MacBook Air 2011 OS?

What version of OS are you using?


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    31

WhiteKnightMac

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 21, 2017
28
3
United Kingdom
Just as a curiosity for all MacBook Air users still using the 2011 model, which OS do you currently have installed and use?

What is your reasoning for not upgrading to the newest supported OS?

High Sierra has been excluded from the poll as it is still in beta testing.

I currently run Mac OS Yosemite for continued security update support, however will be updating to El Capitan by the end of the year.

EDIT: After much debate I've decided to downgrade to a fresh installation of Lion, I'm planning on taking this MacBook to the Falklands next year and just want to use it for light emulation and video playback. I also have Parallels installed with a VM containing a few Linux distros to play around with.
 
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MacbookAlex

macrumors member
Mar 25, 2017
56
11
London, UK
For me I simply HAD to downgrade to Mavericks to gain a huge amount of lost battery run time. Am looking at over eight hours now as opposed to four with el cap and sierra was even worse.

Alex
 

MultiFinder17

macrumors 68020
Jan 8, 2008
2,011
708
Tampa, Florida
I run 10.11 on my 11” 2011 Air (1.6GHz i5, 2GB RAM, 128GB SSD). I’ve been debating putting Sierra on it, but I keep holding off because it runs well under 10.11 and I only use it for heavy productivity and data processing. I’m a teacher, and it serves as my main machine for grading, lesson planning, etc. It still functions wonderfully for that, and I just haven’t felt the need to upgrade to the latest on it yet.
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,198
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New Jersey Pine Barrens
Am looking at over eight hours now as opposed to four with el cap and sierra was even worse.
I used to have a 2011 MBA i5 4gb/256gb runing Lion (10.7), sold it in 2013. But I never got 8 hours run time, even when it was new, it was more like 6 hours (with screen at or near full brightness). Of course, this seemed fantastic coming from a 2008 15" MBP that never got more than 3 hours. :D
 
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MacbookAlex

macrumors member
Mar 25, 2017
56
11
London, UK
I used to have a 2011 MBA i5 4gb/256gb runing Lion (10.7), sold it in 2013. But I never got 8 hours run time, even when it was new, it was more like 6 hours (with screen at or near full brightness). Of course, this seemed fantastic coming from a 2008 15" MBP that never got more than 3 hours. :D
ha ha! yeah, my mid 2009 MBP 15" just eats away at the battery so so quick, 1% per minute on a really good day lol :eek:

Do you remember what battery was in your former Air? Have just replaced mine with an IFixit one, and I think that this might be responsible for the increase in battery life over Apple original battery.

Cheers,

Alex
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I run 10.11 on my 11” 2011 Air (1.6GHz i5, 2GB RAM, 128GB SSD). I’ve been debating putting Sierra on it, but I keep holding off because it runs well under 10.11 and I only use it for heavy productivity and data processing. I’m a teacher, and it serves as my main machine for grading, lesson planning, etc. It still functions wonderfully for that, and I just haven’t felt the need to upgrade to the latest on it yet.
Am a student and am still using my mid 2011 MBA, though mine is a 13" after all. The other day I downgraded it to Mavericks and it has really boosted my battery run time. With Sierra that was awful lol.

If you are using it for long periods during the day in a school environment like I am then I would really recommend downgrading to mavericks because it improves lots of things, especially battery run time for when u are using it as your main machine during the day. I would never advisee using Sierra, never.

just a recommendation from me.


Alex
 

MultiFinder17

macrumors 68020
Jan 8, 2008
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708
Tampa, Florida
Am a student and am still using my mid 2011 MBA, though mine is a 13" after all. The other day I downgraded it to Mavericks and it has really boosted my battery run time. With Sierra that was awful lol.

If you are using it for long periods during the day in a school environment like I am then I would really recommend downgrading to mavericks because it improves lots of things, especially battery run time for when u are using it as your main machine during the day. I would never advisee using Sierra, never.

just a recommendation from me.


Alex
I appreciate the suggestion; as I'm the teacher in the room, I have the luxury of having my laptop plugged in at my desk most of the day. The most that I use it on the battery is at staff meetings and planning sessions, most of which don't last more than 2-3 hours. I would not consider downgrading it for one main reason; full-screen windows on one screen. From Lion to Yosemite, they went full screen and left the second screen uselessly filled with a grey pattern. In El Cap, they finally fixed that to allow both screens to be used simultaneously. It works great for throwing stuff up on the projector and still doing work on my laptop.
 

Bazza1

macrumors member
May 16, 2017
82
71
Toronto, Canada
I'm not sure I can definitively say the subsequent 'upgrades' on the OS for my 11" 2011 Air (4/128) has decreased my battery time on it. In truth, most of the time in operates as my primary computer - often plugged in - and, perhaps like Boyd01 above, I'm happy with any real computer that gets over 3 hours of run time on battery.

That said, I may be 'drinking the koolaid' as I believe Apple when they say they are making improvements and dealing with security issues with each upgrade, though frankly, given what I do with it (not brain surgery), much offered could just be placebo and just make me feel better about keeping up to date. And yeah, I'll move to High Sierra when its on offer - likely the last OS this model will be able to handle - if only for the promise of a better / faster / more efficient file structure and better battery life...
 
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MacbookAlex

macrumors member
Mar 25, 2017
56
11
London, UK
Earlier this evening, at 87% my 2011 Air was saying that i would get 13:47hrs lol:cool::D

Sadly i know that that's rubbish I'm afraid. Just as I am typing this response my battery percentage is dropping!

Anybody else's MBA 13" do that??

Will high sierra really bring better battery life? In my experience, every os x release makes it worse lol
 

cincygolfgrrl

macrumors 6502
Apr 2, 2012
344
225
Somewhere In Time
11" 2011 MBA (4/128) here. The iMac has become my main computer, but I still use the MBA at other locations in the house and when out and about. I plan on around four hours of battery life with Sierra (I don't remember what I was getting with previous OSes because it wasn't relevant to me). Browsing and writing in a text editor are my main functions with the MBA so I'm not putting a big strain on the battery. According to FruitJuice.app I'm still at 84% of original battery capacity, but I'm not sure how I'd fare if I decided to watch a 2+ hour movie on a four hour flight.
 

MacbookAlex

macrumors member
Mar 25, 2017
56
11
London, UK
11" 2011 MBA (4/128) here. The iMac has become my main computer, but I still use the MBA at other locations in the house and when out and about. I plan on around four hours of battery life with Sierra (I don't remember what I was getting with previous OSes because it wasn't relevant to me). Browsing and writing in a text editor are my main functions with the MBA so I'm not putting a big strain on the battery. According to FruitJuice.app I'm still at 84% of original battery capacity, but I'm not sure how I'd fare if I decided to watch a 2+ hour movie on a four hour flight.
wow, 4 hrs on sierra! May i ask how rapidly your battery percentage decreases from 100% because mine decreases incredibly quickly- it just keeps going down lol. On a really god day i could get about 2 mins from a percent, but usually its more like 1% each minute:eek:, is your MBA like that?

Thanks,

Alex
 

2017

macrumors newbie
Jul 21, 2017
1
0
Hope we are not going off track here.

Also with a mid 2011 MBA11, hard disk water damaged, wanting to install most efficient software just to make it run simple websites. Currently put in 10.7.5 on a 64 GB SD card with a USB adaptor, painfully slow.

1.6 GHz Intel Core i5
4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3
10.7.5

Can't tell if SD card with USB adapter is 2.0 or 1.0, would anyone recommend something like this to put add a few more years to the MBA11:

https://www.amazon.ca/TECHNOLOGY-Seagate-Momentus-ST9250315AS-Category/dp/B0045JNC02/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1500696851&sr=1-3-fkmr0&keywords=seagate+momentus+5400.6+320+GB

Or should I just make sure I have a USB 2.0 SD card/stick and call it the day?

Much thanks for any feedback in advance.

Planning to simply run some news background on Safari hooked up to one of our TVs during office hours.
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,198
1,876
New Jersey Pine Barrens
perhaps like Boyd01 above, I'm happy with any real computer that gets over 3 hours of run time on battery.
Well I think you're misrepresenting what I said a bit. ;) I was happy with 6 hour battery life in 2011, coming from a 2008 15" MBP that never got more than 3 hours. That was six years ago, things have changed and I expect much more today.

I finally installed Sierra on my 2013 MBA a few days ago. Runs really well, I'm quite pleased. Haven't run the battery all the way down, but my general impression is that battery run time is no different than it was with Mountain Lion.
[doublepost=1500738559][/doublepost]
Can't tell if SD card with USB adapter is 2.0 or 1.0, would anyone recommend something like this to put add a few more years to the MBA11
I don't understand... that link is for a 5400RPM SATA hard drive. How would you use that with a MacBook Air?

Some USB cards and flash drives are very slow, like 10 or 15 MB/sec regardless of the interface type. However the 2011 MBA only has USB 2.0 and you will not get much more than 30 MB/sec no matter what you connect. That is always going to be "painfully slow". The original SSD in the 2011 MBA was 10 or 15 times faster than that.

But if you are determined to do it this way, download the Blackmagic disk speed test app and you can see how fast your card or flash drive performs. If it's anywhere around 30 MB/sec, then that's as good as it gets. You could get much better performance with a thunderbolt external drive, maybe around 200 MB/sec for the inexpensive ones (although they cost quite a bit more than USB drives and the cable is also expensive).
 
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weckart

macrumors 601
Nov 7, 2004
4,667
1,662
Running Sierra on my MBA 2010 with a whopping 2GB of RAM. I still get 3-4hrs of battery, same as I did with Snow Leopard. The only real difference I note is that applications have become much more bloated since and take a little longer to start up.
 

cincygolfgrrl

macrumors 6502
Apr 2, 2012
344
225
Somewhere In Time
wow, 4 hrs on sierra! May i ask how rapidly your battery percentage decreases from 100%
To tell you how rapidly my battery percentage decreases I'd have to stare at it for awhile. I'd rather browse or write.

When battery performance becomes an issue for me I'll either get a new battery or swap my MBA for a MacBook. Since you're a student I understand you may not have the same flexibility on that matter as I do.
 
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MultiFinder17

macrumors 68020
Jan 8, 2008
2,011
708
Tampa, Florida
Running Sierra on my MBA 2010 with a whopping 2GB of RAM. I still get 3-4hrs of battery, same as I did with Snow Leopard. The only real difference I note is that applications have become much more bloated since and take a little longer to start up.
How does Sierra run on your machine, and what do you use it for? I have a 2011 with 2GB, and I’ve been debating forever upgrading to Sierra from El Capitan. I use mine mostly for heavy office productivity apps.
 

weckart

macrumors 601
Nov 7, 2004
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1,662
I haven't noticed any difference from El Cap but then this is basically only used for surfing and light office work. I have plenty of other heavy duty Macs for real grunt work.

For heavy office work, the lack of RAM would grate on me as it would hamper multi-tasking but the real killer would be the puny cpu. I don't think the 2011 models were much of an improvement in that respect.
 

iModFrenzy

macrumors 6502a
Jan 15, 2015
778
547
Our actions define our legacy
I used to own older Core 2 Duo MBA(2GB Ram) from 2009, I know its older but when I used it as my main I would run Mavericks. That gave me good battery/good performance.

I hacked Sierra on to this MBA(Just needed a new wifi card) as well and it wasn't a speed demon but it worked fine. Just was a bit heavier than Mavericks, it also knocked my battery down quick.

My battery also had a few cycles, it was like new.
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,198
1,876
New Jersey Pine Barrens
For heavy office work, the lack of RAM would grate on me as it would hamper multi-tasking but the real killer would be the puny cpu. I don't think the 2011 models were much of an improvement in that respect.
I don't think CPU was so bad on the 2011 MBA, mine was about twice as fast as my 2008 15" MBP. Geekbench score is 4262 so the 2015 MBA is about 34% faster at 5721. Not that big of a deal really.

http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/macbook-air/specs/macbook-air-core-i5-1.7-13-mid-2011-specs.html
http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/macbook-air/specs/macbook-air-core-i5-1.6-13-early-2015-specs.html

IMO, the big limitations of the 2011 were the short battery run time and slow USB 2.0 ports.
 

imasterus

macrumors regular
Oct 9, 2013
109
16
I have MacBook Air'13, 2011 (256 GB, i7) running the latest Sierra version. I have turned off all transparency features, but don't like two things:
1. White Notification Center, and
2. Unexpected, abrupt shutdowns. Two weeks ago I was working with Word, Excel open fullscreen and the Mac shutdown 4-5 times a day.