Slow performance on Macbook air 2011 i5 - lagging even when browsing internet

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Erik Myhrberg, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. Erik Myhrberg macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2011
    After testing out the new macbook air 2011 I was so dissapointed that I returned it to apple. This thread is aims to give a heads up to everyone that is tempted to buy it and to make them reconsider.

    I had two main reasons for buying the Macbook air:

    1: Flash storage and no fans would mean a completely silent computer.
    2: With the new i5 processor and other hardware enhancements I was convinced that this very slim and easy to handle computer would match the performance of older but bigger notebooks.

    1: When streaming video to my LCD tv the macbook´s fans started making lots of noise. The noise was louder than I had ever had on any laptop before so the thought of a silent computer was given up. It is only when pushing it that it starts making noise. It´s very quiet when just running applications though.

    2. I noticed that it was lagging when I was browsing the internet. First I thought that I must have had some other apps running but even after shutting down all other apps and also restarting it was still lagging when browsing google results. We tried it side-by-side with an older model of macbook pro which made it very obvious that the air simply could not handle even scrolling down a webpage without lagging.

    That was it. For me that meant my two main arguments for buying it was now lost and I returned it to apple.

    Conclusion: Do not buy the new i5 2011 Macbook Air - the performance is very slow and does not match the pricetag.
  2. Nioxic macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2011
    Mine doesn't do that laggy scrolling

    in fact i've only seen lag when switching from window to fullscreen HD video on youtube.. (and that was just a second)

    as for noise..

    the intel GPU chip thing in the computer handles the video. It's not a very powerful chip, so it runs at pretty much 80-100% usage whatever you're doing that requires it to run. This means that it gets hotter, and in return the fan spins to prevent you from sitting at a frying pan with a display..

    Thats pretty normal. However, i've heard some people here complain about the fan noise.. i personally dont think its that bad. Ofcourse i do have 20% lower hearing than most other people (thanks ipods <3)

    But yeah, running video, 3D or things like converting videos, from one format to another will cause stress on the cpu/gpu and it will heat up, and thus the fan will kick in...

    My desktop pc does the same... at least on the mba, unlike my desktop pc, the PSU doesnt make more noise at idle than the rest of the pc :p
  3. Spacemarine macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2011
    What exactly do you mean by lagging?
  4. great high wolf macrumors regular

    great high wolf

    Jan 30, 2006
    I've noticed choppy scrolling too, particularly when using the momentum scrolling. Since Twitter scrolls fine, Chrome is slightly choppy and Reeder is awful, I put it mostly down to the software. Swiping between Spaces is smooth as well.
  5. macneubie macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2011
    if u said there were no fans, then the noise from the mb couldn't be fans, isn't it? :D
  6. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010

    The MacBook Air is more than capable of browsing the Internet without lagging. Heck, even the 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo model last year could do that much. Did you install 10.7.1? Some people had issues with the original release of Lion that did result in some scrolling issues. It wasn't performance related.

    I've had Safari open with about 15 tabs, and Windows 7 running in the background in a virtual machine, and it has handled both quite well.

    Conclusion: the original post is seriously misguided, at best.
  7. lukekarts, Aug 20, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011

    lukekarts macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2009
    I opened all 70 of my bookmarks at once just now and didn't get any lag.
  8. NicoleRichie macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2007
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_5 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8L1 Safari/6533.18.5)

    This is misleading. You may have had a bad experience but to place a buyer beware statement of don't purchase the i5 MBA seems a little extreme. I find more threads going against your lag problems when browsing than I find supporting. Thanks for your opinion though sorry it did not work out. Better lick next time.
  9. tpg macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2010
    I installed Lion on my late 2007 macbook, and I've had some problems with scrolling too. However, disabling 2D acceleration in Quartz Debug surprisingly seems to improve scrolling performance considerably...

    Maybe some other folks that are having problems can try this out and see if it works for them? If so it could be a Quartz Extreme/graphics driver issue.
  10. zackboll macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2011
    I have an i5 mac air 13 inch and do notice short lags when scrolling using firefox, kind of disappointed.
  11. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    Stuff like this is far more likely to be due to Lion idiosyncrasies with certain pre-Lion software than a design flaw of the MacBook Air.

    My MBA is nearly the same speed as my '06 Mac Pro.
  12. iphonsteve4ajob macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2011
    That's always fun to do. I tried it once just for kicks and I was amazed. No beach ball, all tabs opened.


    I guess it's a different issue for each user. All three browsers on my Air are extremely fast. No discernible lag whatsoever. I use Safari primarily, which I think is funny because FF and Chrome run faster on my computer.
  13. zackboll macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2011
    Interesting note, after rebooting computer, I am no longer noticing laggy scrolling. I normally don't reboot my machine, just close the lid when not using. Will post back if laggy performance returns.
  14. misterneums macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2009
    You made an account on an Apple Fanboy website in an attempt to make us reconsider on purchasing a MBA. Good luck.
    1.) Your first point goes to show that you are an uninformed consumer. This computer has a fan.
    2.) The major hardware advancements was the switching to a Sandy Bridge processor, upgraded bluetooth, and thunderbolt.
    1.) I stream to my TV without any issues. However, streaming flash does cause the fans to go on. This is to be expected. As for how loud they are--all of my laptops I have ever owned have been louder than what this is at 6500 RPM.
    2.) I don't know where you're getting this lagging thing from, mine works fine. This computer can handle basic internet. Perhaps your roommate should quit the torrent downloads.

    My conclusion of your post: You're a troll, making your first post on an Apple Fansite. You did not give any information on any sort of steps you did to resolve your problem other than returning it. I'm glad you returned your computer--that is, if you even bought it in the first place.
  15. jcg878 macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2011
    After an hour with a Mac store Genius on Friday, the cause of my laggy scrolling was found to be one of a few likely candidates. 1) AirDisplay, which I used on my 10.6.8 MBP before it's death (and moved over via Time Machine to the MBA). 2) Parallels, which I have yet to re-install and see what happens. 3) Norton Antivirus, which I am required to install for work but which doesn't work well in Lion. We both thought it was likely to be AirDisplay, which BTW is an app that allows you to use your iPad as an external monitor via wifi. I almost miss it, but now my Air is very fast and I was ready to return it with the frustrating laggy scrolling.

    I can open dozens of tabs and everything on my dock now without any lag.
  16. misterneums macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2009
    Good to know, as I have that app.
  17. TheRealDamager macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2011
    I had lagging issues with an i5 air when browsing, but it ended up being attributable to a DisplayLink driver that wasn't Lion-ready. If you are proposing that an i5-based Air can't amoothly do web browsing, you are dead wrong.
  18. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    He has all of 1 post on MacRumors. This looks like a feeble attempt at trolling to me.
  19. zackboll macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2011
    I am not sure what is causing my lag during scrolling but I know it is triggered after waking the computer up from sleep. On a clean reboot, my i5 air is fast again.


    I do have air display installed... I am going to try removing it and will post back if it fixes the sluggish performance of my MBA


    I have air display installed. I am going to try removing it and see if it fixes the sluggish performance I am seeing


    Removing air display has seemed to fix the issue I was having with sluggish performance. Is there a root cause known?
  20. 3dflyboy1 macrumors 6502

    Jun 27, 2011
    California, USA
    My first response: TROLL. :p

    However, if you actually are having this issue, try 1) rebooting 2) uninstalling AirDisplay, or 3) reinstalling the OS (only if you're desperate)
  21. misterneums macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2009
  22. sloan47 macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2011
    I was having some serious scrolling issues until I realized DisplayPad was the culprit. Once I uninstalled that it worked perfectly again.

    If you still have issues, I recommend you do a restore and don't import from Time Machine. Just start off fresh and see if the lag is still there.
  23. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I haven't had any negative experiences scrolling in Firefox like some of you are reporting. However, I have had some issues with BetterTouchTool and a number of the 3-finger commands. These are flaws in BTT in Lion, not lag.

    The only time I feel that the MBA lags is when I wake up the computer by opening the lid. :eek: Usually it's OK, but sometimes, it takes 3-4 seconds to get to the login screen that asks for my password. It wasn't that slow on any Mac laptop I have ever owned.

    Also, it got unusually slow and laggy when using MS Word last week. If I typed a word with the keyboard, it would take 1-2 seconds for each individual letter of that word to show up on the screen. To fix it, I saved my document, quit Word, reopened Word, and the problem fixed itself. :)
  24. misterneums macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2009
    Those damn microsoft programs! They get you every time!
  25. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Forget Microsoft. It is Lion that is ruining the MS Office experience. :p

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