MBA 128 SSD, 8 GB RAM. How long should it last?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by coldjeanzzz, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    #1
    I have been looking into buying a Mac lately and for my needs a MBA seems to be perfect. However, I want this laptop to last a very long time (4 years+) and I am concerned the 4 GB of RAM will be obsolete soon so I feel 8 GB would be better.

    The total cost after a student discount and tax comes out to $1300+ which is a lot since I usually never spend more than $600. With that said I only want to make this purchase if people can verify the lifespan of these items. Like at what point will I start to notice a slow down in the performance (I do take pretty good care of my electronics)? For a $1300 laptop I would like for it to be solid for a decent amount of time rather than start to get bogged down after only 1.5-2 years.
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Beanoir

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Location:
    51 degrees North
    #2
    Easy last 4 years...unless you plan on dropping it off a cliff, then it won't.

    My MacMini (albeit slightly upgraded) has lasted me nearly 7 years now...
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    Crazy Badger

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Location:
    Scotland
    #3
    My girlfriend is still running my old 2007 MBA with 2GB RAM and aftermarket SSD for standard OSX (10.7.5) and Office apps.

    Can't see why you wouldn't get 5+ years for a current MBA.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    #4
    How is the bootup/shut down time and battery life on it compared to when you first got it?
     
  5. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #5
    A expensive Mac doesn't last longer than a budget pc. Apple has no magic.

    The propensity for a long lasting laptop depends on whether u tend to always want run the latest, but more power consuming, software.
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    #6
    It should be the same but compared to today's standard it would be slower. Also, if I remember correct that model used the normal HDD, and not SSD - making it a lot slower. Please correct me if I'm wrong

    Point being; it's really up to you how long it'll last. It will get slower compared to new models, but still usable for a long time. I've got Macs from '07 still going strong. So if you won't upgrade in 4 years, then it'll last 4 years (of course depending on treatment and forth)
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    #7
    A budget PC I purchased 3 years ago experienced huge drops in speed in just a span of 1 year, battery life chopped from 3 hours to 1 hour in about 1.5 years, and the bootup time went from about 1 minute to damn near 3 minutes. In fact it got so bad I had to switch to Linux because Windows was just functioning like a piece of crap. I'm not an idiot when it comes to computers either. I never had any problems with viruses/malware and always managed applications properly so that unnecessary ones wouldn't be slowing down the system. I never tried to run the latest or greatest software either, just a simple task like opening google chrome was a pain in the ass. I'm just convinced these crappy laptops that get shelved out for a cheaper price are not worth it anymore.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Beanoir

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Location:
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    #8
    I beg to differ, a PC slows down to a snails pace after 12 months, and it requires so much maintenance to keep it going, which some argue is part and parcel of the experience. I on the other hand don't expect that kind of requirement in a modern computer and thats why an Apple will last for far longer.

    This isn't about what is best (Apple vs. PC) but from my experience of running windows PCs for work and Mac's at home for so many years, i've been through so much more grief with the PCs.
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    #9
    I can't give you an exact estimate, but I know any current Macs do last a long time easily 5+ years. I've had to purchase a new PC about every 3-4 years, but Macs can last twice as long easily. Although this is my current and first Mac (2010 Mid Macbook Pro 13"), it hasn't experienced any slowdowns. In fact, it has gotten smoother and a bit faster after going through Snow Leopard >> Lion >> Mountain Lion. If I had a PC this long, it would probably be struggling twice as much.

    So generally speaking, no worries on how current Macs will last.

    With that said, I know many get new Macs before they can get the most out of their current Macs, but to each their own..
     
  10. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    Location:
    Dubai
    #10
    Well, I'd like to know how long the battery will last?

    I'm thinking about getting the 13" MBA with 128GB SSD and 8GB as well and my plan is to use it as well for the next 4-5 years. My concern is the battery life, as well as the loss in capacity and running time on a full charge over time.

    Currently I'm using my net book daily for approx. 3-6 hours and sometimes if I upload stuff it runs through the night. With a removable battery it's not a problem as the battery is in the drawer and the net book is plugged in to the power socket. With the Air this won't be possible.

    How long will the battery last?
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    A Hebrew

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #11
    It will last with a decent charge size for 5 years, of course it will start to drop slightly in 3.
     
  12. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    Location:
    Dubai
    #12
    What means decent I this case?

    If I run it 7 hours a day (full discharge), that's 2555 hours a year an 12,775 hour in 5 years.

    How long does it take to fully an empty Air battery when...

    1) the Air is shut down
    2) the Air is still running

    Thanks.
     
  13. macrumors 603

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #13
    This is way too anecdotal. I've had problems with the Macs I've owned too. Personal computers are not made perfectly. OSX can encounter problems too. Note that when someone has problems, a common suggestion is a clean OS installation. You still need backups. The HFS+ file system isn't even close to perfect, and there are plenty of random problems and quirks at times.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    #14
    Well I never made the claim that Macs or any other computer was perfect. But notice many of the problems I mentioned about that specific computer weren't related to the OS itself, but more so the hardware. That's why I made this thread so I could get a better idea of people's personal experiences with their MBA.
     
  15. macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #15
    I'd opt for at least 256GB of storage; though, 512GB will realy future-proof it; though it highly depends on what you do. Definitely go for 8GB of RAM though as you can't make that change later. Assuming you pick the right sized SSD, an 8GB RAM-based MacBook Air ought to last you at least four years, if not five, before you are unable to run the latest version of OS X.
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    #16
    The 512gb SSD is really pricey! I'd just get a external harddrive if you run out of space.
     
  17. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    #17
    Yeah I'm not worried about hard drive space very much. On one of my laptops I'm dual booting Windows with Ubuntu 12.04 and when I made the partition for Ubuntu I only allocated 75 GB of hard drive space which I didn't think would be enough but I still have half left. The only large files I keep directly on my drives is music and one or two movies that I haven't got around to watching. Anything else I just stick on an external. Upgrading to a larger SSD just runs me too much. I'm already apprehensive about buying a Mac because of the price lol.
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    #18
    You could consider using iTunes Match and save some internal space
     
  19. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    #19
    Either you have no experience with a budget pc, or no experience with a Mac.
     
  20. macrumors G5

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #20
    Can't compare 2007 with new models. The battery has totally changed around 2010 or so. Before that, they were designed to last 300 charges, now they are designed for 1000 charges.

    With all new MacBooks: Don't worry about it, just don't use the battery without need (so working at your desk without plugging in is just stupid because every day you waste one of your 1000 charges, but it's plenty to not worry when you are away from your desk). Boot times are quite irrelevant; you just close the lid, it goes to sleep, you open the lid, it wakes up. And boot times don't tend to grow on a Mac anyway.

    ----------

    Kingston SE9 flash drive 32 GB = £19, 16 GB = £7.50. (Highly recommended because you cannot possibly lose it from your key ring). iTunes works just fine with your music library on a flash drive.

    ----------

    You are using it 7 hours every saturday, every sunday, during holidays? And you never, ever, have a charger that you can use?


    Excuse me, but removing the battery is about the worst thing you can do (on a MBP where it is removable). Never, ever remove the battery from a MBP. It sounds you are actually at your desk? Running on battery with a charger nearby is stupid. That's like leaving your car engine running when you are at home and complaining that it uses too much fuel.
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    Crazy Badger

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Location:
    Scotland
    #21
    Bootup/shutdown times are faster thanks to the SSD, although it very rarely gets shutdown and just suspends so it's ready to use as soon as you pick it up and open the lid! That was the main selling point when convincing my girlfriend to move away from a Windows laptop.

    Battery life is still good for around 3-4 hours but it doesn't really travel so is never very far from a charge
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Beanoir

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Location:
    51 degrees North
    #22
    I think the way online storage is going, the future will not be in needing physical storage space but in needing better connectivity to the web/cloud etc.

    I wouldn't worry too much about getting the 512gb SSD.

    Worst case scenario its upgradable in the future anyway if it really becomes an issue.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    #23
    I bought a 2012 MBA and went with 8 GB for the same reason. My 2008 iMac is still going strong, so I'm confident that my MBA will last at least four years. The extra RAM is insurance against OS and software bloat.

    On the HD side, I went with 128 GB because with so many free and inexpensive cloud-storage services out there (e.g., Dropbox), I don't think HD space will ever be a problem. Of course, if you need to store a bunch of videos and music locally, that's a different story.

    Hope that helps.
     
  24. macrumors 68000

    53x12

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    #24

    This is just my opinion, I don't mind cloud storage for some things. Like documents, music, videos, pictures I don't use frequently. However I am skeptical to have all of my files in the cloud. Partly due to the reason of what happens when the Cloud is down.

    There will always be a set number of documents/files/media I will want with me. But I will agree that isn't 3TB of stuff. Probably much less than 1TB, maybe around 500GB of material. :)
     
  25. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    Location:
    Dubai
    #25

    I am actually working on my living room table (daily for 3-6 hours) every day. The only time when I am not using my computer that long a day is when I am on vacation for 2-4 weeks a year. But even then I use it for 1-2 hours a day if I get the time to.


    Why should you not remove the battery if possible? This is what has been preached for years as the battery gets overcharged! I hae been told by hundreds of people over the years that if you don't need to run your laptop on battery, take it out and run it with the power cable to save the battery and increase the life of the same!

    Did something change over the years? Or is this an Apple thing?


    Let me get this straight, if I am at home I should keep it plugged in all the time?
     

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