Which MBA to buy?

LarmanF

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 10, 2013
11
0
I've almost definitely decided to get an MBA, but am struggling to decide which one. I'd rather have the 13 inch over the 11 inch, but my questions lie with the processor and ram.

I'm confident I won't need more than 128GB storage, so that's not a problem, but please guide me as to which processor is better, the i5 or i7. I'll generally be using the MBA for some web browsing, emails, iTunes, and some web development and design, with occasional photoshop and word processing. Judging by what others have said it sounds like the i7 is only necessary for power-users, but would I notice a speed difference when performing the above tasks?

Also, in terms of RAM, is it work upgrading to 8GB? Again, is there a noticeable increase in speed, for example is it noticeably better at keeping more applications open at the same time? :)
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,269
3,409
I've almost definitely decided to get an MBA, but am struggling to decide which one. I'd rather have the 13 inch over the 11 inch, but my questions lie with the processor and ram.

I'm confident I won't need more than 128GB storage, so that's not a problem, but please guide me as to which processor is better, the i5 or i7. I'll generally be using the MBA for some web browsing, emails, iTunes, and some web development and design, with occasional photoshop and word processing. Judging by what others have said it sounds like the i7 is only necessary for power-users, but would I notice a speed difference when performing the above tasks?

Also, in terms of RAM, is it work upgrading to 8GB? Again, is there a noticeable increase in speed, for example is it noticeably better at keeping more applications open at the same time? :)
For everything you just mentioned, the i5 will be more than enough. As far as the RAM goes 4gb will also be enough. How long do you plan on keeping the laptop? I know some people will use them until they are dead in the ground, and if that is the case I would get 8gb b.c in 3-4 years it can really extend the life of the laptop if future OS's require more memory. Plus the RAM cannot be upgraded. If in 3-4 years you will get a new laptop then don't worry about the RAM
 

coldjeanzzz

macrumors 6502a
Nov 4, 2012
655
17
if it's your primary machine, don't want to spend a lot, and plan to use it for 2-3 years or more then

i5
8 GB RAM

is all you will need
 

LarmanF

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 10, 2013
11
0
Thanks for all the replies. I've got a custom desktop which I use for gaming and more intensive applications, so it's unlikely I'll have to rely on the MBA for any heave duty stuff. I've had my last laptop for at least 5 years, so maybe it's worth considering upgrading the RAM to 8GB in order to prolong its lifespan.
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,269
3,409
Thanks for all the replies. I've got a custom desktop which I use for gaming and more intensive applications, so it's unlikely I'll have to rely on the MBA for any heave duty stuff. I've had my last laptop for at least 5 years, so maybe it's worth considering upgrading the RAM to 8GB in order to prolong its lifespan.
It can't hurt and at the very least can give you peace of mind. That is something you will have to order and get shipped to you or the store. They don't carry just ram upgrades in store.
 

Isamilis

macrumors 6502a
Apr 3, 2012
653
114
i5. 4gb if you plan to upgrade next year. Otherwise go with 8gb. The performance difference is small if you run out RAM and have the OS paging to the SSD.
I have 8gb and run 2 VM (XP and Win7), memory usage is still under 4GB. The free ram is used for Ramdisk (which is optional).