Is i7 worth it on the 11" Air if I want Parallels?

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Hi all, I'm looking at getting the 11" Air with 8GB of ram, then either the 128 or 256GB hard drive. I use it just for office work, so mostly web based tasks, Office etc, but I also need to have Parallels on it with Windows 8 running all the time for Windows apps that aren't for Mac. I have a MacBook Pro right now the 13" Late 2013 one with 2.4Ghz i5, but 4GB of ram, but this computer is so slow I can't handle it. If I have too much open it just crawls. I'm pretty sure it's due to the 4GB of ram being the issue, so was hoping to get a new one with 8 and then give 2 or so to Windows and leave it running during the day. Options wise I can do the normal i5, or upgrade to the i7, or can get the Haswell version still with i7.

On the Mac side the apps that are typically always open would be a few safari tabs, prob 10 or so chrome tabs, FileMaker, Excel, Word, iMessage, Calculator, Text Edit, and maybe Skype. Then on Parallels or VMWare it would probably just be IE with a few tabs open and Excel/Word as there's documents that don't work on Office for Mac.

So just wondering, would the i7 be worth the extra price for these type of tasks? Or is it more beneficial when rendering video and so on? Just curious how important it is in terms of virtualization, as I'm guessing that more ram is what makes the big difference. Thanks!
 
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Both processor power and ram/memory make the difference when it comes to speed. Here is a link comparing the two:

Benchmarks Confirm New MacBook Air Brings Decent Speed Improvements, MacBook Pro Less So - Mac Rumors

I guess I am wondering why you are going from a 13" to 11" display? With all you are planning for this laptop that is a very small screen. Plus the MacBook Air 13" has longer battery life.

I would recommend the 256GB SSD. That space gets used faster than you think. I have seen several posts on the forum where a person is lamenting that they wish they had gotten the larger SSD.

If I were ordering with all you have planned I would definitely go for the i7 and 8GB of memory (with the 256GB SSD too!)

Just my 2 cents!

Lisa
 
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Thanks Lisa. I've owned the 11" before, had it two times in the past and always liked it. I decided on the 13" in the end though because of the larger display for work and what not, but now I'm always using my PC desktop for work during the day. So it's more just when traveling or working from a partner location where I have an external display anyway. I always loved when on vacation even putting it in a sleeve and being able to carry it in one of those drawstring bags on my back since it was so small.

Right now I'm just debating on the i5 or i7 but with the 256GB as I have 6GB free on my current 128 so might as well. Just hate how expensive Apple makes their storage as it's like $250 more just for 256. Here's what it comes down to (in Canadian funds) and what I'm going back and forth on:

At Best Buy I can get the 4th gen Haswell version with i7, 256GB and 8GB of ram for $1449.

At Apple with edu discount that same machine but with Broadwell is $1564. If I do it with i5 then it is $1407 and that's sort of where I'm leaning.

I really wanted the new MacBook but I think the Core M will kill me, so going to hold off as I'm sure a year or two from now it will be able to support normal processors. So this machine is more of a place holder until that time. So I think what it will come down to is is it more worth it to spend $1407 for the latest i5 with 8GB and 256, or spend like $40 more for last gen but have the i7. Since it's last years i7 anyway I feel like the current gen i5 is probably closer to that anyway.
 

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