45 days with my Rev A refurb 1.6 80GB

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Turmoil, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. Turmoil macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2008
    Just thought I'd give a quick update after having used this machine for a couple of months.

    1st off, I'm a very happy Rev A owner. The computer meets my needs in every way and has given me no problems at all.

    It joins 3 other macs in the household, but the Air is my baby. It's really the only keyboard in the house I use anymore. I have two mac mini's that act as home theatre servers and my old Powerbook is quite happy as an ftp and http server.

    So my Air does all my day to day Internet, mail, scheduling and promotions. I do quite a bit of photo and other art work on it. I'm doing much writing and research and of course control all my other computers with it.

    The programs I use mostly on the Air are:

    Jolly Fast VNC - to control all the other computers
    Safari - I just don't need another browser
    Mail - and more mail.
    I-Cal - always open
    I-tunes- no storage on the Air
    I-Photo - Minimal temporary storage on the Air
    Aperature - Minimal storage on the air
    I play a little UT 2004

    I run cool books and smc Fan control, but I haven't seen any problems with heat. I do watch some video on it, some flash stutters but everything else I've tossed at it runs fine.

    The computer looks beautiful and runs perfectly handing several of the above programs at the same time. It came shortly after ordering in perfect condition.

    I was very pleased that I purchased the computer I did, when I did and for the price I got it.

    Your milage will likely vary.
  2. orrelse44 macrumors regular

    Nov 15, 2007
    I am at just short of a month with my refurb, same model as yours. I love it. I do think it runs a bit warm, but I've yet to experience a shutdown or major issues with stuttering while watching hulu. I've put it through the paces to try to get it to shut down and it hasn't come close.

    I run coolbook on it too, that does help.

    This is an awesome little machine, it really is. It is so sweet looking, I get lots of comments. I showed it off to some of my friends last weekend--I actually brought a manila envelope home from work and pulled it out of there, LOL.

    I am about to install Office Mac 2008 on it, and I'm prolly gonna do boot camp soon too.

    My brewing software is loaded and working great--this will be nice to have in the brewery while I'm putting recipes together and tinkering around.
  3. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Don't you both think that undervolting via CoolBook should be provided by Apple since it's the real solution that has made the original MBA useable?

    I think Apple should wise up and learn from its mistakes. It has tried everything with the original MBA, and had returns on an unimaginable scale (I imagine from reading and experiencing the original MBA myself)... It is Cool Book that has made that computer useable for most.

    I had the original, and I did not enjoy my experience. However, I am reading more and more of the happy users either do not expect much from their original MBA OR THEY USE COOL BOOK!

    I think Cool Book should be provided and supported by Apple since all of you refurbished owners would not be happy with your MBAs without it.

    Happy you all can get some satisfaction out of the original MBA at a substantial discount... thanks to Cool Book. I wish I had used it when I had my original MBA.
  4. mshaf macrumors member

    Feb 5, 2009
    Ditto for me too....great computer! Let the flaming begin....
  5. 1rottenapple macrumors 68000

    Apr 21, 2004
    I think apple should reimburse us, but then again imagine how embarrassed they'll be. I know I could not run my old rev A air without coolbook and despite going to the apple store, I was told a fix was coming. The "fix" apple came out with pretty much cut the processor turning my $1600 computer into 800mhz g4 spec machine.

    They won't budge on admitting their fault. Its kinda like US policy on Iraq. We will never say it was a bad idea.

    Yes, I bought a Rev B, but dammit I will not let this issue go. :mad: Apple is not a religion like some people feel they are. If they are wrong, then their **** needs to be called out.

    Steve Jobs is a genius and all but the dude probably came be diagnosed with a personality disorder, at least NOS criteria. He will never admit apple did something wrong by releasing a half-assed computer.
  6. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I think Apple completely learned from its fault. Look at every major component from the revision B and it is changed from the original. That just doesn't happen...

    Also, the only people that truly suffered were us original early adopters of the original MBA. I tried everything but my MBA was too limited. No matter how little I tried to push it there was always frustration in the slowness, the overheating, the locking up and etc.

    At least Apple gave us rev B MBA buyers something really nice. And at least those wanting to buy original MBAs at substantial discounts now have the possibility to undervolt and make their original MBAs work much better. And apparently the majority of the problems instantly go away as soon as the cool book is installed.

    Like I said, just too bad Apple didn't provide us original MBA owners this, and at least a good thing sites like MR bring people together so people can learn how to buy a discounted computer and make it work much better by a simple $10 application.

    Cheers to all MBA owners out there.
  7. ooo macrumors 6502

    Nov 23, 2007
    Been running Rev. A for about four months now and I never had an overheating issue, my fans basically always around 2500rpm-4000rpm. Occasionally it'll spike to 6500rpm.Then again my fan was just replaced, maybe it was running too hard :D
  8. Turmoil thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2008
  9. Nak macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2008
    Portland, OR
    I've been very happy with mine, got it when they first appeared in the Apple stores in early 2008.

    I have to admit that I'm running CoolBook, have redone the thermal paste with Arctic Silver, and am running smcfancontrol.

    This combo works so well that I'm actually using my MBA to run the SMP Folding@Home client (via Increase) as my MBA is running all day anyway.

    To do this, I've setup CoolBook to turn down the CPU voltages as far as I could go before getting kernel panics, throttling turned on, have the temp limit set to 85C, and am using smcfancontrol to limit the max fan speed to 5000RPM.

    I've found 5000RPM to be very tolerable noise-wise (since I'm running F@H, the fans are basically always at the max). It's quieter than the fan on my ThinkPad T61 that I use at work.

    I noticed that the max fan speed gets reset to 6200RPM when the MBA comes out of sleep, so I was delighted to find the free utility SleepWatcher that allows you to create two shell scripts (.sleep and .wakeup) in your home directory that are executed when your Mac goes to sleep or wakes up. I don't use .sleep, but have the smcfancontrol command to set the max fan speed in .wakeup.

    Now my MBA has the max fan speed set to 5000RPM whenever it wakes up.

    Obviously, my MBA isn't always running at 1.8GHz and is constantly throttling to keep the temp at the CoolBook-set max. This will be an "issue" for some people, but I'm really happy with this setup. CoolBook is throttling both core clocks in the 1200-1400-1600-1800MHz range, so it doesn't just sit at 1200MHz with only one core running like it does without CoolBook.

    For those of you thinking that Apple should provide CoolBook with the MBA, it'll never happen. Imagine the support calls they'll get. Also, every CPU is different in its tolerance of supply voltage and they are not going to "tweak" each and every MBA that comes off the line. The voltage settings that they provide from the factory are "safe" voltages that are "guaranteed" to not cause a KP or hang or otherwise misbehave due to too low a core voltage.

    I agree that this is a "high maintenance" notebook, but I've got mine pretty well setup and use it constantly.

    One last thing, I really need more disk space. The 64GB SSD is far too "cramped".

  10. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I cannot imagine only having 64 GB, my SSD is 128 GB and it is too small for me. I am really hopeful for a 256 GB SSD upgrade path in the future.

    There actually is a thread in the MBA section where the OP is going to attempt a 256 GB SSD by removing drive enclosing cage in MBA and soldering around the LIF cable. Additionally the OP listed a link to how to do it for rev A owners via PATA drives.

    I hope it works.
  11. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    I was so happy that I was able to RETURN my rev A and all its components after seven months and received a full refund for everything that I paid for back in August '08, (thanks Apple Customer Relations). Kernel panics, overheating, fan at 6200rpm, stuttering video and did I mention Kernel Panics. I probably had one of those problem MBAirs you always hear about. Yeah, as much as I loved this thing called the MBAir, I'm waiting for rev C and then I'll jump on the bandwagon again...:eek:
  12. SeanU macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Another Happy refurb buyer

    One month on with a refurb 80gb rev. a here also. This is my first Mac, and it does everything I expected it to. I'm not a heavy video user, so I won't go there, but for a portable XCode dev machine, it is working just fine. After a month, my only disappointment is the screen. It's great when viewed at the optimal angle, but it has a terrible blue shift when the vertical angle is off. It only bugs me when I am on the train and can't tilt it back far enough.
  13. ppc750fx macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2008
    No. The chips are volted at the stock voltages for a reason: not all chips will work at all voltages. Intel tests chips at a specific set of frequencies and voltages -- it is quite possible to have a chip that operates with 100% reliability at the stock voltages/frequencies, yet is quite unstable at any other settings (I've seen this happen many times.) You may not care if your wireless NIC is 100% reliable, but believe me -- you *definitely* want your CPU to be 100% reliable.

    CoolBook isn't some magic, 100% reliable fix for overheating CPUs. It can (and often will) be able to reduce the voltages used by a given chip (and thus reduce its heat output) -- but it won't produce the same results on all machines. Since the CPUs in the MBA were not certified for anything other than the default voltages/frequencies, Apple cannot make any assumptions as to their performance outside of those ranges. Shipping CoolBook (or something like it) as a fix just isn't a feasible option.
  14. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Hey, I have to admit I hated my original MBA, while my rev B is the nicest Mac I have ever owned.

    The thing is I have bashed my original MBA so much, and there are people that are happy with their original MBA's and I wondered how and why? I didn't experience anything wonderful about it... however, I have read time and time again that people are having good experiences after using Cool Book. I agree it isn't going to work the same on every MBA, but Apple would be better off taking the time to tune it for every refurbished rev A MBA it ships. Surely Apple has learned from the experience of so many returns by original MBA buyers... and Apple's name/reputation was damaged by the terrible experiences people like me had with my original MBA.

    The one thing I have noticed by nearly everyone that says they love their original MBA, is they are all using COOL BOOK!
  15. mshaf macrumors member

    Feb 5, 2009
    Good point here. My refurb revA ran a little warm for things like youtube prior to coolbook but I never had the stuttering or core shutdowns that others had previously complained about. The only thing I can think of is that they didnt necessarily make hardware changes to the refurbs but may have corrected the thermal paste situation with them or I'm just one of the lucky ones!

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