Application loading times?- macbook air rev a vs rev b vs unibody macbook (all HDD)

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by villan, May 23, 2009.

  1. villan macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2009
    Hi, I cant remember if ive posted here before or not but i have spent roughly half my life (or it just feels like it) deciding between these three notebooks and i know all the advantages, disadvantages, problems, etc but i would love to know how the loading times for various applications vary between the three. Someone here said that the rev b takes about 25% longer to open an application than the macbook. How accurate is this? So basically if anyone can tell me how long any app takes to load on their macbook air or unibody it would be a gr8 help (i know i can live with all of the airs other disadvantages but this hasnt been talked about too much). Thanks :apple:

    btw a ssd is not an option and obviously the macbook is gonna be faster than the air, im just wondering how much faster :D
  2. Insulin Junkie macrumors 65816

    Insulin Junkie

    May 5, 2008
    Mainland Europe
    I can't tell you about the air, but even on the unibody, it would depend on the kind of application. My unibody times (2.0ghz, 2gb ram, presently) (Calculated from clicking on the icon to when the program is fully loaded & usable)

    Firefox: 2-4 seconds
    iTunes: 4 seconds
    iMovie: 7-8 seconds
    Microsoft word 8-10 seconds

    I think you get the idea. What would it be on the Air? I'd add maybe 1 or 2 seconds on a HDD version, as the processor speed is slightly lower.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the air seems to have overheating issues sometimes, and overheating can cause a slowdown when loading apps.
    Hope this helped a bit.
  3. pellets007 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 28, 2009
    New York
    You have to make sure that all times are after a restart. Otherwise, OS X's cache will add an extra variable to your time.

    It's more to do with the RPM.
  4. stoconnell macrumors 6502

    Mar 22, 2009
    Rockville (Despite REM's plea.)
    I cannot give you much of a comparison, but of those, I would expect the Rev A MBA to be the slowest given slower memory bus speed (DDR2 v DDR3), 50% less L3 cache in the chip vs. Rev B MBA (4MB vs. 6MB), however both of MBAs have the slower 4200 RPM HDDs and will suffer more from I/O wait than the either of the MBs (esp. if you upgrade the HDDs to 7200 or SSD). The other thing is if you don't reboot or quit and restart applications very often and don't push the 2GB RAM, the hit on the initial load of the apps will be negligible as, once they are launched, you should be good to go. If you need the portability and can live with the compromises, get the Rev B MBA (if it fits in your budget). The MB is a very nice machine with some built-in future proofing (memory is expandable, hard drives are readily replaced, etc -- neither of which are real options with the MBA -- drives maybe) so you cannot go too wrong there either if the viewing angles/black levels, etc on the LCD don't bother or concern you too much (this is a very subjective and touchy subject) ;).

    Good luck with your decision.
  5. villan thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2009

    Thats exactly the kind of info i was looking for so thanks and thanks to everyone else for their help. I cant imagine a couple of seconds ever being a problem and the screen quality is probably more important to me than a slight difference in performance. Also, the look and the size of the unibody and the air are the main reasons i want a mac and the air is obviously the best at both of those things so i am fairly certain the air is the right laptop for me. Now i just need to try and buy the rev b rather than the a but if the worst comes to the worst then i will just buy the a and im sure i'll be very happy with it. Thanks to everyone who has ever replied to anyones question on this forum, youve been a big help :apple:
  6. uberamd macrumors 68030


    May 26, 2009
    For what its worth, I just got a Rev A MBA, and it runs great. I can use Leopard and run a VM in Virtual Box, no problem. For the size, its very responsive, and a joy to carry around.
  7. villan thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2009
    Thanks uberamd, There do seem to be a lot of happy rev a owners around but the UK apple store hasn't had a refurbished rev a in stock for ages now so i think that they might be all gone... and they seem to have a very similar price on ebay to the rev bs so it looks like im not gonna have too much choice anyway :rolleyes:
  8. youssefm macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2008
    This thread is actually really helpful, I was wondering the same thing because I wanna go ahead and purchase an air.. I saw youtube videos though, and the SSD model is extremely quick at loading things.. so hopefully the HDD one isn't far behind
  9. villan thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2009
    The loading times would be noticeably slower than the SSD model. Take a look at the video on youtube which compares the boot time of the macbook air compared to a dell mini 9 with a SSD, it really shows how much of an effect a SSD makes. Although, loading and boot times are the main difference between a SSD and a HDD so i dont think it is worth the price difference for most people.

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