Dilemma - 11" 1.4Ghz/2GB vs 1.6Ghz/4GB $509.81 difference

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by KandyKane, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. KandyKane macrumors 6502

    Mar 23, 2009
    Hey guys,

    I'm looking at getting the 11" MBA to replace my April 2010 13" MBP

    Due to an employee discount I have access to instead of $1449, I can get the standard 11" 128GB SSD, 1.4Ghz, 2GB ram at $1159.20.

    If I upgrade the processor and ram I can't use the discount, but can use education discount which works out to $1669.01.

    That's a difference of $509.81 for the upgrade.
    I know the processor and ram can't be updated later on, but is it worth it??
    This is all in AUD.

    My usage:
    • I currently use my MBP to surf sites, facebook, email, calendar, Torrent, iTunes, iPhoto that kind of stuff.
    • I use Office for Mac (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) for Uni assignments, I also have iWork, but use Office more for some reason.
    • I use EyeTV regularly to tape MotoGP and other shows and it converts those videos for my iPad.
    • Very occasionally (maybe once every 2-3 months) I use Handbrake to convert series of TV shows and movies for my iPad.
    • Next year I *might* need to boot camp for some Chemical Engineering programmes, but not sure yet.
    • I was originally going to purchase the 27" ACD with it, but just found out the 27" iMac can be used as a display so have decided to just get an iMac for the extra $, and since I don't need it yet, I'll wait for the next revision.
    • I have a TimeCapsule, which I can plug an external drive into and run media from right??? I also have an AirportExtremeBaseStation, iPad and iPhone 4, but I don't see any problems with them. I also have a super old crappy Windows thing from 8 years ago which will be replaced by the iMac later (P4 3Ghz- no exaggeration!!! it's old!) and will be selling my MBP when I get the MBA
    • I am VERY likely to sell/upgrade when the next newest best thing comes out. I'm a bit crazy.

    With that all in consideration... Do I NEED the 1.6Ghz/4GB?
    Would it hurt the resale value considerably if I only get the 1.4Ghz/2GB?

    Also my MBP beachballs often, but it might be because I'm a moron and keep it running for months on end, kept the same hard drive from 2009 and never really cleaned it out or done any maintenance (I have a Seagate 500gb 7200 HDD as it was the only 7200 in 500GB at the time, but it might be faulty or whatever, planning to clean it out and use it in an external enclosure with the TC).

    Thanks for your time!
  2. doctordrumdude, Nov 9, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010

    doctordrumdude macrumors newbie

    I feel ya

    Hey KandyKane!

    I was in your shoe.

    I first had the base model, but CTO'ed the 4GB RAM model because playing games such as Left 4 Dead 2 was a bit laggy. Recording in Garageband/ Logic
    was sometimes a little laggy as well.

    However, I did not have any inconveniences with the 2GB RAM when I was doing the usual stuff.

    as for resale value, it probably would work out better if you just save the $500 now. If you spend the extra $500 now, you will probably sell your 1.6/4GB model for only about 150-250 (max) more than the 1.4/2GB.
    This is just my opinion, but the amount of $ spent on extra upgrades do not necessarily translate to greater resale profit...

    I am an international student from Canada, and I was surprised to find out that Apple stores in Oz do NOT charge the 10% restocking fee.(I just returned my 2GB model-no questions asked at Sydney Apple store). Although I am not 100% sure how your employee discount works, you might be able to try out the 2GB Ram model and return it if it bothers you-

    anyway, I tried many macs- everything from macbook pro, mac pro, the old macbook air, etc... but this new macbook air is a great machine.
    I am sure you will enjoy it.

    thanks for reading! this was my first post on macrumors!

    p.s.- you can only install Windows 7 (AFAIK) on bootcamp. I have a genuine XP, but it didn't provide the drivers for it. what a bummer.
  3. Abstract, Nov 9, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2010

    Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Personally, I wouldn't get the 11.6" MBA with the 2 GB of RAM, and this is true regardless of whether you had a discount or not. I understand that $500 AUD is a lot of money, but if it's the choice between getting something that I know will be adequate for what I want (and pay more money), and getting a 1.4 GHz computer with 2 GB of RAM that I don't think will handle the things I throw at it, I'd rather not "waste" $1150 and get a computer that won't meet my needs. I'd rather spend $1600 than waste $1100.

    But that's me. Perhaps all you want to do is browse the interwebz, email, and watch videos. That's most of the things I want to do on such a system, but it's those times where I want to use apps like Aperture where the system may fall flat on its face.

    Here's a suggestion: See if you can buy the base 11.6" MBA, get your discount, keep your receipt, and see how much it would cost you to get the higher-end model within 10 days. If you need to pay a restocking fee, then pay it. It should be around 10-15%, which is much cheaper than the extra $500.

    And as a sug
  4. idea_hamster macrumors 65816


    Jul 11, 2003
    NYC, or thereabouts
    So it seems that the good folks over at Anandtech had exactly the same question.

    Their conclusion:

  5. shyam09 macrumors 68020


    Oct 31, 2010
    another solution?

    but first to your question:
    i would say MAX it out
    1) because it seems necessary-- the Air isn't a general fast computer, so it will take some time to convert vids and all.
    however, you mentioned you will "rarely" do these things. so i cannot see the use of maxing it out for "once-a-2/3 month period" activities. i like the idea of getting 4GB of RAM, but i do not see the point in wasting the money for .2 Ghz.
    im sure it will make a couple of seconds difference,
    but then again you mentioned the use of EyeTV. (its very contradicting to what im saying LOL!)
    so EYETV: this means that it will happen regularly- so this requires you to go with the extra .2GHz.
    so this is my conclusion:
    MAX it out no doubt- but think about the use of video conversion one more time. Im not sure how many vids you convert or how many times a week. so im saying this blindly (please get back to me so i can update my comment :) )

    but option 2:
    umm.. i see why you want an "AIR" because of its portability and all, but you may also want to think about the MacBook- which does things much better than the air. like the processor and all are different.
    personally, i would go with the macbook (even though i am buying the MBP)
    just because the features are much more, at about the same price.
    also you mentioned that you are an "upgrade lover" so maybe invest in the MB and then when a new version comes out swap it or something..

    what you are doing with the air, is your spending twice the cash to upgrade than if you upgraded the MB.
    like the upgrade in USD is: $100 to go to 4GB. but to upgrade both processor and RAM is about double.

    so yeah:
    if you follow option 1:
    rethink the usage of video conversion, etc. and if you do use it often than, yes! go with the upgrade for both processor and RAM.

    if you decide option 2 is better:
    cool! just upgrade the RAM and youre all set to go!
  6. jmazzamj macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2009
    I'm in the same boat as you.

    I can get €200 off of any MacBook (stock configs only) OR I could use my student discout (10% off) and I also have a 13" 2010 MBP.

    If you get a 20% off, resale value is stellar and on top of the discount you get, you could actually make some money from your "old" MBP.
  7. KandyKane thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 23, 2009
    I won't be playing those games on it, maybe online Poker, but that's not really intensive I don't think...
    I didn't know about the restocking fee thing here either O.O Never tried to return anything before!

    LOL You mean direct through Apple and just pay $270-$300 for the upgraded parts? HAHAH I might try that :) I think they'll know though as the serial numbers get sent to Apple.

    1)I'm currently using EyeTV twice a week and it records about 2 hours a time in HD (not sure if I'm doing something wrong but they're like 15GBs each with the iPad compatible conversion- and that takes ages to do on my MBP). I probably wont be recording anything until March/April though as the MotoGP season has finished for the year. Maybe there will be a new iMac revision then (or maybe not)

    2)I'm looking at the Air because I'll be using it more at Uni next year, and I'll be riding my motorbike there of the time.
    And I wouldn't get a MB, I already have a MBP!

    Ya, that's why it's more beneficial for me to upgrade each revision, rather than keep an older system which would depreciate be harder to sell later, I think my last upgrade cost me $50 (on top of the previous MBP).
    Plus, SJ has me hypnotised :p

    Arr, I can't decide whether I'll go the cheaper option and most of my usage will be ok, or just go for the 'Ultimate', whilst it's $500 more expensive there's only about $200-230 difference compared to the employee discount when you add think about the components... Or is that just weird logic...

    Thanks again guys
  8. Jayomat macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2009
    If that:

    is really the case... why does it even matter :eek:
  9. jdavtz macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2005
    How about buying base model with big discount, sell it new/unused/unwanted gift style thing for a profit of $100-200, then buy the one you actually want.
  10. coochiekuta macrumors 6502

    Nov 6, 2010
    here and there
    just a quick question and SORRY for the intrusion, but who are you guys selling these things to? is the store buying them back whenever you upgrade or are you having to find someone online to buy it from you before you upgrade? just curious how people go about getting every revision.

    i just got into macs not two months ago. i was going to wait for a newer form of the 17" mbp but i didnt.
  11. SidBala macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2010
    Buy the cheapest one if you know you are going to sell it. Resale is always a liability. You might as well reduce your liability.

    The maxed out MBA and the stock MBA will be the same to potential buyers. At least, they would like to project it like that. There is no way you can make up for the $500 difference by telling the buyer that it has 4GB ram and a 14% faster processor. The $500 difference now will probably be $100 later, and that too, only to a reasonable buyer.

    Chances are that by the time you sell this one, there will be better computers selling for lower than what you might think of as a "fair" price for yours. Given a choice between a future stock(but new) model and your maxed out (but old) model, the buyer will pick the former even if yours is faster.

    A simple rule is to use the discount whenever possible. So go with the discounted stock MBA11.

    I'll buy whatever anyone is selling.
  12. hleewell macrumors 6502a

    Oct 22, 2009
  13. KandyKane thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 23, 2009
    I want it to be usable o_O

    Too hard!

    I just put them on eBay

    Good point, but it will be okay to use in the mean time? Wont make much of a difference?

    Gimme some of this Force!!

    I'm just worried as everyone has been saying to go with the 4GB on all the other threads
  14. Mr Kram macrumors 68020

    Mr Kram

    Oct 1, 2008
    if it were primary computer, i wouldn't hesitate to upgrade. in fact, i would get the 13".

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