From 2007 MBP to 2012 MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Edensuko, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. Edensuko macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2009
    So yeah, basically this. I have a Santa Rosa MBP (2.2 ghz, geforce 8600 128mb,2gb RAM). That is on the verge of kicking the bucket.

    I built a Rig 2 years ago, and I use it yo play games and 3d cad modeling (solidworks, catia, alias and the like). So my laptop needs are now for portability.

    I still want to be able to play some games on my laptop, doesn't matter if i lose the eyecandy, i just want steady 30+ FPS on this games.

    -Team fortress 2
    -Diablo 3

    Maybe down the road i'll get torchlight 2 and borderlands 2.

    I'll also install some cad programs just to review my big files on the go, and maybe do some last minute corrections on the bus/train/plane/whatever.

    So , I'm hoping you guys could help me a bit. Can a 2 ghz/8gb RAM MBA handle those games/tasks?

    Appreciate your help.
  2. lannisters4life macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2012
    Haha, this is pretty amazing timing. Today I bought a 13" 1.8ghz i5 MBA, an upgrade from an early 2008 Macbook Pro, with the 8600M 256GB, although I'd given it a RAM upgrade to 4GB. Your potential one would be faster, but too, your MBP was a touch older than mine. When at home I'm using a Thunderbolt display.

    I fired up Diablo 3, with pretty much everything on medium, vertical sync a must, initially on 1600x900, was fine in town, but no fun when I went to find something to kill, so I bumped down everything to low, and it was smooth. Unplugged the Thunderbolt display just as a test on the 1440 MBA screen, which was predictably smooth. My eyes aren't great (hence the 27" display) so I didn't try to up the texture/shadow settings, because I wouldn't be able to see it. The only game I really love is Portal 2, which didn't run well at 1920x1080, so I bumped it down to 1600x900 with textures high and everything else medium (AA off), and had smooth gameplay in the small to medium sized maps I messed around with, and fine co-op play with a random online to test. Co-op Portal 2 would be a fair bit lighter than Team Fortress 2, but they're built on the same stuff, and considering I am on an external, I'd be optimistic. These are both the Mac versions of the games, so I imagine the Windows versions would be better.

    The 8GB RAM upgrade would help the video, since it would up the Intel HD4000's RAM annex, to 512MB I imagine. My 4GB model takes 384MB.

    In comparison to my MBP this thing is bizarre... it's half the weight, much quieter, and a ridiculous amount faster zipping around OS X. The only "serious" application I use would be Illustrator, and it opened a few of my bigger files in a fraction of the time of my MBP, perhaps on account of the solid state drive. It was a toss up for me between this and a retina Macbook Pro, and I decided on the MBA saving a tonne of money, thinking it would be a nice new machine, but not a powerhouse. But after a day with it, even just on the speed of setting it up, installing applications, trying things out, it has floored me!
  3. BlueOcean macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2012
    You give me hope, good sir! I've been trying to decide between an Air and a classic 15" MBP. Thing is, I don't tend to carry around computers much and so the Pro is obviously more powerful. But since the Air is half the weight, it might actually make me start using the 'portability' of laptops more :p I could also then maybe take my iMac to uni with me and have the best of desktop and mobile computing.

    My main concern was the huge difference in power between the Air and Pro, but I think the Air gets twice the Geekbench scores as my 2008 iMac! As long as it can play the reasonable Source game etc, then it seems like the discrete graphics (main reason for Pro) wouldn't really be needed.

    (Also dig your username - Game of Thrones ftw!)
  4. lannisters4life macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2012
    Well I had a friend's 2009 iMac for a while before this 2012 Macbook Air, which despite its age played both games at higher resolutions/with higher settings when hooked up to my Thunderbolt display than my new Air, which I'm not worried about, but best to keep in mind.
  5. ChancyJohn macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2007
    What about running it in MBA's screen? Would an AMD HD 2600 from the older 24" iMac be better than the HD 4000?


    Asking cos the HD 4000 seems to be the lower end ULV version - how bad/good would it be compared to the HD 2600 from 200" iMac 24" - Note I don't need to run at high resolution on an external display

    And not intended for serious gaming ... will have to get a PC someday for that :)
  6. lannisters4life macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2012

    I can't really say how the ATI HD 2600 would go against the Intel HD4000.
    I can though compare the Intel HD4000 to the Nvidia 8600M GT from my 2008 Macbook Pro, and the HD4000 is better (both on the internal and my external display) in Portal 2, but I never ran Diablo 3 on my MBP. If you can find a comparison between the Nvidia 8600M GT and the AMD HD 2600, they're both from the same year, so hopefully there'll be something written about the two, then it'd help you figure it out. I'm pretty sure the 09 iMac I was using had the ATI HD 4670, which beat the Intel HD4000 comfortably for what I was playing.
  7. BlueOcean macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2012
    According to, the HD4000 performs better than the 2600, but worse than the 8800GS that I originally had in my iMac (until it busted as with seemingly everyone else that had it, and had to replace it with the 2600). I'm used to playing with the 8800 and that could handle Source games easily at 1920x1200 in Boot Camp, Portal 2 in Snow Leopard at same res but with a few settings lowered, and Mass Effect 2/Deus Ex:HR at probably 720p but pretty smooth.

    I suspect that given the 1440x900 screen on the Air, the HD4000 might be able to perform similarly, and it should outperform the 2600, though I don't know how the ULV affects things. Videos on YouTube look promising though.

    Thing is, the more I think about it, I'm really more of a console gamer, so that performance should do me okay. In fact, the money I would save on an Air vs a rMBP would probably afford me the next PlayStation or XBOX. And yet, I am still a sucker for a smoothly running PC game :p
  8. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Mine runs all those games fine. I use Windows for games, so I can't really comment on OS X performance.
  9. Edensuko thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2009
    Thank you!
    So I should be able to run tf2 native with everything low (probably textures and models on med/high). Considering i ran it native with those settings on my current MBP, with bigger resolution, less processor power, less ram and slower HDD.

    As for diable 3 iv'e seen a couple of videos now, it does look promising but they are all single player...and i dont think ill play it solo that much...still, looks like i'm in for a big smile :)
  10. Edensuko thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2009
    I forgot to say, I am getting the 11" 2ghzi7/8gb/128mb

    Will it being small reduce performance from what some are getting with the 13" ?

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