Will the Air satisfy my needs?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Mus7ache, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. Mus7ache macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2013
    • Programming
    • Light video/graphics editing
    • Sim racing (iRacing, rFactor mainly) Does anyone have any numbers on these? e.g. framerates
    • 4(+, ideally) year lifespan
    • Note: I have a 24" monitor, so real estate isn't really an issue.

    I am slightly worried that the i7 8gb model will be underpowered and will not stand the test of time as well as a pro. I was hoping you guys could provide some insight, as I haven't bought a computer in some time and am a first-time mac-user.

  2. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Obviously a pro will have more "leg room" to grow and upgrade, with more memory, quad processor, discrete graphics, etc. But it will be heavier and thicker. You don't mention portability in your post, so unless portability is a key issue, you probably want to stick to the pro.

    The MBA is a fine system and very capable. The i7/8GB model is very powerful, as powerful as the current pros. But the new pros will likely improve on that. Anandtech did a review on the MBA you should read. From that review:

    "Oh man, the Core i7 upgraded seriously fixes everything. We get near perfect scaling here, showing a massive 27% increase in performance over the default Core i5 1.3GHz setup. The single threaded performance of the upgraded 13-inch MacBook Air is almost able to equal that of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display."

    The new MBA is no slouch.
  3. Code.Red macrumors regular


    Apr 18, 2010
    I can't speak for the racing games, but yes the Air will be great for your needs. You say the screen size won't be an issue - is portability a concern at all? A MacBook Pro might be even more in line with what you want if you aren't going to be moving it around much. Both are thin laptops, but the Air is especially thin and there are some tradeoffs.
  4. Mus7ache thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2013
    I knew I forgot something!

    Yes, while portability and battery life are attractions that I could make use of, they are not necessarily my top priorities, and I could easily deal with the portability of a Pro. As for battery life, I would be waiting for Haswell Pros, so I'm sure that the increase to the already decent battery life would be satisfactory.

    A key point here is that my laptop has just died recently (which is why I'm in the market), and I have college in September (comp. sci) so I'm getting a bit antsy about the lack of Haswell Pros, which are most likely going to drop in October. This led me to take at the Air anf the amazing battery life, portability and lower price have really intrigued me.
  5. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Well, if you can't wait and have to buy now, I don't think you will regret an MBA. It is an awesome laptop in its own right. Sure, the Haswell Pro's will be more powerful, but there is always something more powerful down the road, and I can't see anything you are wanting to do that won't run on the MBA.
  6. dendowling macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2011
    Do you need to run Windows for those racing apps? If you do a dual boot system you need to consider how much drive space you'll need. MB Air only has SSD in 256MB (or 512MB for +$300).

    SSD is great for really fast boot and file access but, depends on how much storage space you need.

    You can do a side by side compare of macs on apple web store..

    13" MBair 1.7g i7, 8GB ram, 256ssd is $1550.
    13" MBpro 2.9g i7, 8GB ram, 750hdd is $1500.
    13" MBpro 2.9g i7, 8GB ram, 256ssd is $1800.

    1.7ghz i7 might seem a little slow if you do any heavy graphics/photoshop work so, I hope you do mean 'light' graphics/video work.

    MBair actually has a better GPU than MBpro
    Intel HD Graphics 5000 vs 4000 comparison..

    And, MBair has 802.11ac - newer than 802.11n on MBpro.

    MBpro has DVD drive and extra ports for firewire & ethernet. But, you could always get an external DVD and dongles for MBair if you need those.

    4+ year life span is possible. But, the computer might have trouble keeping up with newest OS and software 4 years from now.

    Usually, I suggest selling your old mac at around 3yrs old and get a new one. 3 yr old Mac in decent condition should still have a good resale value that will make a good percentage for buying a new Mac.

    You might also look for a Mac on Apples Refurbished page. Refurbs are all tested and certified with same 1yr warranty. They're clean too, not worn out or used looking. They're not configurable so, it's hit and miss to find the model you want, just check weekly. Look at the "Originally released.." date to see which year you're getting. But, you might not see new models like June 2013 MBair on Refurbs until a few months later.

    You might also consider getting AppleCare extended warranty - extends standard 1yr to 3yr warranty - free repair of hardware failures (not including damage you cause of course). But, you don't have to buy it when you get your Mac. You can wait and buy it later, anytime before your 1yr expires. Keep your eyes open and find it on sale somewhere.

    Also, check on MacRumors buyer guide to see release info..
  7. Suraj R. macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2013
    The Air is more than enough for your needs. I play Real Racing 2 and COD4 on mine (i5 13" 2013) and it runs PERFECTLY FINE. I've also messed around with FCPX and Logic 9 and it runs pretty smooth. You won't regret the Air. 1.7 i7 is just a number.
  8. Mus7ache thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2013
    Alright, I think I'll go for the Air. Worst case scenario my games are a little laggy, in which case I can buy a desktop PC in the future - better for gaming than a Pro anyway. The upgradability etc. will make up for this slightly more expensive option than purchasing a rMBP

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