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Elektrofone

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 5, 2010
923
392
Currently have an i3 2020 MacBook Air that’s fans spin up under the slightest of loads and I’ve been toying with the idea of upgrading to the M1 Air. It’s probably cost me $350 after I sold the 2020 model. Is it worth it?
 

4sallypat

macrumors 68020
Sep 16, 2016
2,230
1,907
So Calif
YES!

Very worthwhile to get the M1 - I am just stunned!

Assuming you don't need to run Windows or other x86 programs...

I'm coming from an Intel 2012 i7 quad Mac Mini (as well as an Intel 2018 6 core from work), this M1 just blows both out the water!

The M1 has NEVER gotten warm (driving 2 displays, multiple browsers w/ multiple tabs, streaming, BT, etc) and never had the fan spin up.

I am so tickled - sold my old 2012 for $475 enough to almost pay for the M1 Mini....

Screen Shot 2020-12-11 at 7.05.45 AM.png
 

ryan.taylor06

macrumors member
Aug 16, 2014
48
25
Glasgow, UK
My partner is asking himself the same question, I have just taken delivery of my M1 MacBook Air on Wednesday and he has the i5 MacBook Air 2020. His biggest concern again similar to the original poster is that the fan spins up at the slightest of loads and his is usually roasting to the touch as compared to mine. I don't think that it would be worth it just for no fan noise but if you need the speed gains of the M1 then definitely. I guess what I'm trying to say is don't just buy it because its shiny and new but if your workload would benefit from the increased performance then go for it. You will not be disappointed :)
 

James_C

macrumors 68030
Sep 13, 2002
2,600
1,344
Bristol, UK
It has about double the performance of the 2020 MBA, with a 16 hour battery life and Silent and does not even get warm with normal use. Just make sure any Apps you rely on work fine on the M1 Chip before you switch.
 

Elektrofone

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 5, 2010
923
392
My partner is asking himself the same question, I have just taken delivery of my M1 MacBook Air on Wednesday and he has the i5 MacBook Air 2020. His biggest concern again similar to the original poster is that the fan spins up at the slightest of loads and his is usually roasting to the touch as compared to mine. I don't think that it would be worth it just for no fan noise but if you need the speed gains of the M1 then definitely. I guess what I'm trying to say is don't just buy it because its shiny and new but if your workload would benefit from the increased performance then go for it. You will not be disappointed :)
I wish it were just the fans. Unfortunately it’s also just pathetically slow. Maybe the i5 is manageable but the i3 struggles to do the most basic tasks. Basically unless you’re only using one app at a time it’s a slow mess.
 
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maerz001

macrumors 68000
Nov 2, 2010
1,886
1,581
I wish it were just the fans. Unfortunately it’s also just pathetically slow. Maybe the i5 is manageable but the i3 struggles to do the most basic tasks. Basically unless you’re only using one app at a time it’s a slow mess.
I guess there is a problem with your device. This isn’t normal.
did u try a new installation?
 

Elektrofone

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 5, 2010
923
392
I guess there is a problem with your device. This isn’t normal.
did u try a new installation?
Yeah I have a fresh install. Even took it to an Apple Store but they found nothing wrong. Geek bench scores were normal.
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
16,536
5,446
Currently have an i3 2020 MacBook Air that’s fans spin up under the slightest of loads and I’ve been toying with the idea of upgrading to the M1 Air. It’s probably cost me $350 after I sold the 2020 model. Is it worth it?
It would be a great update provided you don’t need to run Windows software. The M1 is really responsive.
 
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Robbosan

Suspended
Aug 21, 2020
2,071
1,835
Yes, i had a 2020 base air back in March sold it after a month, lucky got full price back was shortage re covid, was too hot and found it slow.
Got a base M1 Air yesterday, finally a Apple laptop with no heat, faster too.
 

dobrewski_77

macrumors member
Sep 10, 2015
37
18
Plovdiv,Bulgaria
What I could say using over a month now the 2020 MBA i3 is that the machine is capable of doing almost everything. I'm working as a Digital Marketing Manager and I have 20+ tabs open in Chrome, Skype, MS Teams, Zoom calls and etc and the fan didn't turn. I don't know what you guys expect from a base model, but I'm more than happy with my MBA 2020 i3.
 
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dobrewski_77

macrumors member
Sep 10, 2015
37
18
Plovdiv,Bulgaria
I have had my M1 16GB 1TB SSD for 5 months now and love it. Two weeks ago my wife's 7 year old MBA died, so I bought her a base M1 MBA, and she loves it. We are now a 2 M1 MBA family :)
That's great news, James - congrats on your 2nd M1 in the family.

What I was initially going to say is that for me the M1 (based on paper and benchmarks) is definitely better than all Intel models, however, I think that the hype over this laptop (or more specifically the chip) is a bit too high.

Don't get me wrong - it is absolutely great machine, but the Intel Macs are almost on the same page (depends on your workflow and apps you're using) and people need to understand that the latest and greatest is not every time the best option to go for. I could report that my MBA 2020 (i3/8/256) is running smoothly enough for me and even with a heavy day running so many apps in the background and having a Zoom call (yes, a Zoom call nowadays is an arbitrage If a machine is good or not, lol :D) the fan didn't turn up and I can't tell that the machine is slowing down as of performance. So my advice to all the people considering a Mac - either the base model of 2020 with Intel chip or the M1 is to really make research and analyze If the machine will suit the everyday work.

Have a lovely rest of your day ahead, cheers!
 
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Modernape

macrumors regular
Jun 21, 2010
226
38
That's great news, James - congrats on your 2nd M1 in the family.

What I was initially going to say is that for me the M1 (based on paper and benchmarks) is definitely better than all Intel models, however, I think that the hype over this laptop (or more specifically the chip) is a bit too high.

Don't get me wrong - it is absolutely great machine, but the Intel Macs are almost on the same page (depends on your workflow and apps you're using) and people need to understand that the latest and greatest is not every time the best option to go for. I could report that my MBA 2020 (i3/8/256) is running smoothly enough for me and even with a heavy day running so many apps in the background and having a Zoom call (yes, a Zoom call nowadays is an arbitrage If a machine is good or not, lol :D) the fan didn't turn up and I can't tell that the machine is slowing down as of performance. So my advice to all the people considering a Mac - either the base model of 2020 with Intel chip or the M1 is to really make research and analyze If the machine will suit the everyday work.

Have a lovely rest of your day ahead, cheers!
But if you need to charge it near the end of your work day, and then have a Zoom or Skype call too? If you try to tell us the fan doesn't spin up and drown out the audio then, you're not being truthful with us.

I know this because that's exactly the reason I sold my 2020 Air and got the M1 version.
 

MBAir2010

macrumors 68040
May 30, 2018
3,745
3,867
sunny florida
I would
 will support these forever and the processor is fast!
as far as selling yours
PCworld was staying today that memory prices are going to rise, well:
this year is expected to be great for people selling computers. RAM-maker Micron disclosed earlier this month, for example, that it expects one million PCs to be sold each day this year. With new server CPUs using denser memory and more memory channels, and new 5G phones also soaking up DRAM, all things point to even tighter demand this year.

Hopefully  will cexhange your for a great price toward a new M1 air, or you might do better selfing that yourself.
 

Pugly

macrumors 6502
Jun 7, 2016
293
254
I had the i5 of the 2020 Air, but didn't like it and returned that for the 4 port 13" MBP. I just recently traded that in to get an M1 Air.

The Intel Air was pretty disappointing, for what I wanted it to do the fans would be on constantly. I was upgrading from a 2015 Air, and all told it wasn't really that much faster for how much newer it was. The MBP was better, but I'm not a fan of the touchbar and like the wedge shape. And the fan still turned on more than I would have liked.

Whatever computer I got would be used for a good 5+ years, and the MBP just didn't seem like that kind of device to me. So either I wait and get the next Air revision whenever that comes, or just take the trade in right now. I took the trade in loss and upgraded to the M1 Air.

Now this is finally the computer I wanted all along, and I'll definitely be using this for a long time. The Intel MBP was fast enough, but this is considerably faster. It runs quiet, cool and it has the Air shape I like without the touchbar. It has a surprising amount of graphics performance, so being able to run some games decently is a nice bonus. It just gets rid of all the little annoyances I had with the other Macs.

The only actual downsides are the lack of ports, and I wish it was a little small and lighter. It's still a really small and light laptop though, and I doubt Apple will make one much smaller than this. They tried with the 12" MacBook, and I don't think that design is coming back.

So I lost some money gambling on the Arm Macs being worse than they ended up being. But I think if the Air is perfect for you, it's worth it to trade up for it. I think a lot of people lost that bet.

I see it as a time-warp, this was the computer I was going to upgrade to a couple years down the line. It just happened much earlier than I expected.
 
Last edited:

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
16,536
5,446
I had the i5 of the 2020 Air, but didn't like it and returned that for the 4 port 13" MBP. I just recently traded that in to get an M1 Air.

The Intel Air was pretty disappointing, for what I wanted it to do the fans would be on constantly. I was upgrading from a 2015 Air, and all told it wasn't really that much faster for how much newer it was. The MBP was better, but I'm not a fan of the touchbar and like the wedge shape. And the fan still turned on more than I would have liked.

Whatever computer I got would be used for a good 5+ years, and the MBP just didn't seem like that kind of device to me. So either I wait and get the next Air revision whenever that comes, or just take the trade in right now. I took the trade in loss and upgraded to the M1 Air.

Now this is finally the computer I wanted all along, and I'll definitely be using this for a long time. The Intel MBP was fast enough, but this is considerably faster. It runs quiet, cool and it has the Air shape I like without the touchbar. It has a surprising amount of graphics performance, so being able to run some games decently is a nice bonus. It just gets rid of all the little annoyances I had with the other Macs.

The only actual downsides are the lack of ports, and I wish it was a little small and lighter. It's still a really small and light laptop though, and I doubt Apple will make one much smaller than this. They tried with the 12" MacBook, and I don't think that design is coming back.

So I lost some money gambling on the Arm Macs being worse than they ended up being. But I think if the Air is perfect for you, it's worth it to trade up for it. I think a lot of people lost that bet.

I see it as a time-warp, this was the computer I was going to upgrade to a couple years down the line. It just happened much earlier than I expected.
Like you, I had the 2020 i5 Air, returned it for the 4-port Ice Lake Pro, and then ultimately sold the Pro for the M1 Air and am really happy with my decision. The Pro was nice but the fan was on all the time. The M1 Air is just as fast or faster and has no fan. Like you, I would like to see the 12” MacBook return but am happy with the Air.
 
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tps3443

macrumors 65816
Jan 24, 2019
1,404
904
NC,USA
MacBook Air M1 is an amazing machine. I use Unreal Engine 4 on my machine. And it runs butter smooth. These small and thin machines are seriously power houses. Even a base model is sufficient, if that’s what you’ve got.
 

Novius89

macrumors member
Nov 1, 2020
96
46
I almost bought an i3/i5 air in July 2020. After investigating I found that the fan is always on. So I decided not to buy it.
Then Apple came with the m1, and after some reading , I went for it.
Couldn’t be happier 😊

I want a “cheap” Apple Watch , Apple came with the SE.
I wanted a MacBook, Apple came with the m1.


It’s almost like they feel what I want, so hopefully Apple will come with affordable houses here in Holland 😂😂😂😂
 

jjahshik32

macrumors 603
Sep 4, 2006
5,351
48
I think it is very worthwhile to upgrade now before the value of the intel plummets even more when the M1X chips are released later this year. I loved my 16" MacBook Pro but just traded it in to get a the M1 Air. I bought my 16" MacBook Pro last year refurbished from Microcenter for $1,499 so didn't lose too much in value in 1 year as I was offered $1250.

I didn't order the Air yet as I'm deciding between the base model vs 16GB model but will soon after next Tuesday. I figured that intel macs will slowly become obsolete in the next few years and I rather just jump now.
 

xraydoc

macrumors demi-god
Oct 9, 2005
8,707
2,874
192.168.1.1
I think it is very worthwhile to upgrade now before the value of the intel plummets even more when the M1X chips are released later this year. I loved my 16" MacBook Pro but just traded it in to get a the M1 Air. I bought my 16" MacBook Pro last year refurbished from Microcenter for $1,499 so didn't lose too much in value in 1 year as I was offered $1250.

I didn't order the Air yet as I'm deciding between the base model vs 16GB model but will soon after next Tuesday. I figured that intel macs will slowly become obsolete in the next few years and I rather just jump now.
The (rumored) M1X or M2 or whatever may draw too much power to be used in a MacBook Air (with or without a fan). I suspect even with a new chip on the horizon, the M1-based MacBook Air will be around for a full product cycle.
 
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jjahshik32

macrumors 603
Sep 4, 2006
5,351
48
The (rumored) M1X or M2 or whatever may draw too much power to be used in a MacBook Air (with or without a fan). I suspect even with a new chip on the horizon, the M1-based MacBook Air will be around for a full product cycle.
I was mentioning M1X/M2 in the MacBook Pro in the near term. It will still come to the MacBook Air at some point but I can see the intel MacBook Air 2020 losing value every month as more and more people figure out how much faster and efficient the M1 chips are and developers updating their apps to support it rather than staying afloat.
 
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James_C

macrumors 68030
Sep 13, 2002
2,600
1,344
Bristol, UK
The (rumored) M1X or M2 or whatever may draw too much power to be used in a MacBook Air (with or without a fan). I suspect even with a new chip on the horizon, the M1-based MacBook Air will be around for a full product cycle.

Apple probably need to develop some chip differentiation. I agree with you, I don't seen Apple upgrading the MBA anytime soon, its already a powerhouse :). Apple may want to put a more powerful chip in the MBP and iMacs to differentiate it from the low cost MBA probably with a M1X designation. Next year I suspect we will see the MBA go to M2 and the Pro Series / Desktops (iMacs and Mini )go to M2X
 
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