Pull the trigger on a 2014 Air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Benny Jim, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. Benny Jim, Jun 3, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2014

    Benny Jim macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2014
    #1
    Hi guys,

    This is my first post and I've read of a few of the threads regarding the new Air.

    My situation is my mid 2009 MacBook Pro has been a trouper but is now running quite slow, firing up, opening iTunes, iPhoto and the like. Still does everything but after 5 years I'm keen to upgrade.

    I waited for WCDD or whatever it's called and no hardware announcement.

    The fact that I don't NEED a new Air now but would like one, how much of an improvement do you think the Retina will likely be? Besides from the display. Coming from an '09 Pro I'm of the understanding that the current Air is a better display.

    Also is it wise to purchase an Air now with Yosemite around the corner? Is the current Air likely to not handle the new software as well as one would say if it was released in August?

    The specs on the current I've been looking at are 11" i5/8gb/512.

    Any advice or thoughts would be much appreciated.

    Cheers.
     
  2. ChinaRye macrumors 6502

    ChinaRye

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #2
    I'm in a similar boat. I have a 17" MBP mid-2009 and it is now far too big and bulky for my needs. I'm heading back to grad school in the fall need something far more portable. I have been trying out my friend's 11 inch MBA and it is a great little device and speedy, even with basic specs. But there is no question that the screen is far worse than my old 2009 MBP. The 2009 MBP screen almost looks "retina" to me compared to the MBA.

    I was really hoping that Apple would have announced a retina MBA this week, as I would buy one in a second.

    But it all comes down to your current needs. I need something portable for school, so I will purchase the current generation MBA and be happy. It is still a great machine. In the end, it is just a tool. It will help me get my masters degree.

    If you can wait longer with what you have (which is still a great machine), I would wait. I have a feeling that a new 12" Retina MBA is on the way in the fall, but will be too late for me, unfortunately.
     
  3. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2013
    #3
    In terms of performance, the retina will not be anything special. Realistically, it will be about as powerful as the current generation, with a thinner form factor. It will most likely be more of an aesthetic benefit than a performance benefit. They may introduce a new trackpad, touch id, thinner form factor, and a nicer IPS display. Will it affect your ability to do work on an 11" 2014 MBA? No. Will it be sexier? Most likely. This is all speculation, and the chances of ALL those things happening is unlikely. The current lineup is great, but if you are worried about upgrading to something that will soon be outdated design wise, just get a 13" rMBP.

    If it is really bothering you, you can pick up a new 2013 MBA 4GB/256GB for 800$ At BestBuy with a student discount. That is 400$ off its original retail price. You could sell in October for about 750$-800$ and get a new MBA when it comes out. Don't take my word for it, as prices could change between now and then.

    Matt
     
  4. Benny Jim, Jun 4, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2014

    Benny Jim thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2014
    #4
    Cheers for the reply's.

    If it was this time last year I would have jumped at the Air. It seems the upgrade was quite substantial last year. The jump from 13-14 seems minimal. Sort of seems like this years Air is pretty much last years technology. Then to load a new operating system on it in another say 3 months from now would almost feels like it's behind the pack to start with(is this a realistic issue?)

    My use in the past has been pretty general. Storage, heaps of photos in iPhoto, not much editing. Maybe more editing in the future. Videos recoded on iPhone. Music in iTunes. Email. Web Browsing. Document management. Majority of the time used on my lap sitting on the couch.

    There's obviously a lot drawing me to the current Air but I feel raising my concerns/doubts gives me the chance to help make a decision off the back of information from other Mac users and forum members.
     
  5. Cydone macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    #5
    Same boat here. I waited for news on the 12" Air thing, which would have been cool.

    But since I need a new macbook now, I went ahead and bought a fully specced MBA 13".

    Its a tried and tested design, one of the best laptops ever. Will keep it for 3-5 years.

    The Retina 12", when it comes, will be cool, no doubt. But the form factor might be weird, it might have some first editions issues, and perhaps less battery life than the current MBA 13".

    I did have the feeling that I was buying into "old tech". But the design hardly gets old, and you can beef it up with this http://www.precioustore.com/macbook-air/black-macbook-air.html (m not affiliated, I just bought one myself.)

    I was thinking about getting the 11" inch. Which will be awesome for the road, where I will use mine a lot. But since this will be my main comp, and that I don't have an external monitor, I went for the 13". The longer battery life is a big point for me too.

    Looking forward to receiving my new machine in a few days!
     
  6. Tyler23 macrumors 603

    Tyler23

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #6
    I was in the EXACT same boat as you. Had a Mid-2009 MBP 13". Was getting quite slow, terrible battery, etc.

    Sold it. Bought a new 2014 MBA 13" and am incredibly happy. It's so fast, battery is great, the computer is just light, thin.

    No regrets. It is a great, massive upgrade.
     
  7. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 2, 2014
    #7
    Actually I very much doubt the retina model would be as fast as current model.

    Current MBA is using HD5000 and there is no any other integrated gpu chip which would archieve the same performance on retina as HD5000 archieves on 1440x900. And obviously there is no way non-integrated gpu will fit in MBA.
     
  8. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #8
    I have a 2008 15" MBP core2 duo 2.4ghz and a 2013 11" i7/8gb/512gb MBA. The performance difference is huge, CPU approaching 3x and SSD maybe 10x the MBP. Best computer I've ever owned (and I go all the way back to the Apple ][ in 1978). #

    IMO, most of what has been written about supposed the 12" MBA in this forum is very questionable. Who knows when it will come or what it will be like. If you think you need one you'll just have to wait. But I can tell you that the current MBA is a very powerful, light machine with incredible battery life.

    BTW, is there such a thing as a 8g/512gb i5? Even if there is, seems like a mistake to not go the full way and get the i7.
     
  9. Benny Jim thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2014
    #9
    Good point. I guess you can look at it as the 2014 Air is the best it's ever been and it's a proven winner. That's what a lot of the reviews I'm reading are saying too. I too hope to get 3-5 years out of it.

    ----------

    Good to hear! Cheers.

    ----------

    It seems the sorta thing where if they could achieve it they would have done so by now maybe?

    For me performance, including battery is more important than the screen. Also I don't care for touch screen.

    Cheers.
     
  10. Benny Jim thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2014
    #10
    Thanks for your feedback.

    Yeah the 2014 model got a bump in the i5 going from 1.3ghz to 1.4ghz

    I originally was going to go i7 but after reading quite a few threads on this forum and others it seems the i5 runs quieter, not saying the i7 is loud but people have commented that the fan kicks in more regularly and it does heat up more often than the i5. I also read that the i7 chews slightly more battery, minimal. The battery life isn't an issue in one sitting but for me if it runs out of battery quicker it means I will be charging it more often. Which means over time the battery on the i7 would die quicker then on the i5.

    What are your thoughts on this?

    I also heard for general tasks there's no real difference in speed between the i5 and i7. The i7 kicks in when heavy duty tasks are being done. What are heavy tasks not really sure? The most I see myself doing is creating stuff like iMovie films and edits in iPhoto. Possibly one day having a look at photoshop. I'm not doing any of that at the moment tho.

    I'm glad you brought up the i5 vs i7 issue in this thread. It's something I have given a bit of thought to and have so far really based my decision on what I've read in this forum. My current '09 13" MacBook Pro specs are 2.53ghz 4gb ram and 500gb hard drive.
     
  11. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 2, 2014
    #11
    What's the price difference between i5 and i7 models?

    IRL you won't see the difference, it's just that it's quite nice selling point when you do decide to sell it. Most people don't bother to look for benchmarks, they just compare number 7 to number 5, lol.
     
  12. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #12
    People say the i5 gets longer battery life, but I suspect the difference is slight. Battery life is impressive on my i7, probably 10+ hours for regular use with reduced brightness. The other day I ran it on the porch at full brightness, watching ripped DVD's in iTunes that are stored on a network drive using with 802.11ac wifi. It was also connected to my Apple TV at the same time. I got about 6 hours with this heavy use.

    The only times I can get the fan to kick in is if I rip DVD's in Handbrake, render video in Final Cut Pro or (sometimes) record for a long time in Logic Pro. It runs very cool and is silent most of the time. This is very different from my 2011 13" i5 MBA. The fans would kick in much more frequently and it would get warmer - although still not bad. Battery life was much worse on that model too, but the 2011 vs 2013 machines are different beasts.
     
  13. AnorexicPig macrumors 6502

    AnorexicPig

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    Winnipeg,Canada/New Delhi India
    #13
    They can go with Intel Iris, the same in 13" rMBP.
     
  14. LAS.mac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Location:
    Mexico
    #14
    I just got a 2014, with i5, 8 Gb RAM and 256 HD.
    Couldn't be happier. I was coming from a mid 2009 MBP 13, Core2Duo. Which still works, but is ageing. And the battery wasn't holding charge anymore, less than 1 hour (it's now my 11 years old son's laptop). Only the battery were about 250 USD here in Mexico.

    I'm having > 10 hours battery life with normal use (wifi on, Safari and Mail, working in Word and Excel, for instance). Sometimes virtual machine (I went to 8 GB because of that). Snappy, light, nice screen, and great battery. Never heard the fan once.
    rMBA, when it will arrive, will be nice. however, I wouldn't jump on version 1. Remember MBA v. 1, nice, a breakthrough for its moment, but with a lot of problems, underpowered, bad HD, hinge issues, not very great battery...
    I would like the same exact form factor and battery life as current MBA. Only with retina display, maybe...and it would be great to have 3G support.
     
  15. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    #15
    Iris is just a fancy term.
    current rMBP 13" is using HD5000 (the same as MBA 2013), therefore performance isn't that great and you bet Apple is now having some serious issues to make Yosemite snappy on them. Going this way would mean that graphics performance would greatly degrade over current gen MBAs, so is the battery life, as the chip efficiency stays the same.
     
  16. Salty Air macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2014
    #16
    Nope.
    MacBook Air = HD 5000
    rMBP 13" = HD 5100 (Iris)
    rMBP 15" = HD 5200 (Iris Pro)

    The main difference is the max GPU clock speed, i think.
     
  17. akatsuki macrumors regular

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    Sep 3, 2010
  18. Benny Jim thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 3, 2014
    #18
    Exact same boat, glad you're happy with your machine. Did you get the 11" or 13"?

    Another question (stupid one). Does a larger HD increase weight? Would a 512gb be heavier then a 128gb?
     
  19. SmOgER, Jun 4, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2014

    SmOgER macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    #19
    No. :p

    Well HD5100 has 1.3Ghz while HD5000 has 1.1Ghz, so the difference between them practically doesn't exist. We can say that current MBA has Iris in it.

    and rMBP 15", as opposed to 13",
    has nvidia GT 750M (and Intel HD on top of that ofc), so it's a whole lot different laptop and much more powerful, cause it has enough room to accommodate extra GPU.

    The more I think about it, the more it becomes clear, that the graphics on the new MBA will definitely be slower, the question is by how much.
     
  20. Orr macrumors 6502

    Orr

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2013
    #20
    There are distinct differences between the two. Anand clearly illustrates this in his comparisons. The HD5000 is more of a benchmark winner as opposed to real-world viability due to its constrained TDP budget. Compared to the much superior Iris Pro though, both the HD5000 and Iris appear more similar when grouped together.
     
  21. AnorexicPig macrumors 6502

    AnorexicPig

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    Location:
    Winnipeg,Canada/New Delhi India
    #21
    I am not convinced by your explanation enough, saying performance will degrade over current MBA/s, there are a few laptops now on Windows side which have even higher 3200x1800 resolution, and do with HD5000.

    These new graphics are perfectly capable of powering much higher resolution displays than Air's ancient 1440x900. I actually upgraded from a 2012 MBA, and having also used 2013 extensively, my rMBP feels faster to me.

    Ofcourse, it is my observation, yours can be and is different.
     
  22. LAS.mac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Location:
    Mexico
    #22
    I got the 13". I did want large battery capabilities. And a bit of larger screen. I do process data in math packages, large excel table and so on.
    No, no difference.
     
  23. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    #23
    For one, windows is not mac. Like I said before, win8 UI practically doesn't require any substantial GUI resources. There is only one desktop, no mission control, no windows app preview and no more windows transparency/blur. And when it comes to scrolling, it lags by nature so no one even expects smoothness there :D

    Your rMBP will feel faster when it comes to proceesing data, but it will never even come close to MBA 2013 when it comes to isolated graphics potential. I'am stating this as a fact, not opinion or a guess.
     
  24. AnorexicPig macrumors 6502

    AnorexicPig

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    Dec 12, 2012
    Location:
    Winnipeg,Canada/New Delhi India
    #24
    I have seen the detailed comparison between Iris and HD 5000, can you please point me to sources where it is made clear that rMBP cannot even come close to MBA 2013 on this isloated graphical potential :eek:

    And I am sorry if I come across as being rude, I don't mean to, I have just never read about what you said, hence my shock and a little disbelief.
     
  25. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 2, 2014
    #25
    I'am not sure you fully understand what I meant.

    MBA 2013 and rMBP 13" GPUs are practically similiar (with Iris being ever so slightly more powerful than MBA's HD5000). But when operating at native resolutions: 1440x900 on MBA and 2560x1600 on rMBP, it's more than obvious that rMBP can't even come close to MBA in terms of graphics performance.
     

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