Wise to buy a 2012 MBA ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Dr. McKay, Jun 29, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 20, 2010
    Belgium, Europe
    New 2013 MBA 13" core i5, 8Gb of RAM, 256Gb SSD = €1343 ($1747) with educational discount
    Used 2012 MBA (bought end of February 2013, absolute mint condition) 13", maxed out with core i7, 8Gb RAM, 512 Gb SSD = €1200 ($1561).

    That's a difference of €143 ($186). The 512Gb SSD and i7 sound tempting. Anything I would regret when not buying the 2013 model (apart from battery life) ?
  2. Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The battery is the real improvement, the CPU is a bit faster, as is the GPU. All in all, if you don't care about the battery then 2012 MBA may make sense.

    For me, I'd say that 2013 because of the battery, and you get a 12 month warranty but that's just me :)
  3. macrumors 68030


    Apr 13, 2010
    Bedfordshire, UK
    You don't need the i7. No one needs an i7 on a MBA.
  4. macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2012
    Said nobody!!
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2009
    Agreed. The i7 is really fast, and the whole machine much more responsive than my 2011 i5 MBA
  6. macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    Big difference between 2013 and 2012, apart from battery life is heat and noise. As in, there isn't any. First laptop I've ever owned that's actually comfortable on your lap, even if you're wearing shorts and the hottest part is touching bare skin.

    And your fan could break and you'd never even know it - got mine yesterday and it's been in constant use since, and I've not heard or felt the fan once.
  7. macrumors member

    Dec 23, 2005
    Just because it says i7 doesn't mean it's leaps and bounds greater than the i5. These aren't desktop systems (not that there's always a big difference there either).

    i5 - 1.3ghz turbo to 2.6ghz, 1000mhz GPU, 3mb L3 cache
    i7 - 1.7ghz turbo to 3.3ghz, 1100mhz GPU, 4mb L3 cache

    Then i7 may use more power and in turn generate more heat but also gets most jobs done 10-20% faster...

    So to say no MBA needs an i7 is lame. These chips are so similar, they could have both been i3s.. being ULV they're basically that.


    I was so close to cancelling my 11" i7 2013 mba and going with a 13" 2012 rmbp refurb ($20 more than the mba and similarily spec'd 8gb/128gb).
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Feb 15, 2009
    The i7 2012 will be considerable faster than the i5 2013. About 10-15%. That's already noticeable in cpu heavy tasks. Of course, battery life will be different between the two. 12 hours vs. 6-7 hours. What do you need most? Processing power or battery life? Choose accordingly.
  9. macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2013
    Actually said everybody. Fan speeds up more and the laptop gets hotter more for not a lot of extra power and a lot of extra cash.
  10. macrumors member

    Dec 23, 2005
    Everyone said this? That must be a bunch of long threads.

    Enough with the hyperbole, and subjectivism:

    hotter.. warmer.. spicier?
    lot more power, some more power, a bit quicker
    a lot of cash $239,000... pocket change $150

    So it's a bit warmer, but it's more powerful... such is life with 15W TDP and a higher clock than the i5.


    I like the idea of the 2013 because it's new with more warranty left over (you didn't mention if the 2012 has apple care) and you may not need the i7 performance gain (which is pretty small). 512ssd is pretty sweet but I guess it's really up to what you think you can live with. I can live with 128ssd so that's why the 256 is pretty sweet imho. Then again, if you need battery life, then there's no contest here.
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2012
    From what I've read the CPU is a bit slower if anything
  12. macrumors 68030


    Apr 13, 2010
    Bedfordshire, UK
    Exactly! People can dismiss my comment if they wish, but packing an i7 ULV CPU in a MBA is just daft.

    As for the i7 doing things 10-20% faster than the i5, that person has obviously fell for the inaccurate marketing nonsense.


    You can't compare 2011 i5 Sandy Bridge to 2012/2013 Ivy Bridge/Haswell architecture.

    The 2013 Haswell i5 equivalent will look like lightening compared to the 2011 i5 chip.

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