Advice/Input on Purchasing a 2012 13" MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by dlim, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. dlim, Sep 4, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012

    macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2012
    I'm planning on starting to do some light gaming again, in particular: playing Dota 2, World of Warcraft, and possibly Guild Wars 2. By light I mean a few hours a day, few days a week.

    I currently own a base 2011 13" MBA (as my main and only computer). I primarily use it for school and studying. I've tried playing WOW on it and everything seems to run smoothly, other than the annoyingly loud fan (5000-6000rpm) and heat generation (I'm seeing anywhere from 70-95C). I've been doing a lot of research the past couple days and it seems like this is normal and expected behavior of gaming on any Mac with an integrated GPU (correct me if I'm wrong!)

    As a result, I decided to buy this: (got it for $630 but there's a $100 rebate so it'll come out to $530 in the end). (It hasn't come in yet and I can still return it if need).

    After some more research though, I'm now wondering if I should put that money into buying a 2012 13" MBA w/256gb ssd and 8gb memory. The 256gb will give me more than enough space to install bootcamp (I don't currently have the space to install it on my 128gb ssd). With my student discount it'll come out to $1539. I also have a potential buyer for my current MBA for $1000 (primarily because I purchased the 3 year apple care so it's covered until 8/2014).

    In the end I'll end up spending the same in either scenario, just wondering which would be better:

    1. Base 2011 13" MBA + Lenovo Z580 (i5 ivy bridge, 6gb memory (will upgrade to 8gb dual channel), no sdd [and I won't be upgrading it to one], dedicated NVIDIA Geforce GT630m)
    2. 2012 13" 256gb SSD 8gb memory MBA

    -The Lenovo would be solely for gaming, and if my friends/family who visit need/want to use a computer while they're here.
    -The MBA will have an external monitor connected to it (if that makes a difference at all). Not sure which screen I would use to play on (any recommendations?)
    -I know scenario 2 is probably more convenient in just having one laptop (though I could see the pros as to having a second laptop around as listed above), but just wanted to see if people who have experience with the 2012 13" MBA would recommend playing on it vs. the lenovo with a i5 ivy bridge and dedicated Geforce GT630m.

    And if anyone might have the experience, are the fan/heat levels (I won't say issue because it's not really an issue since it's working as intended) any better in the 2012 model vs the 2011?

    Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this and respond!
  2. macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2011
    I would do option 1. If you want you can add a bigger SSD to your current MBA as well.
  3. macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2009
    Northumberland, UK
    Ditto above, option 1.
  4. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2012
    I was under the impression that they were soldered or something? Any recommendations (or could you point me in the right direction) of which SSD's are compatible?

    And thanks for the responses :]
  5. macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2011
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2012
  7. macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2011
    OWC always seems a little more expensive then competition. I'm not sure how the connector on the MBA is, nor do I know if other companies make SSDs for the MBA. I have a MBP so my research on the MBA is not that broad. Im sure if you do some research you can find out if other companies make them, or just put a post asking "SSD for 2011 MBA", but I believe OWC is your only option for the MBA. I do know that the connector on the SSD was changed on the 2012 MBA and you can not update the SSD yet, at least not until OWC makes one.
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2012
    St. Louis, MO
    The Lenovo Z580 is $579, a MBA i5/8GB/256GB SSD is $1575. That's $2154.

    For $2190 you can have a rMBP with i7 quad core, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD. I would opt to get 16GB RAM on the rMBP if I did get one.
  9. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2012
    I'm not getting both.

    The options are either:

    1. keep my current 2011 Base MBA, buy the lenovo z580 (that I got for $530 after rebate).

    2. Sell my 2011 Base MBA for $1k, buy the 2012 13" MBA i5/8gb/256gb for $1539 (which would come out to an extra $539 out of pocket).

    Both options have me spending basically the same amount of money.

    I've considered a rMBP but decided to pass on the 1st gen models and wait for the 2nd or 3rd gen.


    Yeah from what I knew OWC was the only one for MBA's too. Thanks again!
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2012
    St. Louis, MO
    Option #1 is a good option.

    Option #2 is ok, except you won't get anywhere near $1K for your 2011 base MBA. A base 2012 MBA is going for $1139 at with free shipping. I recently sold my 1 month old 2012 base MBA and got slightly less than $1k.

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