How long will it last?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by tbone14, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. tbone14 macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2010
    My current baby is the 12" 1.33 GHz G4 Powerbook with 1.25 RAM running 10.5.4. This has been an amazing computer, and has treated me well over the last half decade. However, I am afraid that it is on its last legs. :(

    I am learning towards getting the 2.13 GHz MBA with 128 SSD. This would be my PRIMARY computer. I travel approximately once per month, and value size, portability and function. My laptop goes wherever I go. At home, it usually remains shut, as it is attached to an external monitor, keyboard, and hard drive. My primary uses are for email, Internet browsing, P2P/file sharing, online video streaming (watching), Microsoft Office/Excel/Powerpoint, accessing work VPNs and using associated work-related programs, and occasional photo editing.

    Would the current model MBA last me another 4-5+ years? I am worried about the C2D, as it is "relatively" older technology.

    So my options, in order of preference, are:

    1. Wait for the next MBA refresh. Hopefully this happens sooner rather than later.

    2. Purchase the 2.13 GHz MBA with 128 SSD.

    3. Purchase the 15" MBP base model.

    4. Purchase the 13" MBP base model. Again, I am worried about the C2D processor.

    I don't necessarily need the latest and greatest. I just want something that fits my needs well and will last a few years while withholding the test of time. Ideally, I'd love to get another 4-5+ years out of my next computer.

    Thoughts, suggestions, and comments appreciated. :)
  2. Spacekatgal macrumors regular


    Jun 9, 2009
    The build quality on the MBA is really great. I do think it would last that long, though I'd read up on the hinge defect first and try to avoid it. Apple does cover repairs now, but it would be good to know what to avoid doing.

    Honestly, if you've been using a non-Intel laptop for this long, I don't think there's any reason to wait for a new version of the Air. It may or may not come - and the right time to buy a computer is when you need it.

  3. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    Don't worry about the C2D. That chip will be with us for a long time. Note the brand-new Mini uses it. It's a great processor and very power efficient, and computers based on it side-step Intel's silly GPU strictures.

    Go i5/i7 if you need 10-20% more raw processing power, but C2D has got plenty of oomph. Just jam as much RAM into your machine as it'll hold, and enjoy.

    By the way, we have the same 12" G4 PowerBook here in our menagerie. It's been very heavily used for six years by my teenage son. About a year ago we paid $300 to have a display issue fixed, and that was its only "support incident" in all that time. Very solid machines. It's still running very strong. However, he just graduated to a brand-new top-end 15" i7 MBP as a 16th-birthday present, and we're counting on that lasting him six more years, through his last two years of high school and then college. We'll be putting the G4 up for sale on Ebay and will be very sad to see it go.
  4. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Since you travel and need portability, stay away from the 15" MBP. It's portable but not so much as the 13" MBP/MBA. Unless you need the extra screen real estate, the 13" MBP is the best way to go. It's the perfect balance between power and portability.

    The 15" MBP base model is a Core i5. If you really want it to last longer, this is the way to go. The current MBA will last you 4-5 years with your usage no problem. The applications you use don't seem to really utilize the CPU or GPU so a Core 2 Duo is good enough. Photo editing is the only thing that really could use the CPU or GPU but only if you do heavy editing with Photoshop, Aperture, Lightroom, etc. not light touchups in iPhoto.

    Suggestions: Save some money and go with the 13" MBP. It's got power and portability. Since it's cheaper than the MBA 128GB SSD, buy a SSD with the remaining cash if you really must have a SSD. Do an Optibay or similar setup if you need/want more HD space.
  5. TSE macrumors 68030

    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    If you really want to have a MacBook Air last a long time, I would honestly wait until the next revision which will probably bring 4 GBs of RAM. The RAM in the MacBook Air is not upgradeable so this is a huge deal.
  6. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    I'd go for the Air 2.13 with SSD - either a new one or even a refurb for a bargain.
    for your requirements definitely go for the 2.13 ghz and not the lower end 1.86ghz.
    there are a few niceties such as backlit keyboard and this model will have better re-sale value than the others when the refresh comes (probably 2011 the way things are looking).
    [if you check eBay, just about all RevC's for sale are the lower model and you hardly ever see any 2.13ghz.]

    my usage is almost identical to yours and as a primary machine they are hard to beat.

    if you're going to buy new, go for the Edu discount - save an extra 10%.
    I just took out an extended AppleCare as mine ticks over 12 months this week, and I'll probably keep it now until 2012 and then see what's on offer then.
    nothing like a backup, erase and fresh install to restore things to the way they were.
    if it was snappy then it'll be snappy way into the future and the SSD's are a dream compared to the regular SATA HDD platters

    hope that helps :D
  7. SidBala macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2010
    The fixed ram may be a big deal. 4-5 years without upgradable ram is hard. 4-5 years ago, 1GB ram was the top of the line Black MB RAM. 1GB now is barely usable. As someone already stated wait for the 4GB ram MBA.

    Or you could get a 13 inch MBP. It is still very portable and also has upgradable ram.
  8. cleric macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    You don't need a 15" mbp because it sounds like any big work is done on a real monitor so I would narrow it down to a 13" mbp or mba. Processor seems irrelevant since the highest workload stuff you do is youtube? If you have a hard drive hooked up a lot the firewire port on the mbp might be nice but thats assuming you are transfer files at really high speed, but it sounds like you are just downloading them at 10mbit or something well within in the USB2 bandwidth range.

    It's really down to how much you want to pay and how much the weight difference matters to you. Also on your flights are they greater than 4hrs? If so do you usually have an EmPower adapter available?
  9. PsyD4Me macrumors 6502a


    Mar 11, 2009
    under your bed

    we need a time machine for that
  10. akbc macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2008
    I wouldn't say MBA will last 4-5 years as a primary computer.
    It would be good as a secondary device, but not a main one.

    The biggest drawback is the fixed amount of RAM. 2GB would be sufficient, but who knows what you will do with it as a main machine, and minimum of 4GB would be viable in the near future.

    I'd suggest the 13" MBP since it's upgradeable. HDD, RAM... and it's got an optical drive, too.
    As a main computer, ODD is a must in my opinion.
    Not many contents fully support disc-free experience yet.
  11. tbone14 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2010
    Thank you for all the replies. Since my current Powerbook is maxed at 1.25 GB RAM, I had never thought about the 2GB of RAM being a limiting factor down the road in a few years. D'oh!

    As for the optical drive, my current PB only has a combo drive. And I cannot remember the last time I have used it. It has been at least a year or two, if not more! I fully agree with Steve when he said that the transition of media has gone towards digital downloadable formats, and that's why it's unlikely to see Macs come with Blu-Ray in the future.

    I also came across another topic in a different thread regarding Windows. For those of you that have MBAs, did you partition your hard drive and load a version of Microsoft Windows on the 2nd partition? If you did, how much memory did you allocate (to load the OS and to have enough memory to maintain functionality)? And which version of Windows did you use?
  12. MacRuler macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2010
    hey i have the rev A macbook air, and it came with the 80 gb hd. i took that out and put in a 32 gb runcore ssd. i am on windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit right now, i gave windows 7 12 gb and osx the rest (osx needs more space to run smoothly, learned from experience) yea well i have about 2,300 songs on each of the partitions and microsoft office on both partitions, other than that i have itunes and safari or chrome. there are no problems for me, just make sure u leave osx with at least 5 gb free. i installed osx without the unneccesary languages and printer drivers. i am running both now with 7 gb free in osx and 1.4 gb free in windows. all running smoothly with no problems. : )
  13. bowlerman625 macrumors 68020


    Jun 17, 2009
    Chicago, IL area
    I think the one you're looking at will suit you just fine. That's the one I have. I bought last October - a refurb - and have been very happy with it. The unit was in like-new condition when I received it.

    Good luck!
  14. maril1111 macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2010
    Depends on how much you want to photo edit and with what app because aperture would crawl with only 2 gigs but Iphoto is fine.

    The core 2 duo processor are completely fine, heck a lot of PC's still have Celeron and Pentium ones so you shouldn't worry
  15. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Aperture 3 runs fine on my MBA.

  16. maril1111 macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2010
    I don't know how big your library is but on my Macbook with 3Gb ram it just works fine....

    Also how does Multitasking work for you? As in Having Aperture and a few other apps open at the same time?

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