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Old Dec 30, 2010, 08:42 AM   #26
mixvio
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More RAM is always a good idea; 2 gigs won't be sufficient for very long and even 4 is starting to reach the point that 2 was (IE, base expectation) just a short time ago. I have the 4 gig "ultimate" 13" Air and I've never had issues with Office 2011 or Photoshop CS5, so higher specs might help you out.
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 08:42 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by dubeye View Post

I tried Windows 7 version of Excel 2010 via VMWare and that works absolutely fine. But the RAM is totally maxed out right up to 2GB. So that's a problem.

So I think both solutions would do the trick. The new MBP processor would help me run Office native, and 4GB MPA would allow me to run windows


All opinions very welcome on which I should go for, given my need for Excel.
The 4GB MacBook Air handles Windows through virtualization just fine. You will still have lots of page outs, but even Windows 7 64-bit runs fine on the 4GB system when I give it 1.75GB of RAM. I use Parallels 6 but have also used VMWare Fusion in the past. I don't use Excel for Windows on the Mac, though, since my spreadsheets aren't as complicated. I do use Quicken for Windows and a handful of other programs.
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 09:18 AM   #28
archipellago
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for the love of pete...

OP if you are needing to use Office software to do a lot of statistical or other analysis (SQL,SAS etc.) then don't buy a Mac.

they are awful for that sort of stuff.

Office 2011 is the best version but still pales compared to any version of Office run on x86 hardware.

why spend all that money for a tool that can barely do the job?

I have a desktop Athlon Quad with just 2gb of ram and that flies with Excel.
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 10:44 AM   #29
KPOM
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Originally Posted by archipellago View Post

Office 2011 is the best version but still pales compared to any version of Office run on x86 hardware.
Actually, a Mac is x86 hardware (x64 to be more precise). It's definitely up to snuff. Whether Microsoft's Mac business unit is capable of writing decent software is a different question. Office 2010 will run just fine on a MacBook Air under Boot Camp or virtualization.
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 11:18 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by KPOM View Post
Actually, a Mac is x86 hardware (x64 to be more precise). It's definitely up to snuff. Whether Microsoft's Mac business unit is capable of writing decent software is a different question. Office 2010 will run just fine on a MacBook Air under Boot Camp or virtualization.
Yeah, it's the Mac versions of Office that are slow in general. Even Office 2011 feels quite slow compared to just about any version of Office for the PC.

I recommend using VMWare Fusion, Windows XP, and Office 2003 or 2007. Excel runs great. No need for Windows 7 and the latest office suite as it is just going to be more bloated and slower than previous versions. I think my XP virtual machine file with office is under 5 GB.
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 02:44 PM   #31
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Office 2011 runs just fine. Absolutely ridiculous to install VMware, just to install Windows, just to install Office 2010. Both versions are spot on with the feature set less One Note. Anyone going through the trouble to install Windows just to use Office 2010 is being ridiculous. And yeah, iTunes runs much slower on a PC but does that mean Windows users should install OS X just to run iTunes? NO.
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 03:35 PM   #32
archipellago
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Originally Posted by KPOM View Post
Actually, a Mac is x86 hardware (x64 to be more precise). It's definitely up to snuff. Whether Microsoft's Mac business unit is capable of writing decent software is a different question. Office 2010 will run just fine on a MacBook Air under Boot Camp or virtualization.
I don't doubt its up to stuff and I'm aware that technically mac hardware is X86, I was just trying to differentiate between plain vanilla VFM h/w and the ridiculous prices Apple charge.....

my point was that if the OP uses Office regularly then buying a Mac is an exercise in futility and a colossal waste of money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HLdan View Post
Office 2011 runs just fine. Absolutely ridiculous to install VMware, just to install Windows, just to install Office 2010. Both versions are spot on with the feature set less One Note. Anyone going through the trouble to install Windows just to use Office 2010 is being ridiculous. And yeah, iTunes runs much slower on a PC but does that mean Windows users should install OS X just to run iTunes? NO.
Nobody should have to run iTunes...... on any platform.

Last edited by archipellago; Dec 30, 2010 at 03:47 PM.
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 03:57 PM   #33
fastness
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using the new Mac air with 4GB memory
when the air just boots up, nothing running, ~750M memory is taken,
open an Excel file, ~2000 lines, with openoffice, the memeory usage is 945M,
quit the openoffice, the memory usage is still ~935M

cpu usage is around 1.5%
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 06:52 PM   #34
rodjam
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Originally Posted by dubeye View Post
Thanks for all the useful comments.

There are some columns that use forumulas, but basic financial stuff, nothing to scream about

I tried Windows 7 version of Excel 2010 via VMWare and that works absolutely fine. But the RAM is totally maxed out right up to 2GB. So that's a problem.

So I think both solutions would do the trick. The new MBP processor would help me run Office native, and 4GB MPA would allow me to run windows

So I'm still 50/50. I'm could get the MBP with 3rd party SSD added asap, for about the same price as the 4GB MPA.

I think I would like both machines I am off to the apple store in an hour or so to trade, and will have a play with the MPB but it will not really be fair comparison without the added SSD.

All opinions very welcome on which I should go for, given my need for Excel.
Your problem is the software, Excel (and Numbers) on OS X, not the hardware. I've run into the same problem: Excel on Windows seems to be more capable for some (but not all) large and/or computationally intensive spreadsheets. Getting a MBP will not fix this problem, but running Excel from Windows via VMWare or Parallels will. You could also run Excel via Bootcamp and be able to run within 2GB.
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 08:22 PM   #35
dubeye
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I loaded up the file in question on the demo MBP in store and yes same problem, ie beach ball almost every time I tried to copy and paste. Slower if anything! it's the software for sure.

So I returned my 2gb MA - but they didn't have a 4gb stock, so they gave a refund and told me to order online and now I have nothing! Oh well at least the iPad getting some use.

Agree that bootcamp would have enabled this on the 2gb. But I'm sold on the extra RAM now.

I'm going to have sniff at the HP envy SSD i5 which looks tasty, but probably end up with an air
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 11:47 PM   #36
dmelgar
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Originally Posted by dubeye View Post
I loaded up the file in question on the demo MBP in store and yes same problem, ie beach ball almost every time I tried to copy and paste. Slower if anything! it's the software for sure.

So I returned my 2gb MA - but they didn't have a 4gb stock, so they gave a refund and told me to order online and now I have nothing! Oh well at least the iPad getting some use.
The stores usually have the ultimate models in stock. Some sales people at least early on, didn't know that.
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Old Dec 31, 2010, 02:39 AM   #37
size100
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nvm

Last edited by size100; Dec 31, 2010 at 02:50 AM.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 12:49 PM   #38
Saturn007
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I realize that this thread is 2 years old, but in case someone else encounters it looking for information on Excel on the MacBook Airs, I will note this:

A financial spreadsheet that has multiple embedded formulas, with pointers from one cell to another, in a recursive fashion, could hang the computer or make it very, very slow to update.

So, given what the OP discovered, it wasn't the MBA at all-- and, as others have reported, Excel ran fine on their MBAs-- and those were the original MBAs!

I doubt there's a problem now, given that new MBAs are so much more powerful.

Bottom line advice: get the full 8 megs of RAM that Apple now has as an option (only $90 extra in educ. pricing) and there should be no problem whatsoever.

Last edited by Saturn007; Nov 5, 2012 at 03:37 PM.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 01:33 PM   #39
jrasero
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yes

I have base 2010 11" with 2 gigs

and Office 2008 and it's slow opening any of these apps

4 Gigs will help with this and video streaming
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 02:05 PM   #40
Mrbobb
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Maybe turn off Excel's auto-calculate feature? Just like in Google Search I find instant result even while typing gimmicky, like it's thinking ahead of me. But I don't really need an answer until I finish asking the question. To that end I don't need Excel to be constantly re-calculating the whole sheet to every little change I make, OK to let me make all changes, then I hit CALC for result just fine with me and takes less horsepower, makes workflow smoother, if one is not fortunate enough to always have the latest hardware.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 02:14 PM   #41
poobear
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I also had beachballs problems running a 2011 Air. Now I don't even get beachballs (running merium big sheets) on a G4 Globe.

Just google excel performance tips and you'll get plenty of websites
http://chandoo.org/wp/2012/03/27/75-...eding-up-tips/
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/libr.../ff726673.aspx
http://www.ozgrid.com/Excel/ExcelSpreadsheetDesign.htm
http://www.databison.com/index.php/h...excel-and-vba/
http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10t...rformance/2842

AFTER you follow all these tips and still get beachballs, then buy more ram.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 03:38 PM   #42
Saturn007
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Perhaps I spoke (wrote) too soon!

What do you all think about an 8gb MacBook Air 2012 vintage running Excel 2011?

Would there be any probs with that?

Thanks for the feedback-- and the great set of links, too!
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 03:44 PM   #43
53x12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poobear View Post
I also had beachballs problems running a 2011 Air. Now I don't even get beachballs (running merium big sheets) on a G4 Globe.

Just google excel performance tips and you'll get plenty of websites
http://chandoo.org/wp/2012/03/27/75-...eding-up-tips/
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/libr.../ff726673.aspx
http://www.ozgrid.com/Excel/ExcelSpreadsheetDesign.htm
http://www.databison.com/index.php/h...excel-and-vba/
http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10t...rformance/2842

AFTER you follow all these tips and still get beachballs, then buy more ram.
Wow, whole lot of reading material there. I'm too lazy so would probably just fork over the money.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 11:06 PM   #44
calvol
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Originally Posted by GimmeSlack12 View Post
It's likely that Excel for Mac is the problem. Install BootCamp and run Excel in Win7 and you'll likely see a noticeable difference. Office for Mac just isn't very good.
+1... this is the way to go. Excel in Mac is not as good as the Win version, especially if you're used to the keyboard shortcuts.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 10:07 AM   #45
mattnxtc
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I just ordered teh I5 13" MBA with 8 gigs ram.

I shouldn't have any issues running VM or Parallels right with windows right?
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 07:07 PM   #46
dubeye
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OP here. Just to clarify, I did try the identical excel file on a range of macs with different RAM, and my experience is that this problem is not in any way linked to RAM at all. Increased ram made zero difference. If you check the system analyser, ram never gets close to capacity even on a 2GB system.

It's simply the OSX version of excel is really much slower than windows.

Windows excel running on paralells with a 2GB mac will run a lot quicker than OSX excel on an 8gb mac.

Sorry fanboys!
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 02:30 AM   #47
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I've often found that my touch typing fingers run at the same speed on Excel for Mac and Windows

Everyone knows the Mac version has limitations, but it doesn't take that long to load up. I use it Daisy, and not a good idea to call people who are trying to help you fanboys in a derogatory manner

Anyway, I'm glad you've isolated the problem. That problem not being a Mac problem, but rather an MS problem on their software side. Oh the irony of your tone

(All meant in light hearted/ tongue in cheek jest by the way)
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 03:06 AM   #48
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Ha yes it is ironic, MS doing a half baked job.

The speed difference is most noticeable when copy and pasting and moving data about. It's not so much about load speed, though that is slower too.

It's more about responsiveness.

I've no idea if it's an OSX issue or a MS issue. Maybe Numbers is not immune to these problems either.

Last edited by dubeye; Nov 9, 2012 at 03:15 AM.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 04:02 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dubeye View Post
Ha yes it is ironic, MS doing a half baked job.

The speed difference is most noticeable when copy and pasting and moving data about. It's not so much about load speed, though that is slower too.

It's more about responsiveness.

I've no idea if it's an OSX issue or a MS issue. Maybe Numbers is not immune to these problems either.
I'm glad you took my humour in the right way, and the way it was intended.

Just to add to the irony, Office was available on the Mac platform first.

I get what you mean about large data files. I tend to prefer MS products for most tasks, despite the fact I am quite legitimately a fanboy. Although I feel some sense of shame for getting so excited about the surface platform.

I've used Excel through a VM ware in the past and it works wonderfully. The only problem ie encountered is VB. I have a compatibility issue that is present in VM ware, Parallels, and Bootcamp. Happens in XP and Windows 7. The same file opens immediately with no issues on any dedicated windows box though, whether its a corporate computer or a home one. I'm not someone who knows anything about coding, so it's a total mystery! Now that really is a ball ache, having to carry a windows laptop in the car on the off chance I'll need to use this one solitary programme for work!
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