How much faster is the new Air vs mid '13 Air?

questionwonder

macrumors member
Original poster
May 6, 2013
86
12
I used to run Visual Studio in Windows 10 running on a VM on my Macbook Air mid 2013 1.8 Ghz, 8 Gb RAM, 512GB SSD. Visual Studio would slow down and the fan would almost always be running with full CPU load. And I would have to restart the VM at least once a day.

So I moved to a VM hosted in Azure and I connect through Mac MS RDP client. And it's all good, but I spend about $80/month for this service for a 2.2 Ghz, 8Gb RAM VM.

So, I want to know how much faster the new Air CPU will be and if you think it would be worth going out and buying one and using it to host Windows and Visual Studio again?

I'm trying to find the cheapest solution here!!! I have a $150 Apple gift card and I could trade in my mid 2013 air for ~$200 and I would apply both to the new Air.


I'm fully aware of the Macbook Pro, but I don't want to spend any money. I'm cheap and would rather spend a monthly charge for the Azure service then 2000+ for a Macbook Pro 4 core, 16Gb Ram 256GB SSD bla bla bla. I also want to use a Mac isntead of a Windows laptop as I like the look/feel/form factor/ OS daily use of the Apple laptops.

What would you do?
 

niji

Contributor
Feb 9, 2003
1,791
1,569
tokyo
i own the new MacBook Air with 16GB RAM 1.6GH Dual Intel Core i5(Turbo Boost, max 3.6GHz) , 4MB L3 Cache.
it is NOT a fast machine, especially when multiple tasks require longer spurts of processing time.
before i bought this new MacBook Air, i owned the 2015 top model. that machine was quick and kept up.
this new machine has trouble sometimes in doing what the older machine did easily.
i think this has a a lot to do how apple changed the way the new machine handles power management so the battery life is increased.
for my needs the new Macbook Air is still sufficient.
but i can say that the MacBook Pro is the way to go for you.
 
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auxbuss

macrumors regular
Feb 18, 2014
221
158
UK
I agree. I like the MBA, but if I needed it for dev work, then I definitely would have gone for the MBP.
 
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revmacian

macrumors 68000
Oct 20, 2018
1,739
1,440
USA
I agree with other posters. I did a lot of research into the 2018 MBA and learned quite a bit. You have to remember that the MBA and MBP are designed for two different demographics and the MBA is not the ideal machine for development work. Save your money and get a MBP.. even a refurbished 2017 MacBook Pro, without Touch Bar, would be a better machine for you needs and save you a lot of money.
 
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- rob -

macrumors 6502a
Apr 18, 2012
520
295
Oakland, CA
I went from a fully loaded 2015 11" MBA to the 2018 and found it to be a major performance boost. I was concerned by this because I am usually running multiple spaces, docker containers and multiple projects in an IDE and needed the power. Apart from graphics capability, I've been really satisfied with the performance of the 2018, I am using 16GB ram / 2.133 though, especially how much it has been hounded over the low power CPU.
 
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chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
9,148
3,121
I'm fully aware of the Macbook Pro, but I don't want to spend any money. I'm cheap and would rather spend a monthly charge for the Azure service then 2000+ for a Macbook Pro 4 core, 16Gb Ram 256GB SSD bla bla bla. I also want to use a Mac isntead of a Windows laptop as I like the look/feel/form factor/ OS daily use of the Apple laptops.

What would you do?
I'd buy a MacBook Pro and stop spending nearly $1000 a year in Azure charges. The computer will pay for itself in just over 2 years.
 
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ascender

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2005
3,156
1,086
If you need the performance and by the sound of your post you do, I'd go for a MBP every time. I do think that most of the time people know if they need a Pro or not, but some users are just looking to justify spending the extra money or just want to have the best of the best.
 
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lpolarityl

macrumors 6502
Dec 1, 2009
427
182
Ohio
Why not just build a cheap VMWare host and just remote to that? You can build a host box for less than $500 and just use the free version of ESXi. But I gotta agree, if you need to run a VM and want it to perform better than it did when you ran it locally, you might need something with four cores to handle the load so I would recommend a Pro.

If you don't mind me asking, what is it that you're doing with the VM? Were you using Parallels when you hosted it locally?
 
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questionwonder

macrumors member
Original poster
May 6, 2013
86
12
I was using VMWare, not Parallels. And I was using it to run Windows 10 and Visual Studio for dev work. That's it!
 
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axd1152

macrumors member
Sep 22, 2016
41
2
Buy refurbished macbook pro 13 with touchbar 2018. It is much faster than the non-touchbar model, and it is just 330$ more expensive that the new macbook air if you are buying refurbished from apple and it already comes with 256GB rather than 128GB ssd. That is what I bought and loving it. I am also using VMware fusion and I see no slowdowns.
 
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- rob -

macrumors 6502a
Apr 18, 2012
520
295
Oakland, CA
Buy refurbished macbook pro 13 with touchbar 2018. It is much faster than the non-touchbar model, and it is just 330$ more expensive that the new macbook air if you are buying refurbished from apple and it already comes with 256GB rather than 128GB ssd. That is what I bought and loving it. I am also using VMware fusion and I see no slowdowns.
I would have considered this if it had Touch ID and no Touch Bar. I loath the Touch Bar and need my esc key. I agree MBA would benefit from a stronger processor
 
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axd1152

macrumors member
Sep 22, 2016
41
2
I would have considered this if it had Touch ID and no Touch Bar. I loath the Touch Bar and need my esc key. I agree MBA would benefit from a stronger processor
You can have your esc key on the touchbar, dont see problem with that.
 
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bearinthetown

macrumors regular
May 5, 2018
168
110
MBA 2018 is slower than MBA 2013. I have both. Don't believe people who try to convince themselves otherwise. I was misinformed myself by apologists, who convinced me that new MBA is faster. I don't know, maybe on paper, maybe in someone's imagination, I don't know. The reality is, loading times are slower, frames per second are lower. Also, the so called "improved" battery is worse than it was on MBA 2013. I used to get 8-10 hours of battery life on MBA 2013 when it was new. On this new one, I'm getting 6-7 hours.
 
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Barna Biro

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2011
653
33
Zug, Switzerland
@OP: I'm sorry but I fail to understand this. You state from the get-go that your main intention is to use Windows 10 and VisualStudio and that you are cheap. Why again are you thinking about buying a Mac? You clearly don't need a Mac and I'm sure you can find waaaaay cheaper non-Apple notebooks out there that can get the job done and for that money, their specs will very likely be better too.

To answer your original question: no, the MBA is very likely not suitable for your use-case. It can definitely run it, but it won't be a pleasant experience whatsoever (you'll be really disappointed). If you want Windows and you say you don't want to spend too much, then Apple is not the way to go. Otherwise, if you are stubborn and you really, really want a Mac, then rather consider the 13" MBPs.

I'm using my MBA for development, but not within the Microsoft ecosystem. Sure a MBP would be faster and better, but the MBA is just fine for my needs (DB, Java, Angular, Docker, mobile dev and some light graphic design / editing). It cannot fit everyone's needs, but there are thankfully alternatives.
 
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Silver Idaten

macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2015
572
861
Stratford, CT
I used to have the mid-2013 MBA with the i7 and 8GB RAM, now I have the current MBA with 16GB RAM. I honestly believe it feels just as fast if not a little more, then again I no longer have the old computer to compare it to. I'm fine with the i5, I just wish it was bumped up a little more. I thought about the MBP but I absolutely can't stand the TouchBar, I despise it, and the non-TouchBar MBP (which is probably going away for now) is still dual-core and 7th gen processors. I'd rather have the form factor of the MBA with an 8th gen i5. Plus, I'd rather have a 3rd gen butterfly switch than a 2nd gen.

Every MBP in the Apple refurbished store that would've met my needs (has to have 16GB RAM and 512GB storage) had the TouchBar and were 2016 which is the year I'd stay far far away from because of the 1st gen butterfly switches. Everything after that was just too highly priced, or 15" which I didn't want (and that was too expensive anyway).

I personally think you're fine with the MBA. Hell I even use mine for light gaming, nothing crazy obviously. A MBP would be better if you have the money to spend.
 
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mj_

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2017
765
444
Austin, TX
I'd rather have the form factor of the MBA with an 8th gen i5. Plus, I'd rather have a 3rd gen butterfly switch than a 2nd gen.
Are you aware of the fact that the 2nd gen butterfly keyboard is covered under Apple's service program while the 3rd gen is not? And the latter is also prone to failing, maybe a bit less frequently but if it does you're screwed. For good.

Honestly, I wouldn't touch any 2018 gen Apple notebook with a 10-foot pole.
 
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Silver Idaten

macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2015
572
861
Stratford, CT
Are you aware of the fact that the 2nd gen butterfly keyboard is covered under Apple's service program while the 3rd gen is not? And the latter is also prone to failing, maybe a bit less frequently but if it does you're screwed. For good.

Honestly, I wouldn't touch any 2018 gen Apple notebook with a 10-foot pole.
Funny enough the screen coating on the MBA is wearing off after only one day that I noticed shortly after that post, what I thought was a smudge that I tried to wipe with my microfiber cloth got worse, so I held it up to the light and the coating that looks kind of purplish is just wiping off, and the screen is all marked up where it was. Using the microfiber cloth is like smearing my fingers all over the screen.

So I guess it’s going back! A shame. I kind of want to go back to a classic MBA now. Apple has some 2017s in the refurb shop. I could pick up an older used one but I like having that warranty, that’s my hang up.
 
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nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,486
2,532
So, I want to know how much faster the new Air CPU will be and if you think it would be worth going out and buying one and using it to host Windows and Visual Studio again
Even with 2018 15" 6-core MBP with 32GB RAM, running a demanding app like Visual Studio on Windows 10 VM will trigger fans to spin often at full throttle.

Having said that, I do have Windows 10 installed as Boot Camp on my kid's 2018 MBA with 16GB RAM and it runs quiet for the most part, and performs pretty well.
 
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Silver Idaten

macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2015
572
861
Stratford, CT
You get a warranty on a refurb.
I know, I was referring to a used one from say Swappa. I ended up getting the 2017 refurb! I know the hardware is a bit older but I don’t need anything crazy, and I was trying out the display model in the Apple Store and that keyboard was so amazing to type on again. That MBA body was the most reliable laptop I ever had, I had a 2013 and it survived drops, accidental throws, getting tossed in bags, everything. Now that know these retina screens have this weird coating, I prefer it doesn’t have one.

Once I have it for a bit and I decide to keep it, I’ll buy the additional AppleCare. This is my first experience with the Apple Refurb shop so I’m excited, I’ve heard nothing but amazing things.
 
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