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View Full Version : 1.4 GHz vs 1.86 GHz on Macbook Air. HELP




macnerd123
Nov 7, 2010, 08:39 AM
Is there a difference between a core 2 duo 1.4 GHz processor with 4GB of memory and a core 2 duo 1.86G GHz processor with 4GB of memory? Both have 128GB of flash memory.
Main uses of Computer
- microsoft office
- iWork
- iLife
- Safari
- iTunes
- iChat
:apple:



TMRaven
Nov 7, 2010, 09:03 AM
I ran tests on both of them at the apple store. They both can handle 720p flash content, but not 1080p flash content. 1080p shouldn't matter anyways, as the screen isn't big enough for it.

As far as cpu usage for playing 720p content, the 1.46ghz was at 80% while the 1.86ghz was at 60-70% roughly.

I say you're going to get a tiny bit of extra leeway when multitasking with the 1.86ghz, probably equal to an extra program or two at the same time, or an extra couple pages of flash on safari at the same time.

gks
Nov 7, 2010, 10:21 AM
I ran tests on both of them at the apple store. They both can handle 720p flash content, but not 1080p flash content. 1080p shouldn't matter anyways, as the screen isn't big enough for it.

As far as cpu usage for playing 720p content, the 1.46ghz was at 80% while the 1.86ghz was at 60-70% roughly.

I say you're going to get a tiny bit of extra leeway when multitasking with the 1.86ghz, probably equal to an extra program or two at the same time, or an extra couple pages of flash on safari at the same time.

Odd because my 13" which has the 1.86ghz processor plays 1080p movies just fine.

Adidas Addict
Nov 7, 2010, 12:02 PM
Odd because my 13" which has the 1.86ghz processor plays 1080p movies just fine.

I would like to second that, my 1.86 13" (4GB Ram) plays 1080P video at full screen (flash or installed media) with no stutters or issues whatsoever.

sectime
Nov 7, 2010, 12:36 PM
I would like to second that, my 1.86 13" (4GB Ram) plays 1080P video at full screen (flash or installed media) with no stutters or issues whatsoever.
Mine Also

gw1
Nov 7, 2010, 01:02 PM
I bought a 1.4 GHZ 11" MBA. For the uses you suggest, which are similar to mine, it works absolutely fine & far far better than my original MBA Rev A. The bonded-on flash memory seems to really boost speed far above what the clock speed on the CPU suggests.

So, you might get a bit more speed from the 1.83 but I wouldn't bust a gut to get it as the 1.4 will be just fine!

arctic
Nov 10, 2010, 06:20 AM
I bought a 1.4 GHZ 11" MBA. For the uses you suggest, which are similar to mine, it works absolutely fine & far far better than my original MBA Rev A. The bonded-on flash memory seems to really boost speed far above what the clock speed on the CPU suggests.

So, you might get a bit more speed from the 1.83 but I wouldn't bust a gut to get it as the 1.4 will be just fine!

This!

1.4 to 1.8 isn't THAT big of a difference. It's the SSD that makes this little beast snappy.

Corax
Nov 10, 2010, 06:28 AM
@ TMRaven,
Mine (1,86GHz) play's 1080p, no sweat.
What mediaplayer did you use, to play 1080p content?

Bluemeanie1976
Nov 10, 2010, 06:50 AM
My 1.4 has no issue with 1080p with either VLC, mediaplayerX, or quicktime. No stuttering, juddering, etc.

Corax
Nov 10, 2010, 07:13 AM
My 1.4 has no issue with 1080p with either VLC, mediaplayerX, or quicktime. No stuttering, juddering, etc.
Me too.
I use MplayerX, really great and the UI is really in the detail integrated with Mac OS X SL.

mashoutposse
Nov 10, 2010, 07:27 AM
This!

1.4 to 1.8 isn't THAT big of a difference. It's the SSD that makes this little beast snappy.

I'd say an over 30% increase in clock speed is significant and noticeable.

TMRaven
Nov 10, 2010, 07:33 AM
Odd because my 13" which has the 1.86ghz processor plays 1080p movies just fine.

Perhaps yours has flash 10.1 installed with gpu acceleration, and the ones in the Apple store don't.


@ TMRaven,
Mine (1,86GHz) play's 1080p, no sweat.
What mediaplayer did you use, to play 1080p content?

I ran the test on youtube using the Big Buck Bunny Animation in 1080p. It is a process which uses 10% of total capacity of an i7 860.

Corax
Nov 10, 2010, 07:41 AM
Perhaps yours has flash 10.1 installed with gpu acceleration, and the ones in the Apple store don't.




I ran the test on youtube using the Big Buck Bunny Animation in 1080p. It is a process which uses 10% of total capacity of an i7 860.

Do they have flash installed in the store?
The same 1080p trailer you mention, I tried out on my iMac 21,5" and also without a glitch, uses 20% of the CPU.

At the moment I'm calibrating the battery of my MBA, so I'll report back when that's ready, I just drained the battery until the Air went to sleep, now I have to let it rest a couple of hours, before charging it up again.

It's a very nice, high quality animation though! Thnx for letting me know about it. :)

Edit: With the Youtube5 extension my iMac (C2D) uses 20% CPU for playing this movie, but with Flash it uses 40%.

TMRaven
Nov 10, 2010, 07:49 AM
If the ones in the store didn't have flash installed, I wouldn't be able to play youtube videos alltogether (no, youtube was not on html5 version)

Corax
Nov 10, 2010, 08:09 AM
If the ones in the store didn't have flash installed, I wouldn't be able to play youtube videos alltogether (no, youtube was not on html5 version)

They must have installed it there in the shop then. Maybe didn't choose the most up to date flashplugin?

Corax
Nov 10, 2010, 08:25 AM
They both can handle 720p flash content, but not 1080p flash content. 1080p shouldn't matter anyways, as the screen isn't big enough for it.

Shouldn't matter? I connect the Air to my 42" Full HD TV, so it does matter.

wirelessmacuser
Nov 10, 2010, 08:42 AM
I bought a 1.4 GHZ 11" MBA. For the uses you suggest, which are similar to mine, it works absolutely fine & far far better than my original MBA Rev A. The bonded-on flash memory seems to really boost speed far above what the clock speed on the CPU suggests.

So, you might get a bit more speed from the 1.83 but I wouldn't bust a gut to get it as the 1.4 will be just fine!
Well said, my experience mirrors yours exactly. My personal preference is the 1.4, simply because, benchmarks aside, in real world usage I can assure you the "faster clock speed" of the upgraded processor is of negligible difference.

PBG4 Dude
Nov 10, 2010, 09:30 AM
Well said, my experience mirrors yours exactly. My personal preference is the 1.4, simply because, benchmarks aside, in real world usage I can assure you the "faster clock speed" of the upgraded processor is of negligible difference.

Just to clarify, the difference in processor speed is .46GHz per core, for a total of .92GHz difference between the 1.4 and 1.86 chips. This .92GHz represents about 66% or 2/3rds of a 1.4GHz core. Also, the 1.86GHz chips have double the on-chip cache, or 6MB vs. 3MB. This is >a negligible difference. :)

macnerd123
Nov 10, 2010, 03:54 PM
Just to clarify, the difference in processor speed is .46GHz per core, for a total of .92GHz difference between the 1.4 and 1.86 chips. This .92GHz represents about 66% or 2/3rds of a 1.4GHz core. Also, the 1.86GHz chips have double the on-chip cache, or 6MB vs. 3MB. This is >a negligible difference. :)

Would this make a noticeable difference with my daily needs.
- iWork
- iChat
- iTunes
- Safari

double329
Nov 10, 2010, 04:14 PM
According to my observation the day to day basis stuff that people do; you might not notice the processing power different. The processes that need more processing power will make some different. How much of the different? Well, the test number showed some different. The actual usage? its' all relative... I went with the ultimate 13 anyway :P

Corax
Nov 10, 2010, 05:51 PM
I ran the test on youtube using the Big Buck Bunny Animation in 1080p. It is a process which uses 10% of total capacity of an i7 860.

Running the movie in 1080p on my MBA uses very little CPU, between 10% and 15%, and I must say, it runs FLAWLESS, smooth and easy, in full screen...no pain and no fans kicking in.
I'm using the extension Youtube5 by the way, so no flash.
I'm amazed!!!
Tomorrow I'll try again with flashplayer on.

Dammit Cubs
Nov 10, 2010, 06:06 PM
I ran tests on both of them at the apple store. They both can handle 720p flash content, but not 1080p flash content. 1080p shouldn't matter anyways, as the screen isn't big enough for it.

As far as cpu usage for playing 720p content, the 1.46ghz was at 80% while the 1.86ghz was at 60-70% roughly.

I say you're going to get a tiny bit of extra leeway when multitasking with the 1.86ghz, probably equal to an extra program or two at the same time, or an extra couple pages of flash on safari at the same time.

I would try this test using chrome or safari with proper adobe 10.1 installed. 1080p works fine in my 11. but ONLY!!! AFTER 10.1 was installed.

as for 1080p videos, those will work flawless if you use a software that has GPU acceleration suppose like plex.

KPOM
Nov 10, 2010, 08:13 PM
Would this make a noticeable difference with my daily needs.
- iWork
- iChat
- iTunes
- Safari

If you write large or complex spreadsheets a faster CPU could make a little bit of a difference. The processor also will help if you rip CDs. Overall, though, it likely won't be too noticeable.

cleric
Nov 10, 2010, 09:02 PM
This!

1.4 to 1.8 isn't THAT big of a difference. It's the SSD that makes this little beast snappy.

The bigger difference will be battery capacity and physical size of the machine.

double329
Nov 11, 2010, 07:20 AM
I finally got Adobe LR installed and play around with it last night. All I can say is: I am glad I got the Ultimate 13. Using LR in the MBA 13 did the job. Is it better than the 3 years old 17" Gateway power house I still have? NO... 80% of my photos are in RAW format. I know it is not quite exact comparison, working with massive files and post processing. I still prefer to work on my 17", it is much snappier than this little MBA 13. Don't get me wrong, MBA13 is a capable machine. I don't know if the less CPU power MBA will feel more under power or the same as ultimate with LR? I can't tell you. I don't have one to compare. When it comes to loading up the apps and light weight processing stuff, MBA is really shine. Again, this is just my non-scientific observation and personal experience :p

foiden
Nov 11, 2010, 07:39 AM
Funny enough. I've been looking at the replies about this. I'm interested in the Macbook Air mainly for stuff that I would do on a Macbook Air. I don't plan on using it for bigtime music production or heavy movie-making and such. Still, the stock 11" macbook air could barely handle more than 2 tracks of Garageband. (Something I use as a litmus test for how well my general content-creation software may work). Now I do understand that this could very well be a ram issue more than a processor issue.

However, being that it is a Macbook Air, it is definitely intended for some degree of content creation above just iWork otherwise the iPad works well enough for using iWork tools to get some consumer-level work done on it. Not to mention, I have done some pretty powerful Numbers spreadsheets on it with cascading cell functions involved. (That is, when dealing with a cell that is a calculation of other cells which are calculations of other cells)

The bigger use will be Aperature, light iMovie stuff, and a bit of Photoshop stuff. I still have Aperature 2 (which is great), but plan to upgrade to Aperature 3 soon.

The 11" form factor is fantastic, though. I can see why it has a draw. Oddly enough, the biggest drawback for going 11 is actually just a few dozen lines of vertical resolution. It's amazing how I've become so dependant on at least 800 lines of vertical resolution. 768 worked back some years ago, but I notice more and more applications that just scream for at least 800 lines. The 13" has the 900 lines, which is pure pure gravy at that size. So it wasn't the processor, but more so the lines of resolution, that has been leaning towards the 13" even though I'd love to lose a bit more on the size.