Is a 1.6GHz processor and 2GB of RAM not enough for Mac OS X?
I've just finished reading Jason O"Grady's MacBook Air post and I have to admit that I'm left confused and dazed by the post.
After using the MacBook Air intensely since it arrived in February, I am beginning to feel the limitations of its pokey 1.6GHz processor and 2GB of RAM. I knew what I was getting into going in, but I was convinced that I could make it work. Initially the tradeoff of less CPU and RAM was worth shaving two pounds off my daily notebook heft but as I use the MBA more and more I’m increasingly frustrated by its molasses-like performance.
A 1.6GHz dual-core processor and 2GB of RAM pokey? Shesh, it shouldn't be. That kind of spec should deliver even a Vista user with a decent experience, so the fact that it collapses under the weight of the Mac OS is a little hard to accept. After all, it's not like Jason is trying to do anything that unrealistic with the system (thought Parallels might be pushing it - I wouldn't try running VMware Workstation on such a low spec system):
Take my morning routine, for example. Every weekday I launch Flock and open a bookmark of 14 sites in tabs, then I launch NetNewsWire, then Adium, then Mail. This process easily pegs both processors and sometimes make Flock totally unresponsive for several minutes. I sometimes have to force quit and re-launch Flock to get it working again and have to wait a few minutes for everything to refresh.
Again, that "totally unresponsive for several minutes" stuff just doesn't sound right. Sure, some unresponsiveness is to be expected, but not lasting minutes. Opening 14 tabs is fringe, but not that fringe, and I've pushed Vista notebooks which cost a fraction of the price of the MacBook Air (and with roughly the same spec) harder than this without seeing these kinds of issues at play. If the MacBook Air really isn't up to web browsing and email, then maybe this system should ship with a Vista Capable (or should that be Vista Incapable) sticker on it.
So now I'm left wondering. Is there something wrong with Jason's MacBook Air, is this a driver or software issue, or is this a cautionary tale for anyone thinking about dropping nearly $2K on a machine that ends up being described as pokey?