Newer MBA Worth It?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by larryleveen, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. larryleveen macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2011
  2. Scepticalscribe macrumors Westmere


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    I switched from a 2010 (the old 'Rev C') MBA to a CTO 13" 2013 model, (and - for a brief while, a 2012 11" with 8 GB and 256GB SSD while I waited for the 13" to be ready) and I noticed a huge difference.

    First off, I now had 8 GB RAM, not the 2 which came as standard on the old models. The speed was also better, and - having had - a memory of 128 GB SSD, I now have experience of computers with 256 GB SSD and 512 GB SSD, and can say that they are far better, faster, and more stable.

    One more thing differentiated the 2012 and 2013 models, and it was this: Battery life. The battery life on all of the 2013 models is a genuinely significant improvement on that of earlier models. One can now work most of the day off the battery without needing access to a power source.
  3. mad3inch1na, Oct 24, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2014

    mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    The newer MBA has over double the battery life and much more powerful graphics. A 2011 MBA will run fine, but a 2014 has some benefits. You can find an 11" for as little as 650$ as well. There is little to no reason to purchase a 2011 model, but it is still a great computer, so you probably should not upgrade at this point if you already have one.
  4. larryleveen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2011
    I DO already have a 2011 MBA 11".

    Enhanced battery life is a significant incentive, IMO. It doesn't seem like there is much other incentive in terms of performance gain, though.
  5. Boyd01 Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I upgraded to a 2013 11" i7/8gb/512gb MBA from a 2011 13" i5/4gb/256gb MBA. For me it was a worthwhile upgrade as I sometimes run demanding software like Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro. Performance is maybe 30% better in these programs, but for "everyday" stuff like web, mail, Finder, etc, the new machine seems very similar to the old one. But I like the following things

    8gb RAM - was not available as an option in 2011

    512gb SSD - also not available in 2011

    USB 3.0 - gives me access to inexpensive, fast external drives plus a high speed ethernet adapter that doesn't monopolize the thunderbolt port like Apple's.

    802.11ac wifi - I can access network drives wirelessly at speeds that are faster than directly connected USB 2.0 drives on my 2011 MBA.

    Greatly improved battery life, the little 11" 2013 MBA runs almost twice as long as my 2011 13" MBA.
  6. AustinIllini macrumors demi-goddess


    Oct 20, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Not all i5s are the same. I have a MBP with a Sandy Bridge i5. My MBP used to last 8 hours on a charge. Now it makes it about 3 for a four year old machine. It's been said already, but the battery life on the new MBA is in a completely different league. The idea that your MBA in 2017 could get some 7 hours of battery life is just crazy.
  7. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012

    100% agreed.

    It's silly, I have thought of upgrading but I HATE with all the fiber of my being MacSafe2, so holding out, maybe Apple sees the error of its way and go back to MacSafe1 (OK no argument from anybody please, I said it's silly).
  8. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    Battery life is a huge improvement, at times I would only get three or four hours from my 2011. USB 3.0 is a big help as well as the possibility of getting 8GB RAM. Better Intel graphics if you do any gaming
  9. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    Look at the benchmarks, the 2014 is about 40-50% faster at everything.

    The i5 in your 2011 laptop uses much more power, thus gets hotter (annoying to have in lap), which makes the fan spin faster (louder), and also prevents the laptop from running at full turbo boost speed for long amounts of time.

    Thus if you buy a 2014, it will be faster, quieter, cooler, and last longer on battery power.

    USB 3 is also a big win for me personally, it means much faster backups and file transfers to external drives which is nice.
  10. JHUFrank macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2010
    USB 3 has been an absolute eye opener for sure. I would switch over just for that and better battery life. I kept having issues with USB 3 capable drives on older laptops, then I switched over to this 2013 model Macbook, and all those drives work buttery smooth!


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