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about to purchase a used MB air...?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by driphone, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. macrumors regular

    I am in market for a used MB air to use at home for regular computing needs, what model will be a good choice? is the first generation to be avoided? just need a reliable notebook.
  2. macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    You won't be getting "regular computing needs" out of a MacBook Air, per-say.
  3. macrumors 601


    Why not? It handles email, internet surfing, photos, etc very well. Most people only need a USB port for their printer or iPod... Not many home users use FireWire.
  4. macrumors member

    Buy one with SSD. I really like my rev A, but buy B if you can afford it.
  5. macrumors member

    Just make sure you don't end up with a prototype.

    Just got a refurbed 1.6/80 rev A as a swap from Apple for the Prototype, and thus far I like it. I'm just trying not to put too many documents on it. It seemed to handle Photoshop CS4 and Lightroom 2 relatively well.

    I think that the rev A should be able to handle most basic computing needs.
  6. macrumors member

    You can you know if its a prototype or not?
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Hey guys I have had both if you can get the Rev B , it a world of difference, and the SSD is amazing.
  8. macrumors regular

    thank you all for your replies but can some one clarify Rev A vs REv B and how to tell when buying one, and what is the major advantage with the SSD?
  9. macrumors 65816


    For easy, quick distinguising, the revA will comes with a 80gb HDD or 64gb SSD; the revB comes with a 120gb HDD or 128gb SSD.

    RevA was the first of the Macbook Airs, and the revB are the latest (and only) revision since the initial ones came out. They fixed a lot of the problems (processor core shutdowns, video card, etc) with the revB that were wrong with the revA.

    SSD offers faster read and write times, which translates into faster program launching and disk utilization. It also consumes very little power, and is much more reliable as it has no spinning disks inside and no moving heads.

    Personally, the revA airs are cheap and accessible, but the revB is what the air should really have been to begin with. It's a much better computer than the revA, but for some its simply not worth the price difference between the two.
  10. macrumors 6502a


    Rev A 1.6/80 1.8/64SSD
    Rev B 1.6/120 1.8/128SSD

    Faster quiet and no moving parts for the SSD drive.
  11. macrumors regular

    Thank you this sums it up.

    Rev B it is...the search begins, thanks a bunch...
    Merry Christmas to all.
  12. macrumors Nehalem


    Honestly, this is completely misleading and misinformed.
    Well ...

    Someone has already taken the time to identify ways to distinguish between the two models. However, since I understand your original question to be about using an Air for basic computing needs then the SSD seems almost overkill.

    The question you have to ask yourself is how often will you travel with your Air? If rarely comes to mind, then the SSD is basically useless. Now, before any SSD owner falls off their chairs at the thought of me saying that, let me explain.

    A SSD drive is excellent. It reads and writes very fast, faster than the HDD model of either Air ever will read/write. The HDD in the Air is not unbearably slow, but it is slower. Apps open slower, start up time of the Air is slower, and write times are slower. But, I feel if I can say the HDD model of the Air is acceptable coming from a 8-core desktop, then I would imagine it is acceptable to many others.

    For casual web browsing, MS Office, photos, etc, the Air will handle quite well. The Air handles Photoshop Elements very well, Photoshop CS3/4 ... not as much (this goes for the SSD and HDD models). The GPU and CPU is capable of handling PSCS 3/4, but it is not ideal in my opinion.

    The SSD model is great if you travel frequently because of the "no moving parts" idea. Plus, geek factor ... I mean do you have to ask? :)

    Personally, I don't see a need for a SSD Air based on my home setup. If you believe you need apps to open fast, read/write speeds to be better than it would be on 4200 rpm drive, and the non-moving parts then the SSD model is great for you.

    Here is a link to an older review, I didn't dig too hard for a review of the current gen models.

    Also, Rev A, both SSD and HDD models had some serious heat issues causing core shutdowns. This alone would make me shy away from the Rev A since there is now a Rev B. Not everyone was plagued with the serious core shutdowns, but enough were and that is enough for me. I find the Rev B runs cooler. Backing up to Time Machine for the first time to an external drive, surfing the net, and watching a movie in iTunes; my temp is 64ºC and my fans are running at 6040 rpm right now. I have the Air on a wood table so the vent is not blocked at all. Memory is about 70% used and my processor is currently spiking at more than 50% of it's power.
  13. macrumors 6502a

    I agree SSD is suited for travel but not sure what it has to do with "no moving parts", as if an HDD can't be traveled with?

    If you remotely access files while traveling or carry an external drive frequently, the SSD is twice as fast at swapping that data.
  14. macrumors 6502a


    As long as the OP gets a B, he will be happy either way .
  15. macrumors regular

    wow...great detailed answer, well I don't travel that often and use the laptop primarily for email, Internet, digital photography using iPhoto and PS elements, iTunes in conjunction with Apple Tv for all home media needs including downloaded movies...now, can some one put a percentage difference between the speed of the two kind HDs, I mean SSD vs 4200 rpm HD? any noticeable temp. difference? I am assuming the weight is almost the same.
  16. macrumors regular

    pardon me but what is an "OP"?
  17. macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Original poster. The guy who started the thread. You. ;)
  18. macrumors regular

    oops!!! i tried hard to translate...i am now one word "less stupid".
  19. macrumors 604


    ^ not sure about the exact details. but SSD is a bit lighter and faster to read. Writing is ... ehhh ... not as impressive. But for normal use, HDD is fine. You can always upgrade to a SSD (custom mod) should you want to, but you lose out on the extra speed boost of 0.2MHz in CPU power.
  20. macrumors Nehalem


    I'm sorry, I wasn't totally clear. It would be assumed the HDD can travel, I travel with mine and have traveled with other HDD model notebooks. The SSD only adds a nice level of protection in terms of not worrying about jarring a drive, hence Apple's decision to use a SMS in their notebooks.

    As far as percentage differences between the two ... I do not have any and have never found any on the net.
  21. macrumors 65816

    for the basic needs stated by the OP then may I suggest that you either skip apple completely....

    buy a basic laptop and save a grand.

    if you must have OSX then buy a refurb Macbook from the Apple store.

    much more sensible.
  22. macrumors member

    Seeing as how you can get a new Rev A MacBook Air for $1149, I'd like you to point me to where I can get a serviceable "basic laptop" for $114 or less.
  23. macrumors 604


    I personally think that the SSD's are a bit too expensive to be justified currently. I'm typing on my MacBook Air rev A right now and I can say that it works fine for the things that you've listed. As long as you aren't expecting it to be blazing fast on 5D mark II files in CS4, I really don't see where you would notice enough of a difference to warrant the price of the SSD or the rev B MacBook Air. I have a MacBook Pro sitting next to me and I don't notice a big difference between them in hard drive speed. This MacBook Air is about as fast as the original MacBook Pro that I owned a while back and I used that as my workhorse for a long time with my Digital Photography.

    I say save the money that you would've spent on the MacBook Air rev B or a SSD and buy something else. And as for the temperatures, my MacBook Air runs a bit hot but it is quite manageable, nowhere near as hot as my MacBook Pro has gotten. If you are worried you can download an app called SMCfancontrol and set the fan to a higher speed to cool it down.

    Just for clarification, the Rev A MacBook Air that you are referring to is refurbished and not new. Not that you would notice a difference, but that was a bit of misinformation.
  24. macrumors demi-god


    I would obviously advise getting a Rev. B for sake of long term usage, but you won't find any issues with a Rev. A computer.
  25. macrumors 68040


    Rev B is nice but if you get a sick price on a Rev A I wouldn't hesitate. Just make sure to check either machine over first if it's used before taking it home.

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