13" MBA w/4GB RAM and HD 4000 - ok for casual gaming?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by keelio, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. keelio macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    #1
    Good people - I'm looking to buy my wife a new 13" notebook. Preferably the MBA.

    The MBA would mostly be using this for on-the-go office type software and internet, but with occasional gaming at home. Almost always Diablo 3 and Bioshock 2 (she's not a gamer and sticks to what she likes).

    A similar discussion on the MBP forums indicated that the HD 4000 in the 13" MBP could ~reasonably drive Diablo 3 at Low graphics levels.

    Would y'all expect the 13" MBA to be able to drive Diablo 3 at reasonable frame rates, even though the MBA has a slower CPU and comes (stock) with 4GB memory?

    thanks!
     
  2. dona83 macrumors regular

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    Nov 26, 2004
    Location:
    Coquitlam, BC
    #2
    Diablo 3 runs decent on the HD3000 at low settings, the HD4000 is about 60% faster so it should be even better.

    Apple went a couple steps back going to the HD3000 from the 320M, then made a few jumps forward going with the HD4000.
     
  3. keelio thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    #3
    Thanks. Offered answers to my question range from "yeah it'll work fine" to "no way Diablo 3 will suck on the HD4000" to "get a real computer" ...so maybe I need to wait until people actually try to run D3 on the 13" MBA and see how it goes.
     
  4. rygamble macrumors regular

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    Feb 1, 2012
    #4
    I run Skyrim (a much more demanding game) on low setting just fine on my mid-2010 White MacBook. HD4000 in the new MBA is actually faster than the 320M that's in my machine. So you should have no problem. You might even get away with mid settings!
     
  5. brentsg macrumors 68030

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    Oct 15, 2008
    #5
    Many people don't grasp the concept of casual gaming.
     
  6. keelio thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 1, 2011
    #6
    Yeah, my lady spends a lot of her Bioshock 2 time cursing while running facefirst into the wall repeatedly while being eaten by spiders. No liquid cooled neon case needed here.
     
  7. boto macrumors 6502

    boto

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    Jun 4, 2012
    #7
  8. Kungshi macrumors member

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    May 11, 2011
    #8
    So very true! It's like they would rather debate you on irrelevant matters than answer your honest question about a machines casual gaming ability.
     
  9. kamgr macrumors newbie

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    Sep 1, 2008
    #9
    The below works fine for me so far in single player mode (these were auto set after installation). I just walked around Old Tristram and got 30-42 fps.

    The only small downside is the mba is warm in my lap (which of course can be easily resolved).

    Display: fullscreen
    Resolution: 1280 x 800
    Letterbox: off
    Vertical Sync: off
    Max Foreground FPS: on, 150
    Max Background FPS: on, 8
    Textures: high
    Shadows: medium
    Physics: high
    Clutter density: medium
    Anti-Aliasing: off
    Low FX: off
     
  10. dHk macrumors member

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    Jun 12, 2012
    #10
    you play games..... on your lap?
     
  11. Smartie macrumors regular

    Smartie

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    Apr 25, 2012
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #11
    Reiterating something I just read... "Many people don't grasp the concept of casual gaming."

    :D
     
  12. jmthigpen macrumors regular

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    Apr 18, 2011
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    #12
    Could you try the following settings and report back with your average FPS? I'm on the line whether or not to buy an air, since I would like to play D3 casually!

    Display: fullscreen
    Resolution: 1440 x 900 (if you have a 13")
    Letterbox: off
    Vertical Sync: off
    Max Foreground FPS: off, 150
    Max Background FPS: off, 150
    Textures: medium
    Shadows: off/low (whatever is the lowest setting)
    Physics: high
    Clutter density: medium
    Anti-Aliasing: off

    Thanks!
     
  13. kamgr, Jun 13, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2012

    kamgr macrumors newbie

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    Sep 1, 2008
    #13
    I make even the casual gamers look hardcore :D

    I couldn't wait to try D3 on the mba, so I postponed the desk and mouse setup. So my testing was done with the machine in my lap and with the trackpad.

    I'll give this a shot after work.
     
  14. keelio thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 1, 2011
    #14
    Playing D3 on your laptop on your actual lap... HARDCORE CASUAL.
     
  15. dona83 macrumors regular

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    Nov 26, 2004
    Location:
    Coquitlam, BC
    #15
    Casual gaming = whatever little time you can get to game between going to work, studying, looking after kids, etc. If you're lucky, you get an hour to game uninterrupted. Typically 15-30 minutes. You don't play COD online because your stats are 1 kill - 1000 deaths, however beating the game in single player mode is doable, maybe, in novice mode after a few dozen deaths.
     
  16. Smartie macrumors regular

    Smartie

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    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #16
    That's the definition of being a dad/mom to small kids. :) thus, only Civ 5 and the like now because they are turn based and you can accept interruption.
     
  17. goinskiing macrumors 6502a

    goinskiing

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    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Meridian, ID
    #17
    My 2011 13" MBA can handle a PS2 emulator (with low settings including native PS2 resolution). There's some occasional slow downs in large area with lots monsters fighting in FFXII etc, but definitely playable for a causal gamer. The new MBA should definitely suffice for the casual gamer.

    Casual gamer is one who bought the machine for another primary purpose but can play games when you have the time between all the other things.
     
  18. kamgr macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    #18
    FPS range is 19-25 with those settings. Also, after about 45-60 minutes on the original settings I posted earlier, FPS drops to the 20-25 range.

    So far the frame rate doesn't impact me. I've heard it's more of an issue in Act 2+ though.
     
  19. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    #19
    A ps2 emulator would be heavily CPU dependent. Most games are not.

    ----------

    Until someone actually tests a MBA, this is probably your bet source of infO. Keep in min though, the MBA will be on the lower end of these benchmarks, well below the average.
     
  20. jmthigpen macrumors regular

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    Apr 18, 2011
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    #20
    Dang, that seems like pretty low fps, do you think it would be enjoyable at 1440 x 900 with all low settings, could you check that out real quick? Does having the game set to a lower resolution make it fuzzy at all?

    Thank you!
     
  21. levitynyc macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    #21
    pretty bad results here.

    embarrassing that my windows pc with medium range gaming components that cost me 900 can run Diablo 3 on high at 60fps while a $1,300 laptop can't get to 30 fps on low
     
  22. dona83 macrumors regular

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    Nov 26, 2004
    Location:
    Coquitlam, BC
    #23
    Cool story bro.
     
  23. kamgr macrumors newbie

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    Sep 1, 2008
    #24
    I'm at low 30's with the following:

    Display: fullscreen
    Resolution: 1440 X 900
    Letterbox: off
    Vertical Sync: off
    Max Foreground FPS: on, 150
    Max Background FPS: on, 8
    Textures: low
    Shadows: low
    Physics: low
    Clutter density: off
    Anti-Aliasing: off
    Low FX: on

    It's playable to me (ymmv). Just immersive enough.
     
  24. JesseW6889 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    #25
    This.

    In case anyone missed it.
     

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