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MacBook Air or MacBook Pro 13"

#1 User is offline   kamens 

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 03:50 AM

I have a 2ghz Intel Core 2 Duo MacBook from 2007 and am looking to upgrade to a new MacBook in the coming weeks. I'm a PhD student in history and am frequently searching through 4 or 5 thousand documents either as images in Aperture or searching through their texts as PDFs. My current MacBook often performs pretty decently in these tasks but can sometimes get bogged down. I'm trying to decide between the $1099 13" MacBook Air with the 1.3ghz Intel i5 and the $1299 13" MacBook Pro with the 2.4ghz Intel i5. Battery life and portability are nice but I think that either the Air or Pro would be fine for my limited portability needs. I'm more concerned about cost and performance. Would I notice a dramatic speed improvement with the MacBook Air even though the processor is actually slower (1.3ghz vs. 2 ghz) than my current MacBook? Would the MacBook Pro performs significantly better than the Air in terms of dealing with thousands of images and PDFs? Would you expect the Pro to have a substantially longer lifespan? $1299 is more than I want to spend but it seems to bring quite a lot of more computing power. Do you see it as worth the extra $200? It's a lot harder to compare Macs these days now that ghz don't mean as much as they used to.

This post has been edited by kamens: 07 November 2013 - 03:50 AM

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#2 User is offline   Martian 

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 08:11 AM

I wonder if a RAM and/or SSD upgrade wouldn't solve your problem. Launch Activity Monitor and see if there is much in the way of "Page outs". More RAM will reduce or eliminate need for page outs, and an SSD will vastly speed up any page outs that are still required.

My wife's Late 2008 MacBook (Core 2 Duo, 2.4 GHz) showed vast improvements when RAM was bumped from 2 to 4GB, and again when the HD was swapped for an SSD. Unfortunately, I have no feel for whether these upgrades would work as well for YOUR uses as well as for my wife's less demanding uses. Perhaps you may find one of your collogues using a similar vintage but upgraded MacBook that you can compare.



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