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StiM^AddiCt
Dec 7, 2010, 09:34 PM
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Hey guys - I'm a long time lurker on these forums and decided to finally post. I have been an iPhone user since the 3G and have upgraded to the new model every year sofar so I am a huge fan of apple in that aspect. However I am a pretty hardcore windows user and pc gamer. I've owned every Dell XPS 17 inch gaming laptop (the M1730 being the last one) which was sold just over a year ago. I no longer do my gaming on laptops, because I've built a beastly gaming rig. So about a year ago I purchased an Acer 13 inch timeline which I LOVED until recently. The screen fried, the laptop palm rests are totally discolored, and the laptop is showing it's poor built quality. I'm just having a hard time spending 1,400 bucks on a MacBook air that runs an operating system I may end up hating. I also dislike the antique hardware that it's built with. However, on the other hand I could get the m11x for less than half with the current sale... But the build quality and support may be severely lacking... I just can't decide!! I will use the machine primarily for web and work use... And light gaming. I would like to run Starcraft 2 if I want to play a game during my lunch or waiting for a plane... Decisions decisions...



Cerano
Dec 7, 2010, 09:40 PM
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Hey guys - I'm a long time lurker on these forums and decided to finally post. I have been an iPhone user since the 3G and have upgraded to the new model every year sofar so I am a huge fan of apple in that aspect. However I am a pretty hardcore windows user and pc gamer. I've owned every Dell XPS 17 inch gaming laptop (the M1730 being the last one) which was sold just over a year ago. I no longer do my gaming on laptops, because I've built a beastly gaming rig. So about a year ago I purchased an Acer 13 inch timeline which I LOVED until recently. The screen fried, the laptop palm rests are totally discolored, and the laptop is showing it's poor built quality. I'm just having a hard time spending 1,400 bucks on a MacBook air that runs an operating system I may end up hating. I also dislike the antique hardware that it's built with. However, on the other hand I could get the m11x for less than half with the current sale... But the build quality and support may be severely lacking... I just can't decide!! I will use the machine primarily for web and work use... And light gaming. I would like to run Starcraft 2 if I want to play a game during my lunch or waiting for a plane... Decisions decisions...

i was in the same place as you couldnt decide between an I5 m11x and the MBA. somehow felt like i was overpaying for the MBA. Finally put down the money for an ultimate 11.6" ytd night...

Thing is, the M11x is coming out with an R3 in first quarter... furthermore even though people claim its all powerful, the only way you can unlock the processor is by using throttlestop and i wouldnt like to depend on a 3rd party solution.

lastly, i realised the m11x isnt that all powerful

gdeputy
Dec 7, 2010, 09:42 PM
macbook air won't game like the m11x. It will run starcraft 2 though. I can run SC2 on OSX and it's playable. I set everything to low and 1440x900 native res and it runs fine in 1v1s. If you run under boot camp performance will increase pretty substantially (probably ~20%) and the game would easily be viable for some decent multiplayer gaming. single player will be totally fine at prob. med settings, but i prefer framerate so i dropped everything to low. Overall my frames were around 40-50 and going as high as 70-80, That's on a MacBook Air and OSX. Remember bootcamp will be significantly better.

Counterstrike:source ran perfectly under OSX maxed out 1440x900, next game I'll test is Left 4 Dead 2, but ultimately I didn't buy my air to play games.. I have a desktop for that.

I was like you, iPhone owner, (3G, 4) and iPad owner. prior to that I owned iPods since they came out.

Finally bought the air and I love Mac OSX and the actual build quality is great on this thing. I too was worried about dated tech but really it runs everything very well. I am working on a video to post up showing the capabilities of the Air, because even for multitasking it's really quite capable. SSD goes a long way along with 6MB cache in helping the machine feel very zippy.

Overall I was in the same boat as you looking at the m11x and the 13" air, and I went with the air because for years I've wanted to try a Mac, and the comfort factor when using this thing on my lap (compared to windows machines, or any machine, MBP too) is huge. You can't even tell it's there, and it's a joy to use. Overall I'm happy, but it was expensive. I paid 1400 all said and done for 13" 4gb ram, 1.83ghz 320m. Again though, the build quality and support you get with apple makes it easier to swallow that price.

Good luck choosing.

StiM^AddiCt
Dec 7, 2010, 10:20 PM
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macbook air won't game like the m11x. It will run starcraft 2 though. I can run SC2 on OSX and it's playable. I set everything to low and 1440x900 native res and it runs fine in 1v1s. If you run under boot camp performance will increase pretty substantially (probably ~20%) and the game would easily be viable for some decent multiplayer gaming. single player will be totally fine at prob. med settings, but i prefer framerate so i dropped everything to low. Overall my frames were around 40-50 and going as high as 70-80, That's on a MacBook Air and OSX. Remember bootcamp will be significantly better.

Counterstrike:source ran perfectly under OSX maxed out 1440x900, next game I'll test is Left 4 Dead 2, but ultimately I didn't buy my air to play games.. I have a desktop for that.

I was like you, iPhone owner, (3G, 4) and iPad owner. prior to that I owned iPods since they came out.

Finally bought the air and I love Mac OSX and the actual build quality is great on this thing. I too was worried about dated tech but really it runs everything very well. I am working on a video to post up showing the capabilities of the Air, because even for multitasking it's really quite capable. SSD goes a long way along with 6MB cache in helping the machine feel very zippy.

Overall I was in the same boat as you looking at the m11x and the 13" air, and I went with the air because for years I've wanted to try a Mac, and the comfort factor when using this thing on my lap (compared to windows machines, or any machine, MBP too) is huge. You can't even tell it's there, and it's a joy to use. Overall I'm happy, but it was expensive. I paid 1400 all said and done for 13" 4gb ram, 1.83ghz 320m. Again though, the build quality and support you get with apple makes it easier to swallow that price.

Good luck choosing.

Hmm thats good to know. CSS and SC2 are my main games. I wish there was a "Mac try out" where apple could loan me a laptop to use for a few days to try out the OS. I was in the apple store for an hour playing with the OS. I disliked how windows were handled. They never centered themselves and "max" window size wasn't always optimum. Any way to force windows full size?

KPOM
Dec 7, 2010, 10:39 PM
Do you plan on running Windows in Boot Camp? The MacBook Air is no Dell Alienware m11x, but games do run better in Windows than they do in OS X because of the support for DirectX. Have you considered the 13" MacBook Air? The slightly faster processor and system bus may help a little. That said, given your needs perhaps the Air isn't the best machine for you. Consider seeing what the next MacBook Pro update brings when it is released (current expectations are for a winter or early spring release). I suspect it will include the Core i5 and a discrete GPU in a package smaller than the current MacBook Pro, and perhaps closer to the Alienware (I'm guessing it will also lose the optical drive).

As for OS X, it does operate a bit differently from Windows. That said, for every gripe, you'll probably find something you like better on the Mac. The trackpad is much better than on any Windows PC I have ever used, for instance.

neteng101
Dec 7, 2010, 10:46 PM
Just so you know - the M11x does have yesterday's hardware too for a CPU, plus weights a lot more. I wouldn't bother trying gaming in OSX - Starcraft 2 is going to run better in Bootcamp anyday. The good news is that the MBAs do Windows 7 rather nicely in Bootcamp... and the GPU is decent enough for light gaming that way, without killing the battery as badly as PC gaming laptops would.

Its not cheap though, but a new Timeline (1830T series) with less graphics capability will still set you back a good $700 or more depending on the CPU, and without any SSD.

StiM^AddiCt
Dec 8, 2010, 06:31 AM
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I won't buy an acre timeline again - the one I already had was such a disappointment. I do plan on bootcamping, but I'm afraid I will end up just using windows all the time...which defeats the purpose of buying the MBA. Also, the m11x can be equipped with an i7 and a 335 geforce, the only antique there is the graphics card, which sadly destroys the 320m. I also hate the styling of the m11x. I guess this all boils down to the OS. Will I love or hate it? Can anyone point me in the direction of some good Mac OS info...

neteng101
Dec 8, 2010, 07:09 AM
My suggestion would be to look at the video tutorials on Apple's site...

http://www.apple.com/findouthow/mac/#anatomy

Then when you get a chance, go to a local Apple store and try it out for yourself, or if there's no Apple store nearby, you can try a Best Buy. Do you have any Unix background? Not required but you'll be somewhat familiar with the command line if you did (though probably a whole lot will never touch it at all).