Thoughts on my new Macbook...

Starter

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 30, 2010
10
0
Love the form factor, love the screen. Getting used to the keyboard... Think I could love it in time.

But the performance... Buggy and slow. Particularly with anything Photos related. For instance whenever I get a new computer, I always go looking for a new wallpaper. I found some images, but clicking "Add image to Photos" results in... Nothing. Spinning pinwheel, maybe freezing. If I get lucky and don't get the pinwheel, I have to save it somewhere else then physically drag it into Photos. Two hours on the phone with Apple Care did nothing. And anytime I try and upload pictures from Photos, like when I tried to upload shots of my Macbook Air to Craigslist, resulted in a spinning pinwheel, and Safari eventually freezing. Another call to Apple Care did nothing. I should mention, my WiFi is pushing 200 mbs, 170mbs verified at the time of the attempted uploadings.

Beyond the Photos drama (which works fine on my girlfriend's brand new MBP 13 retina and the aforementioned Macbook Air, all both running the same Yosemite 10.10.3 as my Macbook), other things are slow too. Programs open slowly. Programs save or close slowly. Turning on takes forever. Turning off happens. Or maybe it doesn't. Maybe the I get a pinwheel, and have to hold down the power key and force a shut down.

It took four minutes to recognize a phone plugged into it via the $80 adaptor. Sweet.

Anyway, that's been my experience thus far. Lots of spinning pinwheels. It's the pinwheel express.

I've erased and reinstalled everything three times. The last two times I set it up as a new computer, no Time Machine involved. The old Macbook Air is clean anyway, so it was never a matter of corrupted files or spyware or something. I have to think at this point it's the hardware. This particular Macbook just isn't ready for primetime. It's a lemon.

Guess I'll return it and try and swap it for another one. Kind of rough considering how few stores have it... I was lucky, I found mine two days ago and it was one of four in the store. A flagship store, in a major US city. So maybe swapping it isn't in the cards...

Bummer.
 

headcase

macrumors 6502
Jul 4, 2007
342
28
Raleigh, NC
If you're experiencing this after a clean install of 10.10.3, I suspect you have a lemon. I purchased two myself, and one was a little glitchy on the graphics, while the other was butter smooth.
 

johngwheeler

macrumors 6502
Dec 30, 2010
460
72
I come from a land down-under...
Do rMBs have quality control issues?

If you're experiencing this after a clean install of 10.10.3, I suspect you have a lemon. I purchased two myself, and one was a little glitchy on the graphics, while the other was butter smooth.
I'm getting a bit worried by the different experiences reported on this forum.

Of course, it's difficult to compare one person's experience objectively with another's, but if those people who have extensive hands-on time with two identically spec'd rMBs are reporting noticeable variations in performance, then it's cause for concern.

Getting a "good" computer really shouldn't be a lottery. This is supposed to be a machine with highly controlled production processes that turn out *identical* examples (or at least to within +/- 1%). Maybe the tolerances are not as tight as we imagine!

It's rather like the rumours that cars produced on a Friday afternoon are less reliable than others, because the production-line workers were in a hurry to get home for the weekend....
 

citivolus

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2008
870
124
OP, I wonder if there is a hardware problem with the SSD which may cause all of the slowness you experienced. Did you try the built-in diagnostics test? Did the system log show any read/write errors to the SSD?
 

kupkakez

macrumors 68000
Apr 4, 2011
1,865
717
Austin, TX
The only issue I've noticed so far is YouTube videos stutter/lag a little. Other than that everything else seems okay. I'm not sure how I feel about this keyboard though.
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,759
15,219
Jacksonville, Florida
I set up my neighbors new MB and it took quite a while for the updates. Any intensive use of the CPU caused it to throttle. The next day from cold I set up his DropBox account and the sync started out very quickly but soon slowed to a crawl as the CPU and case heated up due to more throttling.

After you get most the intensive stuff done it is a pretty nice computer. I ran PhotoShop and it slowed some but was tolerable. For the average person running your everyday software, it will be a great device.

I am just not so sure we are ready for a fanless laptop quite yet. Maybe when Intel develops higher speed CPUs that run on even lower wattage to keep the heat down. They are coming but still a few generations away.

I am way too used to an i7 processor to step back to a M!
 

citivolus

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2008
870
124
The next day from cold I set up his DropBox account and the sync started out very quickly but soon slowed to a crawl as the CPU and case heated up due to more throttling.
Funny like many people I've been on the fence in picking one up. One thing I wondered is how long it would take to initially sync my 10GB Dropbox via wifi. Between this and other nuisances like needing dongles, it sounds like the OOBE is not very apple-like.
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,759
15,219
Jacksonville, Florida
Funny like many people I've been on the fence in picking one up. One thing I wondered is how long it would take to initially sync my 10GB Dropbox via wifi. Between this and other nuisances like needing dongles, it sounds like the OOBE is not very apple-like.
Like I said after you get CPU intensive stuff out of the way and let the MB settle down, it is a nice computer with more than enough power to do your average work.

People buying this for gaming or CPU intensive applications are going to find themselves disappointed. This is no MBPro but then it cost less and has a very desirable footprint for those on the go.
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,634
4,038
I'm getting a bit worried by the different experiences reported on this forum.

Of course, it's difficult to compare one person's experience objectively with another's, but if those people who have extensive hands-on time with two identically spec'd rMBs are reporting noticeable variations in performance, then it's cause for concern.

Getting a "good" computer really shouldn't be a lottery. This is supposed to be a machine with highly controlled production processes that turn out *identical* examples (or at least to within +/- 1%). Maybe the tolerances are not as tight as we imagine!

It's rather like the rumours that cars produced on a Friday afternoon are less reliable than others, because the production-line workers were in a hurry to get home for the weekend....
three, yes three! That is how many new MacBooks I have personally owned. They have all been base models 1.1/8/256, and all three have had very difference performance. The first one was "OK". I could have lived with it and been fine, but it was slightly lag and I saw a ton of beachballs. The second one was flat out atrocious. I made a video and posted it here. It was the worst lag and bugs I have ever experienced on a mac or windows computer. Lastly, my third and final machine. I say final b.c I am going to keep this one. It is perfect in comparison to the other two. No beachballs, very little UI lag, and works like I expected.

If I have had this experience myself, I can only imagine others are seeing the same things. That would explain the wildly difference reviews we are seeing. It is sad, but it is the truth.
 

shenan1982

macrumors 68040
Nov 23, 2011
3,641
80
90% of issues are because users restore from backups of their old computer, which passes the buck of all the crap that's collected over the years. I'm guilty of this, but I'm just too lazy to re-setup from scratch. I understand and accept that it's not going to run as clean\smooth as a fresh install. Many don't get that though.

And at the end of the day, almost everyone is going backwards in spec on this computer. If you're coming from a 2013 or 2014 Air, you're going to be disappointed in the "upgrade". If you're coming from a Macbook Pro Retina made within the last 4 years, you're downgrading. You need to understand the place in the lineup this Mac sits in, and with that comes the pitfalls (namely performance). If you can't accept it's not going to run as quick as a 2014 Macbook Pro or Air, then it's not for you.

Case in point, when you have 200 emails, on the 2014 Macbook Air, you could quickly delete them. On the new macbook you press delete and the response is a little bit slower. It's not a terrible thing, it's just the difference between a 1.7 ghz processor, and a 1.2 with less power\speed\handling. Everything about the Macbook is optimized for size.... with sacrifices in performance. If you're not completely interested in a tiny computer with an amazing screen, this isn't the laptop for you.
 
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Geert76

macrumors 68000
Feb 28, 2014
1,718
2,938
the Netherlands
90% of issues are because users restore from backups of their old computer, which passes the buck of all the crap that's collected over the years. I'm guilty of this, but I'm just too lazy to re-setup from scratch. I understand and accept that it's not going to run as clean\smooth as a fresh install. Many don't get that though.

And at the end of the day, almost everyone is going backwards in spec on this computer. If you're coming from a 2013 or 2014 Air, you're going to be disappointed in the "upgrade". If you're coming from a Macbook Pro Retina made within the last 4 years, you're downgrading. You need to understand the place in the lineup this Mac sits in, and with that comes the pitfalls (namely performance). If you can't accept it's not going to run as quick as a 2014 Macbook Pro or Air, then it's not for you.

Case in point, when you have 200 emails, on the 2014 Macbook Air, you could quickly delete them. On the new macbook you press delete and the response is a little bit slower. It's not a terrible thing, it's just the difference between a 1.7 ghz processor, and a 1.2 with less power\speed\handling. Everything about the Macbook is optimized for size.... with sacrifices in performance. If you're not completely interested in a tiny computer with an amazing screen, this isn't the laptop for you.
chapeau! well said!
Totally agree with you.

I had a 2014 MacBook Pro Retina, used about 30% of the real capacities of this beast. I am a very casual user (webbrowsing, Spotify, Calendar, Mail, movies streaming ATV3), really nothing professional. I think the rMBP was really overkill for me as a very casual user.
 

Starter

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 30, 2010
10
0
90% of issues are because users restore from backups of their old computer, which passes the buck of all the crap that's collected over the years. I'm guilty of this, but I'm just too lazy to re-setup from scratch. I understand and accept that it's not going to run as clean\smooth as a fresh install. Many don't get that though.

And at the end of the day, almost everyone is going backwards in spec on this computer. If you're coming from a 2013 or 2014 Air, you're going to be disappointed in the "upgrade". If you're coming from a Macbook Pro Retina made within the last 4 years, you're downgrading. You need to understand the place in the lineup this Mac sits in, and with that comes the pitfalls (namely performance). If you can't accept it's not going to run as quick as a 2014 Macbook Pro or Air, then it's not for you.

Case in point, when you have 200 emails, on the 2014 Macbook Air, you could quickly delete them. On the new macbook you press delete and the response is a little bit slower. It's not a terrible thing, it's just the difference between a 1.7 ghz processor, and a 1.2 with less power\speed\handling. Everything about the Macbook is optimized for size.... with sacrifices in performance. If you're not completely interested in a tiny computer with an amazing screen, this isn't the laptop for you.
Hey shenan1982, good points. As far as performance goes, I can see that being the case with a lot of people...

In my particular situation, I was actually moving from a mid-2011 Macbook Air 11", the 128gb version. I am both ignorant enough about computers to be impressed by the fact that the base 2015 Macbook seemed to double most of the specs of my old Air, and knowledgable enough to know that any real-world performance differences would actually be minimal at best, if noticeable at all to someone who uses computers as I do (writing and some surfing, minimal pictures). I was definitely not expecting it to be a step backwards, however. And beyond just the annoying lags, more concerning to me is that there are certain things it simply can't do, that every computer needs to. I can't have it flipping a coin to decide if it will freeze Safari because I want to upload a PDF file to an email I'm sending, for instance... That should be basic.

I also should touch again on my install... The Macbook Air is crystal clean. When I was unsure if I'd upgrade or not, I actually took it in to the Apple store to see if they could freshen it up for me... It had dings and dents and the battery life was only about an hour. Shockingly, Apple attributed every problem to a swollen battery, which they said wasn't supposed to happen, so everything was fixed for the basic cost of admission. Literally everything... New clamshell, topcase, keyboard, screen, battery, logic board, hard drive, etc. etc. etc. It's essentially a brand new computer. I had our company's IT guy (who actually worked at Apple when the 2011 Air was produced) go over my time machine backup with a fine-tooth comb before reinstalling it, and it is completely clean. So the first backup to my 2015 Macbook was from a clean backup from a clean machine. The following two setups were as new computers no Time Machine involved at all.

I think the 2015 Macbook is probably a fantastic machine if you get the right one. It appears I did not, ha ha. Hopefully I'll be able to find a swap-out in the next 11 days, before my two week trial runs out. I'd hate to return it without replacing it...

EDIT:
Perfect example... The first time I tried to post the above, my Macbook froze Safari... This page wouldn't respond, and no other pages would either. I had to force quit Safari and re-login to post. Luckily I'd copied the text because I suspected something might happen... That shouldn't happen on any computer, no matter how stripped down the specs are. I definitely have a lemon.

EDIT #2:
To the people who had to buy several to find one that worked as it should...

Did anyone buy both specs of the machine? I almost bought the 512, but decided on the base 256 at the last second... Has anyone experienced both and found the 512 to work better?

If I get the chance to swap it out, I'm wondering if it will be better to go with the 512 this time around... I understand that functioning as they are intended, both the 256 and 512 should handle my relatively basic needs. That said, wondering if the 512s are maybe just built nicer, sort of like johngwheeler's reference to cars built on Friday... Or perhaps the minuscule performance spec differences between the two models actually translate into larger real-world differences...
 
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Queen6

macrumors G3
I'm getting a bit worried by the different experiences reported on this forum.
The reported inconsistency from users is getting a little too common for my liking, am now considering waiting for the next revision with Skylake. The current scarcity of the new MacBook also points to production issues, and associated QC.

Also considering alternatives that are tried and proven, not very interested in managing my work on a device that is a lottery if you get a good or bad one, nor am I particularly interested in wasting my time returning multiple Notebooks to Apple...

Q-6
 
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