What would I be losing if I went to the MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ggonzaga07, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. ggonzaga07 macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2013
    I currently own a rMBP (13", Haswell, 256GB, 8GB RAM) and I love it dearly. However, I am selling it for a good price and I am going to get another Mac. This laptop has been my primary computer for quite a few months, because I left my 2011 iMac at another house I go to, so the rMBP was my only computer. Now, I think I will be selling not only the laptop, but also the iMac. I would get a fairly good amount of money. With that cash I will buy a new iMac, and now I need another laptop, don't I? So, I am with these two things in mind:
    1 - Buy the exact same laptop
    2 - Buy a Macbook Air with similar specs

    I will be getting it in late May/early June 2014. What would I be losing by 'downgrading' to the Air? I just consider this because I will have another source of computing, and in the iMac I would have a lot more power, which could spare me a Retina MacBook Pro again.

    I am a middle school student, so I bring the computer to school daily (need good battery, 8+h, which I do achieve in my current rMBP, so no problem there), and I am starting to do some C/ C++ development in XCode. I think I can do the programming to the iMac and spare me the extra weight (1/2 lb) of the Pro. I love my current computer dearly, I love it so so much! It is perfect and does everything I want. I think that I could get an Air if I bought a new iMac to compensate the loss of power, but I think that if I got the same computer I would have the power I like, everything in one place and stunning battery life, footprint and weight!

    What do you guys think? I am leaning over to a Pro, because the iMac will be shared and I would be pretty darn angry if they messed with my C/C++ stuff, due to the sharing facts that I absolutely can't avoid.

    Give me some point of views, please :)
  2. unknownfps, Apr 22, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014

    unknownfps macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2013
    Why are you selling your current laptop and buying the exact same one? Are you getting more profit than the retail price + (sales tax)? Otherwise you (your parents) will be losing money. Since the new Air might be announced in June with possibly a retina display, I would get the Air over Pro. This is only if you're coding. If you're doing video editing, go for the Pro.

    I don't see why you need a newer iMac for more power when all you're going to do is code. If you really want a new desktop, I strongly recommend you to build your own PC. Since you're really into technology, it's great to expand your area to hardware also. (And it's cheaper & all parts are user upgradable)
  3. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    Seems like you have answered your own question already. If you love the rMBP "so dearly", why would you switch? I don't understand why you're even selling it if that's the case.

    I have been using Apple computers starting with the Apple ][ in 1978 (long before you were born LOL) and it seems like I've owned almost every model of Mac over the years.

    Recently I went from a 2008 15" MBP to a 2011 13" MBA and now a 2013 11" MBA. The 11" MBA is my all-time favorite though. So small, light and powerful.

    But only you can decide what fits your needs. If you're that happy with your current machine, why switch?
  4. thadoggfather macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2007
  5. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
  6. mr99 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2014
    Why do you need all of this for middle school?
  7. Macforcollege macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2013
    Why not just get an external monitor for use at home?
  8. Dweez macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2011
    Down by the river
    That's what I was thinking, unless middle school has changed a LOT.

    What's your reasoning for swapping machines?
  9. kage207 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    I honestly don't know why you need both. I also don't get why you are selling and buying a new one. If it does the job, then keep it.

    The MBA is not low on power at all. I have the 2012 MBA with the i5 8GB of RAM. It compiles everything just fine. Unless you are working in environments that are 300MB+ to compile (and then maybe 2+ of them) you "might" run out of RAM. Refactoring will take time on your rMBP too. Though, honestly even in this case you are maybe looking at a 15minute refactoring time per environment.

    Though, I honestly think you won't ever approach 300MB+ in one environment when you are just learning to program or for just an iOS or Mac App when you first start.

    If you do, you have serious memory issues or your project is filled with bloatware.

    But to make a long story short, if you are just learning to program any MBA or MBP will be more than enough to learn how to program.
  10. CausticSoda macrumors 6502


    Feb 14, 2014
    Abu Dhabi
    Get an 11" MBA and a Thuderbolt Display (perhaps waiting for the new one, whenever they can be bothered to release it). Perfect portability, perfect for use at home, and more than powerful enough for your studies and daily use.
  11. ggonzaga07 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2013
    I am indeed making profit out of this, and I am taking this as an opportunity to see if I should keep it classic with my MacBook Pro or I should go for something new like the MacBook Air.

    It is rumoured that next week, a new MacBook Air will be launched. I now am not considering the Air anymore until the next Air comes out (whether it is next week or in June - but up to a certain point, I do have a due date for this all). Until I see the new Air out, my choice is an identical Pro.

    I had mentioned the iMac because I had no idea of how much processing power is needed to code, but since you are saying I don't need that much power, then forget the iMac.
    I had built desktop PCs way back then, but I think I should consider it. I can not keep it though, because I have absolutely no space for a full-sized desktop PC. If I made it to sell it off it'd be a good idea.
  12. ggonzaga07 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2013
    I am considering the switch because I have no idea what I would be gaining or losing with a switch. Read the title of the thread. Again, I am making good profit by selling my current one off to a friend, so if I am convinced on switching to another model, I quite possibly will. LOL, it seems someone likes Macs:apple:

    I despise the 11 inch. I have a couple of friends who have them, and the size of it is despicable. It is so tiny I have to squint my eyes to read. My all-time favorite was my 2008 MacBook (aluminium). It brought me back good memories, but performance-wise, the rMBP I have now is an all-time winner. For sure. 13 inches are the best size ever for me, no more carrying that bulky as **** 15 inch Samsung to school. No, those days are long gone.

    I'm insecure about the Air's performance and how I am going to adapt from a retina screen to a 1440x900 screen (which is good, I have messed around with it, but just not as good as the Pro's screen)
  13. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    Here are a few MBA performance datapoints from my own experience. My 2008 MBP has a 2.4ghz Core 2 Duo CPU and 4GB RAM. My 2011 MBA had the i5 CPU and 4GB RAM and was about twice as fast for CPU intensive tasks.

    My 2013 MBA has the i7 CPU and 8GB RAM and it seems about 30% faster, maybe a little more because of the really fast 512gb SSD (~700MB/s read/write). In Logic Pro, my latency dropped from 13ms in the 2011 MBA to 9ms on the 2013 MBA.

    Does your MBP have the faster SSD like the 2013 MBA? You could benchmark it with Blackmagic speed test app. With the 512GB SSD, you might actually be gaining some speed on the MBA.
  14. coldjeanzzz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2012
    Is this kid an anomaly or do all middle school kid's type this coherently these days?
  15. Dweez macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2011
    Down by the river
    One can only hope...

    To the OP - what you'll get here are various opinions on various pieces of gear from various individuals with varying tech backgrounds and experience. In the end we all do what we want to do with regards to our computing environment(s). I find that I use my 13" MBA most when on the road, as it's a good travel companion due to it's size and weight.

    I run Fusion so I'm able to run a windows 7 corporate image with all of the bits & pieces required to access the corporate intranet (it would sure be nice if websites were coded browser agnostic vs IE specific), so I have the portability & performance of my maxed out MBA with the convenience of all the corporate apps when I need them.

    As far as "what would I be losing if I went to the MBA", there are suggestions & opinions in this thread which should help you formulate an answer that question. I find the display on the 13" more than sufficient for my mid-50's eyes. The performance of the MBA is very nice, 700 MB/s reads and writes due to the PCIe based "ssd" storage, 10 second boot time, and it runs all of the applications that I use with ease. It's not going to be a number cruncher, but for most tasks I'd think it'll be fine.

    This, again, is just opinion. A good opinion. :)

    Best of luck as you determine what you want/need. I can't imagine having the type of compute power you've got at your fingertips while in middle school. My how times have changed...
  16. kage207 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    You don't need much processing power at all to code, like I've said. If you are having environments of 300MB+ (like 2-3) then you will see a large refactoring or compile time, maybe 10-15minutes. Though I highly doubt you will ever approach that when you are learning how to code.

    I mainly work on projects that are about 20-40MB and compile just fine. You won't see any problem. This is how many projects you start off at. You will not need a desktop. This is my main machine.

    I do have a desktop that was my gaming machine. I've since turned it into a testing server to get some real world testing before moving it to my production server. It runs Ubuntu and has a VM for Windows so I can still play games. No coding is done on there as I have no need for it, my MBA is more than enough.

    Just make sure you get enough RAM, I do have 8GB on mine. I usually have Reminders, Messages, Mail, Calendar, Evernote, Safari, Dropbox, Preview, and a few utility apps open. I then have either Xcode, Coda or Eclipse open for my development environments. While Coda doesn't compile as it is more for web development, it does use some resources.

    Oh and I usually have Terminal open too. I do love me some Terminal (bash).

    EDIT: An IDE (for coding) is basically a glorified text editor. Yes it has some really helpful features but it is not needed to code as you can program in a bash text editor, it just uses a lot of resources. Compiling isn't the resource intensive for small projects. I am usually watching Plex or Netflix while doing this for my projects.
  17. kdoug macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2010
    Iowa City, IA USA
    Ain't it refreshing?
  18. Montymitch macrumors regular


    Feb 16, 2009
    I taught HS English for 6 years. I wish all my students could write as well as you.
  19. ggonzaga07 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2013
    Haha, thank you!
  20. sflomenb macrumors 6502a


    Jul 22, 2011
    To be honest, it comes down to what matters most to you. Do you value portability? I have the 2013 13" MacBook Air, and it does everything I want. Currently a Computer Science major. Works well. However... if your current machine does what you want, then why switch? Also, why would you need both a desktop AND a laptop for middle school? Seems a little much to me. If I were you, I wouldn't worry about the MacBook Air being less powerful than the MacBook Pro. If you value portability, it will be fine.

    Edit: I have a suggestion. Instead of having two machines, I would consider getting an external display. That's what I have set up in my dorm at college. I bought a stand and an external display and it works great.

    Another edit: do you NEED a laptop, anyway? Would a desktop suffice? Do you use your computer mostly in the house or at school? Another thing to consider. If the former, get a desktop.
  21. GreenWater macrumors member


    Jul 30, 2013
    Venice, CA
    I think a MacBook Pro is a heavier laptop with more power so you can use it instead of a desktop at home and is best for individuals who can't have two computers. If you can afford an iMac or a Mac Pro for home use and then buy a laptop the MacBook Air is much lighter to use on the road.

    I ordered my MacBook Air in October 2012, and configured it with 2.0GHz Dual Core i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB Flash Storage. I bought two Oyen Digital U32 Shadow 1TB Hard Drives which are tiny enough for travel. The MBA has travelled twice to the far east and several times to the Caribbean and stored loads of still and video images. I can sort through galleries using Lightroom and I have made some quick videos using iMovie and FCP X.

    I had never thought about upgrading until I saw the new 12" which tempted me due to it being even lighter and the possibility it might have built in 4G. I would not lug the extra weight of a MacBookPro since I knew I would buy a powerful desktop for work at home.

    I have a new Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus with very nice 3200x1800 display but I almost never use it. The MBA is by far the best laptop out of the dozen or so I have owned since 1995.

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