Pro late2011 vs Air early 2014

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by fe_man37, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. fe_man37 macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2015
    NC and Germany
    Hi All,
    I have a MB Pro, 2.4 GHz i5, 8GB DDR3, 500GB HHD, late 2011.., and a MB Air 1.4 GHz i5 8GB DDR3, 121GB SSD that I attach an external drive to. I am looking at giving one of them to my daughter.
    My questions are about upgradeability and longevity: how do the two of them compare and do they both have opportunity for system upgrades and providing a long life?
    Can anyone speak to how the two of them would be upgradeable, as in new components to improve longevity and use..?
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    The air is completely non-upgradeable, but is a better computer in many ways, the cMBP can have the RAM and HDD upgraded. To be honest though the life will depend very little on the upgradeablity, the 2011 cMBP will run great with an SSD but the GPU is fairly poor to say the least so that will limit you first I expect. A 2014 MBA will still be good in 5 years time, at which point the CPU and GPU of the pro will be 9 years old!!!
  3. fe_man37 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2015
    NC and Germany
    So there is not much chance of Apple building an upgrade with new CPU & GPU, now or in the future..?
  4. mfram macrumors 65816

    Jan 23, 2010
    San Diego, CA USA
    An upgrade kit for a 2011 cMBP? No, that's not going to happen. There are no kits to "upgrade" a laptop CPU and GPU. That's the tradeoff for a laptop: make them slim by permanently attaching the CPU and GPU to the logic board. You'd have to swap the logic board to get an upgrade. But the logic boards change slightly with every new version of the laptop, so you can't swap an old laptop with a newer version.
  5. pjfan macrumors regular

    May 24, 2009
    Columbus OH
    If you're sending her to college, send her with the 2014 Air and five years might do her well.

    For you, I highly recommend buying an SSD and your 2011 will feel insanely faster.

    Can you explain what applications and use cases are for these two machines? How portable must they be? How demanding of tasks? From personal experience, my 2008 15" cMBP (can't remember specifics of what year, as I turned it back into work) with self installed SSD felt a lot swifter than my late 2010 MBA. Your 2011 isn't all that shabby; is it a 15"? SSD will likely blow you away.
  6. fe_man37 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2015
    NC and Germany
    It's a 13" cMBP. I am not doing anything special with the machine right now.., no special programs. I have heard from here and now other sources that say the SSD will make it much faster. I really appreciate all of you'z guys (generic) input. It really helps a lot.
  7. oldmacs macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2010
    I bought a 2012 Macbook Pro several weeks ago and put an SSD in and its insanely fast.

    Given Apple has introduced a Macbook (Macbook Retina) that is slower in terms of graphics/cpu than the 2012 Macbook Pro, I'd say that the non retina pro will still have a good run.
  8. marioman38 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA
    Give the Air to your daughter, throw an SSD in the cMBP for yourself! Prices on SSD's have dropped tremendously the past few years. I've seen 512GB SSD for 150 on amazon and even 1TB SSD are now within reach.
  9. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601


    Feb 27, 2005
    Upgrading the HD in my old MacBook Pro to a SSD worked wonders for speed and usability. Also, the price point for good storage these days is low, so it's an easy choice. I highly recommend that route.
  10. throAU, Sep 18, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015

    throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    the 2011 has no warranty, and if it is a 15" machine (edit: i see it's not) is prone to GPU failure. Either the screen or GPU on mine is having issues at the moment.

    The 2014 machine will have faster wifi, later bluetooth standard, power nap, much quicker integrated GPU (if its a 13"), much faster storage and be supported by OS X for longer. It may even have warranty coverage, and the SSD will be less prone to damage from drops, etc. The 2014 air will have a HDMI port, which is far more convenient than mini display port (or something else via thunderbolt dongle in the 2011).

    Unless you are doing a few very specific cpu bound tasks, in general use the Air will be much, much faster in general use. And lighter with better battery life.

    Buying (or relying on) a machine as old as 2011 or 2012 is a roll of the dice. Maybe it will be fine, but if it breaks - and the 15"s in particular seem rather prone to that about now, you're boned.

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