Top of the line 11" with 4GB Ram or Bottom of the line 13"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by carve, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. carve macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2006
    So, I am looking for a new computer. I have been using an iBook G4 for the past 5 or so years now. I've survived on 50gigs of HD space and 512mb of Ram so I am sure the 128 will be fine for me. But I am wondering, which would be faster; a top of the line 11" 1.4GHz with 4gb Ram or a 13" 1.86GHz with 2gb ram. This will be my main computer but I will most likely just store the DVDs on an external hard drive.

  2. darksolusion macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2010
    13'3 because its a low voltage instead of an ultra low voltage there for the 1.86 in theory is 400 mhz faster than the 1.4 but the extra voltage will do you good.
    also 3mb more cache and 2 more hours of battery and u get SD card slot too.

    all in all its specs...but 13'3 is going to be faster/more worth it.
    dont know why people would settle for the top 11.6 as if the dam thing aint light enough already
  3. JPSensei macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2010
    i bought the 11 and i am already selling it, the screen is really small plus the battery sucks a little, i saw just one movie and it says only less than 2 hours of battery. Anyway i am getting the 13 because of larger screen and to get 2 hours more of battery. i hate when a computer is running out of juice in a few hours.
  4. Cerano macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2010
    id like to buy your 11" mate :)
  5. carve thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2006
    Sweet, thanks for the help. I still haven't ruled out the 13" MBP either.. I'm a Sophomore in HS so I will be typing up papers, keynotes, etc.
  6. nidserz macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2008
    Dubai x Toronto
    If its your only computer, you should look at the 13" for sure. MBA or MBP, depends on what you really want. For what you want to do (basics and maybe even a little photoshop/gaming) the MBA should be fine. You can also upgrade the RAM to 4GB through Apple Online Store.
  7. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2010
    wait until you can buy the 13" with 4GB RAM
  8. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    imo the processor is the limiting point... much more than the ram.. but that's for my specific usage. the 1.4 barely makes it as acceptable in my books, I actually think that despite the limited increase, it would be just enough to make it more usable. I'll likely return at a loss and move up to the 13.. or skip the air and suffer out the ipad until rev 2.
  9. FAsnakes macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2007
    It's a hard decision.. Frankly since the Air was available in retail stores i've been through the following configurations:

    - 11" 64g HD, 2g RAM 1.4 returned this for...
    - 11" 128g HD, 2g RAM 1.4 returned for...
    - 11" 128g HD, 4g RAM 1.6

    (i think the folks at the apple store hate me..) I've returned these machines within a day or two of each other.

    I really want to be a fan of the 13" however, i have a 15" MBP.. I took the 15" MBP to the Apple store to match up diffrence in size and frankly the 13" is nearly the size of the 15".. It's quite huge when compared to the 11"

    And for me i wanted to keep the footprint nice and small as i didn't want to attempt to replace my 15" MBP - trust me the air is no match by far 'performance' vs the MBP..

    So my experience thus far has been incredibly positive with the 11" air..
    Size is awesome, battery life is great, performance is more than expected.

    With the exception of video editing in final cut and sony vegas this thing has taken everything and asked for more.. I run windows 7 via dual boot and it screams.. Also, have the full office suite installed and the machines power is more than adequate.

    Additionally, back on the mac side photoshop runs perfectly and i'm also able to play call of duty 4 and red alert 3 - Amazing.

    So at the end of the day for me - i wanted a machine that wouldn't exhibit any of the side affects that come with power - heat / system slowdown and noise and was ultra portable. And for me the 11" just fit that bill..

    Now mind you, when comparing performance specs to performance specs - the 13" is a no brainer.. But for me i don't expect this machine to be a workhorse. .I expect this machine to accomplish most daily tasks in the least intrusive manner..

    Anyway, good luck in your decision..
  10. gloryunited macrumors 6502

    Oct 29, 2010
    I am interested in installing Win 7 as well, with 2GB RAM config. because I may need to use Win 7 every now and then.

    I assumed dual boot to mean you start up Win 7 without going into Mac OS, correct? If that's the case, do you know why it screams? (again, I am assuming "screaming" means it is not working well)

    sorry my English is not good
  11. kas23 macrumors 603


    Oct 28, 2007
    In his case, I'm pretty sure "screaming" means working very fast or working extremely well.
  12. Mr. Savage macrumors regular

    Mr. Savage

    Jun 11, 2010
    Your English is fine. By it "screams" he meant it's fast, it's a good thing.
  13. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    well add me to the list of people who is selling the 11"
  14. gloryunited macrumors 6502

    Oct 29, 2010
    thanks for the kind words and the quick helpful replies.

    I thought "it screams" is like "the fan goes loud" or something. So 2GB of RAM sounds good enough for average usage.

    Just one question though, is 64GB storage enough if you have to install Windows 7 as well? Does it require a certain minimum space allocated for that?

    thanks again, you guys are brilliant!
  15. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2010
    The thing is when you don't have enough RAM it pages to the disk, but because it has an SSD it pages much faster and unless it is a large amount of data it does it fast enough to be unnoticeable
  16. how2mac macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2010
    1.4ghz is meh, especially if you want to keep it ~5 years. And for any 1.6ghz configuration, there's an equivalently priced 13" MBA. Base 13" with 4Gb ram is the best configuration in my opinion unless you're happy with the base 11"
  17. WardC macrumors 68030


    Oct 17, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    That's why the old MacBook Airs with the HDD were so pitiful, they had 2GB of RAM and when it paged to disk it used the 4200prm HD which is pitifully slow, that machine was sluggish as a snail!
  18. FAsnakes macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2007
    Yea, sorry.. It's working just fine - better than expected.
  19. Gen macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2008
  20. fibrizo macrumors 6502


    Jan 23, 2009
    As a new owner of a 11inch 1.6/4gb/128gb... and a 13inch base macbook pro 2.4/4gb/etc...

    For a highschool student, and wanting to use it for a while, I'd actually recommend the macbook pro, expecially if it's your main machine for a while.

    Here's my reasons, you can take them and decide if they apply.

    MBP = more battery life. Says 10 hours, I get a realistic 7-7.5 doing what I do, which is amazing for a laptop, and good on the go and not have to worry about adapters and charging.

    You're going to get less with either air.

    The processor in the mbp is going to be faster, and the non proprietary/soldered on parts means that if you do need 8gb of ram in the future, it's as easy as popping it in. Same with the HD, you can get a great SSD and just plug it in basically.

    And finally cost. If you happen to live somewhat near a microcenter, they have the 13 inch macbook pro for 999$... which is a great deal.

    If weight and looks are the most important for you, the MBA is a sexy machine.

    If you're going to have a laptop you will use for years as a primary machine, I think the pro is a better choice.

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