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Old Feb 7, 2013, 12:51 PM   #1
pj4444
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Fan Noise & battery: MBA Mid 2011 v latest MBA

I would like to recommend a non retina MBA to my wife but one thing that I don't like about my 13" Mid 2011 MBA is the noisy fan and the disappointing battery life. Are the latest MBAs quieter and do they last any longer on a charge?
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 12:55 PM   #2
wolfpuppies3
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My 13" 2012 MBA battery lasts close to 7 hours, my 2011 11" closer to 4 1/2 - 5 hours. The fans are quiet in both machines.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 01:07 PM   #3
Weaselboy
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Like wolfpuppies3, my 2012 13" MBA is getting about seven hours battery life just with normal email reading and web browsing. The only time I ever hear a fan run is when watch HD videos, like a 1080p stream. Even then the fans are fairly quiet.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 03:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pj4444 View Post
I would like to recommend a non retina MBA to my wife but one thing that I don't like about my 13" Mid 2011 MBA is the noisy fan and the disappointing battery life. Are the latest MBAs quieter and do they last any longer on a charge?
try an SMC reset and also reset the PRAM
should fix your problem
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 06:22 PM   #5
coldjeanzzz
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I have the 2012 13 inch Air. I can't hear the fans at all unless I put my ear right up to them and even then it's barely audible. They only kick in when I play online graphic "intensive" games. After using Windows laptops for so many years I couldn't believe how quiet this thing was.

As far as battery life, I can get 7-8 hours if I just do basic stuff. Watching video, or listening to iTunes or the radio while web browsing cuts that to about 5 hours?
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 07:58 PM   #6
22hand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pj4444 View Post
I would like to recommend a non retina MBA to my wife but one thing that I don't like about my 13" Mid 2011 MBA is the noisy fan and the disappointing battery life. Are the latest MBAs quieter and do they last any longer on a charge?
same here, mid 2011 mba, fan kick in after opening too many excels and ppt, and this last for a while unless I make air sleep and wake it up again, pretty annoying. should I go for a 2012 mba instead? is that because of the 4G RAM not enough?
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 10:10 PM   #7
pj4444
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halledise View Post
try an SMC reset and also reset the PRAM
should fix your problem
If I do both resets what changes does this make to the system? Does it return me to the default settings?

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by 22hand View Post
same here, mid 2011 mba, fan kick in after opening too many excels and ppt, and this last for a while unless I make air sleep and wake it up again, pretty annoying. should I go for a 2012 mba instead? is that because of the 4G RAM not enough?
Often, if I put the Air to sleep by closing the lid at night, in the morning I find the fan loudly running even though the Air has been asleep for 8 hours.

Last edited by pj4444; Feb 8, 2013 at 01:10 AM.
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 12:32 PM   #8
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I also have a 2012 MBA 13" and the fans are always on but so slow that you can not notice them except for when they are running faster. And then they are still less audible than the 2011 version since the 2012 uses the same "different fan-blade design" that was premiered in the retina macbook pro.
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 07:14 PM   #9
Jobsian
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  • Fans are always on in all MBAs, minimum 2000RPM for current models which are virtually silent as in 2011 and 2010 models
  • Anecdotally fans are quieter in 2012, I imagine largely attributable to their more powerful CPUs being better able to crunch more CPU-intensive tasks like youtube and other flash, multiple opened Office/other apps etc
  • On Anandtech's benchmarks, iirc the 2012 had better battery than 2011 but worse than 2010 models, however the operating systems were different too.

So yes, the 2012 model should be quieter and have a longer lasting battery than your 2011 one. Edit: I also didn't really need bullet points given the length of my so-called 'points'.
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 10:36 PM   #10
yanksrock100
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Fans are really quiet on the 2012 model because they use Apple's "asymmetric" technology that was advertised with the rMBP's. Apple doesn't advertise this (probably to give the rMBP some more "exclusive" features) but according to iFixIt, they are. Pretty cool!
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 01:59 AM   #11
pj4444
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Thank you for all the helpful replies.
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