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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Nov 09, 2011
    15" rMBP Mid-2014 ~ iPad 4 16GB ~ iPhone 6 Plus 16GB
    MBP 13" vs. MBA 13"
    Hi all,

    I'd like an opinion on the following. I'm considering buying another notebook, being either MBA13" or MBP13". I've seen a few posts along these lines, but nothing since the recent model updates. The main MBA attraction to me is the extreme portability - it's very light and thin and has no spinning HDD (although the MBP also has an SSD option). Also, according to specs, MBA screen resolution is superior. Claimed battery life is also a huge plus.

    Now, I have an iMac that I'll use as a primary machine, but whenever away from it, the portable would have to take over, which would be quite often. These are my typical tasks: e-mailing, Word docs, Excel docs, Teamviewer, RDC...and the two main ones: Microchip (PIC) and Windows development. While Microchip has released a native OSX compiler, clearly Windows development requires a Windows machine. I currently run Win 7 Pro x64 with Fusion on my iMac (12GB RAM) and as can be expected, I have no performance issues. I don't develop huge Windows apps, but do use SQL Server Express for a couple of them.

    My thinking is that if I get a(n) MBA with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD, it should cut it. Allowing 4GB RAM for Windows should be plenty, as this is my current setting and all works well. There is also the option of Boot Camp, but in my view it defeats the purpose of buying an Apple product. The 1.8GHz or 2GHz i5 should also be reasonable.

    The other question is this. How does an SSD device deal with building projects over the longer term? Building creates a compiled output of every source file (say about 30-50 source files per project) and I'd build multiple times per day....although the compiled files would sit in the Virtual Disk.

    What are your thoughts?


  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Fort Worth, Texas
    27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    I can't answer your questions regarding building projects but since you have an iMac at home, it seems to me the MBA would be suitable for you. If it were to be your only machine, I would recommend the MBP instead.

  3. #3

    Member Since
    Nov 09, 2011
    15" rMBP Mid-2014 ~ iPad 4 16GB ~ iPhone 6 Plus 16GB
    Thanks chscag. Still on the fence though, as the Air becomes expensive with maxed-out RAM, CPU and SSD....particularly when not in the US. Once I decide and start working on the notebook, will feed back as to how it turned out.


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