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View Full Version : New Macbook Air owner, some questions (long, sorry)




iNeko
Apr 22, 2011, 10:29 AM
Hi! I've just bought a Macbook Air (well, earlier in the week, it's at my local UPS depot for the Easter weekend :rolleyes: ) it's a refurbished mid spec (?) late 2010 11" (1.4 c2d, 2gb ram, 128gb SSD)

This was bought because it's small, light and a Mac. It's to (kinda) replace my Macbook Pro 5,1 which is being relegated to desk use/itunes server/etc, due to my progressing illness meaning I can't carry it about anymore!

My questions are:

1. How does the performance compare for general day to day stuff? As I'll be going from a 2.5 c2d to a 1.4 one sounds like a jump but I clock the MB at 1.6-1.8 on battery, so should it be about the same? I'm assuming that the 320 will out perform the 9400 (possibly equal to the 9600?), so I'm not too bothered about that! :) I'm also quite patient, but I do use Aperture quite a lot.

2. Ram, I have 6gb in the Macbook, so jumping down to 2gb might be a bit of a struggle (I might get 4gb in the refurb lottery, but not betting on it). As the graphics always takes 256mb of RAM, will I struggle on 'only' 1.75gb? (I'm thinking Flash in Safari having that monumental memory leak, etc)

2.5. Again on RAM, if paging out occurs, does the SSD make a difference over spinning drives? (I'm guessing it would, but would it cause more 'wear' on the SSD?)

3. Back to Aperture, can I have it installed on two Macs at once, or do I need separate licences/remove it from one Mac, etc (please, no piracy arguments, I'm just not sure!)

4. Coolbook, it works wonders on my Macbook Pro, does it make much difference on this model of the Air? The licensing is clear on this and it's well worth the price, so I have no confusion there! :)

5. With regard to the "10.6.7 graphics issue", what is the way to rectify this? (if any!) I plan to zap it straight away and reinstall the bare minimum of Mac OS (I don't have a printer, don't need extra stuff, etc), so I should have a lot of updates to do. Do I use the 1gb+ combo, software update or step it, depending on which OS it's coming with?

Thanks for reading this (apologies for the length!), I'm really, really looking forward to getting the Air and being able to use Mac OS about the house again (no issues with the iPad, but it's not a Mac!)

Sam



entatlrg
Apr 22, 2011, 10:46 AM
Your questions sound like you've already done a lot of reading and have likely read the answers and/or opinions by now.

Otherwise the topics you're asking about are covered here in detail a quick search/read may be faster than waiting here to get more similar responses already posted many times elsewhere.

Enjoy your new MacBook Air! Monday isn't too far away. It's worth the weight.

iNeko
Apr 22, 2011, 10:56 AM
Thanks Entatlrg, I'll have a look (I had a brief look around, admittedly I didn't search :o ) ;) Monday is also a Bank Holiday, so I'll get it Tuesday, I'll have no nails left by that time :D

FX4568
Apr 22, 2011, 11:12 AM
Hello, I am also a new macbook Air user.
Sadly, I could only help you in questions 1 and 5.

For question 1, it is very capable. Although I do not use Handbrake or any processing power, for a daily average user, it is near negligible.
I am High School student, whose needs are office, and games.

5. My needs being games, I looked at the 10.6.7 problem also. Your Mac will probably come with the 10.6.5 update.
DO NOT, i repeat DO NOT, get combo updates. Get the 10.6.6 MANUALLY from the apple website, then the 10.6.7, and finally the supplemental update for the 10.6.7 for mac. I casually play starcraft 2, and at 10.6.5, I got around 65 fps, and at 10.6.6 i got 61, and at 10.6.7 around 67.
Just make sure you do not get combo updates.

iNeko
Apr 22, 2011, 11:25 AM
Hey FX4568, Thanks for the answers ;) I didn't want to mention gaming as I didn't want to get my hopes up (occasional "thinking with portals" or punching trees may well happen! :D )

I had a read about Aperture and I should be ok having my copy on both machines (although I might keep the Pro for heavy lifting, it'll be easier in the long run) and I've also read a few reviews. It looks like I've chosen a fantastic machine, even though I picked it for portability :)

Edit: I just had a look at the Minecraft forums for some idea on how the 320m will push Minecraft and I'm quite shocked by the "Macs are ******, buy a real computer" comments. I don't understand people sometimes :( First impressions seem to be that it'll run it better than the 9400m (no surprises there) but it'll still have the "far render distance" nvidia bug... :) that'll do for me! It'd be nice to play Minecraft at the hospital!

FX4568
Apr 22, 2011, 04:42 PM
Hey FX4568, Thanks for the answers ;) I didn't want to mention gaming as I didn't want to get my hopes up (occasional "thinking with portals" or punching trees may well happen! :D )

I had a read about Aperture and I should be ok having my copy on both machines (although I might keep the Pro for heavy lifting, it'll be easier in the long run) and I've also read a few reviews. It looks like I've chosen a fantastic machine, even though I picked it for portability :)

Edit: I just had a look at the Minecraft forums for some idea on how the 320m will push Minecraft and I'm quite shocked by the "Macs are ******, buy a real computer" comments. I don't understand people sometimes :( First impressions seem to be that it'll run it better than the 9400m (no surprises there) but it'll still have the "far render distance" nvidia bug... :) that'll do for me! It'd be nice to play Minecraft at the hospital!

It is truly awesome.
Oh looks like you play minecraft!
It runs fine with my 2.13 C2D, just make sure you reload with the key F though. It lags once in a while.

iNeko
Apr 23, 2011, 01:21 PM
Thanks FX4568, Minecraft does that on most machines (java starts to get a bit boggy if you're exploring a lot of the map!) The newer "advanced Open GL" setting should help that, but I haven't tested it myself :)

I have another question, this time a bit of an odd one! On this macbook pro, I have the forced 64bit kernel (set in terminal) is there any gain to this on the Air, or is there no point? Thanks!

netdog
Apr 23, 2011, 02:47 PM
1. Subjectively, it's very fast. Don't worry.

2. This may or may not be a problem for you.

2.5. Yes, the SSD makes a big difference on paging.

3. Yes, you can install it on a portable and a home machine according to the license.

4. You won't need Cookbook.

5. Don't know anything about this. Mine runs fine using 10.6.7.

iNeko
Apr 24, 2011, 10:43 AM
Thanks Netdog, it's good to see how capable the little Air is! Not for 'heavy lifting' obviously, but it's sounding more and more perfect for me the more I read about it. I think I should've researched it before I ordered it but still :D

iNeko
Apr 26, 2011, 06:54 PM
I'll throw in a quick update about my refurb. It's amazing. I never expected it to be this light or fast, very impressed! It can even throw games around quite easily, which is amazing, considering this is a 1.4 with 2gb of ram! :D