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Old Aug 6, 2011, 10:39 PM   #1
harveyza
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11" MBA i7 Performance on SC2/Netflix/Hulu

I currently have a 13" MBA Rev. C (2.13GHz) and have trouble playing games such as Starcraft 2 and streaming Netflix/Hulu in HD. I am considering replacing it with the 11" MBA core i7/4GB RAM/256GB SSD.
The main thing I am concerned about is how the 2011 MBA fares on flash/silverlight playback as my current MBA is incapable of playing HD content without stuttering. If it does well at SC2 that would be nice, but hardly a deal-breaker as I only play occasionally.
Screen size is not so much an issue as I have a 24" external display––something that also taxes my current MBA when doing anything more than web browsing or typing in Word/Pages.
Aside, how do the new MBAs do when faced with large spreadsheets and statistical analysis programs such as SPSS? My current MBA does pretty well at these tasks, but I would be interested in how the new one improves upon performance on these kinds of applications.
The 11" size is ideal as I am a college student that also works 20 hours a week in a lab––this will also be my "work" computer––so the portability is key.
Feedback appreciated.
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Old Aug 6, 2011, 10:58 PM   #2
happyslayer
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I just got the exact Air you are considering. I'll hook it up to my 26" 1920x1200 monitor and let you know how it does on HD playback. Can't really say about SC2 as I don't play it. I'll post back with results tomorrow.

I do know that it handles Windows7 Pro with XP mode very well. Also, all apps seem way faster than on my previous 1.6 C2D 11.6 Air (also had 4GB RAM)
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Old Aug 7, 2011, 02:15 AM   #3
adnoh
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the MBA that you are going to buy will have no problems.
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Old Aug 8, 2011, 01:27 AM   #4
happyslayer
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Okay, I've been running as many different 1080p videos as possible - both on just the Air and on my Visio 26" LCD monitor (DVI to Mini Display port converter) at 1920x1200. I have had NO issues with stuttering or lockups or freezing. In fact, I am watching one right now on YouTube @ 1080p. I tried Hulu also with no issues but I am not a Hulu+ member so it was not at 1080p.

Eventually the fans come on but my CPU temp has not gone above 73 degrees C. The fans do kick up to 6000 rpm after about 20 min. and they are audible, but not that bad.

I do not have any games installed to try out, but if and when I do, I'll report back.

Thanks
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Old Aug 8, 2011, 03:30 AM   #5
Razzz
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I also have the same 11inch mba (see sig) I've played sc2 a couple of times on lowest settings and it runs just fine assuming you have good internet. i do use a chill pad on my desk cause my mba gets hotttttt. usually around 87 degrees C. the bottom is literally burning my leg. hope I'm not the only one with this problem. The laptop is a screamer absolutely rips on the internet. smooth scrolling and good 1080p playback. but it gets hot doing all these things. I'm downloading a game off steam right now and the keyboard is getting kinda hot. but it really doesn't bother me too too much. strongly suggest it, as the heating thing varies
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Old Aug 8, 2011, 12:28 PM   #6
harveyza
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Thanks for the replies. I will definitely drop by the Apple store in the next few weeks to pick one up. Do any of you have any suggestions for a resale value for my current MBA? I was thinking $1000-1200––I still have two years of apple care left. I will admit this does seem a little low since I just bought the computer ~14 months ago, but they did update it right after.
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Old Aug 8, 2011, 02:12 PM   #7
Meever
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I had my 13" hooked up to my 27" imac. It was running one 1080 movie and 3 browser windows with about 5 tabs each.

No problems. It did start to struggle when i opened a second 720 movie though.
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