Would you say 13.3 would be any good for coding?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Major Coder, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. Major Coder macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2011

    I have thought about this and though about it. The Base Line Macbook Pro (13.3") and Macbook Air (again 13.3") there is a 100 price difference between them (MBA=1349.99 MBP=1249.99) As i well be taking this back and forth every day, i love the weight (or lack of?) of the Macbook Air, i am wondering if there well be a shot at it of being and good at coding. I also do the odd graphic/photo editing. Would you say XP in Bootcamp would be able to run on it (i have an XP home disc)
  2. dommeister, Jun 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011

    dommeister macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2009

    13" MBA

    :apple: The higher screen resolution in the MBA will be more beneficial for coding.
    :apple: It's 1.6lb lighter.
    :apple: Screen is less glossy than MBP - reduces glare.
    :apple: Onboard SATA 2 SSD (drivers optimised by Apple).​

    13" MBP

    :apple: The screen in the MBP has a higher colour gamut - better for graphic/photo editing.
    :apple: The screen is more glossy than MBA, showing richer colours.
    :apple: Faster processor.
    :apple: Can upgrade RAM to 16GB max as opposed to 4GB max soldered on MBA.
    :apple: Larger hard drive.
    :apple: Can install a SATA 3 SSD for ~500-550MB/s read/write
    :apple: Optical drive with ability for second HDD/SSD (voids warranty when currently installed).
    :apple: More ports.​

    Battery life is similar in both laptops.

    The MBA will be updated soon with Sandybridge processors which will smoke the current Core 2 Duos in terms of CPU power.

    However, it remains to be seen if the Intel Integrated Graphics will be close to the performance of the current nVidia 320M. The speculated processors (2629M and 2649M - both 25W parts) have a slightly weaker base frequencies than then MBP (500Mhz v 650MHz). Even though the turbo speeds are the same (1100MHz), the lower TDP of the MBA processors (25W v 35W of the 13" MBP) may decrease the graphics power compared to the 13" MBPs. However, you should still be able to connect to a 24-30 inch monitor for more space, although you could be taking a hit for your graphics/photo editing.

    4GB RAM would be plenty for XP Home either using Bootcamp or virtualisation in the MBA using Snow Leopard. Click here for more info.

    Bootcamp in Lion will only support Windows 7 and eventually Windows 8.
    You would need to use virtualisation software such as Parallels, VMWare Fusion or the free Virtual Box to run XP.

    Many threads have been created debating the pros and cons for each of the virtualisation kits. Take a look at a few of the threads and visit the links above to the company websites to get a better idea.
  3. Major Coder thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2011
    Thanks. I won't be getting one untill Augest so i have lots of time to hope the Air Update comes soon
  4. dommeister macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2009
    You're welcome, Major Coder! :)

    Hopefully they will be updated sooner rather than later as you will have time to look at user reviews here and in other sites such as anandtech.com before you make your decision.
    Anandtech's reviews are very thorough, practical and suit users from across the spectrum.:D
  5. dommeister macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2009
  6. Beaverman3001 macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2010
    I don't have any issues with writing perl scripts on mine, but its not something I do for a living. But I find the screen size and keyboard to be perfectly fine for sitting in textwrangler and terminal windows. XP runs great in a VM as well (using virtualbox). I have XP Pro and it runs without any hiccups. I can have a VM of Ubuntu, XP, and be running WoW + Safari + Photoshop at the same time and everything is pretty smooth outside of a few graphics hiccups in WoW.
  7. robert109 macrumors member


    Jun 14, 2011
    Thanks! I learn a lot from that.:)

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