Questions on Mac notebooks.. advice please.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by sej13, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. sej13 macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2013
    Hi all. I currently have a late 2008 Macbook (the only aluminum macbook) with Processor 2GHz and Memory 2GB. This is my first Apple laptop and now it's time for an upgrade. I'm considering the 13' MBA and the 13' MBP(the non-retina). which would be a better fit as my main laptop?

    i'm currently using 90 gb/ 150gb so harddrive space isn't an issue for me..
    My uses are pretty much: word processing, lots of internet browsing, movie viewing, music and a little coding.

    does a new MBA have practically all/more than the capabilities of my late 2008 macbook? my macbook was pretty adequate for my needs until firefox and chrome stopped updating cus of outdated hardware(mac os X Version 10.5.8) and my macbook recently starting heating up and lagging and even freezing at times :/

    i noticed that the MBA and rMBPs don't have ethernet slots.. is ethernet becoming outdated? i often use ethernet..

    also, why is the 13' MBA and 13' MBP both $1200? didn't mba used to cost less?

    Would appreciate your advice :)
  2. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Apple sells a thunderbolt to ethernet adapter if you need hardwired.
    An mba would have all the capabilities of the 2008 macbook.
    pricing is tricky...depends on size and config
  3. pukifloyd macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2008
    According to your usage, you'll be fine with the new MBA. The pro is of course a little faster and more user upgradable, but MBA will be fine for your needs since you don't do anything intense.

    You can get an ethernet adapter for really cheap if you get the MBA. It is getting outdated since everyone now usually connects to internet with Wifi. But you shouldn't have any problems if you get the adapter.

    The MBA starts at $999, but it's the 11inch model. The 13inch MBA used to be more expensive, but apple finally lowered the price.

    You can also look into getting refurb laptops to save a little more money or get it from amazon (it's apple authorized reseller) to save on tax (depending on your state) and it's a little cheaper on amazon anyways.

    You should definitely buy AppleCare within the first year of your purchase...I think it's totally worth it!

    Good luck. :)
  4. jg321, Apr 17, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013

    jg321 macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2012
    Your 2008 MacBook can run Mountain Lion (10.8). I'd try a fresh install of that for the time being, and see what Haswell has to bring.

    Edit: got my version numbers confused.
  5. cxc273 macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2012

    I love a new computer as much as the next person, but before you move on, try a fresh install of the latest operating system. Also, adding more RAM, like 8 GB, would really help things out.

    If those don't work or satisfy you, based on your information, a 13" MBA should do just fine.
  6. jahala macrumors regular


    Feb 7, 2008
    Based on your stated usage, either computer is fine. The 13" MBA has higher screen resolution which means you can fit more on the screen and everything is a little smaller than on the 13" MBP. If you add RAM and upgrade the OS, you will probably be fine with your current computer for much less money.

    I have a 2008 Macbook like you. I upgraded the RAM to 8GB and installed 10.7 on it. The only reason I haven't put 10.8 on there is because of the changes to the Pinyin Chinese input method. My wife prefers the way 10.7 does it. It runs everything just fine.
  7. peoplevoice macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2008
    8 Gbytes

    Just 2 Gbytes of RAM is too low and must be causing a lot of swapping that contributes to getting your computer hotter and freezing. So, upgrading to 8 Gbytes must solve your problems. 8 Gbytes of RAM in OWC is just $80 and you can take a look at others like Crucial.
  8. designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    If I were in your shoes, I'd get the Air. The thing to remember is, it's not as upgradable as the cMBP so you have to consider your usage and bump the specs up just a bit to hopefully fulfill your needs over the next few years. There is one company that I know of that makes a drive upgrade but some have reported issues with it. You can take a little of the sting out of the price by buying refurbished or from one of the tax-free vendors.
  9. sej13 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2013
    appreciate everyone's help. i'm pretty much set on getting a 13' mba..

    was going to get the base 13' mba without changing any specs, but i realized the processor on the newly updated mba is only 1.3ghz..

    the previous 2012 generation base cpu was 1.7ghz.. why would they go down?

    should i configure the mba to get 1.7ghz? is okay to upgrade the processor but keep the ram/memory as 4gb?
  10. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia

    they sure were - I recall paying nigh on Aus$2350 for a Rev B Air :rolleyes:
  11. Sprakster macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2013
    If I remember seeing correctly, the 1.3GHz in the 2013 model actually had a slight performance improvement over the 1.7GHz in the 2012 MBA according to the benchmark tests. The new Haswell chips were made more for battery life improvements over processing power it seems.
  12. sej13 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2013
    "Just 2 Gbytes of RAM is too low and must be causing a lot of swapping that contributes to getting your computer hotter and freezing. So, upgrading to 8 Gbytes must solve your problems."
    Several of you suggested 8gb..

    do you think i would be able to stick with the 4gb ram in the base 2013 13inch MBA? would'nt it be an improvement from the 2gb memory in my late 2008 macbook?
  13. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    You'll be happier with 4gb than 2gb, for sure, but 4gb is now the low-end minimum for happy computing. Software and capabilities keep advancing, and the need for RAM moves right along with it. I remember when 1mb RAM was high end.

    The $100 you spend on bumping up to 8gb now will pay subtle dividends for a few years, but is also likely to add several years to the useful life to the computer on the back end. RAM is by far the cheapest way to improve performance and extend the useful life of a machine. Has been for the 30+ years I've been using and supporting PCs and Macs. Since a RAM upgrade is not practical on the current MBAs, get it up front.
  14. barrk macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2012
    Don't upgrade the processor, 1.3 is more than enough for browsing the web/word processing etc and if it needs more than 1.3 it will automatically scale up to 2.6 ghz. Go with the RAM upgrade for sure.
  15. MacLadybug macrumors 6502a


    Jun 6, 2008
    I went from the 13" alum unibody macbook (I think it was 2.4GHz 4 GB 325GB) to the June 2012 Ivy bridge (2.0GHz 8GB 512GB) 13" MBA and the difference between those two was really significant. Now with the Haswell processors and the increased flash and battery life you'll go crazy.

    I would upgrade to 8GB ram no matter what... and I always get the fastest processor they have. Who knows what's coming in the next 3-5 years.

    If they would have changed the displays I might have put mine up for sale and gotten a new one, but for me the battery life isn't that important. My one year old MBA is still perfect.

    Let us know what you decide to get.

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