Is the Retina Macbook a worthwhile upgrade to my Late 2010 11" Macbook Air?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Nahmeanz, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. Nahmeanz macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2007
    I'm currently using a Late 2010 11" Macbook Air that was dubbed the "Ultimate" when it came out (1.6GHz Core 2 Duo, 128GB FS, 4GB RAM, GeForce 320M 256MB).

    I use my laptop mostly to supplement an iMac I have which is also from 2010. It's not a powerhouse or anything but I use both mostly for web browsing, downloading and viewing media, MS Office, iWork, and Adobe Acrobat. I have some heavy lifting apps like Adobe CS5 but I hardly use it because I don't know how to.

    I am interested in the new $1599 Retina Macbook (1.2GHz Core M, 512GB FS, 8GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 5300). My rationale for buying a new laptop is that I have a new 4K TV that accept 4K @60fps via DisplayPort that I want to use as a monitor. My current laptop is not able to output 4K @60fps, will the new Retina Macbook be able to? Will there be a USB-C to DisplayPort adapter? Will the Core M processor and Intel 5300 in the Retina Macbook be sufficient to run the programs I usually use while crunching all of those pixels?

  2. Dave245 macrumors 604


    Sep 15, 2013
    I was wondering the same, however i have a 2011 Macbook Pro (none retina and none SSD) the portability and retina screen are what's attracting me to the new Macbook along with the fact that it looks really nice :)
  3. taelan28 macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2014
  4. Mrbobb, Mar 10, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015

    Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    I would not be so hasty and wait for other first adopters to confirm.

    From the presentation, looks to me Apple's priority for this notebook is to squeeze the most power while retaining portability and batt life. Some folks already feel the rMBP doesn't have enough umph to drive the retina, so now the OP is asking to drive a 4K.

    There is another thread that mentions USB3-C is limited to 5GB, I believe 4K wants like 18GB.
  5. FuNGi macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2010
    If that's really your rational then you may be better served with a new rMBP rather than macbook I'd suspect you'd be pushing the 5300 even if the hardware allowed 4K output.
  6. HellasLEAF macrumors regular


    Aug 9, 2009
    I am a fellow 2011 air owner.

    What can I say about this machine. It's a champ. I don't care how light that new one is, this thing is still feels light and so very sleek and they really nailed the dimensions and feel.

    Keyboard is great too.

    I am extremely tempted by the space grey however it's very nice and they did many things well with this new laptop.

    But it's very hard to let go of the air. In truth, I may just trade this in the for the newest air which will have many benefits to me after 4 years. will use it while I wait for retina air or version 2 of the new macbook.

    Take the plunge if you like it, as I really do like it myself, but be prepared for a different experience when going from the air.
  7. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    Given that we do not know how the Broadwell-M will handle outputting 4K - you would be better served to wait for the first reviews. Maybe put down the money for a rMBP 13" which will be plenty capable and costs about the same. If you are going to plonk the machine next to the TV; paying top dollar for a thin and light compromise may not be worth it.
  8. Nahmeanz thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2007
    I definitely wouldn't be leaving it connected and sitting next to the TV all day, I just want that to be an option. My current Late 2010 Macbook Air doesn't output 4K at all, and also my displayport and right side USB don't work anymore.

    Tech Specs says:
    Graphics and Video Support
    Intel HD Graphics 5300
    Dual display and video mirroring: Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to 3840 by 2160 pixels on an external display, both at millions of colors

    Doesn't say if it is @60fps, I doubt it from the info on the link FuNGi posted.

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7 March 9, 2015