Two questions for you MBA owners out there. (Potential purchase over new MBP)

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Sarngate, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. Sarngate macrumors regular

    May 15, 2010
    So after seeing the MBP refresh following the sale of my old MBP 13'' i'm seriously considering going for the 128GB 13'' MBA. I love the idea of the SSD's speed along with the 1440*900 resolution. I have a few of questions:

    1) How do you guys with 2GB of RAM manage ? Do you ever feel the need for 4GB ?

    2) Is the general performance of the 1.8Ghz C2D acceptable for browsing, music and 720p/1080p video ? I'm talking AVI, not Flash.

    3) Do you guys think the resale value of these will hold until the next refresh comes around ? I love new tech and if a refresh in 6 months were to take place and put Sandy Bridge in these machines i would have no problem selling it a week or so in advance. However, i won't be too happy if the machine has devalued significantly. I get the UK Student discount and managed to sell my 13'' 2010 MBP for only £50 less than i paid for it, i'd be looking for similar margins on a MBA purchase.

    EDIT: Fail title :3
  2. rkheyfets macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2010
    the SSD's speed along with the 1440*900 resolution is amazing.

    1) I have 4GB and its a good amount for me never have any issues however 2GB should be okay but I would defiantly go with 4GB.
    2) I have the 2.13 C2D and absolutely no issues with browsing, music and 720p/1080p video, never really using more than 50%-60% cpu, thus the 1.86 should work fine also.
    3) Macs tend to hold their resell value extremely well, thus when the new revision comes out be it in june/oct/jan etc i would expect it to still fetch roughly 80% of the apple standard retail price assuming you keep it in great shape. Thus if you paid $1200 (student discount), i would expect you to get about $1050-$1100 for it.
  3. Psilocybin macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    That's 3 questions haha
  4. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    You absolutely have to upgrade it to 4GB RAM. If not for now, it will be needed for Lion and the future OS X updates. Seriously, it is only $99 and worth every penny.

    I just ordered a pair of these for work for $1189 each (not for my use but for coworkers). 1.86GHz 13" with 128GB SSD and 4GB RAM. Refurbished. And don't let people tell you not to buy refurbished as they're "used." It says right on Apple's site that the exterior parts are new and interior are refurbished (probably open box returns), but still come with one year AppleCare and still can be extended to three years.

    I highly recommend saving the money and buying refurbished. I wouldn't buy refurbished Macs from third party sellers, but from everything I have ever purchased is like brand new and have had zero problems out of the box. The quality control is higher than on new Macs.
  5. 2IS macrumors 68030

    Jan 9, 2011
    I agree, go with 4GB. I have the 1.86/4GB/128GB MBA and thus far there hasn't been a video it wasn't able to handle, including HD.
  6. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Scottsdale, you are always worth reading on the topic of the MBA. Your knowledgeable enthusiasm was one of the factors which helped to persuade me to buy one last September (the Rev C SSD, which I am very happy with and which more or less blows my 2008 15" MBP away, and which I find I am now using most of the time as my main computer).

    I am not a gamer, and not really into videos, and acquired the MBA for ease of use and lack of weight - for I travel a lot. As I only bought it last September, and am very happy with it, I have no intention of changing it in the near future. However, and it is a big however, please tell me why 4GB Ram is of such importance - what extraordinary advantage does it confer?

    On the matter of refurbs, I agree with you completely. Often, they are the best possible solution, all of the advantages of a new purchase, less fancy packaging, at a considerable discount.

  7. merkinmuffley macrumors 6502a

    Dec 3, 2010
    I have the 1.86, 128gb, 4 gb air and the only app I run on it is Photoshop CS5. It runs fine and I have no complaints.
  8. JayDH macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2008
    I currently have the 13" MBA Ultimate with 4GB of RAM, however, I used to have the base 11" MBA with 2GB. I think that right now 2GB will be good enough for all of the tasks that you mentioned. I never felt the need for more than 2GB.

    I ended up getting 4GB in my 13" because I wanted to be sure it worked well with Lion. I'm planning on keeping it for a few years. That being said, it sounds like you are planning on selling it when there is another revision, so future-proofing isn't really necessary. If you'll be selling it within the next year, go with the 2GB and save the money. If you are keeping it for 2-3 years, go with 4GB.
  9. clibinarius macrumors 6502a

    Aug 26, 2010
    I wouldn't touch the new MBP with a ten foot pole; while the CPU is fast and it is fast, the Air is more portable, and might even play games better. For productivity C2D is quite good. The resolution's better than the 13" MBP. Frankly I see no reason to buy the 13" MBP over the air, since the air is the same price and-for most uses-the same capability.
  10. torbjoern macrumors 65816


    Jun 9, 2009
    The Black Lodge
    This question is on the one hand not applicable to me since my MBA has 4 GB. But I did have a MB-alu with 2 GB and that was barely enough (overheating, many page-outs, etc), so when purchasing the MBA, I bought the 4 GB for a reason. Even though 2 GB might be just enough for me now, the situation might be different in a year or two from now. Or maybe even right after the release of OS X 10.7 Lion
  11. torbjoern macrumors 65816


    Jun 9, 2009
    The Black Lodge
    Here is a reason: RAM and storage are user-replaceable on the MBP. That's a huge advantage with the MBP - but in my case it doesn't outweigh all the advantages with the MBA.
  12. yegon macrumors 68030

    Oct 20, 2007
    I've watched loads of 10gb+ 1080p mkv's on my 1.6ghz 11" perfectly, so 1.86ghz and above it'll be a breeze.

    Deffo go for 4gb though, utterly essential imo and will extend the useful life of it quite significantly.
  13. leftyMac macrumors regular

    Feb 20, 2011
    1) mine has only 2GB, I don't feel the need, but I wish I went for 4GB.
    2) yes, I can play AVIs off a NAS over wifi, no issues.
  14. carlmacie macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2011
    I have a 13" /1.86GHz /2GB ram, / 256 GB HD MBA and I have no problems at all with videos including HD, streaming or otherwise. Even apps work flawlessly with no lag. I use iMovie a lot and it works perfectly fine, although I am a new mac user so I am used to the sluggish PC (will never go back). This is for sure the fastest and cleanest running computer I have ever owned.
  15. clibinarius macrumors 6502a

    Aug 26, 2010
    True, but you can get 4 gigs of RAM in the Air, and the SSD makes virtual memory worthwhile to use. The MBP can only take a max of 8, so there's not much to upgrade to...and upgrading from 2 to 4 isn't that expensive anyway.

    While it is an advantage, do you really need more than 4 gigs of ram for most things that you don't need an SB processor for? These machines are fast at different things. For every day use, I think the MBA is faster unless you have cash to burn on an SSD in the MBP-too expensive.

    I still think the MBA is a superior machine at the price point.
  16. gdeputy macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2008
    New York
    I have 4GB of RAM, It's fine. (my iMac has 4GB too.. ).

    The 1.83 is fine for everything you've listed. Blu Ray rips run fine. It can easily handle 1080p.

    The machine is very snappy. As far as resale value, Get a refurb, you'll lose money if you sell it, but only maybe a couple hundred at most. Apple's period hold value, and you have no idea how many people are oblivious to when the MBP get's updated. You'll have no problem selling it before sandy bridge MBA or after really.
  17. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

    Nov 3, 2009
  18. Sarngate thread starter macrumors regular

    May 15, 2010
    Thanks for all the advice guys, i'm going to pop down to the local Apple Store tomorrow (today technically) and see if they have any of the 13'' model with the 4GB upgrade in stock, i'd rather not pay for the clock speed increase too because it just seems unnecessary. If they don't have a 13'' with 4GB i'll have to order online and wait :(

    Pray for me :p
  19. KohPhiPhi macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2011
    I had a Macbook with a CdD 2.0Ghz and 2gb RAM and there were many times it felt bottlenecked as soon as I opened a few applications at once. I would seriously recommend 4gb RAM, specially considering it's only $100 to upgrade.

    If you're spending $1400+ on a machine, an extra $100 doesnt make much difference price wise but it does performance wise.
  20. iNotion macrumors regular


    Jun 5, 2008
    Get the 11" or 13" MBA.
    The performance: v.Good.

    Design: a Beauty. A state of art.

    Future Proof?
    Considering we are heading to the Internet age,
    Doing almost everything through the net (look at iPad)
  21. uniforms macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2008
    South Orange NJ
    4gig is the only way to go. I had both versions and the 4gig of ram made such a detectable difference. You won't be sorry. 99 dollars well spent!
  22. neteng101 macrumors 65816

    Jan 7, 2009
    This is why 4GB is really needed. Just a few apps running (with multiple tabs and some active scripts in Firefox, plus Safari, Adium, Skype and xPad). Notice Wired + Active is running around 2.7GB (above 2GB, will result in swapping if one has 2GB).

    2GB is fine if you only plan to run one or two apps and not a ton of browser windows at a time, IMO.

    Attached Files:

  23. torbjoern macrumors 65816


    Jun 9, 2009
    The Black Lodge
  24. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    1. I have 4GB because I run Windows Server 2008 in a VM, but 2GB would be fine for normal use. People buy into marketing way too much, it's bull. For an average person, has the activities they use their computer for really changed much since say, 2005? No. Yet computers shipped with a quarter of the memory than they do now. All that happens is software and OS vendors don't need to worry about optimising their code and it just becomes full of bloat. Complacency.

    2. I have the baseline 11" 1.4, I can watch youtube in full HD, 1080p, flash. Enough said.

    3. If you sell it a couple of weeks before the new Airs are released I wouldn't expect you'd lose more than £50-100 at most.
  25. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    If you wind up needing to order, consider getting a refurbished "Ultimate" 13 from the Apple Online store. They go for $1529, which is quite reasonable considering that, at most, you are buying a 5-month old computer.

Share This Page