11" vs 13" for starcraft 2?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by butters149, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. butters149 macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2009

    Just wondering which would be better for starcraft 2 on MAc OSX? Im not sure if SC2 is that CPU intensive and the lower screen resolution might give more FPS on SC2.

  2. Oppressed macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2010
    You are right and you will squeeze a few more FPS out of the 11" due to the native screen resolution being smaller, but we are talking only 3-5 FPS increase.
  3. ccs569 macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2011
    Hmmm... I was planning to get one of the upcoming MBA's and was leaning towards the 11", bc I could get an external 24" monitor. Will playing SC2 on a 24" external be feasible with either mba?
  4. s.hasan546 macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2011
    to me the MBA (even the new one) will suck at playing SC II. I play pretty big games + on all ultra settings. Only my pc gaming rig can handle that.
  5. Oppressed macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2010
    Yes but the current 2010 model would work better for your needs.
  6. ccs569 macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2011
    I appreciate your feedback. I guess I'm leaning towards the new MBA simply because SC2 is the only game I play, and only SC2 once a month or so.

    I can get by on low settings on my 2006 MBP w/ core 2 duo. As long as I can play on the new MBA, I am ok with med-low settings. Its seems like a shame to pass up the improved performance on everything else when I game so rarely...
  7. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    It sounds like the New Air (presuming most of guesses about it are correct) will do what you want.

    When you goto order your Air, think of how many years you will be keeping your machine for. And then maybe custom configure based on that. Of course since we don't know how much ram or anything else for a fact, it's hard to give full advice on the config.
  8. butters149 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2009
    yea but isnt the gt32m better than the hd3000 for gaming?
  9. Blondie :) macrumors 6502a

    Blondie :)

    May 12, 2010
    Prescott, AZ
    You're just like me in that regard. I only play about once a month as well. And it's the only game I play. Honestly, you can get by on either machine based on what you do. If you're ok with low settings all the time, get the 11". It may give you more fps since it's a smaller screen, but the cpu and gpu will have a slightly harder time than the 13" will.

    You might even be able to get by with some med settings on the 13", as long as shaders are still set to low. Cheers!
  10. ccs569 macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2011
    My impression from the discussions here was that SC2 on SB will be comparable to C2D w/ NVidia when playing through OSX...

    What I was more concerned about is if playing on a 24" monitor as opposed to the mba screen will trip up the graphics card and make the limitations of the 3000 more noticeable ?
  11. housecat, Jun 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011

    housecat macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2011
    the difference between 320m and hd3000 is negligable. the 320m is -slightly- stronger, if that. the i7 processor is one of the most powerful chips on the market right now. all those saying to jump on the c2d dinosaurs are off their rockers.

    especially if you are coming from the 9400m (which i played sc2 on with medium settings with a high fps) you will notice a HUGE improvement in performance.

    According to Apple's MBA page, the 320m is 2.9x faster than the 9400m.
    According to techyalert's bench tests:

    SC2 on High Settings
    2011 MBP with Intel HD 3000 (avg fps) = 28
    2010 MBP with nVidia 320m (avg fps) = 28
  12. KillerTree macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2008
    There's no way a hd3000 can play Starcraft 2 at medium settings with high fps

    The i5 Macbook Air will only be able to play Starcraft 2 well on low settings.
  13. housecat macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2011
    28FPS is good enough for me on high settings. 30 is the ideal, but I'd take the 2FPS hit for full settings any day.
  14. KillerTree macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2008
    There's no way an HD3000 is giving you 28FPS on high settings.

    Even on medium it probably chugs to very low FPS when the action gets high.
  15. tungry macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2011
    I have a current model MBA 13 ultimate. I installed SC2 and it's completely unplayable. I had the settings all set on lowest along with the resolution and it is still unplayable. You won't be able to do SC2 or any other recent games on a MBA, current model or future sandy bridge model.

    Please stop wondering what MBA can do in gaming because it isn't for gaming PERIOD. If game is a necessity for you then cross MBA off your rig list and get a MBP or a windows box.

    On a side note, even if you can withstand the crappy graphics on MBA and plays the game for a prolong period you are jeopardizing your MBA into burning into flames. I know, cause I fried a MBP after a year of hardcore world of warcraft.
  16. Oppressed macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2010
    First off I'd like to point out that a normal voltage iCore will be better than a LV or ULV iCore which will be found in the new airs. That said don't be shocked to load SC2 on a new MBA and see much less FPS than 28.

    That said there are benchmarks out there that test LV and ULV iCores and it's graphics power. Many of which show it as being around half as powerful as the 320m.
  17. Oppressed macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2010
    You installed 10.6.7 through a software update or combo update. It makes games unplayable. There are topics that address this. That is unless you think 30+ FPS is unplayable.
  18. ccs569 macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2011
    Well, can I at least safely assume that either the hd3000 or the 320m would run SC2 better than the ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 on my '06 MBP?
  19. ritmomundo macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have SC2 installed on my 11" MBA 1.4ghz 2GB 128SSD, and it runs fine on low/med settings. Dunno abt the FPS, but I know the fans kick in pretty loud after a few minutes.

    Also, I didn't do the individual OSX updates, just did whatever showed up on Software Update.
  20. Vazkor macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2006
    Yes. It's almost double the power, which of course doesn't mean double the fps.
  21. endhalf macrumors regular

    May 24, 2011
    wouldn't be better if you'd buy 13" and run SC2 on lower resolution? :D
  22. KillerTree macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2008
    There's a fix for that. You downgrade back to 10.6.5. Upgrade to 10.6.6. Then to 10.6.7.
  23. Acronyc macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2011
    My experience is very different. I have an 11” 1.4/4/128 MBA and it runs SC2 on low/medium settings just fine. It also runs a lot of other modern games (such as Mass Effect 2, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, and Mini Ninjas) just fine, both in OS X and Windows 7. The MBA is not a gaming rig by any means, but it can hold its own quite well for casual gaming.
  24. gman901 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 1, 2007
    Houston, TX
    I totally agree with you! I had the Alienware M11x, but realized most of the games I played on that unit played perfectly fine on my 11" Air without me noticing much of a difference. Yes, of course you should get an Alienware if you want portable gaming, but if you want OSX, portability and gaming, the Air is a great machine.

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