Analyzing the differences between the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Chilla Frilla, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. Chilla Frilla macrumors member

    Chilla Frilla

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    #1
    To those contemplating on picking up the 11-inch MacBook Air or the 13-inch MacBook Air, I thought it would be helpful to list the differences between the two.

    Below is what I've compiled so far (in no particular order):

    1) SD Card Slot is on the 13" MacBook Air, not present on the 11"

    2) Higher clock speed configurations on the 13" (1.4 GHz/1.6 GHz vs. 1.86 GHz/2.13 GHz)

    3) 6MB of shared L2 Cache on the 13" vs. the 3MB on the 11"

    4) 1066 MHz frontside bus on the 13" vs. the 800 MHz on the 11"

    5) Larger capacity battery and an extra 2 hours of battery life on the 13" (7 hour 50-watt-hour battery on the 13" vs. 5 hour 35-watt-hour battery on the 11")

    6) Slightly larger trackpad and more room for your palms while typing (hey, it's true!)

    7) 16:10 1440 x 900 13.3" Display vs. 16:9 1366 x 768 11.6" Display

    8) The 13" model weighs in at 2.9 pounds while the 11" weighs in at 2.3 pounds. .5 pound weight difference


    If you have anymore differences between the two models, post below and I will add them to the list!
     
  2. Gonky macrumors regular

    Gonky

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    #2
    What does this actually mean, as in what effect will it have performance wise?
     
  3. Chilla Frilla thread starter macrumors member

    Chilla Frilla

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    #3
    The importance of L2 cache is actually quite high when you think about what you are trying to achieve with the purchase of a new machine.

    Level 2 Cache is used for accepting data directly from the memory (RAM) of the computer and having it ready for the CPU to use a lot quicker than if the CPU had to wait for the RAM to deliver the data over the system bus directly.

    Basically, the amount Level 2 cache is important for processor intensive applications.
     
  4. montblanc1 macrumors member

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    Jun 18, 2009
    #4
    The 11.6 inch model will definitely surpass the 13.3 inch in terms of sale, because 11.6 inch is way lighter and even more stunning and amazing than the 13.3 one. Because 13.3 inch ones are improved from previous generation, while 11.1 one are breakthrough.

    Even though Apple denies that the 11.6 inch model is netbook, most people will regard macbook air 11.6 as their secondary notebook, functioning it as netbook!

    For those who want their macbook air to be their first mac, they'd better choose 13.3 one
     
  5. lily69 macrumors regular

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    #5
    13" 2.9lb, 11" 2.3 lb. I wish the 13" was lighter too.
     
  6. bossxii macrumors 68000

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    #6
    Interesting they bothered putting 1066Mhz DDR3 memory in the 11" model with the 800Mhz bus speed. Doesn't the FSB bottle neck any benefit from the higher clocked memory?

    ** I maybe way off here on what the FSB interacts with but sounds like waste of $$ on higher clocked memory for a slower bus moving the data anyhow.

    Please correct/educate me if this is not the case. Thanks!
     
  7. Chilla Frilla thread starter macrumors member

    Chilla Frilla

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    #7
    From my knowledge, it's technically a waste of money like you said. The memory bus will be bottlenecked by the FSB.
     
  8. wrxdrunkie macrumors member

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    Oct 23, 2008
    #8
    Since they probably purchase that ram for multiple versions of their laptops. It's probably more cost effective to use ram they are familiar with and already order a lot of. As opposed to ordering ram specifically for the mb air 11.6.
     
  9. megadon macrumors 6502

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    #9
    I wouldn't suggest for anyone to get a macbook air as your first mac.. especially if you need to watch DVD's on it or burn CD's.. or put in CD's to watch stuff for some school classes or whatever.. just MO
     
  10. durruti macrumors regular

    durruti

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    #10
    from my memory....

    a faster memory speed is not a bottleneck....It won't slow down a system with a lower frontside bus speed.

    There is a relation though, although I don't know the specifics and technical understanding.

    Back in my DIY-PC building days the memory speed was multiplied by the multiplier of a CPU to get the total CPU speed...But I remember on a lot of motherboards it changed so that you could set the memory clock independent of the frontside bus speed of the CPU....It was dependent on northbridges, southbridges, chips, fish and chips, beer, ..................

    in the FUTURE---and off topic---
    a software frontside bus overclock program would be great. So that we could raise the frontside bus speed from 800mhz to 1066mhz, while lowering the multiplier of the CPU to keep temp's down, with the end result of an overall faster CPU without much tradeoff....Maybe there's such a program already out there?...

    I have a feeling "they" lowered the FSB of the 11.6" model to differentiate the performance of it with the 13"....of course it might have been done to keep down heat, power, etc..but from my experience 266mhz of a frontside bus is not a big deal...and leads me to conclude it was a greedy move.
     
  11. bossxii macrumors 68000

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    #11
    Very good point, and likely the reason. I have been on the Apple site at least a dozen times and while the 11" looks promising I think I will wait until the local Apple store has them on display so I can get a good feel for the size, the speed and how each feels to use. I have rather large hands so must have a full size keyboard.
     
  12. megadon macrumors 6502

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    #12
    is it just me, or does it seem like you give up quite a bit just for 1.7 inches smaller no? Especially with battery life.
     
  13. aberrero macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    The 13.3" one also has a smaller bezel. Overall, it looks nicer.
     
  14. bossxii macrumors 68000

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    #14
    The more I look at both the more I'm thinking this. The base 11 won't cut it for me as I am going to get 4gigs of memory and 128gigs of storage is min for my needs as well. Putting the BTO 11" at $1299. The 13" up'd to 4gigs ram with the bonus of faster CPU, SD card slot, larger trackpad and better battery for $100 bucks ends up making my decision a bit easier.

    I won't deny the 11" is very cool, sleek and lightweight, but for the spec bump not sure I can avoid going the 13" route $100 bucks.

    Decisions, decisions lol, what a rough day when my most taxing decision is which new laptop to buy. :D
     
  15. Chilla Frilla thread starter macrumors member

    Chilla Frilla

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    #15

    Exactly, that's why I'm leaning towards the 13.3" model. Not only is there a noticeable performance increase, but you get the longer additional 2 hours+ battery life as well. You do give up quite a bit with the 11.6" being only 1.7 inches smaller and 0.5 pounds lighter. It's not like you can swap out the battery when it's running low, either.
     
  16. aberrero macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    13.3" makes more sense, but once you add the $99 for more ram, you're starting to talk about a serious expenditure. It is made worse by the fact that the student discount is so meager. It might make more sense to get it from amazon or macmall instead.

    With the MBP you get a $100 student discount, so it becomes a complete no-brainer against the plasticbook, but with the MBA, saving $50 off of $999 makes more sense than saving $50 off of $1399.

    I feel like since this whole laptop is overpriced, it might be better to just get the cheapest one and cut your losses. On the other hand, if you are spending a thousand bucks anyway, why not spend a few hundred more to get a better system? So tough to choose...

    If it had a core i7, I would be confident that it was future proof and I wouldn't mind spending so much, but it is hard to justify spending so much money on a system built around an obsolete processor architecture.
     
  17. SamTheeGeek macrumors 6502

    SamTheeGeek

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    #17
    I was wondering about the same thing 11" or the 13" but in my opinion , i dont really like the 11" screen size , i think its just too small for me. so yea 13" would be a better decision + the more space you get 128GB or 256Gb SSD and the CPU bump.

    So yea go for the 13" Maxed out ;) and enjoy :D
     
  18. hajime macrumors 68040

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    Jul 23, 2007
    #18
    Thanks for the comparison. In terms of user experience, which one is better for the eyes? It seems that the 13" model has a higher dpi. Not sure if the screen on the 11.6" model is comfortable enough to work on for about 2 hours.

    How about the keyboards? Is the only different the size of the function keys?

    Both models do not have the anti-glare option.
     
  19. Chilla Frilla thread starter macrumors member

    Chilla Frilla

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    #19
    :D
     
  20. Chilla Frilla thread starter macrumors member

    Chilla Frilla

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    #20
    To those on a limited budget:

    The 1.6 GHz/4GB/128GB 11.6" MacBook Air will run for $1329 with the education discount.

    The 1.86 GHz/4GB/128GB 13.3" MacBook Air will run for $1339 with the education discount.
     
  21. Platypusman99 macrumors member

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    Mar 5, 2009
    #21
    I just pulled the trigger on the 13" for all the reasons listed above plus that fact that I have owned a 10" netbook in the past and the screen was practically useless. Us older folks need the bigger screens and at 2.9 lbs it will be the lightest fully functioning personal computer I have ever owned. I'm psyched. :D
     
  22. mac jones macrumors 68040

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    #22
    Apparently, the 11" uses a Ultra low voltage cpu that's why the specs are a bit anemic.

    I have one and the thermal design is looking good.
     
  23. Westyfield2 macrumors 6502a

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    Bath, UK.
    #23
    If the 11" had the CPUs and Battery Life of the 13" I'd have bought one already.

    But I'm not sure whether I want one yet or not, and if so which size!
     
  24. melterx12 macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    HOLY CRAP ITS CHILLA FRILLA XD
     
  25. aberrero macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    The l2 cache isn't a big deal. Remember, these are underclocked chips with the same design as desktop ones. For 3Ghz, having 6MBs of cache helps, for 1.4ghz, it really doesn't matter.
     

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