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Fiore1234

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 26, 2021
2
0
Hi everyone! I'm not new to Macs but I haven't really kept up with all things apple in a while. My macbooks in the past have lasted years and I've owned two. My first was a pro from 2007 and then my second and last was a macbook air from 2012 and its still kicking! However, its definitely unable to download anything as the memory is full and I think its time. Here is my question: Being that I like to purchase my computers with the hopes that it will last me as long as possible what would you recommend? I'm not in any rush but my laptop went from $200 trade in value a few months ago to now $100. So I'd like to trade that little guy in and get something soon. I could also wait until the summer when they have the ear pod deals for students (I'm going to be starting my doctoral program soon so I'll qualify).


Any recommendations on which laptop to get? Is it worth it for me to go for the 512 GB SSD MBA? At that price point I can get the pro although I don't genuinely need the pro as I'm not doing anything super heavy on the computer. I just need something that will last me many years.
 

ignatius345

macrumors 604
Aug 20, 2015
6,852
11,190
Is it worth it for me to go for the 512 GB SSD MBA? At that price point I can get the pro although I don't genuinely need the pro as I'm not doing anything super heavy on the computer. I just need something that will last me many years.
That sounds like a solid choice to me. Since you specifically mention longevity, most definitely get the MacBook Air with the M1 processor. The M1 will see MacOS updates and software updates for a lot longer than support for Intel Macs. Also, save yourself a couple hundred bucks by going to Apple's Refurbished section. Sometimes it takes a while before the Mac you want shows up, but if you have a little time the savings is worth it. I usually make an alert on Refurb Tracker so I don't have to keep refreshing...
 
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Fiore1234

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 26, 2021
2
0
That sounds like a solid choice to me. Since you specifically mention longevity, most definitely get the MacBook Air with the M1 processor. The M1 will see MacOS updates and software updates for a lot longer than support for Intel Macs. Also, save yourself a couple hundred bucks by going to Apple's Refurbished section. Sometimes it takes a while before the Mac you want shows up, but if you have a little time the savings is worth it. I usually make an alert on Refurb Tracker so I don't have to keep refreshing...
Thank you! Is it still possible to get either military or student discount when you buy refurbished? I've also heard great things about buying through that section.
 

KaliYoni

macrumors 68000
Feb 19, 2016
1,718
3,793
Is it still possible to get either military or student discount when you buy refurbished?
Based on my experiences on the USA Apple Store, student discounts are only applied to new products. But the price savings can be equal to or better than a refurb and you have the ability to custom build your machine.
 

Significant1

macrumors 68000
Dec 20, 2014
1,622
754
Any recommendations on which laptop to get? Is it worth it for me to go for the 512 GB SSD MBA? At that price point I can get the pro although I don't genuinely need the pro as I'm not doing anything super heavy on the computer. I just need something that will last me many years.
You can also get the 7gpu model with 512GB SSD and save a few bucks and likely never notice it, if that matters.
 

tps3443

macrumors 65816
Jan 24, 2019
1,406
908
NC,USA
You can also get the 7gpu model with 512GB SSD and save a few bucks and likely never notice it, if that matters.

It’s simply not worth it. The 7 core GPU silicon is lower binned spec deemed to be sold at a lower price. The 8 core gpu is intended for the Pro M1. Who wouldn’t want that 15% (Minimum graphics performance boost) for only $50 dollars more. It is a bargain that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the computer market place.

For all we know the 7 core models could be drastically worse quality silicon, they could run hotter, use more voltage, and use more power resulting in a hotter fanless Macbook Air M1.


(That has been my experience in testing a 7 core vs a 8 core. Although, I have only tested one 7 core M1 Air. So I cannot confirm this for sure. But it definitely makes sense.

Lets think about desktop processors for a moment. Usually the lower core CPU’s are sold for less and made as i3’s or i5’s. (And also use more voltage than what an i7 would.

Im not saying the 7 core model is bad by any means, only that someone should buy it if they want the cheapest model available. And that would be for $899 new with student discount.

If someone spares the extra $180 for more storage, they may as well spare $230 instead.
 
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Significant1

macrumors 68000
Dec 20, 2014
1,622
754
It’s simply not worth it. The 7 core GPU silicon is lower binned spec deemed to be sold at a lower price. The 8 core gpu is intended for the Pro M1. Who wouldn’t want that 15% (Minimum graphics performance boost) for only $50 dollars more. It is a bargain that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the computer market place.

For all we know the 7 core models could be drastically worse quality silicon, they could run hotter, use more voltage, and use more power resulting in a hotter fanless Macbook Air M1.


(That has been my experience in testing a 7 core vs a 8 core. Although, I have only tested one 7 core M1 Air. So I cannot confirm this for sure. But it definitely makes sense.

Lets think about desktop processors for a moment. Usually the lower core CPU’s are sold for less and made as i3’s or i5’s. (And also use more voltage than what an i7 would.

Im not saying the 7 core model is bad by any means, only that someone should buy it if they want the cheapest model available. And that would be for $899 new with student discount.

If someone spares the extra $180 for more storage, they may as well spare $230 instead.
I agree that the 8gpu might be better binning ?‍♂️. But Why would the PRO need a better binned processor, it has active cooling. I would say best binned silicon with lowest thermal output, would be most beneficial in passive cooled Air and iPad.
 

tps3443

macrumors 65816
Jan 24, 2019
1,406
908
NC,USA
I agree that the 8gpu might be better binning ?‍♂️. But Why would the PRO need a better binned processor, it has active cooling. I would say best binned silicon with lowest thermal output, would be most beneficial in passive cooled Air and iPad.
All CPU's are binned and tested to their standard, then sold based on what purpose they will offer. ( Or the price they will bring lol) Apple has merely found a purpose for the silicon that didn't meet the standard.

It would make sense for better silicon to be in a fanless MacBook Air. But, if your buying the cheapest model available to save as much money as possible, then that might not be what you get..Apple will not put the poor silicon in the MacBooks with fans, just to make it easier with those who have MacBooks without fans. How many years have MacBooks run scalding hot 100+C that do have fans? The M1 is a great design regardless, and it runs super cool either way. It has a mere 20watt TDP and uses the same cooling system from a CPU the prior year with a 65watt TDP.

The MacBook Pro is their best option with an M1 right now..The MacBook Pro gets the bigger battery, brighter screen, and the best M1 silicon available (With 8 cores). If we buy a MacBook Air, we can't have the brighter screen, and we can't have the bigger battery. But we can choose for the 8 core GPU M1. (More than likely all 8 core GPU M1's are the same)

LCD screens are a binning process too. Who knows, they very well may be some near 500 nit Macbook Air's floating around in the wild. They bin the LCD IPS panels for no dead pixels, no light bleed, and brightness (If its an Air panel, or a Pro panel). (Apple does a INCREDIBLE job at it too) I wish the PC gaming monitor industry could learn from Apple.

We spend thousands on high end monitors for PC gaming, only to sacrifice what level of defects are acceptable.
 
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Significant1

macrumors 68000
Dec 20, 2014
1,622
754
LCD screens are a binning process too. Who knows, they very well may be some near 500 nit Macbook Air's floating around in the wild.
It is an artificiel limit. I am 100% sure all Air displays can reach 500nits, but it is a artificial software limitation by Apple.

Just looked up what my old Air had. I is 300nits display and it has never bothered me. So mostly a paper spec unless you work outside in the sun.
 

PBG4 Dude

macrumors 601
Jul 6, 2007
4,267
4,478
Yes indeed. I think that's the choice being made by wise buyers, people with shrewd judgement and informed appreciation. As it happens, by people like me ;)
Bought this model for my wife last week as an update from a 2012 11” MBA. She can’t stop raving about it. :)
 

mar58

macrumors member
Sep 19, 2017
43
38
Thank you! Is it still possible to get either military or student discount when you buy refurbished? I've also heard great things about buying through that section.
Military discount IS available on refurbs and I totally agree with the poster suggesting one. Same warranty and same Apple Care as on "new" machines.
 
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tps3443

macrumors 65816
Jan 24, 2019
1,406
908
NC,USA
It is an artificiel limit. I am 100% sure all Air displays can reach 500nits, but it is a artificial software limitation by Apple.

Just looked up what my old Air had. I is 300nits display and it has never bothered me. So mostly a paper spec unless you work outside in the sun.

Not so sure about that. Even the MacBook Pro 13 M1’s are only like 430-450 nit’s actual brightness on a meter. So there seems to be an actual limitation in that type of display. Apple is using the brightest ones in the Pro.
 
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