MBA Refurb: SSD caught my eye

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by snickerstonight, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. snickerstonight macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2008
    I saw this today

    and was wondering what you all thought of it. I realize that a refubished Macbook of the same price is the better deal, but I've always wanted a MBA (I'm still using an iBook G4 from 2005, it's hanging in there). Anyway, the whole optical drive thing irritates me, as well as the lackluster video card and overall processor performance. However, the SSD caught my eye, especially at this low, low price.

    I'm ready to click "Buy now." What do you all think? How much would this machine have costed when it was first release?

  2. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Don't place the value on the price it was first released at, $3099. Yes, now it can be had for $1299 with 1.8 GHz and SSD. BUT, the real value is what it's capable of, and unfortunately what it is NOT capable of.

    The revised MBA is a MUCH better system. The entire "system" of the original MBA is a bunch of bottleneck constraints... Do some research and find all of the problems of the original MBA.

    I had the original MBA, it was worthless. I own the new MBA, and it's an amazingly powerful and portable machine... the best Mac I have ever owned... the original MBA was the worst Mac I have ever owned.

    Good luck with your decision. I hope you do the research before going the "cheap" route.
  3. twobert macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2009
    I don't know, Scottsdale, that seems like a bit of a harsh response. Clearly the Rev. A Macbook Airs had their fair share of problems, because you can read about them everywhere. However, I think the reports of its uselessness are greatly exaggerated.

    I'm trying to make a decision similar to the OP (just sold my old MBP 2.0 Core Duo), and I've been looking everywhere for evidence on the Macbook Air's performance. I read posts like yours, then I see videos like this

    ...and I wonder where the discrepancy is coming from. That's a Rev A 1.8 SSD model and it seems pretty blazingly fast. I mean as long as you're not processing/viewing huge amounts of HD video I'm not seeing the huge problem with the original Macbook Airs.
  4. dborja macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2007
    Northern California
    There are several threads that you can read in this forum to give you a feel of the machine and its two revs and mass storage configurations. Decide what you need from the machine and see which minimum revision/configuration meets your needs. Also, don't forget to consider how long you think you'll keep it before replacing it and whether going to a later version/higher configuration now would have changed how long you think you'd keep it.

    Just some suggestions...
  5. orrelse44 macrumors regular

    Nov 15, 2007
    Yeah, he's a broken record.

    Scottsdale, dude, we get the F'in point. :rolleyes:
  6. Miker2k macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2009
    Accept that there are known limitations, accept that it's not Apples finest offering, and it should be a nice machine. If it meets your needs than jump on it. If you expect to be doing heavy duty computing the refurbished aluminum MB is probably more for you. If you're like me and sit on the couch, update facebook and browse forums I think you'll be fine.

    This is just my 2 cents as an owner of a Rev A MBA. This was my first Apple and it will not negatively influence my decision to purchase another Apple. Coming from a Vista machine this MBA has been a dream.
  7. remobot macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2009
    austin, tx
    the most common complaint you'll hear about the air is related to streaming video. mostly hd & flash based video. movies that run through itunes & quicktime work just fine. if you're someone who feels the need to stream hd video on a 13" screen then this machine is probably not for you.

    i recently purchased a refurbished air with the hdd and i have no complaints. think over what you're buying the machine for and that should help make your decision. good luck !
  8. Halon X macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2005
    Malibu, CA
    I own both Rev A and B MBA's, both with SSD's.

    I use both regularly and often have to check which machine I'm on, usually because I can't find a file I know I saved because it's on the other laptop.

    If you use your computer like a lot of people do, for email, web, office, iTunes & iPhoto, the A is absolutely adequate and you will see little difference between the two. If you need the extra graphics horsepower, definitely go for the Rev B. If you don't, save your $$$ and pick up a Rev A SSD at a steal of a price.

    Because of the extreme price difference and based on my needs, were I to do it again, I would purchase a Rev A SSD over the Rev B SSD in a heartbeat.
  9. tubbymac macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2008
    The rev A is a good deal if you're not looking for a graphics machine. It doesn't just work out of the box with HD video because of the heat it generates, but some people have managed to get it working with Coolbook and other tweaks. As a secondary machine when I really need the portability this thing rocks. I would be hesitant to recommend it as a primary machine though unless all you do is basic non graphics stuff.
  10. snickerstonight thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2008

    Sorry we can't all afford to upgrade our Macs every 2-4 months for meager processor performance boosts. Thanks for insulting my "cheap" way of doing things. Maybe next time I will research by, I don't know, reading message boards based on the product I'm considering purchasing, and then maybe posting on said message board to ask questions concerning the product.

    Oh wait.
  11. Turmoil macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2008
    I bought a refurb MBA HDD and I am just thrilled. It's a marvelous piece of computing excellence.
  12. Mactagonist macrumors 65816

    Feb 5, 2008
    NYC - Manhattan
    He might be exaggerating to make his point, but it is a valid one. You have to take a realistic look at what the Rev A can and cant do and buy based on that. Not based on how much the discount it is.

    I owned, (and still own) both. The Rev A is significantly less powerful then the Rev B. But I made it work for web, word processing, video and some Civ4 with few issues for 8 months and my girlfriend is extremely happy with it as we speak. It is just a matter of how you will be using it.
  13. andrew0122 macrumors regular

    Nov 18, 2007
    Springfieldvilletownvilleton, Missouri
    I just bought a Rev A MBA 1.6 80GB and I love it I have been playing 720p trailers from apple's site and HD simply looks great. When I got it, it looked perfect, but from what I've been hearing is that the clam shells where replaced... I simply love it, but I also didn't expect a whole lot from it. It is only used as a second computer. I have an iMac if I need to do anything power related.

    I've heard about the numerous problems they've had, but also about how through several software updates many of the problems have been fixed.

    I love it and wouldn't trade it for anything. . . unless I could get the Rev B for the same price.

    I have also been toying around with the idea of replacing the HDD with a Solid State, but I'm not sure if I want to put the money into it just yet...

    If anyone has done it let me know.
  14. andrew0122 macrumors regular

    Nov 18, 2007
    Springfieldvilletownvilleton, Missouri
    Oh and one more thing!

    I know that apple's web site says it ships with iLife '08, but you get an install disk for iLife '09.

    I ware really excited about that!

    Saved me $80.
  15. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I hope your inappropriate verbiage makes you feel better today. About the last thing we need at Mac Rumors is someone like you calling people names when they simply advised to your own question... SAD. Very SAD that people like you think it's acceptable to do this.

    Going to the point of your message that was not calling me names... This is much greater than a processor update to the rev B MBA.

    PATA drive to SATA-II - read the differences
    65 NM CPU to 45 NM Penryn CPU - read the differences
    3 MB L2 Cache to 6 MB L2 Cache - read the differences
    Intel graphics to Nvidia GPU - read the differences
    xBench marks between them - read the differences

    And that is NOT all. This is a heck of a lot more than a processor upgrade and it's not like I am telling you to "update" every 2 to 4 months...

    You asked a question and I replied. This is what I get for trying to help you decide that the revised MBA was a much better VALUE. Sure, the one you selected is "cheap."

    But, it wasn't like you said in your post, "hey I can only afford this amount, what should I do?" Even then, I would have told you to go to eBay and buy a rev B MBA with HDD for $1199. And by doing that you would get a MUCH BETTER machine at an even lower price. Check the stats on the difference between the "loaded" original MBA vs the new MBA with 1.6 and HDD.

    I find it so offensive when someone like you decides to attack those that offer a little advice - only after you asked for it in the first place. Someone like you will never be happy in life.

    So, I wish you peace and happiness.
  16. Carl Abudephane, Feb 19, 2009
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  17. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    The POINT is this guy called me a name, and it was not polite, not necessary, and definitely not what this forum is all about.

    I made a valid claim that was a point of why not to go one route in favor of a better route. When someone asks a question, is it not ok to answer it? Apparently this is always about agreeing with everyone? Then why ask the question in the first place?

    It's not about every day or anything else. It's about someone basing VALUE on something because of its former price and NOT based on value of the technology versus newer/better technology. I simply do not think that the original MBA is a great VALUE because it is currently deeply discounted. If someone wants to buy it, that's their deal. But when someone asks what we think, are we to lie to make them feel like it's ok then? Or should we not point out what for ourselves, and maybe for them, is a better path.

    This forum can be fun sometimes. I get PMs from people saying they agree or wanting advice and etc, and that makes it fun. Reading what someone has to say about a product and especially rumors is fun. We all enjoy Macs and Apple products and that is what brings us together. The topic is fun for me. And I am always going to be honest, and I feel like I was duped by Apple to buy the original MBA. I feel that gives me the right to express my opinion about it.

    Not like I am making things up here. Not like I am saying anything that isn't expressed all over this site and others. A lot of people are enticed because it's a discounted price. I just think those people should be aware of why the price is discounted... the differences are huge. I hate the fact that people are getting the shaft... Awareness should not make people angry or make them call people names on a public forum.

    What should bother people is when forum members are calling people names just because they don't agree with the OP. It's truly SAD!
  18. Carl Abudephane, Feb 19, 2009
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  19. Pixellated macrumors 65816

    Apr 1, 2008
    Just stop arguing FFS, and stop trying to carry it on Scottsdale. Put it this way. The air will run circles around your iBook. Even my netbook with an Atom is fast under OSX. You will notice a speed difference. It isn't an iMac or an MBP though. It will play youtube. But the complaints are from the idiots who have 5 HD videos, Photoshop, FCP, skype and MSN all on at the same time, and expect the machine not to be phased. It is just not made for that.
  20. OnceBitten macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2009
    Nope, no rev. A for me, been there done that.
  21. xoggyux macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2008
    Let me put it in this way: 2 years ago I still had a P III @ 450mhz 512kb cache (YEAH!!! 450mhz!!!!) 384mb ram and at some point i had "upgraded" it to a nividia 4000 graphic card with 64mg video. That machine served me for over 8 years (1998-2005) with at most 2-3 upgrades (graphic card from a S3 savage 16mb which dont think it exist anymore, and 64mb ram to 384mb and a Maxtor Diamond 10 with 120gb from a 13gb HHD!!!!.) Now this is the point where you ask, what kind of program you could run in that piece of crap... To make it short almost anything from autocad design and 3d max modeling to light image manipulation to light video edition, reproduction of high resolution video playback (no HD 1080p since when I upgraded to my current mac they did not existed or they were too expensive) but i did saw a few 720i movies on that computer (with the original sound card, the sound and audio would get desynchronized every few mins, but once I "upgraded" it to a $15 generic one, everything was back to fine again) I could also play several "modern" games at mid-low resolution (usually 1024x784 since the display was 15",) I think the last game I played there was a Need For Speed ( version either 7 or 8, I dont remember since there are so many! and I havent played at all in 2-3 years due to school.) The whole system would boot up Windows XP SP2 (yes!! XP) from the time you pressed the power button, to the time the system was ready to open in 45s (when no having programs automatically starting up with the machine) to 1min 30s with yahoo, norton 2003, and a couple of other programs (about 2-3 more, but not as intensive like norton or yahoo messenger.) I want to stress out, that the computer I had after that one and before my current MBP was a athlon X2 4200 @ 2.2Ghz 3gb RAM and 10,000rpm WD raptor, and windows XP (the same installation disk and everything) would load in 1min without startup programs (it took a bit longer to pass the bios screen, that probably caused most of the difference) and 1:20 with all the startup programs (this time was yahoo! and norton 2005 not 2003, and two more programs.)
    My point is that although modern computers beat 1000000 times older ones in benchmarks, usually when it comes to actually running the program the gap closes, I have never seen a computer that claims to be twice as fast as an older one actually running a program in HALF the time, usually is seconds if not milliseconds.
    Someone pointed out that the MBA is "full of bottlenecks" let me tell you a little secret, it can only exist ONE bottle neck which is usually caused by the slower component (traditionally the HDD, but now we got SSD so that might change from system to system.)
    I do however agree that the Mac Book Aluminum is a better deal for your money, battery last more, you get better performance overall, and is just 1 pound heavier (I particularly would not like a computer such as the Air that is too thin and too light, since I'd feel I might break it by just typing, but thats me) also you get a NEW one instead of a refurbished for the same price. SO... if you really appreciate 1 less pound (notice Im using the weight to compare them, because if I use the word portability they would be even since its true the Air is lighter but the Macbook's battery last more, and thats portability also) and you wont be doing professional video/image edition etc go for the air, otherwise the MacBook is way better value for money.
  22. kinkster macrumors 6502a

    Sep 15, 2008
    It just depends on what you need it for. For simple tasks the Rev A is perfectly fine.. if you want more then that then it's worth the atleast $500 more to get the Rev. B

    I can see where people are coming from with saying the Rev B is far better but that's either because they haven't considered the recent software updates or they were using fairly heavy programs on their machines.
  23. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I don't like that they removed my post... although it did state the name I was called three times in it. But, they shouldn't have removed my post. I guess the OP's abusive language was removed, however.
  24. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    You really used one computer for eight years??? WOW. That's getting maximum use out of a machine.

    My point on BOTTLENECKS was that you could consider every major component a constraint on the system. Not like one thing, PATA drive, was the problem. It was also an overheated 65 NM CPU. It was also an Intel graphics card. Software that couldn't run video efficiently. There's more. That's truthfully not all. My point was even if one thing could be fixed, another would be the bottleneck.

    The really amazing thing is Apple fixed EVERY problem with the revised MBA. I think that shows that the lesson was learned. I just had hoped everyone didn't have to learn the lesson too. There are enough of us that already learned the lesson. Apparently that has to be anger point for everyone interested in the cheap MBA, and that has become the lesson for me.

    If you compare the MBA that this poster was comparing to a new MB, you're right, the new MB is about 10 times the computer for the same price.
  25. miffed macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2007
    I read thee figures , and while they appear to mean a great deal , the fact is my 1.8 SSD Rev A has never let me down , performs better than the white macbook it replaced (despite costing less) and is probaly the best mac I have owned period .
    Of course it isn't the most powerful - but all things considered I am happier with my Rev A air than I was with the MBP I returned in Jan .
    If there were only a couple of hundred quid between the Revs I could understand the nitpicking , but when you are talking about the huge savings on the Rev A I cannot understand why anyone would want to discourage their purchase ? OK so the rev b is 'better' (anyone that knows their alphabet will have a pretty good idea that this is the case ! ) , but having used the Rev A for a month or so , I cannot understand why someone would seeming dedicate their life to discrediting a laptop that many people are happy / blown away with
    OF COURSE better specced machines exist ! but that doesn't make machines with lower specs worthless , does it ?

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