First week with Macbook Air: Core Shutdown Tests

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by LinMac, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. LinMac macrumors 65816

    Oct 28, 2007
    I typically have unrealistic expectations of my machines so I decided to put the Macbook Air through the most unreasonable set of realistic conditions I could think of. This had to be something I might actually do while using the machine.

    I connected the Superdrive to the machine and started ripping a DVD with Handbrake, opened Firefox then started playing the Evolution of Dance Youtube video, and then started to copy a 5GB file over my local network onto a local file server (done via SCP/SSH).

    This test lasted roughly 15 minutes because it didn't take me long to get tired of watching videos on Youtube, but the test did show me that the Macbook Air is a fairly capable machine.

    Handbrake: The Handbrake encoding has maintained an average of 19.77fps over the course of the test and the Youtube videos froze only for a moment as I was messing about with the system settings for the trackpad.

    Flash video: I tested with Hulu for higher quality streaming video and Youtube videos for downloaded flv via HTTP video, but both worked fine. The encode slowed a bit as the Hulu videos played due to their more resource intensive nature.

    File copy: The transfer between the Air and the workstation was a steady 9MB/s over the network (both devices are 802.11n equipped) wirelessly.

    I was not able to recreate the core shutdown on this machine with these tests. I am not using Coolbook and I am not using smcFanControl. This is just a OS X 10.5.4 install with all updates.

    It isn't as fast as a Macbook Pro, but it'll do.

    Edit: It should be noted that I disconnected the machine from AC power roughly half way through the test.
  2. DJGuy macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2008
  3. LinMac thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 28, 2007
    80GB HD
  4. wolfman28 macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2008
  5. orpheus1120 macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2008
    Sounds like the 1.6ghz.
  6. LinMac thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 28, 2007
    That is correct.
  7. mhnajjar macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2008
    How would you explain that some Airs suffer from core shutdown while others don't :confused:
  8. Alan Taylor macrumors 6502

    Alan Taylor

    May 14, 2006
    How do you explain why some people are tall and others are short?

    Clearly it's a minor change in the construction that might possibly lead to them!
  9. hellfire88 macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2008
    Wow running all that and no core shutdowns? I wish I was that lucky. :(

    I had firefox open with 10 tabs, and I opened Activity monitor. I was getting core shutdowns every few seconds. There was even a point where the whole bottom core graph was black! So i guess the entire 2nd core shutdown or something for like 10seconds.

    I have a Macbook (SR 2007) which is my first Mac, and it feels very snappy and can keep up with all my multi-tasking (Firefox w/ 20+tabs, VMWare Fusion, iTunes, Office). I love it so much I splurged on this Macbook Air. But I can't even run Firefox alone on it so the experience hasn't been great.

    I took it to the store and the Genius took one look at my screenshots I took of the core shutdown, and called another fellow Genius to look at the screenshot where the entire 2nd core was shutdown. They had a laugh at my expense and now my Macbook Air is in for a logicboard replacement. Hope it comes back at least able to run firefox!
  10. sanPietro98 macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2008
    DId you have the Activity Monitor on? If so, did either of the two cores go to 0% for a while?

    Since updating to 10.5.4, I only had a core drop to 0% once, but I would have never noticed it without the Activity Monitor. The machine never slowed down or got jittery.
  11. 173080 macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2003
    Run it with the power adapter plugged in and driving a secondary display. You're not escaping the core shutdown. ;)
  12. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    Over the period of the last 7 months, they've ironed out the wrinkles.
  13. LinMac thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 28, 2007
    I had the activity monitor on top the entire time.

    I've rerun the test with the power plugged in for the entire time and also displaying the flash video on the secondary monitor which makes it easier to keep up with.

    I still see no core shutdowns, but my Macbook Air is sitting flat on a desk without the fans being blocked. The test lasted 25 minutes this time with Hulu videos playing the entire time. The machine was as close to 100% usage as you can reasonably push it with normal tasks.
  14. TheBearman macrumors 6502

    May 23, 2008
    Cary, NC
    Willing to run one more test? On a flat surface run CPUTest with the following parms.

    Test Type - Huge
    Repetitions - 10
    Instances - 2

    After 15 minutes I do see a core drop out, not completely but it does happen.

    Like you other than this test or when testing with my new case I don't have the problem.

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