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ManuelGnR
Feb 27, 2010, 07:21 AM
Hi,

I am going to get a (used) Air tomorrow. It will have 1.6 Ghz, 2 GB DDR2, 80 GB HD.

It comes with 10.5. Will it be faster if I buy 10.6 for it?:rolleyes:



Gav2k
Feb 27, 2010, 08:04 AM
Really yes but some will argue no. But for the money I think 10.6 I'd worth it.

Scottsdale
Feb 27, 2010, 08:09 AM
I believe the only two advantages for original MBA owners would be saving about 4 GB of drive space (via eliminating PPC files) and providing with continued updates to OS X (10.5 is no longer getting improvements).

In addition, it's unfortunate that the original MBA doesn't take advantage of OpenCL. While OpenCL isn't being used by many third-party app providers, it should really be an advantage for Nvidia MBAs in the future!

All MBA owners are missing out on a 64-bit kernel, as Apple decided MBA owners don't need it. I know some say a Mac with only 2 GB of RAM cannot take as big of an advantage as Macs with 4 GB of RAM or more. I personally want a 64-bit kernel, and I feel Apple is extremely misleading by not giving people a true 64-bit experience when it implies such with Snow Leopard marketing. I can actually get a complete 64-bit experience in Windows 7 on my MBA, but in OS X I do not get true 64-bit computing.

In the end, it's only $29. I guess that's the factor that makes it a worthy value.

Mr. Zarniwoop
Feb 27, 2010, 09:47 AM
All MBA owners are missing out on a 64-bit kernel, as Apple decided MBA owners don't need it. I know some say a Mac with only 2 GB of RAM cannot take as big of an advantage as Macs with 4 GB of RAM or more. I personally want a 64-bit kernel, and I feel Apple is extremely misleading by not giving people a true 64-bit experience when it implies such with Snow Leopard marketing. I can actually get a complete 64-bit experience in Windows 7 on my MBA, but in OS X I do not get true 64-bit computing.
I think you might be giving in too much to marketing hyperbole here that 64-bits is better than 32-bits. That will probably be true in 2020 once we have machines with 64GB of RAM or more, but it ain't true today. 32-bit is better today on current hardware with Mac OS X if you're looking to eek out all the performance you can, except it specific circumstances where you need direct access to more than 4GB of RAM for an application.

The current MacBook Air is limited to 2GB RAM. The main advantages of the OS X 10.6 64-bit kernel are the ability to address more than 32GB of RAM (32-bit kernel using PAE can only use 32GB of RAM) and direct address space more than 4GB of RAM for an application without using PAE.

And, because of the nifty 64-bit architecture in Mac OS X 10.6, even with a 32-bit kernal, under 10.6 with a MacBook Air you still run all 64-bit applications and the OS itself is 64-bit. So it's not like there's some 64-bit OS application or other 64-bit application you can't run.

If someone wrote a 64-bit EFI for the MacBook Air (to allow use of the 64-bit kernel), for programs that run within the 2GB of RAM, they'd run just a little bit slower. Not much, but just a little, because 64-bit is slower because it takes a little longer for the hardware to physically manipulate 64-bit data (8 octects) than it does 32-bit data (4 octets). Here's an example of the speed difference: "Benchmark: 64bit vs 32bit, Page 3" (http://www.osnews.com/story/5768/Are_64-bit_Binaries_Really_Slower_than_32-bit_Binaries_/page3/) The conclusion:
I think it's safe to say that you're not missing out by going with the simpler-to-manage 32-bit binaries, unless your application can specifically benefit from 64-bit.
Now under that 64-bit kernel/EFI if you got a MacBook Air and somehow shoehorned 8GB of RAM or more, and ran large-scale 64-bit apps (of which there are currently few) that used all the memory, that app should run just a little bit faster. Why? Because instead of using PAE, you'd get native address space access to that 8GB of RAM and might be able to get faster performance under 64-bit. Or maybe not, it's going to depend on the app, 64-bit might STILL be slower.

Now, take the hypothetical to the limit, if that 64-bit EFI/kernel MacBook Air had 64GB of RAM... well then that's something that the 32-bit EFI/kernel can't do because it's limited to 32GB of RAM.

So bottom line, forget about the 64-bit kernel hype and live with a faster MacBook Air. Unless, of course, you've modified the hardware to have more than 32GB of RAM, in which case that 64-bit EFI/kernel is going to come in handy.

Just a note, Windows is a different story. Windows 32-bit kernels can't even appropriately handle more than 3GB of RAM and can't even get to 4GB of RAM without using PAE. So once you have more than 3GB of RAM with Windows, you kind-of need to move to a 64-bit kernel or you're screwed. Another reason why Mac OS X is better than Windows.

Synchromesh
Feb 27, 2010, 01:20 PM
What Mr. Zarniwoop said. Pretty much covers it all. Although 32-bit Winblows CAN handle about 3.5GB of RAM. After that, it's 64-bit or bust.

halledise
Feb 27, 2010, 01:56 PM
Hi,

I am going to get a (used) Air tomorrow. It will have 1.6 Ghz, 2 GB DDR2, 80 GB HD.

It comes with 10.5. Will it be faster if I buy 10.6 for it?:rolleyes:

short answer - Yes

Scottsdale
Feb 27, 2010, 04:28 PM
I think you might be giving in too much to marketing hyperbole here that 64-bits is better than 32-bits. That will probably be true in 2020 once we have machines with 64GB of RAM or more, but it ain't true today. 32-bit is better today on current hardware with Mac OS X if you're looking to eek out all the performance you can, except it specific circumstances where you need direct access to more than 4GB of RAM for an application.

The current MacBook Air is limited to 2GB RAM. The main advantages of the OS X 10.6 64-bit kernel are the ability to address more than 32GB of RAM (32-bit kernel using PAE can only use 32GB of RAM) and direct address space more than 4GB of RAM for an application without using PAE.

And, because of the nifty 64-bit architecture in Mac OS X 10.6, even with a 32-bit kernal, under 10.6 with a MacBook Air you still run all 64-bit applications and the OS itself is 64-bit. So it's not like there's some 64-bit OS application or other 64-bit application you can't run.

If someone wrote a 64-bit EFI for the MacBook Air (to allow use of the 64-bit kernel), for programs that run within the 2GB of RAM, they'd run just a little bit slower. Not much, but just a little, because 64-bit is slower because it takes a little longer for the hardware to physically manipulate 64-bit data (8 octects) than it does 32-bit data (4 octets). Here's an example of the speed difference: "Benchmark: 64bit vs 32bit, Page 3" (http://www.osnews.com/story/5768/Are_64-bit_Binaries_Really_Slower_than_32-bit_Binaries_/page3/) The conclusion:

Now under that 64-bit kernel/EFI if you got a MacBook Air and somehow shoehorned 8GB of RAM or more, and ran large-scale 64-bit apps (of which there are currently few) that used all the memory, that app should run just a little bit faster. Why? Because instead of using PAE, you'd get native address space access to that 8GB of RAM and might be able to get faster performance under 64-bit. Or maybe not, it's going to depend on the app, 64-bit might STILL be slower.

Now, take the hypothetical to the limit, if that 64-bit EFI/kernel MacBook Air had 64GB of RAM... well then that's something that the 32-bit EFI/kernel can't do because it's limited to 32GB of RAM.

So bottom line, forget about the 64-bit kernel hype and live with a faster MacBook Air. Unless, of course, you've modified the hardware to have more than 32GB of RAM, in which case that 64-bit EFI/kernel is going to come in handy.

Just a note, Windows is a different story. Windows 32-bit kernels can't even appropriately handle more than 3GB of RAM and can't even get to 4GB of RAM without using PAE. So once you have more than 3GB of RAM with Windows, you kind-of need to move to a 64-bit kernel or you're screwed. Another reason why Mac OS X is better than Windows.

That looks like one of my excessive replies! LMAO.

It all comes down to what each person believes is acceptable.

Here is what Apple told me about what OS would be provided with my MBA... all still available for review at Apple.com!

The 64-bit transition

Ready for the future

The entire computing industry is moving from 32-bit to 64-bit technology, and itís easy to see why.

64-bit computing used to be the province of scientists and engineers, but now this generational shift in computing gives all users the tools to apply the power of 64-bit to speed up everything from everyday applications to the most demanding scientific computations. Although Mac OS X is already 64-bit capable in many ways, Snow Leopard takes the next big step by rewriting nearly all system applications in 64-bit code and by enabling the Mac to address massive amounts of memory. Now Mac OS X is faster, more secure, and completely ready for the future.

I believe I should get what I paid for. I believe a true "transition" to 64-bit computing INCLUDES the kernel! I don't care how minor the differences seem now because the MBA doesn't have more than 3.3 GB of RAM. I bought a computer that is fully 64-bit capable, but I can only get a true 64-bit experience in Windows. The biggest problem for me is Apple's failure to disclose to all OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard buyers that the vast majority of those upgrading to Snow Leopard would NOT get a 64-bit kernel. In fact, most people that upgraded to Snow Leopard probably have no idea that their Mac isn't running a 64-bit kernel!

I agree the performance differences shouldn't be that great since the MBA isn't taking advantage of 4 GB or more of RAM. However, I believe I should get what I was sold. I want the OPTION to run my MBA in 64-bit kernel. Why doesn't Apple fully disclose that most people aren't getting a true 64-bit transition as they're not running a 64-bit kernel? Apple should be honest with its buyers. I would have bought my MBA anyways, but that's NOT the point!

Oh well, at least I can run Windows 7 64-bit on my MacBook Air!

Mr. Zarniwoop
Feb 27, 2010, 10:06 PM
Here is what Apple told me about what OS would be provided with my MBA... all still available for review at Apple.com!
Yeah, you're definitely giving in to the marketing hype. ;)

Huubster
Mar 14, 2010, 12:24 PM
On my Rev A MBA it did make a difference, this is what it most noticably did:

Positive:

Lesser spinning balls
Smooth running of 720p (Used to skip frames after a while)
Quicker boot (more a feeling than having timed it)
More snappy feel and responsiveness


Negative:

Slower Itunes responsiveness (Could be caused by the increasing bulkyness of Itunes just as well)
No longer possible to play 1080p (Used to be okay for 5 minutes or so)

Scottsdale
Mar 14, 2010, 12:53 PM
On my Rev A MBA it did make a difference, this is what it most noticably did:

Positive:

Lesser spinning balls
Smooth running of 720p (Used to skip frames after a while)
Quicker boot (more a feeling than having timed it)
More snappy feel and responsiveness


Negative:

Slower Itunes responsiveness (Could be caused by the increasing bulkyness of Itunes just as well)
No longer possible to play 1080p (Used to be okay for 5 minutes or so)


OpenGL in Snow Leopard is 25% inferior to Leopard. Supposedly Apple promised to fix this. We can even see the problems via the xBench tests which showed these OpenGL results. Snow Leopard actually results in inferior xBench results overall due to the extreme valuation of OpenGL results. Just another reason to not trust Apple has our best interests in mind. It seems that our experience isn't as important as bragging about OpenCL and Grand Central Dispatch.

I didn't notice any fewer spinning beach balls, because I rarely see a spinning beach ball. That must have more to do with the HDD's performance. I would bet that if you actually timed your boot you would see that Snow Leopard boots 10% slower; it's all in your head because you want it to be faster.

PsyD4Me
Mar 14, 2010, 01:39 PM
in the real world-bootups are a bit faster but everyday use is really not much different, maybe that's because i put mine through the ringer

Huubster
Mar 14, 2010, 01:58 PM
OpenGL in Snow Leopard is 25% inferior to Leopard. Supposedly Apple promised to fix this. We can even see the problems via the xBench tests which showed these OpenGL results.
This explains the 1080p problems, but doesn't explain the 720p improvements...? That is probably won on other fronts.

It seems that our experience isn't as important as bragging about OpenCL and Grand Central Dispatch.
Yes, thats the way their marketing works. Just like claiming the MBA does 5 hours on batteries. No idea how to achieve that!

I didn't notice any fewer spinning beach balls, because I rarely see a spinning beach ball. That must have more to do with the HDD's performance.
Could well be. Btw, I have the rev A. (Impatiently waiting for the Rev D)

I would bet that if you actually timed your boot you would see that Snow Leopard boots 10% slower; it's all in your head because you want it to be faster.
Yeah, its more a feeling than anything else!

Scottsdale
Mar 14, 2010, 03:22 PM
Yeah, you're definitely giving in to the marketing hype. ;)

Not about getting "into" any "marketing hype" it's about giving customers what you tell them they're getting... it's about reading the fine print. Like Apple wants to brag only Windows has to do. I want what I am sold no matter how some people "spin" the marketing.