Apple's new MacBook Air dubbed world?s thinnest notebook

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  • Reply 381 of 399
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,977member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trboyden View Post


    Who's stuck on this? Your trying to compare application testing with hardware testing and trying to justify that application testing gives more accurate results when it's really comparing apples to oranges!



    MacWorld's type of testing while relevant on the systems they purchased on the OS that they are running, with the applications they are testing is only relevant within those test parameters. It has absolutely no bearing on how Adobe CS will run on Windows on a Dell with similar hardware specs. There are too many operating system differences to have an accurate comparison. That why there are SPEC HARDWARE tests to make a relevant comparison between similar hardware configurations.



    Just because Adobe CS may run well on a iMac you have, doesn't mean it will run the same on my same iMac taking into consideration software configuration and hardware manufacturing differences.



    Again who is stuck on this???



    The application testing is for the purpose of judging which machines are faster at using those applications. What do you think it's measuring?



    So go to a site that tests Windows machines using Photoshop and other programs you use, and compare their results to what you saw here. That will give you some idea of how they perform. It isn't perfect, but SPEC only tells you how a small subsystem of the machine performs, when that's not important to overall performance.
  • Reply 382 of 399
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    The application testing is for the purpose of judging which machines are faster at using those applications. What do you think it's measuring?



    So go to a site that tests Windows machines using Photoshop and other programs you use, and compare their results to what you saw here. That will give you some idea of how they perform. It isn't perfect, but SPEC only tells you how a small subsystem of the machine performs, when that's not important to overall performance.



    Application testing is a measure of how fast an application runs on THAT machine.



    From that information and based on the testing of the same application on another machine with the same OS and software configuration, you can surmise that the second machine's hardware causes the application to be slower or faster. You use a hardware test like SPEC to verify those assumptions and isolate which hardware component creates the bottleneck that slows that computer down or offers an advantage in speed.



    Like I said SPEC is not all-inclusive, you will need to use other tests to get the big picture or to narrow down to a specific measurement to further enhance the analysis.



    A great example of this is when the first tests of Windows were done on Intel Macs. Those first Intel Macs with their newer Intel hardware ran Windows better than other machines available during that period. Apple still uses that in their marketing today. SPEC tests showed that the Intel hardware in those Macs was capable of running Windows faster than other PCs available at that time. Did you need the SPEC test to make that conclusion? Maybe not, but your were able to verify your conclusion and then claim it as fact.
  • Reply 383 of 399
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,977member
    [QUOTE=trboyden;1201077]Application testing is a measure of how fast an application runs on THAT machine.[quote]



    Yes, that's exactly what I've been saying. That's the point to the whole thing. You want to know how fast your apps will run on a particular machine.



    Quote:

    From that information and based on the testing of the same application on another machine with the same OS and software configuration, you can surmise that the second machine's hardware causes the application to be slower or faster. You use a hardware test like SPEC to verify those assumptions and isolate which hardware component creates the bottleneck that slows that computer down or offers an advantage in speed.



    The problem with SPEC as those on the web sites I provided said, SPEC DOEXN'T tell you how fast your apps will run.



    SPEC doesn't test the machine, it only test part of what the cpu and, sometimes, what the memory bus can do.



    SPEC doesn't test Altivec on the PPC, and it doesn't test the various SSE's on the x86, and that's just the beginning.



    SPEC is like testing how much horsepower you have in your car, but it doesn't tell you how fast that car can go, because it doesn't test anything other than the engine.



    Quote:

    Like I said SPEC is not all-inclusive, you will need to use other tests to get the big picture or to narrow down to a specific measurement to further enhance the analysis.



    A great example of this is when the first tests of Windows were done on Intel Macs. Those first Intel Macs with their newer Intel hardware ran Windows better than other machines available during that period. Apple still uses that in their marketing today. SPEC tests showed that the Intel hardware in those Macs was capable of running Windows faster than other PCs available at that time. Did you need the SPEC test to make that conclusion? Maybe not, but your were able to verify your conclusion and then claim it as fact.



    Well, we can agree on part of out argument then, that's progress.



    But, you can see some of what we're saying with the Win-on-Intel tests. You don't need SPEC to measure what you've already measured. Spec may tell you something that agrees with your OS and software tests, but it may not.



    If the OS and software makes heavy use of SSE, then SPEC tests won't help you very much. The same thing is true of the bus, HDD, and videocard, which Apple uses extensively for the OS these days (as do other software developers), as you know.



    Also, consider the fact that Vista has been reliably reported across the Windows sites as being considerably slower when running programs than XP is. SP1 for Vista has also been shown to not give a noticeable speed increase, despite MS's statements. Some estimates are that Vista runs many programs at HALF the speed of XP on equivalent machines.



    This is something else that SPEC won't tell you.
  • Reply 384 of 399
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I am wanting this feature too.



    Then people will bitch because it won't be free. Don't you have to pay for 3G cellular internet access?
  • Reply 385 of 399
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by His Dudeness View Post


    Then people will bitch because it won't be free. Don't you have to pay for 3G cellular internet access?



    Sure do. But Apple would either have to make it compatible with both US services and the varying frequencies around the world. This would add weight and cost without benefiting most users. I wouldn't have added it either. I will be getting a 3G USB dongle for my carrie once I get my Air.
  • Reply 386 of 399
    I hope to be ordering an MBA in a day or two.
  • Reply 387 of 399
    This is a great machine. I hope the basic design lasts through several generations.



    That said, I still need a Pro, though not by as much as some others here. I would guess that a second generation Air, with Penryn and 4 GB would seal the deal for me. The 4GB are because of Parallels. Yes, I must keep some Windows apps around, even Linux. I've got databases, Java apps, and other memory hogs to deal with.



    But I'm a so-called "power user". For my dad or my wife this thing is plenty powerful and worth every penny. My only nit is that it should have a second USB port. Not because you need more than one (get a hub), but because they are prone to wear and tear, so if it breaks or starts to make a poor contact you lose too much functionality. Now surely some will reply that you should service the machine, but it would be much better if you could avoid doing that in the middle of a college semester or some other situation where giving up the machine would be a hassle.
  • Reply 388 of 399
    [QUOTE=melgross;1201105][QUOTE=trboyden;1201077]Application testing is a measure of how fast an application runs on THAT machine.
    Quote:



    Yes, that's exactly what I've been saying. That's the point to the whole thing. You want to know how fast your apps will run on a particular machine.







    The problem with SPEC as those on the web sites I provided said, SPEC DOEXN'T tell you how fast your apps will run.



    SPEC doesn't test the machine, it only test part of what the cpu and, sometimes, what the memory bus can do.



    SPEC doesn't test Altivec on the PPC, and it doesn't test the various SSE's on the x86, and that's just the beginning.



    SPEC is like testing how much horsepower you have in your car, but it doesn't tell you how fast that car can go, because it doesn't test anything other than the engine.







    Well, we can agree on part of out argument then, that's progress.



    But, you can see some of what we're saying with the Win-on-Intel tests. You don't need SPEC to measure what you've already measured. Spec may tell you something that agrees with your OS and software tests, but it may not.



    If the OS and software makes heavy use of SSE, then SPEC tests won't help you very much. The same thing is true of the bus, HDD, and videocard, which Apple uses extensively for the OS these days (as do other software developers), as you know.



    Also, consider the fact that Vista has been reliably reported across the Windows sites as being considerably slower when running programs than XP is. SP1 for Vista has also been shown to not give a noticeable speed increase, despite MS's statements. Some estimates are that Vista runs many programs at HALF the speed of XP on equivalent machines.



    This is something else that SPEC won't tell you.



    I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on what SPEC tests. Here is their description of what they are testing:



    Quote:

    There are several different ways to measure computer performance. One way is to measure how fast the computer completes a single task; this is a speed measure. Another way is to measure how many tasks a computer can accomplish in a certain amount of time; this is called a throughput, capacity or rate measure.



    The SPEC speed metrics (e.g., SPECint2006) are used for comparing the ability of a computer to complete single tasks.

    The SPEC rate metrics (e.g., SPECint_rate2006) measure the throughput or rate of a machine carrying out a number of tasks.



    If you look at the programs they are using to test with, they are all very cpu, front-side bus and memory intensive applications, so the score you get is an overall system speed score.



    If more of the manufacturers did the throughput test (Apple does run the Xserve through it) you'd have a better idea of what the graphics performance would be with the pov-ray test. That one test is very applicable to graphics and video type applications.



    No, your right it doesn't test Altivec or SSE features, but those are application programming extensions that don't reflect on the base level performance of a system, which is the focus of the SPEC tests. Altivec and SSE are only applicable if an application takes advantage of them, same deal with high-end video cards. Does that make a difference in how an application performs? Of course, which is why you do the application testing at all.



    I realize the SPEC tests don't come right out and give you a nice summary of what the tester feels the results show, but it doesn't mean they don't give you valuable information about how system intensive apps run on a certain system. You just have to read what the test does and review what the researcher was looking for in the way of results. I guess I just hung around the CS department at MIT too long. The results make sense to me and it is perfectly clear (to me anyways) that a machine that runs a batch of standardized tests faster than another machine, must be faster.
  • Reply 389 of 399
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,977member
    [QUOTE=trboyden;1201257][QUOTE=melgross;1201105]
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trboyden View Post


    Application testing is a measure of how fast an application runs on THAT machine.



    I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on what SPEC tests. Here is their description of what they are testing:







    If you look at the programs they are using to test with, they are all very cpu, front-side bus and memory intensive applications, so the score you get is an overall system speed score.



    If more of the manufacturers did the throughput test (Apple does run the Xserve through it) you'd have a better idea of what the graphics performance would be with the pov-ray test. That one test is very applicable to graphics and video type applications.



    No, your right it doesn't test Altivec or SSE features, but those are application programming extensions that don't reflect on the base level performance of a system, which is the focus of the SPEC tests. Altivec and SSE are only applicable if an application takes advantage of them, same deal with high-end video cards. Does that make a difference in how an application performs? Of course, which is why you do the application testing at all.



    I realize the SPEC tests don't come right out and give you a nice summary of what the tester feels the results show, but it doesn't mean they don't give you valuable information about how system intensive apps run on a certain system. You just have to read what the test does and review what the researcher was looking for in the way of results. I guess I just hung around the CS department at MIT too long. The results make sense to me and it is perfectly clear (to me anyways) that a machine that runs a batch of standardized tests faster than another machine, must be faster.



    I'll cut this short, so that I don't make the post too long again.



    SPEC doesn't test the system. That's the problem. As I've been saying, it tests the cpu, the memory controller, and sometimes, but only sometimes, the RAM.



    It tests nothing else.



    The problem with SPEC, and believe me, I'm not the only one to say this other than those in the links I provided earlier, is that it tests a subset of what determines how fast a computer will run any piece of software.



    It's too far behind the curveball, as it doesn't recognize the methodologies that newer machines and OS's use. Therefore it's usefulness is limited to testing the relative performance of one cpu against another, even when that only determines less than 50% of a systems performance.



    When an OS, such as OS X, and now, to a lessor extent, Vista, offloads part of the work to the GPU, how does SPEC determine that? It doesn't. It happily runs those routines through the cpu, even though that will never happen in real world use.



    Those are some of the objections that I , and others, have for SPEC.
  • Reply 390 of 399
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    @ trboyden & melgross,



    I don't think you two are ever going to ever see eye to eye on this. Though i do commend you two for a longest, most thorough back and forth thread that didn't result in some sort of juvenile fight.
  • Reply 391 of 399
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,922member
    I think what this thread needs is more car analogies.



    The way I see it, the SPEC test is like putting a car on a treadmill and testing how fast it will run. It is nice and standardized so you can test all cars the exact same way.

    Its downfall is that it leaves out suspension, handling, breaking and the like as it is testing muscle first and foremost.



    The Macworld tests Mel references are more like actual road tests with cornering, accereration and curbs.

    Except that I suspect Trboyden might hold that different models of cars are being tested on different stretches of of road.





    There. I hope I cleared everything up.
  • Reply 392 of 399
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,977member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post


    I think what this thread needs is more car analogies.



    The way I see it, the SPEC test is like putting a car on a treadmill and testing how fast it will run. It is nice and standardized so you can test all cars the exact same way.

    Its downfall is that it leaves out suspension, handling, breaking and the like as it is testing muscle first and foremost.



    The Macworld tests Mel references are more like actual road tests with cornering, accereration and curbs.

    Except that I suspect Trboyden might hold that different models of cars are being tested on different stretches of of road.





    There. I hope I cleared everything up.



    Yeah. Great. thanks.
  • Reply 393 of 399
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    I'll cut this short, so that I don't make the post too long again.



    It doesn't really matter. Anyone that's going to switch from OSX to XP to save $1000-$1200/machine for a less capable box (2 more cores? who needs 2 more cores? Quad core over Dual core is just Intel marketing) isn't really thinking clearly about impacts to workflow and TCO anyway. Even given that Adobe CS is a significant part of that workflow since, at least for the CS3 beta, OSX outperformed XP using the same hardware (XP under bootcamp).



    I can certainly see not wanting to take the hit to go from XP to OSX since your infrastructure to support XP is already in place. At my company we have a small handful mac guys to cover all our macs. We have scads of pc IT guys. The ratio of support staff to number of machines they can support favors the mac pretty heavily.



    Let him move to the Dells and XP. His competition will thank him. I doubt his staff will.



    If he's that worried about capital expenses I wouldn't even get the bottom-end Precisions and save more money.



    On Topic: He's be better off getting them MacBook Airs and small wacom tablets and letting his staff work from the local coffee joint with free wireless access. Well, no, not really (a MBP WOULD be better) but pretty danged close.



    You can increase (or decrease) productivity a lot quicker with environmental changes than with PC selection. Note that the OS is part of that environment...
  • Reply 394 of 399
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post


    I think what this thread needs is more car analogies.



    I thought we already had car analogies for the Air?
  • Reply 395 of 399
    No we didn't.
  • Reply 396 of 399
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Quote:

    Sure do. But Apple would either have to make it compatible with both US services and the varying frequencies around the world. This would add weight and cost without benefiting most users. I wouldn't have added it either. I will be getting a 3G USB dongle for my carrie once I get my Air.



    Very true. I've never really looked into 3G for my laptop, because I need another wireless bill like I need another hole in the head. I didn't realize they made USB dongles.
  • Reply 397 of 399
    cubitcubit Posts: 846member
    Quote:



    Caldercay, now that is funny. May 2007? Never saw one...
  • Reply 398 of 399
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jeremy Brown View Post


    Amazing. The Remote Disc is a stoke of genius I reckon.



    I do this already for a year. Since a strap of my bag broke and my PowerBook dropped on the pavement, its optical disk is out of order. So when I want to install software from CD, I put the CD in my iMac at home, then access the iMac via the network and mount the CD. Works like a charm.



    Kayce
  • Reply 399 of 399
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kayce View Post


    I do this already for a year. Since a strap of my bag broke and my PowerBook dropped on the pavement, its optical disk is out of order. So when I want to install software from CD, I put the CD in my iMac at home, then access the iMac via the network and mount the CD. Works like a charm.



    Kayce



    I used to master DVDs on my PB and then burn it on my PowerMac via Toast without having to manually move the files. I thought that was pretty slick.



    Optical disc sharing isn't new, but being about to boot from a remote disc is.
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