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Mac OS X on MSI Wind: sleep and restore is like instant on

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This might be the shortest video in jkOnTheRun history, but I’m amazed at how quickly the MSI Wind goes to sleep and wakes back up with Mac OS X. Actually, the video would have been even shorter if I hadn’t been so shocked and mesmerized by this. I haven’t modified the netbook hardware in any way at this point: this is the “stock” Intel Atom at 1.6 GHz, the 5400 RPM hard drive with 80 GB of capacity and the factory installed 1 GB of RAM.Although Microsoft has made great strides with speed and stability of sleep and wake, I think there’s room for improvement. Eventually, Windows XP has to go away, so my hope is that Windows 7 really nails this functionality down. It’s a very small feature when compared with the rest of the operating system, but for mobile devices with limited battery capacity, it’s actually a heavy-duty function.

18 Responses to “Mac OS X on MSI Wind: sleep and restore is like instant on”

  1. Russell

    Actually, I’ve been playing with Windows 7 on the MSI, and while it’s slower, it does go into a real power off. It’s so fast that visually it looks identical to OS X, but I see the hard drive light going for an extra second. Turning on takes about 1.5 seconds. It’s slower, admittedly, but a slowness that really makes no difference

  2. Derek, I used a build customized for the MSI Wind. If you Google around I’m sure you’ll find it. I don’t share the specifics due to Apple’s licensing agreement which is effectively (and sadly) broken if you go this route.

    There are nuances and minor issues to contend with for anyone that installs OS X on any non-Apple hardware. In the case of the Wind, WiFi will not work with the supplied card nor does the headphone jack, for example. In terms of fixes, you end up relying on the community (not Apple) to address and fix issues through driver patches. For that reason, I don’t recommend that someone take this path if they want a 100% working and supported Apple device.

    For me, it was a fun experiment and gave me experience using OS X on a smaller device.

  3. Hey Kevin,

    I was wondeing what process you used to install OS X on your wind. Was is difficult?How’s it working out for you? Is the system trust worthy or buggy, and if you heard any news on when the other issues will be fixed (headphone, native wifi, etc.)

    I’m thinking about purchasing a wind but I’m a little hesitant about installing OS X on it.



  4. Have you tried using the iLife suite on Wind? I built a hackint0sh desktop machine but had to abandon it when iMovie refused to run. I know Wind isn’t powerful enough to be a full-on video editor, but for simple iMovie edits in the field it could be awesome – so much smaller and lighter than my MacBook.

  5. Kevin, I have long hated how long it takes to go into and out of sleep on Windows. But, I love Vista on my MSI Wind. It goes to sleep and wakes up just as fast as your Mac OS X demo. It may likely be a fraction to a second slower, but I’m not going to care about that. It beats the sleep/wake up times I’ve seen on every other laptop or tablet I’ve used with Windows. More importantly I don’t seem to have to sit there and wonder, “When is my WiFi or bluetooth coming back up?” like I do for a few of my other devices. :)

    I’m glad I got a Wind. Much thanks to your and Chippy’s postings!

  6. OS X does not go into as low of a power-state as Windows (yes there are various “states” of sleep). MS could do the samething but they prefer to make you wait a couple more seconds & go into true sleep.

  7. I find the trackpad is not as good under OSX compare to XP on my Wind. And OSX rely on more mouse movement than XP. Anyone has suggestion on a small bluetooth mouse?

    @partners: you need MSIWindOSX86.iso, google it.

  8. Andrew / acetuk

    I only have experience of my Macbook on OSX and I love it. I havelots of experience with XP and it was ok – not much ‘fun’ to use but fine for work. I have quite a bit of experience with Vista but on P1610 with 1gb of ram it was a constant fight, tweak, challenge, crash etc.

    OSX on both my Wind and Macbook doesn’t crash, runs very quick and is good fun to use. The Wind has helped me fully switch from Windows – having only one Mac didn’t give me enough back up.

  9. It’s too bad that Apple doesn’t just sell OSX for use on other hardware. ‘Course, they’d probably sell it for $300-400, which would make it a lot less attractive as an alternative OS.

    And then they’d actually have to, you know, implement real hardware support. Which is a great thing to be able to avoid. Oh, well. At least one can dream.

    @Andrew: Heck yes. OSX runs much better on laptops, when the hardware is supported, than Windows in my particular experience (lots of Windows, a fair amount of OSX).

  10. Yes, the headphone socket is a problem although not a massive one for me personally as I haven’t wanted to use it.

    I’m using the wifi card from my original Q1 and that never has a problem waking up. Wired lan is also working well at the moment from sleep – something in the 10.5.5 upgrade possibly?

    I also agree about the stand by comparison with Windows. OSX on my Wind (actually an Advent 4211 rebadge in the UK) runs far better than any version of XP / Vista has on any of my laptops to date. I even have XP running under Fusion quite well although it worked better under Fusion v1 rather than the recently updated Fusion v2.

    All this using the same installation disk as Kevin with no hacking of drivers etc required. Amazing stuff.

  11. i’ve also noticed that my dell truemobile wifi card in my wind also needs to be turned off and back on after sleep in osx.

    it usually says it cannot find a network if i don’t. but yes, sleep is crazy fast!

    osx def runs like a charm on it; if only the headphone/mic jacks worked. :)

  12. Wow, if it’s actually cutting the fans as quickly as you’ve indicated on the video, that’s faster than my MBP goes to sleep. I’m sure the 2.4ghz C2D generates more heat and needs a few extra seconds of the fan to cool down, but that’s impressive.

    Considering the luck people have had installing OS X on the Wind, I’m starting to regret my Acer Aspire One purchase. Very, very intriguing.

    Andrew, as you’ve mentioned, sleep in OS X isn’t the same as hibernate in Windows. If you put your laptop into stand-by in Windows you’ll have the equivalent mode, but I think you’ll find it takes longer to go into and come out of stand-by in Windows than it does for sleep in OS X.

  13. the thing that amazes me most about this box, is that it doesn’t warm up… If I watch some hulu in bed on my macbook air, it warms real nice. Watching on the wind it just doesn’t seem to warm up, I mean the winter is coming but still, wind wins hands down in the keep it cool dept.

  14. A few of points I’ve noticed.

    OSX never shuts down from sleep, unlike Windows. So if you leave the Wind asleep for a long time the battery will drain. Not a big deal, you just have to be ready for it (it caught me out a couple of times).

    Once coming out of sleep I get a device removal error if I have left a SD card in place. OSX doesn’t expect to see an incorporated SD card I guess but it always finds it immediately and never has a problem.

    Wired LAN is a problem after sleeping. I have found that I have to deactivate the LAN card in system prefs and then reactivate to get it back. Doesn’t always work though. Wifi always seems to work though from sleep.

    The trackpad is jumpy for the first few seconds after coming out of sleep. Again it settles quickly as if the driver has been re-initialized.

    OSX on the Wind is good though, isn’t it. Instant on and off along with the amazing performance the Atom gives has really impressed me.