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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Macworld took a look at the newest MacBook Air models that were introduced at WWDC. The MacBook Air received processor speed bumps as well as a dramatic $300-$700 price drop. Despite the clock speed increase, Macworld found that the new MacBook Airs were actually slower than their predecessors:
What’s weird about the new high-end MacBook Air model is that although it cost dramatically less than its immediate predecessor, it was also slower than that model. The late-2008 1.86GHz MacBook Air was faster than the new top-of-the-line model in 11 of our 18 tests, and as a result, the old system’s final Speedmark score was slightly higher. The low-end 1.86GHz model did a better job versus its predecessor, besting it on most tests and improving on its Speedmark score.
They speculate that it could, in part, be due to aggressive thermal management in the higher speed models, but don't have a definitive answer.

The conclusion, however, remains the same as it always has for the MacBook Air. According to Macworld, "if the Air always struck you as being overpriced and underpowered, these aren’t the laptops you’re looking for.".... "But if the specs that matter most to you are light weight and small size, the MacBook Air is the system for you."

Article Link: New MacBook Air Slower Than Older Model?
 

Grimace

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2003
3,551
121
with Hamburglar.
The Air is a second computer.

Highly portable for web browsing and MS Word types of usage. It's the closest Apple will get to the netbook form. I don't think anyone should expect to do any photo/video/audio editing on it!
 

gangst

macrumors 6502a
Dec 27, 2004
614
0
UK
So close to buying one, but this puts me off...why upgrade it, just to say you did?

I still have my doubts this will playback 720p mkv video without stutters.
 

Donz0r

macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2006
901
22
The Air is a second computer.

Highly portable for web browsing and MS Word types of usage. It's the closest Apple will get to the netbook form. I don't think anyone should expect to do any photo/video/audio editing on it!

Yes.

Everyone's calmmering for an Apple netbook. The Air is Apple's underpowered, lightweight, ultra portable laptop.
The netbook market is cheap, loss leading, underpowered machines. Apple doesn't and will never make a laptop like that.
 

Detlev_73

macrumors 6502
Jul 20, 2004
279
0
Roswell, GA
Bs!

I was just at an Apple Store over the weekend and played around with the top-end MBAir. It boot up almost twice as fast as my early 2009 MacBook 13", and definitely WAY faster than my early 2008 MBAir. I don't know how they do these tests, but I call BS. Might actually get one of the new MBAirs in the next two months, and sell the MB...don't need the DVD, and after getting rid of my first MBAir I'm craving the light weight. It's a beautiful laptop. Just hope they don't discontinue it; I hope sales of it are going well.
 

HHarm

macrumors regular
Mar 4, 2009
138
2
"Now it delivers speeds not usually found in ultra portable notebooks, thanks to a faster Intel Core 2 Duo running at 1.86GHz or 2.13GHz."

Not quite it seems.
 

clayj

macrumors 604
Jan 14, 2005
7,533
573
visiting from downstream
Hey, I still love my 1st-generation 1.8 GHz 64 GB SSD MBA. It's a perfect laptop for someone who just wants to check e-mail, surf the web, and run some productivity apps and doesn't want to lug around some heavy brick of a notebook.
 

wheezy

macrumors 65816
Apr 7, 2005
1,280
1
Alpine, UT
The Air is a second computer.

Highly portable for web browsing and MS Word types of usage. It's the closest Apple will get to the netbook form. I don't think anyone should expect to do any photo/video/audio editing on it!

That's why I want one - My MacPro does all my heavy lifting, I just want something portable. My Whitebook does great, but it would be nice to have it be an Air instead. Cause... you know, I need two computers and all.... :rolleyes:
 

vgermax

macrumors newbie
Jan 31, 2006
8
0
Shoddy

Typically shoddy "testing" from Macworld. There's little wonder why print magazines lose ground to online publications. It's not a question of distribution or cost structure or a change in readership preferences or demographics or any other construct. The problem is content, online publications are miles ahead in terms of quality of content. AnandTech's review of the most significant change in the MacBook line (the non-removable batteries) is so far beyond anything Macworld publishes, that it's an embarrassment.
 

njfuzzy

macrumors member
Jan 7, 2004
48
0
Boston, MA
The only way I could ever imagine buying a MacBook air is getting the previous generation model, clearance or refurb. This has been the case with every generation.
 

the-oz-man

macrumors 6502
Jun 24, 2009
402
153
What do you expect from a $300-$700 price drop??? They had to make sacrifices somewhere to justify the profit loss.
 

daddywags214

macrumors regular
Sep 26, 2006
120
0
Vancouver, BC
So close to buying one, but this puts me off...why upgrade it, just to say you did?

I still have my doubts this will playback 720p mkv video without stutters.

My gen 1 1.6 Air plays 720p mkv and h.264 no problem. :D

(also:) I use this as my second computer. I travel with it, I take it to work when I need to show someone stuff that I'm working on, and it's great for full web browsing around the house when the iPhone doesn't cut it. I used it for photo editing once in a pinch, but other than that, it's all about portability.
 

hodgeheg

macrumors regular
Dec 7, 2008
156
0
Thinking of getting the latest one with SSD. Does anyone know if the USB Ethernet is Gigabit?

USB*2* Gigabit ethernet is impossible. The USB2 interface maxes out at 480Mbps peak, and sustains less. I imagine it's still 10/100.

USB3 gigabit ethernet should be possible, but we don't have USB 3 yet.
 

Victor Odin

macrumors member
Sep 2, 2008
86
0
Due to the inability to vent heat from a sub 1" thick platform, the laws of physics will not allow these computers to be high-performance.

The thinner they get, the slower they will have to get.

At least until new CPU's with even smaller manufacturing sizes are released.

I have a 2.6Ghz MBP, and I get 80C on the CPU and 90C on the GPU under render load.

The fans kick up to 6000, and the case is scalding to the touch (thank god for USB keyboards), but let's face it.

Apple thermal management = fans.

Seriously.

Just like everyone else.

That, and processor throttling.

All this "well, apple can design these blah blah blah" is not entirely true, and it is why the warranty is so insanely expensive (20-30% of the purchase price of the computer in some cases).

They have heat issues, because there is only so much you can do with a freaking fan.

Despite the Kool-Aid speak, fans are not revolutionary.

If I got an Mac Air, I would get the slowest Air available, because the beefy processors won't be able to run full speed anyway unless you are using it in an igloo.
 

ooo

macrumors 6502
Nov 23, 2007
254
2
My gen 1 1.6 Air plays 720p mkv and h.264 no problem. :D

(also:) I use this as my second computer. I travel with it, I take it to work when I need to show someone stuff that I'm working on, and it's great for full web browsing around the house when the iPhone doesn't cut it. I used it for photo editing once in a pinch, but other than that, it's all about portability.


I'm using it as a second computer as well, same first gen 1.6ghz and it runs without any issues. I use lightroom and xcode on this machine as well. I'm looking forward to seeing a 4gbs version of this machine.
 
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