Web Developer - MBA or MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by guruJust1n, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. guruJust1n macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2013
    Dallas, TX
    So as the title states I am a Web Developer and I am looking into getting a new machine. My work has provided me with a 2009 MBP with an SSD and 8GB of memory, but I want to get my own machine so I can be free from their grip.

    I know that possibly next month we will see the new generation of machines, but I want to know how they perform now.

    With the current MBP I have now I don't see lag, or have any issues with it. Though what I'm afraid of is really the graphics power the Air has and what it can support. At work I use my MBP as the main display and I have a 24" off to the side. But at home I am soon going to support a 24" and a vertical 21" with the laptop closed and set aside.

    Does the Air have the ability to support two high resolution displays? Will I see a performance hit? Sometimes I like to have a 1080p Youtube or Movie playing off to the side while I'm working.

    On a daily basis I run Chrome with 5-10 tabs open, Outlook/Sparrow, Mountee, Textmate, Terminal, Mamp, Photoshop, AI, and a couple background apps.

    I love power, and I enjoy my Custom PC for gaming, but I want a solid machine that can support all my apps running with multiple High Res monitors.

    If I would go the Air route I would be getting the 13" with i7 Processor, 512GB SSD, 8GB RAM, ETC.
  2. AXs macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    if you're going with the ultimate air, I think it's not worth the bang of the buck.

    You'd be better off with getting the 15" Retina Pro imo, for about the same price.
  3. jfremani macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2008
    Not even close. Maybe you meant the 13" retina pro?

    Even still..
  4. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    You can only connect one display to the Air. Unless you use a USB video adapter but they are laggy.

    Get the 13" Retina if you want more than one screen.
  5. beautifulcoder macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2013
    The Republic of Texas
    Are you going to be working off of monitors mostly? If so, no point in getting the air.
  6. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816


    Feb 17, 2013
    NorCal boonies ~~~by Reno sorta
    Web (I wouldn't think) would be too intensive, but I render quite a bit of video and really regret the MBA. Should have went with a rMBP 13"
  7. olup macrumors 6502

    Oct 11, 2011
    Sorry to hijack this thread....I'm also in the market for a new laptop for college and was considering the new air due to its better battery life and portablity.
    I'll be only using one monitor instead of two like the OP.

    The setup I was considering was: i5/256 ssd/8gb ram

    Apart from web development I may have to be able to do some 3-d modeling/image for my game design class in autodesk entertainment creation suite 2013/2014.

    Any tips/recommendations would be appreciated.
  8. guruJust1n thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2013
    Dallas, TX
    I was looking into using the Matrox DualHead2go and I have read that it isn't laggy at all. Anyone with experience using this device? Also I am looking towards the Air because of its size and battery.
  9. sofianito macrumors 65816


    Jan 14, 2011
    I have been told daisy chaining 2 ATDs allows you to connect 2 monitors to your MBA... i.e., MBA (TB) <---> ATD (TB) <---> ATD (TB)
  10. guruJust1n thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2013
    Dallas, TX
    Thank you for your response.

    And I knew about this feature, though I don't want to have to spend an additional $2000 for monitors.
  11. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    You can use a Thunderbolt dock like this one: http://www.caldigit.com/thunderboltstation/

    That way, you'll go:

    MBA (TB) -> Dock
    Dock (TB) -> Displayport to DVI (DVI) -> Display #1
    Dock (HDMI) -> Display #2

    The docks usually costs around $200 and then you're free to choose whichever display you like.
  12. GuitarZero macrumors newbie

    Sep 1, 2013
    The Macbook Air has more power than you need. I upgraded from Macbook Pro 2009 (SSD, 8G of RAM) to Macbook Air 2013 (i7/8G/256) and I couldn't be happier. I'm designer/front-end developer and MBA 2013 is perfect for me.
  13. hexblot macrumors member

    Sep 9, 2011
    Depends on what you mean by "web developer", really. And by that I mean if you need a bloated IDE, if your language is resource heavy (looking at you Java).

    As a professional PHP/MySQL developer working with CMSs like Drupal (some Wordpress/Joomla as well, though I prefer to avoid them), I still work just fine with my RevA MBA (SSD upgraded), since I don't need an IDE (TextMate beats anything I've seen, hands down). Needless to say, it's not going to win any speed contest, but programs open in a second or two - good enough for now.

    Then again, I also prefer the terminal a lot, so it might just be me :) I also do intend to get a replacement around Christmas, probably a 2013 MBA, unless something extremely radical comes out.

    As you understand, depending on what languages you use, and what frameworks/IDEs you will get different results, but I cannot imagine a scenario where a 2013 MBA won't be enough for you.
  14. guruJust1n thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2013
    Dallas, TX
    Thank you so much for your response. I don't work in an IDE, I mainly just use a couple apps to get the job done. Its just the multitasking.
  15. technowar macrumors 6502

    Apr 1, 2011
    Cebu, Philippines
    You'll never go wrong with an i5/8GB/256GB. Bang for the buck machine, and never fails to deliver.

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