Which MBA Spec?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Paulg2uk, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. Paulg2uk macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2008
    Hi guys,

    I need a bit of advice, at the moment I'm running a 15" MBP retina mid 2012 model. Great laptop no complaints here, I usually wait around 4 years before upgrading again.

    I've recently bought some guitar equipment which you all might be familiar with? Its the axe fx 2 from Fractal. Anyway to edit presets etc it has a dedicated editor which I can operate in real time on my mac. This is a great help as edting from the front panel is doable but a bit of pain. Obviously I didn't want to cart around my 15" MBP so I was looking for a more compact laptop to take to rehearsals etc.

    I thought maybe the MBA 11" or 13" as you can't get more compact than that really. I'm not too fussed about the retina display as I would only use that when I'm at work or rehearsals and at home I have an old apple cinema display which does the job no problem.

    I just wondered what sort of spec MBA you guys might recommend? The software I need to run isn't that powerful but I sometimes might encode the odd video file or use garage band and logic I'm not a heavy user though. I'd consider replacing my MBPR with the MBA.

    Has anyone done the same or been in a similar situation?

    Many thanks

  2. akimoriRyuuji, Jan 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2016

    akimoriRyuuji macrumors regular


    Jun 28, 2015
    Actually wait.
    What's the recommended specs for the software you are running?

    If it recommends a certain CPU clock speed or a certain amount of RAM, then make sure you have that for the best experience.

    Protip: While the base clock speed of the Air is lower, just look at the TurboSpeed because that's the clock speed it'll go to when you need it.

    Because if you're getting a new laptop and you want to run specific software, you have to make sure it'll run your software, right? So, find out and then make sure you're getting what you need.

    Also, regardless of what you do get in the end, do upgrade your SSD as that'll come in handy. Though, you might also want to invest in a USB3 SSD/HDD to backup your projects and assets.

    Oh and 13" screen is still quite portable and has more battery so I chose it. But you might be attracted to the cuteness of the 11". I thought about it, but since I use it on the go fairly often, I got the 13. Though I've been hooking it up to an external monitor so that kinda doesnt matter anymore.
  3. Paulg2uk thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2008
    Thanks for the reply,

    Here's the system requirements for a couple of my programs. Not really much needed really but I'm thinking the air may replace my RMBP at some point so I'd like to get a little more out of it if possible just so it lasts me a few years.

    I've been thinking about the 13" as well but I just think taking it to gigs and rehearsal the 11" might be better for me as it can sit on the top of my amp. I think I'll have to check them both out again to make sure.

    Am I able to put a bigger SSD drive in the air? i thought that wasn't possible?

    Mac OS X:

    • OS X 10.7 (Lion) or later, 64-bit only
    • 2GB RAM
    • One free USB port

    Mac Minimum Requirements

    • OS X 10.6.8 or later.

    • Intel Processor.

    • 512MB minimum RAM.

    • USB 2.0 Support.
  4. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    Currently yes, you can upgrade the SSD in a Macbook Air. It isn't cheap though.
  5. akimoriRyuuji macrumors regular


    Jun 28, 2015
    There might be a misunderstanding here. YOU don't put the SSD in the Macbook, you buy it with the upgraded SSD.

    And seeing as your required specs aren't demanding, then you won't need anything more than a base level MBA. If you want, upgrade the SSD and if you have money left over after that, then upgrade the RAM. CPU won't matter, you only gain .3 GHz if I remember correctly.

    EDIT: Re-read your post, you posted the minimum specs and apparently those two specs are for different programs.
    I want the RECOMMENDED specs, and only specs pertaining to hardware. Can you get those?
  6. Paulg2uk thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2008
    I thought as much. I think I'm gonna look for a used MBA on ebay. There are some great specs on there for half the cost of a new one. Probably looking at a 2013 or 2014 model that will be good enough for me.

    I can't seem to find another info on the recommended specs but they can't be far off. I know they don't take up much space but I'll probably go with 8gb or RAM just in case.

    Thanks for the suggestions guys.
  7. akimoriRyuuji macrumors regular


    Jun 28, 2015
    Perhaps one more misunderstanding, when you say 'space'; to me, that means drive space. RAM would generally refer to your computers ability to store more running programs in memory, CPU referring to how fast your computer can perform instructions.

    It can't hurt to upgrade RAM but you're looking for more drive space; in other words, the SSD of at least 256GB SSD.

    But yeah, buying used or refurbished is a good idea. Save money that way. It's not the specs you're paying for with Macbooks, tbh. Yes, specs are a part of it. It's the portability and the super-compact, quality laptop you're paying for. No other laptop, even now, comes close to quality as the original, the Macbook.

    But on the other hand, yes, lots of laptops in the Windows world have better specs meaning you're saving money in that regard. But your satisfaction won't necessarily be the same for the same specs on a Windows-powered laptop.

    Also, when I say "Macbook", I'm not referring to the crap pile called Macbook that Apple released less than a year ago.
  8. Paulg2uk thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2008
    Lol that's ok I know the difference between RAM and hard drive space. What i meant was the programs themselves don't take up much hard drive space but when running them I may need slighty more RAM especially if they are running at the same time.

    I have a RMBP so I know what good quality they are. I used to be a PC user but now I just can't go back.

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