Long-Term Longevity of 2015 MBA?

Wheel_D

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 13, 2016
52
8
Hello -

I'm considering a new 2015 MacBook Air 13 as a replacement for my damaged 11.6" MBA. I realize it's an old model, but I prefer the keyboard and the overall quality of the design. My needs are reasonably basic, and I imagine they'll remain so for the foreseeable future. If I purchase the 2015 MBA, can I expect it to remain useful into the year 2025?

Many thanks for your insights!
 

MultiFinder17

macrumors 68020
Jan 8, 2008
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Tampa, Florida
I wouldn't see any particular issues with getting nearly a decade out of a modern laptop, so long as it's well cared for. Just at the end of this school year I retired my old 2011 11" Air for classroom duties, and that's just because I got the version with only 2GB of RAM. If I'd had the 4GB version, I'd still totally be using it. So getting a decade or nearly a decade out of a laptop isn't unheard of, although you may be missing out on the latest and greatest software features towards the end.
 

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
4,602
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Georgia
That would depend entirely on your uses for the computer. As web pages use a lot more memory than just a couple years ago. I'd only consider an 8GB model to maximize the likelihood of it holding up until then.
 

Wheel_D

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 13, 2016
52
8
That would depend entirely on your uses for the computer. As web pages use a lot more memory than just a couple years ago. I'd only consider an 8GB model to maximize the likelihood of it holding up until then.
Yes, I know. I'm also wondering about virtual machine apps and other software.
 

Howard2k

macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
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I wouldn’t lag too far behind for security reasons. I have a 2015 and my gut feel is that I won’t go past Mojave (to retain 32 but app support). So how long will Mojave keep security updates coming? That’s probably my timeline for replacement.

So 2021 is when that will likely end and I may retire this one.
 
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TechRunner

macrumors newbie
Oct 28, 2016
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I have a base model 13" 2015 (1.6 i5, 4GB, 128GB) and while it's perfectly fine for my uses (surfing, writing and light photo editing), it is beginning to show its age speed-wise when loading certain websites and performing certain tasks. An i7 with twice the RAM might have given me a longer useful life span, but I'm not sure I could count on it being zippy enough to keep me from getting annoyed up to six years from now...
 

z2000

macrumors newbie
Jun 3, 2019
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Rotterdam
Why consider 2017Y model? as I do, I upgrade my MBA 2010late to 2017 now. I think that may help compatible further macOS update.
 

Wheel_D

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 13, 2016
52
8
I wouldn’t lag too far behind for security reasons. I have a 2015 and my gut feel is that I won’t go past Mojave (to retain 32 but app support). So how long will Mojave keep security updates coming? That’s probably my timeline for replacement.

So 2021 is when that will likely end and I may retire this one.
I don't use any 32-bit software; still, I definitely agree that software updates are crucial. I'm more familiar with Windows than Mac, so I lack a good understanding of Apple's approach. 32-bit support notwithstanding, how long could I reasonably expect to keep my machine current?

An i7 with twice the RAM might have given me a longer useful life span, but I'm not sure I could count on it being zippy enough to keep me from getting annoyed up to six years from now...
Exactly! It's the major reason I have reservations . . .

Why consider 2017Y model? as I do, I upgrade my MBA 2010late to 2017 now. I think that may help compatible further macOS update.
My current MacBook, a MacBook Air 11 from 2015, is the only MacBook I've got. Indeed, it's the only MacBook I've ever had. And I absolutely love it! As a person with a physical disability, I've used computers almost daily for some thirty-four years. The MBA is surely the best computer I've owned. I'm genuinely unhappy about replacing it, even though the system hasn't been quite right since I damaged it almost two years ago.
 

Howard2k

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Mar 10, 2016
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I would expect to be able to run Catalina. And possible the successor to Catalina. So I think you'll be good until 2022 or 2023. Any further than that and I'd consider that "bonus" time.
 
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556fmjoe

macrumors 68000
Apr 19, 2014
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For basic needs, it will be fine for a long time. I am using a 2011 Air with 2 GB of RAM and a 64 GB SSD for browsing, email, and C development, and it handles all of that easily.
 

Wheel_D

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 13, 2016
52
8
Best Buy is offering a new 2015 Air for $750 (Core i5, 128GB SSD). It's tempting, especially since I know I can install a larger SSD later. Still, I'm inclined to wait for the price to drop further.
 

Macdctr

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2009
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Ocean State
If you're going for the 2015 MBA13 then I would suggest you get one that is specd out (2.2Hz i7/8GB). The size of the storage drive does not matter because you can replace this for a larger NVMe M.2 storage drive for cheaper so I would say go for the 128GB Apple storage drive and save the money towards getting either a 1TB or 2TB NVMe M.2 storage drive instead.

Since you're looking to run virtual machine apps having the larger storage drive will help. I run VirtualPC on my 2015 MBA13 which is fully specd out and have no issues whatsoever when running my virtual PC apps.
 

AlexJoda

macrumors 6502a
Apr 8, 2015
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I don’t think that a 2015 MBP has a shorter lifespan than a 2018 MBA because the MBA is already slower. That should mean that you have several years left with the 2015 MBP....
 

Wheel_D

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 13, 2016
52
8
If you're going for the 2015 MBA13 then I would suggest you get one that is specd out (2.2Hz i7/8GB). The size of the storage drive does not matter because you can replace this for a larger NVMe M.2 storage drive for cheaper. . . .
Yes, I believe we're on the same wavelength.

I don’t think that a 2015 MBP has a shorter lifespan than a 2018 MBA because the MBA is already slower. That should mean that you have several years left with the 2015 MBP...
I don't understand. Would you please explain?
 
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AlexJoda

macrumors 6502a
Apr 8, 2015
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Yes, I believe we're on the same wavelength.

I don't understand. Would you please explain?
The lifespan of a Mac depends mainly on the amount of RAM, the supported components (e.g. driver and features for the hardware) and the performance of the computer (besides political aspects of not supporting the old device any more). From the hardware and performance standpoint the 2015 MBP is not worse (or in that sense "older") than the 2018 MBA...
 

Macdctr

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2009
606
291
Ocean State
The lifespan of a Mac depends mainly on the amount of RAM, the supported components (e.g. driver and features for the hardware) and the performance of the computer (besides political aspects of not supporting the old device any more). From the hardware and performance standpoint the 2015 MBP is not worse (or in that sense "older") than the 2018 MBA...
Alex, I have to agree...