
    I could probably get the touchpad on the Pro replaced but the cost is probably excessive for a 5 year old machine.
     
  4. auxbuss macrumors regular

    auxbuss

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    Firefox is fine here and fairly light on memory usage – obviously depends on site and content; I do run a blocker. I've had no issue with iTunes either, and it "only" uses 285MB.

    I've had my 8/128 MBA since November. I've not experienced any of the issues you are having.
     
  5. AustinIllini macrumors demi-goddess

    AustinIllini

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #5
    As much as I like the 2014 MBP, the Air is the way to go in this comparison. I just don't want to deal with a 4+ year old device only to have to replace it again soon enough.
     
  6. ncrypt macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    I'm in a very similar position to you OP, I have a 16GB/256GB 2014 15" MBP with integrated graphics. I thought I'd pick up a 8GB/256GB Air just to try it out before parting with my 2014 Pro:

    • The form factor is a delight. So light, easy to open, solidly built. I know I'm coming from a 15", not 13" so some of this probably won't be as big of a shock for you
    • The Air's screen looks noticeable crisper, even set at the higher scaling option
    • Brightness is similar on both panels
    • The 2018 keyboard is a nice improvement over the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro keyboards. I got used to it really quickly
    • The force touch trackpad is much nicer than diving board style of the 2014 MBPs
    • Battery life is awesome. Definitely an all day machine
    • Never heard the fans spin up, even though the CPU usage would sometimes be quite high
    Anyway onto the performance;
    • For normal tasks, a couple of Safari windows with 10 tabs each, Pages, Mail, etc, it feels nice and zippy
    • Once adding a second browser (Brave) running Google Docs and YouTube, things got a little less responsive. By that, I don't mean laggy, but more the system hesitates for a fraction of a second after you click something. It was only at this point did the memory pressure graph turn yellow
    • The CPU usage sometimes got quite high when Mail or Dropbox was doing various things in the background. This isn't something I was used to seeing on my MBP, but didn't seem to affect actual system performance
    After a week of usage, I reopened my MBP and it felt more fluid than the Air. Apps would launch about 0.5-1 second faster, or about one dock bounce less, and there was less hesitation in things like full screening an app or app expose. Even scrolling down Facebook rendered parts of the news feed about a second quicker on the MBP than the Air. That probably is due to it having 16GB of RAM and a slightly better iGPU even though it is older.

    So I'm not really sure how to conclude, since I'm not entirely sure myself. I think without comparing it directly to my MacBook Pro, I'd probably be really happy with the Air, the list of things I liked about it is genuine, and I certainly recommend it for the casual user. It's what I recommend to all friends and family where I know their usage is typical.

    However knowing myself, I like to have a lot of things open, and sometimes my work does require an additional browser open. Given I managed to get memory pressure to yellow through legitimate usage, I'd probably opt for the 16GB model since I don't want to change Macs 1-2 years down the line.

    Since you mentioned you use Lightroom, I'd probably advise you do the same, especially given the Intel graphics shares the RAM.
     
  7. icloudUser macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 20, 2019
    #7
    Try playing a video from twitch on Firefox and you will know what I’m saying.

    Safari buffers a lot but it ok on the battery

    Again probably depends on music library size in iTunes. But my MBA beachballs every time if I do spirited moving around the menus. iTunes is just too old at this stage and with the amount of patching is not fixable and the base model mba has small limits that can tolerate moderate abuse lol

    All that said, a 8g MBA leaves very little room with a browser open and itunes running and is not that future proof
     
  8. ajf.350d thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2010
    Location:
    Worcestershire, UK
    #8
    Thank you for all the feedback, appreciated.
    Looking through them I think I would be happy with the basic spec.
    My Pro only has 8Gb RAM and was quite happy for the use I put it to.

    My other Windows laptop does the heavy lifting if I need it.
    I just want general use and occasional Lightroom if away and taking something light, which the Pro managed OK.
    Re video, not sure if the older Iris is any better than the current standard Intel. The new Air at least supports 4K displays, which the Pro doesn’t, which is another plus for me.
     
  9. AustinIllini macrumors demi-goddess

    AustinIllini

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #9
    I got the 16 GB of RAM (from the refurb store) and from a performance standpoint, I couldn't be happier

    Right now I'm running 10 Safari tabs, mail, Outlook, App Store, Sonos, Messages, Tweetbot and Notes and things are still running great. Computer is completely silent.
     

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8 June 3, 2019