Question Which MacBook model would be right for me?

swiftleeo

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Jul 20, 2014
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I'm trying to make a decision, but I'm having a little trouble. To provide some backstory, I've been a Windows user almost all my life. I've dabbled in Linux and even MacOS (atleast Hackintosh-wise), but primarily Windows has been my OS of choice. i've built a couple systems, including my current i7-4790k GTX 1080Ti 16GB 2400Mhz RAM build that I'm calling "Little Red" (Anything but little in the Cooler Master HAF X case that she plays in). However, I hardly ever game anymore and when I do, I actually prefer console simply because I dont have to worry about it not working correctly or not being optimized for my hardware, all that bs. With that being said...

I've been heavily invested in researching Mac & Macbooks over the past couple weeks and I'm at a crossroads. Originally I had my eyes on the new MacBook Air 2020 with an i5 upgrade (the i3 would be too painful imo). It looks just about what I would need in terms of performance (mainly would be using it for streaming, browsing the web, reading e-mail, and pretty much no gaming at all. I don't see a reason to get the i7, nor the 16GB RAM upgrade, as I won't be doing any video editing or heavy multitasking. Might have a couple tabs open, but you get the picture. However, the size is a little concerning. Granted we are talking a laptop here, not a desktop, but I'm used to 21inch+ monitors (currently running a 27" Dell). I feel as if a 13" screen would be very hard to get used to, and I noticed the MacBook Pro has a 16" option, albeit for about $1,000 more (as well as some beefier hardware that I probably don't need).

So TL;DR, should I just get the MacBook Air 2020 with an i5, and hook it up to a bigger secondary display when necessary, or should I go for the MacBook Pro 16" with an i7 and 3 inches more screen as well as much more performance and a dedicate GPU? This would be my first Mac system ever, and I'm really excited to get into it because from what I've experienced with my hackintosh besides the glitches, I love the OS and I'm ready to make the switch to the Apple side. I already have an iPhone and an Apple Watch, soo why not. I appreciate any help you can give me. If I posted this in the wrong thread, I apologize in advance :)
 
Aug 18, 2019
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it depends on how much you want to spend and if you can afford it. if you are used to big displays then the 16" would be better for you. i own a 13" 2017 MBP and it's small (which is what i wanted) but yeah, i do run out of screen once in a while. my MBP has the same screen size and resolution as the 13" 2020 Air, so it's fair to compare the two.

the 16" is also a MUCH more powerful machine. for your use that doesn't really matter, but it gives you more headroom if you ever want to edit a video or something. it should handle it no problem at all.

but again, it comes down to what you can and are willing to spend. the 13" 2020 Air is a very good machine, and will be fine for your use as it is, if what you mean by streaming is watching video, not actually streaming it.
 

swiftleeo

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I have a 14" Chromebook so I have a reference point for the size without actually measuring anything. It does seem a tad bit small, but if I'm not mistaken you can hook up a MacBook Air to an external display via some sort of adapter? If this is the case, I think I would be okay with a 13.3" screen overall, but I would want to hook it up to a bigger monitor when I'm at home. The resolution on the Air is 2560x1600. Would a 2560x1440 monitor look wierd with that or does it scale pretty well?

Another factor is that I am planning on keeping my PC build solely for gaming, so the monitor would also be used for that so I definitely want 1440p resolution, 144hz, and G Sync, and I think Ive found a really nice LG for $500 that would do the job. I know I said in my OP that I prefer console gaming, but its not as simple as that. Its really moreso my current TN panel. It works flawlessly but I didnt know much about monitors when I bought it, and had I known that the color accuracy was going to be way off in return for a 1ms refresh, I would of chosen something else.
 

swiftleeo

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Retina MacBooks run the screen scaled. the default scaling is 1440x900, so it will always look different than a normal screen.
Gotcha. I think I might as well get the 13" 2020 MBA with the quad core i5 and 16GB of RAM. I can always hook it up to my external display if I need a larger screen when at home, and the smaller form factor will be beneficial when Im travelling as I always hated lugging around my old HP Envy 17" laptop from 10 years ago (granted it had to be atleast 8-10 pounds versus the 3 pounds of the Air). I suppose this is a bit off-topic but also on topic... somewhere in the middle; If I get the 256GB SSD model, how well would a Thunderbolt external SSD run things? I dont know if external drives work on Mac like they do on Windows where you can run games/programs and what not, but it seems to me like as long as the performance difference is negligible, im better off getting an external drive if I need one later on than paying the premium for extra storage from Apple.
 
Aug 18, 2019
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If I get the 256GB SSD model, how well would a Thunderbolt external SSD run things? I dont know if external drives work on Mac like they do on Windows where you can run games/programs and what not, but it seems to me like as long as the performance difference is negligible, im better off getting an external drive if I need one later on than paying the premium for extra storage from Apple.
i'm not sure you can run programs off of them, i've never had to do so. you can use them as storage of course, but i've never tried running an app off of one... i'd look that up to confirm it.
 
I'm trying to make a decision, but I'm having a little trouble. To provide some backstory, I've been a Windows user almost all my life. I've dabbled in Linux and even MacOS (atleast Hackintosh-wise), but primarily Windows has been my OS of choice. i've built a couple systems, including my current i7-4790k GTX 1080Ti 16GB 2400Mhz RAM build that I'm calling "Little Red" (Anything but little in the Cooler Master HAF X case that she plays in). However, I hardly ever game anymore and when I do, I actually prefer console simply because I dont have to worry about it not working correctly or not being optimized for my hardware, all that bs. With that being said...

I've been heavily invested in researching Mac & Macbooks over the past couple weeks and I'm at a crossroads. Originally I had my eyes on the new MacBook Air 2020 with an i5 upgrade (the i3 would be too painful imo). It looks just about what I would need in terms of performance (mainly would be using it for streaming, browsing the web, reading e-mail, and pretty much no gaming at all. I don't see a reason to get the i7, nor the 16GB RAM upgrade, as I won't be doing any video editing or heavy multitasking. Might have a couple tabs open, but you get the picture. However, the size is a little concerning. Granted we are talking a laptop here, not a desktop, but I'm used to 21inch+ monitors (currently running a 27" Dell). I feel as if a 13" screen would be very hard to get used to, and I noticed the MacBook Pro has a 16" option, albeit for about $1,000 more (as well as some beefier hardware that I probably don't need).

So TL;DR, should I just get the MacBook Air 2020 with an i5, and hook it up to a bigger secondary display when necessary, or should I go for the MacBook Pro 16" with an i7 and 3 inches more screen as well as much more performance and a dedicate GPU? This would be my first Mac system ever, and I'm really excited to get into it because from what I've experienced with my hackintosh besides the glitches, I love the OS and I'm ready to make the switch to the Apple side. I already have an iPhone and an Apple Watch, soo why not. I appreciate any help you can give me. If I posted this in the wrong thread, I apologize in advance :)
My concern would be ports, not really looked but the 2019 air and base 13” pro only had 2 TB3 ports. A charger and dongle for your monitors would take both up. Plus they’re both on one side which is a bit of an arse sometimes.
 

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