Friday, May 15, 2009

MacWind Battery Life Benefit From 10.5.7 But Not Macbooks?

Like all Macbook and desktop Mac users, I can't get enough of updates from Apple. New features, stability, and general bragging rights over our Windows peers. With the latest update, 10.5.7, there may be a bit of a surprise for hacintosh netbooks. In particular, for some users who bought a MSI Wind like myself and Dave the mobile warrior who turned them into "MacWinds", are experiencing longer battery lives.

Is that possible?

I'm gonna hold off on that until there are more evidence that this is actually happening. A couple of guys on forums reporting this is nothing. But that may change in the next few days as people give this recent update a try.

The greater issue, if this happens to be true, why aren't there an explosion in reports of longer battery life for Macbooks? Also, why the optimization for MacWinds which Apple doesn't support. Here are possible scenarios.
  • Imagination. All in the heads of these few individuals. Some lucky few are benefiting from this. Perhaps, their installation was flawed to begin with and now that they've updated their MacWinds, things are the way it should have been.
  • Apple fine-tuned the OS update's battery optimization protocols and the benefit is now spreading to the MacWinds. Folks have long observed that the Winds have longer battery life under XP than under OS X. This is not unexpected since the Winds are officially supported under Windows, not as a Mac. The OS update likely tweaked some codes for bugs that coincidentally benefits the Wind.
  • In optimization the iPhone 3.0, the benefits between the mobile platform and the Mac platform are being shared. Why 3.0? Let me ask you this, have you seen an update from Apple for the iPhone or the iPod Touch recently? - but let's not jump to any conclusions here. New iPhones are coming. New iPod Touches in the fall. 3.0 Will benefit old and new hardware. No evidence that unannounced hardware release is imminent. Though I hope I'm wrong...
What's unlikely happening here is that Apple decided to throw the loyal legion of MacWind users a bone. What's also unlikely is that Apple has something in the works that involves Intel's Atom chip for some sort of a netbook. There are tons of speculation brewing along this line. Trust me on this one. There isn't an Apple netbook built along the traditional line coming. Cupertino finds Atom disgusting.

The iPod Touch and the iPhone are Apple's netbooks until a bigger form Touch is introduced. Remember that.

Note: I won't be upgrading to 10.5.7 for a while since I'm happy with the setup on the MacWind at the moment. Dave the mobile warrior said he'll get on it after he has a good idea of the MW's battery life under the current OS regime before upgrading. Perhaps then we'll be able to get to the bottom of this mystery!

Another note: I've yet to update my Macbook with the most recent update. One of the reason is that it's possible Snow Leopard may be only weeks away. The other reason is that even at 10.5.6, my Macbook works just fine. But once I hear anything about better performance or battery life, I'll be all over it. Now, I have to ask myself whether Apple can do more to give us better battery life. I know there are applications that control the speed of CPUs. I imagine at the moment, OS X does it behind the scenes for us. But suppose I'm only writing my...ahem...memoirs and I don't need my Macbook running anywhere near 2.4Ghz when one core running at 1.6Ghz like the Atom will suffice.

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