2017 12" MB too similar to 2013 11" MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Conza, Mar 21, 2018.

  1. Conza, Mar 21, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018

    Conza macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2018
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    Update: I decided to go with a 2017 13" MBP see my thread on it over on that forum here - https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/replaced-a-2013-11-mba-with-2017-13-mbp-tb.2112190/
    OP here updated
    -----
    I had that upgrade itch for a new MacBook. I had a 2013 MacBook Air 11" which cost $1819 AUD or about $2000 AUD in today's money, CTO 8GB RAM and a 512GB SSD.

    What do I use it for? It's a web browser I use in bed, at a desk, occasionally play movies on it, would like to present using airplay with it, light word processing and spreadsheet work, feel free to ask more questions about what my 11" MBA one is or isn't doing. The new MB didn't need to be faster, but it does feel like it's getting slow nowadays, might last another year, battery has diminished but I'm usually near a charger.

    I looked at the MacBook Pro 13 TB below, why not the nTB model when I mention price? I got scared by the single fan stories I've heard places, but I did prefer the nTB at first for bigger battery and smaller processor.

    My last question after you read all of this, how long should I wait for Apple to change their line up again? I can wait, I'm just obsessed with these right now but can hold off if something is coming or prices will drop, rumours seem all over the place, not good at deciphering them (heh we're on macrumors.com I should go read some threads I guess).

    Current 2013 MacBook Air
    Intel Core i5-4250U @ 1.30GHz 1.3GHz DC i5, Turbo Boost up to 2.6GHz
    8GB 1600MHz LPDDR3 memory
    512GB SSD
    Intel HD Graphics 5000

    So if you look at the 2017 MacBook 1.3GHz/512GB, it looks very similar on paper and costs $2349 AUD
    1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz
    8GB 1866MHz LPDDR3 memory
    512GB SSD storage
    Intel HD Graphics 615

    5 years later here are the main Improvements that I can see
    Retina screen +0.4 inches larger
    1/3 power consumption CPUs
    Weight decrease of 160g or 17.4% 0.92kgs vs 1.08kgs
    USB-C
    Superior integrated graphics
    +3.4wh battery (on a lower power usage machine)
    No more glowing Apple (a personal gripe of mine when in a dark room)
    Smaller dimensions

    Trade offs are
    1x USB-C only vs. all other ports (especially magsafe 2)
    thinner keyboard
    worse webcam (480p vs 720p)
    Price

    So if it's going to cost me $2349 for 'the same' MacBook I have now, feels a bit like what's the point? As well, given that this one has lasted almost 5 years, may as well spend $650 extra and get a MacBook Pro 13" w/ TB

    3.1GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz
    8GB of 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory
    512GB SSD
    Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650

    Improvements
    Retina screen +1.7 inches larger
    +11.2 watt hour battery
    USB-C x 4
    Touch bar / Touch ID

    Trade offs

    Touch bar uses more battery and prevents some start up functions, less convenient
    Battery increase doesn't make up for 2x power of processor (28W vs 15W)
    Weight increase of 290g or 26.9% 1.37kgs vs 1.08kgs
    Large dimensions
    Audible Fan
    Price
     
  2. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #2
    What do you mean by the TouchBar preventing startup functions?



    So - here's the thing.
    For the things you'd use it for, the MacBook would feel a fair bit faster. The IPC (Instructions per clock) gains with the CPU, means that for each cycle your current processor runs through, the one in the MacBook will be able to perform a lot more work. And for your workloads you'll need to compare the turbo frequencies not the bases. More importantly as well, the SSD is significantly faster in the MacBook.
    The MBP will of course outperform it though.

    With respect to the single fan in the nTB model compared to the TB model, well, the CPU in the nTB model also is a lower TDP chip, meaning it won't produce as much heat, so in terms of reliability it shouldn't make a difference really.

    And lastly, with respect to rumours.
    I'd say there are fairly good chances we'll see a brand new Air-like thing in only 6 days. With a Retina display and a great price point.
    In June at WWDC, there's a decent chance we'll see a new MacBook Pro too, with 2 more cores across the lineup. If you'll be going for a Pro, you're going to want to wait for this to happen, as it will be a significant upgrade.
    If not at WWDC, this will happen at a Fall event though
     
  3. iPlodder macrumors member

    iPlodder

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    #3
    You'll see an incredible performance increase comparing your MacBook Air against a new MacBook. Whilst the processor specs look similar on paper take a look at the Geek Bench scores for the two machines. The through-put on the SSD in the new MacBook should have doubled compared to your Air as well.

    Now whether these changes are worth the extra money if you're finding your current Air is handling everything OK is another matter. Based on the use-case you've detailed above an iPad/iPad Pro would handle it for a fraction of the price of the new MacBook.
     
  4. Conza thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 20, 2018
    Location:
    Australia
    #4
    The through-put? You mean lower latency and read/write speed I assume? Especially if I put a 512GB SSD in, since larger SSDs are generally faster.

    Just regarding the iPad/Pro idea, it wouldn't for me, doesn't have MacOS which is basically what I'm after, I have a iPad mini and use iPads at work, it's the whole laptopness that I really want, not a giant iPhone without a sim card... So personally I'll rule that out.
     
  5. iPlodder macrumors member

    iPlodder

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    Apr 18, 2008
    #5
    Yep. It's down to the SSD's in the new MacBooks communicating directly to the PCI Express (PCI-e) bus which allows double the through-put (Mb/s) compared to SATA.
     
  6. tomscott1988, Mar 21, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018

    tomscott1988 macrumors 6502a

    tomscott1988

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    UK
    #6
    I had my 2013 11" MBA i7 512gb 8gb stolen and replaced it with a 2015 base macbook 1.1 8gb 256gb.

    They are expensive for what you get. I think I paid £1270 for the 11" MBA and the Macbook cost £1250RRP from apple and you get twice the compromise.

    Its a good machine but has no where near the power, obviously the 2017 are a huge improvement withe the i5 and i7 but they are costly. Having no fan they throttle quickly and that turbo boost is barely touched. Mine gets up to about 80Deg C in safari but quickly cools itself. For productivity pretty much everything is slow and its not the most responsive.

    The main gripe is the USB C dongles are super hit and miss. If you use more than one hard drive at a time you have to have power attached to the dongle or it will crash. Same with multiple of anything, SD card with a USB stick etc or just plugging in a USB stick needs an adapter. Plus its just USB C and TB3.

    The main reason I got it is the screen for content viewing, the keyboard is meh, the performance is meh, the connectivity is meh. Its a pretty low end machine but I use it that way I have a mac pro so its just a surf and data drop machine when im on location (photographer).

    The ports are the main issue and I dont think the current Macbook line up is that great, certainly not pro anyway. Spec a decent 13" and its hits 2k pretty quick and for a couple hundred more you can get a 15" with quad and a dedicated graphics card...

    The main thing is this thing is small! There is no penalty to carrying it around.

    For me the MBA apart from the screen is a far better machine and a newer macbook may bench better but the air has a fan so it wont throttle as quickly.

    Its a tough time to choose any mac as nothing is really fantastic and full of compromise. The whole portable line is in transition, the keyboards are poor and have high failure rates, battery life is poor, 16gb ram max, old CPUs, no dedicated graphics unless a 15". They are about 25% more expensive than they were in the 2013 era and dont offer any real difference bar slightly newer tech no evolution essentially the same.

    The competition are doing more interesting things at a much cheaper price point for similar devices to the macbook. Im really tempted to trade my macbook in for a 13" surface book 2, for about the same price as a fully loaded 13" MBP you get a quad processor, a GTX 1050 a detachable touch screen... the macbooks dont come close. The touch screen looks great to me as you can use a pen to edit images etc attach it to an external moniter and you can use the surface as a wacom style tablet.

    Cant do anything close to that in the mac world.

    The main issue is they dont run Mac OS but with pretty much all programs being multi platform there isnt really an experience difference you just sign in and have the same experience.

    Mac OS has fallen by the wayside too windows 10 truly is a decent alternative. I just hope that this year Apple make more of a splash than just a touchbar.

    There will be a big shuffle with the mac line up this year so I would hold off, the Macbook may not exist come June. There is quad cores for 13" hex for 15" and a new macbook to arrive to hopefully make the line up make more sense.
     
  7. EugW, Mar 21, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018

    EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

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    #7
    The main problem with the MacBook Air is the screen.

    The 2015 MacBook isn't really a good gauge of the MacBook in 2018. It has a much worse keyboard, and it is way slower than the 2017 MacBook.

    The 2017 m3-7Y32 is literally 25-50% faster than the 2015 M-5Y31.

    The i5 and i7 aren't really much faster than the m3 in 2017. The 2017 i7-7Y75 is maybe 5% faster than the 2017 m3-7Y32. And the i5 is within just a couple of percent of the m3. That is, at least if we're talking about Cinebench.

    Basically the only reason to get the 2017 i5 is to get 512 GB SSD storage, since Apple doesn't allow you to configure the m3 with the 512 GB SSD. If you believe Geekbench, the performance differences may be larger, but the same rule still applies. Going from the m3 to the i5 isn't really a great jump. If you really want more performance than the m3 you should probably go right to the i7. The reason to get the i5 is just for the 512 GB storage.

    As for throttling, we ran tests here and with near-continuous load, and the m3 lost about 7% performance after about half an hour. This is with repeated Cinebench R15 multi-core CPU rendering tests, which maxes out all virtual cores. The machine may have had 1 second of rest between tests, but that's it.
     
  8. turbineseaplane macrumors 68040

    turbineseaplane

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    #8
    I'm happy for everyone that can enjoyably use a sub 13" screen.

    I guess I'm just getting old, but I just can't do anything under the 13" screen size for very long or very comfortably.

    I even wish they'd make a low power 15" "air" or "MacBook" equivalent.
     
  9. tomscott1988 macrumors 6502a

    tomscott1988

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    Location:
    UK
    #9
    I was comparing it to my m3 2015.

    Still the 2017 MacBook i7 512gb 16gb is the best part of a £1900... thats insane money for a single port machine.

    The whole line up stinks in this regard, get the same in a MacBook pro 13" and its £2400 for a dual core with no dedicated graphics and you still have dongle life with honestly not much more performance but at least you get more than one port but loose the F keys. Its tragic.

    For the same money you can get the top tier apple spec 27" 5K iMac.

    For £200 more you get a 15 with a quad and a dedicated graphics which blows anything under it away yet you loose the portability.

    I bought my 2010 Mac Pro for less than that new its just insane. They need to sort the line up out.

    Theres nothing much pro about anything under the 15" imo.

    The MacBooks don't seem to hold their value either, I paid £650 for my MacBook in March 2016 preowned from the high street with a 3 year warranty with 24 cycles on it.

    At the time there was no alternative and the MacBook pros weren't great then apart from ports.
     
  10. turbineseaplane macrumors 68040

    turbineseaplane

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    #10
    I've noticed that also..

    I've been a preowned Mac buyer/seller since 2005 or so and always keep a pulse on what different models are going for and over the last 3-4 years I've really noticed a downturn in the resale values.

    I think the issue is that the higher and higher retail prices just aren't recognized as valid by the pre-owned market and quickly the prices drop as they age (more than before).

    Apple products have sort of turned into "new cars" this way in that you take a bath in valuation the second you buy it.
     
  11. BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    #11
    I feel sad that this is your experience as it is the exact opposite of mine. I have the 2017 512GB but I did have the 2015 model at the time - it was £1050 at the time. Only last year did the Brexit price force the MacBook to £1250. Hopefully as the £ is a little stronger, we should of seen an Apple price decrease a while ago but those cheeky people have not reduced the price.
    Yes, I feel that it is overpriced with the 20% Brexit price increase - if anything, i felt that we'd see a £100 decrease in its original pricing.
    But I still love the MacBook, i've been using Macs since 1995 and this is my favourite to date. It's like the Porsche Boxster S of the car industry. It's classy, chic and desirable. The MacBook is simply pure delectable maybe decadent - that's for each person to decide.
    Lack of ports have never been a problem for me as I only have 2 uses for them outside of charging 1. Syncing video and music to my iPhone X and 2. Doing a weekly backup to a LaCie hard drive.
    Personally, I don't see Windows coming close to OS X - for me OS X, iOS and Apple TV OS is still the ultimate. I find it offensive and pure amateurish even talking about Windows.
    Not sure what to expect with the June launch but I firmly believe the MacBook 12" has a long future. In a way, it's very much like the iPhone SE in that the majority of its owners absolutely love it! Instagram is flooded with MacBook 12'. It's got a unique charm about it that no other computer has ever had. And for that, I love it and always will!
     
  12. tomscott1988, Mar 22, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018

    tomscott1988 macrumors 6502a

    tomscott1988

    Joined:
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    UK
    #12
    I use mine for play mostly but use it on location, always had macs with the compromise of speed and portability as laptops arent workhorses for me as I use workstations. The 11" macbook air was one of my all time favourites.

    TBH the macbook would be much much improved if they gave it a second port, it would solve most of my gripes and the newer tech from the 2017 model would certainly make the experience better. At what cost, £2k is a number that is about the benchmark and I just dont think its there. 1kg vs 1.2kg of the 13", then the competition are doing laptops that are lighter still yet a lot cheaper.

    My MBA was stolen with a lot of my photographic gear from my car while I was on a job and the insurance didnt play ball at the time (sorted eventually) so I needed something more budget friendly so I could continue to work in the same way. I would use the macbook more if you could use more than one HDD at a time on the go with the port but you cant. Currently I use it as a media consumption machine and the GF uses it etc Youtube is a pig on it too. Suppose thats the penalty for buying a gen 1 product.

    Although the macbook pros have two-four ports and a bit quicker they dont offer anything more really just a faster mac OS experience.

    Funny you bring up Porsche. I work for mags etc and I was on a week assignment across Europe with 3 911s 2 Boxster S and Cayman S basically documenting the trip for Porsche Post magazine.

    You can see the images here
    https://flic.kr/s/aHsm3nqeNV

    [​IMG]

    It was beyond a pain to constantly have to offload images onto the internal drive then copy it over to two drives separately instead of being able to make 2 copies at once and let it get on with things for backup purposes.

    Im a photographer and graphic designer and have used macs for as long as ive been a professional until recently, probably the last 2 years. Ive been using windows workstations as the media company I work for swapped over from 2012 mac pros because apple doesnt provide anything that comes close to a servicable machine.

    The trashcan wasnt the sort of investment they wanted to make and the newest imac pro is great but with the lack of any upgradability and the cost of upfront upgrades, each machine was coming in at around 8k each so they didnt jump on that either. I have a 2010 mac pro that I have upgraded as far as it will go and its time to retire it really. It gets used for personal work but I also have a dell workstation which runs circles round it and you can upgrade it... so that is my main editing machine.

    My main programs are lightroom, premier, after effects, cinema 4D , bridge, photoshop, illustrator and indesign. Lightroom runs like a dog on pretty much any mac ive tried apart from the imac pro that it runs pretty well. Same with premier, cinema the more intense products I was amazed at how much better they run on windows.

    It is very naive to think talking about windows is amateurish lol! Its also confusing why it would be offensive. At the end of the day what does it matter if it gets your work done quicker and suits your needs. Its just a hush word round here thats becoming louder for a lot of people. Macrumours is full of unhappy people from all aspects of the product lineup.

    Ive been a mac user for 15+ years I agree OSX is better but its not night and day like I said with cross platform the program experience is the same and essentially thats what you use the machine for not the OS. Im assuming its a long time since you have dabbled? I went from essentially XP to mac os to windows 10. I was so against going to windows, I kicked and screamed like a kid but a week in and my opinion completely changed. I now use windows more than the mac simply because of the above and found there was a lot to like. Microsoft are making some great products to compete.

    Apple are resting on their lorals and the mac essentially hasnt changed since they moved to intel, which is really sad. Thats the reason i moved over in the first place. iPhone sales trump the mac which im assuming is the problem.

    I keep the macs because im not ready to let go but the simple fact is the current line up is in disrepair. Lack of any kind of inovation what so ever. The touch bar was a desperate attempt to lure people with a new feature that people didnt want and people want F keys more but you cant buy a high end mac with F keys anymore! Its not the same as it used to be with the mac being way out in front it has fallen by the wayside and apple is scrambling to do something to keep customers. Its even difficult to choose which macbook to buy for a lot of people.

    Things they do well are screens, portability, build quality and continuity. I like how everything integrates so easily and they way they are seamless. On the other hand High Sierra wasnt great and is still very buggy. Its also difficult because Adobe CC works so much better on windows than the mac simply because you can use Nvidia cards with Cuda and Apple will not move from mid range ATI cards.

    A lot of my professional colleagues have moved on. I hope that apple can address some of these issues because I would happily buy if some of my needs are met. Im pretty sure im not the only one.

    For the time being there isnt really much of a reason to spend nearly double for a macbook pro that doesn't really do much more.

    Like I said above the 13" surface book 2... it has legacy ports and usb-c, it has a 17 hour battery, essentially built in ipad with a touch screen that runs a desktop OS so you can actually do some work! You can paint adjustments in programs like lightroom, it has a quad core CPU and a GTX 1050! The macbook pro doesn't even come close and it benches similar to the 15" MBP. You could easily use this thing as a portable workstation.

    With the next generation of intel CPUs the 13" SB2 might even get a hex core...

    Its easy to be sucked under the Apple cloud and have the thought of its not worth looking elsewhere. I was like that a long time. Worth looking around seeing what else is out there.

    At the end of the day if you dont question what apple are doing and actually compare to see what they are offering compared to the competition youve got the blinkers on. Like I said didnt used to be like this but the mac is not what it once was.
     
  13. Conza thread starter macrumors member

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    Australia
    #13
    Wow amazing discussion, thanks everyone.

    Can someone actually point me to where an m3 (i5, i7) of the MacBook is superior to the MacBook Air?

    I think this has been mentioned here, a turboboost is no good if you can't reach it, so the base clock is actually what I'm more interested in, for that very reason.

    In Australia, spec for spec (and this is top spec really) a MB vs MBP 13 both with 16GB 512GB SSD the difference is $650.

    I don't want to replace a 5 year old computer with a 'new' computer that amounts to a retina screen, and 100g saved, not to mention I'll want add magsafe 2 back with a usb-c adapter (have the 85W charger, so it should power either just fine).

    I don't care how great the screen is, or how much longer the battery lasts, if it doesn't actually perform much better, then $2669 just isn't worth 'just' that, where as $3319 for the same MBP, it's a whole level up.

    Yes it's a wait and see moment I think, not sure what the MacBook could do to sway me that way, another USB-C port... it doesn't have thunderbolt 3 does it? (I don't know if I want it, except for hub support in the future), the resolution, probably fine but it's a bit unusual, 2304 wide...

    MBP wise though, a dedicated graphics card (that's switchable importantly), the nonTB battery capacity if possible and a quad core, I mean that would feel like an upgrade...
     
  14. Macalway macrumors 68030

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    #14
    At this point, if I had to use a device that has shifting color with any angle movement, I would go insane within a minute.

    But that's just me :)
     
  15. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2017
    #15
    Cinebench R15
    230 - i5-4250U
    264 - m3-7Y32 (+15%)

    Geekbench 4
    5500 - i5-4250U
    7000 - m3-7Y32 (+27%)

    I don’t know how much real world difference you’d notice but FWIW, the entry level 2017 m3-7Y32 is noticeably faster than the entry level 2015 M-5Y31. However, your i5-4250U is faster than the 2015 M-5Y31.
     
  16. Conza thread starter macrumors member

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    #16
    Can you elaborate please? Sounds very concerning, is this for a 2016 MBP?
     
  17. tomscott1988 macrumors 6502a

    tomscott1988

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    UK
    #17
    Im assuming he means the macbook air as good as those screens used to be, compared to the retina they are night and day. Its a toss up because like described you loose in some areas and win in others.

    At the end of the day I would wait until the new machines are released. If it becomes this <$900 laptop it would be a much better purchase.
     
  18. oneMadRssn macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

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    New England
    #18
    I have the exact same MBA as you. Indeed, I have two identical ones for my wife and me. 2013 MBA i7 8GB RAM 512GB SSD. They're wonderful laptops, I love them.

    My only gripe is the screen. Everything else about it is perfect.

    First, the 16:9 aspect ratio on the 11MBA makes viewing vertical content a pain in the butt.

    The 16:10 of the rMB seems like it would be a bit better.

    Second, the physical screen size is too short. This is related to the first above. The 11MBA screen is only 5.4-in / 13.7-cm tall. That means if viewing a Word document or a normal page-sized PDF at 100% scale, you can see at best half a page in full-screen mode, or more likely a third of a page in normal windowed mode with the toolbar and all. Indeed, because of how small the screen is, going any lower than 100% makes the text too small to read comfortably.

    The rMB has a 6.4-in / 16.2-cm tall screen. It might not seem like much, but that extra vertical space helps a ton. At 100% zoom, you can see half a Word document or normal page-sized PDF with the toolbars and all; closer to two-thirds of the page in fullscreen mode. Further, because the screen itself is a bit bigger and the resolution crisper, you can get away with 90% zoom and still be able to read the doc.
     
  19. Macalway macrumors 68030

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    #19
    Yes I meant the Air. They use ancient screen tech. Unbelievable.
     
  20. Conza thread starter macrumors member

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    Australia
    #20
    Yes I agree, which is sort of my point above in a way, can I really spend $2349 on a screen and a better battery? Ok, that's also doubling the RAM, increasing the ram speed, the processor's theoretical turbo boost is higher... Otherwise though, it is a very very similar device. Hopefully if the price comes down in a week, and I can get everything I want sub $2k (AUD) it will be a much more appealing prospect... Space Grey too I guess.

    Yeah, they've really milked that cow, I'm not sure how the last/latest MacBook Air does on external monitors, but the 2013 MBA I have, is basically good enough for 1080p (yes it can do more, but it really struggles).
     
  21. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

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    Zurich, Switzerland
    #21
    The latest MBA does 4k (externally), but the screen is as bad as ever.

    I think, good screens are worth almost any cost (within reason). We're going to have to stare on screens for the foreseeable future and the though of my eye-sight degrading is an absolute horror.
    If I can't see right anymore, I'll have problems at my job, can't drive a car etc.pp. - I want to drag that out for as long as possible.
     
  22. Conza, Mar 24, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2018

    Conza thread starter macrumors member

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    Australia
    #22
    Look not long to go now for the next announcement, fingers crossed we'll see upgrades to the MacBook (again) I think it's always good to buy just when it's announced then released to get maximum ROI.

    I have 'sort of' given up on the MacBook Pro 13, as much as I still really like the thing. I mean if I want to video edit, I would buy a yearly licence for AVID since I'm familiar with them, and their pricing is very competitive, $500AUD for FCP, hmm, not so sure (I could love it but its a risk, yes there is a trial too).

    The battery of the MBP 13 vs the MB isn't significantly increased to make up the more than 6 times the W of the processors from the MBP 13, the larger real estate might be nice, so would the TB and the Touch ID, but otherwise, better off sinking more into the MB I think... when there's a new, new one ('18, fingers crossed).

    Colour is still a tough choice though, the original 3 silver, space grey and gold I like, I would prefer black (like my iPad mini), but it'll be in a leather portfolio style case anyway.

    EDIT: This is how I'd spec it, as low a processor as possible with as much RAM and storage.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. oneMadRssn macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

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    New England
    #23
    The question is more, do you want it? And, can you afford the luxury?

    Personally, I can afford it, and I sort of want it, but not bad enough to spend that money. Both of my 11MBAs still have less than 100 battery cycles on them. As I said above, they work perfectly well for all my tasks. I will wait until these 11MBAs are either not supported by macOS, or they suffer some kind of hardware issues, or until I see a deal on the rMB that I cannot pass up.
     
  24. Conza thread starter macrumors member

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    Australia
    #24
    Look I think that's pretty patient of you, if that were the case, they've probably got 3-5 more years left (maybe longer) based on which devices are required for High Sierra, being from 2009/2010, so worst case is there's some massive improvement in macOS in the next few years, then you've still got another 2 years out of a 2013 laptop (so maybe 8 years all up minimum).

    That's a long time on one device.

    What I'm more concerned with, is buying a device that won't be as future proof as my current one has been, if the specs are very similar... won't it be similarly future proof? I.e. a mild improvement after 5 years (counting 2013 and buying the existing model for example), with performance barely moving on at all, seems to be the wrong time to do it.

    If the MacBook had the MacBook Pro specs, yes I might still wait, maybe with a cannon lake quad core, I'm not sure, but this is my concern, paying money, for very much the same thing, then in a few years 'wow this 2017 laptop is already getting on, hard to believe'. Maybe not so hard to believe.
     
  25. oneMadRssn macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

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    Location:
    New England
    #25
    The mhz and ghz wars ended a long time ago. The details that make a laptop no longer supported these days are related to stuff other than brute performance specs, usually certain specific instructions of niche features. For example, certain older CPUs might not support a necessary instruction set. Or, older GPUs might not have hardware support for decoding certain codecs that are necessary to the OS. For example, as far as I understand, Kaby Lake is the first generation of Intel CPUs that have 4k HEVC / x265 decoding built-in to the hardware. Hypothetically, if Apple deems 4k HEVC decoding to be a necessary feature for an OS in 2022, all pre-Kaby Lake models will not be supported at that time.

    That's actually why I chose the 2013 MBA to begin with. There are no noteworthy changes in the 2014-2017 versions. They all have the same hardware support, same bluetooth, same WiFi, same SSD type, same memory speeds and types. I figure whenever the 2013 becomes unsupported, it will be the same year the 2014, 2015, and 2017 models become unsupported too. In other words, not for a while.

    Likewise, while it is difficult to say now, but I wouldn't bother with anything other than a Kaby Lake Macbook if purchasing today. Apple is clearly going all-in with HEVC and HEIF, so I wouldn't get anything that doesn't support those at the hardware level.
     

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