Upgrade from Macbook Pro to Air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by fre3way, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. fre3way macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2014
    I currently have a 2011 Macbook Pro with an upgraded samsung 256gb SSD and the laptop runs fairly well; haven't experienced any issues besides occasional software related ones in preview when marking up pdfs. I can upgrade to the 2016 Macbook Air for $750 and give my old one away to a friend for $500. Is it worth the extra $250 to switch to the Macbook Air?
  2. iModFrenzy macrumors 6502a


    Jan 15, 2015
    Our actions define our legacy
    I used to use a MBP 2010 13" for all my tasks like Photoshop,Word,small gaming because It can't handle much and it had a 256gb Sandisk SSD. I know it's bit different from your 2011 CPU wise but depending on the model the 320m is similar.

    Anyway! I got a MacBook Air 2015 today(2016 is a 2015 I believe?), I was a little skeptical how it would perform being stressed by my multitasking, using FaceTime, Games like Left 4 Dead 2 & Garry's Mod(Even Call Of Duty Black Ops works on this!). Turns out I was skeptical for nothing and it impressed me a lot.

    CPU - This crushes my MBP 2010, the i5 is really fast. It handles every task I throw at it with ease. FaceTime used to be one of my biggest issues with my MBP 2010, it would heat it up and make the fans turn on constantly. On the MBA? Not even a problem, it's such a tiny task. If I remember correctly, your 2011 should use a first generation Core processor. Even then, the performance increase should be significant(correct me if I am wrong)

    RAM - I got the 8gb version, stay away from the 4gb version. Ram can't be upgraded and will limit you in Sierra(not too much, but just avoid it) or future macOSes that require more. My 2010 had 6gb DDR3 and was fine but that was upgradable so I didn't worry about it.

    GPU - This kills the 320m, I found OS X gaming to actually be playable!:) Intel HD 3000 in the 2011 should be similar to 320m. Besides gaming, I can use Photoshop on this with no problem. Youtube playback is smooth. The 1440x900 Resolution and screen is fantastic too

    Battery - This is a major one! The battery increase for me is great. I use my MacBook Pro at school and find myself at 20-40% usually. I can't bring a charger as it's too much weight for me(hurts my back) and causes clutter. So I just disconnected my MBA from the charger, I have been multitasking for around 25-30 minutes and I have 100% still, this would've taken 10-15% away if I was on my MacBook Pro 2010. I've also been using it for FaceTime and after around an hour, I've lost 10%. The 2011 MBP actually lost battery life in the Core i processor transition so it should be even better to you.

    Heat - With Macs, heat is always a problem especially on a older model. The 2010 was no exception(the Penryn processor helps though), I found myself with the temps at 50-80c when doing intensive tasks. With the MBA, temperatures sit at around 30-40c when doing what I'd normally do on the MBP. Gaming got the temps to 70c-80c(fans kicked in as well) but being this is a MBA, I wouldn't game much. Every once and a while maybe. I don't know your exact uses but if your 2011 can handle it fine, the 2015 will do it more efficient and cooler.

    Storage - Probably my only gripe would be the 128gb but a external SSD/HDD can solve this problem. Luckily Apple didn't solder the SSD but used a proprietary connector. You can also upgrade to 256gb and 500gb but you'll be spending more. This also has Thunderbolt 2 so you can connect a HDD(however the USB 3 port could handle that, I would see a SSD taking advantage of this though.). As I just mentioned, USB 3 so devices that can handle that will be quick.

    Also the iSight camera quality(720p) is great, there are also a few more software features as well. PowerNap is a nice addition, which allows your Mac to check mail, updates,etc(if turned on in preferences).

    I would go for the MacBook Air, spending $250 seems like a great cost for all the improvements. Good luck!:D
  3. madrich macrumors 6502


    Feb 19, 2012
    World Class City of Chicago
  4. Boyd01 macrumors 601


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    8gb RAM has been standard on the 13" MBA since 2015 (IIRC).
  5. macgeek18 macrumors 68000


    Sep 8, 2009
    Northern California
    My 2015 Air is a lot faster than my 2012 MacBook Pro. The Air has a Broadwell 5th Gen Processor while your MBP has a 2nd gen Sandy Bridge. The performance and battery life is amazing! I haven't charged my MBA in 4 days and have used it as I need it everyday and still has 60% left. Crazy!
  6. pbasmadj macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Why not go with the new non touchbar MacBook Pro? vastly superior to the air. Also a bit more expensive though so I understand if that is the issue.
  7. Juggar macrumors member


    Jun 6, 2016
    Actually its WAY WAYYY more expensive.

    BestBuy has a sale right now for the 2015 macbook air 128gb/ 8gb ram model @ $699.

    Thats a pretty damn good price in its own regard for a new mac laptop but most are emailing bestbuy "college deals" and getting an additional $100 off because the recent $100 off edu coupon didnt apply to this Air but possibly should have.

    So a new 2015 air with 8gb RAM for $599 (with additional 5% off with bestbuy card). No other mac can touch that kind of value. I ended up getting a new Air for $570. Thats a pretty insane deal.

    Some also got the 256 GB model for $750 using the same method.
  8. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    Yes, it is worth it if any of these features will benefit you:
    • A huge gain in battery life - anywhere from 8-15 hours for standard-use software
    • A huge gain in portability
    • A huge gain in portage (5 Gbps USB 3.1 gen 1 type-A, and 20 Gbps Thunderbolt 2)
    • A huge gain in RAM (if you currently have the base 4 GB model - which with OS X Sierra can be a bottleneck in some situations)
    • A significant gain in SSD speed
    • A significant gain in external display flexibility
    • A modest-to-reasonable gain in CPU performance (depending on what CPU tier you have now)
    • A modest gain in screen quality
    • Having a warranty (and the eligibility to purchase an extended warranty from Apple or a 3rd party)
    • Having a system that will likely have formal OS X support for new releases through an absolute minimum of 2021
    (and, if you ask me, that is a tremendous benefit for only $250 out-of-pocket - now is also a great time to buy ThunderBolt 2 docks for even more expansion capability, as the CalDigit and AKiTiO models are both on killer sales!)
  9. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    I think you've had pretty good use out of the 2011 - 6 years. Trading up to a newer machine resets that clock. $250 for perhaps another 6 years seems like a good deal.
  10. fre3way thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2014
    Also, I've seen something pop up that adds touch functionality to macbook air display. I wonder if it would allow me to markup stuff in preview. That would be a great feature!!
    --- Post Merged, Jul 24, 2017 ---
    How did you get the $599 price? I can't seem to figure out how to apply the $100 edu coupon on the macbook air.
  11. pbasmadj macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2013
    Los Angeles
    That is really great actually, your approach is definitely on the bang for the buck and that is quite a steal. I will say after having Airs for many years, the new MBP non touchbar is an incredible machine, in design, screen, aesthetics, sound, everything, so do highly recommend it if you ever switch from the air years down the line as a logical progression. Sweet deal though and congrats.
  12. fre3way thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2014
    But he never mentioned how he got the student discount coupon to work with macbooks. I tried it and didn't work.
  13. Juggar macrumors member


    Jun 6, 2016
    Yeah I did, You have to email the bestbuy college deals people after you order. Im not sure its still going on but check the Slickdeals thread here: https://slickdeals.net/f/10374308-best-buy-elite-members-macbook-air-699-99-849-99-early-access

    I said that the coupon didnt apply, which is why you needed to email email them your order number after the fact so they could manually refund you the $100.

    Initially you needed to be an elite member, but it did open up to everyone at some point.

    Deals like this are once in a blue moon for bestbuy. Especially surprising that they continued to manually refund $100 + tax after it got popular.

    Maybe they had a large inventory and wanted to clear them out. Either way, im happy. I get to dabble about in xcode on a mac air with a very fast SSD vs an 8gb mac mini that would have cost the same or more and been much, much slower. Ive got it connected to my 4K display and its working great for me.
  14. Pugly macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2016
    That'll be a good upgrade. Faster SSD, CPU and Graphics in a much lighter package. The MBA can do a lot. New Macs are now starting to eclipse the MBA in performance a little bit, but not by much.

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