Air's graphical capabilities?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by NewGenAdam, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. NewGenAdam macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    #1
    Clearly I wouldn't buy the Air to run Crysis et cetera, but a bit of graphical power is almost necessary.
    For me the benchmark would be Google Earth; I can't think of anything else remotely graphicy that I'd use.

    How does the Air do with Google Earth? If you turn up all the settings to high, does the Air cope?
     
  2. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #2
    Google Earth is primarily a 2D app. It's going to work fine on the Air.
     
  3. NewGenAdam thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    #3
    Google Earth has 3D terrains, especially noticeable in mountain ranges.
    It also has anti aliasing, anisotropic filtering, variable texture quality, and OpenGL or DirectX.

    If all these are set to highest, and then you try to zoom around a mountain range, for example, is the Air be beautifully smooth, or painfully chugging?

    I would try it in-store, but somehow I don't think they'd appreciate me installing apps on their Macs...
     
  4. n0de macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    #4
    I have no issues with Google Earth. The animation occasionally stutters, but overall it runs quite well.

    I usually have 2-3 states worth of census data loaded with heavy visualizations associated w/the data and still have Grab, MSWord, Mail and iTunes open at the same time - no core shutdowns.

    What I do not understand though is why the chipset (x3100) is beaten up so much. It's what is in HP's new touchscreen desktop and that seems to have some pretty intensive graphics. Is it purely Apple's implementation/driver?
     
  5. grabberslasher macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Éire
    #5
    The graphics in the MBA are fine, can run Unreal 2k4 at max settings full res at 20fps, and a lovely 10-15fps in Doom 3. i.e. as fast as the last PowerBook w/ ATI 9700m.

    It's decent for anything small or older.
     
  6. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #6
    Not necessarily

    You'd be surprised. I'd ask. When I worked there I would have allowed it, considering you're highly considering a macbook air. It's not like there's viruses to worry about and the machines are re-imaged at night.
     
  7. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #7
    ... of a level of complexity perhaps seen on games of the mid 90's. The 3D work involved isn't exactly taxing. As I said, it'll work fine for the most part.
     
  8. NewGenAdam thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    #8
    Well, I went into some shop which had an Air on display (not an Apple Store, mind), and just installed Google Earth. And Firefox as well, because I felt like it ^_^ . And no one even cared [noticed]!

    So I ran Google Earth, and it was admirably smooth. So then I opened firefox and safari with like 20 tabs, 4 simultaneous youtube vids, itunes playing some demo, office word, garage band, that apple photo software in order to simulate me, multitasking. Then I went back and tried Google Earth. It was a bit choppy, at probably 15-20 fps, but I am now impressed.

    So my only remaining reservation with the Air is the 80GB hdd. Oh, and the lack of disk drive ^_^ .
     

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