mid-2011 MBA vs mid-2013 MBA - Worth the Upgrade?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by boba7523, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. boba7523 macrumors regular

    May 14, 2011
    Hi everyone,

    I currently have the mid-2011 MBA w/ 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5, 4 GB ram, 128 SSD.

    I'd like to know if it's worth the $300 upgrade to get a mid-2013 MBA?

    I mainly use my MBA for surfing the web, which I know isn't worth the upgrade. HOWEVER, I do occasional:

    Photoshop and Dreamweaver

    The 2011 MBA is already very good at this and rarely lags, if any. Just don't know if I want to get the new MBA just to stay on the latest MBA, or if it'll actually be an improvement for me for my intended use.
  2. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    The improvements are in the better battery live, cooler and quieter operation and faster storage.
  3. Robyr macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2010
    I would strongly lean toward an upgrade. The battery life alone is a fantastic reason, but USB3 is a big plus now, and the machine stays quieter and cooler than anything I've ever seen out of an Air.

    I, too, come from a 2011 Air, and the performance aspect is... noticeable but not anything spectacular. Though 2011 -> 2013 is pretty substantial when it comes to GPU.
  4. chris401 macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2007
    Can I ask -- how is it a $300 upgrade? I also own a 2011 MBA with similar specs, and I would consider that. Is that the difference between new 2013 MBA and the likely resale value of the 2011 MBA? If so, I had no idea that it retained its value so well.
  5. boba7523 thread starter macrumors regular

    May 14, 2011
    What's the temp when running cpu intensive apps? I know that when exporting a final cut pro project, the temperature gets up to 175F and sometimes even 190F. When watching YouTube, a lot of times its 160F... Fan is always running at 3k or up to 6k when watching YouTube

    yep, MacBook Airs have some of the the highest resale value out there. just make sure they are in mint flawless condition.
  6. any-key macrumors member

    Sep 12, 2012
    I went through the same back in August. I i upgraded from 2011 to 2013 model (13"). For me it was worth it. The 2013 has amazing battery life (about 10 hrs for my use) and is indeed much quiter during heavier tasks.

    And if you do some light gaming here and there the HD5000 graphics that is in the 2013 MBA is a big improvement over your 2011 MBA.

    For 300$ definitely go for it.
  7. Boyd01 macrumors 601


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I went from a 2011 i5/4gb/256gb to a 2013 17/8gb/512gb. I am very pleased, but I run powerful software like Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, etc.

    USB 3 is certainly a big improvement - if you need it. And the machine is certainly faster, but I really only notice that when I look at latency in Logic or render time in Final Cut. For the "everyday" stuff, you will notice very little difference.
  8. BenTrovato macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2012
    The way I see it, being December it's not worth the upgrade unless you need higher specs right now. If you don't, hang on for 6-8 months with your current machine and then get yourself a 2014.
  9. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    And if you wait 12 more months after that, the 2015 model is sure to be da bomb.
  10. boba7523 thread starter macrumors regular

    May 14, 2011

    i bet you would. you got the 1.7ghz and 8gb ram... That's a big improvement over the 1.3ghz & 4gb ram.

    With your spec I think it would be $500 upgrade instead of $300 for me.
  11. Beachguy macrumors 6502a


    Nov 23, 2011
    Florida, USA
    PFFFFFFTTTT!!!! Just another 12 short months for the '16 models, which will also make sandwiches for your lunch.
  12. BenTrovato macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2012
    Aaaaand just 12 even shorter months for the '17 models which might feature the new "all-month" battery!
  13. Jefe's MacAir macrumors 6502

    Nov 21, 2010
    Yes, it's an excellent upgrade. Is it worth it? That's up to you. I'd consider waiting at this point to see what comes out in June.
  14. marioman38 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA
    I wouldn't. I know people have been joking about the "waiting game". But I honestly feel like 2014 will be the worthwhile time to upgrade from the 2011.

    Unless you need an extra 2 hours battery and you need USB 3 (I just use TB Gigabit Ethernet for file transfers to/from my desktop) and considering the 2013's are already halfway through their lifecycle, I would wait.
  15. Abazigal macrumors G4


    Jul 18, 2011
    Like they said, consider waiting for the 2014 refresh if battery life isn't really an issue. Apple used really slow haswell processors to reduce power consumption, so you will find that there isn't really a significant speed increase in terms of the tasks you do.
  16. yourtoys7 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2007
    I had i5/4/128 2013 and at times it seemed to hang at times or not responding as quickly, I changed to i7/8/128 and you can tell how it just responds much faster to everything.
    Upgrade if you can.

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