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  1. #16
    Can a base model i3 8GB MBA remain useable for 8-10 years for a basic user?
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    Way back in the day of hard wiring business machines for punch card process...
    To add to the trip down memory lane.

    I seem to remember seeing some sort of list (maybe it was somewhere during the 1980's) that was titled "Jobs that you won't see in 5 years" (or something like that). And punchcard operator was listed. I'm guessing in the 1980's...anyone that was a punchcard operator...knew the end was VERY near. Lol

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  2. #17
    Can a base model i3 8GB MBA remain useable for 8-10 years for a basic user?
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    I forget where I was where there was just an entire in-depth discussion on this. The thing is, as you know, that each block of an SSD is only good for a certain number of reads and writes. Somewhere around 8.
    Not getting argumentative, but this article SSD Lifespan: How Long Will Your SSD Work? says the average single-level cell NAND supports 50,000 to 100,000 write cycles. MLC and TLC flash is lower, but in the 3000 to 10,000 write cycle range. I know that cell writes and block writes are two different animals, but the idea that a block is unusable after only 8 write cycles just seems very, very strange.
    Jake

  3. #18
    Can a base model i3 8GB MBA remain useable for 8-10 years for a basic user?
    Randy B. Singer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    This is true...and I completely agree. But as mentioned...this 12 year old iMac running Snow Leopard...is kind of a dedicated purpose machine for running legacy PowerPC software.
    No, it isn't. While it isn't running all of the latest apps, it is still running some of the latest apps. And of the apps that it is running, quite a few of them have been updated at some point since the iMac was new. Some of them have even been updated many times.

    The fact that I've kept such an old Mac running an old version of the Mac OS is because I want to be able to run a few pieces of legacy software. But I have no doubt that this iMac would be just as fast, or faster, if I were to upgrade it to a newer version of the Mac OS. (I would just lose all my legacy PowerPC apps.)

    Newer versions of the Mac OS aren't slower than older versions. They are usually faster, as long as one does a clean install when upgrading.

    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    And as mentioned...Safari runs kind of terrible (since the demands of the internet in 2020 are a lot different than 2008).
    Safari from OS X 10.6 runs terribly because of new technology used on the Web. But as I said, that didn't make Safari slower, it just made it flaky. Note that I had no problems finding a newer alternate browser that is fast and sufficiently compatible with modern Web technology.

    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    Many users update their computers OS the very day (or soon after) a new update/upgrade is released (and Apple sort of forces this on us...with all of the update reminders).
    I know. I've begun to strongly suggest that folks stop doing that. I almost begged folks not to do it with Catalina. There is little reason why doing that is necessary. The standard reason that folks give is for the increased security. But I've yet to hear from a single Mac user running an older Mac OS who has suffered because of a security problem that they could have avoided by having run a newer version of the Mac OS.

    On the other hand, there is an entire thread going on right as we speak on the Mac consultant's list on how Catalina's security can, in certain situations, lead to a bricked Mac, or a Mac that has to be thrown away rather than it being able to be repaired. (Mostly in combination with the T2 chip in some Macs.) So I'm not sure that we all want as much new security as Apple is offering.

    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    Even if the OP didn't change anything about this 2020 MacBook Air (same macOS and same installed apps)...in 8-10 years internet performance will surely be reduced...and wouldn't be as "fast & snappy" as it was in 2020.
    I don't see any sign that internet performance will "surely" be reduced at any point in the future. A change in technology doesn't mean that things necessarily have to get slower. Upgrading one's browser doesn't mean that the new browser has to be slower. The version of Firefox that runs on my 12 year old iMac is at least as fast as the older version of Safari it replaced.


    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    This is also assuming in 8-10 years this 2020 MacBook Air would still be considered the OP's "main" computer.
    I don't see why it couldn't be his main computer in 10 years. I can use my 12 year old iMac all day, everyday, if I want to. In fact, thanks to two or three older apps that were never updated for Intel, my workflow on my old iMac can be more efficient if I stick to using it all day, and some days I do.

    This discussion is starting to become circular. The OP wanted to know if he purchased a Mac now, could it be used for 10 years and still have good performance for all that time. My 12 year old iMac shows that it is certainly possible. Can he do it without sacrificing some things...probably not. A decade old Mac will never be the same as a new, or even just a newer, Mac. I'm not trying to say that it is. To keep a Mac running well for a decade he'll have to decide what things are a good idea to upgrade, and which aren't. He may even have to do without some new technology or feature that appears at some point. But it's not at all a sure thing that his Mac will slow down, and he doesn't have to go 10 years without upgrading his OS, or upgrading many of his apps, to keep it from slowing down.
    Randy B. Singer
    Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
    Mac OS X Routine Maintenance http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html

  4. #19
    Can a base model i3 8GB MBA remain useable for 8-10 years for a basic user?
    lclev's Avatar
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    I will jump in here and say when I upgrade I go for the most beefy to hopefully future proof as much as possible.

    BUT - I have a 2009 Macbook with 4GB of memory running Windows 10 in bootcamp and she is still snappy and going strong. I did have to install in an SSD, re-thermal pasted the CPU and replaced the battery but she still does her job.

    I also gave my 13" Macbook Air to a friend. It has 8Gb of memory. She is also going strong.

    That said - keep in mind the Macbook Air you are looking at is NOT upgradeable by the average user. So all the stuff I did to the 2009 MB would not be possible on a new MBA - unless you have real skills and a love of soldering.

    Lisa
    Recommend using Onyx to clean your Mac.
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  5. #20
    Can a base model i3 8GB MBA remain useable for 8-10 years for a basic user?
    usagora's Avatar
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    Don't get tempted to overthink this. You'll be fine with the base model. My base model 2013 MacBook Air with half the RAM and a much older i5 processor (which I'm sure is slower than the newer i3 in a 2020 MBA) is still going strong for basic tasks like you described. MS Office was mentioned as being "demanding." Well, my 7-year-old MBA handles even the latest versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint just fine. For instance, I run animation-heavy PowerPoints on it with no issues (and I mean anywhere from 2-10 animations run simultaneously with no hiccups).
    Jonathan
    2019 iMac (27"/i9/64GB) | 2012 iMac (27"/i5/16GB) | 2013 MacBook Air (13"/i5/4GB) | iPhone SE (2020) | Apple Watch Series 4

  6. #21
    Can a base model i3 8GB MBA remain useable for 8-10 years for a basic user?
    krs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy B. Singer View Post
    If his computer is "fast and snappy" this year, and if his software (both OS and apps) are substantially similar 10 years from now to what he is using now, I think that his computer can easily be just as "fast and snappy" in 10 years as it is now.
    Based on my experience with my 2012 Mini I would have to agree with Randy, except....
    I upgraded from macOS 10.8 the OS the Mini came with to 10.11 and now to 10.14, six versions of the macOS
    and
    I filled the HDD up with over 400GB of date(on a 500GB drive)
    and the Mini is still plenty fast for all the types of tasks the OP mentioned.

    Windows PCs in the office we have to replace every 2-3 years because they slow down so much that it really affects connectivity, but I don't remember ever having replaced a Mac because its performance deteriorated significantly over time.

  7. #22
    Can a base model i3 8GB MBA remain useable for 8-10 years for a basic user?
    krs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raz0rEdge View Post
    AS the others have eluded, if you are specific about what you install and your use case doesn't dramatically change, then yes. But people tend to always update their applications as new versions come out and developers tend to focus on supporting hardware/OS's that fairly recent and not care much about how poorly it might perform on a 10 year old machine.
    That is not my actual experience with my 2012 Mini at all.

  8. #23
    Can a base model i3 8GB MBA remain useable for 8-10 years for a basic user?
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy B. Singer View Post
    This discussion is starting to become circular. The OP wanted to know if he purchased a Mac now, could it be used for 10 years and still have good performance for all that time. My 12 year old iMac shows that it is certainly possible. Can he do it without sacrificing some things...probably not. A decade old Mac will never be the same as a new, or even just a newer, Mac. I'm not trying to say that it is. To keep a Mac running well for a decade he'll have to decide what things are a good idea to upgrade, and which aren't. He may even have to do without some new technology or feature that appears at some point. But it's not at all a sure thing that his Mac will slow down, and he doesn't have to go 10 years without upgrading his OS, or upgrading many of his apps, to keep it from slowing down.
    I think we both know there is a small subset of users that are perfectly ok using a computer for a very long time (8-10+ years). If we consider 100% of all Apple computer users...a large percentage of all users fall into the 3-5 year group..and a smaller group of users that probably upgrade every 2 years ("power-users" or users that prefer to always have something fairly new).

    Also...much of the experiences mentioned in this thread are representative of "Monday morning quarterbacking". It's easy to say that a 2008-2010 computer is doing fine in 2020 (10-12 years later)...after the fact. But who could accurately predict (if asked in the 2008-2010 timeframe) that their computer would still be going well in 2020.

    And of course...what's the percentage of Apple computer purchasers from 2010...who are still using that exact same computer in 2020? This data might be hard to come by (or expensive)...but my educated guess would be less than 5% (certainly less than 10%).

    In this particular case we have no idea what sort of computer user the OP is...thus hard to know what group he/she falls into.

    I still stick my my original advice...if someone asks "Will an Apple computer purchased in 2020 still be "fast & snappy" 8-10 years from now?"...I still say "Don't bet on it".

    If the question was more like..."Will an Apple computer purchased in 2020 still be "useful/useable" 8-10 years from now?"...I would say...very good chance.

    "Fast & Snappy" is the key phrase used by the OP.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  9. #24
    Can a base model i3 8GB MBA remain useable for 8-10 years for a basic user?
    krs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lclev View Post
    That said - keep in mind the Macbook Air you are looking at is NOT upgradeable by the average user. So all the stuff I did to the 2009 MB would not be possible on a new MBA - unless you have real skills and a love of soldering.
    Lisa
    On that note, for that 2020 MBa the OP is looking at, I would go for the i5 version if it's only $100.- more and also very seriously consider upgrading it to 16GB of RAM.

  10. #25
    Can a base model i3 8GB MBA remain useable for 8-10 years for a basic user?
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krs View Post
    ..and also very seriously consider upgrading it to 16GB of RAM.
    If the OP intends on keeping it for 8-10 years...I would consider the 16GB of RAM almost a mandatory upgrade!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  11. #26
    Can a base model i3 8GB MBA remain useable for 8-10 years for a basic user?
    usagora's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    Also...much of the experiences mentioned in this thread are representative of "Monday morning quarterbacking". It's easy to say that a 2008-2010 computer is doing fine in 2020 (10-12 years later)...after the fact. But who could accurately predict (if asked in the 2008-2010 timeframe) that their computer would still be going well in 2020.
    Well obviously none of us has a crystal ball to know whether a computer will experience a major technical fault within that time frame, but that's true whether it's a base model Mac Mini or a top-level Mac Pro. But in terms of normal use with functioning hardware, the base model MBA he is looking at should be just fine for the tasks he described for a long while. Sure, as time goes on, newer Macs would seem "faster" and "snappier" than his MBA, should he do a side-by-side comparison, but I doubt he's going to notice any significant slowdown of the MBA as he simply uses it day after day.

    EDIT: just saw your RAM post. My 4GB MBA is still running basic apps just fine in 2020, even when I have multiple apps (e.g. Chrome, Word, PowerPoint) open simultaneously. His target purchase will have twice that RAM. Obviously more RAM won't hurt, but if the OP is budget-conscience, I'm not sure if he will see all that much difference for his use-case. I think if they had to choose, I'd recommend the OP spend $249 on AppleCare+ before $200 on more RAM. Again, given his use-case.
    Last edited by usagora; 06-03-2020 at 01:43 PM.
    Jonathan
    2019 iMac (27"/i9/64GB) | 2012 iMac (27"/i5/16GB) | 2013 MacBook Air (13"/i5/4GB) | iPhone SE (2020) | Apple Watch Series 4

  12. #27
    Can a base model i3 8GB MBA remain useable for 8-10 years for a basic user?
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by usagora View Post
    EDIT: just saw your RAM post. My 4GB MBA is still running basic apps just fine in 2020, even when I have multiple apps (e.g. Chrome, Word, PowerPoint) open simultaneously. His target purchase will have twice that RAM. Obviously more RAM won't hurt, but if the OP is budget-conscience, I'm not sure if he will see all that much difference for his use-case. I think if they had to choose, I'd recommend the OP spend $249 on AppleCare+ before $200 on more RAM. Again, given his use-case.
    I'm basing my 16GB RAM recommendation on what might be the norm 8-10 years from now...not what the norm is in 2020.

    Right now I would always recommend that someone purchasing a new Apple computer in 2020...that they get at least 8GB of RAM. This is also based on the average person using a computer for 3-5 years before upgrading.

    But if someone says they plan on using a computer (purchased in 2020) for 8-10 years (or maybe more)...in 2028-2030 (8-10 years from now)...16GB of RAM might be the norm then. This is also based on all Apple portable computers having non-user upgradeable RAM (got to get as much at time of purchase as the computer/user will ever need).

    If someone intends on using a computer purchased in 2020 for 8-10 years...I would prefer they purchase as much computer as their budget can afford.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  13. #28
    Can a base model i3 8GB MBA remain useable for 8-10 years for a basic user?
    usagora's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    I'm basing my 16GB RAM recommendation on what might be the norm 8-10 years from now...not what the norm is in 2020.
    And so was I by saying the 8GB should be sufficient. My MBA has half that (4GB) and is still going strong 7 years later. Thus I figure a 2020 machine with twice what mine has ought to be good for what the OP intends to use it for for at least that long if not longer.

    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    I would prefer they purchase as much computer as their budget can afford.
    afford being the key word there, which is why I was saying if the OP's budget dictates they can't go beyond the base config, then they should be fine, and if they have a little $$$ extra to spend, then to go for AppleCare vs. a RAM upgrade. Obviously, if the sky's the limit or they have a wide margin to play with, then maxing out the RAM or anything else can't hurt.
    Jonathan
    2019 iMac (27"/i9/64GB) | 2012 iMac (27"/i5/16GB) | 2013 MacBook Air (13"/i5/4GB) | iPhone SE (2020) | Apple Watch Series 4

  14. #29
    Can a base model i3 8GB MBA remain useable for 8-10 years for a basic user?
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by usagora View Post
    And so was I by saying the 8GB should be sufficient. My MBA has half that (4GB) and is still going strong 7 years later. Thus I figure a 2020 machine with twice what mine has ought to be good for what the OP intends to use it for for at least that long if not longer.
    I don't think the norm in 10 years will be 8GB of RAM. 8GB of RAM is the norm now. Thus for someone purchasing a new computer now...and intending on using it for 8-10 years...16GB of RAM would be a less risky purchase decision.

    But...if a 16GB RAM upgrade is absolutely out of the question budget-wise...then 8GB of RAM it would have to be.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  15. #30
    Can a base model i3 8GB MBA remain useable for 8-10 years for a basic user?
    usagora's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    I don't think the norm in 10 years will be 8GB of RAM. 8GB of RAM is the norm now. Thus for someone purchasing a new computer now...and intending on using it for 8-10 years...16GB of RAM would be a less risky purchase decision.

    But...if a 16GB RAM upgrade is absolutely out of the question budget-wise...then 8GB of RAM it would have to be.

    - Nick
    Sorry, I should have said that 8GB should still be sufficient (which is what counts) 7-10 years from now, not the norm. My bad.
    Jonathan
    2019 iMac (27"/i9/64GB) | 2012 iMac (27"/i5/16GB) | 2013 MacBook Air (13"/i5/4GB) | iPhone SE (2020) | Apple Watch Series 4

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