To Air or Not to Air

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by caughtinfire, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. caughtinfire macrumors member

    caughtinfire

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    Location:
    Kitsap County, WA
    #1
    I'm having some decision issues and I was hoping to get some outside perspective.

    I currently have a 2011 15" MPB, which is running perfectly well with a 500GB 7200RPM drive and 8GB of RAM, and the matte high resolution screen. This fall, I will be transferring from a community college to a four year school that's about half an hour to an hour away by bus and walking. I love my MBP but the sucker's heavy and I am tiny (and have had medical issues for the past year so am still quite weak), and carrying it around all day along with my textbooks would be miserable at best.

    At the moment, the classes I'll be taking won't require much in the way of computing power, but later ones will require some (Astronomy major). I have a 3rd generation iPad and cheap keyboard that I can carry instead, but it will limit me on what I can do.

    Alternatively, I've considered selling the MBP to get a new Air, which at the specs I'd want (RAM, hard drive, and processor) and with the education discount would be $1749 (plus tax, and can I get $100 off instead of getting the gift card?). At home I have an external monitor so the screen size change wouldn't be a big deal.

    So my main questions:

    1. Would a specced out Air be sufficient as a primary machine? I use Creative Suite regularly and play World of Warcraft, but that's the most graphically intensive things I use.

    2. Would it be worth it? There's a wide range of prices on my area's Craigslist right now so I'm not sure what I'd be able to get for the MBP. I just don't want to go through all of the trouble and cost of ordering it and migrating everything only to feel like i downgraded and/or didn't get my money's worth. I mean, on the MBP I can crank WoW up to high, but then again, I'm not a hardcore gamer so going from 60 FPS to 40 likely wouldn't faze me.

    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. darkpaw macrumors 6502

    darkpaw

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    Location:
    London, England
    #2
    If weight is an issue for you, then the Air is the lightest and most suitable Mac for you.

    However, as you're currently carrying something that weighs around 5.5 lbs, anything lighter is an improvement. Have you considered a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro? It weighs 3.57 lbs, and with 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM and a 2.6GHz i5 I'm sure you can easily run Creative Suite and WoW. I believe it's $1699 plus tax.

    Take a look at the Geekbench scores (http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks) to get a general comparison of where your current machine is, and where the Air and rMBP are.
     
  3. caughtinfire thread starter macrumors member

    caughtinfire

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    Location:
    Kitsap County, WA
    #3
    Of the two, 13" rMBP and Air, I'd rather go for the Air as they both have integrated graphics, correct?

    Thanks for the link. It put some things into perspective. As in, going from my current machine to the new Air would be a 25% drop in score. That makes me lean more towards seeing if I can just use the iPad this year and going for the Air next year.
     
  4. nathany macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2002
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    To Air is Human

    I'm pretty happy with my 11" Air, which I bought last year. It's maxed out with 8MB RAM, 512 GB SSD and the i7 CPU. At home and work I plug into an external monitor, so screen size and battery life are hardly an issue. I do wish it had the SD slot like the 13" rather than using an external.

    For Creative Suite, RAM will probably be the main factor, especially if you have Photoshop and Illustrator open at the same time. CPU may speed up applying filters and such.

    Bare Feats benchmarked WoW on the 13" running at 59 fps with Best settings at the native screen resolution. Your external display is higher resolution, so you may have to adjust the resolution down a bit to keep it smooth.

    Good luck!
     
  5. jamisonbaines macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #5
    Keep the machine you have and buy the $999 MBA, if you need to sell something then sell your iPad.
     
  6. unplugme71 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    Earth
    #6
    I was nervous about buying my 13" MBA. Now that i've used it I'm very happy with its performance. Definitely get the 8GB upgrade like I did. It future proofs your system for the future.
     
  7. caughtinfire thread starter macrumors member

    caughtinfire

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    Location:
    Kitsap County, WA
    #7
    Thanks for the advice, folks. It's been really helpful. I've decided to hang on to the MBP for now and use the iPad for carrying to school, then do the swap out next year (hopefully new Airs and the back to school promotions will coincide again) just before school starts.
     
  8. holleqaay macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    #8
    agree. I've decided to hang on to the MBP for now and use the iPad for carrying to school.[​IMG]
     

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