Macbook air 2015?

Configure and optimize you computer for Audio.
KVRist
177 posts since 20 Dec, 2018

Post Mon May 03, 2021 5:33 am

Hey,

I hope I’m on the right to place to ask this.

I’m looking for a 2nd hand macbook for my birthday. I currently use a slow hp with a celeron 1.5ghz processor and 4gb of ram.. Of course not ideal, but somehow I have managed to produce a few tracks from start to finish. Basically anything from what I am used will be a upgrade :hihi:

I came across a 2015 macbook air with a dual i7 processor 2,2ghz and 8gb of ram. I wonder if it will fit my needs.

I’m not looking for a incredibly fast laptop. I can’t really ask for that anyway with my budget. I mostly use hardware and acoustic stuff, but it has to be capable of running a few instruments vst’s and effects at once. I use ableton lite atm, but want to upgrade to standard in the future. Maybe also some drawing.

Hope to hear if this will be a decent buy.

KVRist
128 posts since 24 Oct, 2006

Post Mon May 03, 2021 10:43 pm

Long term support for Macs is far better than PCs, but 6 years is a bit too old. I would skip it.

If your budget won't cover a Mac that was made in the last 3 years, I think you would be better served by a PC. However, I wouldn't buy a PC that was older than a year or so. PC manufacturers are generally terrible with firmware updates and stop providing them after a few years.

In this age of constant CPU vulnerabilities, firmware updates are essential.

KVRAF
2314 posts since 5 Nov, 2014

Post Mon May 03, 2021 11:00 pm

That Air is actually quite decent machine and it should serve you quite well after the one you already got, seem like you aren't demanding user anyways. So if it's in great condition and the price is right, go for it, also those Air's don't have graphic card issues like rest of the Pro line.

KVRist

Topic Starter

177 posts since 20 Dec, 2018

Post Mon May 03, 2021 11:38 pm

echosystm wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 10:43 pm
Long term support for Macs is far better than PCs, but 6 years is a bit too old. I would skip it.

If your budget won't cover a Mac that was made in the last 3 years, I think you would be better served by a PC. However, I wouldn't buy a PC that was older than a year or so. PC manufacturers are generally terrible with firmware updates and stop providing them after a few years.

In this age of constant CPU vulnerabilities, firmware updates are essential.
My brother actually uses a 2013 mbp and I worked on it a few times and it’s pretty smooth.

KVRist

Topic Starter

177 posts since 20 Dec, 2018

Post Mon May 03, 2021 11:40 pm

Passing Bye wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 11:00 pm
That Air is actually quite decent machine and it should serve you quite well after the one you already got, seem like you aren't demanding user anyways. So if it's in great condition and the price is right, go for it, also those Air's don't have graphic card issues like rest of the Pro line.
I really see mixed opinions. Some say it should work fine and others say always skip a older macbook air. Is it correct they have problems with heath on heaving demanding programs

KVRAF
2314 posts since 5 Nov, 2014

Post Tue May 04, 2021 1:17 am

Funkaroma wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 11:40 pm
Passing Bye wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 11:00 pm
That Air is actually quite decent machine and it should serve you quite well after the one you already got, seem like you aren't demanding user anyways. So if it's in great condition and the price is right, go for it, also those Air's don't have graphic card issues like rest of the Pro line.
I really see mixed opinions. Some say it should work fine and others say always skip a older macbook air. Is it correct they have problems with heath on heaving demanding programs
Every Intel laptop have problem with heat, it's unavoidable, only way around it is to get new M1 Air or look into newer AMD offerings on other side, like this one, which outperforms that Air big time:

https://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-IP5-15-6- ... B088KQ1ZFN

KVRist

Topic Starter

177 posts since 20 Dec, 2018

Post Tue May 04, 2021 2:19 am

Passing Bye wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 1:17 am
Funkaroma wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 11:40 pm
Passing Bye wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 11:00 pm
That Air is actually quite decent machine and it should serve you quite well after the one you already got, seem like you aren't demanding user anyways. So if it's in great condition and the price is right, go for it, also those Air's don't have graphic card issues like rest of the Pro line.
I really see mixed opinions. Some say it should work fine and others say always skip a older macbook air. Is it correct they have problems with heath on heaving demanding programs
Every Intel laptop have problem with heat, it's unavoidable, only way around it is to get new M1 Air or look into newer AMD offerings on other side, like this one, which outperforms that Air big time:

https://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-IP5-15-6- ... B088KQ1ZFN
But pro’s apparently have better cooling systems?

I rather wait then going for a windows laptop. :ud:

KVRAF
2314 posts since 5 Nov, 2014

Post Tue May 04, 2021 2:53 am

Funkaroma wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 2:19 am
But pro’s apparently have better cooling systems?
And better/more powerful processors and price, still get noisy and hot like an oven, if we talk about Intel, M1 on other hand is revolution in that regard, if you can wait or pay it installments, M1 Air is good enough for your needs, even without cooler it stays cool and quiet under heavier loads.

User avatar
KVRAF
2536 posts since 26 Jul, 2015 from Philadelphia

Post Tue May 04, 2021 3:07 am

I used to run Ableton Suite on a 12” MacBook from 2016 (which is much weaker than the 2015 Air) and it worked fine. Nothing to brag about but workable. I still use this machine for everday tasks. I felt that the upgrade to the latest MacOS made it a bit sluggish though. But if you can get your hands on a cheap 2015 Air there is nothing wrong going for it. Apple does not trade those in anymore so you can probably get them for next to nothing.

KVRist

Topic Starter

177 posts since 20 Dec, 2018

Post Tue May 04, 2021 3:59 am

Passing Bye wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 2:53 am
Funkaroma wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 2:19 am
But pro’s apparently have better cooling systems?
And better/more powerful processors and price, still get noisy and hot like an oven, if we talk about Intel, M1 on other hand is revolution in that regard, if you can wait or pay it installments, M1 Air is good enough for your needs, even without cooler it stays cool and quiet under heavier loads.
But these airs have a dual core i7 and pro’s dual i5’s? Or isn’t that saying much?

KVRist

Topic Starter

177 posts since 20 Dec, 2018

Post Tue May 04, 2021 4:01 am

mgw38 wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 3:07 am
I used to run Ableton Suite on a 12” MacBook from 2016 (which is much weaker than the 2015 Air) and it worked fine. Nothing to brag about but workable. I still use this machine for everday tasks. I felt that the upgrade to the latest MacOS made it a bit sluggish though. But if you can get your hands on a cheap 2015 Air there is nothing wrong going for it. Apple does not trade those in anymore so you can probably get them for next to nothing.
How did that work? Could you use multiple plugins? Right now I have to freeze every midi track to be able to continue. I don’t mind freezing a few, but everything is a bit painful tbh.

Yeah they go around for like 350€ over here.

KVRAF
21979 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from not here

Post Tue May 04, 2021 4:51 am

I've used weaker computers for extended periods (years) and gotten stuff done. I had to commit to audio all the time.

KVRAF
2314 posts since 5 Nov, 2014

Post Tue May 04, 2021 5:01 am

Funkaroma wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 3:59 am
Passing Bye wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 2:53 am
Funkaroma wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 2:19 am
But pro’s apparently have better cooling systems?
And better/more powerful processors and price, still get noisy and hot like an oven, if we talk about Intel, M1 on other hand is revolution in that regard, if you can wait or pay it installments, M1 Air is good enough for your needs, even without cooler it stays cool and quiet under heavier loads.
But these airs have a dual core i7 and pro’s dual i5’s? Or isn’t that saying much?
As I said, Macbook Pro's have stronger CPU's, entry level 2015 Macbook Pro with i5 is more performant than top of the line 2015 Air with i7.

User avatar
KVRAF
2536 posts since 26 Jul, 2015 from Philadelphia

Post Tue May 04, 2021 5:13 am

Funkaroma wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 4:01 am
mgw38 wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 3:07 am
I used to run Ableton Suite on a 12” MacBook from 2016 (which is much weaker than the 2015 Air) and it worked fine. Nothing to brag about but workable. I still use this machine for everday tasks. I felt that the upgrade to the latest MacOS made it a bit sluggish though. But if you can get your hands on a cheap 2015 Air there is nothing wrong going for it. Apple does not trade those in anymore so you can probably get them for next to nothing.
How did that work? Could you use multiple plugins? Right now I have to freeze every midi track to be able to continue. I don’t mind freezing a few, but everything is a bit painful tbh.

Yeah they go around for like 350€ over here.
I can't quite remember the exact performance (has been a while) but it wasn't like freezing every single track. At the time I also worked with a maxed out 2012 Retina MacBook Pro and while the pro was of course faster the difference was not at the level that I felt problematic for my workflow. What was more of an annoyance was the screen resolution. And that is actually something you probably need to look into. The 2015 Air had a fairly low screen resolution if I remember correctly.

350 Euro is way too expensive for a 2015 Air btw. I wouldn't pay more than 100 bucks for it. If you go for the cheapest M1, it will give you significantly better performance for not that much more money.

KVRAF
2314 posts since 5 Nov, 2014

Post Tue May 04, 2021 5:31 am

mgw38 wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 5:13 am
350 Euro is way too expensive for a 2015 Air btw. I wouldn't pay more than 100 bucks for it. If you go for the cheapest M1, it will give you significantly better performance for not that much more money.
Agree, those old Intel machines are still way overpriced and sincerely not worth it.

Intel had monopoly over market and same stagnated for the course of almost 10 years, that stopped when AMD resurrected and when Apple went for their own ARM chip, they changed the game, now you can get twice as faster and more performant machine for less money, now entry level 1000 bucks M1 Air beats top of the line Intel Macbook Pro i9 which cost more than twice as much, on other hand AMD laptops are only thing that can rival new M1's, but still, they even cost more and don't have same amazing screens as M1's, dunno, if you are into macOS, buying Intel machine is huge waste of money, only if you can get it for peanuts.

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