MacBook Air - which did you get and why?

I’ve got the original MacBook Air and it’s on its last legs.

Curious as to which MBA everyone got? There are some options that seem so arbitrary to me, for example:

  • Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU, 7‑core GPU and 16‑core Neural Engine (256GB)
  • Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU, 8‑core GPU and 16‑core Neural Engine (512GB)

I’m thinking of getting the 512GB (+$350) with 16GB (+$300) but I have no idea why. I won’t be doing anything overly intensive, but I’m working on an assumption the machine will last longer with a higher spec.


I ordered the 8-core GPU, 16GB RAM and 1TB HDD.

The storage is essential for me as I do a lot of video and audio work, and I run out regularly with 1TB so any less would be impossible for my workflow. The extra GPU core will hopefully make video work on it a little more snappy, at least I hope so! I won’t be rendering on it, just editing.

If you’re not doing intensive video work (or playing games), I’d say the 7-core, 8GB model will suffice, at least from what I’ve seen in reviews.

I’m buying because I am having back issues after carrying my 16" around for the last year. I’m not selling that though, and will keep it for rendering and working at home.

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That’s the one I went for with 1TB SSD and 16GB of memory with the expressed desire to keep this machine as long as possible. I don’t think I do anything that will benefit from 7-cores vs 8, so that was the only “compromise” that I made.

However, I think that 512GB is probably sufficient. Even on my 1TB 16" MacBook Pro I had over 512 GB free, and I do have a Mac mini with several large hard drives attached if I need to offload something.

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I ordered the 8-core GPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD. The Air is my travel computer and the last time that I travelled I was in Chicago in mid March facing a not-completely-unrealistic fear that I’d end up on the wrong side of a border closure. Then I had my 2019 Air, which is a bit underpowered to be used as a primary computer and that situation made me determined to carry more computing power with me in the future. The M1 Air fits that bill perfectly.

I went with 16GB, 512GB because I sometimes use VMs locally and they can take up a fair bit of both RAM and storage.

Now all I need is a world in which travel is a thing again :slight_smile: (I assume that’ll be the case in the second half of 2021)

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I need to preface this by saying that I bought an Intel i5 MacBook Air last spring. I was in a spot where waiting was not a viable option.
I just ordered an 8 core M1 Air for my wife to replace her dying, 2 year old PC. I am admittedly a bit jealous, but more looking forward to seeing it fly when it arrives.

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I went with the base Air because it was nearly an even $ swap for my 2017 macbook pro. Even though my macbook pro was in in pristine new condition outside and inside (it had just returned from a trip to the apple care doctor with a new battery and logic board), I hated the keyboard because it felt like a ticking time bomb that could go off at any moment. Now I have a safe computer until the new macbook pros arrive.

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For the configuration you want (16 GB/512GB) the MBA with the 8 core GPU is $50 more than the MBA with the 7 core GPU. So there’s that.

I just ordered a base model with 7 cores , 8GB as it is to be my portable machine to use on my lap, on my bed, wherever I go and I want coolness above power (though clearly I like power too, but the base has plenty for me it seems).

I did upgrade to 1TB SSD as I use FCP and Studio One and Xcode a lot, and the convenience of having everything on the one SSD is great.

I have to wait till Jan for the machine though as it’s a custom build :frowning:
That took some self control!