I’m willing to buy a MacBook. I’d use it to code and minor Photoshop and video edit stuff. I live in Brazil - Macs are really expensive here.

I found some deals and I can get a 13” Macbook Air 1.4GHz i5 4GB Ram 128GB SSD for R$ 3250 - ~1200 dollars. However, I’m afraid of it's performance.

I can get a Retina 13" MacBook Pro i5 2.6GHz/8GB/128GB SSD for R$ 4300. That’s a huge difference, but If it’s worth I’m willing to save money and buy it. What are your suggestions? I’d like to hear from who’s used both of them!

  • I have a MacBook Air and so far it outperforms me all the time regardless. – Ruskes Feb 6 '15 at 3:05
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about shopping, which is off topic. – Daniel Feb 8 '15 at 1:12

Wait for 2015 model. I think Macbook air's price would drop a little more. If not, get the Macbook Pro with retina.

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  • Do you have any idea when are the models going to update? – Mateus Guimarães Feb 6 '15 at 17:43
  • There is always a new model of something coming down the line. And newer doesn’t mean better. For example, the Mac Mini I have from 2012 has better specs and better upgrade options than the newer Mac Mini model from 2014. So you should really just buy what you want, when you want and not wait for the next big thing. Because there will always be a newer thing and it’s not always a better thing. – JakeGould Feb 6 '15 at 22:49
  • What's wrong with waiting for just a few month when the buyer is willing to? Mac is expensive and he doesn't want to regret about his decision later. Now is just the worst time to buy a Macbook air because it has been out for 608 days now (CPU Speed bumps doesn't count). My Macbook air has been stolen in Oct 2014, I also need a new Macbook but I don't just buy it right then because it is not wise to do so. So I ended up buying a Mac mini 2012 Quad core model in Dec 2014. I saved $130 for my wait and I get the best Mac for myself. Again, why not just wait when New Macbook are coming out soon! – Ken Ratanachai S. Feb 8 '15 at 1:22
  • buyersguide.macrumors.com/#MacBook_Air browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks For your question about performance, 13-inch MacBook Pro i5 2.6GHz (Mid 2014) is 24% faster then a 13” Macbook Air 1.4GHz (Early 2014). Then problem with default configuration Macbook air is the "4GB RAM". OS X is RAM hungry, 4GB is way too small. But with the SSD memory swap will not slow down the system as much as in traditional HDD. But any how, 4GB will make the Macbook air obsolete real soon. – Ken Ratanachai S. Feb 8 '15 at 1:38
  • macrumors.com/2015/02/09/macbook-air-update-february @MateusGuimarães Here come the latest news. Let's see if my advice for you does any good. – Ken Ratanachai S. Feb 10 '15 at 9:23

If you are on a budget and concerned about price versus performance, I would recommend not buying a new model, but instead buying a refurbished model via a company like Other World Computing, Mac of All Trades or even directly from Apple.

In my experience, refurbished machines are as good as new and cost less. And in the case of Apple, they have the same 1 year warranty without having to pay anything else. And in many cases, the machines themselves are physically and operationally as good as new. Lots of times they are just returns from people who purchased the wrong machine or just decided to go with something else.

As far as MacBook Pro versus MacBook Air, the question of “power” is arbitrary at best. I do coding, systems administration and light graphic design work and I am using a Mac Mini. When I have used MacBook Air’s for this same level of work they work 100% fine for my needs. Some people feel they need “Pro” models because they have some self-exagerated requirements for the work they do; meaning they just want “the best” but honestly barely use the bells/whistles.

Unless you are doing some highly system intensive work—such as editing 8” x 11” photos at 1200dpi for pre-press or HD video work—then a MacBook Air is perfectly fine machine.

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  • Hi! Thanks for answering. Well, I live in Brazil and here we sadly don't have refurbished models :(. I think I'll stick with the MBA. – Mateus Guimarães Feb 6 '15 at 17:42

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