Which 11" MBA ?? - Early 2014 or early 2015 ??

igmolinav

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 15, 2005
1,109
2
Hi,

Apple has updated the 11" MBA.
I always thought that when Apple
updated its model, I would buy
the earlier model, (2014), at a
lower price. However, would it
make sense to buy the newer
model? I am getting quite a good
price on the older model, ($760).
What would you do? Why would
you lean towards one or the other
model?

I have an early 2011 MacBook Pro
with 2.3 GHz and Intel core i5
with 4 GB of RAM. How does any
of the two MBAs compare to this
MBP with regard to performance?
Is there much difference in perfor-
mance between the 13" MBP and
the 2015 11" MBA?

THank you, kind regards,

igmolinav : ) !!!
 
Last edited:

capathy21

macrumors 65816
Jun 16, 2014
1,365
534
Houston, Texas
Hi,

Apple has updated the 11" MBA.
I always thought that when Apple
updated its model, I would buy
the earlier model, (2014), at a
lower price. However, would it
make sense to buy the newer
model? I am getting quite a good
price on the older model, ($760).
What would you do? Why would
you lean towards one or the other
model?

I have an early 2011 MacBook Pro
with 2.3 GHz and Intel core i5
with 4 GB of RAM. How does any
of the two MBAs compare to this
MBP with regard to performance?
Is there much difference in perfor-
mance between the 13" MBP and
the 2015 11" MBA?

THank you, kind regards,

igmolinav : ) !!!
Either model will show a significant gain in performance especially if your old machine still has a standard hard drive and not an ssd. Even though the processor clock speed is less than your old machine and the ram is the same, the more efficient processor and ram will make a huge difference. The pcie ssd will blow you away as well.

As far as 2014 vs 2015, it's all up to you. Do you have to have a new model? If not, you might consider looking for a refurbished or even used 2013 model. It is literally the same model as the 2014 except the .01ghz speed increase which you would never be able to notice. If that's not an option, I'd go with the 2014 model.
 

tmarks11

macrumors 6502a
May 3, 2010
509
32
$760 for 2014 vs. $900 for a 2015?

So what is the $140 buying you?
1. An extra year of battery life (worth $25).
2. Probably about 10% longer battery life (that is what Broadwell really gets you).
3. <5% performance increase... although with the lower heat output of the CPU, you might end up with less thermal throttling under load = even better performance. The Haswell->Broadwell was mostly about shrinking the die size, giving better battery life, not improving performance.
4. GPU is noticeably faster, so if you do anything graphics intensive... which I don't.

I (personally) would buy the new one. I keep my laptops forever, and a year newer means a year longer until EOL. I currently have a 2011 and 2012 MB that see daily use and are going strong.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Melrose

powerbook911

macrumors 68040
Mar 15, 2005
3,734
158
I was thinking about the same conflict. Really cheap deal on 2014 Air and sell my 2010, or get the 2015 and sell my 2010.

The intel graphics is the biggest difference I guess?

So...how much better is Intel 6000 versus Intel 5000?
 

newellj

macrumors 604
Oct 15, 2014
7,258
2,288
East of Eden
I was thinking about the same conflict. Really cheap deal on 2014 Air and sell my 2010, or get the 2015 and sell my 2010.

The intel graphics is the biggest difference I guess?

So...how much better is Intel 6000 versus Intel 5000?
I posted the following in another thread. I'm not really wowed by the difference:

I re-ran the Heaven 4.0 benchmarks. The 2014 11" i5/4/256 got FPS = 20.3, score = 510, min/max FPS 7.0/33.7.

The same configuration 2015 didn't do as much better as I had thought: FPS = 20.8, score = 525, min/max FPS 7.0/37.4.

Subjectively, even side by side, I didn't see a big difference.
 

igmolinav

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 15, 2005
1,109
2
Hi,

Thank you for your messages : ) !!!

Yes, it is the graphics question. At
the moment I am not using graphics
so strongly. Is the 2015 MBA stron-
ger with graphics than my 13" 2.3 GHz
MBP ??

Kind regards,

igmolinav : ) !!!
 

Appurushido

macrumors 6502
Sep 28, 2012
251
208
Hi,

Apple has updated the 11" MBA.
I always thought that when Apple
updated its model, I would buy
the earlier model, (2014), at a
lower price. However, would it
make sense to buy the newer
model? I am getting quite a good
price on the older model, ($760).
What would you do? Why would
you lean towards one or the other
model?

I have an early 2011 MacBook Pro
with 2.3 GHz and Intel core i5
with 4 GB of RAM. How does any
of the two MBAs compare to this
MBP with regard to performance?
Is there much difference in perfor-
mance between the 13" MBP and
the 2015 11" MBA?

THank you, kind regards,

igmolinav : ) !!!

Personally I would get the 2015 MBA. As tmarks mentioned, less wear and tear with the newer model. Especially when it comes to the battery life.

I'm not sure where you are from, but if you are in the US, look out for Apple deals at BestBuy. I picked up a brand new 11" MBA (early 2015) for $699. $100 off from an Apple sale they had, and an extra $100 off on education pricing. Not bad at all.

Although it was only a base model, its perfect for my needs. Especially the size. I've owned an iPhone and an iPad for several years, and this is my first Apple computer (OS X product). If I were you, I would dish out the extra $140, if money isn't a factor.

Hope this helps on your decision. Cheers!
 

poematik13

macrumors 6502a
Jun 5, 2014
727
298
As far as 2014 vs 2015, it's all up to you. Do you have to have a new model? If not, you might consider looking for a refurbished or even used 2013 model. It is literally the same model as the 2014 except the .01ghz speed increase which you would never be able to notice. If that's not an option, I'd go with the 2014 model.
Wrong, the 2015's have thunderbolt 2, better SSD, and much faster graphics
 
  • Like
Reactions: Melrose

Melrose

Suspended
Dec 12, 2007
7,807
392
Go for a 2015. It has 4 channel PCIe which is a major improvement in R/W speeds. :)

= the biggest reason why I went with the 13". I love the tiny size of the 11" but can't justify the tradeoff in speed.
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,317
118
Go for a 2015. It has 4 channel PCIe which is a major improvement in R/W speeds. :)

= the biggest reason why I went with the 13". I love the tiny size of the 11" but can't justify the tradeoff in speed.
What do you read or write that anything over 400 MB/s makes a noticeable difference???
 

MacBoook160

macrumors 6502
Feb 9, 2011
300
52
I'm curious as to what igmolinav ended up purchasing!

And, out of curiosity, in any particular model year, how much of a difference is there between i5 and i7 for the average user?
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,317
118
I'm curious as to what igmolinav ended up purchasing!

And, out of curiosity, in any particular model year, how much of a difference is there between i5 and i7 for the average user?
Re: i5 and i7: hardly any. The chips are 99% the same. Basically the only difference is clock speed, with the i7 models running a few 100MHz faster. So the performance difference is a small percentage, maybe around 10-20%. Almost certainly not noticeable to typical users doing typical things.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MacBoook160

MacBoook160

macrumors 6502
Feb 9, 2011
300
52
Re: i5 and i7: hardly any. The chips are 99% the same. Basically the only difference is clock speed, with the i7 models running a few 100MHz faster. So the performance difference is a small percentage, maybe around 10-20%. Almost certainly not noticeable to typical users doing typical things.
Oh, poor motrek. Aren't you sick of having to respond to my questions? I'm getting ready to pull the trigger as it seems the 2015s are starting to come into the refurbished market, so I'm finalizing my would-like-to-have vs. must-have list. All right, maybe I'm taking planning a bit too far. :-D
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,317
118
Oh, poor motrek. Aren't you sick of having to respond to my questions? I'm getting ready to pull the trigger as it seems the 2015s are starting to come into the refurbished market, so I'm finalizing my would-like-to-have vs. must-have list. All right, maybe I'm taking planning a bit too far. :-D
LOL. I'm sure you'll be happy with whatever you get... basically any 2013 MBA or more recent is an excellent machine.

I know what it's like to be excited about an upcoming purchase. I just found a rack-mounted server on eBay from 2010 that has 24 CPU cores for only $200. Should be arriving middle of next week. The anticipation is nearly killing me. :)
 

MacBoook160

macrumors 6502
Feb 9, 2011
300
52
LOL. I'm sure you'll be happy with whatever you get... basically any 2013 MBA or more recent is an excellent machine.

I know what it's like to be excited about an upcoming purchase. I just found a rack-mounted server on eBay from 2010 that has 24 CPU cores for only $200. Should be arriving middle of next week. The anticipation is nearly killing me. :)
I'm surprised that I haven't sprained my "refresh" fingers yet. I tend to buy electronica infrequently, but what I get generally lasts me for a long time. My poor iPhone 5 is losing battery power fast these days!

Congratulations, and enjoy!
 

Melrose

Suspended
Dec 12, 2007
7,807
392
What do you read or write that anything over 400 MB/s makes a noticeable difference???
I bought what I wanted. No offense but four question marks just seems a bit.... ____

At any rate, if you'd bother to read reviews you'd know there is a discernible difference.
 
Last edited:

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,317
118
I bought what I wanted. No offense but four questions just seems a bit.... ____

At any rate, if you'd bother to read reviews you'd know there is a discernible difference.
I just googled for 2015 13" MBA reviews and can't find any with benchmarks. Maybe you could help with a link.
 

Splitbolt

macrumors regular
Jun 18, 2015
129
9
I bought what I wanted. No offense but four question marks just seems a bit.... ____

At any rate, if you'd bother to read reviews you'd know there is a discernible difference.
He only posted 3 questions marks. Lying about what someone posts just seems a bit.... ____

Anyway, you said there are "major improvement in R/W speeds" and that's why you went with the 13", because you can't justify the tradeoff in speed. But the truth is that there is no noticeable difference, none. I feel sympathy for you since you've been mislead, but please don't continue misleading others.
 
  • Like
Reactions: motrek

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,317
118
The Ars review had a pile of benchmarks.
Oh, interesting. Thanks. I hadn't seen that review before.

But they don't have any non-synthetic benchmarks that test disk performance. Geekbench and Cinebench are all 100% CPU, Gfxbench is graphics, the battery life test obviously isn't going to show any effect of storage performance, and there is one synthetic storage performance test that shows a huge improvement, but that's what one would expect from a synthetic benchmark that only tests the exact thing that's better.

I would be startled if I ever met anybody who could tell the difference between the drives in a real-world scenario, hence my curiosity.
 

Splitbolt

macrumors regular
Jun 18, 2015
129
9
I would be startled if I ever met anybody who could tell the difference between the drives in a real-world scenario, hence my curiosity.
This would be the same person who feels the huge bump in performance while surfing the web and reading e-mails with 8gigs of RAM.
 

newellj

macrumors 604
Oct 15, 2014
7,258
2,288
East of Eden
Oh, interesting. Thanks. I hadn't seen that review before.

But they don't have any non-synthetic benchmarks that test disk performance. Geekbench and Cinebench are all 100% CPU, Gfxbench is graphics, the battery life test obviously isn't going to show any effect of storage performance, and there is one synthetic storage performance test that shows a huge improvement, but that's what one would expect from a synthetic benchmark that only tests the exact thing that's better.

I would be startled if I ever met anybody who could tell the difference between the drives in a real-world scenario, hence my curiosity.
I couldn't agree more. I have owned the 2014 and 2015 MBA, as well as a late 2013 and early 2015 rMBP. The *only* time I have been able to tell the difference is running disk benchmarks. In real life, there are too many other system components to deal with.