Mac notebooks through the ages: Why upgrade?

In our last MacBook article, we reviewed the range of new MacBook computers released in the March 2015 announcements. In this post, we’re looking back at how MacBook releases from three to five years ago compare with this latest round of updates, and why it might be time to consider treating yourself to a newer model…

MacBook Air

Since its release in 2008, MacBook Air has seen eight updates and revamps, with the latest being in the 2015 announcements. MacBook Air has gone from being the slim, basic option to the slim, powerful option (and is still Apple’s lowest priced MacBook available). We estimate the average lifespan of MacBook Air to be between three to five years, so if this sounds about the time you bought your current MacBook Air, take a look at our comparison below to see how much it has progressed in the past few years.

Processor and memory

The late 2010 MacBook Air featured a 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 2GB of RAM, and the mid 2012 model featured a 1.8GHz Dual Core Intel Core i5 processor with up to 4GB of RAM. The pattern continues, as the current MacBook Air (2015) now comes with a brand new fifth generation Intel Core processor capable of up to 2.2GHz and has been bumped up to 8GB of RAM – making it perfectly capable of running your frequently used business applications like Microsoft Office. MacBook Air now comes with twice the amount of RAM as it had three years ago and four times as much as it did five years ago. Not only that, but it’s also speedier, measuring in at 1600MHz (previously 1060MHz).


We’re going all Jeremy Clarkson now and reporting on speed. According to MacWorld, speed tests on the new MacBook Air reported Geekbench 3 results of  2912 points in single-core mode, and 5821 points in multi-core mode. That’s 4.9% and 7.8% faster than the previous Mid-2014 model (which up until now was the fastest MacBook Air). These new machines sure are speedy.

Screen resolution and graphics

While there hasn’t been any change to the screen resolution since the late 2010 MacBook Air (which came with a screen resolution of 1440×900 pixels in the 13” model), we have seen a huge improvement in the graphics and video support. The new 2015 model features Apple’s latest Intel HD Graphics 6000 GPU, which supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to 3840×2160 pixels on an external display – much better than the Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU of the mid 2012 MacBook Air!

Battery life

We touched upon battery life in our last article, but it’s definitely worth another mention. If you find yourself running your MacBook Air off the battery, you now get up to twelve hours of battery life – nearly double the amount you get from a mid-2010 or 2012 model (which topped out at seven hours).

MacBook Air on Jigsaw24

– Starting at £619 (£742.80 inc VAT), the latest MacBook Air is in stock and ready for delivery over on our website here now.

MacBook Pro

MacBook Pro has been with us since 2006, and in its nine year reign has undergone many refreshes and redesigns to bring us the 2015 model. Much like we did for MacBook Air, we’ve been looking at how MacBook Pro has changed in the past five years by looking at the 2010 and 2012 models, compared with the newly refreshed 13” MacBook Pro with Retina display.

Processor and memory

The 2010 MacBook Pro came equipped with a choice of 2.4GHz or 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 4GB of RAM (upgradable to 8GB). The 2012 MacBook Pro Retina stepped things up slightly, again with a choice between a 2.5 or 2.9GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 or i7 processor and a choice of either 4 or 8 GB of RAM. The present day MacBook Pro with Retina display comes with a 2.7 or 2.9GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz and 8GB of RAM, giving it a super-fast memory. Apple state that the new MacBook Pro with Retina display is perfect whether “you’re browsing a website or building one, streaming video or editing it”.


Again, when looking at the speed tests on MacWorld, the new 13” 2.7GHz MacBook Pro with Retina display reported Geekbench 3 results of 3326 points in single-core mode and 7100 points in multi-core mode. Its predecessor, the mid-2014 model, scored 3307 and 7086 points respectively (with earlier models than this scoring even lower), making the new model the faster choice.


Two of the biggest changes to the MacBook Pro have been its size and weight. The slimming process started in 2012 when the model shrank to a tiny 1.9cm in thickness, thanks to the removal of the optical disc drive. This MacBook Pro was increasingly popular among creative professionals who needed the power and high-resolution Retina display to run their processor-intensive creative applications, but at the same time needed a computer to be portable for when they were working on the move. The current MacBook Pro with Retina display is now slimmer still, measuring in at 31.4cm wide, 21.9cm deep and just 1.8cm thick (only 0.1cm thicker than MacBook Air), and weighs just 1.58kg.

MacBook Pro on Jigsaw24

– Starting at £827 (£992.40 inc VAT), the latest MacBook Pro with Retina display is in stock and ready for delivery over on our website here now.

Want to talk to us about upgrading to a new MacBook? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.


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