1.6 Rev A vs. unibody 2.0 MB

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by aaquib, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. aaquib macrumors 65816

    aaquib

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #1
    I'm looking to sell my MacBook 2.0GHz in favour of a rev A refurb MBA and a desktop machine. I was wondering how the performance would compare between the 1.6 and 2.0 processors. I heard some pretty nasty things about how I won't even be able to play YouTube videos on it, but I tried out the Rev A at the Apple Store and it seemed fine.

    What type of performance hits would I expect going to the Rev A 1.6/HDD MacBook Air? I will be doing browing, iTunes, Adium, Youtube, word processing, and maybe some light photoshopping. Like I said, I plan to build a desktop machine as well.

    PS. Scottsdale, please do not try convincing me to spend an extra $1500 to go with the Rev.B 1.8/SSD. :p I really don't want to spend more than $1100 on it, as the desktop machine I am planning to build should run me another $1000.
     
  2. rjdiedling macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    #2
    tell me a little more about your macbook i am looking to get rid of my Air its a rev. a 1.6 80 gig hd. i need more hd space and dont wanna carry around an external. maybe we can work out some sort of trade
     
  3. citi macrumors 65816

    citi

    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    #3

    I own a 1.6 mba HD, Macbool Pro 2.5 4gb ram, and a Mac Mini and I can tell you, for what you are describing it will do it perfectly. I really appreciate my mba. I don't have any core issues and it's solidly built. I thought about selling it since I do have a MBP 15 but I just couldn't get myself to do it. Once you have one, you understand.
     
  4. dudup macrumors regular

    dudup

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Location:
    São Paulo, Brazil
    #4
    You can totally go for the 1.6 MBA. I have a quite similar setup. I use a 1.6 Rev. A MBA at work and an 24" iMac at home.

    At work, I use all kinds of office apps, specially Keynote '09, doing lots of heavy presentations with there, with tons of images, charts and videos. I can't use some of the complex animations, but that's something that even my 2.4ghz iMac can't do as well. :)

    I also use OmniGraffle and Coda a lot, and some Photoshop here and there. All of that while running iChat, Yahoo! Messenger, Skype, iTunes, Mail and lots of tabs open on Safari 4.

    There are some occasional slowdowns, but those are completely related to playing heavy Flash stuff on Safari. Just close the tab and everything's fine again.

    Sometimes I considered switching to a Unibody MB like you're now. But when weigh the pros and the cons, here's what I get:

    Pros:

    1 - Better graphics (9400m)
    This could be achieved with a Rev. B Air

    2 - An extra USB port
    I don't care, I never use more than 1 usb port at a time, even on my iMac

    3 - An ethernet port
    This is nice, but I rarely use it. I bought the USB Ethernet adapter, and I don't see an issue to bring it along.

    4 - Ability to upgrade to 4GB RAM
    This would be an welcome addition, but TBH, I don't use virtualization, so I never top the 2GB on the Air. OS X has awesome memory management.

    5 - Ability to upgrade to SSD in a near future
    This is by far the killer thing to me. I've played with SSD machines, and I'm completely crazy about it. Since the Rev. A MBA is likely to be impossible to upgrade to SSD, this is something that would make me switch. But only because it seems I won't be able to upgrade my Rev. A MBA with an SSD.


    Now, the cons:

    1 - Optical drive
    Sorry, but I couldn't care less about it. I simply don't use them for at least 3 years or so. And I can't avoid to think about how much space it takes on the laptop that could be used to other things like an additional HDD (Optibay i.e.)

    2 - No firewire
    Again, USB can be expanded via a USB hub. But since Apple took away the firewire on the MB, it became far less attractive to me.

    3 - Added weight and thickness
    Know something I love about my MBA? It's thin like my Apple Keyboards. That's something that makes a world of difference once you get used to type on it. Try to type on a regular MB or MBP and you'll miss the added comfort of its thinness. And about the weight, it's a world of difference.

    4 - Crappy screen
    I LOVE the MBA screen. I can't look to the MB screen anymore without noticing the difference in quality. I used to have no issues with my previous white MB, but now that I got used to the MBA screen, I simply can't go back

    So basically, this restricts my upgrade options to a Rev. B MBA or a 15" MBP -- this one may be a lot bigger, thicker and heavier, but it got so many advantages (powerful graphics, bigger screen, firewire, etc) that at least it can compensate the tradeoffs.

    Sorry for the long post, but I know exactly how you feel. If you toyed with the Rev. A MBA and liked it, then go for it. At least you'll be paying nearly half of what I paid a year ago. :D
     
  5. dudup macrumors regular

    dudup

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Location:
    São Paulo, Brazil
    #5
    I think that's the best quote about the MBA so far.
     
  6. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #6
    In most cases I'd say go for the Unibody MacBook, but since you have a desktop and would be using the MBA as a secondary, portable machine, I think that's the perfect application of a MBA.

    Go for it! It's an amazing piece of machinery.
     
  7. tubbymac macrumors 65816

    tubbymac

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    #7
    The things I notice are that iTunes loads slower, Youtube is pretty problem free on the MB but drops frames on the MBA when watching HD Youtube stuff. I have my MBA at default settings though - with some extra cooling tricks and coolbook I hear you can get around it. Word processing I notice no difference other than the load time which is longer on the MBA.

    Photoshop though is a different story. It feels a lot slower on the MBA, but whether that's due to the 0.4 ghz difference in CPU speed or because of the 9400 Nvidia chip, I dunno. Since you said you only need light usage, it should be fine. Just won't feel as snappy as the MB though.
     
  8. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #8

    The original MBA may perform well enough for you now, but what about three years down the road? I think that is the biggest reason for people to pass on the cheapie refurbished MBA. Cannot afford or don't want a rev B MBA, no problem that is what the unibody MacBook is exactly meant to do...

    If I were YOU, I would keep the unibody MB and buy a 24" LED ACD. That unibody MB can do nearly everything an iMac can do. It is extremely portable, it is fast, it has optical drive, it will outperform the original MBA by HUGE MARGINS (don't believe me, go check out xBench.com - the original MBA is a dud)!

    For a lot less than buying an iMac and original MBA, you pay $799 for a refurbished 24" LED Backlit ACD, and you have the best of both worlds - portability and desktop like performance with your unibody MB. Heck, the iMac is based on same Penryn CPU as Unibody MB and has the same mobile components.

    There are my two cents that DO NOT INCLUDE A REVISED MBA.

    Good luck with your decision.
     
  9. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #9
    Just beware, having two computers is a hassle. But I can say from experience that the Rev As aren't what most people make them out to be. I tried one out at my local electronics store and it was fine. It's not like an Alienware in terms of performance, but for light computing tasks, it will do just fine.
     
  10. O. Frabjous-Dey macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2006
    #10
    I think you should go for it! I just picked up a refurb Rev A to work away from my desktop computer, and they're a perfect match for each other.

    I don't know what Apple is doing differently with their refurbished models, but the problems that plague Rev As from early 2008 all seem to have been fixed. The other day, I drained the battery down to nothing to recalibrate it by looping a high-quality YouTube video. I didn't notice any dropped frames, and the CPU and fans all stayed within reasonable parameters.

    The problems with working from two computers have all but been solved if you're willing to migrate to a more cloud-based environment. Between GMail, GCal, Evernote, and Dropbox I have pretty much everything I need anywhere I go. I'm even "syncing" my Things to-do application by storing its profile on Dropbox; thus, when I save it on one computer, Dropbox syncs it automatically and Things on the other computer is ready to go the next time I fire it up.
     
  11. justit macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    #11
    Another lengthy post with no real world data of your own to compare and post here to back up your claims. :rolleyes:

    The MBA rev A (especially refurb) is very capable, it does lag in issues like rendering times, but can run every application just fine.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=7013333&id=5

    Easy rule of thumb:

    Do your heavy lifting, (ie. encoding video) on your desktop and everything else on the MBA. Screen Sharing will be your best friend.
     
  12. SeanU macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    #12
    The MBA will run at the same speed in 3 years as it does today. In 3 years, you can buy a cheapie refurb MBA rev.3... and spend almost as much for both machines as a single MBA rev.2 costs. Personally I'd skip the revision 2.... it is much slower than the revision 3.
     
  13. dudeitsjay macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    #13
    +1.
     
  14. aaquib thread starter macrumors 65816

    aaquib

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #14
    TBH, I never keep notebooks for 3 years. The MBA, just like the MB and nearly every other sub $2000 notebook will be close to obsolescence in 3 years.
     
  15. mshaf macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    #15
    I'm often asked why i love my MBA so much. If you have one no explanation is necessary. If you don't, no explanation is satisfactory.
     
  16. aaquib thread starter macrumors 65816

    aaquib

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #16
    Does anyone have first hand experience going from the 2.0 MB to the 1.6 MBA? I just wanted to know about how much less I'll be able to do.
     
  17. tubbymac macrumors 65816

    tubbymac

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    #17
    Check my signature line, heh :)
     
  18. aaquib thread starter macrumors 65816

    aaquib

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #18
    Well you have the SSD MB so I'm pretty certain you will be seeing stunning performance gains.

    Any comments on the difference between them?
     
  19. tubbymac macrumors 65816

    tubbymac

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    #19
    Woops haven't updated my sig in a while. Just updated it now. I moved the SSD out into a new Dell and the stock factory drive back into the MB recently. The reply I made earlier in your thread before was comparing the MBA 2.0/160 HD versus the MBA rev A/80 HD.

    Let's just say I have many laptops and my favorite one is still the MBA. You can see my collection in the picture here. I can answer questions about any of these in terms of comparisons and such.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Subwaymac macrumors regular

    Subwaymac

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2009
    Location:
    Illinois
  21. tubbymac macrumors 65816

    tubbymac

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    #21
    You mean the Macbook Airs?

    No idea on the aftermarket limits, but factory stock is:

    rev A = 64 gig SSD max
    rev B = 128 gig SSD max
     
  22. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #22
    SAY WHAT? The rev 2 is SLOWER than rev 3? We haven't even seen a rev 3... and it's projected to be an SL9600 running at 2 GHz... much faster than 1.86 GHz??? :confused:

    I really think a rev B MBA will be running fine in three years. The point of the original MBA, is that it is severely constrained by today's standards. When it was released it was nearly inoperable. With massive software rewrites and Cool Book, it became usable.

    Yes, it will run at the same speed in three years if it is NOT updated from today forward. If no other items are installed on it and is turned off for three years. Put it in a box for three years and boot it, sure. HOWEVER, the real world has BUILT IN obsolescence for computers. Even software that is on it today will change drastically with updates and etc. Even the OS will become more burdened by added demands of it. That goes without installing new applications and etc. This is how computers are designed. The software is consistently upgraded requiring more and more system resources which includes CPU, RAM, and drive space. So a computer does not perform nearly as well as it did three years prior with the EXACT SAME OS AND APPLICATIONS.

    Not only does software and the OS require more and more resources, but our demands and file size usage increases heavily year over year. Video size and quality gets bigger requiring more space, music requires more (like iTunes now using 256K for recording songs by default will take much more drive space), and etc MBA for three years, and use it, sure it will be the same assuming no updates and or changes.

    If this were not the case, we would all buy one computer and use it until it wears out. Sure we buy computers for new features, but all in all, we buy new computers because we demand too much from our old computers. This is technology evolution. It keeps software and hardware manufacturers in business.
     
  23. dudup macrumors regular

    dudup

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Location:
    São Paulo, Brazil
    #23
    Well... the Rev. A have the very same clock speeds than Rev. B, and you say its worlds of difference.

    Gotcha, huh? :D
     
  24. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #24
    No, he said the SSD in his B makes a world of difference.
     
  25. aaquib thread starter macrumors 65816

    aaquib

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #25
    No, in fact I recall him saying that a 1.8/SSD Rev A couldn't even compete with the 1.6/HDD Rev B.
     

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