c2d 320m MBA better for gamming than a SB HD3000 MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Iku, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. Iku macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2006
    It looks like 13MBPs with c2d m320s have about the same if not higher gaming frame rates than the new 13MBPs with SB hd3000. I think this has convinced me to go ahead and pull the trigger on a MBA now and if it upgrades to SB in a few months I can avoid update envy lol.

    I should say 95% of my MBA time will be office work/web surfing and just a little gaming on the side.

    Taken from another post:


    "Early analysis for Gaming is the under mac OS X, the 2010 and 2011 models are roughly equivalent, but under boot camp, the 2010 model with the 320M is quite a lot faster.

    If you look at equivalent games, it looks like the 2010 model running under bootcamp is the best choice to be gaming.

    Left 4 Dead (SP Campaign “No Mercy”)
    Medium Settings
    Mac OS X
    2011 MBP with Intel HD 3000 (avg fps) = 41
    2010 MBP with nVidia 320m (avg fps) = 44

    2011 MBP with Intel HD 3000 (avg fps) = 49
    2010 MBP with nVidia 320m (avg fps) = 64

    StarCraft 2 (Online Quick Play 4v4)
    Medium Settings
    Mac OS X
    2011 MBP with Intel HD 3000 (avg fps) = 41
    2010 MBP with nVidia 320m (avg fps) = 39

    2011 MBP with Intel HD 3000 (avg) = 33
    2010 MBP with nVidia 320m (avg) = 46"
  2. xchaotic macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2008
    I am thinking of doing the same.
    I was going to go for the new 13" MBP but the graphics is such a letdown.
    The config of a high end 15" mbp in air body is a dream which might come true in a few months...
    Until then 15" is too big and too expensive for me.
  3. impulse462 macrumors 68000


    Jun 3, 2009
    For office work/web surfing and light gaming, really either one (current MBA or the SB one) would work, but since you DO game, I'd get the MBA right now.

    Both will handle office work and web-surfing flawlessly, but the 320M will give you marginally better FPS in games according to a variety of benchmarks.
  4. Davichi macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2011
    No matter what you want to spin this thing. It's intel graphic card. Nvidia will beat them to the ground.

    Intel should just focus on CPU and Get off from GPU.
  5. pishowda macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2011
    worst comes to worst, you could always wait until the refresh, see how monumental the other changes are, and go from there. At that point you could probably get a like-new refurbed 320 Air for a bit cheaper than you would now, or you can pay the full price and get an updated model
  6. 2IS macrumors 68030

    Jan 9, 2011
    If you really want to game, tha MBA isn't for you, period. If you simply want the ability to play the occassional game, HD3000 is more then capable of providing that.
  7. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020


    Oct 1, 2008
    Tampa, FL
    the problem with this comparison is that sure the 320m is slightly better than the HD3000, the comparisons on paper can only end there. You cannot get the 320m with a SB CPU or vice versa. Ultimately the HD 3000's slightly less graphical power does not (IMO) make the C2D + 320m any better a choice. My gaming studies on the SB MBP 13" i7 makes me feel the HD 3000 + SB is certainly the better option, especially in terms of gaming in OSX. The CPU is just so much better it really brings up the gaming performance if set at the same quality. I mean how often are you gaming that you require the better 320m? The CPU does a lot of work too in outside gaming situations and that increase in performance definitely should outweigh the C2D 320m. BUt if you're talking about a ton of gaming, you should just look elsewhere if this minute difference matters.

    Now if you want the portability of teh Air that's a different story. But if the MBA had the SB + HD 3000 I would take it in a heartbeat. The C2D holds me back.

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