Which do you prefer - New Mini w/ 4gig & Rev. A MBA or just a MBA Rev. B - IF...

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by NYU02, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. NYU02 macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2007
    Ok, I know I keep coming up with different scenarios for a possible Rev. A/B purchase but here is one more I am looking at.

    I have the opportunity through a gift certificate and a friend to get a new Mac Mini with 4gig of ram and I would buy a Rev. A MBA ($999 version) for the same price as a Rev. B HD version. I have a cinema display already so no need for a iMac...

    Which would you prefer for the same price if you had a monitor already?
    1) MAC MINI 4G + Rev. A
    2) Rev B. MBA HD

    If you think Mini + Rev. A - Is it annoying to transfer files, iTunes, etc. between computers?

  2. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    A one computer system is so much easier than two systems.

    The rev B MacBook Air is a really nice computer capable of being the primary computer for most Mac users.

    If you go with the rev A, be sure you want to deal with undervolting with Cool Book, heat issues, fans running at full blast all the time, and the potential to need to re-apply thermal paste. Really, I don't understand why anyone would want to deal with the rev A MBA, if there was any way possible they could afford the rev B MBA.

    Do yourself a BIG favor and stick with the rev B MBA. Every major component was upgraded for a reason with the rev B MBA.

    Best wishes whichever route you go.
  3. NYU02 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2007
    I really want just a rev. B but i'm so concerned about the line issue. It seems as if there is no solid way to get a screen model without it. It is just luck.
  4. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    Im using the Rev A MBA as my main computer now along with the Mac Pro for heavy work. The amount of time I use the computer, the fans are 80% at 1800RPM. The other 20% are up at 6200RPM because of webcam or heavy flash websites. And I use the system on a piece of paperback brochure for the past week which actually blocks heatflow and it still has no problems with fans.

    Care to explain why I dont have the so called "common" problems?
  5. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Scottsdale doesn't like the Rev A MBAs and believes all of the units had those "common problems". My friend had a Rev A MBA and it was fine for her. She doesn't do HD video editing, but she does record herself playing guitar, edits in GarageBand, etc... Not a complete novice, but not a professional either.
  6. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I didn't use the original MBA for anything intensive. Wouldn't dream of considering much more for it than email or word processing. The truth was mine was very problematic even for simple common tasks. The rev B MBA is everything a Mac should be without the problems. To be fair, a lot of the problems have been worked around for the refurbished original MBAs.

    What are the common problems? Are you serious? HEAT HEAT HEAT... Core Shutdown... Lockups... HEAT HEAT HEAT. A 20W Merom CPU in the original vs a 17W Penryn in the rev B MBA. Paired with the Intel 3100, the original MBA was problematic at best. Apple really learned its lesson, and it absolutely hit a home run with the rev B MBA.

    The "common" solution I have observed/read/noticed from a LARGE majority of those happy with the original MBA is Cool Book undervolting. Some do re-application of thermal paste to cut down the heat problems. Apple has helped by rewriting some of the software related to video playback - updates. But the original as a refurbished is better than it originally was, but it still is not a solid Mac.

    For me, a solid Mac is a computer that doesn't overheat, doesn't experience core shutdown, doesn't lockup, doesn't require undervolting via Cool Book, doesn't require re-application of thermal paste, and doesn't have lines on the display.

    For the common or average Mac user, I think that the MBA should just work. The rev B MBA just works. It doesn't overheat because the major components were all upgraded. From CPU, to GPU, to RAM, to SATA drive controller, and etc the rev B MBA is completely and truly updated and fixed.

    And some want to use their MBA as a secondary computer, but many of us want to use our MBA as our primary computer. For me, the rev B MBA is a solid computer capable of being most Mac users primary Mac. I cannot say anything even close for the original MBA.

    These "common" problems and solutions are all widely publicized and reported. This is not new information nor is it highly debatable. These are common reported problems and solutions for the original MBA.
  7. NYU02 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2007
    No one likes the MBA rev. A and a new mac mini combo? For me and my deal it works out to about 400 cheaper than buying a rev.b HD Air.

    thoughts on dual comps???

  8. stoconnell macrumors 6502

    Mar 22, 2009
    Rockville (Despite REM's plea.)
    If you already are a MobileMe user (or plan to be -- that's $99.00 per year, list price), maybe dual computers will work for you. A lot of people use/maintain desktops for horsepower and laptops for portability. I haven't had a personal desk top in years. I think it's all a matter of having your expectations dialed in appropriately and making the determination that your usage patterns will be met by the machines you are buying .. for some the extra $400 amortized over the expected lifetime is worth it (esp. if you then subtract the cost of MobileMe -- assuming that's something you are interested in, the difference gets much smaller. e.g, $34+/per year over 3 years). For you?
  9. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    I have seen about 8 or 9 REV B's Air's in the Apple Store, plus the two I had. Only 1 did not have the lines. If you are going to notice them, be careful.

    I recommend the REV B given your situation, but the line issue is very apparent if you are the type to see minor screen problems.

    Using two macs: I currently use the Air with my iMac and I have no issues with the two computers. It is very easy to transfer files, both for iTunes and other apps. The computers both pop up right in the Finder (just make sure the sharing preferences are enabled).
  10. aaquib macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    Relax. You're acting like they added performance enhancements because they HAD to, not because that's the way technology works...

    You may be one of the original owners who had bad luck, but people, including myself, who buy refurbs have had absolutely no issues. No, you don't need to open it up and re-apply thermal paste. No, CoolBook is not mandatory. No, you do not have your computer's fans rev up to 6400RPM and have a core shutdown by watching flash video.

    Please Scottsdale, give the Rev.A another chance. Apple has made a change on the refurbs and they are much much better machines than the one you bought a year ago.
  11. rodjam macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2008
    Having two (or more computers) is annoying. How about a new MINI + iPod touch? You can then have email/web in a portable package, plus a nice machine on your desk.

    Otherwise, if it were me, I'd get a refurb Rev A. MBA, or a new white plastic MB, and keep the extra $700 or so in my pocket.
  12. Airforcekid macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    United States of America
  13. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I would recommend ANY OTHER Mac than the rev A MBA from the last three years.

    I would recommend the rev B MBA to most people. I would recommend the Mac mini. I would recommend the Mac Pro. I would recommend the iMac. I would recommend the MacBook. I would recommend the MacBook Pro. I would recommend any of these from the last three years EXCEPT I would not recommend the rev A MacBook Air.

    Some are happy with their refurbished rev A MBA, because they got it at a discount they have far different expectations. A lot of rev A MBA refurb buyers consider Cool Book and reapplication of thermal paste NORMAL.

    Whatever happened to "it just works?" Definitely does not apply to the original MBA.

    I don't get why a few dedicated refurbished rev A MBA buyers take such offense to my truth telling about the rev A MBA. They all enjoy their rev A MBA because they saved a few bucks, more power to them. They like an overheating time bomb as their Mac, great. They want to have to rely on third party products to undervolt their rev A MBA to make it semi-usable, great. They want to do all of that, but the truth is the average MBA buyer isn't going to do any of that. The average or NORMAL MBA buyer is not the selective few that will read forums and figure out Cool Book, and reapply thermal paste. More power to them, but they are not the norm and they definitely are not the intended target audience for the MacBook Air.

    For the average MBA buyer, they are much better off just buying the rev B MBA for a computer that just works. Not only does it work, it performs amazingly in comparison. It does everything a Mac user would expect yet it is in a tiny Air case. It doesn't require anything extra. Performs like a MB but is super portable and futuristic and fun.

    Even with Cool Book, reapplication of thermal paste, and software updates, the original MBA has a 20W Merom CPU, an Intel 3100 graphics chip, and a PATA drive controller. I will take ALL of the upgrades in the rev B MBA any day of the week over the original MBA with all the gimmicks, and I will gladly pay more as it's worth EVERY PENNY of the extra for the performance and capabilities of the rev B MBA. I will take 17W Penryn w/6 MB L2 cache, Nvidia GPU, SATA drive controller, and etc over the original and I believe anyone would be better off now and in the future by spending a little more to get a completely amazing Mac in a super tiny Air package.
  14. rodjam macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2008
    With all due respect, I think that $800 is a lot more than "a few bucks" to some people.
  15. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I think your math is way off!

    eBay has lots of rev B MBAs for around $1400. I have seen rev B MBAs with SSD and 1.86 for around $2k at a $500 savings.

    Now, going to Apple. REFURB VS REFURB... $999 to $1299 for a rev A or $1549 for a rev B MBA. That is a lot different than $800. And the point is, any benchmark you want to compare them to even the best rev A MBA with 1.8 and SSD doesn't compare to the rev B with 1.6 and HDD. Now, you are comparing $1299 to $1549 which isn't even a comparison as the rev B is far superior for $250 more.

    With the rev B MBA, you actually save yourself: No overheating, no core shutdown, no lockups and spinning wheels. With a rev B, no undervolting with Cool Book and no reapplication of thermal paste is necessary. With rev B, no watching stutering video. No fans blazing at 6400 rpms sounding like a helicopter. With a rev B MBA, you get a computer that just works. And works far superior in every way to an original MBA for $250 difference. That is a BARGAIN!

    I think the rev B MBA is a bargain in comparison to the original MBA.
  16. NRose8989 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2008
    Two is always better than one, especially if one of your machines is a MBA because of the lack of HD space.

    I would like to hear some valid opinions why having one primary computer would be better than two computers.

    The Mini can hold all of your files, basically it can be your "Master" computer storing everything you have, while your MBA can be the "Slave" computer and only contain files that you may need if your gone.

    Keeping the two computers in sync is actually a really easy task. I use a program called ChronoSync which will allow you to sync data between volumes, this includes networked drive.

    All I have to do to keep my MBP, MBA, and iMac in sync is mount the drive in Finder, then ChronoSync starts up and syncs everything. Literally one mouse click and it's synced.

    I'm not saying that having a rev. B MBA as your one and only computer is a bad idea, it's just that (and depending on how much data your have) your going to be limited to your HD space, ya sure you could get external drives, but who wants to always have to connect a device designed to be completely wireless, and still be tethered to a HD just to watch a movie or work on a file.

    Also think about if your doing a long update or encoding something, you can let the job work away on the mini, while you can perform other tasks on the MBA without disturbing anything.

    To sum it up, I would vote that two computers is better than one. Any day of the week.

    I can only think of one circumstance where having one laptop as your primary computer, and that is if your consistently on the go.

    -if you don't have a lot of music or movies then the Rev B MBA should do you fine.

    -if you do have a lot of music or movies etc. then I would go for the MBA $ mini combo or just bypass both and shoot for a MB or MBP because of HD space.
  17. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    To me this is more than just about two vs one.

    If two were the same rev B MBA, sure one could make a case for two. But, when one of the two is a rev A MBA, I can make no case for a two computer system. At the same time, the only way I would care to be STUCK with a rev A MBA is if it was a secondary computer, and then I would never use it.

    The problem here isn't two vs one. It's one of the two solutions leaves waste. One working rev B MBA is great. One working Mac mini is also great. One Mac mini is great by itself, and justification of notebook is worthless if you cannot count on the notebook to do everything.

    I just don't see owning a rev A MBA as a positive. How about two vs one being a real debate. One a MBP 2.66 vs a Mac mini and a MacBook Air rev B. Or a rev B MBA plus ACD vs an iMac and a rev B MBA.

    The question of two vs one is being lost here, as I think one of the solutions is flawed because it contains a grossly inferior system.

    Get the rev A MBA out of your head, as it just isn't worth it. Buy any other Mac or Macs.

    I once had a rev A MBA that was secondary to a MBP. I never used the rev A MBA because it simply was too inferior to use for normal tasks even. I then had a rev B MBA while owning a uMB and MBP, and I never used anything but the rev B MBA.

    Not trying to be a hater, just think the argument is more than just two vs one with this thread. One of the options leads to waste. The Mac mini is great, but don't ruin the option with a rev A MBA linked to it.

    My two cents.

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