Worth it to upgrade from the 13" Air Mid 2011 to an M3 rMB?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by shenfrey, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. shenfrey macrumors 68000

    May 23, 2010
    I am not sure how they compare in terns of performance, I would imagine the same, however I would love to have a quiet laptop, the fans on my MBA spin up constantly, especially when using the laptop in bed. I would also like to have all of the new continuity features that only the newer MacBooks offer, such as hand off.

    What do you guys think? I can only afford the M3 mind and I only use my laptop for photos, internet browsing, youtube and note taking.
  2. toddzrx macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2012
    How important is portability to you?

    I'm not a MB owner, but I've read this forum for the last year with interest because it'll probably replace my iMac at some point.

    That said, my impression is that the above question is the first one to ask when considering buying the MB. Given your usage, you should see a noticeable performance increase, plus no fan noise, over a 2011 Air (better battery life too). Seems like a pretty reasonable purchase to me.
  3. mariotr87 macrumors regular

    Aug 12, 2011
    I moved from that to an M7 rMB. Performance wise it's generally significantly faster (although to be honest I didn't have much to complain about with the Air either).

    However this laptop feels like a huge upgrade for so many other reasons:
    • The most important to me: the screen is just gorgeous (as opposed to the Air's...)
    • Lighter, with a lot smaller footprint (and in my opinion you barely sacrifice screen real estate in the process).
    • It may not be your case depending on your current configuration, but I have way more RAM and storage space now
    • Overall cleaner, all-metal design
    • Amazing speakers
    • Bigger keys with less travel
    • Forcetouch
    • A lot better battery life
    • Fanless
    • Handoff and AirDrop support (with more features coming in Sierra that will also require BT 4.0)

    You do give up some stuff in the process as well, like the extra ports, MagSafe and perhaps higher sustained performance, but it doesn't look like you would notice it. You should be good to go with the M3, I highly recommend it.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 22, 2016 ---
    Portability is not very important to me, at least not in terms of the amount of time I use the laptop outside, although I do need to travel with it from time to time. Still, it's a joy to use at home, and the portability is there when you need it.
  4. AFEPPL macrumors 68030


    Sep 30, 2014
    M3 vs 2011 MBA is much quicker from a performance point of view and will work fine with your workflows.
  5. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Between the faster SSD and RAM, the MacBook should be somewhat faster in short bursts than the 2011 MacBook Air. How it will perform in 5 years (when it is as old as your MacBook Air is now) remains to be seen.
  6. thadoggfather macrumors G4


    Oct 1, 2007
    I went 2011 13" MBA to base Core M 2015 rMB, and not regretting it at all FWIW a year and change later
  7. ShionoyaTamaki, Jun 22, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016

    ShionoyaTamaki macrumors 6502

    Oct 9, 2011
    Geekbench 64bit multicore score
    4288 MacBook Air (13-inch Mid 2011 i5)
    4573 MacBook Air (13-inch Mid 2011 i7)

    4463 Macbook (12-inch Early 2015 1.1)
    5053 Macbook (12-inch Early 2015 1.2)
    5665 Macbook (12-inch Early 2015 1.3)

    5025 Macbook (12-inch Early 2016 1.1 m3)
    5845 Macbook (12-inch Early 2016 1.2 m5)
    6872 Macbook (12-inch Early 2016 1.3 m7)

    So a 2015 m3 would be about the same as your old 2011 MBA.

    Sometimes real usage result is what matters not benchmarks. Here are some
  8. AFEPPL macrumors 68030


    Sep 30, 2014
    This show single and multicore performance.
    Most of what you do is most likely single core.

    M5 is the one better than last years MBA, i don't know what the price difference is but i'd be tempted to wait and get that one or an open box product.
  9. shenfrey thread starter macrumors 68000

    May 23, 2010
    Difficult to do that you see as the MacBook I get will be provided by where I work, I will still need to pay for it but its discounted and only allow up a maximum value of £1200, and so just short of the M5 version.

    To be honest the Air I have now is already really quick, its just the noise, heat, speakers and lack of hand off that bothers me.
  10. AFEPPL macrumors 68030


    Sep 30, 2014
  11. BeatCrazy macrumors 68000

    Jul 20, 2011
    Yup. My wife has a 2012 Air, and my new 2016 m3 feels faster. Plus, it's noticeably smaller and of course the screen is significantly better. There are all kinds of things than contribute to "feeling faster" than just core processor speed, i.e. faster graphics processor, faster RAM, faster SSD, overall CPU architecture changes, etc.
  12. SchodMC macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2013
    I think that benchmark like GeekBench are hard to tell you, how a new system will be for your daily needs. I for myself switched from a MBA 2013 i5 to the rMB 2016 m3. As for now, I'm totally exited and satisfied with my rMB. But I also have to say that I only use it for office works (EMail, Internet, MS Office 2016, iWork, dokument management) and multimedia (watch videos, use netflix, youtube, etc., listen to musik).

    With my MBA I also used Lightroom, but after it died I went to my windows working machine with my Lightroom library. So I could not tell how lightroom will perform on the rMB.

    For my needs, the rMB performs fine. Some times it could be that the UI lag a little bit, but in the same way as the MBA lagged. Maybe that macOS Sierra will be better optimized.

    For me the rMB m3 is the right machine, with allows me to do everything I need in a fine and snappy way. BTW, I'm using the 1440x900 "solution" and could not realize a difference in speed between that one and the optimized for the displaz setting (like 1280x800).

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