Gaming performance

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Formul, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. Formul, Aug 14, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011

    Formul macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Location:
    Czech Republic
    #1
    I don't plan to use the air for heavy gaming, but i was wondering if it's any good at all - these are my impressions so far:

    smoothly playable:
    Civilization IV (medium)
    Knights of the old republic (without AA)
    Team Fortress 2 (medium) *
    Torchlight
    Starcraft 2 (low details - tested on large challenge map with no FOW)
    League of legends
    Heroes of Newerth
    Counter Strike:Source (medium) *

    decently playable:
    Portal 2 *
    Left for Dead 2 *
    Civilization V (low, i would say the worst performance of the lot)

    * the source games tend to "hick-up" from time to time for a second

    - 2011 MBA 13" 128GB (samsung SSD)
    - pretty nice, although the mac gets kinda hot & loud
    - i will update the list in the future, the gpu seems a lot better than my old 8600GT
    - everything is tested in Mac OS X in native resolution
    - the problem with most FPS is that the mac gets very hot around the "WSAD" keys
     
  2. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #2
    Thanks for posting this. I was curious about StarCraft 2 specifically. It's about the only game I play besides C&C: Tiberium Wars :)
     
  3. LightOnAHill macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    #3
    the only game I've installed is original starcraft and that runs great in win7
     
  4. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #4
    I keep hearing conflicting posts on Civ5. I'm a big Civ fan, but would rather try out Civ4 if it's going to play better than Civ5. Nothing worse than a laggy game.

    Any Civ4/5 players that can comment?
     
  5. Pascual macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    #5
    I think the gaming performance on the air is quite good indeed but my problem is that when gaming the fan gets so loud and the cpu so hot it really puts me off.
     
  6. johnadams2007 macrumors member

    johnadams2007

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    #6
    if youre comfortable opening your laptop, you can apply as5 to the cpu and gpu. it dropped my temps under load by almost 10c.

    I've been able to play everything I throw at my air from tf2 to crysis.
     
  7. Pascual macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    #7
    Hmm interesting. Well I have no problem opening up computers usually but my MBA is so new if anything happened to it I would cry :(
     
  8. johnadams2007 macrumors member

    johnadams2007

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    #8
    you could always put it back together and play dumb if you break anything lol
     
  9. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #9
    I just got done playing a round of Civ 4. Downloaded it from Amazon. 1440x900 with everything on high (graphics level, render quality, and globe quality). Played great! There was some glitches when zooming in an out, (using high detailed terrain), some of the textures appeared black, but zooming out and in got rid of it. The build is from 2007 and there apparently are no updates? In any case, it works great!
     
  10. Pascual macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    #10
    Do you not get bothered by high temps and loud fans?
     
  11. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #11
    Nope, because I got neither.
     
  12. L0s7man macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    #12
    Awesome! How did you remove the old thermal paste? Is there anything specific or just wipe it off with something?
     
  13. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #13
    I want to know. Can it play GTA4? Benchmarks says that game won't even run. I used to play it on the 9400M with decent FPS.
     
  14. Pascual macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    #14
    Oh ok, I wonder if there is something wrong with my MBA
     
  15. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #15
    Maybe. Or maybe we have different definitions of "high" temps and "loud" fans. :D

    For me, high temps would be higher than 100C, which would cause a thermal shutdown by exceeding the maximum temperature that the chip is designed for. Anything lower than that is just not a problem for me.

    Also, "high" temps for me would also mean that the laptop is uncomfortable to hold or touch. It gets warm, but not hot. if its too hot to hold, that's a manufacturing defect in my book. I have no such problem.

    "Loud" fans to me would make a noise that distracts from what I'm doing. A very low level "wooooosh" sound just doesn't bother me. The fan I have on the floor to keep the room cool is louder than my MBA fan. Just because I can hear it doesn't make it "loud". At least not for me. I have a Dell XPS 720H2C water cooled PC. When that thing gets hot, and the fans kick in (including two extra fans I installed), THAT thing is loud. I mean, it sounds like an airplane taking off and it interferes with my ability to listen to the sound coming out of the speakers. It actually competes with it. THAT to me is loud. The little whoosh that comes out of the Air even at full blast, that's not loud. Nor for me anyway. YMMV. :D
     
  16. macjacky11 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    #16
    I am a big fan of left 4 dead2. Could anyone who have tried that on the new air tell me if that game is playable at all?
     
  17. L0s7man macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    #17
    ZBoater: Yeah, it gets somewhat loud, but I use headphones anyway ;-) And I have an external keyboard so even if the chasis gets warm, it doesn't bother me. Although, I just returned i7 version of MBA 13" and I'll be getting i5. i5 does run slightly cooler, or so it seems.

    Just did some digging on Arctic Silver 5: 200h break-in... long! I guess I'll get my new i5 MBA, install AS5 immediately and leave it running some OpenGL demos for few days. Hack some simple script to log CPU temperatures and see if it makes a difference!
     
  18. Pascual macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    #18
    As far as thermal paste goes I would recommend Arctic MX-4 . It's really great stuff and no break in period ;)
     
  19. xkmxkmxlmx macrumors 6502a

    xkmxkmxlmx

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2011
    #19
    Disappointed about Left 4 Dead and portal not running smoother as they are the only games I play.
     
  20. L0s7man macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    #20
    But is it better than AS5? Even 2 deg celsius difference would be worth it...

    Need to do some digging and see what's the best out there!

    Plus, it seems the heatsink in MBA is copper and I've read that silicon based paste will oxidize copper faster (probably I shouldn't care anyway! I'll switch to a new laptop before It'll make any difference)
     
  21. LeakedDave macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    #21
    It ran great with Snow Leopard Rosetta on the 2010 models too -_-
     
  22. Formul thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 29, 2010
    Location:
    Czech Republic
    #22
    you have to play SC1 and Diablo 2 in Wine ... the windows versions :| with a few bugs like non-working videos, luckily you don't have to rebuy them as battle.net lets you download both versions
     
  23. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #23
    Has anyone bothered to try Dragon Age 2 or Dragon Age Origins under OS X on the 2010 Air ?

    I can only find videos of people running them under Windows on the Air. Frustrating, I want to know how well it runs before buying, and Bioware only has a Windows demo version. :(
     
  24. codyc1515, Aug 16, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011

    codyc1515 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    #24
    And by very hot I am assuming you mean around the 90-100*C range? Because from my own experiences with smcFanControl on my 13" i5 128GB I have managed to get anywhere from 35-100*C.

    According to the internal CPU temperatures my MBA has actually exceeded 100*C, although, it did shutdown. However, It is unfortunate because I cannot know whether it was the temperature or Windows 7 as I had just installed Windows and it had just installed updates and was pestering for reboots it is possible that it could have been that.

    When I rung AppleCare they were unsure as to what would be a normal temperature to expect from it. They then suggested that I just return it for a new one if I wanted to or take it in to a local PC/Mac repairer to get a "check up". Neither option was particularly appealing so I just decided not to run 3 games at once :D ...
     
  25. Formul thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Location:
    Czech Republic
    #25
    it is just the aluminum between the keys thats hot and it is not 90-100 *C, because i can keep my hand on it ... although it is uncomfortable
     

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