Currently have an early 2014 i5 Air - would the 2020 base model be enough as an upgrade?

martin2345uk

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 6, 2013
721
504
Manchester, UK
Hi guys

Thinking of upgrading my Air... if the fabric of society totally breaks down, I'd like one more shiny thing to possess :p

My question is... would the base £999 model be enough? I use my current Air for:

Web browsing (just a few tabs open at a time)
Netflix/BBC iPlayer
Occasional Excel spreadsheets

That's pretty much it really!
Actually, is it even worth upgrading at all 😂
 

hftvhftv

macrumors member
May 18, 2014
72
17
Yes it'd be enough. If your current Air is working fine though and you'd rather save your cash I wouldn't really bother until macOS support is dropped for your 2014.
 

1204949

Cancelled
Jan 27, 2020
33
18
Don't get the base model. Get the i5 at least!
Trading in a dual core with another dual core (albeit a faster one) is not a good idea.
 

hftvhftv

macrumors member
May 18, 2014
72
17
Don't get the base model. Get the i5 at least!
Trading in a dual core with another dual core (albeit a faster one) is not a good idea.
I mean, yes, but for their use case if they want to upgrade but only want just enough, then the £100 is £100 saved.
 

1204949

Cancelled
Jan 27, 2020
33
18
Personal preference. I'd say that's $100 worth spending, but I guess you could get by using the base model.
It's a big upgrade nonetheless (display, cpu still faster, GPU faster, better trackpad, finger print scanner...).
 

UbuntuFu

macrumors regular
Aug 16, 2007
217
122
Personal preference. I'd say that's $100 worth spending, but I guess you could get by using the base model.
It's a big upgrade nonetheless (display, cpu still faster, GPU faster, better trackpad, finger print scanner...).
I'd also say the quad core i5 would be worth the 100 pound or 100 dollars upgrade especially if one plans to keep this MBA for 5-7 years.

I have the 2013 MBA and although it still runs fine those thick bezels and lack of retina is starting to bug me, I was planning on waiting until the summer to get some free headphones with the back-to-school promo since I work at a university.
 

nylon

macrumors 65816
Oct 26, 2004
1,130
495
If I did get the i5 over the i3.. what differences would I notice in day to day use...?

Thanks for all the messages so far!
It depends on what you use your Mac for. If it's just for the things stated in your original post there will be no benefit. However, if you plan to keep your Mac for another 5-6 years I would wager that the i5 will give you adequate amount of performance headroom for what you might do and OS improvements/upgrades.
 

martin2345uk

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 6, 2013
721
504
Manchester, UK
Yeah I do only use it for the things in my opening post to be honest...

What do you mean about improvements/upgrades..? Would the i3 be supported for less time than the i5..?
 

Erehy Dobon

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2018
770
626
Assuming your usage case doesn't change, the CPU upgrade would be a needless waste of money.

I can do all of those tasks on my 5-year-old iPad mini 4.
 
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nylon

macrumors 65816
Oct 26, 2004
1,130
495
Yeah I do only use it for the things in my opening post to be honest...

What do you mean about improvements/upgrades..? Would the i3 be supported for less time than the i5..?
I mean Apple usually upgrades the OS every year introducing new features and complexity. Usually as software becomes more complex it tends to slow down on older hardware. So if you are inclined to hold onto your computers for 5-6 years your computer will benefit in terms of maintaining the best software experience with an i5 vis a vis an i3 simply due to the fact that you are doubling the physical CPU cores. In my view it is worthwhile to spend the extra $100. Over 5 years that translates to $1.67/per month extra. It's negligible.
 
Last edited:

cambookpro

macrumors 604
Feb 3, 2010
6,518
1,976
United Kingdom
Yeah I do only use it for the things in my opening post to be honest...

What do you mean about improvements/upgrades..? Would the i3 be supported for less time than the i5..?
I don't think there's precedent in the past decade or so for Apple to drop support for Macs based on the processor, only on age. So an i3 MBA should be supported for as long as an i5.

If you do just intend to web browse/watch Netflix/Excel, just get the base model. You'll be more than happy with it, and have the benefits of a much better screen, Touch ID, modern design, USB-C ports, louder speakers, etc.

I think people can talk themselves into 'future proofing' things like the CPU and RAM when it really isn't needed. Unless your needs change drastically, it's far more likely you'll want to upgrade for improvements in things like screen, I/O, security features etc. before you get to the stage where you required the extra power from upgrading the CPU. Buy what you need for now and the immediate future, don't try and guess what you need 5 years down the line.
 
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hftvhftv

macrumors member
May 18, 2014
72
17
I don't think there's precedent in the past decade or so for Apple to drop support for Macs based on the processor, only on age. So an i3 MBA should be supported for as long as an i5.

If you do just intend to web browse/watch Netflix/Excel, just get the base model. You'll be more than happy with it, and have the benefits of a much better screen, Touch ID, modern design, USB-C ports, louder speakers, etc.

I think people can talk themselves into 'future proofing' things like the CPU and RAM when it really isn't needed. Unless your needs change drastically, it's far more likely you'll want to upgrade for improvements in things like screen, I/O, security features etc. before you get to the stage where you required the extra power from upgrading the CPU. Buy what you need for now and the immediate future, don't try and guess what you need 5 years down the line.
Fully agree with this, I'm disappointed that Apple supports 2012 MacBook Airs while not supporting my 2011 MacBook Pro, but it is what it is.
 

Bolanders

macrumors newbie
Aug 19, 2019
15
9
If I did get the i5 over the i3.. what differences would I notice in day to day use...?

Thanks for all the messages so far!
I think your day to day usage improvement will come in 3-5 years as software evolves and new programs come out that will use the CPU power that would be available.
 
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