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Falcon80
Oct 27, 2012, 10:07 PM
Anyone currently using macbook air for 3D Game Development? That would mean using 3D engine such as Unity3D and 3D modeling tools like 3DS. Can Macbook Air handle it?

Any advice appreciated. Thanks.



Calot
Oct 27, 2012, 11:25 PM
Sure. i7 with 8GB of RAM should handle simple game development. Just don't think you will be developing for the PS4 on it. Or the PS3 for that matter.

Falcon80
Oct 27, 2012, 11:53 PM
Sure. i7 with 8GB of RAM should handle simple game development. Just don't think you will be developing for the PS4 on it. Or the PS3 for that matter.

Oh.. You mean it can only handle simple game development (2D?). It will have trouble with 3D games?

tiwizard
Oct 28, 2012, 12:01 AM
Oh.. You mean it can only handle simple game development (2D?). It will have trouble with 3D games?

If you're buying a machine *just* for game development, I'd recommend against getting the Air. The Air is great and portable, but it is by no means super powerful. I'd recommend a desktop workstation if you're serious about it, or minimally a 15 inch MBP or Retina MBP. You can also take a look at a tool here (http://tools.macbooktips.info/#/buy) to roughly gauge what sort of computer you need.

Falcon80
Oct 28, 2012, 01:48 AM
If you're buying a machine *just* for game development, I'd recommend against getting the Air. The Air is great and portable, but it is by no means super powerful. I'd recommend a desktop workstation if you're serious about it, or minimally a 15 inch MBP or Retina MBP. You can also take a look at a tool here (http://tools.macbooktips.info/#/buy) to roughly gauge what sort of computer you need.

Yes, mainly for app/game development for mobile platforms. Desktop will be out of questions because likely to be on the move. Considering macbook air because performance seems really good.

Calot
Oct 28, 2012, 09:47 AM
Oh.. You mean it can only handle simple game development (2D?). It will have trouble with 3D games?

Well, I mean that you can develop a 3D game that will run on a 3DS or an iPhone. But you can not develop a PS3 game.

If it's 'simple' 3D games you're after, AND need portability, the Air should get you through it very well.

SimianSquared
Oct 28, 2012, 10:38 AM
What EXACTLY is it that you're going to be doing? Games development encompasses a wide range of skills and jobs - are you an artist, programmer, level designer, sound guy, one-man-studio? We need more information to properly assess what your requirements are.

At this point with so little information, all I can do is give you my own experiences as a guide:

I still use my 13" 2010 top spec Air as one of my main machines for it's portability but you need to be clear on whether portability is something you actually need. For me, I move around a lot and need to be able to take my work with me but if that's not a concern then maybe the Air isn't for you.

As for real world scenarios:

- It handles upward of a million polygons absolutely fine in Zbrush,
- Typically have 20-30 Photoshop documents open (texturing, concepting, sprites etc)
- Unity runs absolutely fine, typically takes 10 secs or so to compile a build,
- I use Logic for composition and sound effects and it is also fine.
- 3DS MAX is fine, though really high polycounts can slow it down (we're talking 200k+, for reference - a typical xbox 360 character probably clocks in at under 10k at the highest LOD.)
- On top of all of those running simultaneously, I am also procrastinating online with 20-odd tabs running so I can safely say, the Air is a capable machine.

HOWEVER: I want to reiterate: ONLY GET AN AIR IF PORTABILITY IS THE ABSOLUTE REQUIREMENT, OTHERWISE YOU GET A LOT MORE POWER FOR YOUR BUCK WITH A PRO OR A DESKTOP.

It struggles a bit on things like lightmapping, some kinds of rendering and any intense calculation but these are few and far between - and manageable.

As a whole though, if you REALLY want to get an Air, you should be fine.


Giuseppe

Edit: I'd like to add - YES, you can develop a PS3 game to full quality on an Air. You may run into performance issues running the game at it's intended settings* but you'd probably want to run them on an actual PS3 dev kit if that was the case.

*also with intense calculation during development, light lighting. but in terms of actual content generation (graphics, sound, code itself) the Air is perfectly capable.

All in all though, I highly doubt you're developing next-gen games. If its some kind of mobile game you're doing- the air will be fine.

But frankly, I'd get a huge, beefy iMac or a top end pro and be happy with superb performance guaranteed.

Falcon80
Oct 28, 2012, 05:16 PM
Well, I mean that you can develop a 3D game that will run on a 3DS or an iPhone. But you can not develop a PS3 game.

If it's 'simple' 3D games you're after, AND need portability, the Air should get you through it very well.

Understood. Thanks for your advise. :)

----------

What EXACTLY is it that you're going to be doing? Games development encompasses a wide range of skills and jobs - are you an artist, programmer, level designer, sound guy, one-man-studio? We need more information to properly assess what your requirements are.

At this point with so little information, all I can do is give you my own experiences as a guide:

I still use my 13" 2010 top spec Air as one of my main machines for it's portability but you need to be clear on whether portability is something you actually need. For me, I move around a lot and need to be able to take my work with me but if that's not a concern then maybe the Air isn't for you.

As for real world scenarios:

- It handles upward of a million polygons absolutely fine in Zbrush,
- Typically have 20-30 Photoshop documents open (texturing, concepting, sprites etc)
- Unity runs absolutely fine, typically takes 10 secs or so to compile a build,
- I use Logic for composition and sound effects and it is also fine.
- 3DS MAX is fine, though really high polycounts can slow it down (we're talking 200k+, for reference - a typical xbox 360 character probably clocks in at under 10k at the highest LOD.)
- On top of all of those running simultaneously, I am also procrastinating online with 20-odd tabs running so I can safely say, the Air is a capable machine.

HOWEVER: I want to reiterate: ONLY GET AN AIR IF PORTABILITY IS THE ABSOLUTE REQUIREMENT, OTHERWISE YOU GET A LOT MORE POWER FOR YOUR BUCK WITH A PRO OR A DESKTOP.

It struggles a bit on things like lightmapping, some kinds of rendering and any intense calculation but these are few and far between - and manageable.

As a whole though, if you REALLY want to get an Air, you should be fine.


Giuseppe

Edit: I'd like to add - YES, you can develop a PS3 game to full quality on an Air. You may run into performance issues running the game at it's intended settings* but you'd probably want to run them on an actual PS3 dev kit if that was the case.

*also with intense calculation during development, light lighting. but in terms of actual content generation (graphics, sound, code itself) the Air is perfectly capable.

All in all though, I highly doubt you're developing next-gen games. If its some kind of mobile game you're doing- the air will be fine.

But frankly, I'd get a huge, beefy iMac or a top end pro and be happy with superb performance guaranteed.

Thanks for the detailed input. :)

I am a programmer, using mainly Unity3D for development. Occasionally, will need access to graphics tools like photoshop, illustrator and 3ds MAx to make minor modifications to art assets. At the moment, doing development only for mobile platforms. Portability is nice to have but not crucial. Would love to have machine that can last me at least the next 3 years.

SimianSquared
Nov 1, 2012, 08:32 AM
The Air will do it, but if you can afford it go pro i think

tiwizard
Nov 1, 2012, 09:53 AM
The Air will do it, but if you can afford it go pro i think

Don't bother with the 13 inch Pro (http://macbooktips.info/macbook-pro-13-inch-vs-macbook-air-13-inch/), if you do go with a MBP. 15 inch or 15 inch Retina models will be faster.