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eva00r
Jul 21, 2011, 11:39 AM
For 13" Air i5 or i7, I wanna do some light gaming with Starcraft II.

Can any of u please provide me SC2's frame rate in medium setting ?
Ultimate i5 / i7 config in Windows 7 or Lion ...

Thanks



Ry L
Jul 21, 2011, 03:43 PM
Me too! I really want to know how the new 13" MBA, base or high end, performs when running SC2.... I haven't heard the best things about the intel 3000

PaulWog
Jul 21, 2011, 03:50 PM
Me too! I really want to know how the new 13" MBA, base or high end, performs when running SC2.... I haven't heard the best things about the intel 3000

I shall give you both an idea. I just got the Macbook Air and that's the game I'm about to install on it.

My version is the 11.6-inch 4GB model with the 1.6GHz i5 processor. The HD3000 graphics on this model goes up to 1150MHz, as opposed to 1200MHz on the i5 on the 13", and the i5/i7 models offered on both the 11/13 models. So it's likely that the limiting factor will be the graphics, and that I may see a frame or two less on this as opposed to with an i5/i7 from the 13-inch.

That all said: The i5 on the 13-inch is all you'd want, in my opinion. It offers 1200MHz on the HD3000, and turbo boosts up to 2.7GHz (I believe it's 2.7 or 2.6). Anyways, it's basically identical to the i7, with the exception of the 1MB difference in L3 cache: Honestly, that doesn't matter much.

So my opinion: Save your money and go with the i5 if you're getting the 13-inch model, unless if you're doing things other than gaming. If gaming is your most intense task, then the HD3000 will limit you far sooner than the difference in processing power will. :)

I'll get back to you asap when I determine the maximum playable settings for 1v1 and various team matches. The resolution on the 11-inch is practically the same (off by like 50 on the vertical and that's about it), so this should give you a decent idea.

jabooth
Jul 21, 2011, 03:54 PM
Many thanks Paul, sure plenty of others are waiting to hear SC2 impressions before pulling the trigger! Are you installing in Lion or Win7?

PaulWog
Jul 21, 2011, 04:29 PM
Many thanks Paul, sure plenty of others are waiting to hear SC2 impressions before pulling the trigger! Are you installing in Lion or Win7?

I'm sticking with Lion. It's what came on the Air of course! :P

I won't need Windows 7 on this device anyway. It would take up 15-ish GB of space, plus extra for whatever I want to partition on top of that. Really don't want to do that. I'm not too familiar with running W7 on a Mac (whether it's just a matter of formatting two partitions, or whether bootcamp must be used, or what)... but ya... the long and short of it: Just OS X Lion.

I'm installing now. I've been fooling around with some things getting familiar with the OS since I've never used a Mac before (except many years ago when it looked more like an upside-down Windows 95, or whatever the first GUI-based Windows was just after DOS). Lol.

I'm having a ton of fun with the voice recognition. It hears whispers even, and works accurately. I'm trying to get it to work with maximizing windows (not sure how), and other stuff. I'm enjoying it.

ANYWAYS! Back on topic: I shall get back to this thread with the SC2 results asap. Might take a bit I don't really know, but I'll do it as soon as I can (in the next hour or so, or less).

Ry L
Jul 21, 2011, 04:59 PM
I'm sticking with Lion. It's what came on the Air of course! :P

I won't need Windows 7 on this device anyway. It would take up 15-ish GB of space, plus extra for whatever I want to partition on top of that. Really don't want to do that. I'm not too familiar with running W7 on a Mac (whether it's just a matter of formatting two partitions, or whether bootcamp must be used, or what)... but ya... the long and short of it: Just OS X Lion.

I'm installing now. I've been fooling around with some things getting familiar with the OS since I've never used a Mac before (except many years ago when it looked more like an upside-down Windows 95, or whatever the first GUI-based Windows was just after DOS). Lol.

I'm having a ton of fun with the voice recognition. It hears whispers even, and works accurately. I'm trying to get it to work with maximizing windows (not sure how), and other stuff. I'm enjoying it.

ANYWAYS! Back on topic: I shall get back to this thread with the SC2 results asap. Might take a bit I don't really know, but I'll do it as soon as I can (in the next hour or so, or less).

thanks man. I've been refreshing every little bit, waiting for your endorsement before I pull the trigger. Yeah, it might be a lame reason NOT to upgrade to a new computer, but my MBP plays SC2 great, and if a new MBA doesn't...I'll be thinking twice about getting an air.

badtzwang
Jul 21, 2011, 05:20 PM
I appreciate the filling-us-in Paul. It might also help if you let us know what your rank level is in SC2 as well ... for instance if you are a serious player and are in master league.

PaulWog
Jul 21, 2011, 05:25 PM
I appreciate the filling-us-in Paul. It might also help if you let us know what your rank level is in SC2 as well ... for instance if you are a serious player and are in master league.

I try not to take gaming too seriously, however I am at a high-diamond level of play when I do play seriously. APM can reach 300 in-game, however that's just in battles. So I am very wary of any lag/unplayability. I'm a tad bit forgiving of certain things... but only things that don't detract from what I consider to be smooth playability.

One thing I should note:

I just downloaded a CPU temp monitor, and just while installing Starcraft (I guess it uses a lot of processing power), my CPU is running at 74 degrees celcius (100 celcius being the max temp you can run at).

Any recommendations on a program that is like HWMonitor for the PC that will keep track of my maximum temperature? I want to keep track of my temps while gaming.

Just finishing up installing now. I had difficulties setting up my external disc drive with my Macbook so it took a while to get it all together. Almost ready to test things out. It'll just take 5 minutes of 1v1 play and 5 minutes of a team-play game to give a general idea... errr... after I've found the "ideal" settings.

Here's to hoping the i5 1.6GHz doesn't suck! Lol

mscofield
Jul 21, 2011, 05:27 PM
Just finishing up installing now. I had difficulties setting up my external disc drive with my Macbook so it took a while to get it all together. Almost ready to test things out. It'll just take 5 minutes of 1v1 play and 5 minutes of a team-play game to give a general idea... errr... after I've found the "ideal" settings.

Here's to hoping the i5 1.6GHz doesn't suck! Lol

Looking forward to. Cheers Paul!

KillerTree
Jul 21, 2011, 05:28 PM
I appreciate the filling-us-in Paul. It might also help if you let us know what your rank level is in SC2 as well ... for instance if you are a serious player and are in master league.

Being better at Starcraft improves frame rates.

BiscottiGelato
Jul 21, 2011, 05:32 PM
wanted a Macbook for the longest time. Was hoping that the March MBP would resembles more like an Air, gd processor, gd graphics, SSD and without the size and weight of the DVD drive and the harddrive.

Nope. Disappointed.

Now the Macbook Air. Seems to be great all around. Other than for playing Starcraft 2!!! If this thing can't play SC2 on native res in Med graphics... I think I am going to be in for a long wait for the next MBP...

Ry L
Jul 21, 2011, 05:34 PM
Any recommendations on a program that is like HWMonitor for the PC that will keep track of my maximum temperature? I want to keep track of my temps while gaming.


you can just google it....
i've used smcfancontrol before. it monitors temp and you can adjust fan speed to keep it cooler.
if you just want a monitor, there's something called temperature monitor for mac, which i've never used.

Ry L
Jul 21, 2011, 05:37 PM
wanted a Macbook for the longest time. Was hoping that the March MBP would resembles more like an Air, gd processor, gd graphics, SSD and without the size and weight of the DVD drive and the harddrive.

Nope. Disappointed.

Now the Macbook Air. Seems to be great all around. Other than for playing Starcraft 2!!! If this thing can't play SC2 on native res in Med graphics... I think I am going to be in for a long wait for the next MBP...

i'm in your boat too...lets hope this isn't the case...
i'm really liking the air....but if no SC2 quality, i'll just have to wait...

Oli3000
Jul 21, 2011, 05:43 PM
I currently own the Ultimate 13" 2010 Air. This coped (mostly) fine with SC2 with low shaders, and medium settings for most other things. If the SB/HD3000 can match this, I am sold.

Portal/Portal 2/HL2 could all be played on near highest. Once again, if the SB/HD3000 matches this I am planning on upgrading. All I want is for the HD3000 to not be a significant backward step! The upgrade in processing power for daily tasks is much needed, but I don't want it to be at the sacrifice of anything else!

PaulWog
Jul 21, 2011, 06:10 PM
Alright so here's what I did:

I tested 1v1 and it was fine against an AI. So I went and tested a "fastest map tester solo" map, where I created 20 thors, 10 battlecruisers, and 25 marines for one side. The other side used 10 hydralisks, 5 ultralisks, 15 void rays, and some reapers and marauders, and a couple infestors.

The result:

During the battle, lowest framerate dipped to was 20fps. Highest framerate during the battle was 25fps.

Outside of the battle, with the units on the map and viewing one of the two armies, frame rates were between 30 and 45 fps.

Framerates topped out at about 61 fps in some situations that weren't important.

Settings:

1366x768 (maximum) resolution
textures: medium
shaders: medium
light: low
terrain: high
effects: ultra
post-processing: medium
physics: low
models: high
portraits: 2D
movies: low

If I reduced the effects down to high or medium, I bet I could have raised lighting to medium. And I'm sure physics could have been set to medium or even high without an issue since it's more processor-based.

In terms of the fan... it got loud. The temperature reached 85 degrees celcius... and it might've been higher (since I checked the temp immediately after I closed Starcraft 2). That's kind-of a high temperature don't you think? :-S

Anyways, overall, it was pretty good.

What I would do if I were to be testing this again later is set the terrain to medium and the effects to high. The terrain can really affect the FPS, and the effects can too in big battles. So those two things will likely bring the FPS up to playable in even a 3v3. Huge battles might get a bit laggy but it's playable.

As far as 1v1 or 2v2 play goes... one could get competitive just fine. However, do note that if battles get huge in a 2v2 (400 pop vs 400 pop), then you might not have ideal micro-management unless if you dipped the settings down.

For custom maps... I'd lower the settings just ever-so-slightly to account for the custom/large map.

Overall: I'm neutral on this. It did perform better than expected, which is great. As far as the i5/i7 on the 13-inch model goes, and the i7 on the 11-inch model, you'll get an extra 1-2 FPS in the games most likely (if not more)... so if you shoot for that, you'll be all set.

The one worry is the temperature... it's oddly high. I'm going to do some more testing. So long as it stays at 90 celcius or lower, it'll be in the clear. 100 celcius is the critical point that you can't go over, so it's desirable to stay well clear of it by 10 celcius.

Austin907
Jul 21, 2011, 06:11 PM
I currently own the Ultimate 13" 2010 Air. This coped (mostly) fine with SC2 with low shaders, and medium settings for most other things. If the SB/HD3000 can match this, I am sold.

Portal/Portal 2/HL2 could all be played on near highest. Once again, if the SB/HD3000 matches this I am planning on upgrading. All I want is for the HD3000 to not be a significant backward step! The upgrade in processing power for daily tasks is much needed, but I don't want it to be at the sacrifice of anything else!

How about L4D 1/2? Could you include frame rate ranges?

Also, would older games like C&C Red Alert 3 run on the 2011 MBA? I know I won't get anything like The Witcher 2 running, but I'd be immensely satisfied with Company of Heroes or Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle Earth 2.

HiRez
Jul 21, 2011, 06:15 PM
Thanks for testing Paul, it doesn't sound bad to me, but I'm a fairly casual player. I'm not surprised the fans get really loud, that's happened on almost any 3D game I've run on any MacBook, going back years. Might be worth a try to cap the frame rate at something reasonable like 25-30, that might even out frame rate spikes and bring the fans down a bit.

PaulWog
Jul 21, 2011, 06:22 PM
Thanks for testing Paul, it doesn't sound bad to me, but I'm a fairly casual player. I'm not surprised the fans get really loud, that's happened on almost any 3D game I've run on any MacBook, going back years. Might be worth a try to cap the frame rate at something reasonable like 25-30, that might even out frame rate spikes and bring the fans down a bit.

How would I go about capping the framerate? Is there actually a feature in-game for this? Or is this something on the Mac that I don't know about?

Side-note: How do I close a safari browser page that's full-screen without having to minimize it out of full-screen first. I want to close a browser page while it's full-screen while I'm viewing it.

HiRez
Jul 21, 2011, 06:31 PM
How would I go about capping the framerate? Is there actually a feature in-game for this? Or is this something on the Mac that I don't know about?

1. Quit the game (otherwise it will overwrite your edits when it quits).

2. Open the file ~/Library/Application Support/Blizzard/StarCraft II/Variables.txt in a text editor. Add the following lines:

frameratecap=##
frameratecapGlue=##

Where frameratecap is the normal game cap and frameratecapGlue is, I think, the cap when it's running in the background or on menus. Been a while since I've done thins but I think that's how it works.

3. Restart the game.

BiscottiGelato
Jul 21, 2011, 06:50 PM
Anyone know if it's possible to install SC2 on one of those machines at the Apple Store? Don't see why it ain't a fair test for the demo machines...?

da3dl3us
Jul 21, 2011, 06:51 PM
Downloading SC2. Man, taking forever.

badtzwang
Jul 21, 2011, 06:57 PM
Can you run the game on Low Shaders and low everything, but max resolution? Want to see what the FPS might look like at that setting.

Ry L
Jul 21, 2011, 07:00 PM
Anyone know if it's possible to install SC2 on one of those machines at the Apple Store? Don't see why it ain't a fair test for the demo machines...?

I was actually planning my on doing the same thing. I mean, if it helps sell the product why not?
I was going to just download it from battle.net at te apple store and try to install it and run it that way. The only thing I'm seeing as a barrier is needing an admin password during installation. I guess I could just ask them to type it in for me...

BiscottiGelato
Jul 21, 2011, 07:04 PM
i'm in your boat too...lets hope this isn't the case...
i'm really liking the air....but if no SC2 quality, i'll just have to wait...

Problem is there's no telling if they will for surely drop the Optical drive and remove HDD drive space on the coming MBP. I don't want to end up waiting for nothing either.

Add up to 5 mm to the MBA, dedicated graphics and 8GB RAM, i'll pay ~2k for a 13". Anybody making one any time soon???

BiscottiGelato
Jul 21, 2011, 07:05 PM
I was actually planning my on doing the same thing. I mean, if it helps sell the product why not?
I was going to just download it from battle.net at te apple store and try to install it and run it that way. The only thing I'm seeing as a barrier is needing an admin password during installation. I guess I could just ask them to type it in for me...

Let me know if you managed to do that! I'll see if it's possible to do the same. Maybe plug in a pre-downloaded USB stick?

PaulWog
Jul 21, 2011, 07:10 PM
1. Quit the game (otherwise it will overwrite your edits when it quits).

2. Open the file ~/Library/Application Support/Blizzard/StarCraft II/Variables.txt in a text editor. Add the following lines:

frameratecap=##
frameratecapGlue=##

Where frameratecap is the normal game cap and frameratecapGlue is, I think, the cap when it's running in the background or on menus. Been a while since I've done thins but I think that's how it works.

3. Restart the game.

:( Can't find this on the Mac.

I went through a half-hour long process of figuring out how to finally unhide all my hidden files. But that still doesn't quite help me: I can't find the variables file.

Have a step-by-step guide for me? Just not finding it with "finder", or under documents, where I thought it'd be.

Maxime
Jul 21, 2011, 07:23 PM
How would I go about capping the framerate? Is there actually a feature in-game for this? Or is this something on the Mac that I don't know about?

Side-note: How do I close a safari browser page that's full-screen without having to minimize it out of full-screen first. I want to close a browser page while it's full-screen while I'm viewing it.

Just click vsync in the video options.

It will sync the max frame rate with the display. Should be about 60fps.

HiRez
Jul 21, 2011, 07:23 PM
:( Can't find this on the Mac.

I went through a half-hour long process of figuring out how to finally unhide all my hidden files. But that still doesn't quite help me: I can't find the variables file.

Have a step-by-step guide for me? Just not finding it with "finder", or under documents, where I thought it'd be.

It actually used to be under ~/Documents/Blizzard/ when it first came out, but they moved it into the Library folder (apps should never install things into the Documents folder unless directed by the user). So if you're using a new Air with Lion, I understand Apple is hiding the user's Library folder now. Try going to Finder > Go (menu) > Go to Folder... and type in ~/Library to see if that shows it. Also maybe try looking in the /Users/Shared/ folder. It's also possible Blizzard changed the location again in preparation of Lion. Unfortunately I don't have Lion installed yet so I can't test it.

PaulWog
Jul 21, 2011, 07:28 PM
It actually used to be under ~/Documents/Blizzard/ when it first came out, but they moved it into the Library folder (apps should never install things into the Documents folder unless directed by the user). So if you're using a new Air with Lion, I understand Apple is hiding the user's Library folder now. Try going to Finder > Go (menu) > Go to Folder... and type in ~/Library to see if that shows it. Also maybe try looking in the /Users/Shared/ folder. It's also possible Blizzard changed the location again in preparation of Lion. Unfortunately I don't have Lion installed yet so I can't test it.

>_<; I can't even get into the "Go Menu". When I search "Go Menu" under finder, nothing comes up?

I feel like a Mac noob... but I also feel like Lion is a little difficult when it comes to advanced modifications.

[edit]: nvm found go menu

[edit]: Did not find anything using that method :( :( :(

jp700p
Jul 21, 2011, 07:35 PM
(low/high/average) fps

Starcraft 2 Native resolution 1440900
Low settings (36/105/73)
Medium settings (20/50/47)
High settings (17/32/25)

found them here http://www.appleownz.com/2011/07/21/2011-macbook-air-13-benchmarks/

Holy cow this system rocks.

PaulWog
Jul 21, 2011, 07:42 PM
(low/high/average) fps

Starcraft 2 Native resolution 1440900
Low settings (36/105/73)
Medium settings (20/50/47)
High settings (17/32/25)

found them here http://www.appleownz.com/2011/07/21/2011-macbook-air-13-benchmarks/

Holy cow this system rocks.

It's unfortunate. I don't have the resources to do an official benchmark, so I can't really give proper charts.

I'd love to see a proper benchmark with charts comparing the i5 1.6GHz versus the i7 1.8GHz... to see the gaming difference. I saw there's a huge difference in WoW, but I don't know if that's just a bad review (since it was such an early review).

I don't want to feel buyer's remorse! :P

I'm enjoying this a ton so I don't think I will care anyway. I'm fine with lower settings on SC2 and it's all I'll really play on this thing...

Guess what I *really* want to know is if there's a heat difference when running SC2 between the i5 and i7. I'm thinking the i7 might be cooler simply because it won't be running at 100%, whereas the i5 is... but maybe I'm wrong.

jp700p
Jul 21, 2011, 07:46 PM
It's unfortunate. I don't have the resources to do an official benchmark, so I can't really give proper charts.

I'd love to see a proper benchmark with charts comparing the i5 1.6GHz versus the i7 1.8GHz... to see the gaming difference. I saw there's a huge difference in WoW, but I don't know if that's just a bad review (since it was such an early review).

I don't want to feel buyer's remorse! :P

I'm enjoying this a ton so I don't think I will care anyway. I'm fine with lower settings on SC2 and it's all I'll really play on this thing...

Guess what I *really* want to know is if there's a heat difference when running SC2 between the i5 and i7. I'm thinking the i7 might be cooler simply because it won't be running at 100%, whereas the i5 is... but maybe I'm wrong.

Heres my thing.. if you can afford the high end models, might as well throw another $100 to get the i7 ya know?

PaulWog
Jul 21, 2011, 07:51 PM
Heres my thing.. if you can afford the high end models, might as well throw another $100 to get the i7 ya know?

$135 for students, $150 for regular people lol.

It is a fair bit of $$$, specially if there is very very very minimal graphics performance difference.

Think about it theoretically:

If there's only a 10-15% graphics performance difference at the worst-case scenario, then you'll be able to play the same games just fine in almost any case.

So you're paying $135 for 10-15% performance gain.

Would you pay an additional $1350 for 100-150% performance gain in graphics and processing power? Well... I guess maybe huh? But anyways, you can see how there has to be a stopping point :P

jp700p
Jul 21, 2011, 07:58 PM
$135 for students, $150 for regular people lol.

It is a fair bit of $$$, specially if there is very very very minimal graphics performance difference.

Think about it theoretically:

If there's only a 10-15% graphics performance difference at the worst-case scenario, then you'll be able to play the same games just fine in almost any case.

So you're paying $135 for 10-15% performance gain.

Would you pay an additional $1350 for 100-150% performance gain in graphics and processing power? Well... I guess maybe huh? But anyways, you can see how there has to be a stopping point :P

I see your point. But its like movie theater popcorn. You pay $6 for the medium, but for only $1 you get the large bucket.

PaulWog
Jul 21, 2011, 08:05 PM
I see your point. But its like movie theater popcorn. You pay $6 for the medium, but for only $1 you get the large bucket.

$135:

I get to go out for sushi 13 times by myself (not that I do that lol!). Local place is excellent though. $8.50 for an excellent full-meal roll (Red Dragon Roll... 10 pieces of real-crab california roll pieces, each topped with an almost equal sized chunk of sweet & hot red tuna).

No, to be honest... I'd have purchased the i7 had the option been available. But I wanted the Macbook Air now.

I really doubt I'd have needed the i7 to be honest. Even an i3 probably would've worked fine likely :P

jp700p
Jul 21, 2011, 08:09 PM
$135:

I get to go out for sushi 13 times by myself (not that I do that lol!). Local place is excellent though. $8.50 for an excellent full-meal roll (Red Dragon Roll... 10 pieces of real-crab california roll pieces, each topped with an almost equal sized chunk of sweet & hot red tuna).

No, to be honest... I'd have purchased the i7 had the option been available. But I wanted the Macbook Air now.

I really doubt I'd have needed the i7 to be honest. Even an i3 probably would've worked fine likely :P

LOL! Or for $135 + selling your $100 apple store gift card, you can get an iPod touch.

BiscottiGelato
Jul 21, 2011, 08:15 PM
Medium settings – (20/50/47)

How playable/unplayable is this?

I'll definately pay ~$100 for i7 if it even gives me a mere 10% boost.

Austin907
Jul 21, 2011, 09:32 PM
Medium settings (20/50/47)

How playable/unplayable is this?

I'll definately pay ~$100 for i7 if it even gives me a mere 10% boost.

For gaming 20fps is barely playable, 30 is just playable, and anything above is usually pretty darn good. It's a pretty respectable number, and for the marginal difference, I wouldn't use the money.

PaulWog
Jul 21, 2011, 09:57 PM
For gaming 20fps is barely playable, 30 is just playable, and anything above is usually pretty darn good. It's a pretty respectable number, and for the marginal difference, I wouldn't use the money.

If it's legitimately 20fps minimum, then it's definitely a playable FPS in Starcraft 2.

In an RTS like Starcraft 2, 20fps works well... so long as it doesn't dip or freeze up or cause mouse lag. :P

But as a general rule, 20fps isn't a good thing for *most* games. xD

Austin907
Jul 21, 2011, 10:17 PM
If it's legitimately 20fps minimum, then it's definitely a playable FPS in Starcraft 2.

In an RTS like Starcraft 2, 20fps works well... so long as it doesn't dip or freeze up or cause mouse lag. :P

But as a general rule, 20fps isn't a good thing for *most* games. xD

Yes, thank you. You're right of course. In a real-time RPG like Oblivion or a FPS 20 is just annoying, not necessarily crippling like it would be in any of the RTS genre.

Where is the best place to get SC2 digitally, Paul? By the way, I appreciate the benchmarks and time put into them.

Ry L
Jul 21, 2011, 10:24 PM
Yes, thank you. You're right of course. In a real-time RPG like Oblivion or a FPS 20 is just annoying, not necessarily crippling like it would be in any of the RTS genre.

Where is the best place to get SC2 digitally, Paul? By the way, I appreciate the benchmarks and time put into them.

you can download the game from blizzard. You just need to sign into your account on battle.net and download the game.

green tea
Jul 21, 2011, 10:28 PM
For people that are saying its capable of playing SC2, are those levels that were tested early stages or late game levels? There is a night and day difference between the amount of units and stuff that fills the screen in the later levels compared to the beginning chapters. If it cant handle late game levels, it definitely won't be able to handle online play

durruti
Jul 21, 2011, 10:36 PM
Any recommendations on a program that is like HWMonitor for the PC that will keep track of my maximum temperature? I want to keep track of my temps while gaming.

Check out iStat Menus.
I like the one that sits in the top right, not the widget version.

Oli3000
Jul 22, 2011, 04:45 AM
Alright so here's what I did:

I tested 1v1 and it was fine against an AI. So I went and tested a "fastest map tester solo" map, where I created 20 thors, 10 battlecruisers, and 25 marines for one side. The other side used 10 hydralisks, 5 ultralisks, 15 void rays, and some reapers and marauders, and a couple infestors.

The result:

During the battle, lowest framerate dipped to was 20fps. Highest framerate during the battle was 25fps.

Outside of the battle, with the units on the map and viewing one of the two armies, frame rates were between 30 and 45 fps.

Framerates topped out at about 61 fps in some situations that weren't important.

Settings:

1366x768 (maximum) resolution
textures: medium
shaders: medium
light: low
terrain: high
effects: ultra
post-processing: medium
physics: low
models: high
portraits: 2D
movies: low

If I reduced the effects down to high or medium, I bet I could have raised lighting to medium. And I'm sure physics could have been set to medium or even high without an issue since it's more processor-based.

In terms of the fan... it got loud. The temperature reached 85 degrees celcius... and it might've been higher (since I checked the temp immediately after I closed Starcraft 2). That's kind-of a high temperature don't you think? :-S

Anyways, overall, it was pretty good.

What I would do if I were to be testing this again later is set the terrain to medium and the effects to high. The terrain can really affect the FPS, and the effects can too in big battles. So those two things will likely bring the FPS up to playable in even a 3v3. Huge battles might get a bit laggy but it's playable.

As far as 1v1 or 2v2 play goes... one could get competitive just fine. However, do note that if battles get huge in a 2v2 (400 pop vs 400 pop), then you might not have ideal micro-management unless if you dipped the settings down.

For custom maps... I'd lower the settings just ever-so-slightly to account for the custom/large map.

Overall: I'm neutral on this. It did perform better than expected, which is great. As far as the i5/i7 on the 13-inch model goes, and the i7 on the 11-inch model, you'll get an extra 1-2 FPS in the games most likely (if not more)... so if you shoot for that, you'll be all set.

The one worry is the temperature... it's oddly high. I'm going to do some more testing. So long as it stays at 90 celcius or lower, it'll be in the clear. 100 celcius is the critical point that you can't go over, so it's desirable to stay well clear of it by 10 celcius.

I know that TMax for the C2Ds was 110 celcius, and I have never recorded mine about 90. But, it does run very hot when playing any game! Think of the work it is doing, and in such a small form factor, it is inevitable! However, those results are very very promising.

On my 13.3 Ultimate 2010, running SC2 with the following settings:

Shaders: Low
Lighting: Low
Shadows: Low
Terrain: Medium
Reflections: Off
Effects: Medium
Post-processing: Medium
Physics: Low
Models: High
Unit Portraits: 3D
Movies: High
Resolution: 1440x900 (Native)

You only get acceptable gameplay at busy periods - probably around the 20fps mark as you mention. So you are running it in what I would judge as higher settings, and getting at least as good, if not better results.

I am starting to be convinced that the HD3000 will cope just fine with this level of gameplay...

If you have any source games, Portal 2 for example, plays comfortably at:

AA: 4x
Filtering: 4x Anisotropic
V Sync: Double Buffered
Multicore Rendering: Enabled
Shader Detail: Very High
Effects: High
Models/Texture: High
Resolution: 1440x900 (Native)


Again, if the HD3000 will match that, I'm sold!

Oli3000
Jul 22, 2011, 05:28 PM
And this might shoot that in the foot:

Portal 2 Native resolution 1440900
Low settings (28/127/43) Playable, smooth
Medium settings (18/105/34) Playable, but shudders sometimes when jumping around
High settings (13/67/22) Not playable, too much shudder

Taken from here: http://www.appleownz.com/2011/07/21/2011-macbook-air-13-benchmarks/

Yggbert
Jul 22, 2011, 05:32 PM
I would just boot into Windows. Most games run better like that but for SC2 the difference seems even greater.

I can run it on low/medium under OS X, but on Windows I can get the settings on high with an even smoother framerate. (50+ avg with multiple units on screen) This is on the 320M based MacBook with a 2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo and 2Gb of RAM.

In fact I just gave up with gaming under OS X, I only play 2D or other low resource hungry indie games. I am pretty much forced to use boot camp for anything intensive because the difference in FPS favours Windows greatly.

BiscottiGelato
Jul 23, 2011, 01:53 PM
So is Win 7 still some 10-20% better on FPS for SC2? Does this still apply for the HD3000 on the Macbook Air?

tech324
Jul 23, 2011, 02:20 PM
So is Win 7 still some 10-20% better on FPS for SC2? Does this still apply for the HD3000 on the Macbook Air?

I thought the drivers for HD3000 were suppose to be better for games in OSX than Windows?

Oppressed
Jul 23, 2011, 02:21 PM
Actually there is reason to believe Apple pushed for some amazing driver development with the 2011 MBA because the Intel IGP 3000 HD runs better under OSX then Windows 7

BiscottiGelato
Jul 23, 2011, 02:27 PM
So can we say for SC2, 2011 MBA is at least on par with the 2010 MBA?

I guess I can always keep my Windows machine as backup server and for SC2 driving my 20" monitor. MBA will only be when I'm desperate for SC2 on the go and everything else...

jisongkun
Jul 23, 2011, 04:21 PM
Alright so here's what I did:

I tested 1v1 and it was fine against an AI. So I went and tested a "fastest map tester solo" map, where I created 20 thors, 10 battlecruisers, and 25 marines for one side. The other side used 10 hydralisks, 5 ultralisks, 15 void rays, and some reapers and marauders, and a couple infestors.

The result:

During the battle, lowest framerate dipped to was 20fps. Highest framerate during the battle was 25fps.

Outside of the battle, with the units on the map and viewing one of the two armies, frame rates were between 30 and 45 fps.

Framerates topped out at about 61 fps in some situations that weren't important.

Settings:

1366x768 (maximum) resolution
textures: medium
shaders: medium
light: low
terrain: high
effects: ultra
post-processing: medium
physics: low
models: high
portraits: 2D
movies: low

If I reduced the effects down to high or medium, I bet I could have raised lighting to medium. And I'm sure physics could have been set to medium or even high without an issue since it's more processor-based.

In terms of the fan... it got loud. The temperature reached 85 degrees celcius... and it might've been higher (since I checked the temp immediately after I closed Starcraft 2). That's kind-of a high temperature don't you think? :-S

Anyways, overall, it was pretty good.

What I would do if I were to be testing this again later is set the terrain to medium and the effects to high. The terrain can really affect the FPS, and the effects can too in big battles. So those two things will likely bring the FPS up to playable in even a 3v3. Huge battles might get a bit laggy but it's playable.

As far as 1v1 or 2v2 play goes... one could get competitive just fine. However, do note that if battles get huge in a 2v2 (400 pop vs 400 pop), then you might not have ideal micro-management unless if you dipped the settings down.

For custom maps... I'd lower the settings just ever-so-slightly to account for the custom/large map.

Overall: I'm neutral on this. It did perform better than expected, which is great. As far as the i5/i7 on the 13-inch model goes, and the i7 on the 11-inch model, you'll get an extra 1-2 FPS in the games most likely (if not more)... so if you shoot for that, you'll be all set.

The one worry is the temperature... it's oddly high. I'm going to do some more testing. So long as it stays at 90 celcius or lower, it'll be in the clear. 100 celcius is the critical point that you can't go over, so it's desirable to stay well clear of it by 10 celcius.


thank you very much~