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View Full Version : MBA, Day 3




kieonsegg
Dec 24, 2009, 01:48 AM
I've got my 1.6 120 rev b. via fedex about 3 days ago refurbished from the apple store for about 1,299 (CAD)

Just thought id tell everyone my likes/dislikes and a few questions

- thin, amazing looking
- battery life isnt really that bad i guess. (Can anyone confirm if it is ture that if i close the lid and it is not plugged in will it lose battery life? How much? Any workarounds to this?
- mac's are FAST HOLY! well, at least once ive launched everything once and not actually quit the program.--> is it normal that my itunes takes about 7 bounces, word 08 takes about 10, and FF takes about 2. After they have all been launched, they open in a second.
- programs are great
-bootup is acceptable, even though i probably wont even turn it off but just put it to sleep.
- heat/fan/hdd noise not an issue EXCEPT when watching any kind of media. music is fine but any youtube, tv episode will oddly instantly heat it up. I have downloaded the 1.2 SMC update or wutever the most recent update is. I thought the Rev b. was not susspose to have this porblem, although the rev b. does not skip at all maybe once and a while while watching hd so that makes me happy. :) Other than coolbook is there any free way around this problem?
-charging takes forever but i usually will take it to school and use it at home then charge as i sleep so its not a big deal
- any way to make apps launch faster first time around (free)?

So far, apple has done good :)
pleased customer :)



jetoo
Dec 24, 2009, 02:53 AM
Good to know that you really like it.

Battery life is about 3h for common use.
Closing lid but to putting it to sleep will take out battery, not as much as if the lid were open, but still.
You probably have the HDD version (and not the SSD), that's why it takes more time to open programs. When they've been open once, it fast, that's normal. Hard Drive is not very fast, so you won't be able to launch programs faster.

Fan noise is an issue in my rev. A, after a while and using a lot of programs, it start to make some noise, but I think for such a slim machine, it's kinda "normal"

stoconnell
Dec 24, 2009, 08:46 AM
Yes. The default power management settings for MacBooks will drain the battery even while suspended. You can alter the power management settings to help alleviate that, but it comes at cost of the "instant on" when you open the lid. There was a whole thread (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=8122468) in this forum on that.

Any flash video will churn up the fans in a hurry. It's a combination of a really lousy flash implementation on Macs making it CPU intensive which triggers heat and given these machines are thin the fan has to do some work to push that heat out.

Charging is pretty slow.

bigjnyc
Dec 24, 2009, 08:51 AM
I think the only way to make apps launch faster is to have gotten the SSD version. You can always upgrade your hard drive but doing that on an MBA is not for the faint of heart.

musicpenguy
Dec 24, 2009, 09:22 AM
If you would like some control over your fans.

1. Install SMCFanControl (Make sure app stays in the Application folder)
2. Download my app/terminal command

Running the attached program when SMCFanControl is installed will limit the fans to 4000RPMS - I have not found this to be a problem heat wise - the fans do what they need to do at 4000 to get rid of heat.

Hope this helps - enjoy your new MPA!!!!

jimboutilier
Dec 24, 2009, 09:42 AM
I think the only way to make apps launch faster is to have gotten the SSD version. You can always upgrade your hard drive but doing that on an MBA is not for the faint of heart.

Get a copy of Xslimmer and run on all your apps. It will save disk space and make most launch much faster.

jimboutilier
Dec 24, 2009, 09:49 AM
Download the free Smartsleep preference pane. You can set hibernate only and your MAC will not use any battery power when you close the lid. This wil cause your MAC to take longer to resume from sleep though.

The amount of power you MAC uses when normally sleeping is very small. Turning off "wake on" options in networking and bluetooth will also save some power while sleeping normally as then pretty much all you are powering is RAM while sleeping.

kieonsegg
Dec 24, 2009, 10:45 AM
Thanks for all the posts guys.

Day 4,

I tested how much battery life i would lose and after a 12 hour sleep, it only lost about 8% so im quite happy. :)

Yea well i dont see myself restarting /turning on/off my MBA pretty much at all unless it is necessary for a software update so i dont thing the extra 300 for the SSD would be worth it.
Its kinda weird because on boot they are REALLLY slow to launch, but if i launch them after Command + Q'ing them they a relativley quick. Even if i leave the programs on and close the windows without quitting them, they shouldnt hog too many resources correct?

p.s I have downloaded iStat but cannot seem to figure out where the battery information is with the number of cycles etc...

p.s.s For anybody out there that enjoys their itunes music, but wants to clean it up, download "TidySongs" as it will automatically get the album art, track name, artist, genre, track #, year etc...

stoconnell
Dec 24, 2009, 10:52 AM
Did you get iStat Menus or iStat Pro (the dashboard widget)? The dashboard widget is the one that shows the battery health. You may need to enable it under the sections tab in the preferences mode (i).

There is also another app called "coconut battery" that displays this information.

ayeying
Dec 24, 2009, 11:15 AM
Thanks for all the posts guys.

Day 4,

I tested how much battery life i would lose and after a 12 hour sleep, it only lost about 8% so im quite happy. :)

Yea well i dont see myself restarting /turning on/off my MBA pretty much at all unless it is necessary for a software update so i dont thing the extra 300 for the SSD would be worth it.
Its kinda weird because on boot they are REALLLY slow to launch, but if i launch them after Command + Q'ing them they a relativley quick. Even if i leave the programs on and close the windows without quitting them, they shouldnt hog too many resources correct?

p.s I have downloaded iStat but cannot seem to figure out where the battery information is with the number of cycles etc...

p.s.s For anybody out there that enjoys their itunes music, but wants to clean it up, download "TidySongs" as it will automatically get the album art, track name, artist, genre, track #, year etc...

That's called "Caching". Even after you close an program, the ram allocation and information for that program would go to "Inactive", not "Free" as they do in Windows XP. Therefore, when you reopen the same application, it should theoretically be faster than starting it from a cold boot.

You can check the battery cycles at the top left Apple > About This Mac > More Info; then on the left side, choose "Power". It should look something like this:

Charge Information:
Charge remaining (mAh): 4783
Fully charged: Yes
Charging: No
Full charge capacity (mAh): 4783
Health Information:
Cycle count: 472
Condition: Normal
Battery Installed: Yes
Amperage (mA): 246
Voltage (mV): 8388

kieonsegg
Dec 24, 2009, 11:23 AM
[/QUOTE]That's called "Caching". Even after you close an program, the ram allocation and information for that program would go to "Inactive", not "Free" as they do in Windows XP. Therefore, when you reopen the same application, it should theoretically be faster than starting it from a cold boot[/QUOTE]

LOL, then why doesnt windows do it ha...

lmfao i failed quoting that my bad, too lazy to change ha

chrono1081
Dec 24, 2009, 12:02 PM
Glad to hear you like it.

I myself can't wait to get a macbook air because its PERFECT for what I use a laptop for, which is um...bathroom reading and laying in bed playing on the internet. (The laptop in my sig is a different story, its replacing a desktop till I can get a desktop).

Dwanep
Dec 24, 2009, 05:34 PM
how do you tell if you have a ssd or hdd?

bowlerman625
Dec 24, 2009, 05:47 PM
how do you tell if you have a ssd or hdd?

Click the Apple icon in upper left
Click About this Mac
Click More Info.
Under Hardware, Click Serial-ATA

Look for Apple SSD (this designates the solid state drive) If it is not this, it would be the HDD you have.

Dwanep
Dec 24, 2009, 05:54 PM
I have ssd is that good/bad?

bowlerman625
Dec 24, 2009, 06:27 PM
I have ssd is that good/bad?

SSD is good! It's a solid state drive. No moving parts and more reliable for the most part. The no moving parts make it less likely to be damaged if the MBA is jostled around.

ayeying
Dec 24, 2009, 07:48 PM
That's called "Caching". Even after you close an program, the ram allocation and information for that program would go to "Inactive", not "Free" as they do in Windows XP. Therefore, when you reopen the same application, it should theoretically be faster than starting it from a cold boot

LOL, then why doesnt windows do it ha...

lmfao i failed quoting that my bad, too lazy to change ha

If you read my post again, I said Windows XP. Windows Vista and Windows 7 have better memory management. However, they tend to throw the ram back into Free then cache it later on instead of just throwing it into Inactive.

Scottsdale
Dec 24, 2009, 07:50 PM
Congrats on your MBA. If you ever want to speed it up, buy an SSD or even a Runcore SSD. A stock Samsung SSD will speed bootup by 300%. It will drop everything from several bounces to a few. Go with a Runcore SSD and expect even faster boots and a completely different system performance.

In fact, even a stock SSD will make it feel like a MacBook Pro (2.4GHz, 7200 rpm drive).

You can always think about an SSD if you want to drastically increase the performance and speed of the MBA. Until then, you will enjoy a super thin and lightweight Mac.

Cheers

kieonsegg
Dec 24, 2009, 08:58 PM
Congrats on your MBA. If you ever want to speed it up, buy an SSD or even a Runcore SSD. A stock Samsung SSD will speed bootup by 300%. It will drop everything from several bounces to a few. Go with a Runcore SSD and expect even faster boots and a completely different system performance.

In fact, even a stock SSD will make it feel like a MacBook Pro (2.4GHz, 7200 rpm drive).

You can always think about an SSD if you want to drastically increase the performance and speed of the MBA. Until then, you will enjoy a super thin and lightweight Mac.

Cheers

I agree that the SSD is a huge improvement, but if i never turn of my MBA, and i dont mind leaving programs somewhat open (not quit) then buying an SSD really isn't relative because from what ive been told SSD's launch apps about the same as HDD when the programs are cached or open or wutever. And it probably not worth spending 400 on top of a 1600$ MBA when it wont make a big difference at all since i am not shutting down my system.

Scottsdale
Dec 24, 2009, 11:37 PM
I agree that the SSD is a huge improvement, but if i never turn of my MBA, and i dont mind leaving programs somewhat open (not quit) then buying an SSD really isn't relative because from what ive been told SSD's launch apps about the same as HDD when the programs are cached or open or wutever. And it probably not worth spending 400 on top of a 1600$ MBA when it wont make a big difference at all since i am not shutting down my system.

Actually, you're really misinformed. The SSD does far more than just open apps fast and boot fast. The SSD changes your whole system's performance. Think about everything it really does, then think about how the MBA has limited RAM. Faster ability to read/write allows faster access/ability to page/swap files and etc. The SSD changes the system's performance in MANY ways. Everytime you see a beachball with your HDD, you wouldn't have with an SSD.

People often buy into the misconception that an SSD just makes apps open faster and faster boot, but they're aren't thinking about the big picture and how the system really works.

I am not saying an HDD isn't right for you, I am just saying don't write off an SSD for an improper reason. Maybe you don't have the money to spend or don't want to, that's fine. But don't not buy it because you think it will make a minor difference for app loads and bootup.

Good luck and congrats again!

xparaparafreakx
Dec 24, 2009, 11:46 PM
Charge Information:
Charge remaining (mAh): 4783
Fully charged: Yes
Charging: No
Full charge capacity (mAh): 4783
Health Information:
Cycle count: 472
Condition: Normal
Battery Installed: Yes
Amperage (mA): 246
Voltage (mV): 8388

Charge Information:
Charge remaining (mAh): 2170
Fully charged: No
Charging: No
Full charge capacity (mAh): 4390
Health Information:
Cycle count: 713
Condition: Good
Battery Installed: Yes
Amperage (mA): -1214
Voltage (mV): 7413

Man I use my Air a lot.

SSD will boost everything. Not just apps that open.

When your memory goes low, its gonna swap. With a hard drive, the swapping is slow and painful. With SSD, its like almost have a crap load of ram.

kieonsegg
Dec 25, 2009, 12:00 AM
Actually, you're really misinformed. The SSD does far more than just open apps fast and boot fast. The SSD changes your whole system's performance. Think about everything it really does, then think about how the MBA has limited RAM. Faster ability to read/write allows faster access/ability to page/swap files and etc. The SSD changes the system's performance in MANY ways. Everytime you see a beachball with your HDD, you wouldn't have with an SSD.

People often buy into the misconception that an SSD just makes apps open faster and faster boot, but they're aren't thinking about the big picture and how the system really works.

I am not saying an HDD isn't right for you, I am just saying don't write off an SSD for an improper reason. Maybe you don't have the money to spend or don't want to, that's fine. But don't not buy it because you think it will make a minor difference for app loads and bootup.

Good luck and congrats again!

thanks for your input, but again you said nothing to explain to me how "SSD's complete change the entire performance" of your machine."
Let's be honest, it may copy files faster, start programs faster but that is pretty much it because whether you are using an SSD or an HDD programs are both pound to perform almost exactly quick, unless you are dealing with a program that uses file writing. And programs like photoshop and dreamweaver etc.. run much quicker on HDD's and i tend to use alot of this but i do understand the desire for an SSD and will probably choose one on my next machine.

Dr.Pants
Dec 25, 2009, 12:25 AM
AFAIK, an SSD will also improve a system's battery life. Not to mention SSD is king of random access. Seek times may seem short when just looking at the average HDD, but compared to an SSD's seek time, the difference is massive. Since vehicles are the most popular comparison used on this forum :rolleyes:, comparing a good SSD to that of a HDD in terms of seek times is comparing a car manufactured today as compared to a Model T.

I should mention that, while some people assert that SSDs will make a system run cooler, an idle mechanical drive produces less heat then a solid-state drive [i]being[/] used. Another thing to consider is that occasionally a drive will require a complete reset (not just a wipe) to bring it back to peak performance. Two caveats I thought I might add, though they are particularly minor.

vraxtus
Dec 25, 2009, 03:32 AM
Download the free Smartsleep preference pane. You can set hibernate only and your MAC will not use any battery power when you close the lid. This wil cause your MAC to take longer to resume from sleep though.

The amount of power you MAC uses when normally sleeping is very small. Turning off "wake on" options in networking and bluetooth will also save some power while sleeping normally as then pretty much all you are powering is RAM while sleeping.

Haha. Every time you write MAC I think of a device address :P

It's "Mac" :)

ayeying
Dec 25, 2009, 12:07 PM
Charge Information:
Charge remaining (mAh): 2170
Fully charged: No
Charging: No
Full charge capacity (mAh): 4390
Health Information:
Cycle count: 713
Condition: Good
Battery Installed: Yes
Amperage (mA): -1214
Voltage (mV): 7413

Man I use my Air a lot.

SSD will boost everything. Not just apps that open.

When your memory goes low, its gonna swap. With a hard drive, the swapping is slow and painful. With SSD, its like almost have a crap load of ram.

But you have a Rev. A and got it like when it came out (from the previous posts I've read that you posted). I have a current generation and it's only been 6 Months since I got it lol

Anyways, SSD will boost performance in the swap area, but it's still slow compared to real ram (Fastest SSD is about what, 250MB/s? and DDR3 ram is over 3300MB/s)

xparaparafreakx
Dec 25, 2009, 02:47 PM
But you have a Rev. A and got it like when it came out (from the previous posts I've read that you posted). I have a current generation and it's only been 6 Months since I got it lol

Anyways, SSD will boost performance in the swap area, but it's still slow compared to real ram (Fastest SSD is about what, 250MB/s? and DDR3 ram is over 3300MB/s)

Sure it isnt as fast as real RAM but ill take 150MB/s - 250MB/s over a 4200rpm, 5400rpm, 7200rpm hard drive speed.

mastercool10
Dec 25, 2009, 11:11 PM
I'm so jealous. I can't even find anyone whose selling their MBA :(

EARL97850
Dec 26, 2009, 02:41 AM
Can't limiting the fan speed do more damage than good? All this just for a lower sound level of the fans so as to hear a soundtrack to a movie?

I don't have a Mac yet and I'm still learning all I can about this Mac stuff, but wouldn't a set of earphones do the audio of the video better justice.

Cya

Shodan
Dec 26, 2009, 11:49 AM
Actually, you're really misinformed. The SSD does far more than just open apps fast and boot fast. The SSD changes your whole system's performance. Think about everything it really does, then think about how the MBA has limited RAM. Faster ability to read/write allows faster access/ability to page/swap files and etc. The SSD changes the system's performance in MANY ways. Everytime you see a beachball with your HDD, you wouldn't have with an SSD.

People often buy into the misconception that an SSD just makes apps open faster and faster boot, but they're aren't thinking about the big picture and how the system really works.

Actually, you are quite misinformed.

The main advantage for an SSD is no moving parts - which means it has a higher life expectancy and it does not get fragmented.

It will eventually be cheaper to produce too - companies are currently enjoying ripping the consumer off at the moment.

Speed it just a bonus with an SSD - there are still lot's of excellent 7,200RPM drives out there which perform faster than most MLC SSD's, such as the Samsung Spinpoint F3, Seagate Barracuda XT 6GB/s and even the Western Digital Caviar Black series.

Don't get me wrong, I love my RunCore Pro in my Air and it is in a different league to that of the crappy 4,200RPM drive that ships on the base models - even superior to the Samsung SSD that ships with the higher spec Air.

But the fact is until we move onto SLC technology at an affordable price, MLC SSD's are just not special enough.