Air gamers, how's the heat?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by niuniu, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    A man of the people. The right sort of people.
    #1
    Been lookin around today at the Air i5 & i7s running games - quite impressive.

    How's the heat though? I game on a Macbook Pro 13inch 2010 at the moment (my 15inch MBP is nearly dead) and the only time I have problems is when running 2 instances of a game (like multi-boxing on an MMO for example). The problem isn't the processor or graphics card.. they run it decent enough to be playable.. but the heat. As soon as it gets hot.. everything throttles down and FPS dies. I can solve this by homemade cooling (icepacks under it) it's a hassle.

    Luckily I don't multibox often, or even play often right now, but I will again in the future and the future looks to be a Macbook Air 15 or 17 inch if rumors are to be believed. I like the sound of that. More than fast enough to work on and lighter too.

    But I'm worried about the heat. If my MBP 13 inch and 15inch got so hot that they started to slow down, then the Air surely must be worse.

    Anyway, sorry for the wall of text - but figured the Air owners that actually run games would be the best guys to ask. I've never used an i5 or i7 machine.. just Core 2 Duos..
     
  2. iRCL macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    #2
    This is a goofy response to your question but, the hardest I've driven by 13" i5 is with Diablo 3 and it does heat up significantly but the heat mainly comes from near the 'ESC' key, that corner. So I've got fingers on the 1-5 keys and I'll feel a little bit of warmth there, but if I move my fingers 'up' the keyboard towards the Fn keys it gets EXTREMELY hot. Goofy response because, I actually like it and I kind of touch that area while I'm playing just for fun.

    Also goofy is that, the heat is so much on the left side, that I notice my left hand will start to sweat after long periods of computing, and my right won't.

    Overall though I believe it gets less hot than any of the myriad MBP's I've owned including the latest generation.

    Another note is that the MBA seems to get COLD so easily. If it's sitting on a table and I put it on my lap it'll be freezing cold to the touch against my knees or whatever. Really weird. Its like they built ice in to it ;)

    Love the MBA...
     
  3. Warhawk15 macrumors regular

    Warhawk15

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2012
    #3
    ^ Ditto
    The most intense game I think I play is Starcraft 2 on it, and it does get very hot in the upper left corner.
    Of course it gets hot for any game I play, such as Portal 2, Left 4 Dead 2, and Torchlight.
    I do try and take breaks from playing too long, to let it cool down a bit, then start it up again.

    But I have never noticed it causing any problems though, like slowing the game down.
    The only time I get lag or something, is when I don't have enough RAM available, I try to have 2gb available when I play any game...
     
  4. Augure macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #4
    I can't even have old PS2 or Gamecube emulator working correctly on my fall 2010 Macbook whereas it works well on my crappy 3 years old computer...
     
  5. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #5
    No need to worry about the heat....but it does get too hot to rest on your bare lap while gaming....I always game on a desk...so its not a big deal....occasionally qwer will get quite hot to the touch, but not so much that its unplayable. The internals are rated to run a lot hotter than it peaks at tho..so you shouldn't worry about using your computer. It's a really great portable gamer btw! Make sure you update the drivers tho! New drivers just released for Intel HD Series graphics and it made things run really well.
     
  6. Xgm541 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #6
    this is irrelevant to the thread.

    The i5's and i7's are known to throttle due to heat. It depends on which games youll be running.

    also check out : http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1204930
     
  7. macguy360 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    #7
    If you have the correct game settings, you shouldn't have any issues with heat. The goal is to try to have your computer running at about 70% of its max capabilities.

    For instance, in World of Warcraft, I set the graphics to medium/high with low shadows & water textures and medium to high draw distance. Then I cap the framerate at either 30 or 40 fps. This does 2 things. It keeps the game running smoothly without any hiccups due to graphics intensive situations and it also keeps the computer running cool. I hardly ever have the fan even get high enough to hear it and this is with the game sound turned all the way down.
     
  8. Stingray454 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    #8
    I do the same thing, although I have the 2010 Air that runs cooler than the 2011 one. With WoW running on max framerate I can get really good framerates, but the computer gets up to 85:ish degrees. When capping the framerate to 30, the game feels just as smooth but the temperature usually hovers around 70. I guess both those numbers are a but higher for the 2011 Air that runs hotter, but capping framerates helps a lot if you're having heat issues.
     
  9. Psilocybin macrumors 6502a

    Psilocybin

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    Jan 16, 2011
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    Ontario, Canada
  10. niuniu thread starter macrumors 68020

    niuniu

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    A man of the people. The right sort of people.
    #10
    Thanks for the replies. WoW is comparatively easy to run these days. I wouldn't have any problems with that. Next-gen MMOs are a lot more intensive graphically, especially when running multiple instances of the game and are doing something like sieging (400+ people).

    I expect heat, I expect the components to roast near their upper limit but it's the throttling down that's the problem. So I know that the MBP 2010 just can't handle that sort of intensity heatwise. However the power is definitely there (which I find surprisingly nice).
     
  11. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #11
    I don't play WoW...but that game is so ancient, it should run flawlessly all the way back to 2008 MBA.

    Next gen games like Skyrim, Deus Ex, Rage, Kingdom of Amalar, however, run very well on the 2011 MBA!
     
  12. Psilocybin macrumors 6502a

    Psilocybin

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2011
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #12
    Does running in windows vs osx lower heat? My CPU runs on lowest settings in osx on wow at 90-95 degrees c

    13.3 core i7 1.8
     

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