MBA, Day 3

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by kieonsegg, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    #1
    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 :)
     
  2. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    #2
    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"
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Location:
    Rockville (Despite REM's plea.)
    #3
    battery drain while suspended

    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 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.
     
  4. macrumors 68040

    bigjnyc

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    #4
    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.
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    #5
    Fan Control

    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!!!!
     

    Attached Files:

  6. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Location:
    Denver
    #6
    Get a copy of Xslimmer and run on all your apps. It will save disk space and make most launch much faster.
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Location:
    Denver
    #7
    Sleeping

    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.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    #8
    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...
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Location:
    Rockville (Despite REM's plea.)
    #9
    iStat

    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.
     
  10. macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #10
    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
     
  11. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    #11
    [/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
     
  12. macrumors 604

    chrono1081

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Isla Nublar
    #12
    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).
     
  13. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Location:
    Nebraska
  14. macrumors 68020

    bowlerman625

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL area
    #14
    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.
     
  15. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Location:
    Nebraska
  16. macrumors 68020

    bowlerman625

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL area
    #16
    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.
     
  17. macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #17
    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.
     
  18. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #18
    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
     
  19. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    #19
    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.
     
  20. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #20
    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!
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    #21
    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.
     

    Attached Files:

  22. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    #22
    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.
     
  23. macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #23
    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 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.
     
  24. macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #24
    Haha. Every time you write MAC I think of a device address :p

    It's "Mac" :)
     
  25. macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #25
    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)
     

Share This Page