Laggy?...or not?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by mainframe_module, Jun 12, 2015.

  1. mainframe_module macrumors newbie

    mainframe_module

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2015
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #1
    So I've been lurking here since the rMB launched and have been using all of you as guinea pigs for my splendid agenda of ascertaining whether I REALLY want this machine or not.....also I'm tipsy whilst typing this, so apologies for insanity in advance.

    Right now I'm typing on my secondary machine, which is a Late 2010 11"MBA 1,6 intel core 2 duo with 4gigs ram. which is fine.......but kind of feeling like I want a change.

    Today I went to my local store (Bondi, Sydney, Aus) and played extensively with the 1.1ghz units. Ive seen many people here bitching about UI lag and general sluggishness with this machine but I just couldn't see that. So I'm curious whether it's in peoples heads....I mean rendering 4k video? NO. Clearly. But a usable machine that is up to 95% of the populations computational tasks? From what I saw today - Yes.

    I work in the health industry but also shoot fashion/corporate. Do i want a laptop to do hard raw retouching? no - I have a desktop for that. But as long as i can do a tethered shoot i'm fine. A bonus would be able to run photoshop and do some WB adjustments etc...which my MBA now can easily do.

    Anyway at the apple store I launched 5 programs at once on the rMB (safari, keynote, imovie, photos, and mail), opened multiple tabs in the browser, scrubbed through sample video footage in imovie, zoomed in and adjusted some sample images in imovie, and flicked through about 20 sample emails in mail. It did not skip a beat and launched them all within what i felt to be quicker times than even my desktop.

    I tried flicking through expose/launch control, turned on dock magnification and other UI animations.

    I simply don't see why some people here are whinging? this isn't slow to me...at all. In fact I then went to the most recent 11" MBA and IT FELT WAY SLOWER!

    So....can i deal with a laptop with only one port? Yes... only need USB. I would definitely prefer two, but that's it.

    My one and only resistance to clicking buy? - I don't know if the demo models are lying to me.

    Is there ANY WAY apple has optimised their display units to be better than what i could expect with a real world unit? I mean it seemed s fast as my i7 27" iMac with 16 gig ram.

    I suppose if i bought it and it just wasn't as good as what I experienced today then I could return it. But from reading multiple people's posts on here....i just expected this machine to be way less capable than i felt it was when using it. now I'm confused. And tipsier.
     
  2. shenan1982 macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    If you're used to the performance of the 11" air you'll see slower performance out of this MacBook. I went from a 2014 air and The rMB is much slower.

    I somewhat regret my purchase.
     
  3. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #3
    Lag seems to be some sort of issue with the coding in Yosemite rather than a hardware problem in all retina macs. It also seems to appear somewhat ramdomly and some seem to be inordinately annoyed by it but others notice nothing.

    By all reports El Capitan looks to have sorted out these problems anyway so with the new OSX everything should be buttery smooth on all retina macs.

    I would say go for it, it sounds perfect for you...
     
  4. Dwayne82 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2015
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #4
    I've got a 1.3Ghz rMB, so my impressions are based on that. For me, the leap from 2011 MBP to rMB was a giant one. It feels snappy, of course also because of the SSD vs HDD performance. But at work, i use a 15" MBP 2011 i7 with SSD upgrade, and my rMB feels much snappier. I've never had regrets at all. Photoshop or Lightroom for small to medium adjustments are running just fine. I would say: go for it! But take at least the 1.2Ghz version, 10-15% more power don't hurt. If you can wait a year from now, wait for the 2nd generation: cheaper, even more snappier

    I don't know how the 2014 MBA performs, but it obviously it's even a more snappier experience. For what i can tell, that my rMB feels snappier than a 2011 13" i5 MBA (also with SSD), which i reinstalled from scratch for my mother in law.
    So the Macbook obviously don't fit for you, return it and wait for 2nd gen to try again! ;) Don't get me wrong, every user has different history and expectations and that's very ok.
     
  5. tbirdparis macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 30, 2015
    #5
    Short answer: no it's not a trick. But caveat emptor still applies.

    Basically what you're seeing is the result of the fact that the Core M is a very sprinty processor indeed. When it has to snap to it and do stuff fast in short order, it really makes the most of its ability to leap to high clock speeds. Combine this with the really zippy PCI storage and you get a very nice symbiosis. However, it's likely to be notably less impressive under consistent load, and due to the fanless design, probably a lot more likely to throttle down if you make the thing break into a sweat from hard work.

    All this said, in my own limited experience playing with a base model in store for around an hour, I found it plenty bouncy enough for what I'd actually use it for. In fact, way better than I expected. But when I tried doing things I don't plan to use it for (working on hefty music projects in logic, messing with fx in FCP), I found that it still put up a fight to be usable but the remaining battery level started getting munched away at, very quickly.

    What it feels like to me is that overall you get a machine that can punch out of its league in short bursts, making it seem like it's a faster class of computer when doing regular tasks. But if you push it, expecting it to maintain that perceived level of performance when really crunching data over a long period... Well it will take a good stab at it, but battery sipping will quickly turn to battery gulping, and the already not amazing speed it shows in tasks like rendering will take another hit as it heats up.

    FWIW, for the use case I have in mind, this kind of sprinty-resty behaviour should fit the bill perfectly. It's certainly a trade off I'm willing to make to have a full retina mac experience in a box scarcely larger or heavier than my ipad air.
     
  6. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Enjoying Better Things
    #6
    M
    Much of the initial complaint about lag was isolated to 10.10.2 on this revision of OS X the Retina MacBook`s (rMB) UI performed very poorly, spin forward to 10.10.3 and the rMB is no worse than any other Retina Mac, reports on 10.10.4 & 10.11 are extremely positive for the UI/UX.

    By understanding the nature of the passively cooled Core M it`s possible to get very decent performance, equally dropping every app off a desktop or a far more capable Mac portable is likely going to result in disappointing experience. The rMB is slower compared to my rMBP`s, equally it`s more than manageable, with some different approaches to application choice the gap is narrowing.

    I use my Mac`s in an engineering/business capacity and very much rely on them to perform seamlessly, had the Retina MacBook not been adequate for my intended workflow, I would have dropped it within a matter of days.

    Your case is easy, just buy one from Apple, if it doesn't your expectations needs return it...

    Q-6
     
  7. jimboutilier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Location:
    Denver
    #7
    Given that some folks are experiencing lag and others are not, I'm there are multiple factors going on:
    • People coming from faster machines (like recent MBP's or iMACs or very recent MBAs) are going to notice the performance drop of the rMB and it may seem "laggy" with no good solution (maybe an OS patch or upgrade could have a positive impact but the rMB is never going to be as fast as a recent iMac or rMBP or very recent MBA)
    • Some folks have experiences "laggy" at first then it went away. The rMB processor doesn't have as much capacity as most recent Macs. When you are first setting up your rMB and background tasks like file syncs with dropbox, iTunes, iCloud, spotlight indexing etc are going on, the rMB may seem laggy and slow. Once these major background tasks are done, the rMB will seem less laggy (although some of these will kick off again periodically and may cause brief periodic "laggyness")
    • Others have "fixed" their "laggyness" issues with an OS re-install, or upgrade, or deleting corrupted preference files or repairing disk permissions so there are clearly some config issues that can cause an issue with lag.
    I would expect a rMB to seem faster than a "Late 2010 11"MBA 1,6 intel core 2 duo" in all respects. But obviously there could be config issues or initial background tasks that may cause some temporary lag.

    I came from an i7 1.7ghz 2013/2014 MBA and in most respects the rMB seems snappier (although under heavy sustained load its about 15% slower). So I would expect anyone coming from a 2012 or earlier MBA would find the rMB a pretty good experience.

    Good luck in your decision.
     
  8. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
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    #8
    FWIW, I tried my 1.2 on a small powered cooler (aprox less 1/3 of rMB) mostly out of curiosity and to change the angle of the keyboard. Under continuous heavy load the 1.2 will throttle down as expected, however with the fan powered the 1.2 holds a solid 2GHz + as long as you need it. It`s not a revelation, equally it does open the door for heavier workloads.

    Q-6
     
  9. tbirdparis macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 30, 2015
    #9
    Yep I saw that YouTube video of the Canadian guy who put a rMB in an oven tray filled with chilled water to see what happens... lo and behold, zero CPU throttling under load, max turbo performance for the long haul. Obviously no one is ever going to do that, but.. I guess if I ever had the need or desire to really force the rMB to work hard, sticking it on one of those weird cooling panels used by gamers does seem to work, as you just confirmed. Still, I am so into the idea of never hearing a fan that I doubt this will ever be for me.. I have the iMac for serious work..And to be honest, on my 27" iMac, the fan is scarcely on even under hefty loads because the thing is such a huge chunk of aluminium that it is a pretty effective heat sink.

    This all does make me wonder though... Feels like CPU heat is something that's not going away any time soon, no matter how much more refined they get. Maybe in some distant future when the whole design paradigm shifts away from electrical circuits in CPUs to weird optical laser ones then that might be a game changer in terms of thermals. But I do wonder, does apple have one of their secret design studios working on new, weird, closed-loop liquid cooling ideas? It feels like if they someday were able to make notebooks which just have an inner network of some kind of magical cooling fluid that just courses around the innards of the machine inside the unibody structure itself like an organic system of blood veins, maybe that would be some kind of holy grail of silent passive cooling? OK this is probably a next to impossible pipe dream (ugh, a pun)... but just imagine if you had a rMB in say two years that had no fan and that could turbo to its hearts content with no heat constraints like, ever. It's the kind of thing that would take so much R&D and would be so integral to the physical design of the unit itself that I can only imagine Apple ever attempting it. And the technology would definitely not be something you could just throw into any OEM box...So if they ever figure it out, it would be game over for the laptop market because no one would be able to touch it without bringing back fans as loud as a wind tunnel.

    But hey, #nevergonnahappen
     
  10. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #10
    I just tried out of curiosity, as normal powered coolers don't have much impact on portable Mac`s. I was surprised at the results, not that I am going to carry a cooling pad all over the world :p equally if my primary rMB failed in the field it would be a way to get things moving faster.

    Ironically one of the attractions of the rMB is it being fan-less, should the fan fail on the 13" Reina ultimately it will just shutdown, the 15" has some redundancy with two fans, equally from my experience when one fan does fail the Notebook`s performance is limited and fan noise becomes intrusive fast...

    Q-6
     
  11. tbirdparis macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 30, 2015
    #11
    Agreed, in fact I looked at some of these cooling pads online out of curiosity (had really never heard of them before) and can't see myself getting one purely cos they are so damn ugly. Out of interest, which one do you have? If/when I do finally get a rMB, I might just quietly order one and keep it at home.. because it's good to know that if I need to force the machine to work on something intensive when other machines aren't available, there's a way to make it perform better for longer. Wish I'd known about these things a few years ago when I was working on a heavy film project. Ended up having to get two big room fans brought in, aimed directly at my MBP so that I could stop it from throttling down every ten minutes to the point of being completely useless!!
     
  12. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
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    #12
    :) I didn't specifically buy a cooling pad, I just had one lying around, an old ProMate proStation.3. It`s a vey compact fold down design, being less than a third the footprint of the rMB, and the extendable "arms" allow you to place the fan direct under the rMB`s CPU. Likely I will take it with me when in the field as it angles the rMB nicely.

    [​IMG]

    I had been using a folding aluminium passive cooler, to elevate & angle the keyboard, as it basically folds completely flat, however the Promate is more versatile as it can deal with 12" - 15" Retinas and now with the impact on the rMB`s performance it makes sense to use, given that when I am working I am away for 1-2 months so I have a lot of gear with me anyway.

    Cooling 15" MBP`s under heavy load is entertaining at best, you need to do lots of small things and source a powered cooling pad with approximately 100CFM to make any gains, unfortunately most on the market don't come close to this number. For me I just wanted some peace & quiet as with external displays and moderate loads the fans would spool up to the point of being intrusive, with the MBP doing a pretty good impression of a Turbojet :eek: and of course any throttling is simply tiresome. Thankfully the rMBP`s are significant improved :)

    I have posted about the 15" MBP and running it cooler in other threads in detail...

    Q-6
     
  13. tecnho macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2015
    #13
    I am extremely happy to see this. There is enough info available via random web search to substantiate the claim that this in fact a Yosemite issue imo, and I am hopeful that this update will fix the UI issues.

    Btw, can you aim me towards some of the resources predicting that 10.11 will address this? Or are you referring to general claims from Apple that the new OS will "improve performance"?
     
  14. shenan1982 macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #14
    There's no way to substantiate the "feeling" of laginess of an OS, it's personal experience. What might be unacceptable to me might be fine for you.

    I'm not talking about lag, I'm talking about general processor performance. When opening an application, when opening a webpage, when loading a movie... when booting... all the little things where half a second here, two seconds there really become noticeable.
     
  15. tecnho macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2015
    #15
    What I am talking about is UI lag and animations. Which is what I think the OP is discussing as well as scores of other Yosemite users across different hardware. I am hopeful that this issue is fixable through the 10.11 update.
     
  16. shenan1982 macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #16
    The problem is most users think lag and slow performance are one in the same. Lag can be fixed by software, performance essentially is what it is. You can put a toyota prius engine into a porsche body but it's still not going to perform like a porsche.

    The experience of lag\slowness most people will notice is how apps bounce a couple times before opening, and the boot time is longer than other SSD Macs, and web pages take an extra half second to load. things that are most noticeable, and are caused by the processor, not bad software. Sure they can tweak the system to optimize use of the processor, but it's asking more than the processor can accomplish without trade-offs in performance.
     

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