Anyone upgraded from MBA rev.C: Worth it?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jagwap, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. jagwap macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2009
    I have a 2.16GHz 128SSD rev. C.

    Running coolbook the battery and heat are fine. It's not in reality much bigger than the new 13", and with a tiny USB hub I've found, the extra USB isn't worth the upgrade alone. My screen doesn't have lines and the hinge is fine.

    Have any of you bought the new top of the range, and if so what has convinced you it was worth every penny?

    I probably won't go for one, but go on: Persuade me, I'm itching for a new toy...:)
  2. fyrefly macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2004
    Even a 2010-model 1.86Ghz will run "faster" than the 2.13 RevC:


    The RevB/C models were throttled at the system level due to heat issues, so they never really run at their full/raw processing power. The RevD's do though.

    More on this at

    There's also double the battery life, and a 2x faster SSD in the RevD ones compared to the RevC.

    I hate that they took away the Backlit keyboard, and the key depresses themselves are a bit shallower in the RevD, but otherwise, the RevD is pretty much a winner.
  3. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    Yes. I had the same one. I got the new 13 inch and when I did the transfer I noticed the fans came on the old one and not the new one. I played Left 4 Dead 2 on it and it wasn't playable on the MBA. Also the 128 GB was workable but I wanted to store my photos locally and 256 allowed that and to include a virtual Windows environment with parallels. The higher resolution really makes a difference too. The USB ports are easier to get to than the old one with the door and the curve design. I consider the old MB Air as a prototype now.

    The hardest decision to make was between the 11 inch and the 13 inch like most people. It really came down to if I wanted to have a primary Mac my portable or not and still have it light for traveling everyday. I use a Dell i7 Desktop for games so I am not sure I really need a desktop Mac anymore. The Dell is just an eye sore and sort of loud but the price was cheap.
  4. tobiasvdp macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2008
    The "Old" Samsung SSD from Rev B and the first Rev C Airs is indeed quite slow. Newer Rev C Airs already use the Toshiba SSD ( TS128B), that is nearly as fast as the TS128C in the Rev D.

    Rev C, 2,13:

    Rev D, 2,13 4GB 256 GB:
  5. soph macrumors regular

    May 3, 2010
  6. tobiasvdp macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2008
    Same here, i owned a Rev B 1,6 SSD and planned on upgrading to a Rev D - there would have been some advantages like speed, 2nd USB, bigger SSD and more Ram, BUT no backlit kb - when visiting the online store, i was lucky visiting the Refurb section as well - 1099 (Euros) for a Rev C 2,13 was quite an offer i could not resist. The Rev D can´t be configured with 2.13/2/128,
    1,86/4/128 is 1389 and
    2.13/2/256 would be 1689, something i could not have justified.

    Compared to the Rev B - the C feels so much faster, and the fan is not as loud as on the B. If you look at the Rev B Benchmarks, it shows the late Rev C SSD to be twice as fast as the old samsung one.
  7. AnonMac50 macrumors 65816

    Mar 24, 2010
    The new MBA lacks keyboard backlight and IR port, so these could be issues. It might even lack the Ambient Light sensor, but I can't test it.
  8. darrellishere macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2007
    tobiasvdp, if you buy and install coolbook! You can run your CPU when connected to a power supply to run at its native 2.13ghz! Just like the revision D :D!

    You can also set it to drop back down to Throttling level. On my 1.6 its 786mhz when your disconnected from the power source to extend your battery life.

    It works automatically! Set the Coolbook Controller to open at login just so you can monitor what level your cpu is at.

    You can also under vault the cpu on both settings down from 10v to 9.25v which is completely safe for everyday use and reduces heat !!!
  9. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    The new MBA does not have the ambient light sensor.
  10. tobiasvdp macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2008
    I know, but had lots of issues with coolbock on my rev B, Support did not bother answering my mails ( after installing my rev B back from scratch, the license was no longer valid (no answers from support either)

    and i don´t appreciate a software that needs to be licensed on a per machine basis. Not even Adobe is this "evil". This would mean shelling out additional money for a license on my new machine, although it has been uninstalled on the old one - like buying a CD for the Home Stereo and buying another one for the Car Stereo.

    If you have a look at the xbench scores above, the Rev C is even slightly faster in the cpu test compared to Rev D (152 vs. 151 points) - and the differences are really small, so why would i want to shell out 12 Dollars?
  11. CloneSheep macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2010
    I was in the exact same situation as you are.. and i gave in to my urge and bought the 2.13/4G. So far, absolutely no regret whatsoever... Still can't believe how 2 computer with so similar specs can differ in usability by so much.. The screen is just spectacular.

    The new mba does lack keyboard backlight, IR port and Ambient Light sensor, so that may be a concern for you...
  12. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    If you're only running OS X Snow Leopard, meaning not also running Windows 7 via a Virtual Machine, your MBA is probably better for you.

    The new MBA is missing the backlit keyboard, and to me it's a big loss. The new ones have more desktop space in the same 13.3" display which is nice, but it's also missing the sensor that automatically adjusts the display's brightness.

    All in all, your MBA has a plenty capable GPU, the exact same CPU, better keyboard due to backlighting, and more high-end features the new MBA loses.

    I think Apple went to far reducing costs, but if someone needs 256GB SSD, 1440x900 display resolution, 4GB RAM, the new MBA is the only solution.

    I love the new MBAs, but I wish they had a backlit keyboard. And the reason Apple axed it was solely so they could make people want to upgrade with the next bump that will definitely include both features that left with the new MBAs.

    I wouldn't upgrade if you don't need 4GB RAM... and unless you're running Windows 7 via a VM (bootcamp doesn't need 4GB RAM), 2GB RAM is plenty for OS X Snow Leopard.
  13. fyrefly macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2004
    Wow, that's good info... I'd love to trade my RevB 1.6Ghz SSD in for a revC 2.13Ghz then, and get the newer SSD + backlit keyboard and nicer screen! :)
  14. eba macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2007
    I made the same move and have the same reaction. On paper, the rev C and new MBA don't seem much different. In reality, though, the difference is very noticeable.

    The new MBA feels much quicker, even compared to my rev C SSD. It runs much cooler. The screen is better. The graphics card is better - for example, it doesn't suffer the video stutter of the old model. Overall, it runs like a full-featured machine instead of a partially-gimped one.

    I've owned numerous iterations of Macs, and I can't recall when I've been more impressed with a new model.
  15. dudup macrumors regular


    May 28, 2008
    São Paulo, Brazil
    I couldn't have said better!

    I used to have a top Rev. C (2.13ghz, 128gb SSD) and a lovely 27" Core i5 iMac. This was a perfect setup to me, using a very reliable MacBook Air as my secondary machine for DJing and mobile working. For trips, I was using an iPad just fine.

    Then in August I've switched jobs, which required me to have development and graphic environment off site -- I was in need to run virtual machines and web development and design apps wherever I were.

    Because of that, my iMac at home began to collect dust, even on the few hours I was at home, because all my work environment was already setup on the MBA. Sadly, my iMac became a torrent box :(

    Working like that on a Rev. C MBA is fine, but it can be very annoying. The biggest issue to me was *battery life*. It's hard to justify a portable Mac with only regular battery life these days, when even the cheap MacBook can give you 10 hours of juice.

    I waited as long as I could to see what would happen to my beloved MBA, but time wasn't at my side, so I decided to sell the iMac and get a 13" MBP.

    I can say that by the time, it was a very good decision. Even though I don't like the 13" that much, specially because it's unnecessary fatty (begone optical drives!), I must confess that I really loved the small increments it gave to me in relation to the Rev. C Air:

    - More battery life (10hr)
    - More RAM (4gb)
    - More disk (320gb)
    - Additional USB
    - Headset compatible audio jack (I use Skype a LOT)
    - SD card (my camera uses SD)
    - Decent speakers and mic

    TBH, I could (and still can) easily live without these. But it's very difficult going back -- funnily enough I still haven't sold my Rev. C MBA :)

    Last Saturday, I was lucky enough to grab a maxed out 13" new MBA (2.13, 4gb, 256gb ssd). They aren't selling in Brazil yet, but I got lucky to find a guy selling one (still can't believe it)!

    What can I say? I'm desperate to sell my Rev. C and the 13" MBP ASAP. :)

    I must confess that give these 3 months using the MBP, I'm able to notice only 3 major impacts from the switch:

    - weight (and sexiness!)
    - speeeeeeeeeeeeed (i miss ssd so much)
    - 1440x900 @ 13" is PERFECT

    But that's all. Since the MBP was already giving me tons of benefits over the Rev. C MBA, is quite difficult to me do a direct comparison from Rev. C to the new MBA. But one can imagine the differences.

    So far, I really miss the backlit keyboard, it was such a dumb move by Apple. But I'm happier than ever! What an epic machine.

    My plan is to sell the other two machines, buy an Apple Cinema Display and that's it: 13" MBA + iPad + iPhone 4. And I plan to keep it that way for a long time, if you ask me.

    Some accessories are helping me a lot, however:

    - 1.5 TB Time Capsule (for backup and HD movies)
    - 1 TB WD My Passport (for HD movies on the go)
    - Airport Express
    - MiFi
    - new Apple TV
    - WDTV Live

    All of these helps me keep my computing needs distributed through the house, which makes even easier to have a 13" MBA as my one and only OS X machine.
  16. jagwap thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2009
  17. peapody macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    I went from top spec'd Rev C to top spec'd D. Great upgrade, for the screen, hinge, battery life, sd card slot, and speed bump. I just can't get over the screen - it is amazing, and the resolution is wonderful!
  18. tobiasvdp macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2008
    System Profiler -> Serial ATA
  19. WildGuess macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2010
    Any clue on this: NVidia MCP79AHCI?
    In my rev C 128 ssd.
  20. jagwap thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2009
    That bit I knew. What are the codes for the different types. It does not helpfully say Samsung or Toshiba of course, so...?
  21. nepfotos macrumors member


    Jul 9, 2008
    nice to hear that my MBA REv. C isn't outdated now, didn't know that Apple has skipped the backlit keyboard which I really love. As it is not my primary computer I don't care about battery life so much and in the cold season it's nice that my Air keeps me warm :D
  22. tobiasvdp macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2008
    ah ok, i understand ;)

    APPLE SSD TS128B is the Toshiba one (much faster)

    APPLE SSD SM128 is the Samsung one
  23. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
  24. jagwap thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2009
  25. innominato5090 macrumors 6502


    Sep 4, 2009
    Macs with 9400m use nVidia chipsets (in fact, the chipset and the GPU are on the same package)

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