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View Full Version : 2010 air still good for everyday use?




zxspectrum
Oct 30, 2012, 08:04 PM
I have been thinking of getting a 2nd hand MacBook Air to use until this time next year when I will upgrade to a retina MacBook 13" (hopefully with haswell).

I have seen a 2010 MacBook Air (1.86ghz c2d/4gb) available for around 500.

My question is will it be ok to run mountain lion? Or will it be painfully slow?

Thanks



crazzyeddie
Oct 30, 2012, 08:54 PM
I use a 2010 MBA, 2.13ghz, 4GB, and its fine. It chokes during multitasking because of only having two threads, but 95% of the time its perfectly fine.

Acronyc
Oct 30, 2012, 09:06 PM
I've been using a 2010 11" 128/4 as my main machine for the past two years and have rarely ran into any slowdown issues. Granted, my usage is not heavy (lots of research and writing), but even with many apps open at once it still moves along nicely. I installed Mountain Lion upon release and it has been running smoothly ever since. As long as it has 4GB of RAM, which I see that it does, you should be fine.

zxspectrum
Oct 31, 2012, 05:25 AM
thanks for your replies.

I would also like to use garageband on it. I wonder how it would run that?

Is it ok with 1080p playback?

ooans
Oct 31, 2012, 06:04 AM
thanks for your replies.

I would also like to use garageband on it. I wonder how it would run that?

Is it ok with 1080p playback?

My 11" 2010 1.4ghz 4GB RAM MBA can play 1080p youtube without a problem. However, at some point the flash updates caused a problem with this, but then it was fixed. Hopefully upcoming Flash updates will not break this again.

I dont recall ever having problems with playing video files.

Garageband and audio software in general are not very heavy unless you are using very many plugins and/or tracks. I often use Logic Pro with mine and there has been no problem.

Mountain Lion can be choppy at times, but overall the experience is OK. However, I can only feel dread when thinking about the next Mac OS update... if it will be supported at all with slower Core 2 Duo.

zxspectrum
Oct 31, 2012, 08:46 AM
My 11" 2010 1.4ghz 4GB RAM MBA can play 1080p youtube without a problem. However, at some point the flash updates caused a problem with this, but then it was fixed. Hopefully upcoming Flash updates will not break this again.

I dont recall ever having problems with playing video files.

Garageband and audio software in general are not very heavy unless you are using very many plugins and/or tracks. I often use Logic Pro with mine and there has been no problem.

Mountain Lion can be choppy at times, but overall the experience is OK. However, I can only feel dread when thinking about the next Mac OS update... if it will be supported at all with slower Core 2 Duo.

Its good to know it can run logic pro without problems! Hopefully the extra mhz in the 13" will stop it from being choppy...

Mac32
Oct 31, 2012, 09:41 AM
I'm using one now, and it works very well. No real issues at all. One annoying thing though. At some point flash started hanging for 1/3-1/2 second once in a while. This is not because of an underpowered CPU, but because of bad programming/a bad update. My MBP 2009 model also developed the same issue, maybe it would be fixed by reinstalling OSX Snow Leopard..dunno.

Anyway, keep away from Lion and Mountain Lion, and you'll be fine. Snow Leopard is a brilliant OS, and is the best OSX version for slightly older macs.

JonLa
Oct 31, 2012, 11:00 AM
My 2010 13" Air runs ML no problem - apart from the battery life is more like 4 hours. Another thread I'm in suggested that SL keeps the higher battery life.

I've used iMovie on it quite a bit and it only chugs a little when actually processing and rendering. Similarly handbrake can take a while to convert a dvd where a core i5 iMac could do the same file in a few minutes.

Psychj0e
Oct 31, 2012, 11:06 AM
I have a basic 2010 macbook air (2gb, 1.4 processor) running mountain lion. It's perfect for my needs, and for the times I've needed to use powerpoint, excel etc, it's fine. Even copes well enough with some of the more specialist software I use, like MATLAB etc.

ritmomundo
Oct 31, 2012, 11:40 AM
My 2010 11" Air 128/2GB has no problems running this video at 1080p http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJtHNEDnrnY&feature=g-logo-xit with the mail app, notes, itunes, and word running in the background and 5 safari tabs open (and running Mountain Lion).

zxspectrum
Oct 31, 2012, 12:24 PM
My 2010 11" Air 128/2GB has no problems running this video at 1080p http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJtHNEDnrnY&feature=g-logo-xit with the mail app, notes, itunes, and word running in the background and 5 safari tabs open (and running Mountain Lion).

I think I would choose a better 1080p video than that ;)

applerepairs
Nov 1, 2012, 07:21 AM
Go Ahead...

zxspectrum
Nov 1, 2012, 12:49 PM
Go Ahead...

And do what? :)

Lukewarmwinner
Nov 1, 2012, 01:22 PM
I used a 2010 maxed out Air before recieving my 2012 model.

Honestly I can't tell that big a difference. The keyboard feels different, and the fans don't crack that easily. If I could've kept my 2010 and saved the money used on 2012, I would :)

You can definitely go with a 2010-model and enjoy it

orangezorki
Nov 1, 2012, 02:18 PM
I'd say that the key is the 4GB of RAM. On my 15" 2009 MBP, after a few days and with 4GB, just Safari, Mail, iTunes and a couple of other non-pro apps open, it could get close to using all its RAM. 2GB, even with the dedicated graphics RAM of the 2010 model, will fill very easily - especially with Lion or ML. Yes, the SSD does make RAM swapping less of an issue, but its still not as fast, and you don't want to hammer the SSD, as 128GB fills quickly enough.

David

calvol
Nov 1, 2012, 04:45 PM
Using a 2010 13" MBA 2.13Mhz/4GB with Snow Leopard, perfectly good for general use. I run VM/Win7 a lot and it handles that well too. Not really CPU-limited unless you're doing Handbrake or numerical processing. I'm using mine until Haswell as well, and see what Retina_2.0 looks like. I may keep the 2010 anyway as a road warrior machine since it gets 10+ hours battery life with Coolbook. In the meantime, I'm buying a Mini for desk use with a TBDisplay.

JonLa
Nov 2, 2012, 09:17 AM
I'm very impressed you're still getting those battery figures on SL. The *only* disappointing thing about my 2010 13" Air is the 4 hour battery life I get with Mountain Lion. Still trying to find somebody who did a clean install (rather than an upgrade) to compare with. Anyone here?

jrasero
Nov 2, 2012, 11:22 AM
I have the base 2010 MBA 11" and it runs fine. It struggles at times with HD streaming and can't handle the Optimum app but for pure portability, internet browsing, emailing it's great

jksu
Nov 3, 2012, 09:47 AM
I have the base 2010 MBA 11" and it runs fine. It struggles at times with HD streaming and can't handle the Optimum app but for pure portability, internet browsing, emailing it's great


yup, 2010 mba 11" 4/128 i have is running mtn lion fine as well. love the portable size, don't miss the ipad (that's been handed off to wife and kids) at all.... now that ipad mini, i'd love one of those for browsing around the house/traveling -- awesome size and battery life.

jrasero
Nov 3, 2012, 12:38 PM
yup, 2010 mba 11" 4/128 i have is running mtn lion fine as well. love the portable size, don't miss the ipad (that's been handed off to wife and kids) at all.... now that ipad mini, i'd love one of those for browsing around the house/traveling -- awesome size and battery life.

I held off from buying a tablet for a long time due to $500 for an entry iPad being to steep for something that I would use ever now and then compared to my 11" Air. My MBA only has 2gigs but I am sure if you have 4Gigs like JKSU you will be fine

Mrbobb
Nov 3, 2012, 12:49 PM
Spec-wise sounds OK, but 500? What does it cost for a 2011 refurb?

There is a rather large performance jump from a Core Duo to an Intel i5.

zxspectrum
Nov 3, 2012, 02:06 PM
Spec-wise sounds OK, but 500? What does it cost for a 2011 refurb?

There is a rather large performance jump from a Core Duo to an Intel i5.

2011 refurb is 789

BENJMNS
Nov 5, 2012, 10:50 PM
Plenty fast

hrl
Nov 6, 2012, 03:53 AM
I use my 2010 MBA 11 128/4 for just about everything. From simple tasks like docs to FCP X. It works great and I rarely notice any slowdown. I expect to keep using this machine for another 3 years.

gizze
Nov 7, 2012, 08:14 AM
I have been using my 2010 13" air for the last couple of years no problem.
Mine has 4gb of ram and the only reason I am thinking of swapping is I need more space.

But I get a genuine days worth of use out it when browsing etc.

I use ableton live on mine and it runs fine, so garage band will be a breeze.

I am just trying to decide if I really want to sell this for 500 and spend 1250 on a 256gb 2012 Air.

There was someone on ebay selling 256gb ssd blades for 189, should have grabbed one of those and then sold this blade for 99, would have been a cheap upgrade, but I left it and now they are all gone.

technopimp
Nov 7, 2012, 08:42 AM
I use a 2010 4/128 every day. No major issues. It's a little slow coming out of sleep sometimes, but for what I use it for it's perfectly fine.

zxspectrum
Nov 7, 2012, 10:30 AM
I have been using my 2010 13" air for the last couple of years no problem.
Mine has 4gb of ram and the only reason I am thinking of swapping is I need more space.

But I get a genuine days worth of use out it when browsing etc.

I use ableton live on mine and it runs fine, so garage band will be a breeze.

I am just trying to decide if I really want to sell this for 500 and spend 1250 on a 256gb 2012 Air.

There was someone on ebay selling 256gb ssd blades for 189, should have grabbed one of those and then sold this blade for 99, would have been a cheap upgrade, but I left it and now they are all gone.

What CPU does it have?

gizze
Nov 7, 2012, 12:49 PM
What CPU does it have?

1.86 core 2 duo.

That is also some of the problem, go up to an i5 and you take a hit on battery.
As long as it does what I want it to do battery is the most important thing for me.

I use ableton live 8 and it works perfectly, I use Serato Itch with an Allen & Heath X: One controller and again never had a single issue.
I have DJ'd for 3 hours on the battery when I forgot my ac adapter, and still had loads of battery left.

After 18 months or so of owning this I still get 5-8 hours from this thing. I see people with 2012 models moaning that they are only getting 3-4 hours.


I went from a 15" Pro with the core duo and this felt far faster, 18 months later I am not doing anything different with it so there is no reason for me to feel it is lacking in any area.
If I upgrade to ableton 9 and then it feels sluggish or I get issues then maybe I will upgrade, but it would be fine. If I used an i7 for a few weeks and then came back I might just find it slower, but doubt it.

I can get a 2012 13" with 128gig HD new for 845 as my daughter is at Uni, so 345 to swap should be a no brainer, but even still I am not sure it is worth it.

I was waiting for the Retina 13", but with 256gb it is 1699 and that is just not worth it.


So to sum up, this does every thing I want and well, I may get 500 for it, but it is worth far more to me than 500.

quickbrownfox
Nov 7, 2012, 01:26 PM
I have a 2010 2GB/64GB 1.4 11" base model and, much to my surprise, find that it is still perfectly snappy with ML. I wouldn't want to use it as my only Mac (the 64GB SSD is the biggest limitation) but for travel/portable use (mainly web and email) it is absolutely fine.

cedwhatev
Nov 7, 2012, 06:09 PM
I love my MBA 2010 and think it's silly to ask this question of whether it's still useful today. It just came out two years ago! But I will admit, I'm going to sell mine, and get the new 2012 11" 8/256, as personally, I want this machine to last me five years. The way technology advances these days, I am going to prepare myself...

.... plus, my buddy is going to buy mine for 750 bones. :rolleyes:

jmazzamj
Nov 7, 2012, 07:51 PM
My sister's 2010 Air does choke with ML but that's because it only has 2GB RAM.

I'm looking forward to sell hers (I did have a buyer in July but whe wouldn't sell it) and give her my 2011 just because of the RAM, apart from which it runs fine. She's still using Safari which we all know is a memory hog (I also run Safari but with 4 GB is OK).

Cheers

katewes
Nov 8, 2012, 04:32 AM
I bought a 2012 MacBook Air.

When I was considering a new or 2nd hand, I refused to consider a 2010 model which had the Core 2 Duo's.

You can see from these benchmarks that the 2011 MBA's marked a huge jump in performance.

http://www.everymac.com/mac-benchmarks/index-mac-benchmarks.html

I previously had the 2nd generation MBA, and am loving the speed of the 2012 models. The 2011 models weren't far behind.

For my situation, I chose the 2012 models for the 8GB RAM capacity since I use a lot of VMWare running Windows for work, and 8GB was better for that purpose, but if I was running just Mac software without Windows, I'd be happy with a 2nd hand 2011 model.

Have you checked the refurbished prices on the Apple UK site to see if any 2011 models fit your budget?