The 2013 MacBook Air has amazing Windows 8 perfomance

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Brandon263, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. Brandon263 macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2009
    Beaumont, CA
    I've been using my new base 2013 MacBook Air in Windows 8 over the past few days and I'm really enjoying it. Some observations:

    1. Overall performance seems faster (!) than in Mountain lion: I can have more than 50 Chrome tabs open, Spotify streaming music and Acrobat open and have no lag or problems at all. Perhaps this is because of the implementation of Chrome in Windows, but I really like it. I have a suspicion that memory management in Windows 8 might be better than in Mountain Lion, because I have dozens of tabs open in Chrome, Spotify and Acrobat running, as well as many Metro apps open and still have task manager only showing 2.0GB of RAM used.

    2. Windows 8 boots up very fast -- I'm getting to the desktop in less than 10 seconds. That's amazing.

    3. I just love the graphics in Windows 8: I like how it shows you a graph with the copy rate it shows when copying stuff, I love the new task manager, and I just love the overall snappiness of it.

    4. WiFi is faaaaast. I can stream HD movies from my DRLINK AC1200 router while downloading apps in Chrome and having many tabs open in it without any hiccups at all.

    5. I'm getting 11 hours of battery life. In Windows. (Jaw drops.)

    5. I like the Metro News app. I also generally just like reading articles, browsing the web, watching Netflix and using Twitter in the Metro mode of Windows 8. :)

    Have others using Windows 8 on the new Airs had a similar experience?
  2. coolaaron88 macrumors member


    May 28, 2010
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    That is very awesome to hear. I'm impressed with your results. I'm getting my MacBook Air next week so this is good to see.

    What is your MacBook Air configuration?
  3. Brandon263 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2009
    Beaumont, CA
    I have the base MacBook Air (4GB RAM, 128 GB SSD). I gave 40 GB to Windows and the rest to Mac OS X.
  4. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Aren't u dying to have a touch screen though?
  5. coolaaron88 macrumors member


    May 28, 2010
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Not bad, do you have the i5 or the i7?


    Coming from someone who is coming from a non touchscreen laptop currently running Windows 8, I'm not going to missing one when I get my MacBook Air. You can use 8 without it.
  6. SoundChaos, Jul 5, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013

    SoundChaos macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2013
    I seem to have the exact opposite reaction to Windows 8 on my Macbook Air 2013 1.7/128/8gb ... The boot camp drivers are just terrible for everything, the brightness doesn't work, at max its a lot dimmer than it should be, and the different levels of brightness do not work. There is dim, very dim, or off, nothing in between those 3 settings. Also the touch pad driver is faulty and inconstant. Sometimes the multitouch features work, sometimes they freeze up (such as holding click on a window bar with your thumb and dragging with a finger) The scrolling feature is not customizable and very jumpy, cant even use it for web browsing.

    The performance is spotty at best as well, it will randomly freeze during graphically intense programs and benchmarks, and when it goes black on a display driver crash, it stays black for almost 5 minutes before its useable again.. It gets quite hot in windows when playing games or benchmarks too. The area above the f1-f3 keys can almost burn my fingers.

    Not impressed, I hope some major bootcamp driver revisions are added in, and it seems the fan needs to be cranked up as well.
    Oh, forgot to mention, it will not charge right when in windows either, it will off and on say "plugged in but not charging" and take many hours to get to full charge.
    And my biggest issue of all, I allocated 38gb to windows, and have nothing installed but firefox, and i only have 6gb free space, even after removing all virtual memory and removing all windows backup storage...
  7. TC25 macrumors 68020

    Mar 28, 2011
    No, that's what I have an iPad for. Plus the Windows-only programs I have don't use, and probably never will, a touch screen.
  8. tylerwatt12 macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2013
    do trackpad gestures work at all for ex, to reveal the charms bar?
  9. APlotdevice macrumors 68040


    Sep 3, 2011
    To be clear, is this an 11" (battery rated to 9 hours) or 13" (~ 12 hours) MacBook Air?
  10. mattferg macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2013
    There's a fix for the brightness issue - Windows has enabled something that conflicts with the Mac drivers, here's how to turn it off:
  11. Brandon263 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2009
    Beaumont, CA

    I have the i5. :)

    That is very strange. I'm having no problems at all when using my Air's internal keyboard and mouse or when using the Air with my Thunderbolt Display and wireless keyboard and trackpad. Did you download the latest drivers from Apple? Try removing the Windows partition and reinstalling Windows 8 using the following method:

    1. Buy Windows 8 and download the ISO direct from Microsoft after obtaining your product key ( Save the ISO to your Mac desktop.

    2. Connect a flash drive to your USB port.

    3. Start Bootcamp Assistant on your Mac and when it asks you what you want to do, check the first two options (create windows install disk and download support media). Choose the option to save the files to the flash drive you just connected.

    After the process is complete, quit Bootcamp Assistant.

    4. Start Bootcamp Assistant again and ONLY check download support media this time. Choose to save the files to the same flash drive you selected in step 3.

    After the process is complete, quit Bootcamp Assistant.

    4) Start Bootcamp Assistant again and select install Windows. Bootcamp will automatically restart your computer into Windows Setup. (Do not hold option when the computer restarts, select EFI boot, reboot the computer youself, etc.) From there on, continue like normal.

    I have the 13 inch Air. I had the 15 inch rMBP before, and even though it was rated for 7 hours, in Windows it would only last 3 to 4 hours. I'm very excited with the new Air, especially because it's lighter than the rMBP, doesn't get as hot as the rMBP and text is much easier to read in Windows 8.
  12. SoundChaos macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2013
    Thanks, that fixed my dimness issue! But overall, my windows 8 performance is still sub-par, even after reinstalling the OS again. It now gets hot just doing web browsing, and at a balanced power settings and medium brightness, I get about 5-6 hours of battery. It doesn't seem to understand how to take advantage of the new Haswell power states..

    Bootup from scratch on windows for me is about 11 seconds, but to be in windows and "Shutdown" is 75 seconds, and "Restart" takes about 85 seconds..
  13. Brandon263 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2009
    Beaumont, CA
    Very odd. The *least* amount of battery life I got was about 9 hours 30 seconds when I was watching stuff on Netflix. Of course if you are gaming, you'll get much less than that. It definitely isn't getting warm under any circumstances for me. Perhaps this has something to do with the i7 and the 8GB RAM?

    I'd very interested to hear what kind of performance others are seeing.

  14. daviddth macrumors 6502a


    Jun 29, 2009
    Only Running win 7 here, but while I can boot in about 10sec, the shutdown is about the same or less, and a reboot 15-20 seconds max. Odd that yours takes so long, and I have seen reports that windows 8 is usually faster to boot and shut down than win 7 so you should be seeing as good or better times than I get
  15. perry8912 macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2013
    How about the battery life on win7?
    If I run parallels instead of bootcamp, will the battery life be longer or shorter?
  16. visodus macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2013
  17. Acorn macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2009
    lol yea maybe 11 hours estimated. i seriously doubt windows getting 11 hours with constant use. maybe 7-8 tops.
  18. johnjey macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2013
    Northern CA
    Ummm....what ????????? Do you have a 2013 11' i5 or i7? looks like you may have a 13'
  19. Yggbert, Jul 10, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013

    Yggbert macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2011
    I don't get threads like this, why wouldn't Windows run fine? Macs aren't PPC so it wouldn't make sense for there to be rampant compatibility issues or sluggish performance, it's the same architecture, Macs aren't unique snowflakes.

    Windows has ran good ever since it was possible as a main OS, so first Core 2 Duos?
  20. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Make sure you have the most up-to-date bootcamp drivers. Something is definitely not right on your install, as my Windows 7 PC boots in about that much time, and that's a 4 year old computer (with an sata SSD).
  21. unagimiyagi macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2009
    I shall say it again...the macbook pro/air are where Apple has its largest lead over the competition, out of all the categories that Apple plays in.

    Android is different but certainly 'good enough'. I'm willing to concede that.
    The android tablets are also catching up.

    The desktop market is past its peak.

    The laptop market though, is still a large market, but shrinking b/c of the ipad for reasons that aren't clear to me. I must be too old to imagine life without a keyboard and 'regular' programs and a desktop os.
    Apple's biggest problem is that the laptop market is about to go the way of the desktop market. A big lead in a market that won't move many units won't help their profits much.

    Make no mistake about it, though, the pro/air are in a different class. Anyone who thinks differently, I'd tell reply back:
    battery life
    touchpad responsiveness
    screen quality
    fan noise
    camera quality
    microphone quality/sq inch
    speaker quality/sq inch
    price/performance ratio
    boot up times
    startup shutdown times
    general ergonomics

    If you learn how to use your mac properly, there's no debate and no argument to stand on. I know I'm preaching to the choir here.
    Everyone in the tech world, and everyone with any discriminating taste, and everyone in the coveted 18-40 demographic, is using a mac these days. From high school to colleges to grad students, the future earners of america have all grown up and dined on a mac during their formative years.
  22. jadam macrumors 6502a


    Jan 23, 2002
    I just installed Windows 8 on my Macbook Air. I've been used to running it on my Surface RT tablet and some other slower desktops that I have around.

    Holy smokes, running on the Macbook Air it is incredibly fast, totally unexpected!
  23. happyhippo1337 macrumors regular

    Jul 3, 2013
    Can confirm that overall performance is totally superb on a new 13 inch i5/4GB/256 Air.

    But man, the trackpad experience on Windows 8 is really underwhelming. Doesn't even come close to OS X in this regard.

    Is there any way to fix this?
  24. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
  25. Livewings macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2012
    There's no one to blame but Apple.

    My Asus N56 believe it or not has a better experience running on Windows 8.
    Pinch to zoom is exactly what you find on OS X. Smoothness and awesomeness. All the Windows 8 gestures work perfectly. The Apple trackpad in Windows on the otherhand, pinch zooming is NON-EXISTENT.

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