Keep 2011 MBA or 2012 MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by troy14, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. troy14 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2008
    Las Vegas (Summerlin), NV
    Hey everyone, last thread i'll start for a while I believe.

    I recently purchased both a 2011 MBA and a 2012 MBA. I recently got a great deal on the 2011 and then saw the $900 refurb from Apple on eBay for the 2012.

    I got my 2011 MBA and it still has nearly the full year of Applecare warranty, it has one scratch on the bottom but other than that it's cosmetically in perfect condition. I looked up the SSD and it's' a Samsung and the LCD is a Samsung as well. It seems like those are the two desired options. With Blackmagic Disk Speed test I get about 245 MB/s write and 265 MB/s read. It was approx $715 for this computer.

    The 2012 MBA is an apple refurb so it is like new. I looked up the LCD and it's an LG and the SSD is a Toshiba. I get about 260 MB/s write and 430 MB/s read. The read speed is greatly increased. USB 3.0 would be nice but I don't think I will ever be connecting any external drives to this Air (I have a Mac Mini as a desktop, and a NAS with 2 2tb HDs as well). This was $900.

    Does anyone think I should keep the 2012 over the 2011? They are both 4gb ram and 128gb hard drives as well. I will not be playing any games so I don't think the intel 3000 vs 4000 really matters (both can handle Youtube i'm sure). It will be for web browsing, word document processing, and e-mail. The $175 isn't a huge deal but it is big enough for me to consider.

    Will the 2012 be that much faster for what I am doing? I have tried playing around with both and they both are fast I can't really tell a difference... (but they are both brand new fresh installs so it is a little unfair I guess).

    Appreciate any opinions!
  2. eric/ Guest


    Sep 19, 2011
    Ohio, United States
    For only $175, probably worth the upgrade to the 2012. I think there are some other upgrades (battery life maybe) that would be worth it.
  3. devinthomas, Mar 16, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013

    devinthomas macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2013
    I was just in your shoes. After some usage and decision making I went with the 2012. The difference in performance is actually pretty tangible for me. I notice it in the smallest day-to-day moments. It's such a perfectly fluid machine, Ivy Bridge really is a big jump from Sandy Bridge, it's a great chip. I believe the SSD is faster which allows for apps to open faster and other little improvements.

    Battery life is great. I've gotten almost 8 hours on my 2012 MacBook Air, and the most I ever got with the 2011 was 6 and a half. Just browsing Safari with iTunes & iMessages open.

    It's important to note that the smallest little bits of specifications can make or break your computers compatibility with the next generation of Operating Systems. Like Power Nap in ML only works with 2011-forward models, all because of some tiny change in power management in chips.

    Also, USB 3.0 will be the standard going forward and that performance increase is insane. I didn't think I'd notice let alone care about it, but it's a very fast standard and I can't wait to see it be utilized for something fresh & exciting.

    I've read that Bluetooth 4.0 may be important moving forward as far as connectivity with iOS devices is concerned, something like Power Nap for iOS using low power Bluetooth 4.0 to sync non-iCloud accessible changes between Mac & your phone while you sleep, maybe even some faster file sharing between devices.

    So, as a proud owner of the 13" 2012 model, I'd have to vouch for it. Between Ivy Bridge & USB 3.0, Bluetooth 4.0 and all, I'm willing to bet that the 2012 model will last AT LEAST two OS X versions longer. It's technologically (not spec. wise but actual architecture) on par with the Retina MacBook Pro's which are being
    touted as the next-generation of Apple machines, so it feels more future proof to me. I'm very happy with the 2012 model.

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