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Macbook air with 8 GB RAM or Macbook Pro with 4GB?

Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:14 pm
by Amulet 26
Hi guys, if someone could help...
I'm between these two machines and I have no options to change nothing on them:
The late 2013 Macbook Pro - I5 2.4 Ghz ( turbo Boost 2.9Ghz )
With 4 GB of RAM

The 2014 ( current model ) Macbook Air-I5 1.4 Ghz ( Turbo Boost 2.7 Ghz )
With 8 GB of Ram
Both with 128 SSD HD

I don't know which is better for me.
What matters the most, twice the RAM or a faster processor?
This unit will be used only for live performance, playing with Live and using soft synths, not only the ones in Ableton, but also Reason in Rewired mode.
This concert shows the way I play with Live, using Push.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OreGd4j-l_A

Re: Macbook air with 8 GB RAM or Macbook Pro with 4GB?

Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:35 pm
by eddiex
get the pro all day!! faster processor!! upgrade the RAM yourself later if needed.

Re: Macbook air with 8 GB RAM or Macbook Pro with 4GB?

Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:39 pm
by login
The processor is far more important.

Re: Macbook air with 8 GB RAM or Macbook Pro with 4GB?

Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:55 pm
by Amulet 26
Thanks, the problem is that since late 2013 the RAM memory in Macbook Pro is soldered in the motherboard, so it's impossible to update later…

Re: Macbook air with 8 GB RAM or Macbook Pro with 4GB?

Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:09 pm
by yur2die4
Don't even bother with an Air. The Ultramobile processors are like half the performance (to know the type of processor, look at the letter at the end of the name of the processor, there is a U, or an M, maybe an H, you can also do searches for 'benchmark' comparisons of any two processors to see how they match up against each other for pure processing...which is essential for synthesizers and fx). So even a 1.4 i5 U processor would be terrible against maybe a 1.4 i5 M processor. There would be a massive difference in performance.

It looks like you use more direct creation of sounds and actual processing. 4 gigs of ram should be more than enough.

The only time ram gets crucial is if you are storing large amounts of data in the ram, either samples, samplers like Kontakt, maybe video. Having an SSD also helps you out a bit for performance.

I bet if you saved an entire set of yours and looked at how much storage the entire set took up, it'd be less than half a gigabyte.

Re: Macbook air with 8 GB RAM or Macbook Pro with 4GB?

Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:30 pm
by eddiex
Amulet 26 wrote:Thanks, the problem is that since late 2013 the RAM memory in Macbook Pro is soldered in the motherboard, so it's impossible to update later…
oh snap, haven't bought a new computer for a while. :? i'm still endorsing the pro. faster processor.

Re: Macbook air with 8 GB RAM or Macbook Pro with 4GB?

Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:42 pm
by yur2die4
Ahhhhh fuck. So, after looking on Wikipedia. Apparently some of the pros also have U processors.

So you'd really have to do a specific comparison with the models. I think the air is the 4260U. There are a lot of
Pros, so I couldn't figure out which yours would be.

Terrifyingly, the specs may not be as competitive as I initially thought... You'll have to do more research on comparisons and video reviews etc.

Re: Macbook air with 8 GB RAM or Macbook Pro with 4GB?

Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:56 pm
by Stromkraft
eddiex wrote:get the pro all day!! faster processor!! upgrade the RAM yourself later if needed.
If we're talking new you can't upgrade the RAM afterwards AFAIK. Not without resoldering.

Re: Macbook air with 8 GB RAM or Macbook Pro with 4GB?

Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:59 pm
by Stromkraft
Amulet 26 wrote: This unit will be used only for live performance, playing with Live and using soft synths, not only the ones in Ableton, but also Reason in Rewired mode.
You want the Pro. Why can't you get more RAM from the get go? Just sell some records or whatever. You can't skimp on a performance computer IMHO.

Re: Macbook air with 8 GB RAM or Macbook Pro with 4GB?

Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 12:01 am
by ohigetbywithalittlehelpfrommyfriends
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Re: Macbook air with 8 GB RAM or Macbook Pro with 4GB?

Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 12:06 am
by Stromkraft
yur2die4 wrote: I think the air is the 4260U. There are a lot of
Pros, so I couldn't figure out which yours would be.

Terrifyingly, the specs may not be as competitive as I initially thought... You'll have to do more research on comparisons and video reviews etc.
This Pro likely is the 4258U, a 22nm "Haswell" 2.4 GHz Intel "Core i5" CPU. I'm likely extreme but I think it's way better to sell stuff, lend or just work extra to be able to get the 4-core i7 15" Macbook Pros. Sometimes you just can't of course.

Re: Macbook air with 8 GB RAM or Macbook Pro with 4GB?

Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 12:12 am
by Stromkraft
ohigetbywithalittlehelpfrommyfriends wrote:
Stromkraft wrote:
eddiex wrote:get the pro all day!! faster processor!! upgrade the RAM yourself later if needed.
If we're talking new you can't upgrade the RAM afterwards AFAIK. Not without resoldering.
-stromkraft, someone earlier brought to his attention that the new ones are soldered, pay attention and quit trying to take credit for everything
In Internet slang, a troll (/?tro?l/, /?tr?l/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people,[1] by posting inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[3] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[4]
Troll (Internet), from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Re: Macbook air with 8 GB RAM or Macbook Pro with 4GB?

Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 12:46 am
by yur2die4
Uh yeah. If that is the processor on the Pro: http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core-i5-4 ... e-i5-4258U

There is barely any difference in performance.

If anything, different motherboards, different ram, different screen resolution, battery, all these factors might actually count for something.

I'd almost be tempted to go for the Air just because it is smaller/lighter.

I'd like to see if anyone has any further input when it comes to performance? I'm kind of surprised on this haha. Apparently Apple will slap Pro on anything these days

Re: Macbook air with 8 GB RAM or Macbook Pro with 4GB?

Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:49 am
by cpyatak
I just got my first Macbook Pro. It's taken a long time for me to get in a position to purchase one. I got a certified refurbished late 2013 13", i5 2.4, 8GB RAM, 256 SSD. Arrived less than a week ago. I'm still thrilled, but beginning to think this rig is going to last more like 2-4 years than 5-6. I'm a hobbyist on a pretty limited budget.

I have not yet done Tarekith's performance test.

I am running Live 9.1.6 Suite, 64 Bit, with Reason Rewired. Currently (as I type this) have a sketch going with 8 tracks, 4 of them samplers, 4 of them Reason 7 instruments rewired. Moderate use of effects per track (1-3) and one active send/return channel for reverb.

So far I'm a little surprised at how much of the processor is being used compared to my 2010 iMac running Snow Leapord, Live 8 Suite 32 Bit, Reason 4. That iMac is core2duo 2.0 GHz, 4GB RAM. However it is lightning fast and I haven't had any issues with dropouts. On my new mbp, with the sketch I was working on today (mentioned earlier), the (notoriously unreliable) CPU meter in live was stable at about 12 percent. On my iMac I'm not sure I ever saw anything ever get above 7%. However, I feel like it's hard to make a comparison because of the different program versions, OS versions, and 64 vs 32 bit.

I think the big issue regarding the RAM is, how much are you doing with VSTs? Looking at my activity monitor it looks like I've barely touched my RAM. Bottom line -- I love this computer but definitely do NOT skimp on processing power. Hope this helps!

Good luck!





Bottom line is I'm really happy with my new MBP. But you definitely want more processing power, especially if you're going to be running live AND rewiring Reason.

Re: Macbook air with 8 GB RAM or Macbook Pro with 4GB?

Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 8:02 am
by phakju
I'd be careful with the thermal behaviour of a MacBook Air. It tends to get hot really fast, which leads to horrible noise polution, unfortunately. And this even happens whilst looking at flash intensive web pages.

I just replacred my i7 air with the latest MBP 13" i7 and it is just fine, fan noise only in few situations.

Aside I would be careful to expect 4GB ram is enough. I assume you are still going to do a big investment. Then it would be pity if you would experience some limitatons f.e., if you would use many VSTs in projects or memory eating tools like Omnisphere. Since you might end up with significant performance issues, early drop outs, etc. So, whether 4Gb is sufficient, really depends on your VSTs usage.

Bottom line I would not go for the Air and I would look for options to get at least an 8GB ram MBP, even for the price if I had to wait for it a bit longer. Poor Apple move to stop us doing upgrades im RAM and SSD size.

Just my 2 cents and my consideratons for my last purchase ;)