Choosing the right MacBook Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ccard3dev, Mar 21, 2014.

?

Which is a better deal?

  1. $550 for a 2010 13" MacBook Air (2.13GHz C2D, 4GB RAM, 256GB SSD)

    5 vote(s)
    38.5%
  2. $650 for a 2011 11" MacBook Air (1.6GHz i5, 4GB RAM, 64GB SSD)

    8 vote(s)
    61.5%
  1. ccard3dev, Mar 21, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2014

    ccard3dev macrumors regular

    ccard3dev

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    #1
    Hello

    I am looking at buying a MacBook Air on eBay, with a budget of $600. I will use it for mostly web browsing, email, watching HD movies, and Photoshop. I have considered 2010 and 2011 models in 11" and 13" sizes. Which is better for these tasks? Also, should I get 4GB of RAM? I will be using external storage for most of my files, so the size of the ssd doesn't matter.

    One more thing: are there any known widespread issues with either of these models? (for example, my 2005 iMac died due to a widespread motherboard capacitor issue)
     
  2. filmbuff macrumors 6502a

    filmbuff

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    #2
    First of all, you definitely want a 2011 model. That's when they switched from c2d to i-series processors. The screen size is totally your preference. If you want to run photoshop I would recommend the 4gb or RAM.
     
  3. ccard3dev thread starter macrumors regular

    ccard3dev

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    #3
    My only concern with the 2011 model is the Intel Graphics card. Are Intel Graphics as bad as people say they are?
     
  4. Meister, Mar 21, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2014

    Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #4
    For watching movies, internet and some photoshop?
    You are aware that even the 2010 iPad can do this. What makes you think a 2011 mba wouldnt suffice?
     
  5. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #5
    I have a 2009 Macbook with 2gb of RAM, and it handles most things okay. It really needs 4gb to function properly with Mavericks, but if you don't mind a using Snow Leopard, you could probably get by with a 2006 Macbook for that sort of stuff.
     
  6. ccard3dev, Mar 21, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2014

    ccard3dev thread starter macrumors regular

    ccard3dev

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    #6
    I forgot to mention that I would also use FlightGear (flight sim) on it. I only get 20fps on my 2011 Mac Mini with 16gb RAM and Intel Graphics.

    ----------

    I need the laptop to be able to run Mavericks, as I also develop Mac apps with Xcode 5. And I already decided that I don't want a 2009 MBA, as I want one that will be able to run the latest version of OS X for an additional 3-5 years.

    ----------

    How is the 2012 MBA? I just saw one go for $600 on eBay.
    EDIT: The Apple logo was cracked, that explains why it went for $600.
     
  7. filmbuff macrumors 6502a

    filmbuff

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    #7
    You can expect about the same fps from the 2011 macbook. The intel HD3000 graphics are not very good, but really they are enough for a home user. If you can find a 2012 Air within your price range I would highly recommend that, because the HD4000 graphics are a lot better and actually pretty good for a laptop. I can run FSX at about 25fps on medium-low settings. The battery life is also improved due to the Ivy Bridge processor, and the USB ports are USB3.0
     
  8. ccard3dev, Mar 22, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014

    ccard3dev thread starter macrumors regular

    ccard3dev

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    #8
    Okay, I eliminated the 2010 model. EDIT: changed my mind, re-added 13" 2010 model to my list.
     
  9. ccard3dev thread starter macrumors regular

    ccard3dev

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    #9
    I found a 2010 MacBook Air in like-new condition for $550. It is the 13" model, with 4GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. It also has the 2.13ghz processor upgrade. Is this a good deal?
     
  10. ccard3dev thread starter macrumors regular

    ccard3dev

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    #10
    How would a 2010 (13") MBA with a 2.13GHz C2D processor do against a 2011 (11") MBA with a 1.6GHz i5 processor, both with 4GB of RAM?
     
  11. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #11
    The i5 technically would wipe the floor with it and the battery life jump alone outweighs most negatives
     
  12. ccard3dev, Mar 30, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014

    ccard3dev thread starter macrumors regular

    ccard3dev

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    #12
    I looked up the GeekBench scores on both models, here they are:
    2010 C2D 2.13GHz: 3003
    2011 i5 1.6GHz: 4552

    EDIT: How much of a difference is 3003 vs 4552?
     
  13. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #13
    The 2011 i5 MBA will leave a 2.13ghz Core2 Duo machine in the dust. I went from a 2008 2.4ghz Core2 Duo MBP to a 2011 i5 MacBook Air. The CPU was almost twice as fast. So the 2011 MBA should be at least twice as fast as the 2010 MBA that you're looking at.

    Since I don't play games, no idea how this translates into FPS, etc. But for things like rendering video or applying photoshop filters, the speed difference between my c2d and i5 machines was dramatic. Now I have a 2013 i7 MBA and that is even faster but that's another story....
     
  14. ccard3dev, Mar 30, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014

    ccard3dev thread starter macrumors regular

    ccard3dev

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    #14
    Geekbench scores for MacBook Air models (2008 to 2011):
    Early 2008: 2023
    +222 for E2008 to L2008
    Late 2008: 2245
    +274 for L2008 to 2009
    2009: 2519
    +484 for 2009 to 2010
    2010: 3003
    +1549 for 2010 to 2011
    2011 (i5): 4552

    It is a huge jump from 2008 to 2011 (+2307), but there is also a big jump between 2008 and 2010 (+758). Besides, my previous Apple laptop was a 2003 iBook that I used until it died in 2011, with a 800MHz G3 processor, 40GB HDD, and 128MB of RAM memory. The G4 iBook has a score of 431 (it is the earliest model to have a score), so the G3 probably has a score of about 200-300. I will definitely be getting a major improvement in speed over that, no matter which model I buy ;). The 2010 MBA is literally 10x faster than my old iBook!
     
  15. ccard3dev, Mar 31, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014

    ccard3dev thread starter macrumors regular

    ccard3dev

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    #15
    I just got a 2012 11" MacBook Air in perfect condition for an amazing deal of $640 on eBay. Thanks for all your advice!

    EDIT: It is out for delivery today, I will do a review of it when it comes...
     
  16. jrb363 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    #16
    I highly recommend the i-series MBA. Definitely the better buy.
     
  17. ccard3dev thread starter macrumors regular

    ccard3dev

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    #17
    I am typing this on my new 2012 MacBook Air:

    I am LOVING this new computer! It is by far the best computer I ever owned. It started up in less than 5 seconds, and I downloaded and installed Mavericks in less than 30min, beating my 2011 Mac Mini's time of 63min! I am extremely happy with my purchase!
     

Share This Page