MacBook Air owners find latest Apple fix producing mixed results

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 56
    What surprises me here is that Apple takes so long to take this problem seriously I think they are totally occupied with their iPhone development and they don't do anything serious about this issue. My macbook air is also one that suffers serious slowdowns when doing anything with video. This goes from using iChat, after 5 min the ichat conversation stalls completely, skype video it last like 10 min and then everything freezes. I'm MacOS user since 1986 and I use my Mac to write software on it, so I tried myself to debug the issue using some low level debugging tools and I realize that this just a hardware issue. The processor gets overloaded,... this is something that Apple Engineers could figure it out too. I Just think this product is wrongly designed the whole unit is not designed well enough and the cooling that the fans provide is just not adequate enough. The processor runs constantly at 160 Fahrenheit same thing for the airport card... I'm thinking seriously to take some legal action on Apple for this inadequate behavior. Apple shame on you...
  • Reply 22 of 56
    I think that the Air will prove to be a complete lemon.



    Look at other ultraportable laptops from Lenovo and Sony, and they all run with ULV Core 2 CPUs clocking around 1.2GHz. Plus, they are all thicker and have better cooling. There is just no way, at present, for a laptop that is .76" thin to run Core 2 chips at 1.6 and 1.8. This is just not possible without better cooling and fans.
  • Reply 23 of 56
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


    I can walk a hundred feet way through concrete walls and not lose my WiFi--but establishing the connection in the first place, even 2 feet from the Time Capsule....



    Do you realize that not even Superman can do that. Nagromme you could be a new super hero!!



    Dave
  • Reply 24 of 56
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    I don't want to be mean here but there was a big stink made by me and others about the utility of AIR but people ran out and purchased the machines by the thousands. It is not like I'm against progress or smaller lighter machines in general, what I object to is form winning out over function. Unfortunately this is a example in the extreme of just that.



    As to the variability in the different machines there can be a number of reasons for that problem. The first potential culprit is Intel. First the wattage ratings are typical as there can be significant difference from lot to lot. Overclockers dicovered this a long time ago.



    The second issue is the use of the high speed fan. A larger fan blowing over a larger heat sink would work better.



    The third issue is Apple or Apples management and the desire to ship products based on deadlines. This seems to be the root cause of the problems with a number of recent products from Apple. This seems to stem from a management philosophies that equate missing a deadline with the worst of the sins one can engage in. Usually this gets taken to the extreme until the company stumbles badly and sort of reboots.



    In any event there are other possibilities but we won't dwell on them. What is interesting is what will Apple do to salvage the problem. I don't know about Apples view but what this machine really needs is a dual core Atom processor. It is about the only way I could see power usage dropped enough to make running the processors flat out possible.



    Of course there are issues with Atom and Apple might want to get completely away from 32 bit hardware but I don't see an intel solution otherwise. On the good side a dual core Atom might actually excel dealing with some of the problems described above. That given running at something more than 1.6 GHz without throttling. In a nut shell AIR has the wrong processor technology for it's form factor. AIRs dimensions simply limit the ability to remove heat from traditional laptop processors.



    What is also worth noting is that a three watt drop in average power usage does mean a lot from intel. The real question is what is the power usage when the machine is working hard AND how much does that vary from lot to lot. The new laptop chips might not be much better.



    As to going after Apple legally in this case I think there might be good cause if Apple is refusing to fix or exchange problem laptops. From the perspective of a layman this is a far different problem than the whining we hear about iPhone 3G. Frankly with the way things are going at Apple maybe they need to be slapped silly. It is not unreasonable for people to expect their hardware to run at advertised speed at least part of the time.



    In any event you have to take the attitude of buyer be aware even when dealing with Apple products. Apple I'd nothing more than a corporation and suffers the same issues as all corporations. Further I have to wonder if people will run out and madly snap up the new Mac Books and Mac Book Pros when they finally do come out. Or will people sit back and let the market shake out the devices. Especially in light of intel having delivery issues.





    Dave
  • Reply 25 of 56
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by applebook View Post


    I think that the Air will prove to be a complete lemon.



    Look at other ultraportable laptops from Lenovo and Sony, and they all run with ULV Core 2 CPUs clocking around 1.2GHz. Plus, they are all thicker and have better cooling. There is just no way, at present, for a laptop that is .76" thin to run Core 2 chips at 1.6 and 1.8. This is just not possible without better cooling and fans.



    What do you mean by a lemon, exactly? If you mean that the first models will have to be replaced in some fashion with non-defective parts, that may very well happen. These issues as stated are greatly affecting the performance and usage and not living up to what is commonly expected. Of all these BS lawsuits that have across these boards each week, this would be the only one I agree with, if Apple isn't doing anything to make the machine function properly with due diligence.



    As for the CPU heat issue, that should be resolved with the next upgrade. The current chips use 20W of power for the small form factor (22mm^2) Santa Rosa/Merom LV packages at 1.60 and 1.80GHz chips. The next ones will come natively as 22mm^2 and only have 17W for the Montevina/Penryn LV packages at 1.60 and 1.83GHz.



    There are now 3 other OEMs copying Apple's 13.3" display in an ultra-thin form factor so I'm thinking it's hear to stay. Plus, it is more popular than i would have thought it would be for it's power and speed.



    The others you mention that use the ULVs are really too slow. they are thicker, but so are their regular notebooks too. They tend to be plastic which means the casing to be thicker than aluminium and more structural reinforcements, as well as needing better internal cooling because plastic doesn't take in heat like metals do. These other machines usually have much smaller screens which reduces the footprint, which means the case has to be deeper to get the same basic components inside. I hate to mention this last part as it's very minor compared to the other things, IMO, but I don't someone will: the others have a lot of extra ports and connectors which require a more standard flat side for entry.



    PS: I really like how Lenovo put an 802.11b router into the power supply of their model so you plug a hotel Ethernet into it and then use the machine from anywhere in the room. Seeing how small Airport Express is extra features I hope Apple incorporates that into future MBA models.





    edit: What Dave said.
  • Reply 26 of 56
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,111member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by applebook View Post


    I think that the Air will prove to be a complete lemon.



    With any product, there is always a percentage of people that feel the product does not live up to their level of expectation. If every satisfied MBA owner out there were to speak up, I think it would far exceed the number of unsatisfied owners. Owners that know what the MBA was for and what the MBA was not for. I know several people that own MBA's. They all do not exhibit the issues that are being discussed here. I'm not saying there is no problem. Just perhaps the problem has more to do with demands that the users are placing on their units or maybe their environment might be to blame too. It's hard to say.



    I believe the upset MBA owners do have a valid issue. Apple has made an effort during the initial MBA launch to make sure a potential buyer's expectations fit within the MBA's abilities. Even when I purchased my MBA at the Apple store in San Francisco, the salesperson even asked me to make sure I wasn't planning on using it beyond the basic limits of the MBA.



    Just because the MBA runs every app like its bigger siblings, it doesn't mean that you should. And if you do, don't expect it to perform to at a high level and then complain as to why it does not. I read comments from people complaining of MBA overheating after playing 3D games, encoding videos, or doing a lot of resource-intensive multitasking. The fix is easy. Don't use an MBA for that. That is what the MB's and MBP's are for.



    Those buyers refuse to accept that the MBA was meant (and advertised) as an ultra-mobile business machine. Office apps, email, basic browsing is what it does best.



    My MBA works flawlessly. It's my mobile business laptop, and nothing more. When my colleagues ask about it and expressing a desire to purchase it based on its looks and design, I give them a realistic warning that they will be disappointed if they expect it to replace a high-performance laptop or for use as a primary computer.



    Apple did a great job with the MBA. Of course there is room for improvement. It's my opinion only as a satisfied owner. However, people will be disappointed when they expect more from less.



    Don't buy an ultra-compact car and then get upset as to why it overheats from carrying eight people while towing a 5th wheel and driving uphill at 120mph.
  • Reply 27 of 56
    In my office, we are 5 unlucky guys who bought a MBA (at different times with different kind of configs). We all suffered from the core shutting down problem. Since we are all working in an open space together without air conditioning, the problem appeared for all of us the exact same week, when summer came in May... We all applied the "fix" in hope it would solve the issue.



    Unfortunatly none of us were cured (instead of having one core going down to 0% and the other at 100%, now both core goe up to 100%) and here is a list of things we cannot do (among many others)



    - watch a youtube video for more than a few minutes

    - play a flash game

    - watch a full screen movies bought on itunes

    - Plug a 23" monitor



    I have installed tools to monitor temp and fan speed. The problem seem to happen when ambient temperature is around 25°C or higher. Then the CPU temp goes up to 62°c and fan run at 6200RPM.



    THIS IS A SHAME APPLE CANNOT FIX this kind of widespread issues. SHAME ON YOU APPLE.
  • Reply 28 of 56
    Most ultraportables are made of carbon fibre (X300 and Sony) or magnesium (Fujitsu LifeBook and Panasonic).



    For Apple to use faster and hotter running CPUs in the Air compared to the competition, it really had to design the Air to be thicker than the other ultraportables, yet Apple did the opposite, by using faster chips but providing less space for cooling.



    Like most people, I want a 12" or even an 11" Air that is 1" thick. There is no excuse for Apple not to trim 1" off the width and .75" off the depth of the Air. At its current size, its only size advantage is thinness, which, as we all know, is the biggest problem of overheating.
  • Reply 29 of 56
    The problem with your rationale is that the Air's issues are not experienced by only a minority. In fact, I daresay most Air owners have the same problems. You must realize that the Air WAS designed to do basic computing like stream an 800kbps MLB game! This is not asking much from a modern computer. Why? I had an MSI Wind with a 1.6GHz Atom that did these exact things very well and ran extremely cool...



    ...and yes, I was running 10.5.4 on the MSI Wind.



    How is it unreasonable for Air owners to expect their $1800 machine to run a simple 1.2mbps (even lower than DVD bit-rate) stream from a major website like MLB.TV? Am I being unreasonable? I wasn't running hardcore Photoshop or 1080p clips on my Air.



    I'm lucky also to live in Vancouver, where the ambient temperature rarely goes above 25C even in summer months. If I live in Brazil or somewhere around the Equator, I imagine that even basic web-surfing with few Flash animations would cause the Air to overheat.
  • Reply 30 of 56
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Well, I suppose at least one can't accuse the MBA of being a half-baked product when it is obvioulsy over-cooked.



    I wonder what will be wrong with the totally inadequately tested products Steve is set to unveil today? Will they spontaneously combust if used anywhere where there is no airconditioning?



    Will they fail to sync with anything except the two most recent generations of hardware?



    Aren't releases of new Apple products so exciting? Eeeeeee! I can hardly wait!



    Hey, Casper, can you run a competition where we all 'Guess the Fault' and the person with the most accurate guess wins a prize - preferably something reliable that actually works, so I guess that rules out most Apple Products?
  • Reply 31 of 56
    Could Apple leverage their newly-acquired chip-design expertise down the road, and switch to something like a customized ARM processor for this model?
  • Reply 32 of 56
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    With any product, there is always a percentage of people that feel the product does not live up to their level of expectation. If every satisfied MBA owner out there were to speak up, I think it would far exceed the number of unsatisfied owners. Owners that know what the MBA was for and what the MBA was not for. I know several people that own MBA's. They all do not exhibit the issues that are being discussed here. I'm not saying there is no problem. Just perhaps the problem has more to do with demands that the users are placing on their units or maybe their environment might be to blame too. It's hard to say.



    I believe the upset MBA owners do have a valid issue. Apple has made an effort during the initial MBA launch to make sure a potential buyer's expectations fit within the MBA's abilities. Even when I purchased my MBA at the Apple store in San Francisco, the salesperson even asked me to make sure I wasn't planning on using it beyond the basic limits of the MBA.



    Just because the MBA runs every app like its bigger siblings, it doesn't mean that you should. And if you do, don't expect it to perform to at a high level and then complain as to why it does not. I read comments from people complaining of MBA overheating after playing 3D games, encoding videos, or doing a lot of resource-intensive multitasking. The fix is easy. Don't use an MBA for that. That is what the MB's and MBP's are for.



    Those buyers refuse to accept that the MBA was meant (and advertised) as an ultra-mobile business machine. Office apps, email, basic browsing is what it does best.



    My MBA works flawlessly. It's my mobile business laptop, and nothing more. When my colleagues ask about it and expressing a desire to purchase it based on its looks and design, I give them a realistic warning that they will be disappointed if they expect it to replace a high-performance laptop or for use as a primary computer.



    Apple did a great job with the MBA. Of course there is room for improvement. It's my opinion only as a satisfied owner. However, people will be disappointed when they expect more from less.



    Don't buy an ultra-compact car and then get upset as to why it overheats from carrying eight people while towing a 5th wheel and driving uphill at 120mph.



    Yeah and I'm sure Edsel owners loved that car also.
  • Reply 33 of 56
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    Sounds more like placebo effect to me. You never checked the performance before the update, how can you be sure that its not just the suggestion that something has changed that is making you think you're noticing a difference?



    How I know is that I use the machine every day, for 8 hours + a day doing development on. I have an Air so I can take it from one coffee shop to another, back home etc (I like to vary my working environment.



    Anyhow. I always use it on a table with good ventilation etc. The speed difference was immediately obvious during some of the tasks I usually perform that push the little laptop. I noticed this well before anybody said anything. Infact, I was in a cafe using my iPhone tethered to my MacBook Air when The update became available so I quit xcode etc and installed the update, had a coffee and next thing you know everything is slowed down. I can no longer have xcode IB open, Safari say with 10 tabs and say mail and iChat.



    Slows to a crawl. Thats why i did the tests, then I noticed this thread today when I decided I was going to throw my MacBook Air at the wall and return to my MacBook Pro to see if anybody else experienced the issue. Clearly many people have.



    Its not that I am not happy with the performance before the update, I am just unhappy with it since. If I manage to roll back the update I will be happy. I can deal with the heat and I know it is no MacBook Pro performance wise. I just want both cores working @ 1.6ghz even when pushed.
  • Reply 34 of 56
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    With any product, there is always a percentage of people that feel the product does not live up to their level of expectation. If every satisfied MBA owner out there were to speak up, I think it would far exceed the number of unsatisfied owners. Owners that know what the MBA was for and what the MBA was not for. I know several people that own MBA's. They all do not exhibit the issues that are being discussed here. I'm not saying there is no problem. Just perhaps the problem has more to do with demands that the users are placing on their units or maybe their environment might be to blame too. It's hard to say.



    I believe the upset MBA owners do have a valid issue. Apple has made an effort during the initial MBA launch to make sure a potential buyer's expectations fit within the MBA's abilities. Even when I purchased my MBA at the Apple store in San Francisco, the salesperson even asked me to make sure I wasn't planning on using it beyond the basic limits of the MBA.



    Just because the MBA runs every app like its bigger siblings, it doesn't mean that you should. And if you do, don't expect it to perform to at a high level and then complain as to why it does not. I read comments from people complaining of MBA overheating after playing 3D games, encoding videos, or doing a lot of resource-intensive multitasking. The fix is easy. Don't use an MBA for that. That is what the MB's and MBP's are for.



    Those buyers refuse to accept that the MBA was meant (and advertised) as an ultra-mobile business machine. Office apps, email, basic browsing is what it does best.



    My MBA works flawlessly. It's my mobile business laptop, and nothing more. When my colleagues ask about it and expressing a desire to purchase it based on its looks and design, I give them a realistic warning that they will be disappointed if they expect it to replace a high-performance laptop or for use as a primary computer.



    Apple did a great job with the MBA. Of course there is room for improvement. It's my opinion only as a satisfied owner. However, people will be disappointed when they expect more from less.



    Don't buy an ultra-compact car and then get upset as to why it overheats from carrying eight people while towing a 5th wheel and driving uphill at 120mph.



    No, but we dont purchase a compact 4 cylinder vehicle, send it in for a wee tune up and then hapily accept it back running on 2 cylinders now do we??
  • Reply 35 of 56
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post




    There are now 3 other OEMs copying Apple's 13.3" display in an ultra-thin form factor so I'm thinking it's hear to stay. Plus, it is more popular than i would have thought it would be for it's power and speed.



    ??? WTF?? And I guess you think the Sony Vaio TZ is copying the 12" Powerbook.

    You are kidding about its "it's power and speed."? As compared to what- the old toilet seat iBook? A Texas instrument calculator? You must mean - lack of power and lack of speed.

    Boy are you in denial. You obviously never read the MacWorld article I sent to you. Here it is again.

    3 1/2 mice "CONS

    Slow processor; slow and small hard drive; limited configuration options; unswappable battery."



    http://www.macworld.com/article/1318...acbookair.html
  • Reply 36 of 56
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by applebook View Post


    I quickly sold my 1.6 Air after I discovered that it cannot handle something as basic as watching MLB.TV games.



    On my Core 2 2.16 MBP, watching the 800kbps feed with Safari uses about 25% of both cores, with CPU temperatures usually below 60C. On the Air, the MLB.TV feed made the CPU run well over 65C. If I did anything else, like basic web-surfing with FireFox (which I'm using right now as I watch the Dodger vs. Padres game), the temps skyrocketed to over 70C, and everything became sluggish. Watching the 1.2mbps feed was almost impossible even when I was not doing anything else.



    The Air is a dud for those of us who actually need decent portable power.



    My machine was built in May and had the latest firmware and updates, so it wasn't an older unit.



    A friend of mine has it and says iCHat video conferencing is useless on it.- constantly stalls.
  • Reply 37 of 56
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mvo View Post


    What surprises me here is that Apple takes so long to take this problem seriously I think they are totally occupied with their iPhone development and they don't do anything serious about this issue. My macbook air is also one that suffers serious slowdowns when doing anything with video. This goes from using iChat, after 5 min the ichat conversation stalls completely, skype video it last like 10 min and then everything freezes. I'm MacOS user since 1986 and I use my Mac to write software on it, so I tried myself to debug the issue using some low level debugging tools and I realize that this just a hardware issue. The processor gets overloaded,... this is something that Apple Engineers could figure it out too. I Just think this product is wrongly designed the whole unit is not designed well enough and the cooling that the fans provide is just not adequate enough. The processor runs constantly at 160 Fahrenheit same thing for the airport card... I'm thinking seriously to take some legal action on Apple for this inadequate behavior. Apple shame on you...



    I'm sorry to hear this. I've heard the same. But let me ask you - didn't you read any reviews before you bought this sucker?

    Or were you just caught up in "the next best thing from Apple" syndrome. I know I fell for it too with the Apple TV- the other lemon. You want to talk heat- Williams Sonoma could sell that as a crepe maker.
  • Reply 38 of 56
    nceencee Posts: 857member
    Folks, if we al stopped buying "New" stuff from Apple in records numbers, then they (Apple) would start to ask questions… like why aren't you buying?



    Then we / you could answer by saying … look at your track record:



    - Apple TV

    - MBA

    - iPhone I & 3G

    and a host of other items we all purchase because we want the latest and greatest … before anyone else.



    So today when Apple announces the "New" stuff, let's all just yawn, and walk away. Apple WILL get the hint, and WILL start making sure that the products they announce will be as trouble free as they can make them.



    Now the downside to this is we won't see new / upgraded Apple products but once, maybe twice a year.



    - No more Lemons from Big Red

    - More happy customers



    - Less hype about the company, so in the end, less folks will buy Apple products, but were all ok with this, because we want great products from Apple, even if it means less often.



    - It will mean living with our iPhone … for a year before it's updated, made better

    - It will mean living with our MBA … for a year before it's made better or cooler (no pun intended)

    - It will mean living with our Apple monitors … for a year (several years at this point) before they are made thinner, thicker, light, darker, smaller, larger, with a better camera and so on … for a year



    I for one, buy into the hype and like Apple coming out with stuff more often, but then again, I wait a few months before buying the latest and greatest … most of the time.



    So Apple - bring on the new stuff today and let's see how well it sells right off.



    Skip
  • Reply 39 of 56
    I bought the Air because I thought that it could handle what I wanted to: just use it to surf, e-mail, Office, watch a baseball game everyday, a DVD every now and then, and an occasional 720p film. The Air managed to perform decently in all the tasks that I threw at it, except for MLB.TV. I didn't dare try watching a long 720p movie (which, even the 1.6 Atom can handle, BTW) and didn't push the Air too hard on Flash crazy websites.



    The Air should easily do what I had intended it for, but mine didn't. Boy am I glad to be typing this on a Core 2 2.16 MBP (running at 48C) that I got used for several hundred LESS than the Air.
  • Reply 40 of 56
    I bought my Air to surf, email, word processing, spreadsheets and keynote presentations - its now on my lap burning my fricken lap more than any other laptop I've ever had....
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