performance Stories May 16, 2016

Apple releases watchOS 2.2.1 for Apple Watch with various bug fixes and security improvements

Alongside iOS 9.3.2, Apple has also released a bug fix update for Apple Watch in the form of watchOS 2.2.1. The release notes indicate the OTA update (weighing in at around 30 MB) includes various bug fixes and security updates. Given the version number, we aren’t expecting any new features but we’ll update if we see anything new. Check the Apple Watch app on the iPhone to update to the latest firmware.

To install updates on Apple Watch, connect the paired, nearby, iPhone to WiFi and connect the Apple Watch to its charger. The Apple Watch hardware needs at least 50% battery in order for the update to go through.

performance Stories March 31, 2016

IMG_7066

Apple has released iOS 9.3.1 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The bug fix update to iOS 9.3, released last week, contains a crucial improvement for iOS users: it addresses the widespread issue where apps (and sometimes the whole OS) would crash or hangs when tapping links.

We’ll update the post if we spot anything else notable, although the Release Notes do not suggest anything else has changed …

expand full story

performance Stories October 16, 2015

silentmacs

As expected, Apple’s release of OS X El Capitan for Macs was less about adding major new features than “refining the experience and improving performance” from Yosemite — in other words, under-the-hood optimizations to make any Mac run more reliably than before. Thanks to El Capitan, my older (mid-2011) 27″ iMac is running better than it has in years: fast, quiet, and cool enough that it might as well be fanless. Rarely does the volume level in my office climb above a whisper, an experience I’ve come to love so much that I’d never want to return to a loud computer.

“WAIT!,” you might be saying. “My Mac’s fan is on all the time. Apple didn’t start selling iMacs with silent solid state drives (SSDs) or hybrid Fusion Drives until late 2012. How could your older Mac be that quiet?”

Below, I’ll walk you through seven steps that will help you bring your older Mac to a hushed, zen-like state. The first four involve mostly free software, and the last three are small hardware upgrades…

expand full story

performance Stories June 4, 2015

Chrome-Adobe-plug-in-pause

Google has been working with Adobe to improve battery life drain caused by Flash and today flipped the switch on a new Chrome feature that does exactly that. The new feature aims to detect Flash on a webpage that is actually important to the main content and “intelligently pause content” that isn’t as important. The result is to hopefully make the web experience with Flash more power efficient to improve battery life on your laptop. Here’s how it works: expand full story

performance Stories April 20, 2015

Time it: Apple Watch boots up in about 60 seconds (Video)

Enis Younsi has sent in this video of a demo Apple Watch in the Apple Store. It shows the watch going from fully off to booted to the clock face, which takes just over a minute. Although it’s not really fair to make such comparisons, due to the differences in the software, modern iPhones take about 30 seconds to launch to the lock screen.

performance Stories April 8, 2015

steelwatch

Apple has just lifted the embargo on the Apple Watch for reviewers, allowing the technology press the to give their verdict on the device ahead of Watch preorders on the 10th. The device will actually be available to the public on the 24th. The Apple Watch is a huge release for Apple, its first new product category under Tim Cook. The anticipation for Apple Watch has been simply immense. The pricing model alone is a huge step for the company, entering ‘high-end’ luxury for the first time with the Apple Watch Edition … and a price tag in the $10,000 range. These reviews are our first glance at whether Apple succeeded in making the next hit product.

Reviewers got a demo of the entire Apple Watch buying process, from the initial Apple Store try-on experience right through to handling the device for a few days. Reviewers got to choose their watch-band combination, although the Edition was not available for reviewers (although you can see what Pharell thinks about it of course)

Read below for our roundup of the reviews from a handful of publications:

expand full story

performance Stories October 22, 2013

Lucas Gilman Mac Pro SM

During Apple’s next-generation Mac Pro portion of its iPad event earlier today, the company took some time to present first impressions from a few professionals that have been using the machine. While the public won’t officially get its hands on it until December, Apple noted that three professionals had been testing the new Mac Pro. One of those pros was award-winning extreme sports photographer Lucas Gilman pictured above next to his Mac Pro setup with a 4K Sharp display. We thought it would be interesting to have a chat with one of the only people in the world currently using the new Mac Pro, so we’ve reached out to Gilman to get his first impressions and learn more about his experience with Apple’s completely redesigned professional Mac line.

Head below for the full interview. expand full story

performance Stories April 23, 2013

Apple updates iAd Producer with support for iBooks Author widgets, iTunes LPs, iTunes Extras, more

Apple’s iAd Producer tool for creating HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript ads for its iAd platform gets updated to version 4.0 today and adds a number of notable new features on top of some performance enhancements that Apple outlined in a knowledge base article. The updated app now allows users to create iBooks Author widgets, iTunes LPs, and iTunes Extras. Apple provides more information on the new features, such as creating an iBooks Author Widget for iBooks Author projects on the iAd Producer support page:

You can create an iBooks Author widget for use in your iBooks Author projects. For example, you can create a widget that allows users to stream video from the Internet, draw using their finger, or interact with a timeline.

A full list of what’s new in iAd Producer 4.0 including: folder-based organization support, new HTML, Stack, Drawing, and Panorama objects, in-app quick previews, CSS filter support for objects, and much more below:

New in iAd Producer 4.0

This release contains a number of new features and improvements

  • Improved Object library interface
  • Improved Actions library interface
  • Support for folder-based organization in the asset library
  • New HTML, Stack, Drawing, and Panorama objects
  • New actions for adding and removing CSS classes, animating background position, animating image masks, and text slide-in animation
  • Support for applying CSS filters as well as image and gradient masks to objects.
  • In-app quick preview
  • Project-wide search in the Code Editor
  • Better export performance
  • Improved menu layout
  • Improved font support, including support for OpenType fonts
  • Improved rulers and alignment guides
  • Enhanced inspectors, with pop-up color pickers, and gradient sliders that now represent opacity
  • Support for QuickLook previews in iAd Producer project files
  • Support for iTunes LP, iTunes Extras, and iBook Author widget project types
  • Other fixes and improvements

(via MacStories)

performance Stories April 2, 2013

NVIDIA-GeForce-graphics-GPU-700M

NVIDIA announced a new series of notebook GPU’s today branded as the 700M series. Introduced today are five new graphics cards in total, and NVIDIA said they would be available in a long list of laptops over the next few months. The five new graphics cards include two options aimed at the “mainstream segment”, the 720M and the 735M, while the remaining three, the 740M, 745M, and 750M, will be “for the performance segment” of the market.

700m-lineupThe graphics cards are being touted by NVIDIA to “maximize performance and experience,” but they also more power efficient than their predecessors. Because the 700M Series is notebook-only, expect these to be less powerful than a desktop version of the 700 Series that may be announced sometime in the future.

Helping our new 700M chips reach such lofty levels of performance is GPU Boost 2.0, a GPU innovation that extracts every ounce of available computing power from the graphics processor. Before GPU Boost, GPUs were held back by synthetic benchmarks that pushed chips and power usage to the limit, far beyond the levels typically seen when playing games. This ‘worst case scenario’ forced us to throttle GPUs, leaving spare performance on the table when playing games.GPU Boost resolves this problem by monitoring power usage and temperatures, enabling the GPU to use every last ounce of performance without exceeding safety or comfort limits.

While the press release from NVIDIA said the new GPUs will be available in nearly every notebook maker other than Apple, it is possible these GPUs will be seen in the next-gen MacBook Pro with Retina Display. The current 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display sports a NVIDIA 650M GPU, as does the high-end 21-inch iMac model, so an upgrade to the 700M series only makes sense.

The full press release is available below.

New NVIDIA GeForce 700M GPUs Squeeze Every Drop Of Performance Out Of Notebooks, Automatically

Monday, April 1, 2013

NVIDIA today announced five new notebook GPUs which deliver a trifecta of technologies that seamlessly and automatically maximize a consumer’s notebook performance and experience.

With no effort or input from the notebook user, the technologies work in the background to save battery life, enhance performance and enrich the visual experience — providing the best notebook experience the GPU can deliver. They include:

New NVIDIA GPU Boost™ 2.0 technology, which intelligently adjusts GPU clock speed to maximize graphics performance.

NVIDIA® Optimus™ technology, which enables extra-long battery life by switching the GPU on and off so it runs only when needed.

GeForce® Experience™ software, which adjusts in-game settings for the best performance and visual quality specific to a user’s notebook and keeps GeForce drivers up to date.

“There is an elegant simplicity to NVIDIA’s GeForce 700M notebook technologies,” said Rene Haas, vice president and general manager of the notebook business unit at NVIDIA. “You use your notebook how you want, and GeForce makes your experience awesome.”

Incorporating all three of these technologies, the new lineup of NVIDIA GeForce 700M GPUs includes GeForce GT 750M, GeForce GT 745M, and GeForce GT 740M GPUs for the performance segment, as a well as GeForce GT 735M and GeForce GT 720M GPUs for the mainstream segment.

NVIDIA GeForce 700M GPUs are available today. Every leading notebook manufacturer will be introducing notebooks with GPU Boost 2.0 technology, including Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, MSI, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba.

More information about the GeForce 700M family of notebook GPUs is available at www.GeForce.com.

performance Stories March 20, 2013

MacBook-Problems-In-Every-Dimension

When Apple unveiled its first Retina MacBook Pro with the 15.4-inch model in June, it came with an all-new, slimmed down design, all-flash architecture, and its flagship Retina display with over 5 million pixels. Apple has built its reputation on quality, craftsmanship, and customer/user experience, but that hasn’t been the case with its latest lineup of MacBooks. What many consumers don’t know is that buying a new Retina MacBook means taking your chances with possibly receiving a unit that is subject to display defects, battery, graphics, and fan-related issues among other major stability problems. These widespread issues have received limited coverage in the press and many consumers claim Apple is failing to sufficiently address the problems by not informing consumers and employees.

Leading the reports of problems is one that causes burn-in or ghosting on the device’s display. The result is a support thread with over 364,769 views and, most recently, a class-action lawsuit in California that alleged Apple is failing to inform consumers of the issue. Users experiencing the problem eventually realized the source of the issue was with LG, one of Apple’s display suppliers for the new Retina MacBooks. Unfortunately, models with Samsung displays aren’t totally free from a myriad of other significant issues.

Apple described the image-retention problems on this user’s display as normal after two visits. The display was eventually replaced with a Samsung but continues to experience other display related problems. 

Problems at the Apple Store

Finally, after 4 LG screened rMBPs I give up!

The problems are severe enough that it’s affecting the buying experience for consumers, driving customers to opt for other devices, and forced me personally to stop recommending the machine. Not only is Apple not addressing the issues publicly, Apple retail employees and 9to5Mac readers confirmed Apple is failing to properly inform retail and repair staff of the problems… expand full story

performance Stories June 11, 2012

Benchmarks for SSDs and USB 3.0 performance in new MacBooks

Even before Apple’s unveiling of the all-new Retina MacBook Pros, refreshed previous-generation MacBook Pros, and MacBook Air lineups today, we knew most of Apple’s new Macs would receive performance improvements courtesy of new SSDs and USB 3.0. We are now getting our first look at benchmark data for the two new features—thanks to a Retina MacBook review unit benchmarked by AnandTech.

As for SSDs, we told you before that the new MacBook family would probably receive Samsung’s speedy 830 series. AnandTech’s report seems to narrow down the 830 series as the most likely scenario noting his review unit appears to be running a Samsung drive approaching read speed of 500MB/s, and writes close to 400MB/s:

The same updated SSD is present across all of Apple’s lineup: from the MacBook Air to the next-gen MacBook Pro. Based on the model number in Apple’s System Report I’d guess my review sample features a Samsung based drive… I ran a few tests using Quick Bench to validate Apple’s claims. In general it looks like read speed approaches 500MB/s, while sequential writes are closer to 400MB/s

When it comes to initial benchmarks for USB 3.0 performance, the chart to the right speaks for itself by showing a remarkable jump in performance over USB 2.0 on the early 2011 MacBook Pro:

USB 3.0 performance is much improved over the previous generation MacBook Pro. I used an Apricorn SATA to USB 3.0 adapter to measure copy time to/from a 512GB OCZ Vertex 4 SSD. The performance gap between USB 2.0 and 3.0 is nothing short of significant.

Powered by WordPress VIP