Will the MacBook Air be enough for me?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by concernedone, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. concernedone macrumors 6502


    May 26, 2011
    Hi everyone,

    Been lurking on this forum for a while, finally decided to post my first thread.
    I have been eyeing the 27 inch iMac and the MacBook air 11 high end model but since I still got my tower PC ( see signature, I'm don't think Ill need it for now.)

    What I plan to do on the air:
    Adobe cs 5 master suite to design.
    Xcode to code
    Maya And/or 3ds max for 3d animation and rendering.
    Run windows 7 via boot camp

    Can the air do this or you will need the iMac to do this?

    Thanks so much!
  2. jablko macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    It's not a question of whether an Air can handle it, just how patient you want to be.

    Think of it this way, Geekbench rates the 2011 MacBook Air as about the same speed as last year's 2.5 and 2.6 ghz MacBook Pros or a 2008 Mac Pro quad core. Plenty of people are still happily working on that hardware. You'll probably be happy working on your Air too, at least for now. However, a current MacBook Pro or iMac will score about twice what the current Air does. Unless ultimate portability is your goal, MacBook Pro is probably a better bet if you want a machine you'll still be happy with in four years.

    (Here's the benchmark source I used: http://www.primatelabs.ca/geekbench/mac-benchmarks/)

    It's not just about processor performance though. I personally like a lot of screen space when I'm editing photos, which makes considering an Air for Photoshop work hard in my book. More screen space probably will contribute more to productivity than processor speed. However, an external monitor can fix that for Air users who don't mind being tied down to a desk (and also gives you better color depth and a matte surface, all things that are hard to find in a laptop).

    It's all about priorities. If you're looking for a mobile workstation and the "workstation" part of that equation is the important part, I would really recommend thinking about the 15 or 17 inch MacBook Pros. If it's all about the "mobile" part and you want something you'll actually want to carry around with you, the Air might be right. As for the iMac, that is such a different product category all together that it's hard to compare to the others. It's certainly not mobile, and as a workstation, it's a bit better than the high end MacBook Pros, but perhaps not as much as you might think.
  3. concernedone thread starter macrumors 6502


    May 26, 2011
    Thanks for your reply. You gave some very valid points especially on the screen size. I use duo monitors at home to do my design,video and 3d work. It would be difficult to work on such a small screen real estate.

    I actually purchased a base model 13 2011 MacBook pro but the base model cannot replace my desktop as it can barely run 3ds max or maya due to the lack of a dedicated graphic card. Also I find it heavy/ bulky to carry around. So, i am hesitant about the 15 and 17...

    I have the iPad 2 but it is not a laptop replacement. it's mainly an entertainment device (which i love) I love it's portability and long battery life. That's why I was tempted by the Air for its mobility but I can see that it wont be fast/ powerful enough. :(

    So now I'm leaning towards the iMac. I think can sacrifice the portability but I think I need the speed and power to do my work.

    Hmm, I truly wish for a very powerful MacBook air!!!

  4. caonima macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2011
  5. nodedawg macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2002
    The Air? In a word: No.

    The MBA is not a desktop replacement, it has hardwired 4GB of RAM that IS NOT UPGRADABLE. Ask any of the Apple Xcode developers (at Apple), they have Mac Pros with 16GB of RAM… they totally miss their main stream audiences at 75%+ being mobile sales. Now a MacBook Pro with 16GBs RAM from macsales.com (yum).

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