1.6 vs 2.13 GHz MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by mackhydr4, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2009
    Is the speed difference significant enough between these two? I've ordered the 1.6, but due to the sinking price of the MBA rev C, I'm thinking of eBaying the 1.6 for the 2.13- The Air w/ the faster CPU have sunk to as much as $1300- shipped(eBay).

    Any thoughts? Post which one you have, and let me know if you think I should go for the faster one.

    I will be running BootCamp and VMWare Fusion on it.
  2. macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Between those two, yes I would say you'd see a difference. BUT If you save your pennies and simply put a SSD in, you'll really see it fly, even the 1.6 model.
  3. macrumors 6502

    Mar 22, 2009
    Rockville (Despite REM's plea.)
    Which 1.6GHz model of the MacBook Air? The one with 120G HDD and the NVIDIA 9400M chipset (Rev B) or the original with the Intel X3100 graphics (Rev A)? There will be a much larger jump from the original variant than from the Rev B as the Rev B has the same memory and graphics chipset (there is possibly some increase in GPU speed between Rev B and Rev C -- the 2.13) and the same 6MB of L2 cache vs. 4MB of the original.

    The additional clock speed will help with certain tasks, but if you have the HDD model, the SSD in the 2.13 model will make quite a bit of perceived speed.
  4. thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2009
    Rev. B-

    I read from Macworld review of the 1.6 GHz rev B that the HDD version is actually faster at writing- Also, the rev C CPU suffers due to the way the CPU downclocks (on the faster model) to cool down and/or save battery-

    On the review of the rev C, the reviewer mentions that the fastest MBA is actually the 1.86GHz, rev B

    Any truth to this in the real world?
  5. macrumors 65816

    Jan 20, 2003
    I have a rev.C and have never noticed any downclocking issues. Besides, if it does downclock, how slow does it get down to. If it's around 1.8, it's still as fast as a rev.B.
  6. thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2009
    It downclocks all the way down to 768 MHz- 'sorry for no links, I'm typing this on an iPhone w/ currently sucky edge network.

    You can find the article in Macworld reviews, search for 1.6 GHz MBA and/or check the review section under notebooks.

    I'm still leaning towards the 2.13, but it seems like the 1.86 rev B is worth considering.
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2003
    Area 51
    You can go to xbench and look at some real world scores that have been posted. As I recall the 2.13 Rev C is about 50 points higher than the 1.86 Rev C. The solid state drive really makes these machines scream. The 2.13 with SSD actually posts a higher xbench score than a 2.5 GHZ 15" MBP.
  8. thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2009
    I finally got into a laptop--

    Here's the link for the Macworld review, Rev C MBA--


    link for the Macworld review, Rev B 1.6 MBA--


    I'm not really concerned about the benches, more on actual day-to-day operations. The most intensive stuff I'll probably run is VMWare Fusion on the OS X side, and bootcamp for Windows.

    I may play games occassionally, probably on lowest settings (I already have a gaming laptop).

    What I am concerned about is the amount of beachballs I will be seeing for the regular stuff.
  9. macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    Go for the lower end one it not worth the extra money:(
  10. thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2009
    Any other opinions?

    Keep the 1.6 GHz rev B w/ HDD or sell and get the 2.13 GHz rev C w/ SSD?
  11. macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    If you can do it, I say the Rev C with SSD. Unless you want to attempt an SSD in your Rev B. ;) It is what I am considering.
  12. macrumors member

    Jul 12, 2009
    In all the stores I shopped the HDD was on display, Rev. B or C. with the HDD. I bought the Rev. C SSD, and it feels much much faster. I haven't run any benchmarks. But it seems to fly. Much faster than my unibody 2.4, that's for sure.
  13. nph
    macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2005
    Don't if it helps but on my rev B 1.86 I recently played WoW and got 39 FPS. I think it is quit decent even if my iMac 2.8 got 70 but it also has a descrete graphics card.
  14. macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2009
    I bought a Refurb 1.8 Rev A a week and a half before the Rev C's came out (my pre Macrumors days) only to find attractive Rev B's in the Refurbished section now with better memory, graphics etc.

    What is the best way to get the most money for my Rev A? I would really like to get the 1.86 Rev B Refurb - I'm guessing there is no great option.
  15. thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2009
    Did you get the refurb from Apple? Maybe you can exchange it-
  16. thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2009
    Well, it looks like I'm stuck w/ the 1.6 Rev B HDD version for now (I'm not even sure if buying an SSD separately is worth it).

    There was a 2.13 GHz Rev C w/ SSD available for $1291 free shipping, but I hemmed and hawed, and I lost the opportunity to purchase it.

    I guess there will be another time- $962 for "new" unopened box is not such a bad deal.
  17. macrumors member

    Jul 12, 2009
    I have found that Macs with Apple Care retain a remarkable amount of their value. If you sell it right now, can the buyer still buy three years of care?
  18. macrumors regular

    Jun 1, 2009
    Wouldn't CoolBook be able to override the default throttling behavior of the MBA?
  19. macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2009
    Yes but has passed the 14 days. Is there any way to do this with a restocking fee? I would be willing to take a penalty to be able to get the Rev B.
  20. macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2009
    If the computer is less than one year old and the original owner has not purchased appl care yet then I see no reason why the new owner could not purchase the full 3 years.

    Now my girlfriend wants to get an Air so I will get to see everyday how much faster the new ones are. Maybe when I take her in to buy an Air I will see if there is any way to do an exchange with a restocking fee.
  21. macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2009
    Just spoke with Apple (online store customer service). They hold pretty firm to the 14 days even if I am willing to purchase a more expensive machine to replace it.

    Does anyone have any experience getting post 14-day exchanges done? I think the heat/core shutdown issues despite being widespread are flaws worthy of return/exchange especially since Apple has not offered any firmware updates to fix them.

    This is really frustrating.
  22. thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2009
    If you look at the reader comments (on Macworld article), the subjective consensus is that it does not really matter. The 2.13 version feels plenty fast than the "cold" benchmark would suggest.

    This is why I decided to ask actual users in this forum what their actual experiences are.

    So far, I somewhat regret falling for the review and getting the 1.6 version with the HDD instead of the 2.13 with SSD.
  23. macrumors regular

    Sep 13, 2008
    I've had luck talking NYC Apple Store managers into all sorts of things (5th Ave store and the 14th-St. store) including waiving the restocking fee and late exchanges. You just have to talk to them.

    One further suggestion:
    Try Coolbook. It works.
  24. macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2009
    Thanks. I downloaded coolbook yesterday and am in the process of configuring it.

    The problem with the exchange is that I got mine refurb so no retail store has any obligation to me. But like I said before, my girlfriend will be purchasing a brand new one soon, so I will bring this up with that salesperson. I figure its my best shot.

  25. macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2008
    Enfield, NH
    The difference between the first gen 1.6 ($999 on apple refurb) and the 2.13 ($1800 on eBay w/ Apple Care) was a big jump. I'm nearly doubling the price but..

    I get
    128GB New SSD.
    NVIDIA 9400 GPU
    Newer Gen 2.13Ghz Core2
    New Battery

    Plus, my biggest concern is resale value. People know you can get a 1.6Ghz at Apple.com or Ebay for under $1,000. I hope that in the next 12 months I can sell my 2.13 for $1299 or $1500 so I'm banking on that.

    Plus, I used the original 1.6Ghz at Macworld when it was released last year and I have used the 2.13SSD extensively at Apple Stores and was completely wowed. The speed is so much faster. I think it's just the SSD and partly the NVIDIA GPU.

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