Upgrade from 2010 11" MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by aaseattle, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. aaseattle macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2013
    I have a 2010 11" with 4GB RAM. Love the form factor for travel and everyday couch use, but it's showing it's age and easily bogs down with Outlook and 10+ Chrome tabs open.

    Was really hoping for a design refresh with thinner bezel (non-retina doesn't bother me). Besides the battery improvements (I get about 3 - 3.5 hours now), will I see a dramatic difference in performance in upgrading from C2D to i5? Mostly use it for Outlook, Lync, Picasa, heavy browsing, Netflix, etc..If I upgraded to 2013, I'd likely stay with 4GB RAM as it's worked well enough for me. Might end up dual booting with Windows 7 though...

    Should I upgrade? Anyone else taken this leap? I've also been looking for 11 - 13" Windows alternatives, but they are either surprisingly expensive or lacking in build quality, touchpad, etc..

    Would appreciate any insight! :)
  2. Neeyul macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2013
  3. n1tut macrumors regular


    Nov 20, 2010
    Glen of Newmill, Keith, Scotland
    I will be able to compare the two very shortly as my 2010 11" 2GB/64GB was recently stolen, and is being replaced with a 2013 11" 4GB/128GB by the Insurance Company.

    However I ran Parallels on mine as I needed Quicken 2004, but it was still fine even with only 2GB. The backlit keyboard will probably be the biggest bonus for me as I use it in bed a lot, and do not use a light as it would disturb SWMBO.

  4. aaseattle thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2013
    Sorry for your loss, but at least you'll get a nice upgrade! Please report back and let us know your thoughts on both models.
  5. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    C2D to Haswell is an insane leap as mentioned here already.
  6. aaseattle thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2013
    took the plunge!

    To follow up on this thread, I ended up buying a new MBA 11"/4GB/128GB.

    So far it's definitely a dramatic difference as others have suggested. Have multiple tabs open, half dozen apps and no slowdowns at all!

    Pretty much the same as my 2010, only difference is the backlit keyboard and slight difference in key height (more travel instead of totally flat like 2010). Also feels a tiny tiny bit heavier, although that could just be me. Both have LG screens, although the 2013 seems a bit washed out, colors aren't quite as bright as my 2010. Tried a few color profiles, but will keep playing around.

    Installed Windows 8 using VirtualBox (2GB RAM allocated) and so far it runs surprisingly well and boots within 10 - 15 seconds. I'll be installing Visual Studio 2012 today to get a better idea of real-world performance. Only downside with VM on this machine is that CPU goes crazy, fan spins up, gets hot, etc.. Battery life takes a huge hit too. Thinking about doing BootCamp instead. Anyone have real world comparison between BootCamp and VirtualBox on these machines?

    Now I just need to wipe my 2010 and sell it on craigslist or ebay. Can't believe they are still going for $400 used on ebay. Pretty incredible resale value for 2.5 year old laptop...
  7. 1appleAday macrumors regular

    Mar 27, 2008
    OP please do let us know how VS 2012 works on your Air, in terms of performance and also how you feel about writing code on an 11 inch machine. Thanks!
  8. HiDEF macrumors 68000


    Jun 23, 2010
    Miami, FL
    How do you feel about the 4GB of RAM now that you've got windows and other software installed? Do you wish you would have gone with 8GB?
  9. aaseattle thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2013
    VS 2012 performance was ok. Noticed a hit in performance compared to my Windows laptop. However if you ran BootCamp or had 4GB dedicated to the VM, it would probably be fine. I'm using VirtualBox because it's free, so not sure about performance compared to Parallels or VMWare Fusion.

    I don't think I code could full time on an 11" screen. It's fine for a couple hours of if you're commuting, but if you're coding full time, I'd definitely go 13" or use an external monitor. Here's a shot of my setup below while testing this out. Windows 8 on the big screen and OS X on the laptop.



    Totally happy with 4GB. I'll be using Windows sparingly. This is my "couch laptop" primarily used for surfing, work emails, photo editing, etc so nothing too crazy. However, if you're doing intensive graphics/video work, virtualization, gaming, or iOS development, then I'd probably go 8GB.

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