Performance vs 2017 12" MacBook

FlyingTexan

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Original poster
Jul 13, 2015
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I just did a little googling and it looks like the MBA isn't really anymore powerful than the i5 in the 2017 MacBook 12". Is this right? I love my MacBook. I'm just a casual user that likes to read the news and do basic office level productivity so it works great. My girlfriend is finishing med school and her Mac is probably 10yrs old with too small a HD so I was thinking of surprising her with a new one. Figured I'd take a look at the MBA. Thoughts? Also is the screen pretty good? I watched a review saying the Pro had a brighter screen.
 

LeeW

macrumors 65816
Feb 5, 2017
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1,481
Glasgow, Scotland
My girlfriend is finishing med school and her Mac is probably 10yrs old with too small a HD so I was thinking of surprising her with a new one.
12", nah, dated and not a good purchase.

If she is using a Mac from 10 years ago then the MBA will be snappier in a few areas so I don't see why it would be a poor choice. Having said that it depends on which model you are looking at and what she uses it for.

You can get the MBP for a bit more that has a quad-core processor, touch bar and so on which as an overall package would be better.

The screen on the MBA is really good for all tasks it is suitable for.
 

FlyingTexan

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Original poster
Jul 13, 2015
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I meant I was thinking about surprising her with a MBA but if it’s basically the same speed as my 2017 MacBook with the low power i5 I’d probably jump up to the MacBook Pro
 

Erehy Dobon

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2018
550
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I've owned both the 12" MacBook 2017 and the 13" MacBook Air 2019. In ordinary daily use of mundane applications, the performance is about the same if you are not multitasking.

When you start multitasking doing multimedia work (image editing, video, audio), the shortcomings of the fanless MacBook become very apparent as everything starts to get sluggish.

This is even more starkly obvious when you encode video on the 12" MacBook 2017 as all of the CPU cycles go to this task.

On the 13" MacBook Air 2019, video encoding and decoding (both H.264 and H.265/HEVC) are handled in hardware by the T2 Security Chip instead of the CPU. Since this system has a fan, it will turbo boost and run at a higher frequency at the expense of a noisy fan. You can still do other stuff pretty well while the system is encoding video.

None of this shows up in the typically quoted benchmarks. In fact, this is an excellent example of the shortcomings of benchmarking.

And the MacBook Air's keyboard blows doors on the joke of a "keyboard" [sic] that is installed on the 12" MacBook 2017.

Carrying around the 12" MacBook 2017 was lovely. Actually typing on it and trying to get some work done was not such a joy. I quickly dumped it when the 2019 Air was released.
 
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FlyingTexan

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Original poster
Jul 13, 2015
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Neither of us do any video/ photo editing we just use macs as our daily drivers so that’s good to know. Didn’t know if I should do the air or MBP
 

Erehy Dobon

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Feb 16, 2018
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There's even less justification for either of you to buy the MacBook Pro since neither of you do any multimedia work.
 

FlyingTexan

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Jul 13, 2015
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believe it or not the vast majority of Apple sales is to people who don’t do media. Just like most people that buy Jeeps and land rovers don’t off road. Sometimes people just like a quality machine.
 
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tdhurst

macrumors 601
Dec 27, 2003
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believe it or not the vast majority of Apple sales is to people who don’t do media. Just like most people that buy Jeeps and land rovers don’t off road. Sometimes people just like a quality machine.
When I worked for a running shoe company, I found out that something like 78% of all running shoes are never worn for running, the same with workout gear (which is why athleisure is so popular).

Blew my mind a little bit, I'm not sure I've ever owned a pair of shoes I didn't run in, but I'm also not a typical computer user, either.

Good to remember that people on this forum are NOT usually typical computer users.
 

Erehy Dobon

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2018
550
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believe it or not the vast majority of Apple sales is to people who don’t do media. Just like most people that buy Jeeps and land rovers don’t off road. Sometimes people just like a quality machine.
If you take a photo or video and post it on social media, yes you are doing media.

Remember, today's smartphones have been doing 4K/60Hz recordings for a couple of years.

Apple has included both photo editing and video editing packages back to the days when iLife was a paid package.

Additionally, Apple has offered free Sessions/Today At Apple classes at their bricks-and-mortar stores for year for their media creation tools.

Media creation isn't some niche thing for 2020 Apple users. Apple iPhones were the perennial top "cameras" on Flickr for years.

Macs have been part of both amateur and professional media creation for a long time.

Just because you aren't doing it doesn't mean others aren't.

Trust me, I am an OLD FART, and yet I can still see that the world has moved on beyond your little digicam/camcorder with its itty bitty SD cards operated by nerdy gadget freaks. Your typical teen is doing all this stuff while "adults" are still trying to figure out how to build smart playlists on iTunes/Apple Music/whatever.

You are on the old side of the generation gap.
 
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tdhurst

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Dec 27, 2003
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Phoenix, AZ
If you take a photo or video and post it on social media, yes you are doing media.

Remember, today's smartphones have been doing 4K/60Hz recordings for a couple of years.

Apple has included both photo editing and video editing packages back to the days when iLife was a paid package.

Additionally, Apple has offered free Sessions/Today At Apple classes at their bricks-and-mortar stores for year for their media creation tools.

Media creation isn't some niche thing for 2020 Apple users. Apple iPhones were the perennial top "cameras" on Flickr for years.

Macs have been part of both amateur and professional media creation for a long time.

Just because you aren't doing it doesn't mean others aren't.

Trust me, I am an OLD FART, and yet I can still see that the world has moved on beyond your little digicam/camcorder with its itty bitty SD cards operated by nerdy gadget freaks. Your typical teen is doing all this stuff while "adults" are still trying to figure out how to build smart playlists on iTunes/Apple Music/whatever.

You are on the old side of the generation gap.
If you're taking a photo or video and publishing it on Instagram, your production quality probably isn't that of a feature-length film. Pretty sure by media we're talking about broadcast quality stuff.

No one is using iMovie for broadcast quality media creation.
 

Erehy Dobon

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2018
550
386
Remember: I'm an old fart.

Despite that, I am not too blind to see that what is media is no longer the antiquated broadcast-quality paradigm.

There are Instagram influencers and YouTube vloggers who make six figures without worrying about "broadcast quality media creation" [sic].

Get with the times people, you don't need premium dSLRs, 8K camcorders, Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Pro and a maxxed-out Mac Pro to make media content.

Hell, even Apple knows this so they use "Shot on iPhone" advertisements to highlight what type of results can be accomplished using consumer gear and consumer software.
 

tdhurst

macrumors 601
Dec 27, 2003
4,131
241
Phoenix, AZ
Remember: I'm an old fart.

Despite that, I am not too blind to see that what is media is no longer the antiquated broadcast-quality paradigm.

There are Instagram influencers and YouTube vloggers who make six figures without worrying about "broadcast quality media creation" [sic].

Get with the times people, you don't need premium dSLRs, 8K camcorders, Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Pro and a maxxed-out Mac Pro to make media content.

Hell, even Apple knows this so they use "Shot on iPhone" advertisements to highlight what type of results can be accomplished using consumer gear and consumer software.
...thanks?

I think the point was that many Apple users have machines far more powerful than what they need, and that's okay because power alone isn't why most people choose Apple.
 

Erehy Dobon

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2018
550
386
I'm fine with people buying over-spec'ed Macs. I'm an indirect AAPL shareholder, I am very happy when Apple blows earnings estimates out of the water.

However, there's a difference between NEED and WANT. If you WANT the over-spec'ed Mac, fine, dump the big bucks on it. For that person's NEEDS. Know the difference.

Do I want a Tesla Model 3? Sure, I'd love on. Do I need it? No. Does this means that I won't buy one at some time? No, of course not.

What's more important? Buying the latest video game or making an additional payment on your student loan?

If OP is a big baller with hundred dollar bills burning a hole in his wallet, he should go for it. Or not. I don't know his total financial picture or how committed he is to his partner.

But the original point I made is they don't NEED a fancy machine for their actual usage cases.
 

tdhurst

macrumors 601
Dec 27, 2003
4,131
241
Phoenix, AZ
I'm fine with people buying over-spec'ed Macs. I'm an indirect AAPL shareholder, I am very happy when Apple blows earnings estimates out of the water.

However, there's a difference between NEED and WANT. If you WANT the over-spec'ed Mac, fine, dump the big bucks on it. For that person's NEEDS. Know the difference.

Do I want a Tesla Model 3? Sure, I'd love on. Do I need it? No. Does this means that I won't buy one at some time? No, of course not.

What's more important? Buying the latest video game or making an additional payment on your student loan?

If OP is a big baller with hundred dollar bills burning a hole in his wallet, he should go for it. Or not. I don't know his total financial picture or how committed he is to his partner.

But the original point I made is they don't NEED a fancy machine for their actual usage cases.
Well, I NEED advice from the more experienced, but I WANT to stop being lectured to by old people on how I choose to spend my life.
 
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trifero

macrumors 6502a
May 21, 2009
701
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I've owned both the 12" MacBook 2017 and the 13" MacBook Air 2019. In ordinary daily use of mundane applications, the performance is about the same if you are not multitasking.

When you start multitasking doing multimedia work (image editing, video, audio), the shortcomings of the fanless MacBook become very apparent as everything starts to get sluggish.

This is even more starkly obvious when you encode video on the 12" MacBook 2017 as all of the CPU cycles go to this task.

On the 13" MacBook Air 2019, video encoding and decoding (both H.264 and H.265/HEVC) are handled in hardware by the T2 Security Chip instead of the CPU. Since this system has a fan, it will turbo boost and run at a higher frequency at the expense of a noisy fan. You can still do other stuff pretty well while the system is encoding video.

None of this shows up in the typically quoted benchmarks. In fact, this is an excellent example of the shortcomings of benchmarking.

And the MacBook Air's keyboard blows doors on the joke of a "keyboard" [sic] that is installed on the 12" MacBook 2017.

Carrying around the 12" MacBook 2017 was lovely. Actually typing on it and trying to get some work done was not such a joy. I quickly dumped it when the 2019 Air was released.
Just purchased one Macbook. Really amazing machine.
 
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Erehy Dobon

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2018
550
386
Well, I NEED advice from the more experienced, but I WANT to stop being lectured to by old people on how I choose to spend my life.
Well then, make a decision.

Which one is more important to you?
- - Post merged: - -

Just purchased one Macbook. Really amazing machine.
Enjoy!

I realize some people here are upset that a former 12” MacBook 2017 owner rather unceremoniously dumped his unit like a hot potato when given a more viable alternative.

I’m sorry about that.

But Apple Inc. isn’t.
 

trifero

macrumors 6502a
May 21, 2009
701
496
Well then, make a decision.

Which one is more important to you?
- - Post merged: - -


Enjoy!

I realize some people here are upset that a former 12” MacBook 2017 owner rather unceremoniously dumped his unit like a hot potato when given a more viable alternative.

I’m sorry about that.

But Apple Inc. isn’t.
It´s like wear an Ipad. But full macos system.
 

FlyingTexan

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 13, 2015
222
91
If you take a photo or video and post it on social media, yes you are doing media.

Remember, today's smartphones have been doing 4K/60Hz recordings for a couple of years.

Apple has included both photo editing and video editing packages back to the days when iLife was a paid package.

Additionally, Apple has offered free Sessions/Today At Apple classes at their bricks-and-mortar stores for year for their media creation tools.

Media creation isn't some niche thing for 2020 Apple users. Apple iPhones were the perennial top "cameras" on Flickr for years.

Macs have been part of both amateur and professional media creation for a long time.

Just because you aren't doing it doesn't mean others aren't.

Trust me, I am an OLD FART, and yet I can still see that the world has moved on beyond your little digicam/camcorder with its itty bitty SD cards operated by nerdy gadget freaks. Your typical teen is doing all this stuff while "adults" are still trying to figure out how to build smart playlists on iTunes/Apple Music/whatever.

You are on the old side of the generation gap.
I guess if you want to lawyer your answer then go for it but, again, no I don't do media and most other's don't either. A post to Facebook can be done with the original iPhone or a blackberry still so while it might be the same word used, since it's so broad, it's not the same term or intention.
 
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