MacBook Air - OK to purchase 1st gen or avoid?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by A4orce84, Dec 23, 2015.

  1. A4orce84 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    #1
    Hey Guys,

    I am looking to purchase a used MacBook Air and was wondering if there are any specific versions or configurations to be avoided.

    I remember reading on this forum some time ago that the first generation had issues with overheating which subsequently throttled down the CPU speed, and wanted to know if this was also an issue with later versions of the MacBook Air in addition.

    Any information/responses appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Asif
     
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #2
    I still feel the 2013 MBA is the sweet spot, although it will be more expensive. The battery life is almost twice the earlier models. And 802.11ac wifi is really fast if you want to access network drives wirelessly.

    Aside from that, 2012 models added USB 3.0 which makes a big difference in external disk speed. I believe a change was made to the SD card slot in 2012 that greatly increased access speed. I had a 2011 MBA and SD card access was very slow. I think the card reader was connected to the USB 2.0 bus on these older machines.

    You haven't said anything about how you will use the MBA, so it's kind of hard for anyone to give specific advice. Personally I would not be interested in a Core2Duo model. I have a 2008 15" MBP and my 2011 i5 MBA was almost twice as fast on CPU bound tasks. My 2013 i7 is perhaps 30% faster than the 2011 i5.

    I ripped a lot of DVDs on my 2008 c2d MBP, and it would take about 75 minutes for a one hour TV show. My 2013 MBA can do this in 15 minutes. So there's a considerable difference in power.

    My 2013 MBA runs a lot cooler than my 2011 MBA did. The fans almost never kick in unless I'm encoding video or recording for an extended period in Logic. They would run much more often on my 2011 MBA, but I never experienced "overheating".
     
  3. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #3
    Some of the early generations came with tiny platter drives that are incredibly slow. I'd avoid those for certain. Otherwise I agree with the above advice. If you can afford one from 2013 or later, do it.
     
  4. A4orce84 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    #4
    Hey Guys,

    Thanks for all the comments and information! So a bit of background information on what I'm wanting below:

    Background:
    I am looking for a portable machine to travel with (secondary machine). I'm already in the Apple ecosystem (iPhone, MacBook Pro, etc.), but my needs for a 2nd laptop are for travel usage / light computing only. This will NOT be my primary machine, that is what my MacBook Pro is for. I figured that the MacBook Air fits that bill, and began my research and looking on ebay, craigslist, etc.

    However, I am on a budget ($200-$300) dollars....I don't want to break the bank on a computer that isn't going to be my primary machine. So with that in mind, usually the MacBook Air's that I'm finding in that price range are in the 2008-2010 timeframe.....and I think that lines up with 1st and 2nd gen models.

    An example of the type of MacBook Air's I'm finding:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-MacBo...009911?hash=item35f7e162b7:g:5wcAAOSwUdlWekJ~

    Hopefully, that clears up any confusion on what I'm wanting. If anyone has any additional questions or concerns, please let me know.

    Thanks,
    Asif
     
  5. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #5
    That wouldn't interest me at any price. My 2008 MBP has a faster core2duo cpu and I find it frustratingly slow today. But if you find such a machine acceptable, check the battery condition. My 2008 MBP battery died over a year ago.
     
  6. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

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    Apr 19, 2014
  7. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    #7
    That's gotta be the thing I hate the most about people on MRF. The guy specifically asked about FIRST GEN 2008 device and got a response "go get an 2013 or later". Maybe there is some place in US that I didn't know about and where rain consists of Apple products so brand new MacBooks are literally falling of the sky or something? </rant>.

    More on topic, I do believe the OP is right about overheating part. From what I gather, first-gen MBAs were throttling quite heavily under normal use.

    In either case, merry Christmas everyone! :D
     
  8. canuckRus macrumors 6502

    canuckRus

    Joined:
    May 18, 2014
    #8

    Possibly pertinent to your question?

    < http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/apple-obsoletes-select-early-2008-to-late-2009-macs.1946163/ >
     
  9. dogslobber macrumors 68020

    dogslobber

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    Location:
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #9
    Gen 1 had 2gb max and had a spinner. You want an SSD model with 4gb min, preferably 8gb. That means 2010 model or later.
     
  10. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    #10
    Wow. This just gets better. I say get the one with 16GB RAM and at least 256GB SSD (PCIe ONLY!). Preferably brand new. And from Apple Store in Vegas. lol.
     
  11. dogslobber macrumors 68020

    dogslobber

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    Location:
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #11
    Or the same specs but buy it refurbished and do a pick up in a no sales tax state like DE.
     
  12. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    #12
    Actually I think he should wait for a 2016 model. 2015 one is not good enough for his needs.
     
  13. nightcap965 macrumors 6502a

    nightcap965

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Location:
    Cape Cod
    #13
    What would concern me with using a six or seven year old machine for travel is the state of the battery. The 2008 MBA was good for only 300 charge cycles.
     
  14. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 2, 2014
  15. nightcap965 macrumors 6502a

    nightcap965

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Location:
    Cape Cod
    #15
    The key word there is "new."

    I used to have a little hobby of collecting old computers that I had fancied but couldn't afford when they were new. (OK, I filled my attic with junque that I finally had to pay to get rid of when I moved.) Second only to leaking capacitors was the problem of batteries. They have a definite shelf life, and I'm pretty sure that Apple doesn't make batteries for a 2008 MacBook Air anymore.
     
  16. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #16
    I just recently gave a friend my first-gen 2008 MBA with 64 GB SSD and 2 GB RAM. He prefers older machines as he still likes to use the older software. In its day that machine was fine and dandy but I was frustrated with the lack of ports on it -- there are times when I really needed to have two USB ports so that I could plug two things in simultaneously -- and of course as time went on that 2 GB RAM and the 64 GB SSD capacity became woefully inadequate for my needs. I loved the portability and light weight of the MBA, though, and used it quite a bit for traveling and around home for the first several years. No issues with overheating although at times it did get pretty warm on my lap, especially in warmer weather. Overall that first MBA was fine back in its prime, but I would not recommend buying a first-generation model now when there are later versions which improved significantly on the machine's configuration and capabilities.
     
  17. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    #17
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Spec...1644_3_79_78_77_82_80_62_81,searchweb201560_8

    even if it's not entirely genuine, this shoulb be good enough.
     
  18. duncanapple macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #18
    I don't think the point of the replies is that newer is better, we all realize that. I think what people here are doing is balancing *value* which isn't always the cheapest price. A computer (especially a battery powered one) from 2008 is going to have very limited use. So while it may be cheaper than all other options, it may not be the best option.

    Honestly for my money, I would just travel with your MBP (not sure what year you have - the recent models are all pretty slim as is), save your $2-300, and skip the air from 2008. When that model came out brand new it had some serious limitations. And now, I agree with the above, I would not buy it at any price.

    My $.02 but good luck in the hunt!
     
  19. A4orce84 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    #19
    Hey Guys,

    Just to close the loop on this, my friend ended up buying a new 2015 MacBook 12".....and so he sold me his 2013 MacBook Air 13" for cheap! Sooo, I am typing this post on my 'new to me' MacBook Air.

    Thanks everyone for all your time and help, I really appreciate it. =)

    Thanks,
    Asif
     
  20. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #20
    LOL, it turns out that the OP actually ended up getting a 2013 MBA. That's gotta be the thing I like the most about people on MRF. :D
     

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