last plastic Mac Book vs new Mac Book Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by APPLeFRo, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. APPLeFRo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    #1
    Hi all,

    I currently have the last plastic Mac Book that was released in mid 2010. It has the following specs:

    2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3
    NVidia GeForce 320 M 256 MB
    250 GB Sata Disk

    99% of the time the laptop is hooked up to a monitor via Mini Display Port.

    I'm a developer so I have xCode open all the time, and I usually have Safari open with a bunch of tabs (sometimes I need Illustrator or Photoshop open as well). I'm finding that a lot of time I'm running out of memory and get the spinning circle when I believe virtual memory is being used (and sometimes Safari will kind of reset itself). Needless to say it can be pretty frustrating, and I'm unable to upgrade the system to 8 GB of RAM because it's limited to 4.

    I'm thinking of upgrading to the current 13", 128 gb hd Mac Book Air (with 8 gb of RAM upgrade), and I was just wondering if people think that would be a sufficient enough hardware upgrade to handle the above tasks I mention without getting bogged down as much as I do now? In particular, I'm wondering how the processors compare, the difference in video cards, and if a flash hard drive will make a big difference over a disc one.
     
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #2
    I went from a 2008 2.4ghz/4gb Core2 Duo MacBook Pro to a 2011 i5/4gb/256gb MacBook Air and it was almost twice as fast for CPU and way, way faster for anything related to disk. I was using software like Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, Photoshop and other high powered programs.

    Last summer I upgraded to a 2013 i7/8gb/512gb MacBook Air and that was another nice performance boost. I don't really use my Mac like yours - I dislike having a bunch of browser tabs open for example. But I can tell you that the current MBA will be a huge upgrade from your old Core 2 Duo machine - somewhere between 2x to 3x faster for CPU bound tasks but it will feel much faster than that because of the SSD. Even if it is swapping, the SSD is so fast that you may not notice it (although I think the 512GB SSD is something like 4x to 5x faster than the base 128GB SSD).
     
  3. APPLeFRo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    #3
    Cool, thanks for the input. It sounds like your 2008 Pro probably had very similar specs to my 2010 Regular. What about i5 vs i7, think it's worth the $140 upgrade?
     
  4. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #4
    According to the great Mactracker app, the 2010 MacBook is listed by Apple as max 4 GB - but actually can have up to 2 x 8 TB, for a real maximum of 16GB, if you choose to do that. You can verify that with OWC - http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/Apple_MacBook_MacBook_Pro/Upgrade/DDR3_White
    Note that more than 8GB requires at least OS X 10.7.5

    And, upgrading to an SSD would add more real performance.
     
  5. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #5
    Yes, I think the specs are basically the same on our old machines.

    I dunno about i5 vs i7, it is debated a lot around here. My 2011 MBA was i5, the 2013 is i7. Really, I think that most of the performance increase I see on the 2013 comes from the 512gb SSD which is really fast (> 700MB/s). I'm sure the i7 and 8gb helps some though. The main difference I see is faster rendering in Final Cut and less latency in Logic with the new machine. Really don't notice much difference for things like Safari, Photoshop, Mail, etc.
     
  6. APPLeFRo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    #6
    You know I've called Apple before to ask them about this and they always say it's limited to 4 GB like you said. I trust what you're saying, but why do they say the limit is 4 GB when in reality you can have more? Is it to encourage people to update to new computers?

    Thanks that's very useful information because that might help me solve my problem without having to buy a new computer.

    ----------

    Cool thanks again for the info.
     
  7. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #7
    Often time that is outdated info from when if was available 4GB chips was the biggest made, then as time went by Apple did not bother to update the information and Apple themselves did not sell you an "official" 8GB upgrade, so it remains where it was. I have no specific knowledge of your machine, am merely explaining the info discrepancy.

    I'd be careful about a SSD upgrade. Is a 2010 MacBook drive bus fast enough to take advantage of SSD? else you maybe running that baby at half potential speed while paying full price for it.

    To me upgrading such an old machine is really to hold you over because u can't afford to buy a brand new now but don't expect any piece meal upgrade to last u another 4 year.
     
  8. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #8
    Many Mac models have memory controllers that often will support larger memory sticks than Apple officially supports.
    Not all Macs do.
    In many cases, Apple's supported limits are the same, and trying larger sticks will prove unsuccessful.
    Third party memory companies, particularly those like OWC that heavily support Macs, will test larger chips for reliable use, and can be trusted, I think, to tell you if a particular Mac will support other memory sticks.
    Again, the OWC site is a reliable source; and the Mactracker app has information like that for ALL Mac models.

    There's no fault if you wish to stay safe with Apple's response, but memory specialists do verify that other memory does work successfully, and lots of folks go forward with that info to more memory.
     
  9. APPLeFRo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    #9
    Yeah I think I'd just start by upgrading the memory, I think that's really the main issue so I don't plan on upgrading the hard drive. It would definitely just be to hold me over possibly to this summer when they update the Mac Book Airs and hopefully pack some more stuff into them.

    ----------

    Nah I definitely do trust it and am going to upgrade my RAM, again thanks for that info will save me a lot of money.

    Do you think something like this would OK from NewEgg? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233178 . It seems a little cheaper, or do you think it would be better to be safe and go through the site you mentioned?
     
  10. mpantone macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    #10
    Some Macs have memory controller designs that prevent full access to the larger amount of RAM.

    I have a MacBook from 2006 which officially supports 2GB of RAM. You can stick in 4GB of RAM and the system will recognize it, but not all of it is user-addressable, as some of the RAM between the 3.00 and 4.00 region is locked out by the system memory design. Thus, it's really about 3.5GB of user-addressable memory.

    That's why Apple's official stance is that my computer can't support 4GB of memory. If they claimed that the computer supports 4GB of memory, but only 3.5GB were user-addressable, they'd have a mutiny on their hands (or likely get sued for false advertising). Moreover, the gap in the memory address registers likely results in some sort of fragmentation. If the OS takes up 0.5GB (for the sake of this example), it is unlikely that the other 3.0GB are available to one program. Most likely, 2.5GB (or even less) are available to one program, with the other ~0.5GB available to other programs. It is not 3.5GB of contiguous addressable memory.

    This is one of the relatively rare instances where sites like MacRumors, AnandTech, etc. offer more detailed information than Apple's party line.

    If you upgrade a system beyond its officially supported RAM capabilities, do not expect complete access to those resources.
     
  11. Robyr macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    #11
    Just for the record, the problem here comes down to 32-bit vs 64-Bit memory registers. The first Intel Macs didn't have that equipment (at least in the notebooks. I had a mini that I could swear had 8GB with no issues)
     
  12. Lunapip macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Location:
    England
    #12
    APPLeFRo, I have the same Macbook upgraded 8GB of RAM and it works a treat. Xcode also runs really well too. System is also stable - Mavericks runs good too.

    Would recommend giving it a go.
     
  13. APPLeFRo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    #13
    I think even if it adds 1-3 GB it would make a big difference for me, so not to worried about losing a little bit. Thanks for the info though.

    ----------

    Ah cool thanks for letting me know! Xcode can be a killer on memory can't it?
     

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