Which Mac? Please Help..

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Zeraus7, May 4, 2015.

  1. Zeraus7 macrumors member

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    May 4, 2015
    #1
    Hello everyone, I am new to computers as I barely ever use them, only my iPad Air. I want to get a new Mac and I am interested in the Refurbished 2013 11.6" Air, specs are 1.3GHz i5 4gb RAM and a 128gb SSD. I also have GoPro Hero 3+ Black and I want to be able to play some videos on the Mac also light editing of photos. Should this Mac be a good one as I want a potable laptop and don't really want to spend over $1000.

    PS. I live in Australia so all prices in $AUD

    Thanks in advance ###
     
  2. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #2
    The 128gb drive might be a problem with videos and photos. My photo library is currently about 50gb. I just got a GoPro and already have a moderate number of videos filling up my 512gb drive.

    The 4gb of me,Roy might also be a constraint when editing video.
     
  3. Zeraus7 thread starter macrumors member

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    May 4, 2015
    #3
    Thanks, the 128gb does not worry me, but yes.. It does fill up quickly.. Do you think it would be able to handle 720p 120fps? Or 2.7K 30fps? Also what gopro do you have and use as well as your computer?

    Thanks
     
  4. Zeraus7 thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    Thanks, the 128gb does not worry me, but yes.. It does fill up quickly.. Do you think it would be able to handle 720p 120fps? Or 2.7K 30fps? Also what gopro do you have and use as well as your computer?
     
  5. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

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    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #5
    I gave a 3+. Computer is in signature - a 2011 MBP Pro with 16gb memory and a 512 SSD. I don't know enough about the performance specs of the MBA to comment on video.

    The reason I comment about the 128 drive is that you will have to archive stuff to an external drive and too many people that do that fail to back it up so they end up losing their pix and videos. Too many sad stories here.
     
  6. Zeraus7 thread starter macrumors member

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    May 4, 2015
    #6
    Oh ok that 128 is a problem.. So say I upgrade to a 512gb SSD would those spec be enough to play those types of vids? Thanks
     
  7. tentales macrumors 6502a

    tentales

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    Dec 6, 2010
    #7
    G'day mate. Aussie expat here.

    I think you're confusing something. The size of the SSD has nothing to do with the ability to play certain types of videos. That would be the capability of the CPU/GPU.

    Upgrading to 512GB SSD even on a MBA 11" refurb will put you well over your budget. A quick check of current AU$ models shows an i7 8GB/512SSD at AU$1649. Alternatively, the current lowest offering for AU$1049,- gets you 4GB/256SSD in the 2013 model. If you have $50 more, you could get the $1099 2014 model which is a smidge faster.

    But like Glen said, backup can be an issue, but that's kind of the same problem whether you run 128, 256, or 512. SSDs have been known to fail in an instant and both 1 & 2TB external 2.5" USB 3.0 hard drives are cheap to come by these days. In addition, there's a bunch of cloud storage solutions. I use OneDrive and Dropbox as they give you the most bang for your buck.

    Do know that any non-retina Macbook won't look as good as your retina iPad Air, so if that's important to you, get a refurb Macbook pro, but again, that'll blow your budget.

    choices choices :)
     
  8. Zeraus7 thread starter macrumors member

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    May 4, 2015
    #8
    Haha thanks mate..
    If spending another $100 - $200 over the budget is meaning that I'll get a good quality laptop that will last me and easily do the job then I'm sure I can wait a little longer and get that.. So what your saying is if I were to get a higher RAM or Processor, it would be able to play clips better.. So what about 1.3GHz i5 and 8gb RAM? Would that be enough to play 2.7K 30fps and 720 120fps Gopro footage? Quality of the display is not too important to me as I could probably hook it up to an external monitor if I really wanted to later. I love to make little clips from footage every now and then with my mates..

    Thanks :)
     
  9. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #9
    For that use case

    It will be fine, not the fastest but all apples laptops (for the last few years) will do a little light movie editing no problem at all. If buying second hand or refurbished try to get one with a haswell processor other than that your use case will be fine on them all.
     
  10. Zeraus7 thread starter macrumors member

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    May 4, 2015
    #10
    Ok cool thanks man, I thought that I should get a 13" model as 11" will be a bit to cramped for editing and stuff.

    I also thought later on I can buy an iMac, probs the 21.5" model will be nice.. Thanks guys
     
  11. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #11
    True

    and more importantly it has an SD card slot that the 11 inch doesn't and I'm sure your cameras use them...
     
  12. Zeraus7 thread starter macrumors member

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    May 4, 2015
    #12
    Yes, I just found out that the 11" doesn't have one so that was kind of a let down. The 13" does so that all good
     
  13. tentales macrumors 6502a

    tentales

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    Dec 6, 2010
    #13
    the 11" can drive a big fancy Thunderbolt display or any other higher rez IPS panel, the decision on the 11 vs 13 shouldn't be hinged on the sd card slot.
    You can get a cheap $10 USB SD card reader. If portability is your main goal, get the 11", if you plan on doing extensive editing on screen, go for the 13".
     
  14. Zeraus7 thread starter macrumors member

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    May 4, 2015
    #14
    I just went and had a quick look at the two computers today in store and I like the 11" size better, we have a USB to SD reader lying around somewhere.. The question is, how well can a stock 2013-2014 11" mac air play high resolution gopro footage? I'm talking around 1080p 60fps?

    Thanks
     
  15. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

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    #15
    Absolutely fine

    The HD5000 iGPU will handle 1080p video no problems at all. It should edit it fine in imovie too.
     
  16. tentales macrumors 6502a

    tentales

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    Dec 6, 2010
    #16
    If by high-res you mean 4K, I would say no!
    Also, I'm not sure about 1080p/120fps. Why don't you take a few sample videos on a USB 3.0 stick to the Apple store and try it out ?

    I'm suspecting feature-creep here. You started off by asking "play some videos on the Mac also light editing of photos". For that most here would give the nod for an 11" MBA refurb, but suggest 8GB & 256GB SSD.

    However, if you're talking editing 4K or high framerate video and not just photos, then you'd be looking at MBPs with an i7 CPU and 16GB RAM. The new 5K iMac might be better suited for that purpose.

    In the end, try it out at a store or buy something that you can return within say 14-days.

    Finally, google some articles such as this to learn from others:
    http://www.fcp.co/final-cut-pro/new...iences-with-a-macbook-air-and-final-cut-pro-x
     
  17. Zeraus7 thread starter macrumors member

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    May 4, 2015
    #17
    Hi, I'm not sure what you meant by "feature-creep". But anyway, I live in a small town in Western Australia and don't have an Apple Store here, the closest one is about a 5-6 hour drive away. So I can't really test that out. :(

    Ok.. So this so what I want to do with it. Be able to take it with me to school and say, holidays and what not. All I want it to be able to play is 1080p at 60FPS, I will most likely also do some photo editing for fun. I will use it for some school work every now and then as I am in year 10, most likely study purposes. Later on I might consider buying a high end iMac to be able to play higher resolutions and frame rates. So I just want this Mac Air to be able to play 1080p 60fps with ease.

    Thankyou
     
  18. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #18
    No Video ....

    .............plays at 60fps. The framerate for TV and films is 24fps. Even the hobbit in superfast framerate is only 48fps. If you are talking refresh rates for the screen that is a different matter entirely and based on screen technology and screen firmware, all modern screens will be fine.

    1080p video will be fine as mentioned before.

    You are overthinking this a $500 laptop of any make will play 1080p video with no issue these days, even any mid level tablet or smartphone will do the same.
     
  19. Zeraus7, May 6, 2015
    Last edited: May 6, 2015

    Zeraus7 thread starter macrumors member

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    May 4, 2015
    #19
    Sorry guys! I have been confusing you guys, I mean will the computer be able to handle gopro footage being 1080p 60fps? I think what you thought I was saying was can the frame rate of the computer play 60fps..

    Sorry for confusing you.. I meant gopro videos.
     
  20. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #20
    1080p GOpro video

    will run fine stop worrying about it it it's just HD video there has barely been a device made in the last 5 years that can't play it.

    Of course if you want to add endless effects and changes in FCPX and render it it won't be the quickest but it will still do it.
     
  21. tentales macrumors 6502a

    tentales

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    Dec 6, 2010
    #21
    You did say that you viewed the 2 MacBooks at a nearby store, right ?
    Google 1080p 60fps youtube and you can test it out.
    I'm pretty certain playing 1080p video will not be a problem.
    Like I said, editing in iMovie or FCP will be slower but still work.

    I guess you're quite the newbie :) again Google "feature creep". In short, adding requirements/desires to your initial feature set. Mostly an issue for software developers, but users want more and more functionality in ever smaller, lighter form factors.

    Like others have stated, don't overthink it. You'll learn with experience.
    Start with an 11" MBA on a refurb price. Even 4/128 will probably do for starters and spend $100 on an external 2TB 2.5" drive. Personally I use an external Seagate Backup Plus, coz they're only 9.5mm high and can even fit inside a Mac Mini. I'm running a 2.25TB DIY fusion drive with a 27" IPS 1080p HP monitor.
    Ohhh no... now I've added to your confusion :)
     
  22. Zeraus7 thread starter macrumors member

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    May 4, 2015
    #22
    Ok thanks guys, I did go have a look at them at a nearby store.. (Not Apple) I think I will just get the 11" MBA and an external Hardrive as well and later on if I want I can get an iMac as the main computer.

    Thanks for all help guys!
     
  23. tentales macrumors 6502a

    tentales

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    Dec 6, 2010
    #23
    You're welcome.
    Report back in a month or so how it worked out.
     
  24. Zeraus7 thread starter macrumors member

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    May 4, 2015
    #24
    I sure will, I am able to buy it in about two weeks, so I should be able to let you guys know after a few days of having.
     

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