Civ 5 & MBA 11", 13", or no dice?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by alexjohnson, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. alexjohnson macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    #1
    I'm waiting to upgrade my Rev A MBA and was about to pull the trigger when the port of Civ 5 was announced. This is close to beign a killer app for me but I never got into Civ 4, partly because I never had a machine that could do it justice. Civ 5 comes out tomorrow, as readers of MacRumors who've clicked on this are no doubt fully aware! I am itching to buy both.

    Ideally, I would like the maxed-out 11". (Yep, had two Duos back in the day. Yep, had two 12" AlBooks.) I would love to play Civ 5 on it - and I'm, talking about on planes and in hotel rooms, not as a gaming rig. (I am resentful that they took a game which would play on a Duo 230 and made it a graphics CPU fest but that is also a digression.) I know there are compromises; the question I have for those of you buying it tomorrow is does it work, and if it works, is it playable enough to be fun, or is it just wretched? 1.6GHz with a 2.4GHz stated minimum is a big ask I appreciate but I don't require the eye-candy, just the challenge. I can live with an occasional beach ball etc., but not hangs and crashes.

    If it doesn't work I would buy the maxed-out 13" which looks much closer, at 2.16GHz, particularly when it seems to be benchmarking so well. Early buyers, does that work?

    If it just doesn't work at all I will likely not bother, buy the 11", and stick to Civ 3, and maybe try the Boot Camp version as the PC minimums seems lower. But I would prefer not to have to put Boot Camp on a 128GB drive, to say nothing of the nastiness of Windows...!
     
  2. lucashungaro macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    São Paulo, Brazil
    #2
    I've been playing it since its launch using Bootcamp and Windows 7 on my MacBook Unibody Aluminum 13'' (the one that later became the 13'' Pro) with a Core 2 Duo 2.4 Ghz, 2 Gb of RAM and a nVidia 9400M with no problems at all.

    Got the Ultimate MBA 13'' last week and it's way faster than the old one, especially with games, as the nVidia 320M crushes the old 9400. Was playing Left for Dead 2 on OS X with everything at minimum and 800x600. Now I can play at 1024x768 and medium/high for the other settings. I think that it is possible to play at a higher resolution, but didn't got the time to test it yet.

    So, all I can say is that the MBA 13'' (Ultimate or not) will play it smoothly for sure. The 11'' should be able too, as the main component involved here is the video card, which is the same one on both models.
     
  3. alexjohnson thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 22, 2010
    #3
    Sure, I know Boot Camp will work but I'm really looking for specific experiences from today's (!) release. I guess the early adopters are all mid-game but guys, when you take a break, please feed back!
     
  4. lucashungaro macrumors member

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    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    São Paulo, Brazil
    #4
    Just installed and played the OS X version for some minutes. :D

    All I can say is that the port is unstable and needs more hardware than the Windows version. With the same hardware you'll be able to set higher video details on Windows that on OS X. This holds true for almost all games I tried on both platforms, but with Civ V seems to be even more.

    Well, I was able to play at 1280x800 with most video options on low and some (2 or 3) on medium. It's completely playable except for the fact that it consistently crashes after some minutes of play. Remember to turn on auto-save for every turn.

    So, I really cannot say a lot about the 11'' model, even as it has the same video card as the 13'', but the model I got here can handle it, no doubts.

    I hope they release some patch to fix this. The game is awesome! :)
     
  5. alexjohnson thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    #5
    So you have the 13"? What chip, RAM?
     
  6. lucashungaro, Nov 23, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010

    lucashungaro macrumors member

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    Nov 20, 2010
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    São Paulo, Brazil
    #6
    It's the so-called "ultimate": 2.13 Ghz, 4 Gb RAM, 256 Gb storage.

    Given my experience with the game on that machine and some benchmarks, I'm inclined to think that using the 11'' would result in an uncomfortable gaming experience for you (with this game at least).
     
  7. whateverandever macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Location:
    Baltimore
    #7
    Considering that later in the game it runs like crap on my Windows gaming machine (8GB RAM, quad core 2.66GHz overclocked to 3.2, dual GTX 460s in SLI)... I really doubt it's going to be any fun playing it on a MBA.

    I've come to terms with having to play Civ 5 on my maxed out machine and now use my 11" Air for occasional WoW and Starcraft 2.
     
  8. lucashungaro macrumors member

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    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    São Paulo, Brazil
    #8
    Hmm… I was able to play and finish many games with a C2D 2.4 Ghz, 2 Gb of RAM and an nVidia 9400M with no problems. But I was using a low resolution and almost no graphic details.

    The game is really heavy, but if you don't mind playing with low details, I think the new 13'' MBA handles it very well.
     
  9. alexjohnson thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 22, 2010
    #9
    Good feedback. Has anyone tried the 11" yet?
     
  10. a2applegirl macrumors regular

    a2applegirl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    #10
    I am going to download it now and will post feedback soon. I am a civ4 fanatic and am hoping civ5 is even better. :)
     
  11. foiden macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 13, 2008
    #11
    I heard good things about Civ 5. And that it changed the battle (movement) game by quite a bit. Civ 4 was heavy on stacks, so it'll be nice to go a bit old school and not rely on stacks, but have to deal with unit positioning better.

    Though sometimes I wonder if the series is starting to come up with unnecessary hardware demands for rudimentary graphic bells and whistles. Even Civ 4 wasn't the nicest-looking game, considering how much resource it took. It just seemed they could do just as much with a lot less hardware. A very nicely presentable Civ game should probably be playable by a netbook atom, in which common laptops wouldn't even blink an eye as to whether they can run it. AI calculations, perhaps they could push those, but performance hits players see in this game, practically have nothing to do with AI, especially since it's during your turn in a turn-based game.
     
  12. alexjohnson thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    #12
    So how is it on that 11.6" ultimate Macbook air in your sig, a2applegirl? I hope you're not cheating and using your MBP...!
     
  13. lucashungaro macrumors member

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    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    São Paulo, Brazil
    #13
    The game actually looks astonishingly good in capable hardware. It's bright, vivid and beautiful.

    But, yes, I play it for the intricate mechanics and strategy. When I want the extra eye candy I turn on my PS3. :)
     
  14. alexjohnson thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 22, 2010
    #14
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2 like Mac OS X; en-gb) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C134 Safari/6533.18.5)

    11" experiences, anyone?
     
  15. micje macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    #15
    I find it completely unplayable on my ultimate MBA 13''. I'm playing on 1280x800, everything on the lowest setting, and it's extremely sluggish. After 30 minutes of play, scrolling from one unit to another renders at 1-2 fps. And the intro scenes are completely black, although I can hear them - the first thing I see is the menu.

    The fans turn on at once, making my MBA sound like a vacuum cleaner.

    Frankly, I suspect that the game is not even using the 320M, because even at three times the responsiveness this game would feel terribly slow. Hopefully there'll be a patch soon, otherwise I may install Windows. I bought it through Steam, and would have returned it if I could.

    For reference, StarCraft II runs just fine.
     
  16. a2applegirl macrumors regular

    a2applegirl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    #16
    So, I bought the game yesterday and loaded it onto my mbp and my air. I find it to be really really slow on the air.

    It is sort of playable, but I certainly didn't enjoy the experience that much.

    I also think the game is slow and bloated on my 15" I7 mbp so clearly its the port of the game that is the issue.

    But in a pinch if you just had to try out a strategy or something, you could get the game to run.
     
  17. a2applegirl macrumors regular

    a2applegirl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    #17
    FYI I am getting that same black intro screen on my 11.6" air but I am also getting it on my 15" I7 mbp with dedicated video card so I think its the port not the air.
     
  18. alexjohnson thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 22, 2010
    #18
    Disappointing. Looks like I am buying the ultimate 11" and Boot Camp using XP for now.
     
  19. HelsinkiMac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    #19
    Xp versus OSX

    Has anyone compared the performance of Civ5 on an MBA 13" ultimate using OSX vs XP via bootcamp? It looks as though it's struggling in OSX, wondered if it was any better in XP? I suppose if I get it, Steam is the way to go so you can get both versions...
     
  20. HelsinkiMac macrumors member

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    Feb 20, 2010
    #21
    Comedy - their 'fix' for the greyed out area of the screen on large monitors (27" or larger i.e. every 27" imac out there, the new 27" LCD displays, the old 30" LCD displays plus any 3rd party monitor of that size), is to tell you to reduce the resolution until it disappears! How can they not have noticed that it happened with all 27" imacs, and how can they have released it with such a half assed solution?
     
  21. a2applegirl macrumors regular

    a2applegirl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    #22
    I think you will get a much better experience that way. I use vmware fusion with xp and don't want bootcamp or I would do the same thing.
     
  22. Smangy23 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    #23
    Will Civ 5 run okay on my Macbook Pro?

    I meet the minimum requirements;however, I'm still leery that the game will become choppy as the map opens up...I'm not great with Mac hardware so I'd appreciate any feedback! Thank you!

    2.66 Ghz intel core duo processor
    4GB 1066 MHZ DDR3 SDRAM
    15.4 inch/1440 X 900
    NVIDIA GEFORCE 9400M and NVIDIA Geforce 9600M GT with 256MB of GDDR3 Memory
    I'll have to upgrade to snow leopard to make it so.....

    Thanks!
     
  23. a2applegirl macrumors regular

    a2applegirl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    #24
    civ 5 is running fine on my macbook pro. It runs really slowly on the air though.
     
  24. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #25
    Keep in mind that they ported the release copy of Civ V, no patches yet, we should start to see the updates rolling it within a week
     

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