Ultimate test to hesitating buyers

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by hephem, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. hephem macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2008
    Hi to all,

    I'm probably a future MBA owner. Thus, I'm concerned about the performances of the machine. So I've a test suggestion to those who actually are already in possession of the MBA. The test should be interesting not only for me but for all of those who are not quite sure if the MBA will show enought power to run the applications we intend to use.

    So let's say you use Spaces. 4 spaces actualy:

    - one with QuickTime playing a movie with normal resolution
    - second with 3 Safari windows opened and a p2p soft uploading
    - third with Photoshop or Imagemaker with an HD image loaded
    - and the last one with Pages and iTunes playing a playlist

    These are applications we use in day-to-day life. 2 spaces for "entertainement", the 2 left to "work".

    3 questions:
    - while changing of space, does it change smoothly?
    - fans are surely working hard. Any strong noise? MBA too hot?
    - what about the opened programs? Are they working well? Any issues?

    Thanks in advance to those who'll show a charitable soul and bring their experiences and notes to the post. Big up to you guys!


    (ps.: specify your specs)
  2. Alkiera macrumors regular

    Mar 11, 2008
    I can try this when I get home and have network access; with the exception of the p2p thing. I rarely upload anything with p2p software; and if I'm going to do torrents, it'll be from a machine with a wired connection, not wireless.

    Also, do you often watch videos and have iTunes playing at the same time? Seems like it would be difficult to hear clearly. 8)
  3. hephem thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2008
    Thank you so much for your help.

    Looks like the MBA family is friendly than the average families.

    Lol. Hear or not hear this is not really the point. The point is try to figure out if the Macbook Air can (easily) handle with all the spaces, with all the programs working at the same time, from different categories. Know if and how much it gets hot, fans noise, wireless uploading efficience, response of the machine opening programs, confort using opened programs (lack?), flawless of space changing,...

    Shut the itunes mouth while playing the playlist and you'll be good.

    Again, thank you in the name of futur switchers. :p
  4. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    Couldn't do the P2P one because I don't have any P2P software. I also have Word 2008 not Pages. Here's my spec and what I had running:

    1.8SSD plugged into 23" ACD with both screens active
    4 Spaces setup as follows:
    Space 1: 3 Safari Windows
    Space 2: Photoshop CS3 with an 11MP image loaded for editing and Excel 2008
    Space 3: Quicktime playing movie from NAS drive
    Space 4: iTunes playing playlist from shared iTunes library

    In answer to your questions

    Changing spaces is a smooth as silk
    Fans working hard - up to 6200 rpm, but temperature at 58 degrees
    Processors running at 23%
    All applications are very responsive and no problems to report at all.

    Another stat you didn't ask for but which may be useful is that with all that running I have 638MB of free memory left

    Hope this helps!
  5. hephem thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2008
    Wow also running windows?... The performances of the MBA seam to be better than I've expected. However we should consider the ssd factor. :p

    Thank you :) Really apreciate it.

    Other spaces hardcore tests welcom.
  6. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    A little different but here's what I tested:

    4 Spaces -

    Space 1 - iTunes w/ playing regular MP4 (apple tv quality) movie
    Space 2 - VMWare Fusion running Vista SP1, doing a defrag (boot camp)
    Space 3 - 2 Firefox window, window 1 has 14 tabs, window 2 has 4 tabs. Window 2 is running on youtube.com while other window is on macrumors, gmail, etc.
    Space 4 - Entourage (checking email in background), Word, Lightroom, Azureus (downloading 2 files, speed of ~300 average)

    Results -

    . Switching between spaces give a slight lag, more like a jump instead of smooth.
    . Fans at 6200rpm, temp hovering at 60 deg C
    . Processor usage varying at 20-60%
    . Programs still responsive w/o any problems.

    Spec in sig... or for you ppl w/o sig enabled: 1.6GHz/80GB HDD, 10.5.2
  7. hephem thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2008
    ok! Really appreciate what you've done.

    It cleared up my mind. With no surprise the ssd showed better performances than the HD. The laptop was snappier :p since it uses also less the cpu. It seams to be hotter than the HD version but not like if it was a big deal.

    The HD showed honorable performances though. Wharever the version will be, we do know that MBA has power enough to make some desktops envy it. It can become, in this point of view, your main machine.

    A little last test, to confirm the power of the MBA:

    - space 1: open windows and its Media Player with some third software (paralelles or whatever) and another program (iwork, iLife).
    - space 2: open the same thing (windows) but also the Finder and another program (iwork, iLife).
    - space 3: itunes and another prgram
    - space 4: 3 little prgrams: xcode, mail,...

    Changing spaces is smooth? Go to space 2, scroll Coveflow whitin the Finder, went it well without any lag? Space 3, open internet explorer and play a music in the Windows Media Player, at the same time work on the little opened program on space 4, everything went fast?

    That's it. I will not ask further tests. And I must say that you've been great guys. Thank you again.

  8. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    Everything ran pretty well, apart from I seem to have discovered a bug in Fusion: When I split my windows apps across multiple spaces (using unity view in Fusion), it occasionally went into a loop of bouncing between the various windows apps in each space, completely automatically. It was pretty smooth though :D

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