So I had the 2010 core 2 duo 1.86GHz, 128gb SSD 13" Macbook Air for a little while and was wondering if I should upgrade to the new i5 model since I read it is twice as fast.
I could not really find any comparrisons for Lightroom use. Only output render benchmarks wich are useless IMO because it does not tell you anything about how LR handles.
But I got a good deal on a used 2011 13" wich I picked up last night and have just done some comparrisons.
Unfortunatly I have discovered that it has the slow SSD wich is actually slower than my old 2010 Air :/ However I dont think it makes much differrence in real use.
First I importet a catalog with 170 images plus 2 videos from USB. This took 1m 31s on 2011 and surprisingly only 1m 22s on the 2010?!? It might be a fluke I dont know.
I tried rendering 100% previews using one thread/operation:
2011: 6m 29s
2010: 11m 48s
I then tried using two threads/operations:
2011: 6m 32s
2010: 11m 42s
So no advantage in running more operations at once like with my i7 iMac.
But the heres the thing I consider most important. How fast does it render/load preview when viewing in develop. When using full 21MP RAW files from 5D mkII the difference in load times in develop was 2-3 seconds in favor of the 2011 i5. When viewing sRAW 10MP it was about 1 second. Not a huge differrence no, but when running throug 1500 images from a wedding, that can in theory save you some time.
The backlit keyboard should be a welcome edition when using it at a dark reception.
But if you are wondering if a Macbook Air is useable for Lightroom, then yes it runs very well. But you really want an external better screen if doing anything important.
Hope someone finds this usefull and feel free to comment.