1st gen MBA looking to upgrade to new MBA or MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Jimmie Geddes, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. Jimmie Geddes macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2007
    I've had my MacBook Air since 2/1/08.


    It's time for an upgrade, but I'm not sure if I should go the MacBook Air route or MacBook Pro route. I've been reading tons of reviews, video reviews on youtube comparing the current MacBook Air with the current MacBook Pros. 11 vs 13, 2GB or 4GB RAM, etc.

    My MacBook Air is the 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 2GB RAM, 80GB HD. I don't do any type of video editing, or even use iPhoto on it, my iTunes library is on my iMac. I use it for updating my site, FTP, email, browsing, I also use Parallels w/XP on the MacBook Air, and definitely want to continue to use Parallels.

    It's so frustrating how slow my MacBook Air is , at times it can't even play a youtube video without it getting choppy. I'll use my iPhone 4 or iPad to watch something because my Air just can't handle it. I see the spinning beach ball way too much.

    I love the design, size (lack there of) of my MacBook Air but can't deal with the slowness anymore. I'm scared to get another MacBook Air only to have the same problem and regret buying it (even though most reviews says it doesn't even compare to the 1st gen MBA). The 13" MacBook Pro is nice, got great specs, but after having an Air it's hard to bulk up.

    I'm just really confused about falling back into trading performance for design again (all my research says it's a whole different Air and it's not slow like the 1st generation). I'm looking to buy either a MBA or MBP in the next 2 weeks and wanted to ask the experts here, hopefully you'll be able to give me some insight. I really appreciate any advice you guys can give me. Thanks in advance!! :)
  2. impulse462 macrumors 68000


    Jun 3, 2009
    I am coming from a early 2009 13" MBP, and while I never did use the original MBA, I can confidently say, my 11" MBA is snappier in 90% of the activities i use it for compared to my older 13" Pro, in fact with the exception of the CPU, everything in this 11" air is an upgrade. (besides the dvd drive because there isn't one, but thats besides the point and I never use it)

    Even the base 13" MBA uses a 1.86ghz CPU, but it is much faster than the original Air's cpu due to newer architecture. I'm sure anyone who's bought the new 13" MBA can say the same thing.

    Maxing the air to 4gb of RAM, and you should be able to run Parallels very well.
  3. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2007
    What sort of activities fall into the other 10%?

  4. 2IS macrumors 68030

    Jan 9, 2011
    Ive got a 13" MBA with the 1.86GHz CPU, 128GB SSD, 4GB ram and I have no problem with youtube videos, not even 1080 ones. Netflix also streams flawlessly. I've got a desktop also with a SSD which on paper is much more powerful then my MBA, but with the exception of gaming and handbrake encoding i'm never wanting for more performance than the MBA provides.
  5. Jimmie Geddes thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2007
    Thank you so much. I've been reading on here that upgrading the RAM to 4GB is the way to go. What made you decide to go with the 11"? Was it hard adjusting from a 13"? Do you really miss the back-lit keyboard? It's one of my favorite features, but think I could get used to it. Thanks again!
  6. impulse462 macrumors 68000


    Jun 3, 2009
    Stuff like 1080p flash video and playing some games, which I eventually grew out of. Maybe like 5-10% would be more accurate. Although, the games i really only cared about running were Halo PC, and CoD4 which the 11" both plays smoothly so maybe 5% would be the best.

    Well, I wasn't supposed to get the 11" till later, but that said, i tend to web-browse during my classes a lot, and yeah I could take out my 13inch pro and use that, but I guess I'm lazy, so i would web-browse on my phone.

    After using the 11" in the Apple Store, I fell in love with the form factor and the fact that it weighed 2 pounds, and wakes up from sleep in 1 second, I figured that during classes, I would have no troubles just whipping it out in class, or any situation really. and since the resolution on the 11" is still higher than the resolution in the 13" pro, but has smaller dimensions, the pixel density is higher which i appreciated.

    To be honest, I never really used the back-lit keyboard much at all, so it was really a non-factor for me. For me, the speed of the SSD, coupled with the 11" form factor that weighs 2 pounds were the killer features for me.
  7. Jimmie Geddes thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2007
    I am really digging the 11". Can you get the RAM and or processor upgrade in an Apple Retail Store or need to order it? I'm looking at prices online. I work for the Government and my discount at the Apple Store ends up being:

    11 inch
    # 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    # 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM
    # 128GB Flash Storage

    Do you think it's worth adding the $90 to go from 1.4GHz to 1.6GHz?

    I see Powermax is selling the same configuration for $1399.00

    Thanks again for everyone's great advice, I really appreciate it.
  8. impulse462 macrumors 68000


    Jun 3, 2009
    I'm pretty sure Apple Store's keep the ultimate version (1.6/4/128) in stock. Personally, I have a 1.4/4/128. Due to the circumstances of getting this computer, the 1.4 ghz was the faster option. Running at 1.4ghz also results in a little extra battery life which is more important to me than actual 200mhz in cpu performance.

    If you're going to keep this computer for 2+ years, it is in your best interest to go for the maxed out version, which would include the 1.6ghz CPU.
  9. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    I have last years MBP 13 and recently got a new MBA 11 ultimate.

    Even though the MBP benchmarks faster at pure number crunching, I almost never use it anymore except as a file server. I just use the MBA 11 for most everything.
  10. 1rottenapple macrumors 68000

    Apr 21, 2004
    Ok i had the rev a, MBA, then rev b mba... The new 11.6 and 13 in mba are really what the original MBA should have been. At least on my 11.6, with 4gb of ram, its not only fast, but it can handle flash vids (showing two at a time). Pretty happy with the purchase.
  11. Jimmie Geddes thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2007
    I'm very happy with my 11" Macbook Air. I got the ultimate. The difference is night and day compared to my oirginal MacBook Air. I can finally play flash videos without a single stutter like I always had with my original.

    It's so fast!

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