Longevity of MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Toast487, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. Toast487 macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2012
    With the lack of upgradable ram and hard drive, how long would a MBA be able to handle new OS versions and program apps if all I'm doing is basic tasks (internet, email, and microsoft office)? Will 4gb of ram likely be very limiting in 2 years?
  2. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I find it limiting now.
  3. jj48 macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2011
    I personally doubt that 4GB of RAM will be very limiting in 2 years time. Especially for basic tasks I would expect that 4GB will still be more than sufficient to run the OS smoothly in the way it was intended. Apple know that not all of their user base buy a new mac every year, their machines are intended to last much longer than 2 years.
  4. Toast487 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2012
    In what ways? Are we just talking basic tasks?
  5. Bigredhawkeye macrumors member

    Mar 13, 2012
    For your tasks 4GB of RAM will be plenty for the next couple of years at least. I do the same things on mine as you will be doing and do not even come close to pushing the limit of the system.

    The only ones who push it are power users who run multiple VMs, or do heavy photo/video editing/AutoCAD stuff.

    You'll be fine for a couple years.
  6. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Ah no, sorry. I do a bit of recording with Logic and RAM just disappears if I use soft synths. I think though, in terms of word processing and email/web surfing, you would probably be alright for a couple of years.
  7. boy-better-know macrumors 65816


    Jun 30, 2010
    I will upgrade to Mountain Lion without worrying, but whatever comes after that, I will be a bit more cautious with upgrading my MacBook Air. But for the smaller tasks, I reckon the MBA will hold up nicely, I plan to see my MBA's apple care out, so another 2 and a half years for me.
  8. Xikum macrumors 6502

    Oct 19, 2011
    I have a 2010, 2 GB RAM Air. I use it for basic tasks such as word processing and browsing, and it never lags or beach balls' at all.

    People do over-react when it comes to RAM. Even if you need to page, the SSD makes it tolerable, much unlike paging to an HDD.
  9. Mac32 Suspended

    Nov 20, 2010
    If you only have 2gb, stay away from Lion. Though maybe Mountain Lion will improve performance. I have a 2010 MBA with Snow Leopard, works like a charm. :)
  10. Hamburger macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2011
    I only have 2GB RAM, late 2010, with Lion. Works like a charm, no lags for what I do - browsing, word processing, no VM.
  11. Bigmacduck macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2009
    damn this MAB mid 2009 still works

    I have (among other Macs) still a 13" MBA mid 2009 (2GB RAM, 2.13GHz, 256GB OWC Mercury Aura SSD) and this gizmo still doesn't want to break. I hope that Mountain Lion will bring it to its knees so that I have a reason to replace it with a 2012 MBA. But as long as it works and performs well, I'll hold on to it. :D
  12. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    I expect that currently selling Macs should have another 4 or 5 years of OS upgrades available then a year of OS patches.

    If you don't change what you will be using the Air for, 4GB should be fine for a few years. What may become limiting is if you only get 128GB of SSD and build up music and/or photo collections.
  13. iTiki macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2007
    Maui, Hawaii
    I have a 2010 ultimate running Lion and have no issues even when using Aperture. I expect to get at least a couple of more years out of it before upgrading. By then, I would think whatever version of iPad is out, will out spec my current air.
  14. thestickman macrumors regular

    Nov 21, 2010
    Jacksonville, FL
    Just 2 gb ram here & I've not run into any trouble yet. I've done some light work with Logic, basic internet, streaming internet without issue.

    I'd rather be running Snow Leopard but that's not possible on this MBA apparently. Going to wait & see how ML performs before I put it on here. 6 months or more before it's ever on the iMac.
  15. steviecat macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2012

    I just wanted to let people know that I still maintain a couple of Power Macs for relatively high end users which are over ten years old...I think worrying about the longevity of the macbook air is a no brainer...for email word preocessing etc I think you will get ten years out of it!

    Good luck
  16. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    I had a similar thread a while back before buying my MBA, and the general gist of the answers was that I should be good with it for quite a few years.
  17. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Jul 21, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    iTunes match and a desktop computer, or carry an external hdd.
  18. stickybuns macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2011
    After my 2008 MacBook had taken a bad fall (it still worked, but the screen was cracked and the case was bent in such a way that the battery would drain even when the thing was closed. Plus, the optical drive stopped working ages ago), I decided it was time to upgrade and bought a 2011 MBA. I only use my computer for grading essays, creating lecture presentations, (very) light photo editing, and surfing the interwebs. If this new computer does last as long as the previous one (e.g. at least 3 years), I will be very disappointed.
  19. Autopulated macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2009
    It's limiting already!

    I have a 5yo MBP, with 4G RAM; yesterday I found that safari was using 2.5G of that... and I only had 4 tabs open.

    Photo editing (Aperture), and software development also take up more than all of my ram, or, they try to...

    I'm planning on at last 16G the next time I upgrade...
  20. Toast487 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2012
    I will be getting one of the new iMacs as a primary computer. This will be solely for word processing, internet, email, spotify, etc. I like the air for its portability, because I am usually traveling a lot and carrying my laptop with me everywhere. My only hangup is that it is quite expensive, which I don't mind, but I would like to get my moneys worth in terms of how long it would last. Especially when the 13" pro is not that much bigger and I know I could upgrade it.
  21. sarah11918 macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2010
    I bought the October 2010 11" MBA when it first came out, and mine is still going strong (even despite being dropped off of a security belt at an airport and sustaining a very scary looking dent in the bottom) after 18 months of ownership. I'm probably going to upgrade to the 2012 refresh only because I could only get a 128GB hard drive at the time I bought mine, and this happens to be my only machine.

    I don't expect a new one should last any less than mine, which shows no signs of weakness after 18 months. It won't need to be upgraded (other than to get a bigger hard drive) after 2 years, but I have someone I can hand this one down to for her birthday in October, and by then I expect the 2012 versions will be out, so that's my plan.

    Just a note re: portability. I got the 11" and my husband got the 13" at the same time. He is seriously considering getting the 11" next time. (Although he has a desktop in the home office for use at home.) The 11" is absolutely perfect to have with you on the go, on a plane etc. Even though it's my primary (only) machine, I wouldn't go larger, personally. I notice a difference in weight lifting his machine, trying to fit it in my purse etc. We're on the road for months at a time, most of the year. For a few months, we were averaging 4 days per country, so that's a lot of flying and a lot of use in traveling situations. I don't know if you're thinking 13" or 11", but we do find the 11" is better for traveling with, as long as you don't mind having a smaller screen while you're using it.
  22. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    So far, in 15 months, my 2010 13-MBA has been bullet-proof. As long as I don't spill liquid into it or crack the screen with the mag-safe adaptor, I think I'll get 5 years out of it. It is very quick, and drives Dell 21 and 24" displays with no problems using DisplayPort. Still using SnowLeopard, will probably stay with it for a while.
  23. Borderline1 macrumors newbie

    Mar 28, 2013

    Turn on (start) all your programs that you normally use. Now open the activity monitor and look at your system memory. That will only give you the static picture, but it is an indication. I would say plenty left to play with.
  24. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    i agree with this - granted i am on an older MBP so the chip and ram are aging a bit, but i find 4gRAM to be the bottleneck - especially when running vmware.

    next computer will get the ram update first.

    if you really are just doing WP/email/web 4gig is plenty. beyond that i don't see why 8 wouldn't be the first upgrade to make :)
  25. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    Note that this thread is a year old... But really, if your needs are literally as basic as "internet, email, and microsoft office" I think the Air could last quite a few years. You know, you don't *have* to upgrade the OS or software at all as long as the machine does what you want.

    I used a 15" MBP for 4 years with no problem and I run a lot more powerful programs than that (Vectorworks, Final Cut Pro, FileMaker Pro, Photoshop, etc). It was still meeting my needs but I had a hardware issue so I upgraded to a MBA a little over a year ago. It is still working great for me.

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