Macbook air -- lasts for 4 years?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by grimreaper1377, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. grimreaper1377 macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2007

    I'm considering selling my MBP and getting the SSD MBA. I'm wondering though, will it last for around 4 years? I mainly just use it for note taking during class, web surfing, and some programming.

  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    I know people that do that in iBook G4s still. You're fine for notes.
  3. iParis macrumors 68040


    Jul 29, 2008
    New Mexico
    Well as long as you don't plan on using it as your primary computer and take care of it you can probably get it to last that long.

    EDIT: I think your MacBook Pro would be find for what you're going to be using it for, especially since it's only the 15 inch.
  4. McGilli macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2008
    IMO If you are happy with OSX 10.5/10.6 - then yes it will last forever for what you do.
  5. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    I'm pretty sure it'll last (4) years, but I'm usually looking at (1) year worth of use, (not sure about the programming thing) and then I'm in the market for the next one. That's just me though...
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I agree, if you have no intentions of upgrading to Snow Leopard (I am unsure if the MB Air can handle it), then I wouldn't hesitate. You're not even using the full potential of your MBP now, you'll use a bit more of the Air's potential, but not much. Note taking, web surfing and light programming should be fine for 4 years.
  7. LinMac macrumors 65816

    Oct 28, 2007
    I think the new Nvidia chipset in the MBA Rev. B might take advantage of the GPU acceleration.

    Snow Leopard is likely going to be a good upgrade just from the rewrites to several parts of the system that (badly) need it with the rest just being gravy. :D
  8. naid macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2008
    MBA will be just fine for light use 4 years from now. Might want to get Applecare for it and consider replacing it in 3 years instead of 4.
  9. pstoehr macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2003
    Scheßlitz, Oberfranken, Bavaria, Germany
    just being curious. Why should an MBA not being able to work with Snow Leopard?
    If this would be true, even a MB wouldn't be able to handle it :-(

  10. justit macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2007
    It's misleading. Snow Leopard will run optimized for the new Nvidia GPUs but will absolutely support older Macs.
  11. Kan-O-Z macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2007
    Snow Leopard will be LESS bloated than Leopard. This means the requirements to run Snow Leopard will be LESS or possibly the same as Leopard.

    The Air will benefit greatly from Snow Leopard. Apple has upgraded just about all their computers to have at least an nVidia 9400 so that Snow Leopard will further take advantage of this. What this means is that the Macbook Air will function like it has 2 CPUs(the 9400 will act like another CPU) :)
    Second point to note is that Snow Leopard will have better management for SSDs and will make better use of them.

    Snow Leopard will actually run FASTER than Leopard on the current Macbook Air! :) To the OP, you have nothing to worry about. It might just last longer than 4 years for doing the kind of stuff you want to do.

    I can't wait for Snow Leopard!

  12. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    Forever eh? LCDs don't last forever. Hard drives don't last forever. RAM doesn't last forever. Keyboards wear out. How does this add up to forever? Nevermind the battery...
  13. Cynicalone macrumors 68040


    Jul 9, 2008
    Okie land
    If you take care of it you should be able to get 4 years of use out of a Macbook Air. The SSD should help since HDD failure is a common problem. You will probably have to get the battery replaced at least once.
  14. Maxx Power macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

    Apr 29, 2003
    Let's see...

    The battery pack/fan will die sometime between nominally 18 months to 48 months. The fan will get louder over time at the same rpm and will eventually seize. How long exactly though, this is a mystery. A rule of thumb is that fans that run all the time (apple portables) die faster. Smaller fans die faster since they need to run at higher rpm's for the same volume of air moved. Battery pack wise, the warranty is about 1 year for a battery pack on average, and Lithium ion batteries including polymer varieties reach the end of their lifespan at the rate of the fastest wearing down cell, which starts to degrade the day it was manufactured. Your air battery, if treated gently (properly maintained) will last about 350 full charge cycles while maintaining about 80% of your total initial capacity.

    The SSD inside the air, while a solid state device, has a limited number of cycles it can run through. Statistically speaking a couple million cycles is what they are tested to endure. However, this needs to be under fixed voltage for writes, under certain temperature conditions, cooling rates, etc. And, this is a statistical figure only, meaning that invariably, some of your logic will have already gone bad and writes have been redirected to the spare sections by the time you have used your air for a few years. This happens without your knowledge, as all flash drives behave. Realistically speaking, SSD's are too new and constantly changing for reliability data to be gathered from non-accelerated testing (i.e. common use). HDD's on the other hand, have reliabilities quoted in the 10's to 100's of years, usually 50 to 70 years is common based on their mean time between failures model. However, I'm not aware of any drives surviving this long, seeing as how their spindle motors usually die out long before, its not usual to see a HDD in service beyond twice their rated warranty period. Other than that, seeing as how the longevity of a drive inversely affects the bottom line of a company, I'd assume the new SSD's will have similar orders of magnitude of service reliability as their HDD counter parts, not much more so.

    Other than these components, the screen is LED back-lit, which has a life dependent on the driving voltage of the LED vs. the maximum voltage the LED's are designed to run at, and I have no clue what is the percentage used in LCD panels...

    Other than these things, which are predictably going to fail, you may have some "gotcha's" like spontaneous failures of the GPU, seeing as how Nvidia have a bit of a reliability issue right now, and no one knows exactly what is going to happen.

    Hope this addresses some of your concerns.
  15. McGilli macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2008
    It's like a car. off the lot - no new car will last forever as is - it needs parts replaced over time and some tune ups etc.

    Besides, 'forever' in technology speak is only 2.5 years....
  16. McGilli macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2008

    TO THE OP :

    I have, right here beside me, my Intellivision video game system I bought in about 1981. It's hooked up to a shiny new lcd tv. I still play it every month (Sea Battle anyone?) .

    If THAT and all my cartridges can survive the last 27 years, then don't worry - a new MBA is not going to deteriorate to an unusable state anytime soon.
  17. SkyBell macrumors 604


    Sep 7, 2006
    Texas, unfortunately.
    My iBook G4 is approaching its 4th birthday. I use it everyday as my main machine, and it runs fantasticly. :) Your MBA will easily last 4 years, and more if taken care of right.:apple:
  18. xlii macrumors 68000


    Sep 19, 2006
    Millis, Massachusetts
    He meant virtually forever.
  19. Maxx Power macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

    Apr 29, 2003
    I hear ya, but reliability is inversely proportional to complexity for everything else being constant. Your Intellivision isn't any more sophisticated than my Ti-86 graphing calculator which shared a CPU with the first macintoshes.
  20. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    Intellivision?? What are you about 60 years old? :D
  21. sychee macrumors member

    Dec 7, 2008
    I think it will be supportable for at least 4 years. In fact, I am using my MBA SSD to watch videos, edit documents and develop applications.... My MBA also runs VMware fusion (windows XP on 1 core) - this enable me to develop java programs on Netbean and run my web-applications on Apache Tomcat. All without a hitch. With Snow Leopard, I believe MBA will function even faster, even better and even more efficient !

  22. GeekGirl* macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    Yep you will not have any problems with it lasting 4 years :)
  23. n0de macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2005
    As long as you get Applecare you are set. My MBA replaced a 5 year old 15" PB G4. Applecare replaced the logic board, memory and HD at different points over the years. I still got almost $600 for it on Ebay after I got my MBA.

    Compare that to my employer provided Dell/HP/IBM laptops that have required replacement every 24 months like clockwork.
  24. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    It will work, but note that the hinges will likely brake and the trackpad button with scratch up the bezel under the i-Sight.

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