Good pcmag review of the 11.6 MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Shivetya, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. Shivetya macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #1
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2371199,00.asp

    Direct link to performance numbers http://www.pcmag.com/image_popup/0,1871,iid=273094,00.asp

    Seems its pretty good at 3d games, go figure, not so good with 2gb at memory intensive processes. In other words, never buy it with just 2gb of RAM (duh)

    It performed very well in video play back as well because of the 320m chip.

    The tests mentioned here are performed in Mac OS 10.6.4 (Handbrake, Cinebench R11.5, and Adobe Photoshop CS5 have Mac versions). Keep in mind, running performance benchmark tests doesn't dictate whether a particular task can be done; it's how fast it can be done compared with other laptops in its class. In this case, the MacBook Air is not the zippiest laptop. It took almost four times (23 minutes 23 seconds) as long to encode a video than the Toshiba T235-S1350 (6:24). Because the Photoshop CS5 test is memory intensive, the MacBook Air (14:03) trailed against the Asus UL20FT-A1 (9:31) and Toshiba T235-S1350 (11:28).

    The reason why Apple chose to stay with a Core 2 Duo was so that it can benefit from a better graphics environment, specifically Nvidia's integrated one. The Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics chip is the MacBook Air's one redeeming feature in terms of performance. Though it's not the kind of laptop you'd bring to a LAN party, it's a better gaming solution than Intel's integrated graphics—the kind found in the Asus Ul20FT-A1, Acer AS1830T-3721, and Toshiba T235-S1350. Its 3DMark 06 scores (4,569 and 3,984) were at least three-times better than the rest of the field. It was the only laptop that could handle our 3D intensive gaming demos, Crysis and Lost Planet 2. PCMark Vantage scores also favored the 11-inch Air (4,226), since a good chunk of this test is 3D intensive. A better graphics solution also benefits HD playback: I tried several 1080p and 720p high-definition video clips, at high bit rates, and the 11-inch MacBook Air played them beautifully. For those who are worried about heat, the base of the system measured 83-87 degree Fahrenheit (measured with a Fluke Thermometer) while playing back an HD video clip and rendering a photo with Photoshop CS5. Excessive heat is not an issue from what I'm seeing so far.
     
  2. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Location:
    around/about
    #2
    I was rather disappointed that the only non-GPU benchmarks they gave were for CPU-heavy tasks like Photoshop, Handbrake, etc. That's exactly the sort of thing people WOULDN'T be doing with this machine. Seems like a poor benchmark.

    I'd be more curious to see what general-use performance was like relative to the competition.
     
  3. Shivetya thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #3
    Well from the article they imply that some of the performance is due to the standard 2g memory configuration. So I would be curious if someone runs HB on a 4gb machine to see how much of a difference that makes. (oh, some WOW tests would be good too)
     
  4. fyrefly macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2004
    #4
    To me, this is a very important part of the review:

    - No excessive heat (even during multitasking)
    - 1080P and 720P playback fine

    To me, this means that for 95% of the people that are the market for the 11" MBA (travellers, road-warriors, light-users, students) - the MBA will do everything they need it to and not skip a beat.
     
  5. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    #5
    Did these people use this laptop at least 2 weeks to test out apple's claim on 30 days stand by time and 7 hours of battery life with heavy usage? If not, this review is full of trash. They had MBA for less than 24 hours. I cannot believe they have review on this thing.
     
  6. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Location:
    around/about
    #6
    They didn't post on standby usage, but 24 hours is plenty of time to test standard battery life claims.

    And it's not unusual for reviews to go up before full battery testing has completed.
     
  7. akuma13x macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2010
    #7
    The Handbrake performance is atrocious. Not that i'll be doing handbraking on it(that's what the Mac Pro is for), i'm glad i got the 4gig of memory. At least photoshop and hopefully Logic will run ok on it.
     
  8. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #8
    How better can the test the CPU than with CPU intensive tasks? Pshop aside, Handbrake is something people would be doing because it doesn't have an optical drive.
     
  9. phobic99 macrumors 6502a

    phobic99

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    #9
    Lackluster battery life kills this thing for me personally. My junky Acer 1410 has lasts longer battery life but I don't even use it thanks to my iPad.

    I still may sell the iPad for the MBA because I don't have any common sense in the first place. :D
     
  10. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Location:
    around/about
    #10
    I suppose so. I guess I'd have preferred a broader gamut of tests because the provided benchmarks don't tell me anything about how the device would fare with my own usage patterns (i.e. day-to-day stuff). I have a honkin' desktop with an i7 to process video and run Photoshop. If I need to transcode MKVs or do some heavy image editing, I'm sure as heck not going to do it on my 2.3 lb ultraportable. It's just not a very applicable statistic.
     
  11. heesey1010 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    #11
    PCMag saying that battery life is a con because it was 3hr45mins after a movie looped playback test?! stupid review.
     
  12. Shivetya thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #12
    attack of the fanboi.

    How is the review trash, it covers areas important to many users, as in, what is the performance like doing intensive activities as well as viewing video.


    wow, just wow.
     

Share This Page