MBA, Day 3

kieonsegg

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 7, 2009
26
0
I've got my 1.6 120 rev b. via fedex about 3 days ago refurbished from the apple store for about 1,299 (CAD)

Just thought id tell everyone my likes/dislikes and a few questions

- thin, amazing looking
- battery life isnt really that bad i guess. (Can anyone confirm if it is ture that if i close the lid and it is not plugged in will it lose battery life? How much? Any workarounds to this?
- mac's are FAST HOLY! well, at least once ive launched everything once and not actually quit the program.--> is it normal that my itunes takes about 7 bounces, word 08 takes about 10, and FF takes about 2. After they have all been launched, they open in a second.
- programs are great
-bootup is acceptable, even though i probably wont even turn it off but just put it to sleep.
- heat/fan/hdd noise not an issue EXCEPT when watching any kind of media. music is fine but any youtube, tv episode will oddly instantly heat it up. I have downloaded the 1.2 SMC update or wutever the most recent update is. I thought the Rev b. was not susspose to have this porblem, although the rev b. does not skip at all maybe once and a while while watching hd so that makes me happy. :) Other than coolbook is there any free way around this problem?
-charging takes forever but i usually will take it to school and use it at home then charge as i sleep so its not a big deal
- any way to make apps launch faster first time around (free)?

So far, apple has done good :)
pleased customer :)
 

jetoo

macrumors member
Dec 1, 2009
67
0
Good to know that you really like it.

Battery life is about 3h for common use.
Closing lid but to putting it to sleep will take out battery, not as much as if the lid were open, but still.
You probably have the HDD version (and not the SSD), that's why it takes more time to open programs. When they've been open once, it fast, that's normal. Hard Drive is not very fast, so you won't be able to launch programs faster.

Fan noise is an issue in my rev. A, after a while and using a lot of programs, it start to make some noise, but I think for such a slim machine, it's kinda "normal"
 

stoconnell

macrumors 6502
Mar 22, 2009
446
0
Rockville (Despite REM's plea.)
battery drain while suspended

Yes. The default power management settings for MacBooks will drain the battery even while suspended. You can alter the power management settings to help alleviate that, but it comes at cost of the "instant on" when you open the lid. There was a whole thread in this forum on that.

Any flash video will churn up the fans in a hurry. It's a combination of a really lousy flash implementation on Macs making it CPU intensive which triggers heat and given these machines are thin the fan has to do some work to push that heat out.

Charging is pretty slow.
 

bigjnyc

macrumors 603
Apr 10, 2008
6,276
3,342
I think the only way to make apps launch faster is to have gotten the SSD version. You can always upgrade your hard drive but doing that on an MBA is not for the faint of heart.
 

musicpenguy

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2006
1,575
558
Fan Control

If you would like some control over your fans.

1. Install SMCFanControl (Make sure app stays in the Application folder)
2. Download my app/terminal command

Running the attached program when SMCFanControl is installed will limit the fans to 4000RPMS - I have not found this to be a problem heat wise - the fans do what they need to do at 4000 to get rid of heat.

Hope this helps - enjoy your new MPA!!!!
 

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jimboutilier

macrumors 6502a
Nov 10, 2008
647
42
Denver
I think the only way to make apps launch faster is to have gotten the SSD version. You can always upgrade your hard drive but doing that on an MBA is not for the faint of heart.
Get a copy of Xslimmer and run on all your apps. It will save disk space and make most launch much faster.
 

jimboutilier

macrumors 6502a
Nov 10, 2008
647
42
Denver
Sleeping

Download the free Smartsleep preference pane. You can set hibernate only and your MAC will not use any battery power when you close the lid. This wil cause your MAC to take longer to resume from sleep though.

The amount of power you MAC uses when normally sleeping is very small. Turning off "wake on" options in networking and bluetooth will also save some power while sleeping normally as then pretty much all you are powering is RAM while sleeping.
 

kieonsegg

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 7, 2009
26
0
Thanks for all the posts guys.

Day 4,

I tested how much battery life i would lose and after a 12 hour sleep, it only lost about 8% so im quite happy. :)

Yea well i dont see myself restarting /turning on/off my MBA pretty much at all unless it is necessary for a software update so i dont thing the extra 300 for the SSD would be worth it.
Its kinda weird because on boot they are REALLLY slow to launch, but if i launch them after Command + Q'ing them they a relativley quick. Even if i leave the programs on and close the windows without quitting them, they shouldnt hog too many resources correct?

p.s I have downloaded iStat but cannot seem to figure out where the battery information is with the number of cycles etc...

p.s.s For anybody out there that enjoys their itunes music, but wants to clean it up, download "TidySongs" as it will automatically get the album art, track name, artist, genre, track #, year etc...
 

stoconnell

macrumors 6502
Mar 22, 2009
446
0
Rockville (Despite REM's plea.)
iStat

Did you get iStat Menus or iStat Pro (the dashboard widget)? The dashboard widget is the one that shows the battery health. You may need to enable it under the sections tab in the preferences mode (i).

There is also another app called "coconut battery" that displays this information.
 

ayeying

macrumors 601
Dec 5, 2007
4,548
11
Yay Area, CA
Thanks for all the posts guys.

Day 4,

I tested how much battery life i would lose and after a 12 hour sleep, it only lost about 8% so im quite happy. :)

Yea well i dont see myself restarting /turning on/off my MBA pretty much at all unless it is necessary for a software update so i dont thing the extra 300 for the SSD would be worth it.
Its kinda weird because on boot they are REALLLY slow to launch, but if i launch them after Command + Q'ing them they a relativley quick. Even if i leave the programs on and close the windows without quitting them, they shouldnt hog too many resources correct?

p.s I have downloaded iStat but cannot seem to figure out where the battery information is with the number of cycles etc...

p.s.s For anybody out there that enjoys their itunes music, but wants to clean it up, download "TidySongs" as it will automatically get the album art, track name, artist, genre, track #, year etc...
That's called "Caching". Even after you close an program, the ram allocation and information for that program would go to "Inactive", not "Free" as they do in Windows XP. Therefore, when you reopen the same application, it should theoretically be faster than starting it from a cold boot.

You can check the battery cycles at the top left Apple > About This Mac > More Info; then on the left side, choose "Power". It should look something like this:

Charge Information:
Charge remaining (mAh): 4783
Fully charged: Yes
Charging: No
Full charge capacity (mAh): 4783
Health Information:
Cycle count: 472
Condition: Normal
Battery Installed: Yes
Amperage (mA): 246
Voltage (mV): 8388
 

kieonsegg

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 7, 2009
26
0
[/QUOTE]That's called "Caching". Even after you close an program, the ram allocation and information for that program would go to "Inactive", not "Free" as they do in Windows XP. Therefore, when you reopen the same application, it should theoretically be faster than starting it from a cold boot[/QUOTE]

LOL, then why doesnt windows do it ha...

lmfao i failed quoting that my bad, too lazy to change ha
 

chrono1081

macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2008
7,432
1,401
Isla Nublar
Glad to hear you like it.

I myself can't wait to get a macbook air because its PERFECT for what I use a laptop for, which is um...bathroom reading and laying in bed playing on the internet. (The laptop in my sig is a different story, its replacing a desktop till I can get a desktop).
 

ayeying

macrumors 601
Dec 5, 2007
4,548
11
Yay Area, CA
That's called "Caching". Even after you close an program, the ram allocation and information for that program would go to "Inactive", not "Free" as they do in Windows XP. Therefore, when you reopen the same application, it should theoretically be faster than starting it from a cold boot

LOL, then why doesnt windows do it ha...

lmfao i failed quoting that my bad, too lazy to change ha
If you read my post again, I said Windows XP. Windows Vista and Windows 7 have better memory management. However, they tend to throw the ram back into Free then cache it later on instead of just throwing it into Inactive.
 

Scottsdale

macrumors 601
Sep 19, 2008
4,391
109
U.S.A.
Congrats on your MBA. If you ever want to speed it up, buy an SSD or even a Runcore SSD. A stock Samsung SSD will speed bootup by 300%. It will drop everything from several bounces to a few. Go with a Runcore SSD and expect even faster boots and a completely different system performance.

In fact, even a stock SSD will make it feel like a MacBook Pro (2.4GHz, 7200 rpm drive).

You can always think about an SSD if you want to drastically increase the performance and speed of the MBA. Until then, you will enjoy a super thin and lightweight Mac.

Cheers
 

kieonsegg

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 7, 2009
26
0
Congrats on your MBA. If you ever want to speed it up, buy an SSD or even a Runcore SSD. A stock Samsung SSD will speed bootup by 300%. It will drop everything from several bounces to a few. Go with a Runcore SSD and expect even faster boots and a completely different system performance.

In fact, even a stock SSD will make it feel like a MacBook Pro (2.4GHz, 7200 rpm drive).

You can always think about an SSD if you want to drastically increase the performance and speed of the MBA. Until then, you will enjoy a super thin and lightweight Mac.

Cheers
I agree that the SSD is a huge improvement, but if i never turn of my MBA, and i dont mind leaving programs somewhat open (not quit) then buying an SSD really isn't relative because from what ive been told SSD's launch apps about the same as HDD when the programs are cached or open or wutever. And it probably not worth spending 400 on top of a 1600$ MBA when it wont make a big difference at all since i am not shutting down my system.
 

Scottsdale

macrumors 601
Sep 19, 2008
4,391
109
U.S.A.
I agree that the SSD is a huge improvement, but if i never turn of my MBA, and i dont mind leaving programs somewhat open (not quit) then buying an SSD really isn't relative because from what ive been told SSD's launch apps about the same as HDD when the programs are cached or open or wutever. And it probably not worth spending 400 on top of a 1600$ MBA when it wont make a big difference at all since i am not shutting down my system.
Actually, you're really misinformed. The SSD does far more than just open apps fast and boot fast. The SSD changes your whole system's performance. Think about everything it really does, then think about how the MBA has limited RAM. Faster ability to read/write allows faster access/ability to page/swap files and etc. The SSD changes the system's performance in MANY ways. Everytime you see a beachball with your HDD, you wouldn't have with an SSD.

People often buy into the misconception that an SSD just makes apps open faster and faster boot, but they're aren't thinking about the big picture and how the system really works.

I am not saying an HDD isn't right for you, I am just saying don't write off an SSD for an improper reason. Maybe you don't have the money to spend or don't want to, that's fine. But don't not buy it because you think it will make a minor difference for app loads and bootup.

Good luck and congrats again!
 

xparaparafreakx

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2005
1,273
0
Charge Information:
Charge remaining (mAh): 4783
Fully charged: Yes
Charging: No
Full charge capacity (mAh): 4783
Health Information:
Cycle count: 472
Condition: Normal
Battery Installed: Yes
Amperage (mA): 246
Voltage (mV): 8388
Charge Information:
Charge remaining (mAh): 2170
Fully charged: No
Charging: No
Full charge capacity (mAh): 4390
Health Information:
Cycle count: 713
Condition: Good
Battery Installed: Yes
Amperage (mA): -1214
Voltage (mV): 7413

Man I use my Air a lot.

SSD will boost everything. Not just apps that open.

When your memory goes low, its gonna swap. With a hard drive, the swapping is slow and painful. With SSD, its like almost have a crap load of ram.
 

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kieonsegg

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 7, 2009
26
0
Actually, you're really misinformed. The SSD does far more than just open apps fast and boot fast. The SSD changes your whole system's performance. Think about everything it really does, then think about how the MBA has limited RAM. Faster ability to read/write allows faster access/ability to page/swap files and etc. The SSD changes the system's performance in MANY ways. Everytime you see a beachball with your HDD, you wouldn't have with an SSD.

People often buy into the misconception that an SSD just makes apps open faster and faster boot, but they're aren't thinking about the big picture and how the system really works.

I am not saying an HDD isn't right for you, I am just saying don't write off an SSD for an improper reason. Maybe you don't have the money to spend or don't want to, that's fine. But don't not buy it because you think it will make a minor difference for app loads and bootup.

Good luck and congrats again!
thanks for your input, but again you said nothing to explain to me how "SSD's complete change the entire performance" of your machine."
Let's be honest, it may copy files faster, start programs faster but that is pretty much it because whether you are using an SSD or an HDD programs are both pound to perform almost exactly quick, unless you are dealing with a program that uses file writing. And programs like photoshop and dreamweaver etc.. run much quicker on HDD's and i tend to use alot of this but i do understand the desire for an SSD and will probably choose one on my next machine.
 

Dr.Pants

macrumors 65816
Jan 8, 2009
1,181
2
AFAIK, an SSD will also improve a system's battery life. Not to mention SSD is king of random access. Seek times may seem short when just looking at the average HDD, but compared to an SSD's seek time, the difference is massive. Since vehicles are the most popular comparison used on this forum :rolleyes:, comparing a good SSD to that of a HDD in terms of seek times is comparing a car manufactured today as compared to a Model T.

I should mention that, while some people assert that SSDs will make a system run cooler, an idle mechanical drive produces less heat then a solid-state drive being[/] used. Another thing to consider is that occasionally a drive will require a complete reset (not just a wipe) to bring it back to peak performance. Two caveats I thought I might add, though they are particularly minor.
 

vraxtus

macrumors 65816
Aug 4, 2004
1,043
0
San Francisco, CA
Download the free Smartsleep preference pane. You can set hibernate only and your MAC will not use any battery power when you close the lid. This wil cause your MAC to take longer to resume from sleep though.

The amount of power you MAC uses when normally sleeping is very small. Turning off "wake on" options in networking and bluetooth will also save some power while sleeping normally as then pretty much all you are powering is RAM while sleeping.
Haha. Every time you write MAC I think of a device address :p

It's "Mac" :)
 

ayeying

macrumors 601
Dec 5, 2007
4,548
11
Yay Area, CA
Charge Information:
Charge remaining (mAh): 2170
Fully charged: No
Charging: No
Full charge capacity (mAh): 4390
Health Information:
Cycle count: 713
Condition: Good
Battery Installed: Yes
Amperage (mA): -1214
Voltage (mV): 7413

Man I use my Air a lot.

SSD will boost everything. Not just apps that open.

When your memory goes low, its gonna swap. With a hard drive, the swapping is slow and painful. With SSD, its like almost have a crap load of ram.
But you have a Rev. A and got it like when it came out (from the previous posts I've read that you posted). I have a current generation and it's only been 6 Months since I got it lol

Anyways, SSD will boost performance in the swap area, but it's still slow compared to real ram (Fastest SSD is about what, 250MB/s? and DDR3 ram is over 3300MB/s)