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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Nov 04, 2013
    What is more important?
    Hi, new here, hoping to get an honest informed opinion on something. I plan on getting a 13" Macbook Air very soon, however have a bit of a budget. I will mainly be using this for basic iOS app/game development, along with basic use of pages for any essays or projects needed in class, and possibly some audio editing, but nothing too intense. When I order my Macbook, I am definitely getting the upgrade from 4Gb to 8Gb of RAM. My question is, what would be more important to add to this; upgrading the flash storage from 128Gb to 256Gb, or upgrading the i5 processor to an i7 and possibly buying an external hard drive in the future if storage becomes an issue? Any opinions or insights would be much appreciated.

  2. #2

    Derek McNelly's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 04, 2008
    Detroit, Michigan
    MacBook Pro 15" - 2.3 GHz Quad i7- 12GB RAM - 500GB SSD - 1TB HDD - macOS Sierra
    In your instance, the extra processor and an external hard drive sounds like the best bet. Mind you, 128GB of space is not much at all, but for what you're wanting to do, you'll probably be on the cloud a lot, anyway.
    MacBook Pro 2.3 GHz Quad i7 - 12GB RAM - 500GB SSD - 1TB HDD - macOS Sierra
    MacBook Air 1.3 GHz Core i5 - 4 GB RAM - 128 GB SSD - macOS Sierra

    MoTM February 2009

  3. #3

    osxx's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 19, 2008
    houston texas
    09 MBP 8GB ram 500GB HD OS 10.9 32B iPad 4 32GB iPhone 5 iOs7 2TB TC Apple TV3
    Storage 128 will fill in no time.

  4. #4

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    The cpu upgrade from the i5 to i7 would be about 16% faster. If you're buying a MacBook would probably prefer as much portability as possible...and not have to constantly be "fooling around" with external hard drives & cables.

    I would say that not having to constantly mess around with external HD's would be more beneficial than a 16% increase in performance. So I would go with the larger SSD.

    - Nick

    p.s. Of course if you went with the i7 also get the option to configure it with up to a 512gig SSD.
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  5. #5

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Texas, where else?
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
    HD size - none of us can answer that for you.
    I have around 12 TB of total storage here, everything with 2 and in some cases 3 backups - so, about 8-9 TB of it used
    When I checked my wife's computer yesterday, she has used only 45 GB space on her computer - that's her total over a 6 year period.

    How much space is used on your current computer - that's your best indicator.

    And if you have not budgeted for an external drive to backup your data at the same time as you buy the new computer - imho - get that before you pay for any upgrades.

    And... when you buy an external drive for additional primary storage - make sure you buy 2 so you can back that one up.

    Aside from all that - you can't upgrade the CPU later on. At least OWC (maybe others, have not looked) does make upgrades for the flash storage in the MBAa
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  6. #6

    Member Since
    Oct 08, 2013
    personally, my opinion would be to buy something other than an Air.

    i'd go with a used 13" Macbook Pro prior to an Air. ANY macbook Pro 13"... yeah.

    the air has an utterly emasculated processor, its incapable of upgrades (other than an SSD card upgrade later), and is quite flimsy. I've had them, fixed them, and wouldn't want one.

    Oh, and you get 3-4x' the battery life from a Pro. Heck you could buy a 4 yr old pro and put an SSD HDD in it, bump the ram to 8gb, and have equal (or better) performance than the Air.... and probably spend about 60% of the cost to do so.

    But that's my opnion... i've owned both.. and many other macs.

    Now, if you forced me to go with an Air, i'd go for the higher proce power now (to make up for the wimpy processing capacity), and lower HDD, then i'd plan to go third party on a larger HDD when the warranty expires.....

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