Best value MBA for Yosemite integration?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by gpspad, Jun 7, 2014.

  1. gpspad macrumors 6502

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    Feb 4, 2014
    #1
    Since getting my iphone and ipad I have really been enjoying how the apple systems work together. The Yosemite integration coming out looks very cool.

    I'm new to the MBA world, and thinking of getting one for travel and to use with my iphone to play with the new Yosemite integration features. Any suggestions on what specs to look for in a used or refurbished MBA that would give me the best value for that?
     
  2. pgiguere1, Jun 7, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2014

    pgiguere1 macrumors 68020

    pgiguere1

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    #2
    As far as I know all the Yosemite features will work on all Macs that support Yosemite, so there wouldn't be much difference depending on the specific MacBook Air model.

    I would personally suggest the 2013 MacBook Air because its battery lasts significantly longer than the 2012 one and that may be useful when traveling.

    Here's the base model 13" for $799: http://store.apple.com/us/product/F...e-i5?afid=p231|camref:ikJ9&cid=AOS-US-AFF-PHG

    Unfortunately there doesn't appear to be an affordable model with 8GB of RAM in stock but if you get the chance to buy one it might be a good idea for future-proofing.

    A higher and higher amount of your RAM gets allocated to graphics every year, and that's likely to continue as Yosemite is introducing fancy new graphical effects like transparency+gaussian blur.
     
  3. jmazzamj macrumors regular

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    Jun 11, 2009
    #3
    As owner of a 2012 Air, which is basically on par with the 2013/14 in terms of overall performance for everyday tasks, I hope Apple improves how Yosemite handles RAM, because I am seeing almost 4 GB of RAM use without doing much on my computer...

    Given the above, I would probably go with 8 GB of RAM, just to stay on the safe side, you may well go with 128 GB, upgrades for current Airs will be released before within the year.
     
  4. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

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    Apr 6, 2007
    #4
    If you have OS X Mavericks installed, then this is by design. Starting with Mavericks, unused RAM is being treated differently, and being put to use for buffering and other tasks to help speed things up. Memory gets freed up for apps as needed.

    Instead of looking at how much RAM is used or free, the real figure to look at is memory pressure, in Activity Monitor. This will tell if RAM is actually low, or if there's slack and it's just being used to help things along.

    More info here:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5890
     
  5. jmazzamj macrumors regular

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    Jun 11, 2009
    #5
    I was referring to Yosemite, I was not experiencing low free RAM on Mavericks.
     
  6. capathy21 macrumors 65816

    capathy21

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    Houston, Texas
    #6
    OP your best value lies in a base model. If you are just looking to "get your feet wet" as far as Mac's go, then a base model 2013 can be picked up for 700 or less if you look in the right places. 4gb of ram goes a long way in a Mac.

    Yes it does depend on what you do with the machine and how long you plan on keeping it, but since you asked about the best value, IMO that is definitely in a used or refurbished base model.
     
  7. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #7
    For "bang for the buck," a used 2012 would be your best bet. Supports all the features that the latest models support, at used-price discounts.

    11" or 13" is a matter of personal preference + possible need for SD slot.
     
  8. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

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    Nov 23, 2012
    #8
    Whatever model you choose, just be sure it has WiFi AC, and BlueTooth 4.0. The 2012 MBA does not have WiFi AC, it has WiFi N.

    Lou
     
  9. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #9
    For the vast majority of people, that isn't going to be a huge difference. And if he/she wants "value," he/she probably isn't willing to pay a premium for AC over N. (The 2012 MBA does have Bluetooth 4.0 - in fact, I had originally said 2012+ because of BT4.0, but just realized that even the 2011 MBA has BT4.0.)

    AC is a nice feature, for sure. If you have the choice between a 2012 and a 2013, and the 2013 isn't much more, go ahead! But if it's $100 or more difference, it's probably not worth it. (All other specs being close, of course.)
     
  10. Ronnoco, Jul 10, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014

    Ronnoco macrumors 68030

    Ronnoco

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    #10
    I love the ac wifi but unless you have an ac wireless router, you're not going to see any benefit. I have the new ac Time Capsule (with beamforming and the 6 antennas) and it makes a huge difference in extending the range and transfering to the TC via the ac wireless is nearly the same as my gigabit Ethernet connection. Again though, without the router, there is really no advantage in having it (except the fact that you can add the router later and take advantage of the newer technology I suppose).

    To me the big advantage of the 2013 model is the PCIe SSD, especially if you choose the 256 or 512 which are noticeably faster than the 128. The PCIe SSD blows away the 2012 models. It was the first thing I noticed. It was a deal maker for me. Despite what others have said about it not making much difference in everyday tasks, it made a very noticible difference to me...at least my Samsung 512 model does. Absolute lightening speed in everything I open.

    The 2012 model DOES have USB 3.0 which I couldn't live without now. If and when I am forced to use a USB 2.0 port like the ones on my Apple Cinema Display, I dread it. I use a Sabrant 4 port 3.0 hub now with my MacBook Air so I only use the ACD 2.0 ports to charge devices like my headphones or phone/iPad.
     
  11. jg321 macrumors 6502

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    UK
    #11
    Agree with this. The PCIe SSD makes my other MBP with a SATA SSD feel slow. It makes a huge difference, almost as much as HDD -> SATA SSD.
     
  12. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 21, 2013
    #12
    I personally disagree with this. I don't know where you are finding 2012 MBAs for so cheap, but when I looked on ebay "sold" listings, the going rate was $700-$800. I may not be searching that hard, but considering I picked up a new 2014 MBA with improved battery life, better graphics, and PCIE SSD for $700 at BestBuy, it seems hard to justify a used 2012 purchase.

    Just my opinion, as you might be able to find a 2012 model cheaper somewhere else. Unless I could find one for $500, I wouldn't buy it.

    Matt
     
  13. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

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    Nov 23, 2012
    #13
    I recommended WiFi AC, because if the OP plans to use HandOff, and I believe he does. As off now, the new app requires WiFi AC and BT 4.0.

    Lou
     
  14. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #14
    Oh... I missed that part - I thought it only required BT4.0... Dangit!

    Edit: Are you sure it requires WiFi AC? I can't find that referenced anywhere, only Bluetooth 4.0.

    I have seen them used on Craigslist for around $500. They tend to go quick, though. I was going to get one for my wife, but always missed out. Then we managed to get a combination of deals at Best Buy to get a new 13" for $720, so we were willing to pay that extra for the new one. But if I had been able to get a 2012 for $500, I would have done that.
     
  15. Ronnoco macrumors 68030

    Ronnoco

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    #15
    Interesting, I did not know this.
     
  16. freediverdude macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 26, 2006
    #16
    For handoff, does that mean the mac has to have ac wifi, or do you have to have an ac router + ac wifi mac? Right now I have the latest fios router but I doubt it's ac.
     
  17. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #17
    I can't find anywhere that it requires AC in any capacity. Pretty sure it's only Bluetooth 4.0. (Technically "Bluetooth Low Energy" is what's needed - although I don't know if there are any BT-pre-4 devices that support BLE; or any BT4 devices that don't support it...)
     
  18. AnorexicPig macrumors 6502

    AnorexicPig

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    #18
    I find this extremely hard to believe, I upgraded from a 2012 MBA to latest rMBP (PCIe SSD) and I find any speed difference which can result from faster SSD totally negligible.

    HDD->SSD was a massive difference.
     
  19. bjet767 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    #19
    OK a lot of good advice here, but I will throw in my 2 cents.

    First I have used Yosemite (I'm a Apple developer member) and will say this about the newest OSx; It will work on all 64 bit MBAs very well.

    Now the question comes down to this, how much are you will to spend?

    I always recommend buying the latest models of Apple products if money is not a major issue. Apple, as well as all software suppliers, builds for the future and provides backward support for the current and older models of their hardware.

    By purchasing the latest version of the hardware, in this case the 2014 update, you will be assured of at least (my experience with Apple products) four years of compatibility as they update and improve the OS.

    Today you can purchase a 2010 MBA and it will work great with Yosemite, but at some point in the future it will lack the performance you might desire. My best advice then is to get newest models
     
  20. JPamplin macrumors 6502

    JPamplin

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    Nashville, TN
    #20
    The handoff feature will only work with Bluetooth 4 - so get a model with that (I think 2011 or 2012) if you need that.

    I just bought a 2013 model and it's fully supported.
     

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