Newer MBA or Older MBP for light - moderate music, video, and graphic editing

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by chlc, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. chlc, Jan 18, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2014

    chlc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2014
    #1
    First post after a few years of lurking, finally decided to sign up since I will be purchasing a mac (hopefully tonight / tomorrow). My current computer is a compaq branded hp (presario cq57) and it's great for the basics but I've basically determined I need a mac now.

    I'm essentially stuck between going for a 13" MBA with 8gb ram and 128 / 256 ssd gb or a 13" MBP ( never having owned a mac with retina I'm sure I could live without it for college at least) also with 8gb ram and ideally an ssd (128gb) but I could live with a hd if the processor was 2.5+ (if that makes sense).

    Essentially I would be using it for the following:
    • Word Processing (ms office suite)
    • Video editing (primarily YT videos) via FCP X
    • Music editing / production via Garageband, Logic Pro, and Melodyne
    • Adobe Photoshop CS6 (nothing to heavy like I said willing to live without retina)
    • Probably light gaming
    • Coding ( I don't think this should be an issue, but want the ability to write apps for iOS)
    • Web surfing obviously
    • Building itunes library

    It seems like a bit now that I look at it, but I don't think I would have more than two of these programs running at the same time (my guess is the worst would be fcpx, garageband, and cs6 all open at the same time). I would ideally love a larger ssd but I have a 500GB western digital external HD that is practically empty minus a recent backup of all my files on my current computer.

    Which do you think would fit my needs more? Portability is a factor for me but I think the mba is like 1/2 a pound lighter or something which I'm not sure makes a huge difference to me since I'm currently lugging around a 15" pc that is around 7-8lbs.

    My budget is 1175-1189 (under 1000 was my goal initially and still is but I understand that might not be possible). I'm paying it in full upfront with my own $$ but I'd be deducting around 90-100 from my paycheck/month for 12mo to pay myself back for it. Looking at B&H, Amazon, and Ebay. I'm really looking to avoid sales tax (IL is unforgiving) so if there are any other sites that do not charge sales tax for IL post them below! I've noticed macmall and macconnection charge sales tax for IL sigh.

    Aesthetically I'm leaning a little a bit towards the mbp just because I like the screen contrast with the black border rather than the silver finish on the mba. I'm open to refurbs as well, but I most likely am not getting apple care.

    I've been researching this up and down so forgive me if there's a thread a I missed but a little input would help!

    Also do newer MBA's still overheat or was that never a thing?

    But yeah trying to solidify a decision tonight, I really need a new laptop since I've started classes already and I'm kind of stuck with a computer that's useless if there isn't an outlet nearby.
     
  2. DHagan4755 macrumors 6502a

    DHagan4755

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #2
    You're better off with the MacBook Pro if you're intention is to use FCP X and/or Logic. But you're going to shoot yourself for getting a computer with only 128GB of storage. Unless you plan to purchase USB external drives, you're not going to have much space for a decent iTunes library & videos for FCP X.
     
  3. chlc thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 18, 2014
    #3
    I see, so I guess 256 would be the way to go. Do you think I could get away with 4gb of ram? (I'm assuming that's a resounding no haha)

    Since with my budget I feel I can afford the lower end of the specs with a few splurges I feel I like I should choose ram and gb size over processor speed, not sure which would play the biggest factor in speed
     
  4. DHagan4755 macrumors 6502a

    DHagan4755

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #4
    You could but... the memory is soldered on. If you find you need more memory you're S-O-L.
     
  5. chlc thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 18, 2014
    #5
    very true I forgot about that. then 8gb forsure.

    Due to budget I'm wondering if a refurb mid 2012 mbp w/ out ssd but with 8gb of ram and 320gb+ hd would be better than a 2013 mba with 8gb and 256 + ssd.

    Essentially the 1.3ghz processor isn't powerful enough for what I want to do is what you're conveying correct? I'd rather err on the side of caution and get more than I need so that I'm not looking to upgrade for at least another 3-4 years. Just wondering if an older mbp would be better than a newer mba.
     
  6. trewyn15 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 13, 2013
    #6
    This makes absolutely no sense to me.

    You're determined you need a mac why?

    I see nothing in that list that cannot be done on a Windows computer? Sure your current computer is pretty slow overall, but I still don't see why you 'need a mac'.
     
  7. chlc thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 18, 2014
    #7
    Primarily for the programs I listed above that I can't use on a pc without turning it into a hackintosh / looking for windows alternatives that imo aren't as good. I mean they work for others but I don't prefer them.

    Also the whole programming thing. I want the ability to create iOS apps and whatnot and from what I've gathered it's pretty necessary to have access to a mac.
     
  8. trewyn15 macrumors 6502

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    May 13, 2013
    #8
    Fair enough, was just personally curious, no intention to attack you with my words if I came off that way haha
     
  9. chlc thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 18, 2014
    #9
    Oh no it's fine :) didn't take it that way at all. I feel my reasons are justifiable enough. In a perfect world fcp and garageband and logic and other "mac only" apps would be easily ported to pc / already available sigh
     
  10. trewyn15 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 13, 2013
    #10
    Yeah I understand you there, would make it much easier to find a company that was just Windows or Apple based for IT.

    This is actually why I bought a PowerMac, want to get a bit more familiar with the operating system. I may get a newer MacBook when I graduate just to learn the newer stuff as well.
     
  11. chlc thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 18, 2014
    #11
    haha cool man! yeah I've just been trying to make do for awhile and it's just a purchase I've been scared to make lol

    so I'm on here trying to make sure I make the right choice and alot of my girlfriends have no clue and the guys I ask in person tend to be a bit condescending ( i mean going as far to say why do I need all that for blahblah I wouldn't even know what I'm doing..**** like that haha)

    anyway what's your opinion as far what kind of specs I can shoot for based on my budget?
     
  12. chlc, Jan 18, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2014

    chlc thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 18, 2014
  13. chlc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2014
    #13
    Still looking for advice, really want to purchase today.

    So I've kind of figured as I stated before that 256 gb ssd is probably going to be the most I can afford with a budget of $1190 and under.

    I know I can get the ssd and ram I need with a MBA but I do not know if the processor will be good enough for everything i'm planning to do. I've seen older MBP (circa 2011-2012) that has adequate ram (8-16gb) minus a ssd but regular hd with 500-700gb in some cases 1 TB. I've seen these for less than 1000 on ebay.

    So which is a better choice? I don't want a system that is too old. I currently have a working cd/dvdr drive on my pc so I could live without having a cd/dvd drive in my mac or superdrive or whatever.
     

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