Haswell MacBook Air + Thunderbolt Display?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by toneLA, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. toneLA macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2013
    Beverly Hills, CA

    I just had a question regarding the combination of a 2013 Air and a TB display. I know the latest is due for a refresh. Probably with the same lamination process than the iMac and an updated series of ports and the new Magsafe connector. I am decided to wait until this one is out to get it.

    Thing is, I read reviews about people using a 2011 or 2012 Air with the current TB display complaining about lag. The most I'd do using the same set up is light Photoshop and heavier AutoCAD. I have a 2013 i7/8/256 11-inch Air.

    Are these lag issues a real thing? Isn't the Air cut out to run a TB display properly? Can these issue be from the past considering the poor performance of Intel's HD3000/4000 vs. the newer HD5000? Does anyone have a recent Air using the current gen of TB display and if so, even pushed at its limits in terms of gaming or rendering, is the display holding up nicely or is it a 2fps kinda deal?

    I know I can get an iMac as well but I'd rather have the ability to use the big screen whenever I want it and unplug a single cable to be mobile again.

    Any inputs, suggestions would be awesome!
  2. Brandon263 macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2009
    Beaumont, CA
    I have the new Air and the TBD, and there is no lag in both Windows 8 and OS X.
  3. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    The 2013 Air has much improved graphics over the previous MacBook Airs. You should be okay with a TB Display, especially since you have an 8GB Air.

    What people forget is that with the Air, the graphics memory is cut out of the main memory and with 8GB of ram, graphics can grab more than it can on a 4GB system.
  4. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I used my 2012 MBA and now my new 2013 13" MBA with my TB monitor and never ever have had any lag at all.

    You can tell a slight difference in some operations on the TB vs. the native 13" display, but you really have to look for it to see it. For example, if I have a Safari window open and hit command-h to hide, you can tell on the built in 13" display the window pops down into the dock just slightly quicker than then on the TB, but it not a large difference. Certainly nothing I would call "lag."

    Other than this slight difference, in normal computer use, say when editing a photo in iPhoto, there is no difference I can perceive at all.
  5. MBHockey macrumors 68040


    Oct 4, 2003
    New York
    I used a 2011 13" Air for the last 2 years and recently began using it with an ACD. The graphics lag was noticeable. The 3000 just felt underpowered. OS animations were pretty jerky. My 11" Air does not have this problem with the same monitor. Everything is as smooth on the external display as it is on the internal display. :)
  6. Dr Charter macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2011
    Before my current setup, I had a base 2012 21" iMac. I gave it to my parents and went with an 2013 11" Air + ATD. The extra screen real estate and performance beat my iMac for everyday use. I'm an English professor, so most of my computing is related to that. I don't edit video or game much, so I can't speak to its performance for those tasks.

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