New Air 2012 Slow / Laggy / Freezes

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jabalczar, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. jabalczar macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2011
    I have a brand new 2012 13-inch Air i5 / 4 GB / 128 SSD.

    It seems to pause / stutter / freeze for a fraction of a second very often when doing non-intensive everyday tasks. It is especially bad when typing (on any programme). I'll type, then every minute or so it the words on the screen take 1/4 second to catch up with what I'm typing. I'm only an average typist, not a speed demon. It's especially bad when pressing the delete key.

    Also, when opening programmes, switching windows, zooming, etc there is a noticeable pause.

    Previously, I had a 13-inch 2010 Air, 13-inch 2011 Pro, and 21.5-inch 2011 iMac. I never had any of these problems on those machines, so I know it's not me.

    It was doing all of this when factory fresh (i.e. a couple of days ago) without anything installed, so I don't think it's my software or set up either.

    I'm wondering if it's related to the graphics card. Sometimes, when typing I can just see it trying to render something on the screen before the typing appears, if this makes sense.

    Any ideas, do I have a dud? I'm already on my second return, I don't really wish to return again.
  2. 53x12 macrumors 68000


    Feb 16, 2009
    Just take it into the local Apple store and have them take a look at it. If you are within the 14 day/Holiday return period, just return it or exchange it. No sense in messing around with a product that isn't working 100% for you. Doesn't sound normal.

    I know you have the whole issue with UK returns period and re-order times. You just might have to deal with that again if you aren't happy with the way it is functioning. I would recommend just going to your local Apple store.
  3. coldjeanzzz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2012
    This same thing has happened to me to with my brand new MBA 8 GB 128 SSD. However not anywhere near as often as you describe, sometimes when I am typing in Safari it will hang up for a split second but it doesn't do it that often. I thought it was the automatic spell check causing it so I disabled it and I think it might have helped but I'll keep testing to see if it was the problem.
  4. jabalczar thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2011
    I've just checked my son's new 11-inch 2012 Air. He's also having similar problems, noticeably on typing, though not as often as on mine. There's a lag, stutter, freeze, every so often.
  5. kage207 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    Have you looked at Activity Monitor at all when performing these tasks? Keep in mind that when you do graphic tasks, they must be pushed to the main thread before performing. Until that thread is freed the other tasks will not be able to resume. UI has to take place before any other operations can be performed due to the possibility of trying to perform actions on objects of the program as this may lead to crashes.

    I do notice some lag when trying to begin to type, roughly less than a second after performing a UI graphic task. It's usually not bad though it does bother me as it does slow down my productivity. Most don't understand how programs work under the hood. Also, I think most programs use the main thread for their operations they perform causing this slow down. I don't notice much of the problem when using Apple apps though. :confused:

    I think the difference is because of OS X and developers learning the new ways Apple is implementing technologies they've learned from iOS.

    I may not be right, but this is what I believe is happening after developing for iOS for the past year and now learning OS X developing techniques and studying Activity Monitor.
  6. jabalczar thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2011
    Thank you for your reply. I'm not sure what I should be looking at in Activity Monitor. Nothing seems untoward -- no high usage.

    It is happening in Apple apps, not just third party apps. For instance, it's happening just now in Safari while typing this message, also in Mail, and not just when I start typing.

    I also notice in Nisus that the red-underlining for a misspelt word takes a few seconds to appear.

    On my previous Apple products, two of which used the same apps with ML 10.8.2 I didn't have this problem. It's unique to the Air, at least in my experience.
  7. kage207 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    Alrighty, let's get into this a little more. Check this article out:

    That will teach you a little about Activity Monitor and CPU usage. It's important to understand how resources are used as you use your computer.

    Secondly, do you shut down your computer often? I notice when I shut down more I get these lags because it needs to load these resources again and page them correctly. I usually shut down roughly once a week. These graphical resources need to be load back into the memory. I usually just keep open all the applications I use (besides Xcode, Coda and other intensive apps).

    We also have the option to restore your computer. Though that will be are last one we will try. I also think that we first should look at the SSD performance if we do not make any head way on how resources are being used by the system.

    Don't give up hope yet. We can isolate these issues. I've been studying how my Air works more so than any other Mac because I love this product. I want this product to last me and having an SSD for the first time on a computer is one reason. I'm in school for my Computer Science degree. Almost done! Though I'm starting my Masters next year. It's kind of fun applying what you learn in the classroom. :D

    EDIT: Oh, the high CPU usage is not going to be there when it's idle. You need to watch the usage when it lags or you perform these graphical tasks (such as using Mission Control, etc).
  8. jabalczar thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2011
    I don't see any CPU spikes in Activity Monitor when the lag happens. My CPU stays at a constant 1.5 % user and around 1.25 % system.

    In Disk Activity there may be a slight SSD spike when the lag occurs up to 4.8 mb / sec written. The red line shoots up way above the green line. The red line is shooting up a lot in spikes. I'm not sure if this is normal or not. Normally, it's around 300 kb / sec.

    I don't tend to turn any of my computers off.

    I've have already done a complete system restore once.
  9. wolfpuppies3 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2012
    Virginia, USA
    I turn mine off at the end of every day. I've never experienced this problem with either of my Airs (or my Pro either for that matter). Strange.
  10. kage207 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    Alright. Now that I know you've tried system restore, we will count that one out.

    That's interesting in the spikes for the Disk Activity, though the SSD should easily be able to handle that information.

    It's also interesting to note that these lags don't effect during any CPU spikes. I do notice these typing lags but not often at all. Hm...

    So we've got some options...
    Before looking into what I suggest below try repairing the Disk Permissions. This is located in Disk Utility. Learn about it in the links below.
    This last link goes over how you repair the disk.

    We can reset the SMC because it could be a system issue. Learn about it in the link below. Though, I believe that this will not be the fix.
  11. jabalczar thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2011
    I repaired disk permissions. I also reset the SMC.

    However, I also did the Apple Hardware Diagnostics Test through Internet Recovery.

    It's a brand new two day old Air.

    I got a hardware error:


    Perhaps this is the root of the problem, though I don't know what the code means.
  12. kage207 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    I am truly sorry to inform you of this link below but this looks like a hardware issue.
  13. iLikeTheShiny macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2013
    If I had that issue with my Air, I'd be exchanging it in a hurry. No fun after you've got it configured (assuming you have), but better to do it now than wish you had.
  14. 53x12 macrumors 68000


    Feb 16, 2009
    That is what I have been saying. OP should head to his closest Apple store for a return/exchange asap. Regardless of the inconvenience it might cause.
  15. jabalczar thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2011
    Thanks for all the help and advice.

    Yes, it's going back after the weekend.

    Third time lucky...and almost six weeks since I placed my initial order....


    Though the Apple Store (Physical) in the UK won't exchange, because it was an online order, so another wait for UPS to collect, then process, and exchange, takes about 7 working days...,

  16. kage207 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    I do remember our conversation about the delivery times in the UK. I'd go to an Apple Store and explain your situation to see what they could do for you to make sure you don't keep going without a computer during these times.

    I'm truly sorry that you are having a bad experience with this new computer.

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