Price Advice Old Air or New Air?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Cameron08, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. Cameron08 macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2008
    I'm having trouble deciding whether to buy a refurbished air or a new one...

    The specs of both are similar except last years model has Intel HD Graphics 3000 and the new one has Intel HD Graphics 4000. Does the new graphics make a big difference? I'm buying it for school/work and movies/hulu,etc...

    Any wisdom appreciated (-: thank you for your time!
  2. Spink10 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2011
    I would take the old one - you cant beat the huge discount - sounds like you will not be using it for any heavy lifting.

    What is the price difference?
  3. Flunkyturtle macrumors 6502

    Dec 20, 2011
    if its a big price difference get the old one, if its a small difference then go with the new one, the performance is a big increase
  4. elppa, Jul 19, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012

    elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    The intel HD 4000 graphics are round about 60% faster than intel HD 3000.

    Edit: the real consideration is do you need it?
  5. LotusLord macrumors 6502


    Apr 28, 2008
    The Capital of the Land of Cheese and Beer
    The processor is also better on the new model. And you get USB 3. I'd agree, if the price difference is big, the older model is fine, but if it's not that large go with the new one.
  6. Tfb macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2012
    Not enough information.

    At a minimum:
    What is the price difference?
    What is the warranty/availability of warranty difference?
  7. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    Would anyone get a 13" MBA 2011 i5 4Gb RAM & 128Gb SSD for $923?


    A 2012 model for the 11" i5 8Gb & 128Gb SSD for $1189 (if I can order that configuration from our base PX)?

    What to do, what to do?...
  8. Titanium81 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2011
    The $266 difference over the life of the laptop will be insignficant and the 2012 MBA (especially with the 8 GB of ram) will be be greatly appreciated as new resource hungry software comes out.

    The 2012 will be "more" future proof.
  9. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    I'd go for the newer one there. You have to look closely at inter generation purchasing choices. Much of the time ordering through Apple, pricing isn't a huge gap. When isolating a given product line such as the Air, 13" macbook pro, 15" macbook pro, etc. much of the time the slowest new one outpaces the fastest old one just because these things are relatively close. It doesn't always work that way, and it doesn't work when comparing an Air to a 15" Pro, but keeping it within the same product line, newer is usually better unless they're lagging on raising base drive capacities or base ram:rolleyes:.

    I don't think you even have to look at future proofing. 8GB can be fully usable today, especially with a new OS about to hit. It's fine to shop around for the best deal. The gap may narrow further. Many of the people who find the macbook air to be really zippy are using the ssd as an extension of ram. Real ram is better. I still find 128GB to be extremely tight. Just like HDDs, you don't want to fill it to capacity.
  10. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    Thanks for the insight so far!

    Well I just got back from the base PX and they weren't sure if I would be able to order the 8Gb machine I wanted but they said they should have a 4Gb 128Gb SSD 2012 machine (2 units) getting delivered to the store from the warehouse tomorrow and that machine would be $1089 ($100 cheaper), would that model be worth getting with only having 4Gb of non-upgradable RAM in it?
  11. Titanium81 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2011
    Hold out for the 8 GB of RAM... I often find myself using all 8 GB's on my 2012 MBA.
  12. Tfb macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2012
    Depends how important the 13" size is to you?

    Also keep in mind applecare/warranty costs. On a new machine you get a year included. On the other hand, you're maybe more likely to want to buy the two years worth of Applecare either now or down the road.

    Futureproofing is as important as the length of the future into which you want to keep it. If you're so tempted by the (relatively marginal) improvements of the 2012 over the 2011 model, I wonder whether you will really want to hang on to either in the face of a likely more significant change from the 2012-2013 or 2014 model.
  13. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    Yeah, Ive also been thinking of returning this to the store (the 13" 2011) as I still have until the 26th to do that...keep using my iPad(3), my nVidia 9400m Whitebook & HP DM4 (both with SSD's already) until Haswell or later improves the battery life on the 11" models closer to what the current 13" units get now = this 13" 2011 was an impulse purchase as I'm getting ready to go on vacation and wanted something lighter to carry along with my iPad...
  14. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Any Macbook Air can do these things. Just go with the cheapest one.
  15. virtualandy macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2010
    To the OP: What'd you do?

    In this conundrum myself - found a 2011 11" w/ 4GB/256G at Microcenter tonight (last one in stock) for $999. Apple is selling the refurb of that model for $1119, not that the apple refurb store has the hottest deals around.

    But, Best Buy running a special for a 13" 4GB/128GB for the same price (if they accept a coupon). So not sure whether to return the 11 or not. Bah.
  16. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030


    May 20, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    If this is your primary Mac, then I'd say get a new one, or, if you want to save money, wait until mid-way through the current refresh cycle until the current models appear on the Apple Refurbished Mac Section of the Apple Online Store. Ivy Bridge is a decent improvement over Sandy Bridge (not to say that Sandy Bridge sucked, Ivy Bridge is just better).

    If this is a secondary Mac, then I'd say that the refurbished Airs are a great deal. The entry-level 2011 13" Model just had its price lowered to $919, which isn't a bad deal considering that Sandy Bridge 13" Asus Zenbooks still run about $1000. Personally, my finger is on the trigger for a 15" non-retina MacBook Pro. In addition, I'm considering getting (when finances allow) an entry level 13" 2011 MacBook Air, but solely to run Windows. My MacBook Pro will serve fine as my main and only Mac OS X running Mac while this Air will essentially be a Windows Ultrabook. That's my main reason for wanting one, and really, to run Windows on an Ultrabook, the differences between Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge don't matter to me.

    So yeah, in short, if it's your main Mac, get the current gen. If it isn't, get the last gen. Either way, enjoy your new computer!

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