Coolbook for an MBA Rev. B?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by netdog, May 12, 2009.

  1. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #1
    Have a new Rev. B MBA that is really quite perfect.

    I was wondering about installing Coolbook on it as Safari goes a bit haywire quite frequently, banging on the processors when too many flash ads are on display, and I also frequently run WMWare with XP which also seems to hit the processors quite hard.

    Using normal OS X apps and not introducing a lot of flash, the laptop performs beautifully, but when there is too much sustained load on the CPU, the fans understandably rev up, and I find the noise pretty darned annoying.

    Would Coolbook solve my problems? Is there any reason not to install Coolbook? Can it be easily toggled between enabled and disabled states? Does it muck with the kernel recklessly or make it likely that an OS point upgrade might run foul?
     
  2. Airforcekid macrumors 65816

    Airforcekid

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    #2
    It may worsen your issues since it would decrease power however I have heard using a popupblocker will greatly improve performance with flash since flash ads arnt loaded. You can however use coolbook to decrease power and gain a lot of battery life.
     
  3. 1rottenapple macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    #3
    I thought cool book does not work with rev B? I had great results on the rev A and would love longer battery life.
     
  4. slapguts macrumors 6502a

    slapguts

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    #4
    I'd look into AdBlock for Safari. There's also an extension that blocks flash, but gives you a clickable image if there is some integral chunk of flash. Iwish I could remember the name, but someone will come along and post it any minute.
     
  5. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    #5
    Flash doesn't work well on OS X. It hits the CPU really hard. Stay away from Cool Book. Get some Flash blocking app (for free) to limit the Flash coding display so you click when you want to see it.
     
  6. reallynotnick macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #6
    I guess I can't say much for coolbook but it seems like a good idea from everything I have read. Interesting that the first few posters disagree but none give any real evidence except it 'slows' down the computer which is 100% false it simply gives the CPU a lower voltage so it does not put out so much heat and in some cases this allows the CPU to stay at a higher clock speed, and at the very least it will make your computer run slightly cooler and slightly longer. Only downside I have heard is your computer could become unstable if you undervolt too much but then you can just change it back.

    Otherwise for Safari I really love PithHelmet does a great job at blocking all ads, many of which are Flash and slow my Macs down like no other. I know there is also AdBlock but can't comment on how well that works as it won't run on my machines (it either required 10.5 or Intel, idk). I highly recommend PithHelmet though.
     
  7. Nak macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #7
    To suppress automatic loading of Flash, use ClickToFlash:

    http://github.com/rentzsch/clicktoflash/tree/master

    CoolBook is an excellent tool to optimize your notebook and do a better job of throttling the CPU clock than Apple does. It does, however, require a lot of tweaking and you'll see more than a few kernel panics while trying to find the lowest you can go on CPU voltage for a given clock speed.

    If this isn't your cup of tea, stay away. For My Rev A, it's been great and I wouldn't run without it.

    Nak
     
  8. stoconnell macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Location:
    Rockville (Despite REM's plea.)
    #8
    IIRC, the version of Coolbook that was available at the time of the original release of the Rev B Airs did not work with the new chipset; however, I believe it has since been updated. There are several threads where posters are using it with their Rev B Airs. Disclaimer: I am not using it. So, this is not firsthand experience.
     
  9. netdog thread starter macrumors 603

    netdog

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    Location:
    London
    #9
    I emailed the developer who confirmed that Coolbook works on Rev. B MBAs.
     
  10. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    Sep 19, 2008
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    U.S.A.
    #10
    But there is no reason to use it on the rev B. Especially not why you want to use it. With Flash on Safari/Firefox, you are going to get CPU usage. The problem is Flash/OS X working together. It has NOTHING to do with your rev B MBA.

    The original MBA had serious problems of overheating, core shutdown, and locking up... the rev B doesn't do any of that. You are confusing two different issues. Cool Book will NOT solve the problems of Flash taxing the CPU on OS X!

    End of discussion! Go ahead and waste your $10, but Cool Book is not going to change what Flash does!
     
  11. mykelala01 macrumors 6502

    mykelala01

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    #11
    It doesnt hurt to try

    Well if you have $10 dollars lying around it doesnt hurt to try. But don't over do it undervolting your MBA.
     
  12. SeanU macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    #12
    If the developer says it works... try it

    The main issue with undervolting is stability. If you run the tests that come with Coolbook to find your stable voltage levels... you should not have any problems. The upsides are the potential for battery battery run times, and lower temps... which may equate to lower fan speeds and less noise. I will warn you that Coolbook only allows you to install it 2 times on a given system.... which is pretty lame. So if you plan on doing an OS install, do it before installing Coolbook.
     
  13. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    #13
    "If the developer says it works, buy it???" The developer wants to sell it. What kind of advice is that? How about has anyone had improved performance of the rev B MBA, in any way after undervolting with Cool Book? That might be a more sensible reason to try it. But the rev B MBA doesn't have the problems of the original MBA. AND, what the OP is experiencing is NOT corrected by Cool Book. Can you explain to all of us how you think Cool Book is immediately going to solve the Flash problem with OS X? Suddenly Cool Book is going to somehow help the hard hit CPU when running Flash? It just isn't the same problem as the original MBA.

    I see Cool Book on a rev B MBA as pointless in this situation. There may be a reason to run Cool Book on a rev B MBA but this isn't it. Flash is going to spike the CPU with or without Cool Book.
     
  14. LeeTom macrumors 68000

    LeeTom

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    #14
    Coolbook has improved the battery life of my rev B MacBook Air by 50%.
    It will help the original poster with this particular Flash problem by ensuring that Flash (or anything for that matter) will not use so much CPU as to consume battery life. I agree that dealing with it directly is preferred, but it will not be without its benefits. :apple:
     
  15. SeanU macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    #15
    Actually, I was responding to the part of the question about if Coolbook works on the MBA rev.b. If the developer says it works on that platform, and you want to try it... then buy it.

    As for the original problem...

    The issue is that the Flash process is consuming all available cpu resources. There is a good thread here discussing the issue :

    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2010569&tstart=135

    Unfortunately, you have to change the settings on the process after it starts... there is no application that waits for a given process, and then sets it's priority... but it can probably be done.

    Have a great day!
     
  16. enfanteribl macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    #16
    Quick question about PithHelmet - do you have to start this up separately from Safari, or is it always on when Safari is running?
     
  17. dudeitsjay macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    #17
    I have a rev B, and coolbook works to the most of its original extent as on the rev A. For my 1.6, I'm only able to adjust clock frequency voltages of 800mhz and 1600mhz between the voltage values of .9250v to 1.0v.

    It takes time to tweak. But, when you get it right, it is much better. I formatted last week and had trouble reinstalling coolbook (long story...) and lived without it for a week. It was a relatively significant drop in performance and stability when surfing and watching videos. Magnus (creator of coolbook) doesn't seem to come off as money grubbing. He was on with instant email/replies to me 24/7 as I was trying to figure out my problem after reformatting. If anything, $10 well spent.

    I'm going to have to strongly disagree with Scottsdale on this. Rev B is much better, but still stutters frequently to not only flash but videos in general. It's pretty simple. They kept the core throttling in Rev. B so you still have to deal with stutters when the processor decides to changes frequencies. It is not a issue that is or can be "fixed" or solely put on an anomaly (flash; though its true flash blows on saf). It's just apple's way to conserve energy, and in doing so, didn't finely tweak enough the throttling sequences on their 2nd revision to prevent stutters and stuff. Don't get me wrong, Rev B is loads better. But the $10 marginal cost vs the marginal benefit in overall performance gain is fantastically cheap. Why didn't apple adjust it like this in the beginning? Well, its because every chip will react and behave differently, and so they probably found not the average, but the voltage outliers of their set of test cpus and set the settings to maximize overall production quantity stability. Does this mean coolbook will work for you? Yea, probably. There's a chance it might not being that your cpu a lesser efficient of the batch and adheres well to the 1.0V setting. But the average chances are you'll have a cpu optimizing around .950V. Mine is set to .9250V (translating to 30 minutes more battery life, also).



    Got a rev B? Get coolbook. Listen from someone who has a rev B and coolbook. Get it, and really put time into tweaking it, since its only reward is relative to your input.

    @NAK.
    ClickToFlash is awesome =D.
     
  18. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #18
    I had both a rev A MBA and a rev B MBA. The rev A MBA suffered from ALL of the common problems with the rev A MBA. It had core shutdown, major overheating, and completely locked up 75% of the time. If I had more than three apps open, it completely locked up. If I played video, it overheated in less than 90 seconds (NOT HD VIDEO - ANY VIDEO).

    My rev B MBA with SSD has never overheated, it has never experienced core shutdown, and it never locked up. I could have ten apps open and not have a problem. I could run HD video without stuttering. I know when Flash would hit the CPU it would take CPU resources, but that happens on a MB or ANY Mac. The uMB I am using has CPU spikes when Flash is running.

    I never saw a problem with my rev B MBA to even consider Cool Book. Heck, the fans never made any noise and couldn't be heard because only revved up when watching HD video which the sound of the video easily drowned out the fan noise.

    Bottom line, I don't see a reason to run Cool Book. BUT, if someone else has experience where the rev B MBA has benefited, more power to them. And then the advise would seem to try Cool Book. However, Flash isn't solved by Cool Book. Flash and OS X don't do well together as the CPU gets hit hard. For as great as OS X is supposed to be, it sure performs poorly compared to Windows for these sorts of problems. Nevertheless, I think Flash and OS X are the problem, and I don't see Cool Book as a solution.

    Furthermore, if Cool Book increases battery life by 50%, its developer should be bragging about that and providing independent experiments proving that the battery life will improve by 50%. I personally do not believe that battery life will improve by 5% let alone 50%. For me that's an outrageous claim, and Apple better just buy out the Cool Book software and use it on every Mac.

    Seems far fetched to me that Cool Book would somehow help without damaging performance. We all can trade performance for better battery efficiency, but most of us choose not to.

    Some bold claims in this thread about Cool Book. Call me a pessimist, but I don't believe any of it.
     
  19. dudeitsjay macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    #19
    hmm the difference could be that you had the rev b 1.8 + SSD, whereas i have the 1.6 + HDD

    I think either its the higher specs, or you got a perfect rev B. I'm not sure, but I think there are more people out here like me, with issues even on rev B, than scottsdale, with none.

    Let's be clear: I had issues with watching netflix, ABC, hulu, and other flash movie sites. I also had issues with running quicktime/vlc played files, especially full screen. I have a rev B 1.6/HDD. I have reapplied thermal paste with AS5. I didn't see the stuttering problem disappear until I got and optimized coolbook.

    I'd like for you to re-read my previous post again scottsdale to see where I'm getting at with coolbook and why it works and how it can positively affect even the flash issue (as the coolbook remanages throttling of cpu voltage relative to load, as flash affects cpu load). Also, thoroughly understand that coolbook does not damage performance. Undervolting is not correlated to underclocking in terms of performance. This is a key concept that is easily misunderstood, which can mislead to generalized assumptions. It is clear in my mind that you evidently never tried coolbook, or if you did, never took time to understand and use it to its potential. This would definitely not be your fault if your rev B works exceptionally, and I could understand where you're confused at people getting coolbook. It is therefore clear in my mind that your opinion, though accepted and welcome, should be taken with a grain of salt--as should mine, obviously.

    I've suffered from stuttering. If you do too, try what I did, and give coolbook a shot. Give it a week of adjustments and tweaks and see where you end up.


    Oh: coolbook, determining on how you set it, can actually INCREASE your power consumption instead of just decrease. Just thought I'd point that out. So battery life improvement is relative to your settings, which is thusly relative to your chip, chipset, ambiance, workload, blah blah blah (this is why you tweak).

    Oh x2: There is a drawback to undervolting TOO much that did arise from experience (< key word here) of another macrumor member. He posted it on this forum somewhere. Apparently, after coolbooking for a while his cpu sorta pooped out early. I didn't read it too thoroughly, since at the time I disregarded it as a failure to set proper settings. But now, I think I'll try looking into this. Don't want to be throwing things outa the window with pseudoexperience do I? =D
     
  20. reallynotnick macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #20
    How would coolbook increase your power consumption? You mean instead of undervolting you overvolt it? Because of course that would be against the whole idea of coolbook.

    I really don't think undervolting a CPU will effect it's life-span if anything it would increase it, though that just comes from my general knowledge so don't hold me to it. I could see it doing harm to the CPU if you increased the voltage and the only reason to do that would to be to run it at a higher clock speed (aka overclock). The only bad thing that should happen is that if you undervolt your system too much you run the risk of it becoming unstable and having a KP.
     
  21. ppc750fx macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #21
    I think that's because you don't really understand how CoolBook works.

    It doesn't affect performance, or at least it doesn't have to. While it will allow you to lock your CPU to a specific frequency, it can also be used to provide the stock frequencies at (possibly) lower voltages, thereby dropping power consumption; your chip will still be able to clock up to the full 1.8GHz (or whatever its speed is), it will just draw less power doing so.

    It won't boost your battery life by 50% -- anyone who claims it did is stretching the truth quite a bit -- but undervolting can and will reduce power consumption, often by a substantial amount.

    As for why Apple doesn't buy it, the answer's pretty straightforward. Intel produces chips certified to run at specific frequencies/voltages. While some may be particularly good samples, capable of running stably at a lower voltage than specified, others may only be capable of running stably at the spec'd voltages. There's no way to know what voltages a given chip is stable at without testing that chip -- and there's no feasible way for Apple to do that. (Not to mention that a number of factors can change the chip's undervolting tolerance over time...)
     
  22. dudeitsjay macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    #22
    Some people would set coolbooks so that instead of ever being throttled down to 800mhz, they set it so that it remains constantly at the highest frequency, ultimately increasing power consumption by keeping the cpu at max. Could've spent a minute more to think that one out before posting your first paragraph ;). This is obviously relative to how they set their voltages.. hence what I posted before back at ya.

    "As for why Apple doesn't buy it, the answer's pretty straightforward. Intel produces chips certified to run at specific frequencies/voltages. While some may be particularly good samples, capable of running stably at a lower voltage than specified, others may only be capable of running stably at the spec'd voltages. There's no way to know what voltages a given chip is stable at without testing that chip -- and there's no feasible way for Apple to do that. (Not to mention that a number of factors can change the chip's undervolting tolerance over time...)"
    --Spot on Thumbs up for you =D
     

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