Which MacBook Air? Help!

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Zeraus7, Jun 16, 2015.

  1. Zeraus7 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2015
    #1
    Hello,

    I am 14 and have been saving for a while now and wish to get a MacBook Air because of the portability (I will be using it at school as well sometimes). I would like to use it for some light to maybe medium video editing and some light photo editing in something like photoshop or Lightroom. What would you guys recommend are the appropriate specs? I would prefer the 128gb storage because it is the cheapest and price is an issue for me.. I currently have an Acer with 4gbs RAM and 2.16GHz Intel celeriac processor and 500gb HDD. It is the slowest and worst machine... Would even the stock 2013 - 2014 MacBook Air be better? I wouldn't mind getting a refurbished model because it is a lot cheaper.

    Thanks.
     
  2. deepakvrao macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2011
    Location:
    India
    #2
    I had the stock 2011 MBA and it did basic video and image fine. It also worked far far better than any windows laptop that I have used.
     
  3. Zeraus7 thread starter macrumors member

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    May 4, 2015
    #3
    I am assuming the 2014 MacBook Air would be faster than the 2011 model. I heard that upgrading to 8gb RAM is a must. I would be using go pro footage and would most likely want to slow doen the footage.

    Thanks
     
  4. deepakvrao macrumors regular

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    India
    #4
    Yes, the 2014 is faster and also has a better battery life, as far as I know.
     
  5. deepakvrao macrumors regular

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    #5
    8GB would help. I would have issues with the RAM, which is one of the reasons, I bought a 2015 Pro with 8GB RAM.
     
  6. Kajje macrumors 6502a

    Kajje

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2012
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    Asia
    #6
    I use an Air, Mid 2013 machine (minimum base; 4GB/128GB) on a daily base for all my needs.
    It's doing great for everything. The Mid 2013 machine introduced the Intel 5000 graphics and the newest technology SSD drive. This gave me a lot of speed gain compared with my previous road machine, a 16GB 2012 Macbook Pro. It travels thousands of miles every month, doing the occasional Photoshop and iMovie. It has never let me down.

    You're on a budget. Really nothing wrong with a 4GB machine.
     
  7. Traverse macrumors 603

    Traverse

    Joined:
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    #7
    4GB is usable for everyday usage and even some video and photo editing. If you're going to do heavy video work and heavy Lightroom sessions than 8GB would help a lot.

    I'd be more concerned with the 128GB internal storage. That's not a lot of space for you're media to grow, but you can always get an external drive later.
     
  8. Kajje macrumors 6502a

    Kajje

    Joined:
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    Asia
    #8
    128GB is a lot of storage if you don't carry tons of pictures and movies.

    To carry non important stuff I always have a handful of Sandisk Ultra 64GB USB3.0 thumbdrives in my bag. They're smaller than a penny and just can be found for about $25 a pop.

    They're not blazingly fast, but they still perform much much faster than any microSD card I used to put in my nifty-drive card adapter (including Sandisk Extreme Pro cards).
    [​IMG]
     
  9. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #9
    If I'm traveling anywhere for more than a week or two, I will carry one of these around with a backup of my important files, in case my laptop gets stolen. That way I can buy a new laptop wherever I am and keep on computing.
     
  10. Kajje macrumors 6502a

    Kajje

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    #10
    I find these drives rather unusable for important files.
    Reason one - they're very small and I've lost a couple of them already (probably the cleaning service swiped them in the trash)
    Reason two - they absolutely underperform if you format them in OSX journaled format - even worse when you encrypt them. Don't know why. I'm talking floppy speeds. Formatted in FAT their speed is very acceptable.

    BTW - Sandisk announced the 128GB version of this thumbdrive last week!
     
  11. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #11
    I know what you mean.

    I did accidentally drop my drive in some shag carpet in some country and it probably took me 10-15 minutes of crawling around to find it. That was frustrating, but it is a trade-off to be able to keep the drive in your pocket and have it be barely noticeable. Also, since I use the drive as a backup, if it gets lost or stolen, it doesn't really bother me. I just buy a new one for a few dollars and do my backup process again.

    As for performance, it is annoyingly slow but all my really important files (including pictures from trips) are less than 10GB. IIRC this was taking me 2-3 hours to copy, so I would just do that overnight and it was always finished by the time I woke up.

    For long-term mass storage with good performance, though, I use a small external hard drive, which is still pretty convenient to carry around in the pocket of a piece of luggage or a backpack.
     
  12. Dsching Suspended

    Dsching

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    Sep 11, 2014
    #12
    I have no media worth mentioning and fill up 140gb with 'other' alone o_O
     
  13. newellj macrumors 601

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    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
    #13
    If cost is a concern, any MBA from the mid-2013 on is going to be in the same general performance band, and there are a lot of 2013 MBAs that go through the refurb section of the Apple Store online. Does a 2015 perform better than a 2013? Yeah, sure...but enough to be an issue for you, especially considering the savings? Probably not. Don't be afraid of an Apple refurb - they're great deals. The only slight disadvantage is that they come and go in batches so you might have to be a little patient.
     
  14. Zeraus7 thread starter macrumors member

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    May 4, 2015
    #14
    I would probably be importing a few RAW files off my DSLR and editing them. Also some gopro photos as well. I would just make up some small edits using gopro footage. I plan to have this computer for at least two years. The storage does not bother me as I can easily by a few USB as you mentioned or an external hard drive. Later I was planning to get a Samsung 24" monitor of editing was too hard on the small screen.

    Thanks
     
  15. Traverse macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    #15
    Honestly, I think you'd be just fine with 4GB. Will it get tight? Maybe when under load, but since Mavericks OS X has allocated memory much better.

    If you were batch editing dozens of photos for hours or doing heavy manipulation with several layers I'd say go ahead. But small or casual edits won't warrant it.
     
  16. Zeraus7 thread starter macrumors member

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    May 4, 2015
    #16
    It comes pre installed with OSX Yosemite, and I would want to upgrade to OSX El Capitan. Would this still be the same as Mavericks allocated memory thing?

    Thanks
     
  17. Traverse macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    #17
    Yes, Mavericks' under-the-hood improvements carried over to Yosemite. There were some bugs that caused high RAM use in Yosemite, but that would be problematic even if you had 8+ GBs. With El Capitan working on refinement, I think you're even more justified to go with 4GB.

    I remember during the Mavericks presentation, Apple claimed that using compression algorithms they could fit 6GB of data into just 4GB of RAM. I have noticed a big improvement in system performance even when I was running low on available RAM so I think you'll be fine.
     
  18. Traverse macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    #18
    There's only one caveat. Will you ever run Windows side-by-side with OS X via VMWare or Parallels? 4GB will not be enough for that. Otherwise, I think you'll be fine for light to moderate photo editing.

    If it were me, I'd try and get a cheap refurb with 8GB, but if you want to save money, 4GB will be fine.

    @Zeraus7
    This link may be helpful to you. It's a little quiz to help with RAM decisions.
    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/how-much-ram-do-i-need-in-my-macbook.1756865/
     
  19. dollystereo macrumors 6502a

    dollystereo

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    Oct 6, 2004
    Location:
    France
    #19
    The 13" Airs are very regularly on sold. They can be found for as little as $699 in best buy or target.
    The refurb store is a nice idea to.
     
  20. Zeraus7 thread starter macrumors member

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    May 4, 2015
    #20
    That link was very helpful. I think I will just wait a bit longer and get something with 8gb RAM.

    Thanks
     
  21. newellj macrumors 601

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    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
    #21
    The Air is a terrible choice for editing photos.
     
  22. Zeraus7 thread starter macrumors member

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    May 4, 2015
    #22
    Can you justify why?
     
  23. newellj macrumors 601

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    #23
    Because the color gamut doesn't get even close to even sRGB, let alone Adobe RGB, and because color accuracy is poor, even corrected with a colorimeter, and because the gamma is never going to be right because of the narrow viewing angles of the TN panel. Other than that...
     
  24. Zeraus7 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2015
    #24
    I'm not doing any professional photo editing or anything.. Just some photos I take down the beach and what not. I might get an external IPS monitor later.
     
  25. newellj macrumors 601

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    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
    #25
    That could change the whole analysis. Accurate color is much more important if you're sharing the photos broadly. If you're not doing that much, adding an IPS panel (make sure you get a good one - tftcentral is one of my favorite review sites, but there are other good ones) later could be an excellent solution.
     

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