Handbrake and the i7 13" MacBook Air

Cynicalone

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jul 9, 2008
3,212
0
Okie land
I posted these in another thread but I thought I would gather them in one place.

I was curious to see how the Air would handle an encode. So I plugged in the MacBook Air Superdrive and fired up the 64-bit version of HandBrake. I used a DVD of the movie Seven. I choose the default iPad encode settings, and took some screen shots along the way.

At the beginning...

Screen Shot 2011-07-24 at 12.09.07 PM.png

A few minutes in...

Screen Shot 2011-07-24 at 12.13.23 PM.png

About 20 minutes later...

Screen Shot 2011-07-24 at 12.33.38 PM.png

And at the very end of the encode...

Screen Shot 2011-07-24 at 12.56.44 PM.png

The Air was stable and useable the whole time it took to encode the movie. I continued to use Safari and other apps while the Air worked away. I was very impressed with the performance of the i7.
 

Baycity

macrumors newbie
Jul 20, 2011
17
0
I know! I ****ing love this thing! I was previously using my macbook from 4 years ago and wasn't able to do a good 1080p transcode to save my life (under 3 days).. so i was considering a macbook pro but wanted to wait for the next model. I got this new macbook air last night and converted a 1080p full length movie in around 4 hours while importing my iTunes library. This thing is really a beast!
 
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engrwpride

macrumors newbie
Dec 25, 2008
9
0
What is the normal tolerance for temperatures like this? Do laptops generally run only a few degrees below the limit?
 
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Dave421

macrumors member
Mar 26, 2011
46
0
Awesome. Thank you for posting this. I've been looking for something that I could compare to my 2011 mbp to determine whether to go for the new mba and this is exactly what I was looking for. So nice to see that it's pulling in 60fps.
 
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mulo

macrumors 68020
Aug 22, 2010
2,267
5
Behind you
I got this new macbook air last night and converted a 1080p full length movie in around 4 hours while importing my iTunes library. This thing is really a beast!
for comparison, my 2011 17" MBP will do a 2 hour 1080p movie encode in ~45 mins ;)
 
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theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
91
Poole, England
Awesome. Thank you for posting this. I've been looking for something that I could compare to my 2011 mbp to determine whether to go for the new mba and this is exactly what I was looking for. So nice to see that it's pulling in 60fps.
It depends on what you're encoding.
 
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lukekarts

macrumors regular
Mar 16, 2009
155
0
Those results are quite scary. 207 deg. F is roughly 97 degrees C - only 8 degrees before the automatic shutdown point for the Core i7. I dread to think what it would be like on a hotter day once a little bit of dust builds up inside. On the plus side you can boil some water and make a cup of tea.
 
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TheEmpty

macrumors member
Jul 11, 2011
88
0
NYC
Is handbrake better then AnyVideo Converter? I've used that on my PC a lot and really like it.
 
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Roman2K~

macrumors 6502a
Mar 11, 2011
552
16
Those results are quite scary. 207 deg. F is roughly 97 degrees C - only 8 degrees before the automatic shutdown point for the Core i7. I dread to think what it would be like on a hotter day once a little bit of dust builds up inside. On the plus side you can boil some water and make a cup of tea.
Regardless of ambient temps, these Sandy Bridge CPUs do not let themselves heat up past their "junction temperature (Tj)" (100°C) or a little less.

So when you see 97°C as in the OP, there's a good chance the CPU is already throttling itself (starting with clock speed, then shutting down cores) to keep under 100°C.
 
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lukekarts

macrumors regular
Mar 16, 2009
155
0
Regardless of ambient temps, these Sandy Bridge CPUs do not let themselves heat up past their "junction temperature (Tj)" (100°C) or a little less.

So when you see 97°C as in the OP, there's a good chance the CPU is already throttling itself (starting with clock speed, then shutting down cores) to keep under 100°C.
That makes sense, but it effectively means that performance will be compromised; which presumably will degrade over time (due to dust build up etc.). Not trying to be deliberately negative, but I'm contemplating buying one but the temperatures do look a lot higher than I've experienced in recent years.
 
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Roman2K~

macrumors 6502a
Mar 11, 2011
552
16
That makes sense, but it effectively means that performance will be compromised; which presumably will degrade over time (due to dust build up etc.).
Exactly... Unless core temperatures are below 95°C, one can be almost certain they're not getting the most computing power out of their CPU. It looks like Sandy Bridge processors are hitting the limits of current thermal designs in MBPs and MBAs.

Not trying to be deliberately negative, but I'm contemplating buying one but the temperatures do look a lot higher than I've experienced in recent years.
I had the same problem with a 2011 15" MBP (quad-core i7 2.2 GHz). Before replacing the thermal paste: 97°C+ / after : 93°C max (in HandBrake). This difference doesn't look like much, but it meant full processing power and generally a lot quieter experience.

So until either Apple redesign their cases, internally at least, or Intel release cooler running CPUs, or both, we're stuck with throttled CPUs (when pushed to the max).
 
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KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,593
3,129
Regardless of ambient temps, these Sandy Bridge CPUs do not let themselves heat up past their "junction temperature (Tj)" (100°C) or a little less.

So when you see 97°C as in the OP, there's a good chance the CPU is already throttling itself (starting with clock speed, then shutting down cores) to keep under 100°C.
True. I used Handbrake on Saturday to encode a DVD, and I noticed that at one point it shut down one of the virtual cores (i.e. stopped hyperthreading) as the CPU temperatures hovered around the 205 degree mark (Fahrenheit). The bottom of the Air certainly got hot, though the base temperature reading was usually around 95 degrees. FWIW, it was 100 degrees outside in NYC this weekend.

Exactly... Unless core temperatures are below 95°C, one can be almost certain they're not getting the most computing power out of their CPU. It looks like Sandy Bridge processors are hitting the limits of current thermal designs in MBPs and MBAs.
Do those notebook coolers do anything? I wouldn't use one all the time, but if it would help when doing encoding it might be worth the $20.
 
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theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
91
Poole, England
A quick update on this: Initially I was getting around 94 to 96 degrees Celsius. I am encoding again right now and I can't go past 89 degrees Celsius. In fact it's running at 76 degrees Celsius.

CPU Usage for user is about 92-94, as previously. Fans are at 6496. Heatsink is 42.

Here is my previous screenshot.

 
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Roman2K~

macrumors 6502a
Mar 11, 2011
552
16
Do those notebook coolers do anything? I wouldn't use one all the time, but if it would help when doing encoding it might be worth the $20.
I seriously doubt notebook coolers can have any effect on MacBooks as they have no air intake vents at the bottom.

A quick update on this: Initially I was getting around 94 to 96 degrees Celsius. I am encoding again right now and I can't go past 89 degrees Celsius. In fact it's running at 76 degrees Celsius.
It's possible that the thermal paste is in the process of settling. This phenomenon happened to 2011 MBPs (as seen in the related threads on MacRumors forums): temperatures have decreased by themselves within the first few days as thermal paste settled progressively.
 
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theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
91
Poole, England
I seriously doubt notebook coolers can have any effect on MacBooks as they have no air intake vents at the bottom.



It's possible that the thermal paste is in the process of settling. This phenomenon happened to 2011 MBPs (as seen in the related threads on MacRumors forums): temperatures have decreased by themselves within the first few days as thermal paste settled progressively.
I suspect that you may be right.
 
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