Macbook Air 11" (2012) 8GB Ram, 128 GB SSD: i5 vs. i7 as travel companion for a little LR4/Aperture 3
Currently Being ModeratedRe: Macbook Air 11" (2012) 8GB Ram, 128 GB SSD: i5 vs. i7 as travel companion for a little LR4/Aperture 3Dec 31, 2012 9:11 AM (in response to Vinc3nt)
I've been using Lightroom & Aperture on and off as a "casual enthusiast" for the past 4 years across multiple different machines (i3s with 2GBs of RAM, i5s with 4/8GB, i7s with 16GB) and I've come to the conclusion that it boils down to this -
1.) You can never have enough available resources/processing power. Whether it's RAM or CPU, you won't find yourself ever saying: "Man this computer is too fast for my needs." When you tell your computer to do something, you'll always be waiting for it to then perform that action. It might 1 milisecond or 10 minutes but you're still waiting even if it's so fast that it gives the appearance of an instant response.
2.) "Maxing out" a unit is an excellent strategy when purchasing a computer. Especially on computers, like the MacBook Air where upgrading them at a future point in time to keep it current is impossible. The CPU you buy today will be the CPU you'll have until you part with the computer. So bumping things up to the maximum like RAM and CPU capabilities would be considered as smart by people who like to "future proof." That being said, if you're the type of person (like myself) who upgrades their portabilities every 8-14 months this maxing out strategy may not be most beneficial. Especially considering, in my case, I sell my existing unit in preparation for the newer models and in order to reduce my out of pocket find that the base models resell much faster and with the best ROP (Return on Purchase, I don't consider a computer an investment).
3.) If you are the type of purchase, like my girlfriend, who buys a computer and will use it until the end of days (5 years typically) then maxing out every available slider, option or upgrade is almost a no brainer. Because in 5 years when the computer's hardware is barely relevant that extra oomph she purchased initially allows her to get a much better DOP (Duration of purchase) versus someone who didn't spend the extra money for the extra performance.
So personally, if you can afford the CPU upgrade, you intend to hold onto the machine for several years and you value your time as money then every bit helps. I'd say... Go For It!
However if the finances are tight, if you don't intend to make this 11" MBA your bread & butter, go to, workhorse then hold off and put that $$ to use on something like AppleCare, peripherals or accessories.
Yes, the i7 is faster. But at the end of the day it's still a dual core low voltage CPU and the differences between both CPUs in practical usage is not going to be so extreme that time will stop.