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Old 21-04-2014, 11:10   #31
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Re: MacBook Pro or MacBook Air?

Whichever version you go for I would suggest you invest in the largest HDD (traditional or Solid State) and memory you can afford. With both the new gen Air and MacBook you can not upgrade these later on so don't scrimp on them to start with.

I've just upgraded my old (5-6 year old) Black MacBook to a newer version with a 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM and it runs faster than the Windows workstations I use at work. Admittedly I'm not running the heavy processing software but I still get a good 6 to 8 hours of battery life, if I switch off the BT, Wifi and the backlight on the keyboard and up to 9 hrs if I reduce the screen brightness.

My older MacBook gave me 4 to 5 hrs and since it was unlikely to be able to run Mavericks I took the plunge for the new version. It still works fine and I have no problems with the old machine just newer updates of software won't run on Snow Leopard anymore.

About the only difference I can see is the ports. My 13" MacBook has 2 Thunderbolt ports, 2 USB (one on each side), an HDMI out and a memory card slot. If memory serves I think the Air only has one of each and does not have the memory card slot, although I await to be corrected on this by someone ;-)

Heat has not been a huge issue with my experience of MacBooks although it is worth trying to ensure they have good ventilation as this will reduce the power draw from the fans. If it sounds like a 747 about to take off then all 4 (yes 4) fans are running which will rapidly reduce battery life.

Hope that helps in the decision process

Keiron
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Old 21-04-2014, 11:52   #32
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Re: MacBook Pro or MacBook Air?

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Originally Posted by kas_1611 View Post
With both the new gen Air and MacBook you can not upgrade these later on so don't scrimp on them to start with.
What was someone saying about "planned obsolescence"? I would never consider buying a new laptop with less that 16 gigs of RAM if it could not be upgraded.
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Old 21-04-2014, 12:20   #33
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Re: MacBook Pro or MacBook Air?

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What was someone saying about "planned obsolescence"? I would never consider buying a new laptop with less that 16 gigs of RAM if it could not be upgraded.
The RAM on the Macbook Air is soldered onto the motherboard, so it is not upgradeable later. It can be ordered with 16GB, however. The hard drive is replaceable - the other poster is incorrect on that point.

Similar form factor ultrabook computers from Dell and Samsung (and probably others - those are two I know about) also have their memory soldered onto the motherboard and are not upgradeable after purchase.

I don't see how this is "planned obsolescence". It is no different than a tablet, etc. If one wants the form factor, features and performance, this is one of the tradeoffs.

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Old 21-04-2014, 12:36   #34
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Re: MacBook Pro or MacBook Air?

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Originally Posted by RainDog View Post
What was someone saying about "planned obsolescence"? I would never consider buying a new laptop with less that 16 gigs of RAM if it could not be upgraded.
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I don't see how this is "planned obsolescence".
I took his comment to mean that you'll "obsoleting yourself by not planning"....buy as much RAM as you can since it's not upgradable.
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Old 21-04-2014, 12:36   #35
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Re: MacBook Pro or MacBook Air?

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I don't see how this is "planned obsolescence". It is no different than a tablet, etc. If one wants the form factor, features and performance, this is one of the tradeoffs.
It is planned obsolescence if it is designed so that it will not be able to run applications as long as the user would expect to hardware to last. So if they design it with a max of 8 gigs, it will be useless long before the hardware is dead. 16 gigs is more reasonable. My macbook pro will not run well on 8 gigs today. Certainly in 2 years it will useless with 8 gigs. Granted I put more demands on the hardware than your average user.
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Old 21-04-2014, 12:41   #36
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Re: MacBook Pro or MacBook Air?

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The RAM on the Macbook Air is soldered onto the motherboard, so it is not upgradeable later. It can be ordered with 16GB, however. The hard drive is replaceable - the other poster is incorrect on that point.
Quick check on Apple's website and the Mac Air comes with up to 8GB RAM and 512GB Flash (Solid State) HDD. The MacBook standard with 8GB SSD or up to 1TB 5400rpm HDD. The Retina versions up to 1TB SSD and up to 16GB RAM. The 5400rpm HDD will draw more power than the solid state versions.

All depends on what you are planning on doing with your laptop. If like me it is mostly email, internet and watching movies then 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD is fine, especially with a 2TB external HDD to transfer movies from. If you want something more powerful, such as playing computer games, doing serious number crunching or photo/video editing then spend the extra $$ or ££ and get more memory and drive space.

I do run OpenCPN with a BT GPS device as a tertiary nav system, mostly for logging where we have been and noting things like anchorages etc rather than RT navigation but I do know if it came down to it I could plot my position regularly, on battery, for several hours if I had to.

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Old 21-04-2014, 14:05   #37
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Re: MacBook Pro or MacBook Air?

I've had the 11" Mac Air for over 2 years and it gets a beating. I almost never shut it down, its been dropped, dented and abused. So far the only failure has been the inbuilt microphone.
I went with the 11" rather than the 13, so it doesn't have the card reader, but most accessories are available with USB connections, so you can just plug in what you need.

I travel a lot, and often just throw it in my backpack without shutting it down. It gets hot in there without air circulation but so far no ill effects. The backlit keyboard is a nice touch as well.
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Old 21-04-2014, 15:38   #38
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Re: MacBook Pro or MacBook Air?

I'm convinced the Air is the best choice for me.
I also need to buy a display for viewing movies using the Mac, wife's orders. If I'm correct I won't be limited to conventional LCD or LED flat screen televisions. Apple has a 27" for a grand, that's too big and too pricy although I love Apple products.
Anyone recommend a quality display that's about 19-23'inches?
I measured the area before but can't remember exactly.
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Old 21-04-2014, 16:37   #39
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Re: MacBook Pro or MacBook Air?

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It is planned obsolescence if it is designed so that it will not be able to run applications as long as the user would expect to hardware to last. So if they design it with a max of 8 gigs, it will be useless long before the hardware is dead. 16 gigs is more reasonable. My macbook pro will not run well on 8 gigs today. Certainly in 2 years it will useless with 8 gigs. Granted I put more demands on the hardware than your average user.
Interesting, my MBA has only 4Gb and since I mostly run a windows VM with 2Gb runs pretty well with only 2Gb available.

Under the surface it is linux, it doesn't need 16Gb of ram to run, video and photo editing applications being the exception.
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Old 21-04-2014, 16:41   #40
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Re: MacBook Pro or MacBook Air?

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Originally Posted by endoftheroad View Post
I also need to buy a display for viewing movies using the Mac, wife's orders. If I'm correct I won't be limited to conventional LCD or LED flat screen televisions. Apple has a 27" for a grand, that's too big and too pricy although I love Apple products.
Anyone recommend a quality display that's about 19-23'inches?
I measured the area before but can't remember exactly.
The air doesn't have a DVI or HDMI out port, so unless the display has a thunderbolt port you will need an adaptor. i.e. TV's probably will only have DVI/HDMI.

Also, the air for sale now is the same as I bought 2.5 years ago, I wouldn't be surprised if there is a new one very soon as mentioned above.
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Old 21-04-2014, 16:48   #41
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Re: MacBook Pro or MacBook Air?

There's no way around "obsoleteness" with laptops. If you plan on trying to keep a laptop for over 5 years and expect it to perform as well as the current technology, you're basically just screwed. One should realize that with computers, they will need to be replaced.
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Old 21-04-2014, 17:02   #42
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Re: MacBook Pro or MacBook Air?

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Originally Posted by sparau View Post
Interesting, my MBA has only 4Gb and since I mostly run a windows VM with 2Gb runs pretty well with only 2Gb available.

Under the surface it is linux, it doesn't need 16Gb of ram to run, video and photo editing applications being the exception.
and games, compilers, databases, ......

Quite a few games already require 4 gig min (e.g. Running the game - Guild Wars 2 Wiki (GW2W)). That will be 8 soon, and that is minimum, not optimal. I run my VM at 8 gigs, since I need to run Visual Studio and SQL Server in the VM.

If would have no qualms about buying a $500 laptop with 8 gigs of RAM, but a $1200 - $2000 laptop should be able to handle 16 gigs ram minimum. There is just no reason to to support that much RAM and most people will need it long before the hardware goes bad.

The only exception is people who are just doing email and web browsing, but if that is all you are doing why would you buy a $1200 laptop? Get an iPad.
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Old 21-04-2014, 17:30   #43
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Re: MacBook Pro or MacBook Air?

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Under the surface it is linux, it doesn't need 16Gb of ram to run, video and photo editing applications being the exception.
It's BSD Unix, from the University of Berkeley. Much like Linux yes.
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Old 21-04-2014, 17:39   #44
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Re: MacBook Pro or MacBook Air?

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Originally Posted by endoftheroad View Post
I'm convinced the Air is the best choice for me.
I also need to buy a display for viewing movies using the Mac, wife's orders. If I'm correct I won't be limited to conventional LCD or LED flat screen televisions. Apple has a 27" for a grand, that's too big and too pricy although I love Apple products.
Anyone recommend a quality display that's about 19-23'inches?
I measured the area before but can't remember exactly.
Here is an Apple 20 inch monitor which is refurbished. Prices out at $200.

http://www.overstock.com/Electronics...6/product.html

Combine that with this adaptor from the Apple Store which prices out at $29.

Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter - Apple Store (U.S.)
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Old 21-04-2014, 18:26   #45
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Re: MacBook Pro or MacBook Air?

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and games, compilers, databases, ......

Quite a few games already require 4 gig min (e.g. Running the game - Guild Wars 2 Wiki (GW2W)). That will be 8 soon, and that is minimum, not optimal. I run my VM at 8 gigs, since I need to run Visual Studio and SQL Server in the VM.
Games, yes as always they are targeted at the max power available.

8Gb is nice for a windows dev pc with sql etc. but as I say I run quite happily with 2… The only time it is unresponsive is either during a windows update (I start the VM half an hour early to let windows do its crap) or when I stuff up code.

As to why spend $1200- on a laptop for internet surfing? Because it is a better built item and will generally last longer (talk to the laptop repair guys), be it a high end Asus or an Apple.

Personally I try and avoid the throw away products since they are pretty much impossible to recycle.
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