How does the 2014 MBA compare to the early 2011 MBP spec wise

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by SonRK, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. SonRK macrumors 6502

    Aug 9, 2011
    Hey guys ,

    My girlfriend is attending grad school this coming fall and is looking to replace her MBP.

    She is a tab hoarder and has literally 50-60 tabs open on two separate windows. This has led to severely bogging down the computer, where even a new tab creates a beachball loading animation.

    Anyways. She's looking to replace it with either a MBA or rMBP. I have not kept up to date with how processors have evolved over the years. Her i5 is 2.3ghz while the base MBA is 1.4? Granted I bet it performs better and more efficiently but is it a radical upgrade over her current processor?

    Thanks for any suggestions and comments !
  2. Kurso macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2013
    The current i5 MBA should be slightly faster (few percentage points) in terms of CPU than an early 2011 MBP.

    GPU will be faster (assuming current is HD 3000), SSD will be faster. In fact if she has a HDD right now it may be the cause of the current performance issues.

    The MBA will obviously be more portable and it will also have support for the Handoff.

    Honestly though if you upgrade to an SSD in her current laptop I bet the performance will be pretty close, and its a cheaper upgrade.
  3. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    It won't be a huge difference. The only reason she is getting lag is because of her hard drive. My girlfriend's 2012 13" MBP was really lagging, so I bought her a 256GB SSD for $110. It has made a world of difference, and it will probably last her a solid 4-5 more years. Check out this one, it will solve all of your problems:

    In terms of processor speed, as somebody else mentioned, the MBA will have a slightly faster processor. Clock speed is completely irrelevant between generations. It is a completely different architecture. It is comparable to judging the top speed of a car on the dimension of the engine block. It doesn't really say much. There are many other factors that determine performance.

  4. SonRK thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 9, 2011

    Excellent suggestions guys! She treats her Macbook Pro very well, and obviously the only thing that has really gone done is her battery usage, but she always has access to an outlet so it's never too big of a deal.

    Is there any good guide online on how to install it ourselves? Or should we take it to some of those little computer stores, etc.

    How would we re-install the OS and stuff again
  5. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    It is super easy to do. Here is a guide for the removal of the drive:

    For transferring all the data, I had an external hard drive (at least the size of all the data she has stored on the current HDD), plugged it in, and made it into a time machine backup. Once you backup your old HDD, put in the SSD and boot the computer. Prepare the SSD using the steps below:

    You can then select to use the time machine backup from the boot menu. It will transfer all of her preferences and documents, and it will take a few hours depending on how much of her current drive is filled. If you have any issues just ask the forum members! Definitely do it yourself if you have the time. It is relatively simple and safe.

  6. Dave245 macrumors 603


    Sep 15, 2013
    I have the same issue, i'm going into my 3rd year at university in September, and want something that's portable and has great battery life. I also have the 2011 Macbook Pro, personally the MBA (2014) is going to be much faster in terms of the SSD, where as the 2011 MBP has a HDD.

    There are a couple of factors that your girlfriend will want to take into consideration:

    1. Portability, if this is very important then the MBA is the best bet as its lighter
    2. Battery life - Again the MBA has better battery life of 12 hours.

    These are the points i have considered and the main reason why i have been thinking about the MBA. The rMBP does look good and the screen seems a lot better than the Air. There have also been rumours that a rMBA is coming soon, so if your girlfriend doesn't need to upgrade straight away then she could wait and see what :apple: do in the next few months.
  7. SonRK thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 9, 2011
    Late Reply, but thanks all.

    I ended up swapping her hard drive to a Solid State Drive. She says it runs as good as new. She's very satisfied with not having to put down another 1000 for a new laptop

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