Photoshop, Web design. 13 MBA or Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by mattchiro, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. mattchiro macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2009
    I know there are countless threads on this topic but I would like to ask the following:

    I am a web designer on the side. I often use photoshop, as well as multiple browser windows, cyberduck, office etc open at once.

    I currently have a 13" MPB 2.2Ghz core 2 duo, 2gb RAM and notice it does stutter and struggle if i'm doing too much with it.

    My options are 13" core i5 MBP which I can upgrade to 128GB SSD


    13" MBA which i can upgrade to 4GB RAM.

    I like the thin form and higher resolution of the MBA, however i'm concerned it will not perform as well with multitasking as a MBP?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. aleni macrumors 68020

    Jun 2, 2006
    if i were u, i'd upgrade the ram of your mbp to 4ghz and wait till the new mba with sandy bridge, it wouldn't be long untill apple roll them out.

    the stutter with your current mbp is caused by the lack of ram. your current mbp processor is even higher a bit than the ultimate mba. only the ssd that makes the mba upgrade worth it.

    hell even put a ssd into your current machine then you will get the same performance with the 13" mba.

    it's a good reason to upgrade to the new 13" mbp if u don't want to wait for the new mba with sandy bridge out, but i can see that your heart is set towards mba because of it being sexy and more portable.
  3. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2008
    Wellington, New Zealand
    I do web design professionally, and for the past 2 years have spent two days a week in studio working on a MBA 1.8 rev. B plugged into a large monitor.

    Coda, Photoshop, flash, flex, eclipse, even small amounts of after effects. I was able to work no problem.

    The upgrade to to Adobe CS5 slowed me down a bit, I just upgraded to a MBA 11 with 4gb of ram. I could not be happier with it.

    I would not wait for sandy bridge... While these machines will have a faster processor, they have poorer graphics cards: and you will see poorer performance for programs like photoshop and other CS5 programs.

    Your current laptop is stuttering due to ram. You have more than enough processor for the tasks you are undertaking...

    I have a new i5 MBP and a hexacore Mac pro as my "other" computers, but the i5 does not get much use because the MBA is so capable.
  4. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2007
    Does this mean that video editing on a MBA is a no go?
  5. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    That's excellent advice.

    I use CS5 and do a lot of vector drawings, have many tabs open, iMovie occasionally and the MBA's handle the tasks well, surprisingly well.

    My Mac Pro and 17" MBP get used less because of that. I like to be able to work anywhere, the MBA's allow that in a thin and light package.

    What ever you decide 4gb ram is a must.

    Good Luck, and post back what you end up buying and how you like it!
  6. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2008
    Wellington, New Zealand
    If you can do video editing on an iPad and iPhone, you can certainly do it on an air... The air is spectacularly faster than most of the macs i have used - and edited video with - over the past 15 years.

    That said, I usually edit on a desktop machine because of the storage throughputs and more powerful video cards.
  7. mattchiro thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2009
    So will a 13" MBA with 4GB Ram easily handle all that?? I definitely prefer the higher screen res. Decisions!!
  8. MadIdol macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2011
    MBA for web design

    Hi ,

    I am a full time web designer and I use a macbook air for a laptop when I am on the go and could not be more happy with it . I did a review for my site if you want to check it out . The only regret I have was not getting the 4gb of ram as they didn't have any in the apple shop when I went :(
  9. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2007
    What's the bare minimum configurations needed for the 11" and 13" MBAs to use VMWare Fusion or Parallels running Photoshop and MS Office and maybe one other Windows software program, all at the same time?

  10. m3digi macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2011
    Glad to read how the MBA performs for pro / power work. I haven't used my MBA much for my photo editing. Now that it has become my primary (recently sold my 17" MBP 2009), this is very reassuring. I am not at all keen on the Intel HD3000, regardless of what Sandy Bridge offers.
  11. Legion93 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    Death Star, Rishi Maze
    No doubt the MBP will handle photoshop with ease, as compared to the MBA. To top this off, the updated version of the pro packs core i5s (dual core processors) and better graphics, but the MBA 13" has a better resolution than the 13" pro.

    I'd go with the Air, I've recently sold my pro to purchase an Air, and I've personally used photoshop and iMovie on both machines and I couldn't really tell the difference. Plus the pro had 8GB RAM compared to the Air's 4GB. So yeah, I think it would be ideal to go with the Air, but at the end of the day, the MBP packs more power on paper.
  12. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

    Oct 14, 2010
    upgrade the Ram on your current Mac ... it will likely solve your stutter issue
  13. TrollToddington macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2011
    2GB RAM module - 20 Euro
    128GB SSD - 200 Euro

    You can upgrade your present laptop for approx. 220 Euro, a new 13" MBA 4GB RAM costs 1400 Euro. It's a no brainer decision in my book.

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