Can the base 13" MBA handle HD video?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by dnkbro, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. dnkbro macrumors regular

    Jan 26, 2010
    After being disappointed with Apple's new refresh of the 13" MBP (I won't even get into that), I am strongly considering the base 13" MBA. This computer will be used mainly at school and at work. I won't be using this computer for intense needs. The most stress I would be putting on it would be playing HD movies (converted Blu-Ray movies that I have on my desktop) and occasionally some multi-tasking (iTunes and web browsing). Again, I would use this computer when I'm out and I'm not creating content (video editing, video encoding, intense photo editing). Would the 13" baseline AIR handle what I throw at it and still have good battery life (6 hours)? I used to have an HP laptop before and I literally broke it in half because it was the slowest pos ever with the ridiculously bad battery life (I shutter thinking about that computer).

    Thanks in advance.
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    As playing back HD video is CPU and GPU intensive, the MBA will be able to handle it (my four year old 2GHz iMac can handle 1080p .mkv files), but you will not get seven hours of battery life, more like three or four.
  3. dnkbro thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 26, 2010
    I see. And if the video resolution of the movie I'm playing is 1080p, would it scale properly to fit the screen of the Air? Also, would it make a difference if the file is an .m2ts file?
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    I watched 1080p on a 1680 x 1050 screen, therefore it was scaled down. It will do the same on a smaller screen and it will do so properly.
    .m2ts is just a container like .mkv, but it is a bit harder to play them on Macs.

  5. neko girl macrumors 6502a

    neko girl

    Jan 20, 2011
    One thing Intel prides its graphics on is HD playback. I think it should be ok.

    Edit: I'm sorry I missed the "MBA".
  6. dnkbro thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 26, 2010
    I see. Thank you for that. Looks like I would have to do some encoding on my PC beforehand (not a big deal). So the Air can handle HD content. What about flash HD content via youtube/netflix?

    Well, I did post it in the MBA forum. :D :p No worries
  7. simeezee macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2009
    I have the 11inch MBA base model. I can stream 720p youtube without any problem. there's a little bit of delay with 1080p youtube videos.
  8. Onimusha370, Feb 25, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2011

    Onimusha370 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 25, 2010
    the 2.13ghz handles it with power left over.
    the 1.86ghz should handle 1080p great :) be aware that your battery will be closer to 3 hours doing this, and i'd reccomend something like 'smc fan control', because the cpu will get very hot very quickly, so cranking the fans up yourself is useful.
    if your buying a machine mainly for editing 1080p video, i'd recomend the mbp. it'll run much cooler, and you'll get more battery life editing video (sandy bridge)
    seeing as your just watching back video, the air is a great purchase!
  9. dnkbro thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 26, 2010
    Delay eh? That doesn't sound good. Does it stutter or just delay in the beginning?

    No video editing for me. :D

    I'm just worried the 1.86Ghz, 2GB ram one won't be able to handle the 1080p video I watch on it. The computer is truly beautiful, I really wish Apple made the MBP similar to it. :(
  10. superdudeo macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2010
    I have stock CPU but with 4GB and I have a 30GB 1080p mkv file of the dark knight which it runs smoothly, although I can tell it is near it's limits. 1080p youtube videos can stutter but from my results this must be to do with your bandwidth rather than what the MBA can handle.
  11. dnkbro thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 26, 2010
    Hmmm, this worries me a little. When you say it's near it's limits, what exactly do you mean?

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