MBA 2013 Stutter Delay, CPU, battery

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jabalczar, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. jabalczar macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2011

    On our fourth MBA over the last few years. Previously had 2010, 2012 (13), 2012 (11), now a 2013 (13 base model). I have to say that the 2010 model running SL was the fastest, but that's subjective.

    Our 2013 base 13-inch seems a little reluctant to get up to speed. There's always a delay before it does anything, almost like a HD is booting up.

    Also, we've seen 182% on the CPU on Activity monitor with nothing open except a kiddies game (Bridge Constructor) from the App Store.

    The fan is going crazy, I don't recall ever hearing the fan on any of our previously models.

    Finally, despite charging the battery to full, then running to empty, then charging to full on the first two cycles, battery life is no better (around six hours) than our 2012 model. This is just running Chrome (nothing else) with around four tabs open.

    I guess we got a dud and it needs returning within the first 14 days, or is this the best we can expect from Haswell? Perhaps the i7 would be better?

  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Is that before or after login? If after, you can check the following locations for apps that automatically launch on startup and delete any you don't need/want:
    • System Preferences > Users & Groups > yourusername > Login Items (SL and older: System Preferences > Accounts > yourusername > Login Items)
    • In Finder, click Go > Go to Folder > /Library/LaunchAgents
    • In Finder, click Go > Go to Folder > ~/Library/LaunchAgents
    • In Finder, click Go > Go to Folder > /Library/StartupItems
    There is always a lot more than that running. At a time when you're experiencing those symptoms, follow every step of the following instructions precisely. Do not skip any steps.
    1. Launch Activity Monitor
    2. Change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes"
    3. Click on the "% CPU" column heading once or twice, so the arrow points downward (highest values on top). (If that column isn't visible, right-click on the column headings and check it, NOT "CPU Time")
    4. Click on the System Memory tab at the bottom.
    5. Take a screen shot of the entire Activity Monitor window, then scroll down to see the rest of the list, take another screen shot
    6. Post your screenshots.
    If you're not already doing so, use iStat Pro (free) or iStat Menus ($16) to get accurate readings of your temps, fan speeds, etc., rather than relying on your sense of touch or sound. A forum member has posted a copy of iStat Pro that has been "tweaked" to enhance compatibility with Mountain Lion. You can download it here.

    The fans are likely spinning up because of the workload on the system, possibly caused by a runaway process. The steps above should help you identify if this is the case. If the fans are spinning faster without increased heat, try resetting the SMC.
    Run on battery whenever you need to and plug it in whenever you can. You can plug or unplug any time you need to, regardless of the charged percentage, and you never need to completely drain your battery. Just make sure you don't run on AC power exclusively, as your battery needs to be used regularly to stay healthy.

    There are many factors that impact your battery life. See the BATTERY LIFE FROM A CHARGE section of the following link for details, including tips on how to maximize your battery life.
    The link below should answer most, if not all, of your battery/charging questions. If you haven't already done so, I highly recommend you take the time to read it.
  3. mattferg macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2013
    Sounds like a dodgy Air, I've got the i5 and it doesn't do anything like this.
  4. AXs macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    why don't you put up some screen shots, and/or videos.

    Either you really have an Air where EVERYTHING inside it is malfunctioning - RAM, CPU, SSD... Or it isn't true.
    There's just no way that someone using the PCIe SSD and Haswell would say a 3 year old laptop is faster.
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    There's another possibility. A single runaway process could account for overall slow performance, increased CPU activity, increased heat and fan speed, and decreased battery life. A bit of troubleshooting should sort it out.
  6. AXs macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    I thought about it, but it seems impossible that a process is using up to 180% of CPU and maxing out the RAM to a level where the SSD has problem reading files.

    i guess we will find out when he posts the screenshot. Though, I wouldn't wait on it.
  7. jabalczar thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2011
    Dear GGJstudio,

    Thank for your considered reply. Here are the screenshots. I've actually arranged a pickup for the Air, they are going to switch it for a new one. But I'd be interested if you see anything off.

    AXs, you need to learn some basic manners. It's not polite to casually accuse someone of lying. It's a working day in the part of the world I'm in, and we can't all respond immediately. Not all of us live and work in our underpants in our mum's basement...

    Attached Files:

  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    As you can see in the screen shots, the Bridge Constructor process is using a lot of CPU. In addition, you have page outs, indicating you're maxing out your RAM. Both can have an impact on performance, heat, fans and battery life.
  9. jabalczar thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2011
    Yeah, I can see that. I found it strange that a fairly basic kids game from the App Store can tax a brand new MBA 2013 so much. Perhaps just a poorly designed game.
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Gaming can be very demanding on the system. I seriously doubt there is anything wrong with your MBA. It sounds like it's functioning normally.
  11. AXs macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    I dont see anything wrong?

    You're telling us your older Air models ran this game better than your 2013 Air? Cause that's what you're making it sound like.

    Maybe you should compare it to your older models using the same tasks before denouncing it to the world?

Share This Page