1st Gen MBA To Become Obsolete? PLEASE HELP!

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by shanshor, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. shanshor macrumors regular

    Jan 4, 2008
    Hello all, I have the opportunity to buy a new MacBook! I have narrowed my choices down to two: the White MacBook with standard configuration (2GHz, nvidea 9600, 120 GB) Or a 1st Gen MacBook Air. I would love either, but I think the air looks awesome. Portability isn't exactly a must, but appreciated. It has 1.6 ghz and an 80 GB HD. It has the crappy graphics chip too. I am lured in by the much larger trackpad.

    My question is for you 1st gen owners out there. I would be using it for: Internet, Music, Video, and some iChat/Yahoo Messenger.

    1)Would 1.6ghz/crappy graphics be more than enough? it seems that even 1.6ghz would become obsolete with the advances in technology. The eighty gigs would be more than enough.

    2)So would it be enough for me for the next FOUR years, just for doing these tasks?

    3)Are you satisfied with the overall speed of the Air?

    4)For me, would the MBA or White MacBook (standard configuration) be better?

    Note: iTunes, Safari, Music, Video, and Photos are about the ONLY things I will be doing
  2. kory108 macrumors member


    Nov 17, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    The only thing that I can see in your list there that could cause problems in the future is the video. The 1st gen Air is not very good at handling FLASH video. For instance, I can stream an hour episode of The Office from Hulu using their "HD" settings (just 420p) and the computer can handle it ok, as long is it's sitting on a hard surface and I have CoolBook running. If it's in bed though or CoolBook isn't running the fans will rev up to 6200 rpm and the video will start to stutter.

    So for now, as long as coolbook is installed and you give the computer enough air, it can handle video. In the future though that "HD" video will be upgraded to read HD and I doubt the Air would be able to handle that.

    PS: Only Flash video really causes a problem. Full 720 H.264 from iTunes or podcasts run fine, much better actually then the 420p flash video.
  3. Sijmen macrumors 6502a

    Sep 7, 2005
    I can do those things on my PowerBook 12". I think MacBook Air vs MacBook is a matter of personal taste.
  4. simplymuzik3 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2009
    I think you should get the new whitebook. It costs about the same as a first gen air, and its MUCH faster. Its also pretty light and portable so you can still carry it around. The new whitebook is an all-around better machine. It has bigger hard drive, more standard ram(I think, correct me if im wrong), better video card, more i/o, and faster cpu + more. Also since the price is so similar, I wouldnt even bother looking at the air.
  5. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    If you want FW, and the ability to use the less expensive DDR2 memory ... the new Nvidia-based white MacBook is a decent deal.
  6. Turmoil macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2008
    I'm thrilled happy, totally in love w/ my MacBook Air Rev 1st gen (refurb) it handles all the things you mention and more. I'm an Air owner that could hardly be happier.
  7. Grizzly Adams macrumors member

    May 20, 2008
    Either will do what you are looking for with ease. I use my MBA as my main computer. I use my desktop for storage basically. I think you are greatly underestimating how much either can do.

    If you need but don't have Wifi everywhere that you will be using it, I would go with the MB, if you like the portability and have wifi access everywhere - get the MBA.

    I like the fact that I can throw it in my backpack, head off to school for the day and I don't even notice that it is in there.

    The Air really is a niche product. I have never had a problem with needing more I/Os, nor have wanted for anything that it lacks. It either fits into what you need or it doesn't. THink about some of the things that it doesn't have and then how often you actually use those - how often do you actually use an optical drive anymore? How often do you have more than one USB input device plugged in? Do you still plug your laptop into your router and have tons of cat5 running all over your house? If you don't actually need what it doesn't have - it works perfectly.
  8. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    I really love my Air, but it is better suited as a companion. Go with the Macbook, it will last longer, especially because of the graphics card.
  9. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    MacBook (non-air). If you think something is "crappy" then why buy it? You mentioned that the MBA has a "crappy graphics chip".
  10. shanshor thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 4, 2008
    Because I wouldn't use it extensively. I wanted to see how you guys were faring with it. Also I was a bit lazy to copy and paste it in. haha. Also it was in comparison to the NVIDEA card
  11. shanshor thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 4, 2008
    And I stumped you all, including myself, and got a great deal on a refurb. Alum. MacBook. Hope it works out!
  12. kinkster macrumors 6502a

    Sep 15, 2008
    The Rev. B is almost the same specs as the Alum macbooks so you would see similar performance. I would look into those if you really want to keep it that long.
  13. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Buy what you want, but it's a no-brainer that any of the current Core 2 Duo MBs w/ NVidia graphics will be more useful long term compared to a solo core MBA w/ Intel graphics. That is science, not opinion.

    Also the chip in the MBA is not equal to the Core 2 Duo at the same clock speed. The 1.6Ghz chip in the MBA has been benchmarked at about 20% faster than a similarly clocked G4. See: http://www.macworld.com/article/131805/2008/01/macbookair_first_tests.html
  14. spatlese44 macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2007
    I generally think video upgrades do little for most people, most of the time. Safari doesn't need a screaming GPU. That said, the only performance issue I have with my MB (~16 months old) is full screen video on iChat causes the fan to run. It's annoying and doesn't happen on a MBP of the same age. Really comes down to how much you care / what you want to do. You could always sell it in the future and then upgrade.
  15. robeddie Suspended


    Jul 21, 2003
    Just dial up Apple's current default iTunes visualizer on the MBA rev. 1. Some of the sequences (not all) absolutely slow to a CRAWL.

    I upgraded to a rev. B and it runs fine now.

    I think Apple was embarrassed that their $2000 + dollar laptop couldn't even run their iTunes visualizer properly, so that's why they upgraded the graphics chip. LOL
  16. uicandrew macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2006
    think about how often you use the usb ports

    I use mine for flash drives, my usb wireless mouse, external hard drives for data storage, and my external superdrive, and to connect to my usb printer.

    to me, one usb port is just not enough. Some are able to get around it by using bluetooth mouse, wifi printers, and remote disc.

    Besides, the 1st gen MBA is NOT obsolete.

    By Apple's definition, the obsolete systems are the G4 powerbooks, so stop throwing the term around so loosely

    Source: http://www.macmerc.com/news/archives/4683

    Do you like to watch movies on your laptop screen? Then don't get the MBA. unless you want to pay for a download that'll take a couple hours.

    Remote Disc doesn't work with watching dvds.

    having the external drive defeats the purpose of the MBA. if you need to carry it around, you might as well carry the macbook.
  17. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    Whilst you are correct that the latest generation Macs with NVidia chipsets are faster, the chip in the MBA is a Core 2 Duo. Also, if you look at the benchmarks you link to, the vast majority of the individual test scores for the MBA are much more than 20% faster than the G4 (a lot of them are twice as fast), with the graphics and zip tests (due probably to the slow HDD in the MBA) dragging the total score down.
  18. aaquib macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    MBA screen>MB screen
  19. iTzChasE macrumors 6502


    Dec 31, 2008
    He already said he bought a Unibody Macbook.:apple::apple::apple::apple::apple:

    Hope you like it. I became a Mac a few months ago. I don't think I'll ever switch back to the Dark side.
  20. kinkster macrumors 6502a

    Sep 15, 2008
    You can always rip dvds and watch them later, saves battery life too.

    Think that tip is from Walt Mossbergs review.
  21. Turmoil macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2008
  22. nph macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2005
    Plus there is no better way to drain the battery that to slip in a DVD in a laptop...
  23. OnceBitten macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2009
    Get the new white, or alum MB why get a Older Crapbook?
  24. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Feb 9, 2005
    The good side of the grass.

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