Drosera

macrumors member
Original poster
May 9, 2020
33
12
Hello. New to the forum and would appreciate help with a comparison. I'm currently using the following:

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2010)
  • 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3
  • NVIDIA GeForce 320M 256 MB
  • 250GB storage
It tends to overheat a lot, the battery is now useless, and it can be slow. But, to be fair, it also still works fairly well for streaming Netflix, word processing etc. I can't tell if I'm used to the slowness, or it's not too bad?!

I am considering recycling it for a new MacBook Air 2020 with i5 processor, but feel hesitant moving from a MacBook Pro to Air. But the price of the basic 2020 MacBook Pro and its 8th gen i5 processor put me off.

Would I be okay with an MBA i5? I want a faster machine that will last another 5-10 years. How much better would its performance be to my current MacBook Pro in practical terms? I'm no expert when it comes to the technical specs and can't tell if it's a no-brainer or not!

Thanks

Drosera
 

chrfr

macrumors G4
Jul 11, 2009
11,189
4,741
Hello. New to the forum and would appreciate help with a comparison. I'm currently using the following:

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2010)
  • 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3
  • NVIDIA GeForce 320M 256 MB
  • 250GB storage
It tends to overheat a lot, the battery is now useless, and it can be slow. But, to be fair, it also still works fairly well for streaming Netflix, word processing etc. I can't tell if I'm used to the slowness, or it's not too bad?!

I am considering recycling it for a new MacBook Air 2020 with i5 processor, but feel hesitant moving from a MacBook Pro to Air. But the price of the basic 2020 MacBook Pro and its 8th gen i5 processor put me off.

Would I be okay with an MBA i5? I want a faster machine that will last another 5-10 years. How much better would its performance be to my current MacBook Pro in practical terms? I'm no expert when it comes to the technical specs and can't tell if it's a no-brainer or not!

Thanks

Drosera
The Air will be significantly faster than the 10 year old MacBook Pro in every respect.
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 601
Aug 28, 2012
4,039
2,585
Between the coasts
Any 2020 Mac will be dramatically faster. While there have been very substantial improvements in CPU and graphics performance over the past 10 years, the most dramatic improvement you may notice comes from the change from a spinning HDD to SSD (Flash storage) and having 8 GB RAM instead of 4 GB.

If you were the type to do your own hardware upgrades, you could replace the existing HDD in that old Mac with an SSD, and upgrade to 8 GB RAM and see a substantial performance improvement for about $150 in parts. While you have the thing open it would be silly to not replace the battery ($75-$100 in parts). However, if you needed to pay someone to do the job ($300-$400 or more for the same job) I certainly would not spend the money. You'd still be left with a Mac that cannot run the current version of macOS, and there are other aging components (trackpad, HDD flex cable) that could require additional repairs in the not too distant future.

For $999 you could have the new MacBook Air with the same amount of internal storage as you currently have, a far better Retina display, SSD/Flash storage speed, more RAM, modern CPU and GPU, far better battery life... It's a no-brainer as long as you have the money.
 
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Drosera

macrumors member
Original poster
May 9, 2020
33
12
Any 2020 Mac will be dramatically faster. While there have been very substantial improvements in CPU and graphics performance over the past 10 years, the most dramatic improvement you may notice comes from the change from a spinning HDD to SSD (Flash storage) and having 8 GB RAM instead of 4 GB.

If you were the type to do your own hardware upgrades, you could replace the existing HDD in that old Mac with an SSD, and upgrade to 8 GB RAM and see a substantial performance improvement for about $150 in parts. While you have the thing open it would be silly to not replace the battery ($75-$100 in parts). However, if you needed to pay someone to do the job ($300-$400 or more for the same job) I certainly would not spend the money. You'd still be left with a Mac that cannot run the current version of macOS, and there are other aging components (trackpad, HDD flex cable) that could require additional repairs in the not too distant future.

For $999 you could have the new MacBook Air with the same amount of internal storage as you currently have, a far better Retina display, SSD/Flash storage speed, more RAM, modern CPU and GPU, far better battery life... It's a no-brainer as long as you have the money.

Thanks Apfel, that's a really helpful overview. I especially appreciate the comments on DIY hardware upgrades which put things in perspective. Unfortunately, I would have to pay someone else to do this so based on your feedback, a new laptop is the right option for me.

So the question now is whether a MacBook Air will last as long as a MacBook Pro? I want to aim for another 10 years of use. I watched a review that strongly recommended the 16 GB RAM upgrade for MBA, but if I survived on 4 GB for a decade, won't 8 GB be more than enough for non-professional use?

Do you think there'd be any significant differences in longevity between the following 4 options? If there's not, then I'll just go for the cheapest. But if an extra £100-300 gives me an extra 1-3+ years, then it's probably worth the investment.

  1. Entry-level MacBook Pro 2020 (+16GB RAM): £1,399
  2. Entry-level MacBook Pro 2020: £1,299
  3. Entry-level MacBook Air 2020 (+i5, +16GB RAM): £1,299
  4. Entry-level MacBook Air 2020 (+i5): £1,099
Thanks in advance.
 
Last edited:

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 601
Aug 28, 2012
4,039
2,585
Between the coasts
The biggest differences between Air and entry-level Pro come down to things like Touch Bar/Touch ID, battery life, and weight. For your usage, I don't think you'd notice a difference in technical performance. Compare the spec sheets side by side and see which makes more sense.
 
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Drosera

macrumors member
Original poster
May 9, 2020
33
12
The biggest differences between Air and entry-level Pro come down to things like Touch Bar/Touch ID, battery life, and weight. For your usage, I don't think you'd notice a difference in technical performance. Compare the spec sheets side by side and see which makes more sense.

I don't really care for the Touch Bar, I mostly use it plugged in and I'm starting with a 2kg model so both the new MBP & MPA will be lighter. Maybe I should just go for option 4 and save myself £300. Thanks!
 

Magnificent

macrumors member
Nov 19, 2018
63
9
I don't really care for the Touch Bar, I mostly use it plugged in and I'm starting with a 2kg model so both the new MBP & MPA will be lighter. Maybe I should just go for option 4 and save myself £300. Thanks!
Hi,

I am in the absolutely exact same situation like you nowadays. What have you done about your choice and are you happy with your new mac?
I was thinking to buy Mac i5 +16 Gb ram but after my researches on the Web, I see there are some serious complaints about overheating issues on Mac i5 .
So now, I am considering to pay a bit more and buy Mac Book Pro 8th gen. i5 +16 GB ram.
On the other hand New ARM macs are coming on November. What should I do?
Do you have any advise for me?
 

Drosera

macrumors member
Original poster
May 9, 2020
33
12
Hi,

I am in the absolutely exact same situation like you nowadays. What have you done about your choice and are you happy with your new mac?
I was thinking to buy Mac i5 +16 Gb ram but after my researches on the Web, I see there are some serious complaints about overheating issues on Mac i5 .
So now, I am considering to pay a bit more and buy Mac Book Pro 8th gen. i5 +16 GB ram.
On the other hand New ARM macs are coming on November. What should I do?
Do you have any advise for me?

Hi. I ended up doing a DIY upgrade of my 2010 Macbook Pro and it was a great decision. Find out more here: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/upgrade-mbp-13-2010-or-buy-mba-2020.2240958
 

Silencio

macrumors 68030
Jul 18, 2002
2,624
491
NYC
Good for you keeping your old laptop going longer, but that Core 2 Duo processor won't be getting any faster.

Actually, it was probably pretty smart to hold out a bit longer and see how the first generation of Apple Silicon laptops shake out next month.
 

Magnificent

macrumors member
Nov 19, 2018
63
9
Good for you keeping your old laptop going longer, but that Core 2 Duo processor won't be getting any faster.

Actually, it was probably pretty smart to hold out a bit longer and see how the first generation of Apple Silicon laptops shake out next month.
Actually that's what I am thinking , to wait and see new ARM processor Macs. The only thing that I will miss, not getting free airpods. Because the the last day of Campaign October 29
 
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