How aggressive do you use your Air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ayeying, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    I wish to see how many of you MacBook Air users are using it as advertised where all you do is basically web surfing, chat, and/or email... and how many users actually use their air like a mac pro work station.

    Currently, I run 2 virtual machines, windows XP (sometimes Vista Business) and ubuntu 8.04 on my air. Usually at the same time too along with many other programs for example,, ical, address book, itunes, ichat, aperture (not heavy raw stuff (regular JPG) since Im too lazy to go shopping for a DSLR that I always want.) firefox w/ several tabs (average 15+), textedit, terminal (sometimes), folding @ home... I know theres more but I can't remember off the top of my head right now.

    At home, I let the fans run at 6200rpm all day. At night, when everything's idle (I don't run F@H unless I'm awake and monitoring the system, too much of a risk of overheating or burning down the house lol... ya, I have a phobia of that.) the fans slow down to 2500 so I can sleep.

    At work/school, I normally don't run any virtual machines (except xp/vista sometimes when I need it) and normally just run stuff such as firefox, mail, ical, itunes, dreamweaver (for work). Fans are normally set at 4000rpm unless im in a really quiet room or I need battery life, so I set it to 2500rpm while monitoring the CPU temp, making sure I don't burn a hole through the lecture desk or the desk in a conference room. lol.

    I'm on battery a LOT... but I don't run up the cycles as fast as many of the other users for some reason. I don't mind, lower cycles, more battery life... somewhat.

    I do get core shutdowns, but they come pretty randomly (and rarely now too). I had a core shutdown last time I installed a virtual machine but ever since then, I can run F@H and 2 virtual machines with CPU excess of 80deg C and no core shutdown. I seat my air on a glass desk at home, pretty much its on any hard surface, rarely on my bed or anything that'll block the vents.

    Oh ya, the air is my PRIMARY machine too. I don't miss the extra USB ports much unless I want to charge my iPod and I can't because the USB port is taken by a non-powered USB hub. Optical drive... I haven't burned a CD since I got my MacBook which was may 07... firewire... don't have any hardware for that yet. mmm.. external hard drives... all of them including time machine back up is connected to a Airport extreme router with a 7 port powered USB hub.

    So ya, whats your story on your air?
  2. aussieinrome macrumors regular


    Apr 5, 2008
    Rome, Italy.
    I use Photoshop CS3 and I've just purchased Final Cut Express 4 which I will use ti cut 4 hours of footage - I've never had a core shut down - even with hours of intensive photoshop work (on 5k images) but Final Cut Express is an unknown entity, so I'll report back.

    I work with a BT Wacom and keyboard while the Air is plugged into my Sony Bravia (Full HD) LDC - also does anyone know if the audio will go through the HDMI to DVI cable?
  3. costabunny macrumors 68020


    May 15, 2008
    Weymouth, UK
    I run CS3 and edit large (160Mb+) Tiff images - no problem. I encode and run BOINC also - not seen the CPU above 70 (and that was highest when TimeCapsuling)

    Reference to the DVI-HDMI Id say no as the DVI does not carry audio.

    The mac port is a Micro-DVI and as far as the spec goes I dont think that supports audio out either.

  4. Thetics macrumors regular

    Jan 28, 2008
    Just thought that i would point out that you just bought final cut express, and you will use it, but have not tested it yet, so OP; take what aussieinrome says with a grain of salt, not to discredit him or anything but if you haven't done it yet, you probably shouldn't use it as leverage. :D
  5. ayeying thread starter macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    Well, its not a deciding point for me to buy a MacBook air since I already have one. I just wanna see how MacBook Air users are using their MacBook Air... whether it is just basic average user things like web surfing or email or something more complex like a developer, producer, editor, etc... or just the average gamer (highly doubt that on the air)
  6. n0de macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2005
    I use Google Earth (OSX Native version), MS Word + Excel,, iTunes and usually have my XP vmware machine (set for 1 cpu + 1gb ram) all at the same time at any point in time during the workday. All with a 24" external monitor in mirrored mode.

    It gets quite warm when AC is plugged in, but I never have any core shutdowns. If I start getting paranoid about the heat I just unplug the AC adapter.
  7. luketc macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2006
    I use mine as a shield, a siege weapon, and a snowboard
  8. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    I'd be tempted to toss mine like a Frisbee. I suspect that could be quite painful in more ways than one.
  9. neven macrumors 6502a

    Oct 10, 2006
    Portland, OR
    Mail, iChat, and Safari run at all times.

    Photoshop CS3 always, Illustrator CS3 sometimes.

    VMware Fusion running an XP machine; that one is running Visual Studio, SQL Server, IE7, and Firefox.

    Feels the same as my 24" iMac (latest gen).
  10. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Definitely can see the potential for use as a frat house ping pong paddle.

    "Wow, great shot. You really got some air on that ball"
  11. buccsmf1 macrumors 6502

    Mar 18, 2008
    mines used just for internet/email and note taking about 90% of the time. The only strain i put on this thing is a small bit of photo editing but most of that, along with all the other heavy stuff is done on my imac
  12. HotAir macrumors member

    Apr 5, 2008
    Hollywood CA USA
    I cannot even imagine running the MBA nonstop around the clock! I use it sparingly here & there when away from home. I clean it regularly. Oh did I tell you? It's cutting its first teeth and has rolled over--- almost sitting up. Yes, very pathetic I know. I baby it. But I tell yah man, I ain't doin no diapers! The day it takes a ____ it's off to the Genius Bar. They can do it. :)
  13. pilotError macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2006
    Long Island
    It's replaced my Ginsu knife. Perfect for chopping and slicing!

    I do mostly software development on it. Nothing too heavy duty, but it's fine for my needs. Web, mail, and watch movies.
  14. rost12 macrumors member

    Feb 6, 2008
    MBA has been my primary machine for the past 3 months that I've been away from home. Using it for Aperture 2, Photoshop CS3 and the usual mix of iTunes, Safari and Mail.

    Aperture can slow down a bit when I'm quickly browsing through photos (16+meg raw files), so I use the Quick Preview thingy they added in Aperture 2. Photoshop runs just fine working with the same files.

    I've been carrying it around along with my photo camera gear and I can't say how happy I am that it's the lightest thing in my bag (second only to my wallet).
  15. silverblack macrumors 68030


    Nov 27, 2007
    Ripping DVDs into iphone-format files using Handbrake, while doing other day-to-day task.

    When I stay with OS X, it's sluggish but acceptable. But when I tried to fire up WinXP via VMWFusion, it becomes so slow, that I have to pause the Handbrake job in order to finish loading Windows. This is not surprising, as the OS X operations have priority over the virtual machine, and Handbrake will fill up the cpu load to 100% by default.

    Regardless of the above, I still feel that my MBA runs a lot faster than my previous G4 1.5 12" Powerbook. As a successor, MBA is lighter AND faster. There's nothing more that I can ask for.
  16. brudy macrumors member

    May 23, 2008
    I use it for surfing, email, itunes, and a secondary design machine (Photoshop and flash mostly). I do a lot of photography and use Lightroom. Lightroom is a pig in the best conditions, but runs decent enough on the MBA.

    Other people use it to slice bread.
  17. sanPietro98 macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2008
    I use it for Java development with Eclipse IDE. I often have mysql running plus an XML database and web server. I typically have iTunes, mail, and safari running.

    It's much faster than my 15" PowerBook G4.

    And when it heats up, it serves as a nice waffle iron.
  18. Squelch macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2007
    TLH, FL
    I have Mail, Safari, iChat on whenever the Air is on. I have Word open about 85% of the time. I use Photoshop CS3 for light-duty work about 10% of the time. I use Garmin's Bobcat about 10% of the time. I almost always have Preview open, but not necessarily with a document open. I have iTunes open about 15% of the time. I have iCal open about 40% of the time.

    I have had a core quit when I was doing video iChat, using Screen Sharing to another computer, with three Word documents, three Safari windows, a pdf in Preview and Mail open. Other than that, the fans do come on pretty often, but they don't stay on too long...
  19. aussieinrome macrumors regular


    Apr 5, 2008
    Rome, Italy.
    I've been running Final Cut Express and the MacBook Air runs really well - I'm shocked. I'm working with 45GB of footage and it's incredibly snappy. CPU is sitting between 56 and 60 degrees and fan speed is 2700. I'm working from a 250GB Western Digital USB2.0 drive.
  20. sir. mac macrumors regular

    Nov 21, 2006
    ..., and I thought using it to cut bread was pretty wild :D

    I´ve used my Air as the only machine now for a few weeks (waiting for my new iMac), and I must say that we did get along pretty well! Compared to my recently sold off MBP it was of course slower, and I felt that I could use less programs simultaneously. But after fixing the fanspeed issue with the smcFancontrol hack (max 4000RPM on boot and wake from sleep), the heat didn´t bother me so much, and I felt more free to use several programs at the same time. Actually, with Coolbook the MBA mostly stayed on 800mhz typically using programs like Mail, Firefox, iTunes and Photoshop. I put the fan @2800RPM default, and it would usually stay there with temp hovering somewhere around 55-65, only going higher if I did something intensive (like PS or watching movies).

    After setting up the MBA like this my biggest gripe was the sound-quality, it is clearly subpar to my old MBP. It´s a distinctively hollow sound. This sound, being a bit small on the screen real estate and the sometimes choppy playback of 720p are my only issues with the MBA.

    Would this make me not want to have this as an only machine?
    Actually I think it should work fine. The sound quality didn´t bother me so much after a few weeks (adaptation I guess), and the screen is not so much a problem in OSX because of "gestures". And lastly, the choppy playback of 720p could also be avoided if I had done the playback in bootcamp-windows (mac VLC support is really bad for MKV-format).
  21. dudup macrumors regular


    May 28, 2008
    São Paulo, Brazil

    It's the very same situation here. I'm waiting for a 24 inch iMac, but I'm using the Air as my one and only machine for 3 months, and I'm really wondering what I'm going to do with it.

    I'm not using much processing power, though. 80% of the time I'm working is with OmniGraffle or Keynote, but editing huge files (around 40MB mark). I'm also using Coda and MAMP for webdev. But I'm always with lots of apps open, like iChat, Yahoo! Messenger, Safari and Firefox and lots of tabs, iTunes, Mail, etc. All using 1680x1050 a external display attached.

    My only gripes is the low disk space (but I can live with it) and of course, this onboard video, which is way inferior to the GMA950 on '07 MacBooks, a surprise to me.

    All I need is a good flash player and good drivers for the video.

    To me the best of the MBA is its form factor. I'm so in love about it that I'm dreaming about a 17 inch version of it, I would be completely game about it. It would be bigger enough to just throw a regular 2.5" sata HD and a decent dedicated graphics card. All the rest could be the very same.

    Let's wait for these new Macbook Pros, who knows (drooling)
  22. ayeying thread starter macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    The GMA950 is worse then the X3100 in the macbook air.
  23. EglMtn macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2008
    Very light work

    The only thing that I run on my Air are iWork and iLife applications along with the occasional movie through quicktime.

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