Of these two specific 11" MBA's, which is better to get?

Of these two specific 11" MBA's, which is better to get?

  • 2011 11" MBA (refurb) i5 1.6 GHz / 4GB RAM / 128 GB SSD

    Votes: 17 54.8%
  • 2012 11" MBA (new) i5 1.7 GHz / 4GB RAM / 64 GB SSD

    Votes: 14 45.2%

  • Total voters
    31

dmk1974

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Sep 16, 2008
2,182
120
I know there are plenty of other upgrade options and so on, but of these two specific models, which would you rather buy? Both work out to be almost the exact same cost if you factor in the student pricing on the 2012 model along with the $100 iTunes card and Discover 5% cash back (both come to a net of $866)

2011 11" MBA (refurb) i5 1.6 GHz / 4GB RAM / 128 GB SSD

2012 11" MBA (new) i5 1.7 GHz / 4GB RAM / 64 GB SSD

Basically a trade off of processor speed for storage space. I only use about 40gb of space currently though. Also USB3 and HD4000 in the newer machine. Thanks!
 

mtreys

macrumors member
May 22, 2012
94
0
College Station, TX
I know there are plenty of other upgrade options and so on, but of these two specific models, which would you rather buy? Both work out to be almost the exact same cost if you factor in the student pricing on the 2012 model along with the $100 iTunes card and Discover 5% cash back (both come to a net of $866)

2011 11" MBA (refurb) i5 1.6 GHz / 4GB RAM / 128 GB SSD

2012 11" MBA (new) i5 1.7 GHz / 4GB RAM / 64 GB SSD

Basically a trade off of processor speed for storage space. I only use about 40gb of space currently though. Also USB3 and HD4000 in the newer machine. Thanks!
What exactly are you looking to use it for? Do you have another computer that will be your main or will this serve that purpose?
 
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dmk1974

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Sep 16, 2008
2,182
120
What exactly are you looking to use it for? Do you have another computer that will be your main or will this serve that purpose?
I'd be replacing my 2011 Mac Mini (per my signature). At home, I have a separate PC server machine that has all of my music, pics, and videos. This machine, much like my current Mini, is mostly used for web browsing, email, office apps, light photo and vid editing, and very rarely engineering CAD work. For what I do, the Mini has been fine for the engineering stuff too and while the Mini has a 2.3 i5, these other i5's aren't terribly behind in terms of power on the Geekbench scores.
 
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Skoopman

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2011
318
2
I'd be replacing my 2011 Mac Mini (per my signature). At home, I have a separate PC server machine that has all of my music, pics, and videos. This machine, much like my current Mini, is mostly used for web browsing, email, office apps, light photo and vid editing, and very rarely engineering CAD work. For what I do, the Mini has been fine for the engineering stuff too and while the Mini has a 2.3 i5, these other i5's aren't terribly behind in terms of power on the Geekbench scores.
I am in the same boat as you, I have the stronger MM though. Right now I can't decide between the baseline 11" and the 13". It will be my new main computer, but I will hook it up to a 24" Samsung LCD until I have the money to buy a Cinema Display. I actually tend more towards the 11" because it will be used with the LCD 80% of the time. Sometimes I go to my girlfriends and will use the MBA there to do some writing.
 
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mtreys

macrumors member
May 22, 2012
94
0
College Station, TX
I'd be replacing my 2011 Mac Mini (per my signature). At home, I have a separate PC server machine that has all of my music, pics, and videos. This machine, much like my current Mini, is mostly used for web browsing, email, office apps, light photo and vid editing, and very rarely engineering CAD work. For what I do, the Mini has been fine for the engineering stuff too and while the Mini has a 2.3 i5, these other i5's aren't terribly behind in terms of power on the Geekbench scores.
Considering all of this, go with the 2012 model. It will be a slight bump in speed but nothing noticeable. And with all of your data residing on your PC server, you can deal with the smaller SSD size. Might as well get the newest model, especially since it's near similar price.
 
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dmk1974

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Sep 16, 2008
2,182
120
I am in the same boat as you, I have the stronger MM though. Right now I can't decide between the baseline 11" and the 13". It will be my new main computer, but I will hook it up to a 24" Samsung LCD until I have the money to buy a Cinema Display. I actually tend more towards the 11" because it will be used with the LCD 80% of the time. Sometimes I go to my girlfriends and will use the MBA there to do some writing.
I currently have my Mac Mini on a Samsung 24" LCD as well and the MBA would then connect to it too when parked at my desk.
 
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mtreys

macrumors member
May 22, 2012
94
0
College Station, TX
I am in the same boat as you, I have the stronger MM though. Right now I can't decide between the baseline 11" and the 13". It will be my new main computer, but I will hook it up to a 24" Samsung LCD until I have the money to buy a Cinema Display. I actually tend more towards the 11" because it will be used with the LCD 80% of the time. Sometimes I go to my girlfriends and will use the MBA there to do some writing.
If you're debating on the 13" or 11", I'd go with the 13". I have it and love it. The 11" is nice and works great when moving around a lot, but the extra screen real estate makes a huge difference IMO.
 
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dona83

macrumors 6502
Nov 26, 2004
317
47
Kelowna, BC
Go with the 2012 for sure, especially since you already have a desktop. Use iTunes Match for access to any music and Photostream when Mountain Lion gets released to share photos between the two, the 2012 64GB model will be fine. Faster processor, better integrated graphics, faster SSD, USB 3.0...
 
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Skoopman

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2011
318
2
If you're debating on the 13" or 11", I'd go with the 13". I have it and love it. The 11" is nice and works great when moving around a lot, but the extra screen real estate makes a huge difference IMO.
The pricing of the MBA's is really annoying. 64 GB in the baseline model is a bit tight for my taste, if you spend 100€ more for the 128 GB SSD, you are nearly at the same price as the 13" base model. I think I'll just go with the 13" base model, 4 GB RAM is enough for what I do and should be more than enough for Mountain Lion and maybe the next OS. I don't run multiple VMs or anything that would consume a lot of RAM. I used my Mini for a few months with 4 GB and never ran out of RAM.
 
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mtreys

macrumors member
May 22, 2012
94
0
College Station, TX
The pricing of the MBA's is really annoying. 64 GB in the baseline model is a bit tight for my taste, if you spend 100€ more for the 128 GB SSD, you are nearly at the same price as the 13" base model. I think I'll just go with the 13" base model, 4 GB RAM is enough for what I do and should be more than enough for Mountain Lion and maybe the next OS.
Agreed. When you start thinking about saving money you look at the 11". Then you start getting greedy and think "Well it's ONLY ~$100 more for larger screen and hard drive..."
 
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dmk1974

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Sep 16, 2008
2,182
120
Agreed. When you start thinking about saving money you look at the 11". Then you start getting greedy and think "Well it's ONLY ~$100 more for larger screen and hard drive..."
My thoughts too. The base 11" is for portability and economy. If it suits your needs, I think it's the way to go. Once you cross the price-point for the 13", it seems then for an extra $200, that then becomes the model of choice.
 
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dmk1974

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Sep 16, 2008
2,182
120
Well, assuming I replace my Mini, looks like the base 2012 11" is the unit of choice (between these two).
 
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dmk1974

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Sep 16, 2008
2,182
120
One limitation of the 11" will be the battery though. I am testing a 13" and even though it says 7 hrs, it's barely pacing to over 5 hrs.
 
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palpatine

macrumors 68040
May 3, 2011
3,130
45
One limitation of the 11" will be the battery though. I am testing a 13" and even though it says 7 hrs, it's barely pacing to over 5 hrs.
I ran a test today (details in the 11" MBA battery thread) and got 4:47 out of the battery. Not spectacular, but basically what Apple said I would get. The 13" does not appear to be getting much more than this, but not very many people have reported yet.
 
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dmk1974

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Sep 16, 2008
2,182
120
I ran a test today (details in the 11" MBA battery thread) and got 4:47 out of the battery. Not spectacular, but basically what Apple said I would get. The 13" does not appear to be getting much more than this, but not very many people have reported yet.
4:47 is actually not too bad! Similar screen/backlit key settings as what I had used?

I just picked up a base 11" 2012 MBA at lunch time from the local best buy. I'll open it later when I get home from work. Leveraged my brother for the teacher discount and got the $150 GC. Used part of that then to get a 750 GB USB 3 hard drive. Hopefully it's as good as I hope!
 
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palpatine

macrumors 68040
May 3, 2011
3,130
45
4:47 is actually not too bad! Similar screen/backlit key settings as what I had used?

I just picked up a base 11" 2012 MBA at lunch time from the local best buy. I'll open it later when I get home from work. Leveraged my brother for the teacher discount and got the $150 GC. Used part of that then to get a 750 GB USB 3 hard drive. Hopefully it's as good as I hope!
Here is what I did:
https://forums.macrumors.com/posts/15048248/

As a bonus, it looks like it might not take very long to recharge either. I didn't time it, but judging by the time of that post I made, it looks like I have only been recharging for about 1.5 hours and I am already at 87%. I don't know how this compares with the 2011 model, but it certainly is better than my iPad!
 
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dmk1974

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Sep 16, 2008
2,182
120
Here is what I did:
https://forums.macrumors.com/posts/15048248/

As a bonus, it looks like it might not take very long to recharge either. I didn't time it, but judging by the time of that post I made, it looks like I have only been recharging for about 1.5 hours and I am already at 87%. I don't know how this compares with the 2011 model, but it certainly is better than my iPad!
Cool! As long as I remain well below the 64gb storage like I have now, I think the 2012 is the way to go for me since most all of my media is on a home server PC.
 
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palpatine

macrumors 68040
May 3, 2011
3,130
45
Cool! As long as I remain well below the 64gb storage like I have now, I think the 2012 is the way to go for me since most all of my media is on a home server PC.
Good for you! Unfortunately, I have one app I rely on that is structured to store data locally, and I cannot do anything about it. So, I need the extra space, and had to get 128 GB. That's cool. It was only 100. But, I really wanted that 64 GB model. What a great value! With Time Capsule, Google Drive ($5 a month for 100 GB), Dropbox, and a 32 GB flash drive, I think a lot of use-cases would easily fit within the 64GB parameters.
 
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dmk1974

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Sep 16, 2008
2,182
120
Interesting. Yesterday, it was 7 to 2 in favor of the 2012, but today so far it's 9 to 1 in favor of the 2011.
 
Comment

henry72

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2009
1,113
99
New Zealand
2012 all the way! You only used 40GB, all good then! Get an USB 3.0 external drive if you feel the needs.

The latest model, you get better graphics, USB 3.0 and better battery life :) as well as the new MagSafe 2 ;)
 
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Mopar

macrumors regular
Feb 24, 2011
112
75
Interesting. Yesterday, it was 7 to 2 in favor of the 2012, but today so far it's 9 to 1 in favor of the 2011.
LOL! You might find that's because people like me didn't read it properly before they voted, and thought you were asking between the 64Gb and 128Gb 2012 11" Airs.

:eek:

But I'd probably still lean towards the 128Gb model, because even if you're only at 40Gb now, 64Gb doesn't leave a lot of room for expansion. Remember, operating systems are getting bigger - as are most files - and videos and photos eat into your storage pretty fast.

Put it this way, one DVD rip is roughy 1Gb or more, so 64Gb isn't that much - although you can always use external storage.
 
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twoodcc

macrumors P6
Feb 3, 2005
15,307
25
Right side of wrong
it really depends on your needs. i voted the 2012, mainly due to the upgrades and the fact you can most likely upgrade the ssd drive in the future yourself, but you can't upgrade anything else. and you have thunderbolt and usb 3.0 to add on storage
 
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