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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > 2010 or 2011 Macbook Airs

2010 or 2011 Macbook Airs
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Dec 13, 2011, 11:50 AM
 
I am looking at buying a 11" Macbook Air for my wife and 13" Macbook Air for myself. MacMall is doing great deals on the 2010 version. So I'm wondering if I should save money and buy the 2010 versions or order the new versions with 256 gb hard drives and the i7 processors. How does Lion perform on the 2010 versions? If I bought the older versions, they would both have 4gb of ram. My wife will be using hers for iPhoto, Safari, e-mail, movies etc. I'll be using mine mainly for writing and also Logos. I have another laptop, a PC laptop I use for work (fully loaded HP DV6 with i7 etc.).

Any advice would be appreciated.
     
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Dec 13, 2011, 12:20 PM
 
They will both do what you need them to just fine. That said, the newer versions are significantly more powerful and will last you longer.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Dec 13, 2011, 12:56 PM
 
Good advice. I'm sure there are pros to buying an older (new) model, but if you get the latest it will last you through more OS and app revisions.
He can be fixed -- you can't.
     
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Dec 13, 2011, 11:58 PM
 
As of the current rev, the i7 processor is not available on the macbook air
     
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Dec 14, 2011, 03:23 AM
 
They're available as BTO options - not that the difference to the i5 is very big. If you mean that there are no quadcores available, you're right.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Dec 21, 2011, 04:46 PM
 
Does the i5-spec MBA seem noticeably faster than, say, the 1.86 GHz duo2core in day-to-day use? I have a 17" 2.16GHz core duo that has nearly the same Geek Bench scores as the 1.86 GHz C2D MBA, and the former definitely feels less snappy, even just using the Finder and web surfing.
     
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Dec 21, 2011, 04:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by austai View Post
Does the i5-spec MBA seem noticeably faster than, say, the 1.86 GHz duo2core in day-to-day use? I have a 17" 2.16GHz core duo that has nearly the same Geek Bench scores as the 1.86 GHz C2D MBA, and the former definitely feels less snappy, even just using the Finder and web surfing.
Depends on what your everyday use is. For office work and light browsing, anything is fast enough. If you stress the CPU a little, the latest i5 will shine - it's quite a bit faster in the general case.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Dec 26, 2011, 09:16 AM
 
Incorrect - I have the 2011 Macbook Air with the Core i7 1.8 Ghz processor
     
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Dec 26, 2011, 09:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by austai View Post
Does the i5-spec MBA seem noticeably faster than, say, the 1.86 GHz duo2core in day-to-day use? I have a 17" 2.16GHz core duo that has nearly the same Geek Bench scores as the 1.86 GHz C2D MBA, and the former definitely feels less snappy, even just using the Finder and web surfing.
The SSD makes a big difference to snappiness, though I'd be surprised if the i5 didn't blitz an old Core 2 Duo at most things too.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Dec 29, 2011, 10:10 PM
 
For low end usages any 2010 box works but the 2011 boxes with Sandy Bridge cpus really are much superior when demands increase.
     
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Jan 17, 2012, 10:40 PM
 
my 2010 Macbook Air Rocks for everything, although if i had extra money the new model would be oh so nice to have
     
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Jan 18, 2012, 04:23 AM
 
Check this:
AnandTech - The 2011 MacBook Air (11 & 13-inch): Thoroughly Reviewed
Needless to say it has some pretty good performance comparison charts as well.

Last week I replaced my dying late 2006 MBP C2D with a 13" MBA and it's definitely faster. The big advantage of buying a 2011 MBA is that you can replace the SSD with a higher capacity and better performance SSD.
(more about it here OWC Announces 6Gbps SSD Upgrade for 2011 MacBook Air - MacRumors Forums )

So if you don't need too much disk space I'd say go for a 2010 13". Otherwise the 2011 MBAs seem more future proof at this point.
     
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Jan 27, 2012, 12:13 AM
 
Also consider getting a refurb 2011 model from apple.com, or go to Best Buy and pick up an open-box item. I picked up a MacBook Air 11-inch, 4 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD. Right now Best Buy has an additional $100 off open-box items (at least in my market).
Chris
2011 MacBook Air, iPhone 4s, iPad 2
     
   
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