Upgrading my Macbook Air Mid-2013 (lowest cost options)

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jplee3, Apr 10, 2019.

  1. jplee3 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2019
    #1
    I have an MBA Mid-2013 (1.3ghz w/ 4gb ram) that I'm considering doing some upgrades to since it's a bit of a hog these days and battery life hasn't been so great. I was looking for general advice and also recommendations on the best and lowest cost places to source some or all of the parts...

    The write speeds seem a bit low as is, with writes not breaking 200MB/s and reads not breaking 600MB/s

    This is a list of what I'm wanting to do:
    1) Replace battery (Stick with NuPower - https://eshop.macsales.com/item/NewerTech/BAP13MBA55/ ? $80)
    2) Upgrade to an m2 NVME 500gb~ or 1tb~ SSD (anywhere from $80-130 for a decent ADATA SX82000 SSD) using an adapter ($18~)
    3) Swap out logic board to 1.7ghz + 8gb ram **probably not necessary more of a nice-to-have** (not sure where to source this outside of ebay... and prices seems to start at over $150-160 there used at least)


    Thanks in advance for suggestions!
    --- Post Merged, Apr 10, 2019 ---
    Oh, I just checked on the cycle count for the battery and it shows "512" - I actually ran into the "Service Battery" warning several times and did the SMC reset to bypass it. Seems like the latest SMC reset has held it over but the battery life isn't what it used to be, which is why I'm inclined to go ahead and swap it out.

    I also need to tighten the friction hinges down since my screen feels a little loose and falls on it's at certain angles
     
  2. jplee3 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 10, 2019
    #2
    Just stumbled across this thread - https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...ok-air-13-2013-to-2017.2159547/#post-26895060

    Great to know that I can use a logic board presumably from any year between 2013 and 2017! I did see some posts regarding the connections/connectors being slightly different between years though? Is that true or will I be able to do a 1:1 swap (without rerouting cables, etc) if I were to get a 2015 or 2017 MBA logic board to install?
     
  3. imacomputah, Apr 16, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019

    imacomputah macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    #3
    I was in a similar situation - I have an 11 inch 1.3 8gb 2013 MacBook Air that I upgraded with an M.2 ssd, but the hibernation issues bothered me enough that I sought out a used ssubx 512 gb drive instead and sold the m.2.

    All MacBook Air logic boards from 2013-2017 have full PCIe 2.0 x4 speeds, and were simply sold with slower drives until 2015. Putting a 2015 drive in mine took the read/write speeds 200mb/s to over 1500mb/s which is on par with the current MacBooks and airs for sale.

    You may be aware of the hibernate issues for the 2013/2014 models, which are cleared up in the 2015 and newer airs.

    if I were you, I'd upgrade the logic board so you have enough ram and the ability to run NVME drives as native internal ones with full hibernate. Everything I've read suggests the logic boards are a straight swap.

    Also I spent the money and got apple to install a new battery in it and would recommend that option to you over any third party battery. It's barely more, and is a guaranteed good product.

    Beware that our machines will be put on apple's obsolete list in a few days at the end of April 2019, and after that they won't touch them for repairs, so consider sooner than later.
     
  4. jplee3 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 10, 2019
    #4
    Ughh, if this is going to be obsoleted I don't know if I see much of a point in upgrading anything for that matter. Guess I should have just sold the darned thing a year or two ago and upgraded to a newer MBA haha.
     
  5. Audit13 macrumors 601

    Audit13

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #5
    All parts from the 2013 to 2017 13" MacBook Air are interchangeable. There is no need to alter connections, cables routes, etc.
     
  6. imacomputah macrumors newbie

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    Apr 4, 2019
    #6
    Obsolete just means no more hardware support. But you’ll get os and security updates for quite a while. The 2012 machines got Mojave after being obsoleted.

    There’s also basically no technical line in the sand between the 2013 and 2017 MacBook Air, which is still being sold and will receive software updates for some time.

    Usually apple makes a hard O/S cutoff at something hardware based. Like ram capacity, graphics card, 64bit processor etc. The fact that the 2013 machine is technically indistinguishable from a “current” Mac is reassuring.

    I think the 2013 Air was the best Mac they sold and will be the longest lived.
     
  7. jplee3 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 10, 2019
    #7
    Ah, ok... that makes sense. The logic board replacement is definitely the priciest but could be worth it with the added improvement. I'm wondering when the prices on a 2015 logic board will 'drop' too

    In terms of the SSD, it sounds like many people are having good experiences with the ADATA XPG SX8200 series drives. I'm not sure I want to put down more for the Samsung drives as top of the line performance isn't a "need" for me.

    BTW: once they obsolete the 2013 MBA, does that mean they won't offer battery replacements at the Apple Stores? If you don't mind me asking, what did you pay for the replacement? I thought I saw around $130~ or something like that...
     
  8. imacomputah macrumors newbie

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    Apr 4, 2019
    #8

    That’s right they won’t offer any parts or service for a machine on the obsolete list, including batteries. I paid 170 Canadian for them to do mine.

    Technically the battery didn’t change between the 2013-2015 11 inch, but they are pretty strict about not touching a machine once it’s on that list.

    Funny thing is, if you switch to a 2015 logic board, they would likely base your repair eligibility on that serial number which would buy you two more years of parts.
     
  9. jplee3 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 10, 2019
    #9

    Don't a lot of people here recommend the Nupower batteries from Macsales for the DIY replacement route? https://eshop.macsales.com/item/NewerTech/BAP13MBA55/
    For me it comes out to $85~ after tax, which is a pretty good savings over paying $125-130 at the Apple store. Especially when it only takes about 5-10 minutes to open up the bottom, unplug the old battery, and plug the new one in. Given the current battery life though, I think I might be OK for a little while. Good info on the logic board upgrade - I would just hope not to get a faulty one! Any suggestions on where to source a reliable logic board outside of Ebay (which sort of seems like a toss-up)?
     
  10. Audit13 macrumors 601

    Audit13

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    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #10
    I scour the local buy and sell listings in my area for MacBook parts. I've lucked out a few times by getting a bargain for whole units that I've taken apart for individual parts.
     

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9 April 10, 2019