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  1. Thread AuthorThread Author   #1  
    RavenSword's Avatar
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    Default Considering saving up for a Mac book air. Some questions though.

    So I've been in search for a personal computer for a while now for myself. We have a family computer, but its not that good.

    So I'm considering saving for a 13 inch Mac book air and use that as my computer in my room.

    I was considering a iMac, but wasn't sure if maybe a Mac book air would be better for me because of its portability and new has well chip design.

    However I never owned a Mac before and am not sure how good this is going to be for games. I know PCs are always the games machines, but I was wondering how far macs have come as games machines? Or would it not be worth getting if I wanted to do a but of gaming on it?

    Most my gamings on consoles, though.

    Can a Mac book air become your main computer, or is it better to go with a iMac or PC?

    Also, how we'll do Mac books play with google things like chrome? Is chrome hindered in anyway on Mac?
  2. #2  
    dobermansrule's Avatar
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    Default Re: Considering saving up for a Mac book air. Some questions though.

    I have a MacBook Air that I have had for about 2 or 3 years. I actually use that as my main computer, but I don't put a lot in it since it doesn't have that much storage space. Personally, I don't use it for gaming but from what I know, lots of games have been "made available" and "are compatible" with Macs now. As for gaming, are you talking about online gaming, CD gaming, or a different type?
  3. #3  
    SeanHRCC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Considering saving up for a Mac book air. Some questions though.

    Chrome runs fine on Macs (but i still prefer Safari personally).

    The macbook Air CAN run games just fine, but you're going to be limited to the internals that come with it, so if you find that some games won't run full out on it, you're kind of stuck because you won't be replacing any RAM or graphics cards on the inside of it. My 2012 MBP will run games just fine, I was playing CoD on it the other day and it was running beautifully...my early 2011 ran games just fine as well, i regularly played Portal 2 and Minecraft on it on max settings with no hiccups, but it was also maxed out spec wise.

    All that said, Mac's are not optimal gaming rigs, and will cost significantly more to get the same kind of gaming performance out of them vs. some microsoft based PC's...and leaving all that aside, the Macbook Air comes as it will always be, you're not going to be "building" a Macbook Air.

    A macbook can easily be a main computer, even the Air...my wife owns an iMac (actually two), but i only use my MBP. The Air would suffice just as well if you don't require a lot of internal storage.
    "Speed has never killed anyone; suddenly becoming stationary...that's what gets you." - Jeremy Clarkson
  4. Thread AuthorThread Author   #4  
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    Default Re: Considering saving up for a Mac book air. Some questions though.

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanHRCC View Post
    Chrome runs fine on Macs (but i still prefer Safari personally).

    The macbook Air CAN run games just fine, but you're going to be limited to the internals that come with it, so if you find that some games won't run full out on it, you're kind of stuck because you won't be replacing any RAM or graphics cards on the inside of it. My 2012 MBP will run games just fine, I was playing CoD on it the other day and it was running beautifully...my early 2011 ran games just fine as well, i regularly played Portal 2 and Minecraft on it on max settings with no hiccups, but it was also maxed out spec wise.

    All that said, Mac's are not optimal gaming rigs, and will cost significantly more to get the same kind of gaming performance out of them vs. some microsoft based PC's...and leaving all that aside, the Macbook Air comes as it will always be, you're not going to be "building" a Macbook Air.

    A macbook can easily be a main computer, even the Air...my wife owns an iMac (actually two), but i only use my MBP. The Air would suffice just as well if you don't require a lot of internal storage.
    As far as storage goes, I'm trying to do a lot of my stuff in the cloud, so it shouldn't be a issue. And I'm not opposed to buyi g a external hard drive if need be.

    Honestly, I'm going to probably prefer to do my gaming on my co soles anyway, since I find that experience more co for table. I just was worried that I wouldn't be able to play PC exclusive games like valve games, star craft, diablo, and maybe other games like torch lit or whatever. I don't expect to max out crisis on the thing. But I'd like to be able to play most of what I put on it, even if its mid graphics or whatever.

    Am I going to want to put windows on it?
  5. #5  
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    Default Re: Considering saving up for a Mac book air. Some questions though.

    Whether you want to put windows on it totally depends on what needs you'd personally have for it...when i was in school, I made sure i was boot camped with Windows (whatever the most recent was at the time), and earlier this year I tinkered with Windows 8 on my MBP, but I completely got rid of Windows all together as i don't have any use for it anymore.

    There are many exclusive PC ONLY games that you might want to bootcamp windows for since gaming seems to be important to you.
    "Speed has never killed anyone; suddenly becoming stationary...that's what gets you." - Jeremy Clarkson
  6. Thread AuthorThread Author   #6  
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    Default Re: Considering saving up for a Mac book air. Some questions though.

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanHRCC View Post
    Whether you want to put windows on it totally depends on what needs you'd personally have for it...when i was in school, I made sure i was boot camped with Windows (whatever the most recent was at the time), and earlier this year I tinkered with Windows 8 on my MBP, but I completely got rid of Windows all together as i don't have any use for it anymore.

    There are many exclusive PC ONLY games that you might want to bootcamp windows for since gaming seems to be important to you.
    How stable and reliable is bootcamping windows on the mac, though? i dont really want to hack my computer.
  7. #7  
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    Default Re: Considering saving up for a Mac book air. Some questions though.

    If you're really into gaming then MBA won't help you there, better go with a PC that uses decent GPU (Video Card).

    But if you're okay that some titles, especially recent titles aren't available in the OS X, then it may be alright,
    Even if you use bootcamp, there's still tradeoff with MBA or even iMac won't deliver the best graphics in game as good as a Gaming spec-ed PC.

    I myself chose to retire from PC Gaming and now uses MBP as my main computer.


    Sent from my iPod using Tapatalk
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  8. Thread AuthorThread Author   #8  
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    Default Re: Considering saving up for a Mac book air. Some questions though.

    Well, after thinking about it for a bit I think I'm going to get the air just for my computing needs. Like web browsing, word processing, email, video viewing on YouTube and websites, and my iTunes stuff.

    I do my gaming on consoles, and if I want to do PC gaming I can always build a respectable desktop PC for cheaper than a MBA and it'll run games better.

    Given that I'm probably going to be using e MBA just as my computer and not for gaming that much, do you think I can get away with 4gbs of RAM, or should I just get 8 gbs of RAM? What about storage? I'm trying to get most my stuff in the cloud these days, so I'm not sure how much storage I need.
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  9. #9  
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    Default Re: Considering saving up for a Mac book air. Some questions though.

    I'd go for the 8GB of RAM mostly because it is not user upgradeable. As far as hard drive space, look at what PCs the Air will be replacing to get an idea of your storage needs.
  10. #10  
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    Default Re: Considering saving up for a Mac book air. Some questions though.

    Quote Originally Posted by RavenSword View Post
    How stable and reliable is bootcamping windows on the mac, though? i dont really want to hack my computer.
    Bootcamp is an Apple native outlet for dual booting Windows on your computer along with OSX...it's perfectly stable, and has been shown to run Windows better than most Microsoft based computers.

    You CAN get away with 4GB of RAM, but if this computer is going to be with you for a few years, I'd go with 8GB...4GB is kind of like the industry minimum right now for a computer in the price range most Macs are, 8GB is going to retain a good bit of longevity, even with increasing tech standards year by year.
    "Speed has never killed anyone; suddenly becoming stationary...that's what gets you." - Jeremy Clarkson
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  11. Thread AuthorThread Author   #11  
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    Default Re: Considering saving up for a Mac book air. Some questions though.

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanHRCC View Post
    Bootcamp is an Apple native outlet for dual booting Windows on your computer along with OSX...it's perfectly stable, and has been shown to run Windows better than most Microsoft based computers.

    You CAN get away with 4GB of RAM, but if this computer is going to be with you for a few years, I'd go with 8GB...4GB is kind of like the industry minimum right now for a computer in the price range most Macs are, 8GB is going to retain a good bit of longevity, even with increasing tech standards year by year.
    Do I need to bump the processor up as well?
  12. #12  
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    Default Re: Considering saving up for a Mac book air. Some questions though.

    Nah, the standard i5's will be fine, even if you dabble in gaming on the MBA...if that computer is going to primarily pull browsing and your normal laptop duties, you don't really need to get into the higher spec'ed processors. I'd probably spend that $150 on a nice external drive so you have some storage options.
    "Speed has never killed anyone; suddenly becoming stationary...that's what gets you." - Jeremy Clarkson
  13. #13  
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    Default Re: Considering saving up for a Mac book air. Some questions though.

    Quote Originally Posted by RavenSword View Post
    Do I need to bump the processor up as well?
    Not for your given uses of the Air.
  14. #14  
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    Default Re: Considering saving up for a Mac book air. Some questions though.

    Quote Originally Posted by RavenSword View Post
    How stable and reliable is bootcamping windows on the mac, though? i dont really want to hack my computer.
    My iMac is boot camped, and remember its supported by Apple. It's been dead nuts reliable. It's a late 08 model (8,1) I upped the ram to four gigs. I use an external drive for iTunes.

    I haven't looked at the benchmarks yet, but the Intel 5000 grapics are supposed to have some umph. Not as great as what's available on some desktops, but you're only driving a 1440 x 900 display.

    Sean and others have posted good advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by RavenSword View Post
    Well, after thinking about it for a bit I think I'm going to get the air just for my computing needs. Like web browsing, word processing, email, video viewing on YouTube and websites, and my iTunes stuff.

    I do my gaming on consoles, and if I want to do PC gaming I can always build a respectable desktop PC for cheaper than a MBA and it'll run games better.

    Given that I'm probably going to be using e MBA just as my computer and not for gaming that much, do you think I can get away with 4gbs of RAM, or should I just get 8 gbs of RAM? What about storage? I'm trying to get most my stuff in the cloud these days, so I'm not sure how much storage I need.
    More ram is almost always better and in this case since it isn't upgradable, I would go with 8. What is important, is do you intend to travel with this computer or is it going to sit on a desk ? If it's a desk, 256 gig and attach an external hard drive to your Air or PC and run it as an iTunes server. (Later, update to an AirPort Extreme and then plug it into there.) if its going to be a road machine too, then get the 512 gig.
    Based on your statement that you were saving up for it, I would also look into what the MacBook Pros have to offer after they are updated.
  15. Thread AuthorThread Author   #15  
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    Default Re: Considering saving up for a Mac book air. Some questions though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Willie View Post
    My iMac is boot camped, and remember its supported by Apple. It's been dead nuts reliable. It's a late 08 model (8,1) I upped the ram to four gigs. I use an external drive for iTunes.

    I haven't looked at the benchmarks yet, but the Intel 5000 grapics are supposed to have some umph. Not as great as what's available on some desktops, but you're only driving a 1440 x 900 display.

    Sean and others have posted good advice.



    More ram is almost always better and in this case since it isn't upgradable, I would go with 8. What is important, is do you intend to travel with this computer or is it going to sit on a desk ? If it's a desk, 256 gig and attach an external hard drive to your Air or PC and run it as an iTunes server. (Later, update to an AirPort Extreme and then plug it into there.) if its going to be a road machine too, then get the 512 gig.
    Based on your statement that you were saving up for it, I would also look into what the MacBook Pros have to offer after they are updated.
    What would a macbook pro offer for my wants over the air? I don't think I can game on a pro.
  16. #16  
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    Default Re: Considering saving up for a Mac book air. Some questions though.

    Quote Originally Posted by RavenSword View Post
    What would a macbook pro offer for my wants over the air? I don't think I can game on a pro.
    Depending in which MBP you got, they have a discrete graphics card in addition to on board graphics which makes them a bit better at games than the Air but certainly not as good as a high end windows desktop with a high powered graphics card.

    The MBP also has more storage options and since it can use standard platter based hard drives it can have a lot more storage space. Also the DVD drive.

    The non retina MBP also has a user serviceable hard drive bay and memory slots for future upgrades.

    But based on your uses for it, the Air should suit your needs just fine.
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  17. Thread AuthorThread Author   #17  
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    Default Re: Considering saving up for a Mac book air. Some questions though.

    I still wonder if I should get the 256 storage instead of 128. The thing is, is it worth saving 200 bucks if the storage isn't upgradable at all. Would it be best just to go 256?
  18. #18  
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    Default Re: Considering saving up for a Mac book air. Some questions though.

    Quote Originally Posted by RavenSword View Post
    I still wonder if I should get the 256 storage instead of 128. The thing is, is it worth saving 200 bucks if the storage isn't upgradable at all. Would it be best just to go 256?
    No one ever complains about having too much storage. Especially if its your main computer.
  19. #19  
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    Default Re: Considering saving up for a Mac book air. Some questions though.

    Quote Originally Posted by RavenSword View Post
    What would a macbook pro offer for my wants over the air? I don't think I can game on a pro.
    My MBP can play games perfectly (it's a mid 2012 model). The macbook pro is going to offer you a better processor, better internal storage features (if you get the non-retina model), cheaper and higher RAM options (again, with the non-retina model), and a CD/DVD drive (that you can replace with a second storage drive if you so choose, upping the internal storage even more)...you get a better graphics setup, larger screen, more USB inputs, thunderbolt port (the Air may have this now), ethernet port, DVI/HDMi port...basically, you have a lot more functionality in what can be connected to it.

    A couple of cons are the weight (it weighs a good bit more than the Air does) and battery life (battery life obviously won't be as good). The Macbook Pro is a significantly more feature rich and capable laptop than the Air, but it's also more money and really, it's meant to pull a different load (for lack of better term).

    Quote Originally Posted by RavenSword View Post
    I still wonder if I should get the 256 storage instead of 128. The thing is, is it worth saving 200 bucks if the storage isn't upgradable at all. Would it be best just to go 256?
    Storage needs vary so much between one person to another, it's impossible for us to really help you with this. To me, the SSD in these new machines is primarily there to run the OS and then storage secondarily, and because of that, buying an external drive is a much smarter route for me vs. upgrading an expensive internal SSD with just a hair more storage space. External drives are so small these days they easily fit in a computer bag, and while getting a surge protector today at Office Depot, i saw they had a 1TB external hard drive for $69.99...why settle for just over 100GB for almost twice the money (if not more) when you could have 1TB of storage AND have the ability to connect it to whatever you wanted to.
    "Speed has never killed anyone; suddenly becoming stationary...that's what gets you." - Jeremy Clarkson
  20. #20  
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    Default Re: Considering saving up for a Mac book air. Some questions though.

    Quote Originally Posted by RavenSword View Post
    I still wonder if I should get the 256 storage instead of 128. The thing is, is it worth saving 200 bucks if the storage isn't upgradable at all. Would it be best just to go 256?
    There are after-market SSD upgrades available for the previous MBA models... the brand new ones (mid-2013 models) use a different architecture, and the after-market SSDs for the existing line won’t work in the new MBAs... but expect them to eventually be available... however, if storage is a concern, max it out now and save the worry down the road.
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  21. #21  
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    Default Re: Considering saving up for a Mac book air. Some questions though.

    As a main computer if you email and browse it will be fine.

    I'm not a gamer but I have a mbp and honestly all I use it for is web browsing.

    Sent from my game boy color
  22. #22  
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    Default Re: Considering saving up for a Mac book air. Some questions though.

    Quote Originally Posted by RavenSword View Post
    What would a macbook pro offer for my wants over the air? I don't think I can game on a pro.
    It's a larger, heavier, more powerful, and a little more upgradable machine. An Air will suit your needs well, but if it's just going to sit on a desk, you might want to look into one.

    You mention web, YouTube, email, ect. Have you ever considered an iPad ? I have a laptop that's provided to my by my office, but unless I am using specialized work related software, it's in its bag, and I am using the iPad. If you would like I can go into more depth of the benefits of sharping an iTunes account and Kindle account with the wife, and the wife will buy a TV Show season and even if I am 4400 miles away, I can still watch it. (And how good the $59.99 MS BT keyboard that I picked up for $12.99 on clearance is. )
  23. #23  
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    Default Re: Considering saving up for a Mac book air. Some questions though.

    I work at Apple and get a lot of questions like this. The air is a light duty machine designed for Office, Web, etc. it does have an integrated HD 4000 but it has a low power CPU that is really bad for even light gaming unless you are playing Chess, Scrabble, etc (non FPS games) As other mentioned, Ram is not upgradeable at all. The ram is part of the Motherboard. It can never be upgraded by anyone, including apple.
    The MBP also has the same HD 4000 but it has a much faster processor. If you put 8GB ram in the MBP, it allocates 768MB to the video card. With 4GB I think it defaults to 256MB.
    You can also upgrade the Ram on the MBP yourself. If you are an advanced user, you can also remove the optical drive, slap in an SSD yourself on the main HD bay and move the 500GB HD to the optical drive bay.
    If you go with the iMac, it offers even more.
    The iMac uses a Desktop Quad core processor, not a mobile Dual Core like the laptop. It comes with 8GB ram by default but isn't user upgradeable later. (8GB is plenty for most everyone).
    The iMac also has a Dedicated Graphics card, nVidia 640m with it own memory, 512MB. (i.e. won't be borrowing from system memory)
    The iMac also has a 1TB HD. Great for Bootcamping windows 7/8 and both run flawlessly. Not to mention, iMacs use True IPS monitors that are amazing looking, and are calibrated at the factory for Great color accuracy. Not your average cheap TN panel from bestbuy.

    I tested the base model 21.5" ($1299) and I loaded World of Warcraft trial on it just to see how it performed.
    I was able to run Wow at full resolution (1920 x 1080) on High settings (turned shadows to low and 2x ms) averaged 40 FPS.

    If portability is important, go with MBP, I think you will be more happy with it in the long run. If you don't mind having a desktop mac. The iMac is a Lot more power for the money.

    I have the 27" latest model, the top model with the nVidia 680MX 2GB graphics card and 16GB Ram with the 3.2Ghz i5 and it is Very fast.
    I play GuildWars 2 at native resolution 2560 x 1440 on highest settings possible and get 55-65 FPS using Windows 8 bootcamp.

    iMac Rocks.
  24. #24  
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    Default Re: Considering saving up for a Mac book air. Some questions though.

    I don't think the SSD swap (and even the dual boot HDD and SSD configuration) really takes an "advanced" user to do, it's very straight forward and there are some very easy to follow and exact to detail videos online to use.
    "Speed has never killed anyone; suddenly becoming stationary...that's what gets you." - Jeremy Clarkson
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  25. #25  
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    Default Re: Considering saving up for a Mac book air. Some questions though.

    Quote Originally Posted by mayconvert View Post
    I work at Apple and get a lot of questions like this. The air is a light duty machine designed for Office, Web, etc. it does have an integrated HD 4000 but it has a low power CPU that is really bad for even light gaming unless you are playing Chess, Scrabble, etc (non FPS games) As other mentioned, Ram is not upgradeable at all. The ram is part of the Motherboard. It can never be upgraded by anyone, including apple. <Snip>
    The new Airs have the HD 5000, plus he's saving his money and hopefully the MBP and the iMacs are updated soon. But that's not the reason for this post... You state that you're an Apple employee, do you have any inkling of how much damage the new MacPro is going to do to someone's wallet ???
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