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tubbymac
Dec 5, 2008, 01:30 AM
I can't test this at the Apple Store, so could somebody with a Rev B Macbook Air do the following simple test for me (external mouse required):

Use the trackpad to move over the dock area and observe the speed/smoothness of the magnification animation. Now do the same thing with an external mouse. Is the animation slower, the same, or faster in terms of speed/smoothness?

I'm trying to figure out why the animation speed is different on the Air versus the MB/MBP even though they all use the same integrated graphics chip. The only thing different that I can think of is the trackpads so my hunch is that input tracking speed is the factor.



aleni
Dec 11, 2008, 03:42 AM
i'm using the trackpad. it's smooth, but not as smooth as the macbook pro alu 2.4ghz.

the point is it's much smootherrrrrrr than the rev A.

winninganthem
Dec 11, 2008, 05:21 AM
Between the models you mentioned, processor speeds are different, cache amounts are different, HDD type might be different, MBP has dedicated graphics; There's a lot of things different between the machines so pretty much anything is fair reason for the difference you notice in animation smoothness. I think trackpad should be the last place to look when thinking about possible factors :p.

aleni
Dec 11, 2008, 05:31 AM
Between the models you mentioned, processor speeds are different, cache amounts are different, HDD type might be different, MBP has dedicated graphics; There's a lot of things different between the machines so pretty much anything is fair reason for the difference you notice in animation smoothness. I think trackpad should be the last place to look when thinking about possible factors :p.

agreed. i think the processor is being the problem here.

1. macbook uses 9400M just like the MBA.
2. my mba has 128gb ssd which is faster than the Macbook's HD.

so, why the macbook's dock animation is smoother. it must be the 1.86ghz processor in MBA that lags it a bit. but it doesn't mean it's not smooth though. it's smooth enough for me, far better than the crapbook air rev A i have.

n0de
Dec 11, 2008, 07:03 AM
On my RevA I have noticed that my Bluetooth mouse does seem to cause a performance hit but a wired mouse does not.

jharju
Dec 11, 2008, 07:31 AM
I don't think bad performance is just because a-revision has X3100 GPU. I don't have Air but I do have Mac Mini with lousy GMA950 (which is even lousier than X3100) and MBP with X1600 GPU.

Mini is super smooth in dock effects, exposť and minimizing/maximizing windows. MBP lags/stutters like crazy when comparing to mini's performance. Mini is hooked to 20" Cinema and MBP I have used with own display and Cinema with lid closed. MBP has faster cpu and more important much better GPU but Mini is performing better.

tubbymac
Dec 11, 2008, 05:51 PM
I don't think bad performance is just because a-revision has X3100 GPU. I don't have Air but I do have Mac Mini with lousy GMA950 (which is even lousier than X3100) and MBP with X1600 GPU.

Mini is super smooth in dock effects, exposť and minimizing/maximizing windows. MBP lags/stutters like crazy when comparing to mini's performance. Mini is hooked to 20" Cinema and MBP I have used with own display and Cinema with lid closed. MBP has faster cpu and more important much better GPU but Mini is performing better.

Never thought to compare to a Mac Mini, thanks for the insight. Now I'm even more confused. If the Mac Mini with an even worse graphics chip and even slower parts can do the dock animation smoothly, what on earth is causing the frame rate sluggishness on the Air (or for that matter, on your old MBP with the X1600 gpu). What were the cpu speeds on your mini and pro if you don't mind?

jharju
Dec 11, 2008, 11:04 PM
What were the cpu speeds on your mini and pro if you don't mind?
Mini has 1.83GHz C2D with 2MB L2 cache and MBP has 2.16GHz C2D with 4MB L2 cache. And like I said, zero issues with Mini.

tubbymac
Dec 12, 2008, 12:16 AM
On my RevA I have noticed that my Bluetooth mouse does seem to cause a performance hit but a wired mouse does not.

From this it sounds like input tracking speed can make the animation worse, as in the case of slow/laggy tracking of a bluetooth mouse, but that even a wired mouse doesn't make the animation better/smoother.

Mini has 1.83GHz C2D with 2MB L2 cache and MBP has 2.16GHz C2D with 4MB L2 cache. And like I said, zero issues with Mini.

That rules out the CPU then. Mini has the same CPU speed as the rev B Air yet the mini can animate it smoothly while the Air has a lower frame rate. I think we can rule out hard drives/ssd speed too since the drives don't get accessed during the animation.

Why would a mini beat both a Macbook Air and an older MBP in terms of dock animation smoothness? Seems quite strange.

aleni
Dec 12, 2008, 12:56 AM
mini doesn't beat my mbp in dock animation. at least for me.

my macmini is 1.8ghz c2d with only 1gig of ram.
macbook pro is 2.4ghz unibody.

maybe it's the ram?

jharju
Dec 12, 2008, 04:01 AM
maybe it's the ram?
I also had 1GB memory installed in Mini before I upgraded memory to 2GB. It was smooth before and it still is.

Here (http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1206063&tstart=0) is my old thread about same issue with Leopard.

tubbymac
Dec 12, 2008, 11:03 PM
I also had 1GB memory installed in Mini before I upgraded memory to 2GB. It was smooth before and it still is.

Here (http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1206063&tstart=0) is my old thread about same issue with Leopard.

Well that rules out the RAM, so pretty much almost all possible major hardware faults can be ruled out for the dock animations.

From your link if things were smoother on Tiger versus Leopard then I think it's fairly safe to conclude this is some strange software issue in OSX with only certain models affected. Maybe they made some new intern write the code for the animation and then somehow didn't catch the sluggishness in quality control.

Guess we can hope this gets fixed in Snow Leopard. At least it's just a minor thing and not a deal breaker.