Macbook Air 1.6 revB vs Macbook 2.0 Core Duo

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Mark2000, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. Mark2000 macrumors regular


    Oct 18, 2007
    My wife-unit has a first gen 2ghz Core Duo Macbook which suites her purposes well still: web surfing, word processing, iphoto import and export to flickr, and HD video processing for export to youtube. Watching HD video (MP4, ABC streaming, HULU).

    I'd like to replace it with a new 1.6gz nvidia Macbook Air. How do these two stack up? Does the Air still fall behind this 3 year old MB? She'd chuck out the window if it didn't function as well.
  2. glitch44 macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2006
    the hard drive in the Air you're considering spins at 4200 rpm, which will almost certainly slow down her disk intensive tasks-- the video converting, flickr operations, etc. it's still a great computer, but it might not meet all her needs.
  3. Dustman macrumors 65816


    Apr 17, 2007
    Theres something to be said about the updated graphics though. The GMA 950 on the macbook is borderline useless compared to the MBA.
  4. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    The revB MBA is a capable computer. It is FASTER than the older MB.

    It has 6 MB L2 Cache
    It has an Nvidia GPU
    It has a 45 NM Penryn SSF Intel Core 2 Duo
    It has a very superior display
    It is capable of driving a 30" Apple Cinema Display at super high resolution.

    The revB MBA is one serious machine. The revB at 1.6 GHz and HDD is superior to a revA MBA 1.8 GHz with SSD.

    Definitely a worthy and superior machine to the older MB.

    Let us know if you go that route. I did, and I would not go back. I absolutely love my revB MBA. Nicest Mac I have ever owned.
  5. glitch44 macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2006
    i agree with everything you said, but i still think if someone is chunking away at video conversion on a 4200rpm drive, they might be surprised by in an increase in conversion time, which has less to do with the processor or the GPU.
  6. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Then buy the SSD. That's what I did. The result, my fastest Mac ever, seriously! Faster than my MBP... faster than my unibody MB. Faster for boot up, faster for app opening... simply, FAST!
  7. sfroom macrumors regular

    Apr 30, 2008
    The revB Macbook air is a lovely computer, to be sure.

    It would be an upgrade in several areas, as mentioned by the above posters - most notably in HD video playback, which I'm sure her current unit would struggle with at 1080p. The 9400 hardware decodes HD video, taking the load off the processor.

    However, it's an expensive upgrade.

    If I may be so bold as to make a recommendation, I'd suggest looking at the base refurb unibody macbook, which is currently selling for $1099 US, a $900 savings over the Air.

    For $900 less, you get a faster CPU (2.0 vs. 1.6), faster hard drive (5400 rpm vs. 4800 rpm), faster video processor (the Air's is underclocked), user replaceable (not to mention higher capacity) battery, upgradeable ram and hard drive, not to mention optical drive...and you probably won't have to carry a USB hub around like you would with the Air.

    In terms of size and weight, the difference between the Air and the Macbook shrank with the introduction of the unibodies. The Macbook will be 0.7 lbs lighter than her current unit, and only 1.5 lbs heavier than the air. The new macbook will be 0.13 inches thinner than her current unit, and only 0.19 thicker than the Air (at it's thickest point)!

    With the $900 savings, I'd recommend aftermarket upgrading the ram to 4GB ($90), the hard drive to a 320GB 7200 rpm ($95).

    In summation, for approximately $715 less, you get a computer that:

    • Has a faster processor - 2.0 vs 1.6
    • Has a faster hard drive - 7200 rpm vs. 4800 rpm (BIG difference)
    • Has a faster video processor - isn't underclocked
    • Has almost triple the hard drive capacity - 320GB vs. 120 GB
    • Has double the RAM - 4GB vs. 2GB
    • Has an optical drive
    • Has more ports - including a firewire port
    • Has a user replaceable and higher capacity battery.
    • Is only 0.19 inches thicker and 1.5 lbs heavier

    With the extra money, you could also buy an external keyboard and mouse ($70), and buy a 24" monitor ($300-$350). If you already have any of these accessories, you can pocket more savings. With these accessories, you have a very competent desktop workstation, and you're still saving over $300. You might also consider a second battery.

    The refurb unibody macbook is amazing value for the money, and I'd recommend it to anyone considering an Air.

    Hope this helps!

    P.S. If you end up going with the Air, I'd recommend an external 7200 rpm hard drive, which may speed up the video work.

    P.P.S. If you really want to splurge, pick up an intel X-25 80GB SSD, bringing the price up to approximately $1679. Wow will the computer ever fly. You'll never see an application bounce twice in the dock.
  8. glitch44 macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2006
    it's actually 4200 rpm, so even bigger difference.
  9. DAMAC3 macrumors regular

    Feb 6, 2009
    Noblesville, IN
    No firewire in the new Unibody Macbook. Have to move up to the Pro for that now.

    Everything else you might be right. I just purchased the MBA in my signature. I think it will handle everything just fine, but time will tell.

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