Question Buying a Macbook Air or Pro: Looking for personalized processor, rAM, and storage recommendations?

Aug 29, 2020
Hi all-

I'm buying a Macbook Air or Pro, and I'm uncertain how strong a processor, how much RAM, and how much hard drive storage I should buy.

I'm a power user, in that I use 3 chrome users (for myself) on a daily/hourly basis, each that averages 20-30 open tabs at a time. I have 8 extensions enabled on 2 of the users, and 30 extensions enabled on the third user. I'm on my computer 10-14 hours per day.

I do some python / data science programming, but only in my free time (it used to be my job). So I'm not using large data sets or intense processing anymore.

I have had a 1TB hard drive for the past ~8 years, and I use it completely (have to periodically delete files due to needing more available storage).

That said I think I access files accordingly:

80 GB in applications / files I access daily
150 GB in movies I access once per month
100 GB in files, and 600 GB in movies/photos I look at once every 6 months (80% home movies / personal photos, 20% actual movies that I delete when more storage space is needed)
I'm thinking about buying 2TB iCloud storage with a 256GB hard drive instead of a 1TB hard drive (and 5GB cloud storage).

I occasionally use Photoshop, edit video, convert files, etc. but it's very rare (once every 6 months), so I'm not very concerned if those struggle when used.

I occasionally connect to two external monitors for work.

I like to save money, but I can afford a $2000-$2500 machine, although that stretches my budget.

What processor, RAM, and built-in storage do you recommend for me? Why?

Thanks, I filled out a laptop questionnaire below to ensure I'm covering everything:


Total budget (in local currency) and country of purchase. Please do not use USD unless purchasing in the US:


Are you open to refurbs/used?

I guess. Open but would need a big discount from it.

How would you prioritize form factor (ultrabook, 2-in-1, etc.), build quality, performance, and battery life?

Apple machines only. I probably prioritize performance, price, weight in that order (but don't just want to freely spend).

How important is weight and thinness to you?

I like it, but it's not that important. Less important than machine capability & price.

Do you have a preferred screen size? If indifferent, put N/A.

Whatever minimizes weight, but it's a minor preference and I'm open to whatever.

Are you doing any CAD/video editing/photo editing/gaming? List which programs/games you desire to run.

Occasionally, not enough that I feel like my machine needs to be very good at it, but I will have FinalCut and Photoshop installed.

If you're gaming, do you have certain games you want to play? At what settings and FPS do you want?

No gaming.

Any specific requirements such as good keyboard, reliable build quality, touch-screen, finger-print reader, optical drive or good input devices (keyboard/touchpad)?

Apple machines only, otherwise no.
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