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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Sep 03, 2013
    Posts
    2
    Wannabe Mac owner but need advice
    Firstly, Hi! Secondly; looking to buy a macbook air. Will be second hand and possibly upto a couple of years old (budget and luck dependent) but there are that many out there with different specs/customised/upgraded etc I'm a bit lost in the minefield! I have done a fair whack of reading on what is what but one possible offer has me a bit :confused: So...which is better....a 2011 MBAir 128GB SSD, 4GB, i5 processor @ 1.7ghz with OS X 10.7 .....OR... an upgraded MBA (2010) to 2.14Ghz C2D, 250GB Flash Drive, 4GB. OS X 10.8
    Things it will be used for are photo editing and music production inc vocals (but not ridiculously multi-tracked - 12 tracks at most i would think).
    Please no insults or arguments (seen how forums go... ) There is not a lot of difference in the two but I'm not sure newer is better, but then I'm not sure it isn't. Any advice appreciated. Thanks in advance. xx

  2. #2

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
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    35,345
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by cathryn75 View Post
    So...which is better....a 2011 MBAir 128GB SSD, 4GB, i5 processor @ 1.7ghz with OS X 10.7 .....OR... an upgraded MBA (2010) to 2.14Ghz C2D, 250GB Flash Drive, 4GB. OS X 10.8
    The 2010 with 250gig of storage is better if you need more storage space. The 2011 is better because it has a better/more up to date processor (and probably has better graphics hardware).

    If it were me...I would go with the 2011 model.

    - Nick

    p.s. You didn't mention the display sizes...hopefully they are the same.
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  3. #3

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location
    Texas, where else?
    Posts
    26,494
    Specs:
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
    The 2010 should be a 2.13 Ghz.

    Below is based on both of these being the 13" screen.

    The i5 1.7 is almost twice as fast with a Passmark score of 2734 while that C2D only scores 1487.

    2010 GPU is nvidia 320M w/256MB
    It offers analog audio out - no optical in/out.
    No backlit keyboard.
    Bluetooth 2.1

    2011 GPU is Intel 3000 w/384MB
    Analog out - no optical in/out
    It has a Thunderbolt port
    It has a backlit keyboard
    Bluetooth 4.0

    My money would go for the 2011. While it's a much better machine - with a 128 GB drive, it is going to require more work at keeping your drive clean and most of your work on an external drive.

    Get to know everymac.com while you're looking to verify specs users are providing and to make comparisons.
    Here is a comparison between these 2 models - link.

    There is also a link there to a company that sells used so you can compare prices if they have the models in stock you're looking at.

    One word of note, no matter what Mac you get, you're going to want to spend the $20 to get your own copy of 10.8 so that it's associated with your Apple ID. The OS with Apple now belongs to the individual rather than the machine. Makes it a pitr sometimes, but not too bad if you know going in and are prepared.

    Don't do any audio work, so you'll need some feedback from others as to whether either of these is a machine to have for music production or not.
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  4. #4

    TattooedMac's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 19, 2009
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    Waiting for a mate . . .
    Posts
    8,437
    Specs:
    21" iMac 2.9Ghz 16GB RAM - 10.11.3, iPhone6s & iPad Air 2 - iOS 9.2.1, ATV 4Th Gen tvOS, ATV3
    Quote Originally Posted by cathryn75 View Post
    Please no insults or arguments (seen how forums go... )
    Thats not how this forum works, and its one of the reasons people keep coming back. Its well Moderated and i dont know a single person that would argue for the sake of it, so be assured you will be safe here. So welcome 1st and foremost

    2nd I would hands down not even look at the 2010 Model.
    The 2011 with the i5 Processor, you are future proofing yourself the other a CD2. A lot of people look solely at the Speed of the Mac and 1.7GHz to 2.13GHz there is a difference, BUT not hugely.
    The biggest thing you will need to worry about with the 2011 MBA is the HD size. Although 128GB isnt that big in todays computing, it is still workable. My girl has that exact model, and i have taught her to backup, delete, backup, delete and to keep only the most used on her machine. She has worked with some PS Images hitting 6-7GB and it fly's along, so i dont think you will have trouble with the Music Production.

    Like i said you will need to backup, so you need to work out if you want to go the Time Machine route, or use something like SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner and make a Bootable clone of the HD and then you have a working OS on a Ext IF your Mac HD fails at anytime, or you forget about keeping your MBA HD clean and you then need to Boot to the Ext and then start to move file/folders over.

    I would take the MBA 2011 HTH Oh and to add, the Backlight Keyboard is a godsend and you will be surprised at how many times you are glad they are lit up. Like laying in bed, lights out, apart from the screen light, but now you have a Backlit Keyboard and can actually see what you are doing Trust me on this one. When i upgraded i was so happy that i had keys i could see.

    PS : EDIT : Im not sure what price you have on both (That would of helped us to help you to make a decision) but have you look at the UK Apple Refurb Store ?? I found a lot of MBA here is a 11" http://store.apple.com/uk/product/G0...-intel-core-i5 or look yourself @ Apple Refurb Store UK.

    Whats the value of the 2 you are looking at ??
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  5. #5

    Ctrl-Opt-Del's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location
    Romford, Essex, England, GB
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    Specs:
    Mac Mini Server 4,1 (2.66GHz C2D CPU, 4GB RAM, 2x500GB HDD) - iPad Air (4G, 16GB) - iPhone SE (64GB)
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
    One word of note, no matter what Mac you get, you're going to want to spend the 13.99 to get your own copy of 10.8 so that it's associated with your Apple ID.
    *currency region-corrected to match that used by OP ;-)
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  6. #6


    Member Since
    Sep 03, 2013
    Posts
    2
    Thanks for your help folks, guessing newer is better as originally suspected...ok...so next Q....Lots of 2011 MBA's on ebay, 13", however, some are 128GB flash, or 128 SSD. Is there really that much difference? Have read stuff on the differences, but these tend to be tech reviews rather than user reviews. I haven't ruled out the MBP either, as although the MBA more portable am aware would I need more plug-ins: DVD-R, external hard drive, usb hub all of which can bump up price. My budget is 700 really, and this is what they tend to go for when a couple of years old, less if lucky. Now weighing up which one best MBA or MBP

  7. #7

    dtravis7's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2005
    Location
    Modesto, Ca.
    Posts
    28,962
    Specs:
    iMac 2010 27" QuadI7 OSX10.11, iMac 2008 OSX10.11, MBP Late2011OSX10.11 , iPad Air, iPhone 3GS
    Are you talking the older Non Retina MBP or the latest Retina? If the older one, all things equal a MBP is a Pro machine and much better than an MBA, but more expensive and heavier also.

  8. #8

    TattooedMac's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 19, 2009
    Location
    Waiting for a mate . . .
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    8,437
    Specs:
    21" iMac 2.9Ghz 16GB RAM - 10.11.3, iPhone6s & iPad Air 2 - iOS 9.2.1, ATV 4Th Gen tvOS, ATV3
    Quote Originally Posted by cathryn75 View Post
    Lots of 2011 MBA's on ebay, 13", however, some are 128GB flash, or 128 SSD. Is there really that much difference?
    They are talking about the same thing. Like the way some people call the 8GB Flash Drives
    As 8GB Thumb drives, just different wording is all. Solid State Drive is a Flash Drive
    Dont forget to use the Reputation System if someone has helped you out !!!
    Arguing with a zealot is only slightly easier than tunneling through a mountain with your forehead!!!!!
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  9. #9


    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
    Location
    Victoria, BC
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    20,911
    Specs:
    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    If you're asking "is there really all that much difference between a SSD/Flash storage drive and a traditional hard drive," the answer is OMG YES!!

    SSDs tend to be something like 10x faster (reading) than normal hard drives, and also very fast in writing as well. Particularly with disk-based activities, this makes a HUGE difference in performance.

    However, as you've probably already discovered, SSDs are expensive and don't come in enormous capacities like HDDs. So there's a big trade-off there if you're storing a lot of stuff on your boot drive.

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