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View Full Version : MBA 13" 256 GB i7 - facts and figures - now with HyperThreading and TurboBoost




theSeb
Jul 21, 2011, 06:10 PM
Is it cool?

Yes, during normal usage it remains at around 50 C and I've seen it at 70 C when I was doing a couple of things at the same time. It's still ok to touch at that temp. I've not encoded a movie yet though so I've not had a chance to stress it.

Edit: Temps seem to hover around 42 C to 51 during light usage like arguing on the internet.

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g35/da_seb/ScreenShot2011-07-21at235703.png

Is it silent?

Yes, I cannot hear the fans in normal/light use. I can just hear them if I put my ear right against the enclosure.

What SSD Model?

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g35/da_seb/ScreenShot2011-07-21at235851.png

It's a Samsung. The MBA has SATA III, but the drive is SATA II

Is the SSD "fast"?

Yes, it's pretty fast. It's fast enough for the typical user.

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g35/da_seb/ScreenShot2011-07-21at235210.png

Hyper-Threading and Turboboost?

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g35/da_seb/ScreenShot2011-07-22at014645.png

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g35/da_seb/ScreenShot2011-07-22at014913.png



Apple Expert
Jul 21, 2011, 06:18 PM
Great post!

WardC
Jul 21, 2011, 06:18 PM
To give a comparison, here are the XBench drive test results for the Toshiba 256GB SSD in a "Ultimate" 2.13GHz 2010 MacBook Air:

http://www.wardcurry.com/ssdresults.jpg

theSeb
Jul 21, 2011, 06:19 PM
Does it have hyper-threading?

Yes

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g35/da_seb/ScreenShot2011-07-22at001803.png

theSeb
Jul 21, 2011, 06:20 PM
Thanks for that WardC. :)

WardC
Jul 21, 2011, 06:24 PM
I still haven't determined if it's the updated chipset and hardware that makes the new SSD interface faster, or if the Samsung Blade SSD is actually a faster drive than the 256GB Toshiba one.

theSeb
Jul 21, 2011, 07:07 PM
This thing is truly a little beast.

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g35/da_seb/ScreenShot2011-07-22at010135.png

21 minute episode of Family Guy encoded in 5 minutes (from a mkv file on the SSD)

CPU max temp observed: 96 C
Fans Max Speed observed: 64xx

Temps were back down to 50 C about a minute after the encode had finished.

Elwe
Jul 21, 2011, 07:16 PM
Are you willing to install a piece an application to see if Turbo Boosting is actually possible?

http://www.bresink.com/osx/TemperatureMonitor.html

In a menu, you can see what the current running frequencies of the cores are.

Apple Expert
Jul 21, 2011, 07:17 PM
This thing is truly a little beast.

Image (http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g35/da_seb/ScreenShot2011-07-22at010135.png)

21 minute episode of Family Guy encoded in 5 minutes (from a mkv file on the SSD)

CPU max temp observed: 96 C
Fans Max Speed observed: 64xx

Temps were back down to 50 C about a minute after the encode had finished.

Were the fans screaming while you were using handbrake?

theSeb
Jul 21, 2011, 07:39 PM
Were the fans screaming while you were using handbrake?

Yes, they make quite a noise at 6000+ RPM, but nothing that I wouldn't expect from a laptop

marrzie
Jul 21, 2011, 07:46 PM
Were the fans the same volume level as the last gen 13" air? If you ever had a chance to hear the last air under load that is.
Also did you buy yours in the apple store? I am so worried I will get a 13" ultimate 1.8 and then get stuck with a toshiba. Not the end of the world but still would much prefer the toshiba.

theSeb
Jul 21, 2011, 07:48 PM
Are you willing to install a piece an application to see if Turbo Boosting is actually possible?

http://www.bresink.com/osx/TemperatureMonitor.html

In a menu, you can see what the current running frequencies of the cores are.

Cool app. And here we go ladies and gentlemen

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g35/da_seb/ScreenShot2011-07-22at014645.png

Elwe
Jul 21, 2011, 07:55 PM
theSeb . . . you are very cool. :D Thank you--this is the first "confirmation" I have seen beyond people assuming/speculating from benchmarks/accepting what Apple *does not* have on their web page, or what the Mac Genius responses have apparently been.

What app/process were you running to cause stress.

theSeb
Jul 21, 2011, 07:56 PM
Were the fans the same volume level as the last gen 13" air? If you ever had a chance to hear the last air under load that is.
Also did you buy yours in the apple store? I am so worried I will get a 13" ultimate 1.8 and then get stuck with a toshiba. Not the end of the world but still would much prefer the toshiba.

Unfortunately I didn't own the previous generation MBA so I cannot compare the volume levels.

I bought it from the Apple Store in Regent Street, London.

h00ligan
Jul 21, 2011, 08:01 PM
I'm setting up my i7 1.8 now. With education discount the processor upgrade was $80 - and I keep machines 4-5 years.. so it seemed worth it since they had it in stock. I changed my mind at the last minute, so now I have to refuse the base model I had ordered online!

Geekbench just showed around the same score as the i5's tested. I wish there was a proper benchmark for macs.

That said, when I get cs5 installed, I will run digilloyd's benches for any photographers out there.

Elwe
Jul 21, 2011, 08:05 PM
Also, I should point out two things.

First, I am not sure how this app works exactly. It could be that the software is simply interrogating the Intel chip identifier, and not actually measuring the current frequency. Are there windows/panes which you can see varying clock speeds as load changes?

Second, this is the i7 model. The i5 model may be different in this respect (i.e., what Apple is supporting).

But at the very least, an application running in the OS detects that this cpu can Turbo Boost.

Baby steps . . .

OSMac
Jul 21, 2011, 08:09 PM
Would be nice to see the freq when idle and under load, similar to what cpuz shows in Windows.
Not sure if the app mentioned above was doing that?

theSeb
Jul 21, 2011, 08:10 PM
Also, I should point out two things.

First, I am not sure how this app works exactly. It could be that the software is simply interrogating the Intel chip identifier, and not actually measuring the current frequency. Are there windows/panes which you can see varying clock speeds as load changes?

Second, this is the i7 model. The i5 model may be different in this respect (i.e., what Apple is supporting).

But at the very least, an application running in the OS detects that this cpu can Turbo Boost.

Baby steps . . .
You're quite correct. Currently I cannot find any window in the app that shows me the exact frequency of the CPU. The screenshot is from the "Show System Info" window.

Edit: I was running Handbrake

theSeb
Jul 21, 2011, 08:11 PM
Would be nice to see the freq when idle and under load, similar to what cpuz shows in Windows.
Not sure if the app mentioned above was doing that?

Unfortunately it doesn't do that. :(

Elwe
Jul 21, 2011, 08:21 PM
You're quite correct. Currently I cannot find any window in the app that shows me the exact frequency of the CPU. The screenshot is from the "Show System Info" window.

Edit: I was running Handbrake

Oh, well. Thanks for looking. I think you are the first (that I have seen on these or the Apple discussion boards) to at least verify something a little more. I searched the web pretty thoroughly, and I have not--yet--seem a way in the OS itself to show this kind of detail. With some of the cpu benchmarks coming back (comparison to previous generations), Hypertheading and Turbo Boosting were were making sense . . . but I saw nothing absolute.

Maybe one can get this kind of info out of the EFI, if not the kernel of the OS itself. I'll look around . . . I know the EFI is highly customized, but if the Darwin/BSD underpinnings are still in their in the kernel, this kind of thing should be visible . . . somewhere . . .

WardC
Jul 21, 2011, 08:43 PM
That means that while running Handbrake, your CPU temp is about 201.2 Fahrenheit -- that is pretty hot.

theSeb
Jul 21, 2011, 08:50 PM
That means that while running Handbrake, your CPU temp is about 201.2 Fahrenheit -- that is pretty hot.

Nearly identical to the temps that a Core 2 Duo MBP reaches under the same load. As long as it's under 100 C, there is no issue.

theSeb
Jul 21, 2011, 08:52 PM
Oh, well. Thanks for looking. I think you are the first (that I have seen on these or the Apple discussion boards) to at least verify something a little more. I searched the web pretty thoroughly, and I have not--yet--seem a way in the OS itself to show this kind of detail. With some of the cpu benchmarks coming back (comparison to previous generations), Hypertheading and Turbo Boosting were were making sense . . . but I saw nothing absolute.

Maybe one can get this kind of info out of the EFI, if not the kernel of the OS itself. I'll look around . . . I know the EFI is highly customized, but if the Darwin/BSD underpinnings are still in their in the kernel, this kind of thing should be visible . . . somewhere . . .

Anandtech normally gives us this info in his reviews, but he has mentioned that he cannot do it via OSX. He does it via Windows in bootcamp.

Apple Expert
Jul 21, 2011, 09:07 PM
I've been using my i7 and it's been dead silent! Hopefully it stays that way. :)

xraydoc
Jul 21, 2011, 09:50 PM
Seb, it looks like your machine is running a different version of OS X 10.7.

The retail build is 11A511 with a Darwin kernel version of 11.0.0.

Your screenshots show a different version. Are you running a developer release? Perhaps the version of Lion installed on the new MBAs is truly a different build (not uncommon, but surprising given they both came out on the same day).

WardC
Jul 21, 2011, 09:54 PM
Perhaps the version of Lion installed on the new MBAs is truly a different build (not uncommon, but surprising given they both came out on the same day).

Indeed this is true. The version that ships with the 2011 MBA is 10.7 build 11A2063, not 11A511. The build on the MBA likely contains the drivers for the new chipset, graphics, and Thunderbolt drivers for the MacBook Air. Also Bluetooth 4.0 drivers.

theSeb
Jul 22, 2011, 12:01 AM
That's the build number as it came from Apple.

Apple Expert
Jul 22, 2011, 12:12 AM
Well I've been using the i7 for a while now and the fan does still run. At first it was dead silent. But now with Safari and mail running, it is spinning. I'm starting to wonder if it's because of the i7 will run hotter vs. the i5??

theSeb
Jul 22, 2011, 01:20 AM
Well I've been using the i7 for a while now and the fan does still run. At first it was dead silent. But now with Safari and mail running, it is spinning. I'm starting to wonder if it's because of the i7 will run hotter vs. the i5??

Can you quantify what you mean by the "fan does still run"? The fan will always run. Normally it runs around 19xx - 20xx and is inaudible.

activ8
Jul 22, 2011, 01:27 AM
Can you quantify what you mean by the "fan does still run"? The fan will always run. Normally it runs around 19xx - 20xx and is inaudible.

I got the i7 just like you. How's the battery life with yours?

Apple Expert
Jul 22, 2011, 02:08 AM
Can you quantify what you mean by the "fan does still run"? The fan will always run. Normally it runs around 19xx - 20xx and is inaudible.

It's about double that speed.

theSeb
Jul 22, 2011, 03:46 AM
It's about double that speed.

Can you post some screenshots of your Activity Monitor so that I can see which processes are hogging your CPU and also your temperatures when this is happening?

theSeb
Jul 22, 2011, 04:07 AM
I got the i7 just like you. How's the battery life with yours?

I haven't had a chance to check yet. Just busy doing a charge / discharge cycle to calibrate the battery meter and I haven't paid attention to exact battery life.

Scuba629
Jul 22, 2011, 06:08 AM
That means that while running Handbrake, your CPU temp is about 201.2 Fahrenheit -- that is pretty hot.

The main thing I care about is can I keep it on my lap while this is happening. I see in the same screen shot that the enclosed temps are around 32C? So maybe 90F is that to hot to keep on your lap?

I'm coming from a returned MBP as I couldn't have it on my lap for doing things like skype, netflicks viewing, having a VMware guest in the background.

theSeb
Jul 22, 2011, 06:32 AM
The main thing I care about is can I keep it on my lap while this is happening. I see in the same screen shot that the enclosed temps are around 32C? So maybe 90F is that to hot to keep on your lap?

I'm coming from a returned MBP as I couldn't have it on my lap for doing things like skype, netflicks viewing, having a VMware guest in the background.

At that temperature in the screenshot the enclosure is pretty cool to touch and to have on your lap. When I had the CPU at around 70 C, I had it on my lap and was wearing surf shorts so they are pretty thin. It wasn't uncomfortable, but I am not sure how one would feel after prolonged use. One thing worth mentioning is that the keyboard does not get as hot in the top left corner as other Apple laptops I've experienced so that's a big positive.

Apple Expert
Jul 22, 2011, 07:26 AM
At that temperature in the screenshot the enclosure is pretty cool to touch and to have on your lap. When I had the CPU at around 70 C, I had it on my lap and was wearing surf shorts so they are pretty thin. It wasn't uncomfortable, but I am not sure how one would feel after prolonged use. One thing worth mentioning is that the keyboard does not get as hot in the top left corner as other Apple laptops I've experienced so that's a big positive.

I do agree with you on the keyboard heat.

Scuba629
Jul 22, 2011, 07:56 AM
At that temperature in the screenshot the enclosure is pretty cool to touch and to have on your lap. When I had the CPU at around 70 C, I had it on my lap and was wearing surf shorts so they are pretty thin. It wasn't uncomfortable, but I am not sure how one would feel after prolonged use. One thing worth mentioning is that the keyboard does not get as hot in the top left corner as other Apple laptops I've experienced so that's a big positive.

hmm I guess its going to be one of those things to test. I could have the MBP on my lap at 180F(cpu) but in the end didnt want to. lol

I was kinda hoping this would be cooler as the processor was toned down but maybe im wrong. What areas would you say are hot? The bottom back center? Only were the air is coming out? (below the mac name?) And what temp is that heat ruffly?

The most heat I could take was about 60c or 145f(cpu) thats why I ask. If all that cpu temp comes though the case I could be retuning this one too. :(

theSeb
Jul 22, 2011, 09:41 AM
hmm I guess its going to be one of those things to test. I could have the MBP on my lap at 180F(cpu) but in the end didnt want to. lol

I was kinda hoping this would be cooler as the processor was toned down but maybe im wrong. What areas would you say are hot? The bottom back center? Only were the air is coming out? (below the mac name?) And what temp is that heat ruffly?

The most heat I could take was about 60c or 145f(cpu) thats why I ask. If all that cpu temp comes though the case I could be retuning this one too. :(

I must admit that I didn't take much notice of where the heat is coming from on the bottom. I'll play around this weekend and give you some more definitive answers.

theSeb
Jul 22, 2011, 09:46 AM
I do agree with you on the keyboard heat.

This was actually my biggest gripe with my old MBP. The top left corner used to get too hot to work on comfortably, even when I was just writing some code in Xcode, had a couple of utilities running and Chrome with a couple of tabs.

After a couple of hours it would become so unbearable that I ended up using an external keyboard. Tab, Q, W and E were the worst culprits, especially since I tend to tend to rest my fingers in that area

This seems much improved. Even when encoding the top left of the keyboard stays reasonable to touch. It seems to me that the heat has been relocated further to the top left corner away from the actual keyboard.

Apple Expert
Jul 22, 2011, 01:38 PM
Here my xbench disk test results.

theSeb
Jul 22, 2011, 02:34 PM
Just an update on "heat"

My 13" i7 stays cool to the touch and is comfortable to use on my lap even when the CPU is up to 80 C. It also stays silent until I encode a movie or do another similar CPU intensive task.

I've just been busy setting things up, installing Xcode and so forth, whilst holding it on my lap. The fans have remained silent and stay at around 2000 RPM. I also have a couple of tabs open in chrome (with flashblock).

kelfaij
Jul 25, 2011, 08:26 AM
something a bit scary :eek: regarding the SSD performance here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_vaZl0H56o

I just ordered the mba 13'' i7 with the 256 SSD - hope I will get the Samsung not the Toshiba one...

Others with the mba 13'' i7 do you all have the Samsung SSD like theSeb and Apple Expert ? ??

Apple Expert
Jul 25, 2011, 08:34 AM
I haven't had a chance to check yet. Just busy doing a charge / discharge cycle to calibrate the battery meter and I haven't paid attention to exact battery life.

What method are you using for the calibrating of the battery?

kelfaij
Jul 25, 2011, 08:38 AM
see that here two : http://forums.storagereview.com/index.php/topic/30177-apple-macbook-air-july-2011-ssd-discussion/

Black.Infinity
Aug 4, 2011, 08:13 PM
Nearly identical to the temps that a Core 2 Duo MBP reaches under the same load. As long as it's under 100 C, there is no issue.

When i use handbrake my MBP15 2.0 quad core temp goes 77 c while MBA i5 1.7 goes 93

Both max rpm fan
Mba one fan
Mbp two fans

shstiger2009
Aug 4, 2011, 08:19 PM
Seb, it looks like your machine is running a different version of OS X 10.7.

The retail build is 11A511 with a Darwin kernel version of 11.0.0.

Your screenshots show a different version. Are you running a developer release? Perhaps the version of Lion installed on the new MBAs is truly a different build (not uncommon, but surprising given they both came out on the same day).

I can confirm that I'm on a 2011 MBA and my build is not the 11A511, but the one in the pictures.