I am planning to buy the new Macbook Air 13", as I need something more mobile, but only have a limited budget. So the Air 13" seems like a perfect solution.

Currently I have a iMac which I bought nearly 4 years ago. And I need to know if it is worth changing for a MBA. I use the iMac for adobe photoshop, illustrator, After Effects, etc. Nothing high end just basic stuff graphic programming, no advanced video editing.

I am just wondering what is more powerful the new Macbook Air 13" Hashwell 1.3Ghz Intel Graphics 5000, 4GB Ram. For the graphics programming I will be doing on it.

Or my iMac:

2.66 Core Duo 2
Nvida Graphics 256
4GB Ram

Just a side note, what is the new MBA like for doing iOS development using the latest version of Xcode? Would it be slow?

1 Answer 1


The 2010 11 inch Air is so much faster than a Core 2 Duo - top of the line, 15 inch MacBook pro that it's really not much of a comparison between the newer 2013 Air and anything that isn't a pro based logic board (the 27 inch iMacs tend to be the highest of end "mobile" processors with logic boards that tend towards the pro range).

Unless you need a larger display, I see no reason to shift your entire workload to any of the three last Air machines if you don't wait undue minutes for builds in Xcode to complete. From where I sit, the SSD drives and the 2013 processor lineup make for extremely productive workstations in the Air form factor.

  • Geek bench validates this claim; I'm surprised tbh. However, MBA's are MUCH more susceptible to heat, and will throttle more than an iMac at the same CPU usage. So I'm not sure about the net result.
    – Alexander
    Jul 2, 2013 at 7:07
  • @XAleXOwnZX You are absolutely correct. The Air has no large volume of metal to cushion the CPU as it generates more heat. Just like a large cast iron flywheel can soften a clunky early 1900-era diesel engine, the larger chassis of the MacBook Pro and iMac line smooth over 30 second bursts of CPU activity. On the Air, the fan needs to rev up within half a second of the CPU coming under load to prevent overheating and throttling of the clock rate to control heat generation.
    – bmike
    Jul 2, 2013 at 13:42

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