What to do now instead of waiting?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by AtmChm, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. AtmChm macrumors regular

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    #1
    I have a MBA version A that is just over 2 years old. It has worked very well for my needs: MS office, e-mail, web browsing, and limited use of parallels to run one or two windows only programs I need.

    However, I have the 1.8 GHz processor and 80 GB HDD. My complaints are sometimes it runs a bit warm to comfortably use on my lap, and I could use just a bit more speed - whether that is processor or HDD, or a combo I'm not sure. Size/weight is the main factor for me, so I am not interested in moving to the 13" MBP. I've lifted both side by side and the weight difference is too great for my liking.

    So, at this point to "upgrade" do I:

    1. Replace the HDD in my rev. A MBA with a SSD (seems like the options are Runcore, Photofast, or AMP - with AMP being the least expensive for a 128 GB drive, but not much data on performance/reliability, Phtotofast being most expensive, and Runcore being a bit controversial) This option seems viable, but will not likely solve the heat problem??

    2. Buy the current MBA with 2.13 GHz CPU and 128 GB SSD. This would seem to solve both the heat issue and speed issue?

    3. Wait for new MBA to come along, if/when that happens. How long and what will it look like? I'm not interested in a hybrid with iOS, if that happens.

    4. Move to the iPad. This would force me to give up many functions of a full computer, but would be improved convenience for some others.

    Any and all thoughts would be appreciated and interesting to hear.
     
  2. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
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    #2
    You seemed to have answered your own question. iPad out, 13" MBP out, upgrade current and slowness and heat issues stay.
    Get the new Air.
    OR
    Wait and get the new AIR when they are reduced when/if a hybrid comes out.
    Depends on how long you want to wait I guess.
     
  3. Spacekatgal macrumors regular

    Spacekatgal

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    Jun 9, 2009
    #3
    I gave up and moved to the 13 inch. It's not without heavy compromises either. Neither is the iPad. As Gswat said, there is no Mac mobile solution available that doesn't have serious drawbacks.

    I'm going to stay with the 13 inch until Mac comes out with a new Air. They haven't EOLed it, so I think there's movement coming, but maybe not for a year even. In the meantime, the weight will be a serious drawback, but worth it for the improved battery life and power.

    Bri
     
  4. AtmChm thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    You may be right. I am in education and much prefer to do my updates in the summer. I can wait about a month, but then I'll either need to stay with what I have or do some type of "upgrade." Getting the current Air may be best for me, but I just hate to see Apple either cut price or come out with a new version weeks after I buy something. Got burned on an iPod touch a couple of years ago like that.

    By the way, is there documentation/discussion on any heat issues with the current version of MBA? Or was this entirely limited to version A?
     
  5. aarond12 macrumors 65816

    aarond12

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    #5
    There are faster (and larger) SSDs available for the MBA -- even the first-gen. See if the processor speed is really the limiting factor for you or the SSD performance.

    -Aaron-
     
  6. AtmChm thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    I suspect it may be mostly the slow 4200 RPM HDD, but I know of only 3 SSD options for MBA rev. A:

    1. Runcor: $419 but a number of people have posted problems with this one.

    2. Photofast: $500+ and only available from overseas vendors

    3. AMP: $369 on amazon, but I have not seen much on the reliability and speed of these.

    So, does one spend $400 - $500 just to upgrade the HDD, or spend about $1,000 more and get the latest MBA?
     
  7. ltsching macrumors member

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    Feb 7, 2008
    #7
    I have the same machine and swapped out the original 80 GB HDD for the RunCore 128 GB SSD. It really feels like a different machine.
     
  8. AtmChm thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    Did you notice less heat issues after putting in the SSD?
     
  9. iltwtv macrumors newbie

    iltwtv

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    Jul 4, 2010
    #9
    I just ordered the Runcore 128 GB SSD for my 1.6 GHz 80 GB Macbook air rev. A. I hope to have some positive posts in a few days.
     
  10. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    #10
    I think the current 13 inch MBP is the best choice for somebody who needs a small and (relatively) lightweight computer that also has adequate power and features. The 13 inch MBP is hardly larger that the MBA, which is good, although the downside is that it weighs 50 percent more than the MBA. If you are willing to take the weight hickey, though, the MBP can accept 8Gb of RAM and the biggest SSD you can afford. That said, anybody who is pretty sure that his computer needs will be reasonably well met with only 2Gb of RAM but wants the lightest, slickest ultra lightweight going is going to have a hard time passing over the MBA.
     
  11. ltsching macrumors member

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    Feb 7, 2008
    #11
    The heat seems to be about the same. Every time I visit a Flash-based site or when TimeCapsule is running, the fan goes to about 6000 rpm. It no longer, however, stalls the computer as it did before with the 80 GB HDD. It is fast and I like it.
     
  12. Spacekatgal macrumors regular

    Spacekatgal

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    Jun 9, 2009
    #12
    I'm going to put an Intel X-25 G2 into it next month. The power savings will make the already awesome battery tremendous - and on this box I'll only need the basics. Eight gigs of ram I probably won't need, but it's really come down in price to just a little over $200 - nice to have the option.

    Bri
     
  13. AtmChm thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    Thanks, that's very helpful to know, since the heating issue on rev. A is one of the things I don't like and would want to get rid of if possible. The worst issue I've had is running several programs and Parallels. I think my MBA "locked up" once doing that.

    Has anyone installed the AMP that is available on amazon?? If so, what is your experience?
     
  14. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    #14
    From the original MBA with its Intel GMA and seriously underperforming 4200rpm HDD and PATA drive controller and Merom CPU, you could improve your experience incredibly by upgrading to a 2.13 GHz MBA with 128 GB SSD.

    It all comes down to what we need. The v 2,1 MBA is incredible with its Nvidia 9400m. The SSD performs wonderfully too... it nearly eliminates the spinning beachballs. From the Penryn CPU, Nvidia GPU, SATA-II drive controller, SSD, and Mini DisplayPort, the v 2,1 MBA is amazingly capable. We all want more, but that's just because we all have the desire to have what's newer and faster and sounds more powerful... but from where you are with not just an original MBA, but an original MBA with an HDD, the rev 2,1 MBA with 2.13 GHz CPU and Nvidia 9400m and SSD is going to blow away all of the problems you had before.

    I say go with a 2.13 GHz MBA with 128 GB SSD for $1549 refurbished. It is a heck of a lot more computer than you have. Even though it might look the same from outer appearance, it's an entirely different setup and has a completely incredibly superior set of capabilities. Connect it to a 24" LED ACD, MobileME account, Time Capsule, iPhone 4, and enjoy.
     
  15. AtmChm thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    The more I think about it, you (and others) are right about the current MBA being right for me and a significant upgrade. My main work computer is a 3 GHz iMac 24", so the Air is for everything I do away from my office, which is a fair amount, but I don't need a desktop replacement, but do need a very portable computer for in the classroom and at home. My rev A MBA is good for this - main complaints are heat and a little slow for what I do. I may wait a little longer, but if no refresh comes soon, I'll get the current MBA.

    By the way, I don't want the exterior of the MBA to change at all in a refresh. I like the "old style" trackpad with a button as compared to the new glass ones. I'd be thrilled with some more memory, larger disk, faster processor, and a price drop (or any combination of those). My fear is Apple could have done any of those already. Why haven't they???

    By the way, how much have the updates to 10.6 closed the gap in SSD performance between the stock SSD and replacement ones such as Runcore and Photoflash?
     
  16. Cottonsworth macrumors regular

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    May 11, 2008
    #16
    I would sell your current MBA and purchase a current MBA used while waiting for an upgrade from Apple if it happens.

    The funny thing about MBAs are they roughly sell in the same price range here in New York. In this market, you could sell your first gen for maybe about $700 to $800 and purchase the latest gen for about $800 to $1000, so in essence you are paying $200-ish to upgrade to a much faster machine.
     
  17. cleric macrumors 6502a

    cleric

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    #17
    Sell the current an upgrade to rev b/c with an ssd.

    It's not like the rev b/c will become worthless when the new one comes out.
     
  18. iseebird macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    #18
    I recently picked up a 2.13GHz 128GB SSD MBA after getting tired of waiting for the update and I have to say that I am more than satisified with it. I feel that it runs just as smooth as my my wifes MBP 13" 2.4GHz even when running programs like Adobe CS4 and Parallels.
    I haven't had a problem with the heat or anything else. This is currently my main computer and I would definitely recommend this over your other choices.
     
  19. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

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    #19
    I wish Apple would do the right thing and come out with a Revision D soon.
     
  20. allmIne macrumors 6502a

    allmIne

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    United Kingdom
    #20
    Surely this isn't an option, if the 80gb hard drive in your Air is one of the two reasons why you're looking to upgrade?
     
  21. AtmChm thread starter macrumors regular

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    #21
    Thanks for the info. That's very encouraging to know there are no heat issues. I'm sure the SSD will be significantly faster than my rev A 80 GB HD.

    I noticed last night that on my rev A it gets warm on the left side even just doing web surfing for about an hour. This is getting really annoying.

    I will probably buy soon. The MBA and Mac Pro are the only two computers that apple has not updated in the last year. While one could argue the Mac Pro doesn't need an update, since you can customize them how you want anyway, it's clear the MBA should have been updated by now. I'm getting more and more wary it will be dropped in favor of promoting the iPad and the 13" MBP.
     
  22. AtmChm thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
    Yeah, I think you are right about that. Substituting an iPad for the MBA would mean significantly reducing the work I do away from my desktop, and make it much harder to swap files back and forth. However, I'm not hitting the limit on the 80 GB HDD, I would just like the speed improvement of an SSD.
     
  23. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    #23
    Please give us some details of which Windows apps you are running under Parallels and how you are running them on your MBA. When I had only 2Gb of RAM in my MBP, Windows apps running under VMware Fusion loaded and ran unsatisfactorily slowly, that is when they ran at all. If you are not having similar trouble with your MBA's 2Gb of RAM you will be the first user I know of who hasn't.
     
  24. Old Mac Guy macrumors newbie

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    Jul 9, 2010
    #24
    OK new to this but didn't Apple have a 15" MBA or am I really getting older than I though. It is not available at the my local Apple Store and it is not showing up on the Apple Web site either????
     
  25. AtmChm thread starter macrumors regular

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    #25
    No, there is no 15" MBA and never was.
     

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