Macbook air sluggish?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by kockgunner, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. kockgunner macrumors 68000

    kockgunner

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #1
    I recently went to Best Buy and looked at the Macbook air. I really want one, but when I was playing around with it, I noticed that it was extremely sluggish. Spaces lagged like heck and it took nearly half a minute to get Photobooth and the iSight up and running. Is the computer really like this or is this just a messed up display model? Switching between apps was a bit slow too.

    Also, is the air the right computer for an accountant? I'm not really sure what programs I'm going to run in an Accountant program. I might edit the occasional video with imovie too.
     
  2. SFStateStudent macrumors 604

    SFStateStudent

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco California, USA
    #2
    That's normal...

    for booting up programs. Normally, 20-30 seconds for my InDesign CS, Photoshop CS, and iWorks. It can be sluggish with the internet if you are pulling up websites with "high Flash content" as well.

    Not sure about the accounting thing, but there are other threads about "numbers crunching" in these forums. :cool:
     
  3. Mercuric Oxide macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    When you start programs for the first time it's slow, but it becomes faster later on as they are loaded in the ram (assuming you put the computer to sleep rather than shutting it down).

    The machine either may be faulty or just slow from running all the time in the store.
     
  4. kockgunner thread starter macrumors 68000

    kockgunner

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #4
    but taking THAT long to start an app is ridiculous. Windows laptops with Pentium Ms runnign at 1.67 ghz processors are smoother than this. I'd expect OS X (which can run on G4s) to be peppier.
     
  5. hephem macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    #5
    ok, this guy is already scaring me. I intnded to buy a MBA and make it my main machine but with this fact confirmed I wouldn't know anymore. Someone confirm this 20-30sec programs to start?
     
  6. mtk75 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    #6
    I would guess that someone has screwed up the display model on the floor. I have not seen any app take 20-30 seconds to load unless there was another program using the entire CPU. Even then, I've only managed to use the entire CPU once or twice...

    I suppose that if there are enough apps up that have a high memory usage, you could notice a slowdown as well. The MBA has a slow hard drive for virtual memory, no matter which type you are talking about. If it starts swapping, I'm certain it will be slow. I don't use a lot of memory intensive apps, so it doesn't effect me. Also, it's pretty difficult to fill up 2 GB.

    Some of the older MBAs seem to have heat problems, but it sounds like mostly a manufacturing issue. The newer built units don't appear to have the problems. The working MBAs will still get hot on certain types of video, though. (The older ones would get hot, and shut down a processor core causing them to get slow, too.) I have not had heating problems with mine.

    Overall, this machine has been much nicer than my old laptop, but that was a 1.2 GHz P4M... :p

    -Matt
     
  7. Blaine macrumors 6502a

    Blaine

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Location:
    Abilene TX
    #7
    In my opinion, the Air only seems slightly slower than my 2GHz first gen macbook (core duo).

    The screen is brighter, but everything does take longer to start up. The 5400 rpm hardrive is noticably more peppy than the 4200rpm drive. However, programs do not take an extra 20 or 30 seconds to load in my experience. The load time only seems to be a few more seconds than my old macbook for pretty much everything. When you first hit the power button and don't hear the dvd drive make a noise is kinda creepy. This is also true for coming out of sleep. While just browsing the web for a few hours, I can barely tell the machine is warm. I think my iPhone runs hotter than this while browsing the web. Also the fan running at full speed is quieter than my macbook's fan at full speed, but once the fan turns up on the air, it doesn't seem to ever quiet back down once the machine cools. I have to reset mine to get things back to normal. I bet a future firmware update will fix this easily. The speaker is great and louder than my old macbooks, but you can definitely tell it is mono and only coming out of one place.

    However, I do feel like the graphics are choppier than my macbooks graphics. The doc doesn't seem as smooth. Surely this is a graphics driver issue because the air's integrated graphics should be much better than my old gma 950 on my macbook.

    Also, when I was setting the machines up, the webcam on the macbook seems to be better quality than the one on the air. Also to note, running the photobooth app on the macbook turns on the fan, but it doesn't on the air.

    These are the only things I have really discovered from using my air so far. I love the thing and would never go back for nothing. I am very muchly all about the thinness which = sex appeal to me :p

    FWIW I have the 1.6/80
     
  8. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    #8
    My 1.8SSD starts Photoshop CS3 in under 8 seconds, and Office 2008 apps in about 6 seconds. Since I got my MBA it's effectively become my main machine - I haven't used my Mac Pro for anything except ripping DVDs since I got the MBA
     
  9. hephem macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    #9
    Ok thanks for sharing your opinions and experiences on the macbook air objectivly. I'm feeling less scared than when this post started. I still have a question though. I'm a law student and I would need a laptop to write a lot, for music, to mail, surf on the web, watch a lot of movies, work out some websites and therefor some pictures too and learn coding. There's no need to tell what kind of softwares I intend to use: iwork, iTunes, Quicktime Pro, Safari, iLife, Mail, xCode, PixelImage Editor, Final Cut Express, and that's it. Do you think that I'm actualy asking a lot of ressources to the MBA? Or can the MBA takes the softwares I will probably use? Thanks in advance for your helpful answers. Cheers.
     
  10. Mhaddy macrumors 6502

    Mhaddy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #10
    Just chiming in here... don't have CS3 loaded, but with a couple of Safari and Finder windows open, Spaces activated, iTunes running, Word and Excel both running, it takes about 6 secs to load Aperture 2 to get to the "Welcome what do you want to do?" screen, and another 3 secs to load into my library.

    I find my MBA to be quite adequate and very peppy in loading programs.
     
  11. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    #11
    The biggest performance hit you'll get from the MBA is the lack of a dedicated graphics processor. I think PixelImage should be OK, but I definitely wouldn't use Pixelmator on an MBA. FCE may also be a problem because of the lack of firewire and the small disk. Nothing else on the list raises any concerns that I can think of.
     
  12. SFStateStudent macrumors 604

    SFStateStudent

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco California, USA
    #12
    I'm thinking all of you...

    misinterpreted my earlier post: "Normally, 20-30 seconds for my InDesign CS, Photoshop CS, and iWorks." That 20-30 second timeframe is starting-up all three of those programs "at the same time!" So, an average of about 7-10 seconds per program. Hope this clears up a few things! :cool:
     
  13. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #13
    I hardly find the air sluggish when opening programs. its a little slow after a restart but afterwards its just as fast as any other computer I've used
     
  14. Chaszmyr macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    #14
    I've found the Air to be very responsive during light use. I'm not sure I'd want to use it for iMovie, though.
     
  15. kockgunner thread starter macrumors 68000

    kockgunner

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #15
    I hope the unit I tested was just defective. I'd better try some more out before I buy one to see if it fits my needs, but boy, do I want one!
     
  16. n0de macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    #16
    Office 2008 is a bit sluggish on the MBA, I do think there are definitely problems there.

    Anything with heavy graphics (flash or otherwise) does seem to be sluggish compared to XP too.

    The GPU in the air does have a driver level feature to throttle itself to conserve power. Unlike the windows drivers there is no way for the user to control this in OSX. I would bet that it is set too conservatively and that is a big part of the problem. Flash is the other, but until Apple and Adobe get over their problems we are screwed on that one.
     
  17. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    The good side of the grass.
    #17
    Office 2008 problems are w. Office 2008 - not the Air. I was stupid enough to put it on my MBP and quickly reloaded '04.
     
  18. mcvaughan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #18
    Microsoft Office is not a speed demon; it's fairly bloated. It doesn't even run that well on my Mac Pro.

    FWIW...
     
  19. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #19
    it runs fine on my macbook air. Its not insanely fast on opening but once its opened, it runs just like any other program.
     
  20. mcvaughan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #20
    Yes, that's my point. It's slow to load, even on my Mac Pro.
     

Share This Page