Previous Gen vs Current Gen - MBA

asting

macrumors 6502
Jun 10, 2012
377
3
Hi everyone,

I'm about to lose my student privileges and I'm considering refreshing my MacBook Air before it starts costing me more!

I currently have 1.7 i5 / 4GB / 256 GB and it certainly feels like ML has slowed it down a little, fans are coming on more often (yep done SMCs, formats etc).

So here is the question - would I notice any improvement buying the new equivalent (but with 8GB upgrade)?

The rMBP is in the back of my mind (mainly so I can have a bigger screen!).
Honestly, it depends a lot on what you want to do. For web, occasional photo, videos, etc you will probably not notice the upgrade. For gaming, the new one is much better. Other than that, new features are USB 3.0, a marginal CPU increase, faster SSD, and more memory.

Personally, I wouldn't go for it in your shoes. Perhaps you can wait a bit to upgrade.

It's worth noting, best buy at the very least uses a .edu email address to send the coupon, so if you still have email access you could probably use it in a few years.

A rMBP would definitely be an upgrade, but it is rather pricey. That is another issue entirely.
 

Jaro65

macrumors 68040
Mar 27, 2009
3,709
573
Seattle, WA
Unless you run VMs and you could really benefit from 8GB of RAM, I wouldn't do it. You may want to consider waiting another year to see how MBAs perform once Haswell is out. The graphics capabilities of MBA are likely to see a substantial boost over HD4000 (which is already quite a bit nicer than HD3000 in your MBA), so if you want to play some games on your machine, 2013 MBA may be the way to go (given, of course, that you prefer the mobility of that machine over rMBP).
 

jcg878

macrumors member
Aug 14, 2011
64
0
I suppose I should quantify what I use my mac for!

I'm a teacher, I run pages / SMART Notebook. I am also beginning some educational research too. So basically... No gaming!

I think the sensible thing to do, would be to run this MBA until the end of its AppleCare period (that I extended) and then re-asses my situation then.

It's just me, hanging onto the remnants of my youth! I must be able to sharpie the expiry date on my student union card...
If you are referring to the educational discount, you are eligible as a teacher. I use my faculty discount for every Mac I buy.
 

EmaDaCuz

macrumors regular
Apr 30, 2012
152
55
If you have the tingle, then buy a new computer. But IMHO, a 2011 MBA is more than enough.
I'm in the higher education too, do some teaching but still (unfortunately) do quite a lot of research. Have to deal with heavy image processing/analysis and statistics, yet my 2011 MBA haven't let me down once. Even after I upgraded to ML.
 

EmaDaCuz

macrumors regular
Apr 30, 2012
152
55
Yes this is true, and the 8 GB of Ram ($100 upgrade) makes a HUGE DIFFERENCE!
Makes a huge difference in what? Preparing a powerpoint for the students? Or sending email to the colleagues? Or downloading the latest movie from torrent? C'mon, there are for sure certain tasks that will benefit from more RAM and better CPU, but those are certainly the tasks that a "sane" person would likely do on a MBA (except virtualization, maybe).
I speak for myself, but as I said before I do quite a lot of image analysis and statistics. Well, let my tell you that I do these tasks on my MBA but also on a 12-year old PC with a P4 and 512 MB of RAM. Difference in computation time: 10% maximum. RAM usage: I don't care, as long as any computer can successfully complete a task.
What would be the great improvents of a new generation MBA in normal life? :confused:
 

Titanium81

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2011
510
0
Yes this is true, and the 8 GB of Ram ($100 upgrade) makes a HUGE DIFFERENCE!
Makes a huge difference in what? Preparing a powerpoint for the students? Or sending email to the colleagues? Or downloading the latest movie from torrent? C'mon, there are for sure certain tasks that will benefit from more RAM and better CPU, but those are certainly the tasks that a "sane" person would likely do on a MBA (except virtualization, maybe).
I speak for myself, but as I said before I do quite a lot of image analysis and statistics. Well, let my tell you that I do these tasks on my MBA but also on a 12-year old PC with a P4 and 512 MB of RAM. Difference in computation time: 10% maximum. RAM usage: I don't care, as long as any computer can successfully complete a task.
What would be the great improvents of a new generation MBA in normal life? :confused:
For the tasks that you mentioned above, a 2008 MacBook would be more than adequate. If you want a more snappy feel (instant on and instant opening of programs) a 2012 MacBook Air with 8 GB of ram will definitely not disappoint. :) It would also be more "future proof".