Another computer performance question... (Mac related)

I've been thinking about investing into a mac laptop.  My iMac is my main composing machine and works great, but if I'd like to have something with me to make my changes as needed and something to use for general work in my office at school and at home.

I don't need a 17"; MBP since it's not a ";composition"; machine but more a ";briefcase";.  I've really been back and forth between the Macbook Air and the Macbook.  I know I've asked people on here about the MBA performance and they said it rocked.  Now, I've spec-ed out both to be very similar with the only difference being the processor.

The MBA has the following...
-1.6GHz or 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 6MB on-chip shared L2 cache running 1:1 with processor speed
-1066MHz frontside bus
-2GB of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM onboard

My 13"; Macbook would have the following...
-2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB on-chip shared L2 cache running 1:1 with processor speed
-1066MHz frontside bus
-4GB (two 1GB SO-DIMMs) of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM

Will the cache size make that big of a difference? 

I'm already planning on getting it with the SSD, which is what we've guessed to make these things rock with big Sibelius scores.  Otherwise, the Macbook should outperform the MBA for all purposes right?  The only advantage the MBA has, other than the cache, is that its really thin (translation: easier to break).

Can someone please translate geek, I mean greek, to drummer?  :-)

The faster clockspeed of the MacBook's CPU would outweigh any performance drop caused by the smaller cache.

You state that the Macbook would have ";4GB (two 1GB SO-DIMMs)";. Did you mean two 2GB DIMMs? If so, that solidifies that the Macbook would definitely be a more powerful (as well as heavier and hotter) machine.
Yeah, I just copied and pasted without changing the rest of the info.  Any book I got would have 4gb.
You may already be accounting for this, but just in case...

If you'll be using a notebook for your main composition machine, be sure you're using a 7200RPM hard drive. Since you'll be doing a lot of streaming, this would be important since most stock models only spin at 5400RPM. CPU and RAM are first priority, but drive speed and good audio drivers will be next in line.

It's moreso a ";briefcase"; for composition stuff.  Many times I have to make changes at band camp or rehearsal early season and making them with a laptop is easier than hauling the iMac around.  Anyways, I was going to get the SSD hard disk.
Ah! I should have read more carefully. If you go that route, let us know how well the SSD performs for you. In theory, I'd think it would work well but I haven't been able to try it first hand.

Good luck!
One of the gents on here has been using an Air and said it has out performed his iMac.  He's attributed that to the SSD.
I am also looking to purchase a macbook, I'm looking more toward the macbook pro. I want lots of ram, but don't want to (nor can i afford) the extra thousand dollars for more ram. With a macbook pro, can you buy it and put more ram in later ?
Yes. You can purchase third  party ram and install it later. The installation process is VERY easy.
And cheaper.

I am now 1 step closer to purchasing my MacBook Pro.

I'm so giddy ! :-)
Now that there's a new lineup of Macs, and all but the bottom end is a ";Pro,"; I would recommend getting a refurbished model.  You can get one for $1350 that has a faster graphics card than the new $1700 model.  Same warranty and everything. 

CPUs are so fast now, you will not notice the difference between cache sizes or a 2.4 vs. a 2.53 GHz.

Another big thing for me is the previous generation has a express card slot.  The new one has a SD memory card slot.  With the expresscard, I have a PNY eSATA card ($15) that connects to an external desktop drive ($100 or less), so it's much faster than Firewire 800, USB 2.0, and even the internal drive on the MacBook Pro.
For what it's worth, the MacBook can also go up to 8GB of RAM if you want to upgrade.  The MacBook Air is stuck at the 2GB.  More samples need more RAM, but since you said it might be solely for edits and such, it might not matter.
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