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brolfsen
Apr 22, 2011, 02:40 PM
I got the 11" MBA 1.4GHz, 2GB RAM model.....I didn't buy it for games but for school mainly. Can I play any games on it that run pretty well? I'm talking about games like Rollercoaster Tycoon or stuff like that. I'm not expecting games like Call of Duty or anything really new to work. Thanks.



mrsir2009
Apr 22, 2011, 02:46 PM
Ouch dude your picking the worst Mac to play games on :o

Try if you dare, but I would just use a more powerful Mac for stuff like that, such as a MacBook Pro or an iMac (you do have a second computer, don't you?)

mwayne85
Apr 22, 2011, 02:49 PM
Most games will run fine on medium settings. Even newer ones (Call of Duty, etc.).

Twe Foju
Apr 22, 2011, 02:56 PM
I got the 11" MBA 1.4GHz, 2GB RAM model.....I didn't buy it for games but for school mainly. Can I play any games on it that run pretty well? I'm talking about games like Rollercoaster Tycoon or stuff like that. I'm not expecting games like Call of Duty or anything really new to work. Thanks.

Yes, games like roller coaster tycoon will work super fine on your Air, you might be surprise, but COD MW2 actually works on High settings too on the Air

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpKlUIQjvM4

but the newer games like the Crysis2.. um it works but on the all low settings

so yes, you can game on your Air, especially if your games are the sims genre

Fuchal
Apr 22, 2011, 03:24 PM
I played Portal on my maxed out 11" and it worked perfectly fine with no lagging.

brolfsen
Apr 22, 2011, 05:45 PM
Yea, I have a nice Desktop I can play other games on but I just wanted to load a few games to pass time while I'm at school.

I've heard you can play games on the "Ultimate" MBAs but you can even run newer games on the one with only 2GB RAM?

panzer06
Apr 22, 2011, 07:20 PM
Yea, I have a nice Desktop I can play other games on but I just wanted to load a few games to pass time while I'm at school.

I've heard you can play games on the "Ultimate" MBAs but you can even run newer games on the one with only 2GB RAM?

I have the base 11 with OS x 10.6.5 and Starcraft plays well on med in the single player. I haven't tried anything else.

Cheers,

steadysignal
Apr 22, 2011, 07:34 PM
why not a full 13 mbp? is it portability you need?

Cerano
Apr 22, 2011, 09:23 PM
a current Sandybridge intel hd3000 equipped MBP cant even game as well as a 320m equipped MBA

Twe Foju
Apr 23, 2011, 02:03 AM
Yea, I have a nice Desktop I can play other games on but I just wanted to load a few games to pass time while I'm at school.

I've heard you can play games on the "Ultimate" MBAs but you can even run newer games on the one with only 2GB RAM?

yes you can, even with 2gb

i assume that since you say in your 1st post that you didn't buy this for gaming right? and you have the desktop to play the big games ( AC2, Crysis2 etc )

so light gaming is 1000% perfect in MBA, as i have shown on my previous post, even COD MW2 with High settings works like charm on a 1.4GHz and 2gb RAM Air

TheMacBookPro
Apr 23, 2011, 03:21 AM
why not a full 13 mbp? is it portability you need?

He already bought the machine. No need to convince him that something else is better- he asked whether or not games would work on his Air not whether or not a Pro is better.

FWIW I have the 2011 2.7 13 Pro and it plays most GPU intensive games worse than my 1.6/4 Air because of the crappy HD3000.

OP- gaming should be fine. I can play Portal (1) and CODMW2 on medium/high settings flawlessly on my Air. Yours should be as good- the extra 200MHz doesn't really make much difference. The extra RAM might, but shouldn't make too much difference.

Watch your available space though- with only 64GB to play with you'll run out of space quickly if you plan on installing many games.

Unless, of course, you're only going to play Angry Birds and Flight Control HD- those'll be fine obviously :)

revelated
Apr 23, 2011, 10:17 AM
Yes, games like roller coaster tycoon will work super fine on your Air, you might be surprise, but COD MW2 actually works on High settings too on the Air

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpKlUIQjvM4

but the newer games like the Crysis2.. um it works but on the all low settings

so yes, you can game on your Air, especially if your games are the sims genre

That is NOT the base 11, stated by the YouTuber. That is the 4GB 1.6 which is I believe $1199, not $999.

I have the $999, and I'm sure Solitaire will run just fine. I see you already bought a machine but just FYI.

TheMacBookPro
Apr 23, 2011, 10:28 AM
That is NOT the base 11, stated by the YouTuber. That is the 4GB 1.6 which is I believe $1199, not $999.

I have the $999, and I'm sure Solitaire will run just fine. I see you already bought a machine but just FYI.

The $1199 spec keeps the stock model's 1.4/2GB spec but replaces the 64GB SSD with a 128GB. The 1.4->1.6 upgrade costs an additional $100 and the 2GB->4GB upgrade costs another $100 (ie Ultimate 11" Air costs $1399).

The spec of the Air in the YouTube video is identical to the base model (1.4/2), but has a 128GB SSD.

Don't underestimate the power of the $999 Air.

revelated
Apr 23, 2011, 11:06 PM
The $1199 spec keeps the stock model's 1.4/2GB spec but replaces the 64GB SSD with a 128GB. The 1.4->1.6 upgrade costs an additional $100 and the 2GB->4GB upgrade costs another $100 (ie Ultimate 11" Air costs $1399).

The spec of the Air in the YouTube video is identical to the base model (1.4/2), but has a 128GB SSD.

Don't underestimate the power of the $999 Air.

It can't even run VMWare competently compared to the Pro. Believe me, I know all about the 11".

In any event, the $999 Air which is 2GB is not going to be a gaming beast. At 4GB, it'll get by. But the 2GB? Forget it.

panzer06
Apr 24, 2011, 07:03 AM
It can't even run VMWare competently compared to the Pro. Believe me, I know all about the 11".

In any event, the $999 Air which is 2GB is not going to be a gaming beast. At 4GB, it'll get by. But the 2GB? Forget it.

VMware need ram for its function. Most games won't be memory constrained. The GPU is usually the biggest limiting factor. The 11" MBA works ok as a highly portable gaming platform.

Cheers,

TheMacBookPro
Apr 24, 2011, 07:23 AM
It can't even run VMWare competently compared to the Pro. Believe me, I know all about the 11".

In any event, the $999 Air which is 2GB is not going to be a gaming beast. At 4GB, it'll get by. But the 2GB? Forget it.

VMWare and Parallels requires RAM to function as it is effectively running two OSes at the same time. Games OTOH are more about CPU/GPU (mostly GPU)'s power.

If you look at the YouTube video you quoted and read through the comments you'll see that that Air is the base model terms of specs (1.4GHz/2GB RAM). The only difference between that YouTuber's Air and OP's Air is that the YouTuber has more storage (128GB v 64GB), which makes absolutely no difference in terms of system performance.

CODMW2 is running smoothly at High settings on that user's Air so yeah... I don't think you know as much about the 11" Air (and game requirements) as you think you do.

KnightWRX
Apr 24, 2011, 09:54 AM
It can't even run VMWare competently compared to the Pro. Believe me, I know all about the 11".

How did you configure your VM Guest ? If I run a 128MB Linux VM to do some command-line stuff, I can run it off a 1 GB Host machine without much worry.

With 2 GB of RAM, you could run a 512MB Windows XP guest with 8 MB of video RAM without much impact on performance, I did it for the longest time and still use that VM (though now I allocate 1 GB of RAM to it and 32 MB of video RAM on my 4 GB Air).

Of course if you just go with the defaults and don't understand how to configure a guest properly to fit inside the host's hardware, you won't be able to run VMware "competently", but the problem isn't VMware or the hardware then ;).

Let's face it, VMware isn't anything new. I had their free VMware Workstation version 2.x something up and running on my Pentium 2 with 192 MB of RAM back in the days, running both Linux and Windows at the same time...

why not a full 13 mbp? is it portability you need?

Ouch dude your picking the worst Mac to play games on :o

Try if you dare, but I would just use a more powerful Mac for stuff like that, such as a MacBook Pro or an iMac (you do have a second computer, don't you?)

You guys do realise that currently, the MBP 13" is teh worst Mac for gaming right, not the 11" Air ? The 320M+C2D makes for a superior gaming experience over the SB + Intel 3000HD combo.

I thought that we realised in the 90s that the 3D accelerator (now known as the GPU) was the most important factor in 3D graphics gaming, not the CPU. I still remember my friends investing in PPros 200 with crap Matrox Mystiques thinking they would run games better than my Pentium 100 with a Diamond Monster 3D... all were left crying over their wasted money. Ah.. the good old days.

Twe Foju
Apr 24, 2011, 11:17 AM
That is NOT the base 11, stated by the YouTuber. That is the 4GB 1.6 which is I believe $1199, not $999.

I have the $999, and I'm sure Solitaire will run just fine. I see you already bought a machine but just FYI.

You should truly read the description again

and thanks "TheMacBookPro" for answering that ;)

FX4568
Apr 24, 2011, 11:53 AM
This is the 320m running (MBA 13)

SC2 on custom (Med/low) at 62 FPS, rarely drops to 20
COD MW Med around 70 FPS
Civ V runs okay, not the best, Idk how to check FPS on that.

Twe Foju
Apr 24, 2011, 02:16 PM
Civ V runs okay, not the best, Idk how to check FPS on that.

Fraps?

anyway

i just noticed that the 320M on the 13inch are actually faster in terms of the memory than that of the 11inch

the 13inch 320 use 1064 MHz and the 11inch use 532MHz

so yeah, probably 13 runs better game fps due to that

iNeko
Apr 24, 2011, 02:39 PM
Twe Foju, I'm not sure what you mean! Both the 11" and the 13" use 1066mhz system memory and the 320m shares 256mb of it, so surely they're both using 1066mhz? :confused:

Twe Foju
Apr 24, 2011, 04:06 PM
umm..

my reference was from notebookcheck

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Apple-MacBook-Air-13-Inch-2010-Subnotebook.41497.0.html

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Apple-MacBook-Air-13-Inch-2010-Subnotebook.40961.0.html

look at the Performance section, and click on the 1st Image which shows the Nvidia Card

the 11 inch one shows it's 532 and the 13 one is 1064

unless i got it wrong, but yeah, there you go

KnightWRX
Apr 24, 2011, 05:06 PM
umm..

my reference was from notebookcheck

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Apple-MacBook-Air-13-Inch-2010-Subnotebook.41497.0.html

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Apple-MacBook-Air-13-Inch-2010-Subnotebook.40961.0.html

look at the Performance section, and click on the 1st Image which shows the Nvidia Card

the 11 inch one shows it's 532 and the 13 one is 1064

unless i got it wrong, but yeah, there you go

Notebook check has it wrong. The only difference between both is that the Front Side Bus runs at different speeds. The 11" has an 800 mhz FSB, the 13" a 1066 mhz FSB. Memory speeds are the same and the IGP uses system memory, not dedicated memory, so it runs at the same speed.

revelated
Apr 24, 2011, 11:13 PM
VMware need ram for its function. Most games won't be memory constrained. The GPU is usually the biggest limiting factor. The 11" MBA works ok as a highly portable gaming platform.

Cheers,

VMWare and Parallels requires RAM to function as it is effectively running two OSes at the same time. Games OTOH are more about CPU/GPU (mostly GPU)'s power.

If you look at the YouTube video you quoted and read through the comments you'll see that that Air is the base model terms of specs (1.4GHz/2GB RAM). The only difference between that YouTuber's Air and OP's Air is that the YouTuber has more storage (128GB v 64GB), which makes absolutely no difference in terms of system performance.

CODMW2 is running smoothly at High settings on that user's Air so yeah... I don't think you know as much about the 11" Air (and game requirements) as you think you do.

How did you configure your VM Guest ? If I run a 128MB Linux VM to do some command-line stuff, I can run it off a 1 GB Host machine without much worry.

With 2 GB of RAM, you could run a 512MB Windows XP guest with 8 MB of video RAM without much impact on performance, I did it for the longest time and still use that VM (though now I allocate 1 GB of RAM to it and 32 MB of video RAM on my 4 GB Air).

Of course if you just go with the defaults and don't understand how to configure a guest properly to fit inside the host's hardware, you won't be able to run VMware "competently", but the problem isn't VMware or the hardware then ;).

Let's face it, VMware isn't anything new. I had their free VMware Workstation version 2.x something up and running on my Pentium 2 with 192 MB of RAM back in the days, running both Linux and Windows at the same time...





You guys do realise that currently, the MBP 13" is teh worst Mac for gaming right, not the 11" Air ? The 320M+C2D makes for a superior gaming experience over the SB + Intel 3000HD combo.

I thought that we realised in the 90s that the 3D accelerator (now known as the GPU) was the most important factor in 3D graphics gaming, not the CPU. I still remember my friends investing in PPros 200 with crap Matrox Mystiques thinking they would run games better than my Pentium 100 with a Diamond Monster 3D... all were left crying over their wasted money. Ah.. the good old days.

You should truly read the description again

and thanks "TheMacBookPro" for answering that ;)

Blah Blah Blah. Try running ONE Windows 7 VM in a base model Air and come back to me. Does it work? Sure. But I bet you any of the Pros will blow it out of the water with the same amount of RAM allocated to it. That's what I'm talking about. It's not about CAN it game, but SHOULD it game. My answer is no. Get a Pro for power.

Look, I know you guys love your little bastard Air and that's fine, but here's reality check dude.

GPU matters - yes.
Drive TYPE matters - yes.
RAM matters - YES.
Capacity matters - YES.

It all frickin matters when gaming. Why? School:

GPU is obvious. It's not just about the type of card but your front cache as well as how it interacts with the CPU. Doesn't matter if you have a stronger card if the cache is low nor does it matter if you have a stronger card if the CPU can't keep up with the crap. You might be able to start the game up and play a while but you're not going on a 4 hour binge I guarantee you.

Drive type matters because of read/write which DOES happen when gaming. A SSD will blow a regular HDD out of the water in that regard. So the Air has that, sure.

RAM matters because - UH OH - PAGING. Gaming isn't a free ride, the crap will take up RAM. The more RAM, the less paging. The less paging, the better performance, SSD or not.

Capacity matters because for those so less inclined about how SSDs work, the lower your free space, your SSD performance goes in the crapper. Between cache and paging, yes, a 128GB SSD is going to be better in the long run than a 64GB one especially since roughly 20 of those GB's aren't even accessible off the jump.


If you want to game GET THE MACHINE THAT IS BUILT TO DO IT. Hell, at least Ultimatize the bastard and stop being cheap.

Twe Foju
Apr 25, 2011, 12:48 AM
Dude

i get your point..


Can I play any games on it that run pretty well?

the OP ask if he can game with his Base Model, and he was only referring to playing games such as Roller Coaster Tycoon or maybe the likes

he didn't say that he would play something heavy or via Bootcamp, and all we're trying to show him is that, yes he can play games such as the RC Tycoon just fine

as simple as that

TheMacBookPro
Apr 25, 2011, 04:18 AM
Blah Blah Blah. Try running ONE Windows 7 VM in a base model Air and come back to me. Does it work? Sure. But I bet you any of the Pros will blow it out of the water with the same amount of RAM allocated to it. That's what I'm talking about. It's not about CAN it game, but SHOULD it game. My answer is no. Get a Pro for power.

I have a 13" i7 Pro. My Air games much better than it, tyvm.

The requirements for a VM is different than the requirements for gaming. It's like saying my Hummer is better than your Ferrari because it can go off road and your car cannot. Two completely different things.

Look, I know you guys love your little bastard Air and that's fine, but here's reality check dude.

GPU matters - yes.
Drive TYPE matters - yes.
RAM matters - YES.
Capacity matters - YES.

It all frickin matters when gaming.

GPU: Absolutely.
Drive type: Absolutely.
RAM: Absolutely.
Capacity: Erm, no. If my computer's pagefiles etc are set up the same way, a 512GB SSD will make no difference to the performance I get from a 64GB SSD (assuming both drives have sufficient free space)

Why? School:

GPU is obvious. It's not just about the type of card but your front cache as well as how it interacts with the CPU. Doesn't matter if you have a stronger card if the cache is low nor does it matter if you have a stronger card if the CPU can't keep up with the crap. You might be able to start the game up and play a while but you're not going on a 4 hour binge I guarantee you.

I 'guarantee you' that I just played MW2 for around 3 and a half hours on my Air before running out of battery.

Also- the i5-2537M (SB ULV) has 3MB cache, same as the SU9400/9600 which is used in the current gen Airs.

Where are you pulling this crap out from?

Drive type matters because of read/write which DOES happen when gaming. A SSD will blow a regular HDD out of the water in that regard. So the Air has that, sure.

So does my Pro, but that doesn't make it a better gaming machine than my Air.

RAM matters because - UH OH - PAGING. Gaming isn't a free ride, the crap will take up RAM. The more RAM, the less paging. The less paging, the better performance, SSD or not.

Yep. But in the YouTube video you linked to, showing a modern game running smoothly, the Air shown has only 2GB RAM, same as the Air OP has.

Capacity matters because for those so less inclined about how SSDs work, the lower your free space, your SSD performance goes in the crapper. Between cache and paging, yes, a 128GB SSD is going to be better in the long run than a 64GB one especially since roughly 20 of those GB's aren't even accessible off the jump.

Twenty? Mac OS X only takes around 10GB if you remove the printer drivers, localizations, etc.

Say 15GB for OS X. Install a game (say another 15GB?)(even though OP only mentioned a lower end game- RCT- which only takes a few GBs). That leaves you are around 25GB free (accounting for the way drive capacities are displayed). MS Office- 20GB free. Assorted apps, documents, 15GB free. That's still enough free space for the SSD to perform maintenance etc and have performance not 'go into the crapper'.

If you want to game GET THE MACHINE THAT IS BUILT TO DO IT. Hell, at least Ultimatize the bastard and stop being cheap.

Your suggestion of a Pro is not 'a machine that is built to do it'.
Also- in the YT video you linked to, that user only has the 1.4/2 Air (ie same specs as OP) and it clearly runs games smoothly.
Your point being...?

BTW you really need to calm down. Just because you were wrong doesn't mean you have to start making stuff up. It misleads readers, you know?

OP- your Air will run RCT just fine. It isn't graphically intense or anything. You don't need an Alienware Aurora to play games- computers don't have to be designed to play games before you're allowed to play, like the above poster seems to think :rolleyes:

Xeem
Apr 25, 2011, 05:37 AM
If you want to game GET THE MACHINE THAT IS BUILT TO DO IT. Hell, at least Ultimatize the bastard and stop being cheap.

When it comes to gaming, Apple doesn't really make any computer that is "BUILT TO DO IT" without being prohibitively expensive to most people. When I build a gaming PC (I always keep a gaming tower along with a Mac laptop), I don't need to approach the $1000 mark to make any game on the market run well.

As other posters mentioned, however, the OP isn't looking to play Crysis 2 or SC2 or anything even modern at all. Telling anyone (especially a student!) that wants to play some extremely casual games on his new $1000 laptop to "stop being cheap" is ridiculous.

KnightWRX
Apr 25, 2011, 06:52 AM
It's not about CAN it game, but SHOULD it game. My answer is no. Get a Pro for power.


Wait, you're telling us what we should be doing with our Airs and you're also telling us to get a lesser gaming laptop for gaming. :confused:

Seriously, stop it now, you're confused. The MBP 13" is a lesser gaming machine thanks to its sub-par GPU. It's a lesser overall machine thanks to its lower screen resolution (more pixels = more stuff on screen = less scrolling during assignments for students/work for pros). It's a lesser machine thanks to its HDD.

What you're drinking, we don't want. I think I'll fire up a game right now on my MBA. Just because I SHOULDN'T.

TheMacBookPro
Apr 25, 2011, 08:01 AM
Wait, you're telling us what we should be doing with our Airs and you're also telling us to get a lesser gaming laptop for gaming. :confused:

Seriously, stop it now, you're confused. The MBP 13" is a lesser gaming machine thanks to its sub-par GPU. It's a lesser overall machine thanks to its lower screen resolution (more pixels = more stuff on screen = less scrolling during assignments for students/work for pros). It's a lesser machine thanks to its HDD.

What you're drinking, we don't want. I think I'll fire up a game right now on my MBA. Just because I SHOULDN'T.

I think he's just looking at the name and not the specs :D