Does the Macbook Air have BETTER graphics than the Macbook Pro 13?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by yanksrock100, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    yanksrock100

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego
    #1
    Both Airs have Nvidia 320m graphics, and the 13 inch Macbook Pro have only Intels integrated Graphics.

    Are the Airs' Graphics better?
     
  2. macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #2
    Yes, but only marginally.
     
  3. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    #3
    the difference is rather big in windows gaming
     
  4. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #4
    Yes, and those that own a new 13" MBP would never tell you the problems. Those that are Intel fans just want fast CPUs and often ignore problems with the IGP.

    I believe that over time people will find more and more negative information about Intel's SB IGP. I think the bigger problem will be a lower voltage SB with an IGP performing at about 55% of the current Nvidia 320m. For this reason I really wonder if Apple can use the Intel IGP in the MBA.

    There has been a lot made about Apple using the 320m GPU with Nvidia chipset for a long time to come. I really believe that Apple may plan to continue using the C2D and Nvidia 320m throughout 2011.

    The MBA is selling well and the prior model wasn't really updated for two years the last time leading until the October 2010 update. October 2008 brought the Nvidia 9400m and the MBA got simply a CPU bump in June 2009 but not an actual update.

    I believe Ivy Bridge is the real logical update cycle for the MBA as the typical MBA buyer understands the value of the MBA is there with all of the other components as the C2D certainly isn't a bottleneck. Intel does a great job of marketing making consumers believe the only way to update a computer is via a new CPU. I believe Mac fans are smarter than that as they trust Apple.

    I would bet 95% of MBA buyers don't care what is in it as long as it meets their own needs and seems fast. The MBA is the fastest Mac most people have ever used so what is wrong with C2D and Nvidia's GPU?

    For all of these reasons I believe the MBA will be the last Mac to migrate beyond C2D and Nvidia 320m. I believe Apple will upgrade the iMac, MacBook, Mac mini, and Mac Pro all before switching the MBA to Intel's IGP for graphics. We can even hope Apple finds a discrete AMD GPU to go in the MBA or switches to AMD for the entire package.

    I really believe people are dreaming if they think the MBA is getting updated in June. And if it does get the SB Intel IGP I believe a lot of people will be disappointed with it and Apple as the IGP may very well become the main problem of the MBA, AGAIN!
     
  5. macrumors newbie

    foursomer

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2011
    Location:
    BKK
    #5
    yes and the 13" don't deserve to be "Pro"
     
  6. 2IS
    macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    #6
    Jesus, think you could have consolidated the use of "MBA" a bit there?
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    #7
    The prior model was just not selling towards the end of its life - the price/value for money was ridiculously poor. Apple realised it needed to find a better price point and found out how to do this (whilst maintaining high margins), by releasing a MBA11.

    The MBA 320m has better graphics performance in games than the MBP13, for day to day stuff it's not really noticeable. The MBA CPU is significantly slower (the low power C2D architecture is << SB i5 for some tasks). Again, for many users this won't affect them, although certain specific tasks (video transcoding) can get a huge boost from the new SB chips.
     
  8. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    #8

    C2D and Nvidia GPU combo uses more power than the SB solution. Furthermore, SB faster processor speed can also compensate the slower intel IGP. As a result, it is a win win situation. Bro, you are not running Crysis on MBA.:rolleyes: Just my 2 cents

    Peacemaker
     
  9. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    #9
    im actually quite disappointed by the lack of quicksync being enabled in the SB i5 MBP....

    Without it the SB triumphs over the C2D based on its clock and efficiency rather than architecture
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    stockscalper

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2003
    Location:
    Area 51
    #10
    Better by a long shot. The graphics in the 13" MBP are weak by comparison, plus it has less screen resolution. Frankly, I don't see what the purpose of the 13" MBP is. If you need a smaller screen laptop, the Air beats it handily. If you need more horsepower, the 15" models offer that.
     
  11. macrumors 68000

    gwsat

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #11
    The graphics and screen resolution of the new 13 inch MBP are, indeed, "weak by comparison" to those of the 13 inch MBA. I went to the Apple Store earlier today and spent about half an hour checking out the new 13 inch MBP. After having used my MBA for four and a half months, the inferiority of the 13 inch MBP's graphics was immediately apparent, at least to me. There were some other things I thought made the MBP inferior to the MBA, too, but they are beyond the scope of this thread.
     
  12. macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #12
    Most reviews have the 'complete package' as a bit of a tossup. Apps that are CPU-light and GPU-heavy tend to have a slight advantage in favor of the Air, apps that are more CPU-heavy, even if they have a healthy amount of GPU-use tend to favor the Pro.

    The current Air is essentially the same beast as the previous 2010 13" Pro, internally, so Anandtech's comparison is very revealing.

    The 2011 13" Pro (Intel graphics) beats the 2010 13" Pro (nVidia graphics) on every front in OS X, although only just. The 2010/nVidia beats the 2011/Intel on every front in Windows, although only just.

    And there are very few cases where it actually matters, as in those cases where the nVidia is significantly better, even the nVidia is unplayably slow. (18 fps vs. 24.)
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    stockscalper

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2003
    Location:
    Area 51
    #13
    If you read the specs carefully you see that they're turning the graphics down so that the Intel chip appears to be close. Turn the resolution up and the NVidia card wipes the floor with Intel graphics as other reviews have shown.
     
  14. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    #14
    Apps that hit the GPU in OSX favor the Air by a slim margin. Apps that hit the CPU favor the MBP by a landslide.

    This debate shouldn't be settled based on the GPU imo. That's a close enough race that most people won't notice the difference.

    If you need CPU performance, RAM, an optical drive, or the future expansion that Thunderbolt brings, then it's a no brainer decision for the MBP. If you need the additional screen real estate or extreme portability then it's a slam dunk for the Air.
     
  15. 2IS
    macrumors 68030

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    Jan 9, 2011
    #15
    100% agree.
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Location:
    Mom's basement
    #16
    I wouldnt mind seeing C2D in the forthcoming MBAs, but seriously. Do you think Apple has stacked up that many C2Ds? If they sold 1.1 million macbook airs in 5 months, they will probably sell out by june. Unless Stevie bought like a mountain of C2D chips, apple will be forced to switch to SB.
     
  17. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    #17
    I just took a close look at the MBA and MBP side by side at best buy and there's no discernible difference in graphics quality to me. That's not to say that one isn't better than the other, but at the level of MBA 13 v. MBP 13 I didn't see any difference. Now, the MBP 17" has a drop dead incredible display and blows everything else out of the water.
     
  18. macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #18
    When you turn the quality up enough that the nVidia card "wipes the floor", even the nVidia card is unplayable. A couple examples on other sites have the difference at higher quality settings with the nVidia card getting up to 2x the frame rate. Although the frame rates are on the order of 10 vs. 20 fps or even 8 vs 19 fps. Yes, it's 2x! But it's still unplayable.

    In most reviews, there are very limited scenarios where the nVidia is "just barely playable" at a given setting while the Intel is unplayable. In most of the situations where a game is "just barely playable", the settings are low enough that the two are even, or the Intel very slightly ahead.
     
  19. macrumors 68000

    gwsat

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #19
    I agree, too. I love my 13 inch MBA because of its power coupled with incredible thinness and lightness. But if thinness and lightness were not as important to me as they are, I would get a 13 inch MBP. The MBP does, indeed, have graphics that are inferior to the MBA's but it offers far more power, along with both Firewire 800 and Thunderbolt ports. Also the MBP's RAM and hard drive are user upgradeable. Best of all, the entry level 13 inch MBA costs only two-thirds as much as a comparably equipped 13 inch MBA.
     
  20. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    #20
    Good info in this thread
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    iDisk

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Location:
    Menlo Park, CA
    #21
    The 13" Pro is a slap in the face from Apple. 13"Pro users will not agree on that, how could they?

    The 13" Pro has a lower res screen then the 11" Air, The graphics suck on the 13" Pro too..

    I have a ultimate Air, you should buy one too!!

    Only "pro" notebook Apple makes is the 15" inch high end model and 17" model... the low end 15" with its 256VRAM is a slap in the face, apple should have 512mb and 1GB not 256mb and 1GB ... The pro's are overpriced. The hi-res screen should be standard.

    Bottom line is GET A AIR. Ultimate
     
  22. macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #22
    And I fully agree here. The fact that the 13" Pro still has the 1280x screen while the 13" Air got a 1440x screen is insane that they call it "Pro".

    And while the Intel graphics may be roughly equal to the 320M in the Air, it is still disgraceful to call "Pro".

    The 13" Pro really should be called just "MacBook" (maybe without FireWire, since Apple has abandoned that on the lower-end MBs,) but if they're going to call it "Pro", they should at *LEAST* have a higher res screen (and matte) available as an option for people who want a smaller-than-15-but-still-"Pro" computer.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2004
    #23
    I agree that the 13" 2011 Pro Screen Rez should have at least been BTO-able to 1440x900, like the 13" air. Pretty inexcusable.

    But the 11" air has a 16x9 rez vs the 16x10 res of the 13" Pro. Different beasts, and while pushing pixels they're pretty much a wash:

    1366x768 = 1,049,088 pixels

    1280x800 = 1,024,000 pixels

    That's only 25,000 pixels less. 1/2 the pixels of the new iPod Nano screen. So it's less, but not *that* much less. And some people prefer the 16x10 screens vs. the 16x9 for working (and less vertical scrolling all the time! ;) ).

    And Regarding Graphics, we've already seen that in OSX, the difference between the 320m and the HD 3000 is negligible (the HD 3000 is probably 5-10% less than the 320m). But that is more than made up for by the 200% processor gain from C2D.

    I know. I did, twice in 2008, and once in late 2010. ;) But your advice should have an asterisk after it... GET AN (see how I fixed that for ya? ;) ) AIR*

    *unless you need any of the following: CPU Power, DVD-RW, Ethernet, Firewire, multithreading, or Thunderbolt.

    I agree heavily on the Matte, High-Res screen. If the 13" 2011 had a Matte 1400x900 screen, I'd be typing on one right now!
     
  24. 2IS
    macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    #24
    Right, but you're forgetting that the pixels on the mbp are spread over 13.3" vs 11.6" So not only does it have fewer pixels, it has to spread them out further.
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    stockscalper

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2003
    Location:
    Area 51
    #25
    They are not roughly equal, they are vastly subpar. What the graphics in the Air are roughly equal to is the low end 15" MBP as born out by numerous tests.
     

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