Only '11 vs. '10 Downgrade: Graphics

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jomo25, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. macrumors regular

    So, it seems the only area where the '11 MBA is a downgrade from the '10 is in the graphics chip. The SB arch required the Intel integrated graphics chip.

    So, what types of apps will be mostly impacted by this and by how much, in practical terms?

    I assume 3D intensive games will take the biggest hit. But how about watching movies, esp in high resolution? The faster CPU will make producing and rendering video much faster, but what other types of apps would "suffer" due to the step down in GPU? (Suffer in quotes because its probably not that bad either way.)
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Based on the impressions so far, it seems that these newer Airs have slightly better framerates than last year's models in gaming. So I won't really worry much about these listed specs but the actual use and comparisons.
  3. MRU, Jul 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011



    The CPU is compensating. If we got the i5 & i7's with a 320m, then we would have a very nice bit of kit indeed ;)

    But I'm willing to forgoe GPU for some horsepower when working. This generation is getting better benchmarks than my 2.9 core 2 duo MBP that cost me twice the price.

    MacBook Pro (Late 2008)
    Intel Core 2 Duo T9800 2.93 GHz (2 cores). 4354

    Intel Core i7-2677M @ 1.80 GHz (1 processor, 2 cores, 4 threads). 6288

    Of course the MBP has the better GPU but other than gaming the MBA smokes it.


  4. macrumors 6502a


    Nah don't worry. I won't really worry about Geekbench figures. They're practically useless. They won't change the fact that the Airs won't be better at heavy lifting compared to the MBP machines. That's why I rely more on specific applications or tasks testing like this:

    So far, for the 2011 MBA, I like Barefeats testing:

    Then again, you have a 2008 MBP so your mileage may vary.
  5. macrumors member

    His Macbook Pro is a Core 2 Duo. The 2nd generation Core i5/i7's are lot faster. I did some comparisons. The performance in multi-threaded apps will be similar to what Geekbench differences show(although its towards the higher range). Remember, the new CPUs can Turbo to 2.4-2.5GHz multi-thread and 2.9GHz single thread.
  6. macrumors 65816



    this has been argued with many times in the macbook pro forums.

    the HD3000 is actually on par with the 320M no advantages or disadvantages

    Note: I DONT own the picture, sorry to the owner if I have used without permission as I dont recall who I've taken the picture from.

    Attached Files:

  7. macrumors 65816


    The 320m is still better then the 3000 HD, but the only programs that will be affected would be games and other 3D applications such as Maya, Lightwave, or Bryce. Everything else would see an upgrade. Everything from photo editing, video encoding, and even everyday OS use.
  8. macrumors newbie

    But we can't, so it's a moot point.
  9. macrumors G3


    The new Air is really a nice machine. Even my buddy who bought a new MBP a few months ago thinks the Air is nicer notebook.
  10. macrumors 6502a


    Ahhhh... NOT! Check out the Barefeats test with Portal (link above in my previous post). Even if it's slight, the MBA HD3000 is still BETTER at gaming.

    Also, check out this thread:
  11. randomhkkid, Jul 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011

    macrumors member


    Strange my 9600m gt gets better frame rates than the 320m and certainly the HD 3000. I wonder what benchmark this is.
  12. macrumors 601


    Too bad intel had to litigate its way out of competing with AMD on GPU's...
  13. macrumors regular

    I was reading this yesterday, I can't speak to the accuracy of their testing, but they do claim a difference in their Call of Duty 4 test:
  14. macrumors regular

    Looks like the Barefeats numbers in the link are comparing the '10 MBA against the i7 option on the '11. I guess I am interested in the i5 comparisons.
  15. macrumors 65816


    This has been done to death. They're on par. Lion is not going to give anyone accurate benchmarks until everything is updated for it. Simple solution. Buy a system designed for what you do.
  16. macrumors regular

    Source engine games are not a good indication, they have always been very CPU hungry in comparison to other games so I'm not surprised the 2011 wins slightly there.

    The 320M is definitely better when it comes to games that are more GPU hungry. Like Crysis.
  17. macrumors regular

    Umm, thanks. To buy a system designed for what I do, I need information about what the systems do best. This is what I was asking for.

    And I guess now that the systems are actually out and in people's hands, I'm looking for real experience, not just theoretical.
  18. macrumors member

    There's a '10 macbook air?
  19. macrumors 65816


    There are lots of benchmarks so far. Not theoretical, but games and applications. All I'm saying is, the system is not designed for gamers (yes it handles some light gaming) and that it will get better once the games are updated for lion.
  20. macrumors member

    All I can say is my 13" i7 runs Starcraft 2 on medium really well under OSX... I would be surprised to see the 2010 do better, but I'm sure someone out there can do a comparison test.
  21. macrumors regular

    Yes, as in "2010 Macbook Air."
  22. macrumors 6502a


    Me too. :)
  23. macrumors regular

    Cool, if only games (and then only certain ones) are impacted, then it won't be an issue for me. It seems that watching video is at least as good, or even much better.
  24. macrumors member

    Hauling a 15"+ MBP to and from work everyday would be too bulky and annoying for me. It's too bad that the 13" MBP skimped on the card, but ultimately the portable/ultraportable Mac market doesn't intersect well with the gamer market or we'd see one in there.

    As far as the HD3000 vs. Nvidia, the evidence shows that it depends on the game, at least as far as the '10 vs. '11 MBAs go. My own game of choice (WoW) unfortunately turned out on the short end of the stick; even with the same settings, Oppressor's screenshots here on the forums show a loss of detail with the HD3k and a definite loss of FPS. But is it playable? Yes, and very well on lower settings, enough to keep me pleased when I want to play the game mobile.

    For home playing and for video editing, I'm getting a referb iMac. I've finally got it through my hard head that it's not what the Air is for.
  25. macrumors 65816


    If people really care enough then do what I did. Buy a 2011 MBA and clone your current 2010 MBA onto it. Then sit them side by side and see for yourself. You have 14 days to do this so abuse it.

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