or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Current Mac Hardware › Apple's latest high-end MacBook Air slower than predecessor
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple's latest high-end MacBook Air slower than predecessor

post #1 of 69
Thread Starter 
Taken at face value, the specifications tied to Apple's most recent MacBook Air updates imply the latest pair of ultra-slim notebooks should handily outperform their predecessors, but a new report claims this notion only holds true for the slower of the two models.

Introduced earlier this month at Apple's annual developers conference, the new MacBook Airs come in two models: an entry-level $1,499 model with a 1.86GHz processor and 120GB hard drive, and a high-end version for $1,799 that sports a 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo processor and 128GB solid-state flash drive.

As part of its review of the new models published this week, Macworld compared the notebooks to their predecessors introduced last October: a 1.6GHz model with a 120GB (then priced at $1799) and a 1.86GHz version with 128GB solid-state flash drive (then priced at $2499). The results? Perplexing at best.

While the new low-end 1.86GHz model bested its 1.6GHz predecessor, outperforming it in most tests and recording a Speedmark score of 11 points higher at 156, the same couldn't be said for the new high-end 2.13GHz MacBook Air, which achieve a score of 175 -- a full 4 points lower than the previous-gen 1.86GHz model.

"Whats 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," wrote Macworld's editor, Jason Snell. "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 systems final Speedmark score was slightly higher."

Snell also reported that he saw several cases in which the new, low-end MacBook Air, with its slower Core 2 Duo chip and hard disk drive, outperform the high-end model and its sold-state flash drive. He notes that this may be the result of hard drives being known to outperform their solid state drives in certain operations, but added that the slower system also beat the faster model in some video compression and 3D rendering tests.

"Were not quite sure why this is happening, though its possible that the Airs thermal-protection systems are aggressively ratcheting down the speed of the faster, hotter processors when theyre asked to perform those tasks, slowing their performance," he wrote.

Current-gen MacBook Airs (red) benchmarked against previous-gen MacBook Airs (blue) | Source: Macworld.

In light of these results, it's worthwhile to note that several Apple authorized resellers maintain inventory of the previous-generation 1.86GHz MacBook Air, which they're blowing out at $1,649, roughly $150 cheaper than than the new 2.13GHz model they appear to be outperforming. This includes AppleInsider sponsor MacMall, whose own back-to-school promotion offering a free Olympus Stylus 1040 10.0 Megapixel Digital Camera with Mac purchases includes the MacBook Air.

The lowest prices on current and former MacBook Airs are available every day in our Mac Price Guide.
post #2 of 69
Nice little plug there for an advertiser...... understandable, though!
post #3 of 69
I own one of the original MacBook Airs. Everything is great except for the heat problems which cripple this machine and make it constantly downgrade to using one processor and flash video gets choppy. Until they fix this, I'd say this machine is a hunk of crap. And I LOVE Apple. But I'll call 'em like they are.
post #4 of 69
God this is awful- a lemon becomes a lemon with mold. And you all make fun of netbooks, even though they cost $500. Wh would anyone want to buy one of these anymore now that we have a 13" MacBookPro? The weight?
post #5 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

God this is awful- a lemon becomes a lemon with mold. And you all make fun of netbooks, even though they cost $500. Wh would anyone want to buy one of these anymore now that we have a 13" MacBookPro? The weight?

You are indeed 'something else,' teckstud.
EIC- AppleInsider.com
Questions and comments to : kasper@appleinsider.com
Reply
EIC- AppleInsider.com
Questions and comments to : kasper@appleinsider.com
Reply
post #6 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnjacobjingleheimerschmidt View Post

I own one of the original MacBook Airs. Everything is great except for the heat problems which cripple this machine and make it constantly downgrade to using one processor and flash video gets choppy. Until they fix this, I'd say this machine is a hunk of crap. And I LOVE Apple. But I'll call 'em like they are.

did you repair your disc permission s?

and is there not a way to turn off certain functons to lower heat ?

9
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
post #7 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

God this is awful- a lemon becomes a lemon with mold. And you all make fun of netbooks, even though they cost $500. Wh would anyone want to buy one of these anymore now that we have a 13" MacBookPro? The weight?

frisbee
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
post #8 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

did you repair your disc permission s?

and is there not a way to turn off certain functons to lower heat ?

9

I own one of the original macbook airs as well, and you can repair disc permissions and kill tasks all day long and unfortunately it does not help with the severe heat problems that plague it.

Now that the 13" macbook pro exists, I think im going to go that route.
post #9 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

You are indeed 'something else,' teckstud.

True words to the end. He's really good at criticizing products he doesn't even own.

I own the first-gen MBA. By far the best laptop I've ever owned. It's my first Mac laptop. VMware/XP outperforms my prior Sony Vaio laptop running native XP. Figure that. My needs were more mobility than outright performance. Include the fact the aluminum construction has it built like a tank keeping my MBA from getting tweaked going from site to site. I haven't met one disgruntled MBA owner in my travels and there have been quite a few of them.

That's not to say an MBA is for everyone because it certainly isn't. But if mobility and good performance is what you need, the MBA delivers on its promise. Certain people (teckstud) put price above all else. You get what you pay for. All my other non-Apple laptops would have been showing signs of physical stress by now. My MBA still is as solid as the day I bought it.

As far as Teckstud's usual lame comments about netbooks, they truly suck. Our company bought a bunch of them for the mobile sales force based on exactly what Teckstud mentioned. They were cheap. Well, they are all sitting on a shelf in the admin's office gathering dust. The mobile forced refused to use them after about a week or two because the performance was horrible. Just like Teckstud's opinions.

Some people just will never learn.
post #10 of 69
Interesting. So what is the consensus on this being a deliberate move to increase battery/reduce heat or simply a driver issue that isn’t yet optimized to take full advantage of the HW?


edit: The battery and stated usage in the late 2008 model jumped from 37W hours and 4.5 hours usage to 40W hours and 5 hours usage in the new model so an increase in battery duration is not from under-clocking the system..
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #11 of 69
this is good news for me.. it means my laptop is still king!
got the 1.86GHz oct. 2008 MBA
post #12 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnjacobjingleheimerschmidt View Post

I own one of the original MacBook Airs. Everything is great except for the heat problems which cripple this machine and make it constantly downgrade to using one processor and flash video gets choppy. Until they fix this, I'd say this machine is a hunk of crap. And I LOVE Apple. But I'll call 'em like they are.

Have you searched for guides that involve ways to improve the cooling? Sometimes it can be as easy as applying some high quality thermal paste like as-5.
post #13 of 69
Dollars to doughnuts I bet if they installed cool-book on that machine they would find that the cpu is being prematurely throttled down or they have a particularly hot running chip that is causing the system to slow down. I have not yet seen anyone else reporting the same problem so this maybe someone in china getting carried away with the thermal paste again.
Crying? No, I am not crying. I am sweating through my eyes.
Reply
Crying? No, I am not crying. I am sweating through my eyes.
Reply
post #14 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnjacobjingleheimerschmidt View Post

I own one of the original MacBook Airs. Everything is great except for the heat problems which cripple this machine and make it constantly downgrade to using one processor and flash video gets choppy. Until they fix this, I'd say this machine is a hunk of crap. And I LOVE Apple. But I'll call 'em like they are.

That's the ORIGINAL MBA. It is neither model discussed here. The overheating issue with the original was well documented and publicized and was solved in all later models. I'm sorry for your heat issue but it is not relevant to this particular discussion.
post #15 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

God this is awful- a lemon becomes a lemon with mold. And you all make fun of netbooks, even though they cost $500. Wh would anyone want to buy one of these anymore now that we have a 13" MacBookPro? The weight?

this guy never contributes a single meaningful point to any discussion, Ever. I beg for a link to prove me wrong.
post #16 of 69
So you're saying I own the fast model then?
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #17 of 69
I think I'd rather see more than Speedmark scores. How about some sub-scores to give some indication of what's happening?

Not to mention, of course, that we have no way of knowing whether they did the test properly and had the same energy saver settings (as just one example of things they could screw up) on the two systems.

Let's start with a detailed description of the configurations. Then, describe the test conditions - and the procedures you used to make sure they were tested the same way. Then, some process for reducing statistical variations (for example, reboot, run test, record scores, repeat 3 times and average). Then, report the subscores to give an idea what's happening. THEN, look at some real world tests since Speedmark is known to be a lousy benchmark.

Maybe then you'll have something to talk about.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
post #18 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

God this is awful- a lemon becomes a lemon with mold. And you all make fun of netbooks, even though they cost $500. Wh would anyone want to buy one of these anymore now that we have a 13" MacBookPro? The weight?

Really? "We all" "make fun" of netbooks? Maybe this is your problem: you're internalizing lots and lots of posts into a single group mind that you find fatuous.

Which is to say that you're arguing with something you made up. One quick cure for animosity toward groups is to start paying attention to individuals. You'll quickly discover that your monolithic, prejudicial fantasy is simply a matter of exaggerating the intensity and frequency of some behaviors you find objectionable while minimizing and repressing those that don't support your bias.

Go ahead, give it a shot, it's good for you.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
post #19 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

this guy never contributes a single meaningful point to any discussion, Ever. I beg for a link to prove me wrong.

And all you do is comment on teckstud not adding to a topic while your 6 posts never added much either.

6 posts and you know him so well ??? you joined under more than one name ??

lol teckstud keeps this place rocking every oneon every topic answer his posts . or comment on his posts. Teckstud IS ALL YOU SLEEPY geek heads whipping boy who you would love to have a drink with in a bar .


enjoy your week end

9
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
post #20 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

And all you do is comment on teckstud not adding to a topic while your 6 posts never added much either.

6 posts and you know him so well ??? you joined under more than one name ??

There are a lot of longtime readers of this forum that don’t become posters right away. Many of them know the “whipping boy”’s posts very well before registering.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #21 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Not to mention, of course, that we have no way of knowing whether they did the test properly and had the same energy saver settings (as just one example of things they could screw up) on the two systems.

True, but as the source of the test results is MacWorld, and specifically Jason Snell, we should consider that they have, at least, done this sort of testing before and just may know what they're doing.

It will be interesting, anyway, to see if others can repeat this or if MacWorld can get to the bottom of it.
post #22 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

True words to the end. He's really good at criticizing products he doesn't even own.

I own the first-gen MBA. By far the best laptop I've ever owned. It's my first Mac laptop. VMware/XP outperforms my prior Sony Vaio laptop running native XP. Figure that. My needs were more mobility than outright performance. Include the fact the aluminum construction has it built like a tank keeping my MBA from getting tweaked going from site to site. I haven't met one disgruntled MBA owner in my travels and there have been quite a few of them.

That's not to say an MBA is for everyone because it certainly isn't. But if mobility and good performance is what you need, the MBA delivers on its promise. Certain people (teckstud) put price above all else. You get what you pay for. All my other non-Apple laptops would have been showing signs of physical stress by now. My MBA still is as solid as the day I bought it.

As far as Teckstud's usual lame comments about netbooks, they truly suck. Our company bought a bunch of them for the mobile sales force based on exactly what Teckstud mentioned. They were cheap. Well, they are all sitting on a shelf in the admin's office gathering dust. The mobile forced refused to use them after about a week or two because the performance was horrible. Just like Teckstud's opinions.

Some people just will never learn.

Agreed, our 1st gen MBA outperforms our 1st gen iMac, even though iMac has faster video & processor (though it's 32bit). They aren't power houses, but they are stinking small & light.

I'd like to know if the newer MBA runs any cooler than the previous. Benchmarks test full out power performing intense tasks but they don't really test general speed improvements in performing less intense tasks. People buying MBA are usually looking for mobility & a machine that performs simpler office type tasks well
post #23 of 69
I have the lovely second generation Macbook Air and I prefer that to both my 17" MBP and 13" MB, especially when mobile. On campus I keep an iPhone in my pocket and the Air in my backpack.
post #24 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

God this is awful- a lemon becomes a lemon with mold. And you all make fun of netbooks, even though they cost $500. Wh would anyone want to buy one of these anymore now that we have a 13" MacBookPro? The weight?

Nothing can match the MBA in its class, in terms of performance for its size/form factor. In fact, that's the whole point of the MBA: form.

And the decrease in speed is negligible (if we're to believe the test.) You won't notice it. You get some solid improvements to the new MBA, besides.

Netbooks are trashy recession-bait. Seriously. Gimped, cramped laptops. Taking a laptop, removing features, making it smaller, and then selling it for peanuts is nothing special. In fact, they're proving to be more trouble than they're worth.

Why would anyone want to buy an MBA?

Weight, thinness, the form factor.

Simply put, It's a thing of beauty that runs OS X. That has always been reason enough for me.
post #25 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

And all you do is comment on teckstud not adding to a topic while your 6 posts never added much either.

6 posts and you know him so well ??? you joined under more than one name ??

lol teckstud keeps this place rocking every oneon every topic answer his posts . or comment on his posts. Teckstud IS ALL YOU SLEEPY geek heads whipping boy who you would love to have a drink with in a bar .


enjoy your week end

9

He's probably a lurker, long-time reader. LOL, chill.
post #26 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Nothing can match the MBA in its class, in terms of performance for its size/form factor. In fact, that's the whole point of the MBA: form.

There are the few other machines that copied it pretty much component-for-component, though ironically these non-Macs cost more than Apples solution. However, they do use carbon fiber and often have more ports so it may not be a bad trade off, except that Windows is considerably worse than Mac OS X when it comes to power management.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #27 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by hezekiahb View Post

Agreed, our 1st gen MBA outperforms our 1st gen iMac, even though iMac has faster video & processor (though it's 32bit). They aren't power houses, but they are stinking small & light.

I'd like to know if the newer MBA runs any cooler than the previous. Benchmarks test full out power performing intense tasks but they don't really test general speed improvements in performing less intense tasks. People buying MBA are usually looking for mobility & a machine that performs simpler office type tasks well

I'm considering a new MBA sometime next year to replace my current 1g MBA. Not for necessity's sake. I would like a larger drive (SSD/SATA). That is pretty much my only requirement. The graphics update would be icing. Nonetheless, I am quite happy with my current MBA.

What is really annoying are self-anointed product critics (teckstud) that give opinions on products they don't even own and have maybe used for only a couple minutes at an Apple store. But hey, I have a friend, that has a friend, that has a neighbor, that is sleeping with their brother that heard the MBA sucks.... whatever...
post #28 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


Weight, thinness, the form factor.

Simply put, It's a thing of beauty that runs OS X. That has always been reason enough for me.

Exactly. I absolutely love my MBA. It's an astounding engineering feat, and it runs the best OS known to man.
post #29 of 69
I feel pretty smug having just bought a used Rev B MBA cheap. It's a wonderful machine.
post #30 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

He's probably a lurker, long-time reader. LOL, chill.



I am cool .

We will see.

peace my friend

9
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
post #31 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by SinisterJoe View Post

I feel pretty smug having just bought a used Rev B MBA cheap. It's a wonderful machine.

There are a lot of good used ones out there. I'm tempted to get a deal on a used one myself, but I'd rather buy new.

Every time I visit a Best Buy or an Apple Store I end up playing with the MBAs.
post #32 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

There are a lot of longtime readers of this forum that don’t become posters right away. Many of them know the “whipping boy”’s posts very well before registering.

Well i have 200.000 or more online posts . I have been in flame troll wars so bad that crashed EMI pink floyd site,people to this day years later still hate each other guts . So I know what is what to a point.
In truth no one really knows , do we?

Apple stud does not comment about apple he is like wilco in a way ,He comments about commenters .
And that is ok. What is not ok is too post here under more than one hat.

And teckstud is not per se a troll.
Anyway i am just saying, I don't really care that much .

peace to you my mentor

9
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
post #33 of 69
Quote:
While the new low-end 1.86GHz model bested its 1.6GHz predecessor, outperforming it in most tests and recording a Speedmark score of 11 points higher at 156, the same couldn't be said for the new high-end 2.13GHz MacBook Air, which achieve a score of 175 -- a full 4 points lower than the previous-gen 1.86GHz model.

I guess what this means is, it's about time to roll out the four core ultra cool notebook processors, because these dual cores are topping out.

Snow Leopard, with Grand Central certainly has a play in this.

I suspect the next issue of MacBooks will be updates to the MBA's with 4 cores, SSD and SD.
The danger is that we sleepwalk into a world where cabals of corporations control not only the mainstream devices and the software on them, but also the entire ecosystem of online services around...
Reply
The danger is that we sleepwalk into a world where cabals of corporations control not only the mainstream devices and the software on them, but also the entire ecosystem of online services around...
Reply
post #34 of 69
I'd love an MBA with a smaller footprint. I'm sure it'll come when they can squeeze a little bit more in a tighter space. The heat issue is just a matter of design and/or fans (I think the MBA is fanless, right?). Really it's an amazing machine, but not practical for most people. It's exactly an Engineering marvel, but it needs to find a better place in the lineup if it's going to survive.

I suspect a bum machine in these tests anyway, though there's not much difference between the old and new specs. No big deal.
post #35 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

I guess what this means is, it's about time to roll out the four core ultra cool notebook processors, because these dual cores are topping out.

Snow Leopard, with Grand Central certainly has a play in this.

I suspect the next issue of MacBooks will be updates to the MBA's with 4 cores, SSD and SD.

Are mobile C2Qs with a similar TPD the current C2Ds Apple uses even available yet?

PS: The new SL Beta 10a394 is out and it seems quicker. They have even made those Exposé changes and they have definitely made my use of it more efficient.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #36 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Weight, thinness, the form factor.

MBA has weight and thinness, but is lacking in form factor.

I'm typing on my PB G4 12" right now, while a brand new MBP 15" sits in the other room (similar in footprint to the MBA) simply because the G4 12" is a much more reasonable size for couch based web surfing, how I use a computer the majority of the time.

I really regret buying my MBP. I wish I would have built a hackentosh desktop to do my photo editing on and will eventually get an SSD for my G4 to speed it up and maintain it as my primary web surfing computer.

If apple ever creates a reasonably priced mid-tower Mac where I can swap out video cards but not mortgage my house I will be all over it. Same if they ever produce something to fill the gaping hole left by the PB G4 12"....
post #37 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

That's the ORIGINAL MBA. It is neither model discussed here. The overheating issue with the original was well documented and publicized and was solved in all later models. I'm sorry for your heat issue but it is not relevant to this particular discussion.

The problem was and is well documented and some improvements were made, but, there are still people who have had problems with overheating on the second generation. The problem is usually solved with coolbook, or in some instances the removal and re application of the thermal paste. While it seems apple has made great strides on thermal management it still is occasionally a problem on new machines. I am guessing here but the behavior of the machine suggests to me that the factory applied to much thermal paste which then acts as an insulator instead of a heat transfer medium. And the mba has a small thin heat sink and if it is not aligned properly that can cause heat problems as well. I would hope that they try another one as I suspect they would get better numbers.
Crying? No, I am not crying. I am sweating through my eyes.
Reply
Crying? No, I am not crying. I am sweating through my eyes.
Reply
post #38 of 69
I don't know about having a drink with him but I'd definitely like to whip him. His irreverence is astounding. But like you said, it keeps things ticking along.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

And all you do is comment on teckstud not adding to a topic while your 6 posts never added much either.

6 posts and you know him so well ??? you joined under more than one name ??

lol teckstud keeps this place rocking every oneon every topic answer his posts . or comment on his posts. Teckstud IS ALL YOU SLEEPY geek heads whipping boy who you would love to have a drink with in a bar .

enjoy your week end

9
post #39 of 69
I'm thrilled that they make something like the Air, but it just seems to be in the wrong price bracket.

The lack of ports and optical drive mean it is best suited as a secondary computer for someone who owns an iMac, but it costs so much you are better off buying the 13-inch Macbook Pro which has more functionality at a lower price point.

Sure it is light and thin but it is not uniformly thin which negates the effect. It seems to have been designed entirely around the marketing material photos that emphasise the razor-thin edge.

It may suit business persons and some students for whom portability is a priority but realistically the 13-inch Macbook Pro is not that cumbersome to begin with.
post #40 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

If apple ever creates a reasonably priced mid-tower Mac where I can swap out video cards but not mortgage my house I will be all over it. Same if they ever produce something to fill the gaping hole left by the PB G4 12"....

I thought that when they only had white Macbooks but the unibody Macbooks are actually lighter than the 12" Powerbook. The only issue is that it's glossy.

Compared to the MBA, it's 4.5lbs vs 3.0lbs. Taking out the optical takes it to 4.0lbs and maybe less if they shuffle the insides. Plus it drops the cost by about $100 and the battery can be even bigger (10 hour life maybe).

2010 should bring the death of the internal optical drive (force external and just add a USB port) and the MB will pretty much transition into a more functional, cheaper MBA and the lowest 15" MBP will just drop down in price. The plastic MB can go altogether.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Current Mac Hardware
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Current Mac Hardware › Apple's latest high-end MacBook Air slower than predecessor