How's the Macbook Air at multitasking.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by GreatUsername, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. GreatUsername macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    #1
    I often have four to five windows open. One being Photoshop (but not doing anything intensive, just drawing), another probably being the finder (with multiple tabs open once Mavericks), one being a web browser with often as many as twenty tabs open, another being something like iTunes or iPhoto, and another being some game either paused or in the start menu, and another being Skype. Will a Macbook Air be able to handle this? What would be the max for this machine as far as multitasking? The fact that it only has two cores concerns me...
     
  2. B... macrumors 68000

    B...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    #2
    It can easily handle that. That is under 4GB usage.
     
  3. GreatUsername thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    #3
    My current PC laptop has 8GB of RAM and it gets really slow when I try to do all that. Though, it does have a 2nd generation Intel i7.
     
  4. jacmacattack macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    #4
    Having been a PC user for a very long time, and still doing the odd thing or two with a Windows 7 desktop (i7, 8GB RAM, SSD, etc., etc.) I find my current 2012 i7 Macbook Air with 8GB RAM to be silky smooth in comparison to my Windows box, even with 2 less cores. OS X seems to handle multitasking better.

    I literally run a dozen apps at any given time (Photoshop, Illustrator, Pages, ByWord, Excel, Evernote, Skitch, iTunes, Chrome, Safari, Radium, Scapple, etc., etc. - need I go on??), plus a couple of dozen plus Chrome tabs to boot.

    So with a slower CPU, probably faster SSD, same RAM, my Macbook Air feels
    faster and is infinitely more robust. I won't reboot the Air for months at a time, while the Win7 box (which is only used an hour or two a day, but is on 24/7) gets rebooted every few days or so like clock work.
     
  5. B... macrumors 68000

    B...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    #5
    OSX is much better at RAM management than Windows.
     
  6. GreatUsername thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    #6
    Great. Thanks for the info everyone. I saw some videos of people doing a cool "trick" with OS X that would be difficult with Windows. They go to Applications, Ctrl + A, and hit enter to launch every program at once. Usually they're all open and fully running well within ten seconds. If I tried that with pretty much any PC, I'd probably have to wait close to a full two minutes if I'm lucky.
     
  7. jmcube macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    #7
    I have a similar question, but I know that on my MBA 2011 it is slow (I have 4 GB of ram and an i5).

    It is making me think that I should get a MBP.

    I can't really do ~12 chrome tabs, ~10 preview windows, ~5 terminals, video conference call, and keynote all at the same time.

    Am I correct in thinking that the MBA 2013 i7, despite being 30% faster, would still struggle at those tasks?

    I would also like to add the task of running a big monitor.

    Thanks,
    Jon
     
  8. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #8
    The problem isn't so much CPU as it is RAM. 4GB of RAM will start to max out with all those windows open before the CPU gets heavily taxed. Of the tasks you mention, maybe keynote and video conference call are taking up the bulk of CPU, while Preview and terminal won't occupy much CPU at all. The Chrome tabs may or may not take up lots of CPU depending on what's going on: static pages won't tax the CPU but will consume RAM, while flash or multimedia will hog both.

    That said there's a HUGE difference between having 4GB and 8GB. I'm pretty sure if you had configured your MBA with 8GB, it would handle those tasks better.
     
  9. jmcube macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    #9
    The fan runs and the processor does too. At least some of the issue is skype.

    Jon
    (I don't think there was an 8 GB configuration ins 2011)
     
  10. GreatUsername, Jun 13, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013

    GreatUsername thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    #10
    From what I've been reading, it sounds like if you go with MBA 2013 i7 and 8GB of RAM then you'd be set for all that. But with Maverick's smart management of RAM you might be able to get away with 4GB. I'm also curious about the monitor too as I may port it to my TV via AirPlay via Apple TV once Mavericks comes out. It's not a big TV. Maybe 30" and it's only 720p. Would a Thunderbolt display be better or worse as an external monitor?
     

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