Why can't I upgrade the processor on the 128GB version?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by J M, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. J M macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    #1
    Hi, I am in the process of buying a Macbook Air.

    I want a 13" screen, 4GB Ram and 128GB Flashdrive is enough for me.

    However I would very much like to have the faster 2,13GHz processor instead of the 1,86Ghz and I cannot have it on the 128GB version. I can upgrade to it on the 256GB Flashdrive version but I dont need that much and that flashdrive upgrade is pretty expensive aswell...

    Is there a technical explanation or am I out of luck? :/
     
  2. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Britain
    #2
    No technical explanation, more of an economical and philosophical one, I believe they call it capitalism :p

    Basically Apple wants more of your money. I shouldn't worry though, the jump from 1.86 to 2.13 is really not going to be a big deal. You might shave a few seconds off CPU intensive tasks, but for day to day usage the machines will be pretty much identical. And if you're looking at anything really processor intensive then you're not looking at a MacBook Air anyway ;)

    Keep your money and go for the baseline. My 11" 1.4Ghz with 4GB RAM is more than enough for my needs (general day to day use, virtual machines, programming).
     
  3. surroundfan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #3
    Yup - unless you're doing CPU-intensive tasks like video rendering, the processor upgrade will be of little benefit. It's like buying a car with a top speed of 213km/h v 186km/h - nice in theory, but most of the time you'll be crawling along at 60km/h.

    DO, however, get the RAM upgrade to 4GB...

    (That's what I've done!)
     
  4. applefanDrew macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #4
    Well I'm in software engineering and for classes have to write and compile projects (2-5000 lines of code) would the base 13 air be alright for this?
     
  5. foiden macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    #5
    I don't see why not. I've compiled pretty large programs, in my time, well below the specs of even then 11" MBA Base system. Fortunately, what you ask for, isn't exactly a big job by today's hardware standards.
     
  6. elithrar macrumors 6502

    elithrar

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    #6
    It'll be fine — even the 11" is fine. I compile stuff on my 1.6Ghz/4GB 11" MBA for development needs (ie. web server software, database servers) and it copes fine.

    2000-5000 SLOC projects would be pretty quick in comparison.
     
  7. applefanDrew macrumors 65816

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    Jul 17, 2010
  8. merkinmuffley macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    #8
    I was trying the same thing tonight, couldn't configure one the way I wanted. I'll wait...
     
  9. SidBala macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    #9
    Product differentiation.

    But the 1.86 vs 2.13 is not that big of a difference anyway.
     
  10. Boston007 macrumors 6502

    Boston007

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    #10
    Apple being Apple

    It's because apple wants to force you to buy the top model with 256g SSD
     
  11. newdeal macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    #11
    ...

    they charge you like $300 for the bigger SSD so they should give you something exclusive in return with a premium like that
     
  12. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    #12
    This is the dumbest question ever I have seen in the thread in a long time. It's money. Apple is doing it for money. What else could be.
     
  13. PeckhamBog macrumors 6502

    PeckhamBog

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location:
    London
    #13
    The 32 bit Geek Bench score gives a 11% increase for the 2.13 over the 1.86

    In real life, will 1.86 feel swifter than my 2.2 GHz BlackBook (late 2007 4GB RAM) which is clocked at 3110 by Geek Bench compared to 2695 for the 1.86 MBA?
     
  14. PeckhamBog macrumors 6502

    PeckhamBog

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location:
    London
    #14
    Sorry, I'm not sure if the above reply is very helpful either.

    I guess the question is; if it cost £80 in the UK for the processor upgrade which we assume Apple makes a margin on, why do they deter people who don't want to pay £250 for the extra storage? (I hope you get the drift of my question.)
     
  15. omgitscro macrumors 6502a

    omgitscro

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    #15
    Opportunity cost. They might make $20 or $10 more with the processor upgrade, but they'd make $50 or something like that if people went for the whole upgrade to 256GB. The people at Apple did their math and figured out that profits are expected to be higher this way. :D
     
  16. omgitscro macrumors 6502a

    omgitscro

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    #16
    Going from a 2.26GHz MacBook Pro 13" to the 1.4GHZ MacBook Air, I can say that the Air is snappier for most tasks, even factoring in the halving of RAM from 4GB to 2GB. Back when I had the MacBook Pro, applications would become really sluggish whenever it started swapping to the hard disk. With the Air, it's almost always swapping because I run so many applications for school, and I don't even notice it. The only time when it's slower is when it's encoding a movie or some other processor-heavy task. Hope this helps! :D

    Edit: I see you have the Momentus XT! Do you have the issue with the spontaneous halts? The XT used to stop many times every hour. And the noise was unbearable! One of the biggest noticeable changes going to the MacBook Air was the lack of noise at all from the computer. It's a dream!
     
  17. PeckhamBog macrumors 6502

    PeckhamBog

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location:
    London
    #17
    The XT is always spinning. There is a faintly perceptible hum but nothing that bothers me (unlike when a Flash video comes on driving the fans up to 6,000 rpm!) The performance is good, very rarely do I see a beach ball. The one big down side is battery consumption - 60 to 90 mins depending on usage. Happily I'm not normally away from a power source these days, but that does weaken my position with my wife why I need a MBA.

    Thanks for sharing your experience of your 11" MBA's performance in comparison to your 2.26 MBP.
     
  18. drjsway macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #18
    Well, everyone I know bought the base models (mixture of both 11" and 13 inches). All would've upgraded their CPUs but couldn't justify the $200-$300 for the SSD. Apple lost a lot of money on CPU upgrades (which is $100 pure profit, BTW. The 1.4/1.6 and 1.86/2.13 are the same price.)
     
  19. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #19
    Perhaps, but if 1/3 as many people got the "ultimate" versions because that was the only way to get the faster processor, then it worked out for Apple. I'm guessing that the 11" "Ultimate" might have been the bigger draw since 64GB isn't much space.

    If I had it to do over again, I might have just gone with the 1.86GHz 4GB model with the 256GB SSD. For me, the 128GB on my Rev B was getting tight, plus I wanted the psychological effect of the faster processor, but in the end, the combination of the significantly faster SSD and more RAM made Parallels 6 run much more acceptably. Those were really my only complaints about the Rev B (along with Safari slowing down with lots of tabs open).
     
  20. drjsway macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #20
    not necessarily because the slower and faster CPUs are the exact same price for Apple so the $100 is pure profit. This means there is an 100% profit margin on the CPU upgrade. On the other end, a higher capacity SSD is much more expensive so the profit margin is really low.

    Core 2 Duo SL9400
    1.87 GHz
    $316

    Core 2 Duo SL9600
    2.13 GHz
    $316

    Core 2 Duo SU9400
    1.4 GHz
    $289

    Core 2 Duo SU9600
    1.6 GHz
    $289
     
  21. AMDGAMER macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    #21
    300mhz for that much more money is PROFIT! Gaming systems have been like that for years...you think those companies made millions late 90s and 2000's making 20 bucks on high end processors? Trust me I've paid for them and in this case the premium isnt too bad, I've seen worse when the AMD FX processors came out, intel EXTREME edition..big big money. three months later they put out a faster one..so for 1000 bucks you have 3 months of enjoying having the fastest processor out there..ah the good old days!
     
  22. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #22
    Apple's margins on SSDs are about the same as those of SSD manufacturers. While it might not be pure profit like the 2.13GHz update, I wouldn't be surprised if Apple's margin on the $300 SSD upgrade is $200. They buy so much NAND between the iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Mac lines that they can probably almost dictate prices.

    That said, since the Core 2 Duo is on the way out, we don't know for sure what kind of deals Apple was able to work out. If Intel had a bunch of chips in the warehouse that they couldn't unload, perhaps they gave Apple a great deal.
     

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