2010 1.86ghz 13" vs. 2011 1.7ghz 13"

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by rileyb76, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. rileyb76 macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2008
    Do you think there would be a huge performance increase between:
    2010 1.86ghz 13" w/ 4gb ram 128gb ssd
    2011 1.7ghz i5 13" w/ 4gb ram 128gb ssd

    Found a deal on a 2010 13" with applecare for $1000. But for $226 more, Amazon has a special today on the 2011 1.7ghz i5 13". Trying to figure out the best bang for the buck or even if the performance is that noticeable.

    I would be doing some web development, surfing, and maybe a little Windows VM action.

  2. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Either the i5 or the i7 would make a considerable difference with the virtual machine. It has 4 virtual cores, plus the i5 can Turbo Boost to 2.4GHz with 2 cores running, and 2.7GHz with 1 core running (2.6GHz/2.9GHz for the i7).

    The best bang for the buck would be the i5.
  3. nebulos macrumors 6502a


    Aug 27, 2010
    2011 anything for performance

    Anandtech's review

    MR reviews thread

    however, i don't see the price you mention on Amazon. in fact, Amazon seems to be selling the MBAs considerably more expensive than everyone else. Why?
  4. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    I would save 2 C notes and go with the 2010 unless you are de/encoding video or running numerical calculations. VMWare runs fine on a 2010. Not sure the dual core i5 actually helps when using VM, since TurboBoost shifts everything to one core and ramps up to 2.6Ghz on the i5.
  5. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    I would say 2010. You save 2 green bills, and its battery life can be anywhere from 1.5x to 2x that of the 2011 model.

    Well, that is... unless performance is more important to you, but I would think that if performance was the deciding factor, then the Macbook Air wouldn't be your first choice.
  6. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    The i5 can boost both cores up to 2.4GHz. I had a 2.13GHz Rev D last winter, and now have the 1.7GHz i7. I notice a big difference when running Windows 7 in Parallels Desktop. It almost feels like it is running natively rather than inside a VM. The 2010 model was good, but the 2011 model is better.
  7. rileyb76 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2008
    Thanks for your opinions guys.
    I believe I'm leaning towards saving money and getting the 2010. Plus it has Applecare. Not a bad deal.
  8. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    The 2010s last a bit longer, but not 1.5-2x longer. I'd say the difference is about 10-20%.
  9. nebulos macrumors 6502a


    Aug 27, 2010
    yeah, i wonder where this is coming from.

    granted, Anand got something crazy for his battery tests on the 2010 MBA, but even he says that seems funky. Laptopmag got almost identical results on their battery tests for the 2010 and 2011 13" MBAs.

    anyways, it sounds like OP just wanted a nudge towards the 2010.
  10. al0513 macrumors 6502

    Sep 28, 2011

    The way I see it is, why would you spend $1000 for a year old MBA when you can get a new MBA for $200-$300 more?

    I picked up a 2011 13" i5 128gb at bestbuy this past weekend for $1300. Yes, I know, I could have picked it up for a few dollars cheaper, but I couldnt wait.

    Anyways back on topic, the battery life isnt that much better as other people have stated. The new one has newer features that most past MBA owners liked on the newer ones. It is really fast, I can run 5-7 screens and i dont even see a lag on it.

    Its like- why would you buy a 2010 model car, when the 2011 is just a few hundred more and has better features?

    Also, another way i see it is, i'll have this MBA for.. at least 3 years? My last viao lasted 5 years before it finally died. That viao was $1700 brand new- so basically i spent $340 per year for that laptop. This MBA, if I keep it for 3 years would cost me roughly $400 minus whatever resale value I could get out of it.

    Save yourself the heartache and regret of picking up the older MBA.
  11. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    The 2010 can last a lot longer because it can be undervolted, which results in a lot less heat, a lot less fan noise, and also significantly better battery life.

    An undervolted 2010 13" MBA can last 5-7 hours surfing Flash websites, 7-9 hours surfing without Flash, or over 12 hours with all radios off reading PDF files. Potentially a lot longer if it sits idle in between.

    I have yet to see a 2011 MBA reach that kind of battery life in any of my test, which is why I still haven't made the switch yet.
  12. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    And also slower performance. The average user doesn't install hacks to under volt a Core 2 Duo. Stock, the 2010s last about 10-20% longer than the Sandy Bridge versions.
  13. alecgold macrumors 65816


    Oct 11, 2007
    The question is wrong. You should decide for yourself if you would want to have an 11" or a 13".
    Unless you have a huge external display and work mainly on that, there is a considerable difference in screen size that should be the deciding factor. Yes the processor of the 2011 is faster, but for most uses its not that much faster that you will notice a big difference.
  14. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    Undervolting doesn't mean slower performance. The frequency at which the processor runs is still the same.

    In fact, it saves from situations where the processor overheats and throttles itself down, so it actually boosts performance in some cases. Especially with first generation Macbook Air.

    10-20% battery life is actually attributed to Snow Leopard having superior (or to be more precise, more mature) power management than Lion. If both machines were running Lion, both would have the same battery life. I actually tested that extensively.

    However, under Snow Leopard coupled with Coolbook, the 2010 Air can get up to 100% more battery life compared to Lion. And from another perspective, compared to the 2011 Air since you can't install Snow Leopard on 2011 Air, nor can you run Coolbook.

    I agree that the average users don't try to do it, but that's not to say there aren't advanced users using Mac, and that's also not to say that the process is hard enough that an average user wouldn't want to try it.

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